Unique holiday observations in the Granite State
Dying trees in living rooms, bullied reindeer on roofs, obese trespassers in chimneys, barn babies in yards. Christmas is the weirdest time of the year.
And it’s weird any time of year. There are places in this country that commemorate the holiday year-round. Massachusetts has a bronze plaque on the site where “Jingle Bells” probably wasn’t written. Pennsylvania immortalized a quartet of Christmas carolers in bronze. Florida has a whole town named Christmas.
And what does New Hampshire have? A few things, actually.
We have Santa’s Village in Jefferson. You know that one. It’s an entire Christmas-themed amusement park with a reindeer roller coaster and an Ebenezer Scrooge dark ride and a Yule Log Flume. It’s been around for almost 75 years, so it’s easy to take for granted, but we shouldn’t. We should thank whoever assigns home states that we don’t live in Iowa or Oregon or Virginia or Nevada. They don’t have a Santa’s Village.
And few states have Christmas shops, like The Christmas Loft in North Conway, either. This year-round Christmas store is not just basic shelves of jingle-jangle. It’s an entire indoor, snow-covered Christmas village with a covered bridge and Santa flying overhead, and all the houses are full of Christmas wares. Even if it’s June, you step inside and you’re suddenly Jack Skellington yelling, “What’s This?” for 45 minutes.
And if you come to my town (Nashua), we have a mural of a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Well, a mural of a scene from “The Blob,” “The Three Stooges,” “Gone with the Wind” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Artist Manuel Ramirez painted the large mural on the side of the Chase Building on Main Street, a building that was once home to three different downtown theaters (Tremont, State and Star). But that means that I never have to wait for Christmas to see George Bailey joyfully draped by his family and not at all at the bottom of a freezing river.
Happy Holidays, everyone. Here’s hoping 2021 is full of weirdness. But, like, the good kind.
J.W. Ocker lives in Nashua and writes spooky novels and travelogues. His newest book, “Cursed Objects,” is out now. Visit him at oddthingsiveseen.com or send him New Hampshire oddities that he should visit at firstname.lastname@example.org.