I'm working on two of my usual sorts of posts, but I'm suffering from the after-effects of a little to much food, candy, wine, and general holiday cheer this morning, so you'll have to wait.  Overeating was a problem this fall as colder weather set, but I am happy to report that after the last few days, I finally have had enough food.  Way enough.

The local Historical Society's 1815 house, decorated for its Holiday open house.  The wallpaper is an Adelphi reproduction of an early 19th century paper found in another local house (Click HERE for more).  The ship in the painting, the 'Ranger', was built only a few dozen feet from this room.
 At dinner last night, over smoked salmon and crab mousse, friends and I were commenting about the relative lack of Holiday decorations around town this year.   Was it an effect of the poor economy, or was it because our village suffers from a surfeit of 'Good Taste', and therefore people are too timid to put on a display that doesn't involve more than a few white twinkle lights--here the Dilettante confesses that no matter how much 'Good Taste' he may suffer from the rest of the year, he does love the occasional over the top  kid-pleasing, crowd-pleasing, awe-inspring Christmas light display.  Nothing says Christmas like electric Santas visible from space.

The local bookstore after the rush.  Earlier, the counter was a frenzy of gift-wrapping .  For those who don't have a good independent bookstore nearby, I can only say I'm so sorry.
For me, the Christmas shopping season begins not on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but on the 23rd of December.  If only the canned Christmas music that has accompanied my daily errands in stores for the last six weeks would wait that long, the world would be a better place.  

Without, a local restaurant in the former blacksmith shop (click HERE for more) had almost the only bright lights on Main St.  Within, a bartender wearing a Santa hat was ready with two martinis for us.  That's my idea of a Santa.
At the other end of the Christmas decorating spectrum was the sweet, restrained Charlie Brown tree at the local Library.  Under it were placed donated presents to be taken later to the area homeless shelters.  Beneath the gloss of affluence that veneers our area, shelter occupancy and food pantry demand are at an all time high, even as our accidental Governor, although once homeless himself, continues to demonize the poor.

 In this part of Maine, the biggest Santa this season has been Stephen King.  His output of horror stories belie a very generous man, who has given tens of millions to this region, in the most thoughtful and personal of ways.  Click HERE for that story.


Ann said...

Love that Adelphi paper. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara Wells Sarudy said...

Lovely. Merry Christmas way up there!

The. Devoted Classicist said...

I love the wallpaper! It reminds me of an Albert Hadley designed intricate crackled stripe paper. While one may not appreciate a sample of either, the effect in a room is very successful for certain decorative schemes.

A Christmas tree in a public library! Anemic or not, what a sight to behold; that must be a rarity.

And I was inspired by the improvised fanlight in the house museum in the link!

Best wishes for the new year!

Lynn said...

Thanks for reminding me how fortunate we are to have Stephen and Tabitha King in our state.

smilla4blogs said...

I always love seeing our town through your eyes. I agree, the decorations were very restrained this year and I especially missed the greenery on the bridge. The soft snow all day on Christmas made up for all of it! Happy Boxing Day DED!

Reggie Darling said...

Interesting that you should write that Christmas decorations were subdued in your town this year. We did not put up any lights outside at Darlington this year--the first in many we didn't. We also only put up one small wreath, homemade, instead of half a dozen or so. I confess that we just didn't have all that much of the Christmas spirit this year. Overly busy at work up until the last minute, and exhausted by it. And we are not alone, I find, from discussing this with friends and colleagues. I'm not aware of any of our friends throwing a party this year of any scale, including us. We have much to be grateful for, certainly, but what we are celebrating is more subdued, and focused on our immediate family, and not as expansive as in years past. We also made a conscious choice to not spend indiscriminately, and our gifts to each other were small, tokens, really. Merry Christmas to you and yours, DED.

home before dark said...

We've given up the traditional Christmas thing. It just got too big and too meaningless. We put out topiaries with lights by our front door on the night of the winter solstice and turn them on each night until the first day of spring. Inside we cook wonderful food, drink new wines and give each other the gift of meaningful time shared without stress. My only regret is that we didn't do this much sooner. Happy holidays without the holidaze.

Donna said...

Happy after-Christmas and New Year to you and all your readers. I agree with you on all your post points and am extremely tired of eating (and even drinking, which really alarms me!) I think the waspy restraint at Christmas can sometimes be a bit dull; here on Chestnut Street we are somehow culturally constrained to single white candle lights in our windows while the rest of Salem is much more colorful.

RPS said...

Beautifully described, as usual. How nice that the library (unlike our accidental governor) realizes that those less gloriously endowed in the Pine Tree State need love as well. Just as we must suffer the gov, though, we are fortunate indeed that Stephen King — one of the most generous private citizens in the country — lives in our area.

I wonder if any other writer in the U.S. has contributed as much over time to support his/her home state.

Janet said...

Having just spent my first Christmas away from home, it brings tears to my eyes to see snippets of BH. I'll take whatever I can get. There is nothing like a lone tree of colored lights on a snowy Maine road. Glad to know you properly over indulged. Merry Christmas!