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.

"Rush hour" in Bar Harbor 3 days before Christmas.

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.

The most decorated building in town - Geddy's restaurant!

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?

Lamp post in the town park, overlooking the Harbor.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, Happy Quanza, and Happy Festivus for the rest of us everyone!    Enjoy your holidays, however you celebrate them.


About Carol Page-Potter

I am a woman in the midst of reconnecting with life after the death of my husband.

Posted on December 22, 2011, in Life on the Island. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Carol,
    Sounds AWESOME……….maybe that’s why Wally and I …especially me…..look forward to spending Christmas at the cabin we have in VA……..and no tree!!!! Just us and the woods……Yeah……..I love your posts and still believe this will be a book encouraging others to follow their hearts, take risks and know nothing is forever but enjoy the moment………even the “down” ones, they too shall pass……..
    Merry Christmas and here’s to a New Year for all of us!!!!!!!!!! Judi Gordon

  2. Judi – thank your for your very kind words, enthusiasm, and support – I appreciate you!

  3. Here’s a hallelujah! Thanks for this post – it does sound wonderful! I have the temptation as I walk around our neighborhood to take a giant hat pin to the “blow-up” figures.

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