Are the trees getting shorter….or are my boys getting taller?
Last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marked the 7th year in a row that we have driven to the Beverly Tree Farm….Christmas carols cranking…. in search of our perfect tree. Some years we are in search of big….some years small. Some years we go in search of super full….some years extra tall.
What doesn’t change is how excited we are to enter the Bertolon Family’s gorgeous red barn house to sit by the fire, drink some cider, share some cookies, flip through the “Naughty and Nice” book, inevitably bump into some friends, and head out into the designated field in search of the tree that speaks to us.
Some years it has been unseasonably warm…and a couple of times there has been some snow on the ground. No matter what the weather, we always leave the farm….tree strapped securely to the roof of the car…full of holiday cheer and ready to kick off the Christmas season.
It means so much to me to know that the boys will look back fondly on traditions like this one as they grow older and will hopefully continue them with their own families. Maybe they’ll let me tag along.
I want to thank the Bertolon family and all of the wonderful staff who, while conscious of it or not, are helping to make memories for countless families each holiday season.
I got such a kick out of looking back through photos of our “Tree Cutting Days” last night and seeing how the boys have grown each year. I look forward to many more years of tree hunting and the memories that they will bring.
I hope that you all find the perfect one of whatever it is that makes your holiday season so special and that happy memory making awaits you and your loved ones this season.
Learn more about THE BEVERLY TREE FARM Here
Cat Ryan submits-
Cool interactive gateway this year on Cape Ann Art Haven lobster trap design! Great photo op for everybody.
If we ever have buoy overflow –or enough requests and funding– wouldn’t it be great to hang the buoys with the wreaths downtown? We used to have gold buoys with the wreaths.
The wreaths at the train station and along Railroad Avenue look wonderful this year with the new sidewalk.
If possible, Rockport is even a bit more beautiful this evening.
Tonight, we welcome a number of local artisans and retailers to set up shop in 7 CENTRAL for our first Sip ‘n Shop event. Get your last minute shopping done while enjoying live music by John Rockwell and cocktails specials throughout the evening!
local artisans and retailers including: One Ocean Arts,mimi, Sweetwater & Company, Ocean Chic Boutique & Waterbar, Memory Layne Creative, and J.Hilburn.
EVENT: 2nd Annual Bang-A-Song Studio Holiday Jam
WHERE: 72 Rogers Street, Gloucester
WHEN: Monday, December 15th
WHAT ELSE: We’ll have pizza and beer for jamming, instruments and
amplifiers for eating. Come meet Tony and Warren, sign up for a January
open studio slot, and perform your best version of “Jingle Bells”,
“Christmas with the Martians” or “Santa’s Got an Airplane”!!!! Kids
Even the rain couldn’t dampen the anticipation on T Wharf in Rockport yesterday afternoon as the crowd eagerly awaited the arrival of the one and only Santa!
It is truly a one-of-a-kind kind of day in a one-of-a-kind kind of town!
Please excuse my shoddy videography. As you can imagine, I was filming with one hand, taking photos with the other, and trying to make sure the boys didn’t do belly flops into Rockport Harbor. Intentionally or by accident.
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.
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
Heading out of town for a few days but want to wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Christmas Tree on the Harbor
Going passed the Manchester Historical Society, if you are very lucky, you can see the Nutcrackers standing guard… They appear only to those who can see beyond the streets and houses…
Nutcrackers at the Historical Society
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.
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.
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.
Wednesdays Only: Prime Rib, $12.95!
Wednesday, December 18th
A Very Special Holiday Celebration:
Amero Family Christmas!
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!
…to seeing you there! :-) ~ Fly
THE RHUMB LINE BAR & RESTAURANT
40 Railroad Ave.
Gloucester, MA 01930
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
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,
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!
The Friendship Tree Lights!
Followed by the Festival of Trees!