The question/suggestion was posed to me to discuss what Christmas in Bar Harbor is like.
I would have to say that the most remarkable thing about Christmas here is how unremarkable it is. Very and I mean VERY few people decorate the outside of their homes, save a wreath (and if they are really extravagant), some fresh garland. I would say only five percent of the homes decorated with any type of lighting, and I have seen NO inflatable yard ornaments (can I get a hallelujah?)!! Perhaps there is an ordinance.
One might assume that this is due to the seasonal nature of the town. Many of the houses are shuttered for the winter, as are 95% of the restaurants, motels, cabins, and bed and breakfasts. However, I can’t help but wonder if this is not a reflection of the low-key, laid back nature of the people living here. No one is in any particular hurry. The cashiers have real conversations with you in the check out line. People smile and say hello when you pass them on the street.
Yes, there are craft fairs, yes Santa Claus visits the small towns on the island (in Bar Harbor he arrives in a horse-drawn carriage), there are a couple of concerts (I enjoyed the Youth Orchestra of Eastern Maine last week-end). But what is lacking (and I don’t mean that in a bad way), is the Christmas hype, the Christmas stress, the Christmas panic. The nearest mall is 60 miles away, the nearest “big box” aka Wal-Mart is nearly 30 miles away. Being physically removed from the commercialization may play a role.
Besides, when you live next to one of the most beautiful places in the continental United States, why would you try to compete?
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, Happy Quanza, and Happy Festivus for the rest of us everyone! Enjoy your holidays, however you celebrate them.