I may not be a really big fan of Halloween, but I am head over heels for Christmas. In my childhood years, Christmas was not the happiest of times. It usually meant unemployment for my father, a carpenter by trade in New England where outdoor work came to a halt in late November, resulting in lean times until spring came around. In spite of that, I never lost my optimism that Santa Claus was out there somewhere trying to find me.
In later years, raising my own family, I threw myself into Christmas wholeheartedly, maybe trying to make up for the first two and a half decades of my life. As long as carols were playing in stores and Christmas displays were up, there was no such thing as too early. It became our family tradition to go in search of the perfect Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving. To this day, I watch every sappy Christmas movie on television, no matter that I’ve probably seen them before, and watch the Alistair Sim version of Scrooge every time it’s on.
So, I fit right into the holiday spirit here at MAC. We no sooner strip the Physick House and surrounding grounds of Halloween decorations than we start decking the halls for Christmas. We stretch the season to seven weeks, beginning the week before Thanksgiving on what we call Holiday Preview Weekend, which is coming up this weekend: Nov. 17-19.
There’s something about Christmas in Cape May, in general, that just resonates with that elf inside of me. What better place for a Christmas fanatic than a Victorian village? It suits my holiday style, as well: You won’t find cutouts of Mickey in a Santa hat or blow-up snowmen gracing the lawns of a B&B along Columbia Avenue. Instead, these wonderful old properties are decked with miles of evergreen garland, twinkling white lights, and brilliant red bows. The town looks like it belongs in a snow globe, waiting for a giant hand to set the flakes whirling.
Holiday Preview Weekend is always a wonderful start to the season, with thousands of visitors, mostly local residents, visiting the Physick House, watching Santa light the tree, and enjoying our “Old-F