Thanksgiving may signal that the year is almost over— but not as far as activities to see and do in Salem Ma! So, as you go about your Turkey Day preparations at home, or on way to grandma’s house (or wherever you are going), here are some ingredients for the rest of the year:
Christmas in New England. Today a warm picture of snow outside the home with family gathered around a tree & gifts, or family gathered around the dinner table, smiling and ready for a feast of food. But ’twas not such in early Massachusetts history. And no, you can’t blame the Salem witches for that.
As part of the annual Christmas Tours of the Gables, this year you’ll find much discussion about the fact that Christmas was banned in New England for nearly two centuries. The House of the Seven Gables is offering daily, now through Dec. 31 from 10am to 5pm, a special tour blending the unique history of the mansion with the little known history of Christmas in colonial Massachusetts.
The Puritans bristled at the day being used solely for “reveling.” It was seen as sacrilegious that the day was given over to drinking, feasting and all manner of over-indulgence, instead of quiet contemplation.
Take the tour to hear the story of how the Puritans got their way outlawing Christmas in 1659 and how the holiday inched its way back into the hearts of the population so that Massachusetts officially legalized Christmas in 1856.
Explore the maritime, architectural and literary history of the house and discover Christmas’ transformation from a rowdy seasonal celebration to the peaceful family-centered traditions we recognize today. The rooms of the mansion will be decorated for the holiday tour by local interior decorators, historical societies, and florists.
200 years of history in a walking tour— and you get to see the charming rooms of the House of the Seven Gables; that is a nice present to give to your family, or just yourself.
This special tour is offered during regular hours in December except during the production of A Classic Christmas. Closed Christmas Day. Open on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, 10am-2pm. For more details on the Tour, please call 978-744-0991.
December is here, and so begins the “other” celebration season for which Salem is gaining a reputation. Salem Ma? Ground zero to spook central, as some have called us, becomes a tourist attraction for all things relating to a warm & toasty family holiday? Yes Virginia, there is another Salem.
We will begin with Historic Salem Inc which presents one of many must-see events to be highlighted over the next few weeks: The Christmas In Salem House Tour.
Let their own words describe this favorite event of locals and tourists:
“Few communities have the rich legacy of historic houses that Salem, Massachusetts boasts. These homes, spanning four centuries, help define the character as well as the appearance of the city, and every year some of their owners invite visitors in to view their homes decked out in full holiday regalia, with the help of professional decorators and florists.”
Here is a peek at last year’s tour.
The 34th annual Christmas in Salem House Tour, Dec. 6-8, will focus this year on “Ports of Call In the Historic Derby Waterfront District” featuring nine homes.
Friday Night Candlelight Preview Tour, Dec. 6, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; for advance ticket holders only
Saturday, Dec. 7, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Historic homes, decorated for the holidays by local designers, florists and garden clubs.
Friday night Candlelight Tour of selected houses
Complimentary Salem Trolley Service
Restaurant, Shopping and Attractions Discounts
A Holiday Concert
A historic Derby Street walking tour with Jim McAllister on Saturday morning
Wine Tastings at Salem Wine Imports
A spice tasting at the Picklepot with Salem Food Tours
Historic Salem, Inc. is celebrating its 68th year as the city’s preeminent preservation group. Christmas in Salem is its primary fundraiser, and a significant portion of the proceeds will support the interior restoration of the Nathaniel Bowditch house as well as community and educational programming through the year.
For more information, please contact Historic Salem, Inc. at 978-745-0799 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salem Main Streets' mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and promotion of the downtown district.