Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Maine Minutiae: Christmas By the Sea

Having been in Maine for nearly five years, I'd like to think that I know a little more about the state than when I got here. And I do. But, since starting this blog nearly six months ago, I have learned so much more about Maine, its people and its traditions - including Christmas traditions. Part of the joy of doing a blog is to be able to share what I have learned /am learning with people all over the world.

Maine has about seven bazillion miles of coastline, so it should come as no surprise that many holiday traditions are centered on the ocean, boats and other maritime pursuits. This post is one of those.

Christmas by the Sea in Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville is a prime example of Mainers celebrating Christmas and at the same time, celebrating their heritage which is linked to the sea. Christmas by the Sea takes place this weekend, December 3-5, so you still have a bit of time to insert a visit to Camden, Rockport and/or Lincolnvillle into your schedule. According to the Christmas by the Sea web site, "The Christmas season arrives in Maine’s Midcoast during the first weekend in December, when Santa chugs into the harbor by boat, a parade makes its way down the street, and unique local traditions hit their stride." I just wonder if the boat on which Santa arrives has a big red light on the front of it, like Rudolph's nose.

More from the festival web site:
  •  Trish Moroz–-known locally as the “gingerbread lady”--will transport nearly 130 elaborate gingerbread houses that she has been crafting in her Rockport kitchen since last February from her basement to the holiday fair.
  • Retired firefighter Bob Oxton will make his trek up Mount Battie to light the holiday star that can be seen for miles, as he has for four decades.
  • Carolers and horse-drawn wagons will wind through historic downtown Camden, where the mountains meet the sea, and local shops will offer special items that you won’t find at the mall.
 What a great way to combine the celebration of Christmas with local customs and traditions! I appreciate the symbolism of celebrating Christ's birth and the traditions of the locals and the sea. Somewhere in the Good Book it says something like this: Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Christmas by the Sea not only feeds a man for a day, it also nourishes a man's soul for a lifetime.

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