Happy Thanksgiving! Yes, it’s the day we count our blessings and say a heartfelt thanks for good food, good family, and good friends. I just love this holiday – the squash, stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce, and all the yummy desserts. And after it’s all done, and the leftovers put away, and the guests dispatched, there are still three more days to just take a breath and relax before plunging into the maelstrom known as the holiday season.
Unless, of course, you’re one of those Black Friday shoppers, in which case, better get in line, time’s a-wastin’!
For those of us who like to ease into our holiday season, there’s a very nice way to do that right at the Concord Museum. It’s the time-honored exhibit Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature. I love this exhibit: Christmas trees in all shapes and sizes, each one decorated to commemorate a different children’s book. Books like "Strega Nona’s Gift" by Tomie dePaola, "Ladybug Girl" by Jacky Davis and David Soman, and "The Polar Express" by Chris Van Allsburg. It’s like a trip down memory lane, revisiting the favorite stories from my and my children’s childhoods.
One fascinating thing to know is that each tree is decorated by a different person or group of people. Yes, volunteers do all the work! That’s why every tree is completely different and original. It’s so interesting to see how people have chosen to depict each storybook, with fanciful and delightful creations, and original ornaments. Truly magical.
And just to add to the fun, this Friday and Saturday the Museum will also have special craft projects related to some of the stories depicted. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., you can make your own butterfly bookmark ("Butterflies in the Garden"), make a box to hold a sleigh bell ("The Polar Express"), or design a dress ("The Hundred Dresses").
Since the proceeds from this exhibit benefit the Museum’s educational initiatives, admission costs a little more: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children ages 4-18. As always, members and children under 4 are free, so this might be a good time to join if you’ve been considering it. And of course, your admission fee gets you into all the regular galleries as well as the special 125th anniversary exhibition, Crowdsourcing a Collection. All in all, money well spent.
For those of you bound and determined to spend even a part of the weekend holiday shopping, I’d like to encourage you to consider shopping locally. We have a plethora of stores here in Concord, which together provide a wide variety of goods and services, meaning you don’t need to travel to the mall for everything. Plus, it’s nice to support local businesses: according to the website The 3/50 Project, “For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.” That’s pretty compelling.
To sweeten the pot, the Concord Indies have put together a promotion designed to encourage shopping locally. It involves saving your receipts and spreading out your shopping among the different stores and restaurants, with the winner getting a $200 shopping spree. Sweet! Details are on the entry form; I picked up mine at The Concord Shop, but I’m betting any of the participating vendors – which really include almost every indie in Concord – will have them on hand.
Good luck, and no matter what you decide to do with your next three days, make it count.
Belated Birthday wishes
OK, I know we’re all focused on eating and shopping, but I just want to send a belated “Happy Birthday!” to our own Maureen Belt, who occupies this space the other three days of the week. Maureen was apparently feted with beautiful tulips (in lovely autumn shades), duck confit, and many different cakes. I know we’re a day late, but I’m guessing this celebration will continue through the weekend. Happy Birthday, Maureen!!