Every year, mid December, Portland, Maine has a party of sorts.
They call it Merry Madness and it begins at one of the area hotels with wine (which you can purchase in a Merry Madness wine glass for 6 bucks) and free hor doerves, hor doreves , snacks sponsored by area restaurants.
Then the shops down in the Old Port remain open late and also have munchies and beverages to refill your Merry Madness glass that you carry around.
After attending this event for many years, Birdman and I have learned the protocol necessary to have a good time. First and foremost, GET THERE EARLY!
This year we were the 10th and 11th in line to the Ballroom. Got our pick of food.
One year we were about the 610th and 611th people in line. 10th and 11th is much better.
This year it started at the Portland Regency Hotel.
This is the tree in their lobby.
As you can see, after the 10th and 11th people walked in, there were hundreds more. All the shops were lit. All the shoppers were lit.
(Outside this beautifully lit window was this woman...lower right....looking down. You don't know this, but now you do, she was looking down at a little boy about 2 years old that was having a MAJOR temper tantrum in his stroller. Loud voices tend to echo in the streets of the Old Port and this young man made his presence known to most of the Merry Madnessers. He was BAD!)
I know that Santa was watching, so this lad will probably get a lump of coal in his stocking.
But not to worry.
He'll eventually learn that it's actually quite fun....strolling around downtown in the pitch dark, on a cold mid December night, a little wobbly on your feet, carrying your own sippy cup.