I’m a sucker for Christmas.
Sure, it’s become an overly commercialized, hopelessly hyped holiday — one that, Jon Stewart hilariously points out, has morphed from celebrating some guy’s “birthday,” on through “12 days,” and now threatens to gobble up Thanksgiving.
But in many ways this is still the most won-der-ful time of the year. Warm gatherings ’round fires, brightly lit windows, wreaths up the wazoo — Westport glows and dazzles during December.
Still, some of our celebrations can’t hold a candle to Christmases past.
Back in the day — at least, this is how I dimly remember it — dozens of decorated trees stood atop Compo Shopping Center.
In the middle of Main Street, Gene Hallowell lowered the hydraulic lifts at his downtown Mobil station. He covered them with tablecloths, cooked up meatballs and other comfort food, and hosted everyone for a day-long feast. You didn’t have to be a customer to share in the Hallowell holiday cheer.
At least one downtown Christmas tradition remains. Tomorrow (Saturday), Staples’ Orphenians will carol downtown. Their joyful music more than makes up for the fact that Main Street has not yet fully recovered from Hurricane Sandy.
If you want to see this great a cappella group, they start at 2 p.m. in front of Gene Hallowell’s old Mobil station.
Or, as we now call it: Vineyard Vines.
(Do you remember an old Westport holiday tradition? Click “Comments” to share.)