Holiday Gifts, New Year’s Eve, and Making Merry
“Starts when it’s dark. Ends when it’s over.”
My talents do not include holiday shopping. That won’t stop me from sharing a few “shop local” possibilities, fully aware that there are a sleighful of options including the Upper Valley’s many crafts fairs. For me, local bookstores (Norwich Bookstore, Still North Books and Bar and Left Bank Books in Hanover, Yankee Book Shop in Woodstock) are a given, but what comes after? Also, where to find some seasonal merriment, and where to be to welcome the upcoming year, 2023. (Click on anything underlined for links.)
The Montshire Museum of Science: Such a fun-filled, smart museum (hey, you could give someone a membership), with an even more fun-filled, smart gift shop: books, games, science kits. And a major sale this Sunday, December 18. Admission is not required to shop in the museum store.
AVA Gallery and Art Center. Potential gifts everywhere, throughout its first-floor galleries’ Holiday Exhibition. And don’t forget to browse the Members Gallery, where you can find items by local artists and artisans for sale year-round. In addition to the bricks and mortar option (the best), there’s an online component that allows you to survey and purchase the works of participating artists. Likewise, Long River Gallery in White River Junction features scores of Vermont and New Hampshire artists whose creations make for memorable holiday gift-giving. (Bought some mittens there once and just had to keep them for myself.)
Red Kite Candy: Located in downtown Hanover, NH and also online. I have gifted their caramels numerous times to many people and every recipient without exception has responded with absolute glee.
Have, and give, an experience, some for free: Pick up tickets at any of the Upper Valley’s performance venues, including the Hopkins Center, Northern Stage, Lebanon Opera House, Artistree. For not much more than the cost of your time, give a friend an afternoon together at the Hood Museum or AVA Gallery, no admission charge. Grab coffee somewhere after.
DB Lights: All is bright thanks to DB Lights, back on Lebanon’s pedestrian mall. Take someone to see the display and then grab a pint of Guinness and maybe some fish and chips at Salt hill Pub. Optional conversation: whether you’ll make any New Year’s resolutions for 2023.
Upper Valley Music Center’s Messiah Sing: Sunday, December 18 at 3:30. There are singers covering all of the parts, including some solo performances, but you’re welcome to join in for the choral singing. Or just listen. At the First Congregational Church in Lebanon NH. Check the site for COVID-related precautions.
Enfield Shaker Museum will celebrate with a Winter Solstice Dinner on December 21. On the three-course menu: Pear and Burrata Salad with Arugula, Candied Walnuts, and Citrus Vin, Baked Pork Loin in an Apple and Onion Cider Cream Sauce, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan, and Sweet Potatoes, and Maple White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Homemade Caramel Sauce, 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon. Get tickets at the link.
The Big Eve: Of course it’s in White River Junction, where the ball will drop at midnight! Better than Times Square. Light River Junction, hosted by JAM.
“On New Year’s Eve the walls of White River Junction will be transformed into glowing canvases for film and video artists. Stay for the ball drop and dance the year away. Starts when it’s dark. Ends when it’s over. One night only!”
From me to you: Happy holidays, dear subscribers, readers, and friends! I am looking forward to another year of sharing Artful with you! And a final thought on the olfactory experience of shopping in bookstores:
(Logo, top, used by kind permission of Chico Eastridge and Samantha Davidson Green of JAM)
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And in case you are wondering . . . Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.