I’m working on two of my usual sorts of posts, but I’m suffering from the after-effects of a little to much food, candy, wine, and general holiday cheer this morning, so you’ll have to wait.  Overeating was a problem this fall as colder weather set, but I am happy to report that after the last few days, I finally have had enough food.  Way enough.
The local Historical Society’s 1815 house, decorated for its Holiday open house.  The wallpaper is an Adelphi reproduction of an early 19th century paper found in another local house (Click HERE for more).  The ship in the painting, the ‘Ranger’, was built only a few dozen feet from this room.
 At dinner last night, over smoked salmon and crab mousse, friends and I were commenting about the relative lack of Holiday decorations around town this year.   Was it an effect of the poor economy, or was it because our village suffers from a surfeit of ‘Good Taste’, and therefore people are too timid to put on a display that doesn’t involve more than a few white twinkle lights–here the Dilettante confesses that no matter how much ‘Good Taste’ he may suffer from the rest of the year, he does love the occasional over the top  kid-pleasing, crowd-pleasing, awe-inspring Christmas light display.  Nothing says Christmas like electric Santas visible from space.
The local bookstore after the rush.  Earlier, the counter was a frenzy of gift-wrapping .  For those who don’t have a good independent bookstore nearby, I can only say I’m so sorry.
For me, the Christmas shopping season begins not on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but on the 23rd of December.  If only the canned Christmas music that has accompanied my daily errands in stores for the last six weeks would wait that long, the world would be a better place.  
Without, a local restaurant in the former blacksmith shop (click HERE for more) had almost the only bright lights on Main St.  Within, a bartender wearing a Santa hat was ready with two martinis for us.  That’s my idea of a Santa.

At the other end of the Christmas decorating spectrum was the sweet, restrained Charlie Brown tree at the local Library.  Under it were placed donated presents to be taken later to the area homeless shelters.  Beneath the gloss of affluence that veneers our area, shelter occupancy and food pantry demand are at an all time high, even as our accidental Governor, although once homeless himself, continues to demonize the poor.

 In this part of Maine, the biggest Santa this season has been Stephen King.  His output of horror stories belie a very generous man, who has given tens of millions to this region, in the most thoughtful and personal of ways.  Click HERE for that story.