Sunday, December 07, 2008

Holiday Decorating Days on Beacon Hill

L to R: Me, Karin Mathiesen, Councilor Mike Ross, Ted Furst, Lori Bate, Michelle from Mike Ross's office
Charles Street on Beacon Hill
Boston, Mass.
December 7, 2008

Without question, it's my favorite neighborhood event. For two days in early December, neighbors throughout Beacon Hill come out, climb up ladders, and decorate the more than 1200 lamp posts that line the historic streets.

Sounds easy, right? Well, when the entire volunteer effort begins during the fall, when the Beacon Hill Civic Association solicits donations to pay for the greens and bows that ultimately hang on the lamp posts.

Then there's decorating day weekend itself, spanning two days and involving more than 100 volunteers. I love the weekend because everyone is so happy and full of Christmas spirit. I also love it because I meet several new neighbors each year.

I also think the event represents the best of Beacon Hill. Neighbors come out and help each other to make the streets look great. It also coincides with the annual tree sale at the Hill House, which includes Christmas carolers. You can't get any better than that.

Decorating days always take place a few days before the Beacon Hill holiday stroll, which is scheduled for Thursday. It's when Charles Street is closed to cars, and the shops stay open late. We light the neighborhood Christmas tree (provided by the City of Boston), and you will probably spot a caroler or two. Not to mention very decorative lamp posts all throughout the neighborhood.

A couple of side notes: Hats off to Historic New England. I became a member this weekend. The house they manage, the Otis House on Cambridge, is the center of operations for Decorating Days. Also, the van in the picture above, which I drove delivering greens with Ted Furst throughout the weekend, once belonged to a Banjo group that appeared on the Letterman Show.

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