Winter is my favorite season. I particularly love December with the holiday lights and decorations. I didn’t get to some of the tree lightings last week because of the icy roads, but I did drive through town on Sunday to look at the holiday lights. The Christmas trees are now lit up on lower Main Street and the Common. The gazebo is decorated with evergreen boughs, red ribbons, and lights. One of my favorite shops this time of year is Maine Line Products on Route 26 in Locke’s Mills. Outside, the store is decorated with hundreds of colored lights, and Santa Claus sits in a giant snow globe with snow falling all around him.
Charles Dickens described the holiday season as “A good time, a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their hearts up freely, and think of other people.” Dickens called this his “Carol Philosophy,” after his story, “A Christmas Carol.”
In December we celebrate not just Christmas, but two other holidays, where people also open their hearts to their communities. Hanukkah begins at sunset this Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends at nightfall on Dec. 16. Kwanzaa is celebrated Dec. 26 through Jan. 1.
This weekend the Senior College Players will present two Christmas plays: “Memories of a Wonderful Life” by Jonathan M. Zaley and “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas. Curtain times are Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Moses Mason House,14 Broad Street in Bethel. These are audience-participation plays, so you might be asked to join the cast on stage or just join in a song. Admission is free. Donations will be accepted to help with the royalty fees.
The Crescent Park School fifth-grade students are working hard to raise money for their Boston trip in the spring. This Saturday you can help them by having your picture taken with Santa. It’s only $5 and the proceeds go to the fifth-grade class trip. The place is Breakfast with Santa at Crescent Park School on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 to 11 a.m. There will be music, crafts, and free breakfast.
The ponds and lakes are covered in a thin layer of ice and snow. Don’t be fooled though. The ice is not thick enough to walk on yet. There was enough ice on the roads this weekend, however, to cause hazardous driving conditions and chaos on local roads. On Sunday morning at 8:30 my mother and I looked out the window to see a car in the ditch under our apple tree. The young couple in the car had left Boston at 4:30 a.m., hoping to spend the day skiing at Sunday River. Instead their car skidded in the ice and snow on the road, spun around, and ended up off the road. After Gaudreau’s Repairs towed them out of the ditch, they continued north on Route 26. The good news is that they were unhurt and that many people stopped to offer them help.
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