We are just about to find out exactly how special the holiday season is in Newburyport.

By: Chris Johnston

Each year, my family waffles around where to have our family Christmas gathering.  They all live out of state so it’s always a big decision where to celebrate.  We always insist that ‘next year is the year we’re having Christmas at a Caribbean Island.’  Without doubt those plans get pushed to ‘maybe in a few years.’  Guess where we end up?  That’s right – Newburyport.
Every year it gets better than the last.

What is it that makes the holiday season in Newburyport so special?  Let’s start with these reasons:

Running into your friend ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.
One thing is for certain, we like to support the less fortunate in our community.  Walking out of the grocery store and seeing a friend ringing the red Salvation Army really warms the soul.

Watching Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive on a Coast Guard boat & Christmas tree lighting.
Where else does this happen?  After all, the Coast Guard was founded here and we are a Coast Guard City!  After Santa arrives safely downtown, the whole town gathers around a 30 ft Christmas tree and sings carols till the tree is lit.  It’s literally like a Norman Rockwell painting.

Small Business Saturday is busier than Black Friday.
Busy shopping malls and online specials are for the birds.  One of a kind gifts from a local store is where it’s at.  Our townies make sure that our shop owners feel the love during the holiday season.  We are proud of where we live and anything with ‘Newburyport’ or ‘NBPT’ is a perfect gift for anybody. 

Decorated Lampposts Downtown.
A 30 ft. Christmas tree is not enough for us.  Nope!  We need fresh garland around our lampposts with tags that show the support from our local merchants. 

Invitation Nights.
An annual tradition, merchants spread holiday cheer and the locals rejoice downtown and at The Tannery.  A great night for friends and family to truly understand what makes our town special.
We really live in a special place.  That’s probably why almost every magazine and newspaper on the east coast has mentioned Newburyport in recent issues.  Bring on the holly!

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