Tag Archives: Christmas

Strange Magic

Someone commented “Bah Humbug! Get in the spirit!” to a post that I wrote the other day about the fact that Santa has already taken up residency at the North Shore Shopping Center.  To the contrary….I’m well on my way towards making sure that this holiday season is as magical for my boys as possible. Although, I sincerely did appreciate the kick in the butt…as sometimes I do need it.

While I have totally begun my holiday planning, I try to keep the holidays a bit under wraps for the boys until Thanksgiving.  We’ve made a Thanksgiving night tradition out of making popcorn and hot cocoa, spreading out sleeping bags, and watching The Polar Express for the past several years.  For us…that is the true beginning of the holiday season. That also happens to be the evening that jolly, little “Jingle the Elf” sneaks back into the house to oversee the boys’ behavior and keep the big S privy to the going ons of the dynamic Schrafft duo.  And then, the day after Thanksgiving, we go out and tag and decorate our Christmas Tree at the tree farm (and then let it sit and simmer prior to going back to chop it down)…..another favorite day of ours for sure!  In my humble opinion, 7 or 8 weeks of holiday excitement kind of detracts from the specialness of the season. Too much of a good thing, and all.  For pete’s sake, that is 1/6 of the entire year! For us, the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas is perfect!  And…we do those 4 weeks BIG.

For starters, an overnight trip to NYC to skate at Rockefeller Center and to see the tree, lights, and decorations is already booked (thanks to a pretty sweet Groupon)….as is a trip to ride on the Polar Express up in New Hampshire. A really special thing for little ones to do. My iCal on my Mac is all loaded with no fewer than a dozen important holiday festivities and I’ve already lamented the fact that we can’t see Santa on the Beauport Princess while simultaneously watching him arrive by lobster boat in Rockport Harbor.  The two appearances overlap by just enough time to make doing both impossible.  Never mind the lies that would have to be told to explain how Santa actually did both.  Magic….I know.

I won’t share more of those events/activities with you yet…as they are bound to reveal themselves in some upcoming “Picks of the Weekend” posts over the course of the next several Thursdays.

A whopping 4 stocking stuffers have been purchased….along with three teacher gifts.  I have a “sticky” on my desktop all organized with a T and an F and a B (for both) to be uber organized about which gifts have been ordered…and for whom (with the boys being exactly 2 years apart…they get some gifts that are actually meant for them to share…hence the B column).  I have items in virtual shopping bags locked and loaded at Under Armour, Nike, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Likewise, my eBay “watch” list is growing with NWT (new with tag) items to be bid on.  I’ve also started to DVR Christmas movies as they begin to get listed.  Game On, peeps.

Christmas is indeed starting to take shape….and commercials like this one are starting to give me the warm fuzzies.

Let the Games Begin

Decorations, fine.  Commercials, whatever, I get it.

BUT….S.A.N.T.A already poised on this throne at the mall??  WTH.

Come On!!!  Madness.

Doesn’t he have like 9,837,261,2984,001 more gifts to help the elves handcraft?

This momma isn’t ready for this crap yet!

Wasn’t it just a second ago that I was lying about the Easter Bunny?

In case you missed the newsflash about how massive a liar I am, you can feel my pain here

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The Best Christmas Decoration EVER! (Not to Overstate it)

This year I was lucky enough to acquire one of the limited-run wall hangings created in printer Julia Garrison’s studio & shop, The Sarah Elizabeth Shop, in Rockport. The piece hangs near our dinner table and I stare at it during every meal, surprised every time by the beauty and the level of detail in the design.

The wall hanging was printed from a block carved in 1950 by local artist Delores Rapp, who was trained by Virginia Lee Burton, the founding member of the Folly Cove Designers, so it is only fitting that over six decades later, prints are being made from the block using the same Acorn Press that was used by the Folly Cove Design Collective, which Julia uses in printing both archival and her own original designs.

Julia prints this piece in a few different colors. Mine is printed in red ink on a natural linen background.

Julia prints this piece in a few different colors. Mine is printed in red ink on a natural linen background.

This year, the current owner of the vintage block (Delores Rapp passed away a few years ago) came to Julia and they worked out an arrangement that allows Julia to print a limited run of wall hangings from the block. All the wall hangings are hand-printed and sewn locally, using archival ink on linen, which lasts forever, so your descendents will still be enjoying this pieces many Christmas moons from now.

You can purchase the hanging (and see other options for ink/background colors) directly from Julia online HERE. Or better yet, go see her in her studio/shop this weekend at 5 Whistlestop Mall in Rockport to see the wall hangings — and her other wares — in person.

This piece is bound to be an heirloom in our own family — I am already attached to it more than pretty much any other holiday item I have — and will no doubt be equally as meaningful in the homes of every one else who gets their hands on one. It is beautiful both for the amazing design (when you consider that every detail was hand carved!) and for its connection to our local and current artistic heritage.

I’m sorry my photos don’t do it justice. Check it out at Julia’s online shop or in person to get the full effect of these limited-run pieces.

Just some of the detail of the design.

Just some of the detail of the design.

 

Emmanuel Church Open Christmas Eve

The Episcopal Emmanuel Church in Manchester will be offering two services on Christmas Eve. The Family Service at 4:00PM and the Communion Service at 6:00 PM. This is a small (small!) but beautiful church usually open in summertime and sometimes for special occasions.  Services are held in the summer every Sunday from June through September at 10:00 AM. The Church is located on Masconomo Street in Manchester.

 

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

A Very Special Holiday Celebration: Amero Family Christmas @ The Rhumb Line 8-11~ 12.18.2013

rhumb

Wednesdays Only: Prime Rib, $12.95!

Hello everyone!
Wednesday, December 18th

A Very Special Holiday Celebration:
Amero Family Christmas!

fly linda jb bw

Fly, Linda & J.B.

We do this pretty much every year, and it’s always fun and
festive!  David Brown will be joining us this time ‘round, so
please come and be a part (and maybe even sing along).
Merry Christmas everyone! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Prime Rib Special -
  $12.95 (while they last)
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Plus – Check out Fred’s rockin’ new wine menu!
Looking forward…
…to seeing you there!  :-) ~ Fly

THE RHUMB LINE BAR & RESTAURANT

40 Railroad Ave.

Gloucester, MA 01930

phone: 978-283-9732

The Sergeant and the Tree

Came to find out that Sergeant Todd Fitzgerald had a lot to do with the creation of the Manchester Police Department’s contribution to the Festival of Trees. He designed, gathered all the adornments and placed everything on the tree. (Said he got the parking tickets out of my car…). He did say that someone else had to make the bow for him! Very creative.

Sergeant Todd Fitzgerald

Sergeant Todd Fitzgerald

Christmas In Cape Ann Question From Sarah Smith

http://www.capeannmarina.com/SSenewsimages/xmastreegloucester.jpg

Hi Joey C,
I’ve been a subscriber to GMG for about 6 months and thoroughly enjoy the ‘inside scoop’ on all that is going on in the community.
We will be spending our first Christmas in Cape Ann this year and was interested in your readers suggestions for activities that week.
What’s on their top 10 list???????
All the best,
Sarah

The Friendship Tree and 24 Festival of Trees are lit!! – Manchester

Sunday evening was the official lighting of the Friendship Tree and the 24 trees in The Festival of Trees on Manchester’s Town Hall Common. A huge crowd had packed into the Congregational Church (SRO) for a 3:00 PM concert of Christmas songs and music, and then spilled out to fill the Town Hall Common and see the trees lit. They joined an already growing crowd who came for just the Tree Lighting and everyone brought the kids!

Christmas by the Sea ll

With the busy weekend underway, Santa made his way to Town and the Community Center for pictures with all each of the kids, the Historical Society Home put on its Christmas best, and the Boy Scouts, Troop 3, were selling trees, wreaths and Evergreen rope!

Festival of Trees Update

A lot has happened since last Friday when the trees went up, but there are still a few trees to be decorated. Some groups are showing a little imagination with their trees… All trees are to be decorated by this Friday December 6th.

The Friendship Tree will be lit Sunday at 4:30 PM at the First Parish Church on Town Hall Common and the Trees in the Festival of Trees will be lit right after.

Christmas by the Sea – Schedule, December 5th through 8th

Thursday December 5th the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce will hold a Christmas Part at Seaside Cycles, 23 Elm Street, Manchester. Raffles, door prizes and more! All are welcome!

Friday December 6 - Shop Manchester will take place from 4:00 until 9:00 pm. Collect stamps in your holiday passbook as you visit any of the merchants and win a valuable gift pack from local businesses. Plus you will have a chance to win a new Apple iPad or new BMX bicycle. Details at the merchant shops.

Christmas by the Sea Childcare Service So the parents can shop with ease and without young ones seeing anything too early, Childcare Services will be available between 5:30 and 8:30 pm at the Manchester Public Library. A minimum donation of $10.00 with a family maximum of $30.00 for the evening. Green Team will entertain the children with arts & crafts/games/movie and light refreshments. Proceeds to support the programming offered by the Manchester Community Center and to support the efforts of the Manchester Essex Green Team. Manchester Public Library 15 Union Street, Manchester.

Saturday December 7th Shop Manchester continues all day with the chance to win the prizes already mentioned and see all the special ideas and gifts the Shops of Manchester have to offer this Christmas.

Santa Claus Comes to Manchester! The Annual Jingle Bell walk will start at 1:00 PM when Santa arrives by boat at Masconomo Park. Santa will lead the children on a walk to Singing Beach followed by an open house at the Community Center from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. See the petting zoo, a craft activity, face painting, entertainment with Mrs. Claus and refreshments. Santa will be available for the children to meet and have a their picture taken with Santa.

Holidays and Wintertide II: An Evening with Chelsea Berry & Friends ~ 7:00 PM Single Tree Music and the Historic Manchester Trust present a special Holiday concert performance featuring Chelsea Berry, Joe Cardoze, Renee Dupuis and John Rockwell. The Crowell Chapel, 4 Rosedale Avenue. Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com

Sunday December 8th Santa’s tour of Manchester starts at 12;00 and will go until about 2:30 PM. Santa will be start at the Fire Station and be driven around on a fire truck throwing Animal Crackers to the children as he tours the Town. Families are also encouraged to visit Santa at the Fire Station at 11:45 AM prior to his leaving on the tour.

A Christmas Concert will be held at the First Parish Church from 3:30 to 4:30 PM. The concert will feature the Manchester-Essex School Band, Soundwaves, the High School Chorus, Memorial School Chorus and La Petite Choral.

4:30 PM Lighting of the Friendship Tree and the Festival of Trees, the official start of the Christmas season following the concert at the First Parish Church on Town Hall Common

A busy weekend in Manchester!

 

We don’t have to go to Paris for beauty…

Granted, our local churches aren’t  Notre Dame… but we have lots of beauty right here at home in Gloucester. Here are some photos of St. Ann’s Church (Holy Family Parish) with the Christmas decorations up.

First, a shot from a night right before Christmas (Dec. 23) when several blocks in Gloucester mysteriously had a power outage over several hours. We rounded up extra candles and Christmas lights for the evening Mass in Portuguese:

 

Then a few shots with normal lighting:

 

Remember, Christmas isn’t over yet! Today is the 9th day of Christmas (as in, “9 ladies dancing”).

- Fr. Matthew Green

2012 Good Morning Gloucester FOB Christmas Meal Post

Send In Your Christmas Meal Pics And I’ll Post ‘Em

send them to goodmorninggloucester@yahoo.com


Gloucester native Geordie Keefe had brussels sprout for Christmas.!

photo


Toby Pett

No dreidel, no Festivus Pole, and most of all NO RUBBER DUCKS…just leg of lamb, fine wine and Shirley’s blueberry pie…good wishes to all..

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Ann Kennedy-

"PJs and Paper Plates", our very laid-back Christmas brunch; lots of music, twice-baked potatoes, eggs, bacon and cookies.  Also do home-made dog treats for pet friends. 

Merry Christmas! – Gloucester holiday slideshow

Merry Christmas to all! May God bless you and give you joy, whatever your religious tradition and personal approach to the holiday season.

Remember:  Christmas is just beginning! Traditionally, the Christmas season lasts for more than a week (for Catholics, until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on Jan 13 this year).  So, don’t rush to throw out those Christmas decorations!  You can still enjoy them for a while yet – at least for the famous “12 Days of Christmas” until Jan. 6!

Gloucester is a great place to spend Advent and Christmas.   Besides all the services, pageants and festivities in the religious context, there are lots of decorations and fun activities downtown.  Click on the photos below to see a slideshow of images taken during “Family and Friends’ Night” and “Men’s Night” on Main Street.

slideshow

 

I’ll be blogging from home in Connecticut for the next few days.

- Fr. Matthew Green

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