Thanksgiving has come and gone which can only mean one thing – it’s time to break out all your favorite Christmas decorations! For some, it’s no trouble turning All I Want for Christmas is You on repeat and getting into that holiday feeling. But if you are anything like me, it takes a bit of extra work to that that Christmas spirit. If you’re feeling a bit more like the Grinch than Kris Kringle this season, here are five local-to-Newburyport solutions that are sure to bring out your inner holiday cheer, and grow any heart three sizes!

Newburyport Rotary Santa Parade and Tree Lighting

Quick! The first event starts today – December 1! Check out Santa riding into town via a Coast Guard boat on the Merrimack River to start the annual Newburyport Rotary Santa Parade. He lands at 3:30 this afternoon at the boardwalk and leads a parade through downtown, ending in Market Square at 4pm for the Tree Lighting. There is no better way to kick of December and jump-start your Christmas mood than by seeing Santa himself make landfall.

2019 Sea Festival of Trees 

This holiday celebration has actually already started, but you still have a chance to see the beautifully decorated, glittering trees of the Sea Festival of Trees. This is the 7th Annual Sea Festival of Trees, open from Saturday, November 23, through Sunday, December, 8. This charitable event, full of lights and wonder, benefits the Salisbury Beach Partnership and the Fund to Bring Back the Historic Carousel.

Santa’s Workshop and Santa Meet & Greet

After Santa arrives in town this afternoon, he will be setting up shop in Brown Square. His cozy workshop is the perfect place to bring your wish list and a good camera for some pictures. The workshop opens to visitors starting Friday, December 6 from 5:00-7:00pm and will be open every Friday, Saturday (12:00 – 2:00pm), and Sunday (12:00 – 2:00pm) from now until December 22. 

Tree of Light Lighting

If you are looking to remember a loved one this holiday season, Anna Jacques Hospital will be hosting their Annual Tree of Light Remembrance Lighting on December 12 from 5:00 to 6:00pm. The holidays can be a difficult time of year if you are missing a loved one, but attending and remembering that someone at the Remembrance Lighting is a beautiful way to honor them.

Santa Parade

If you miss Santa coming into town today, you still have another chance to catch him! The 47th Annual Santa Parade will take place on December 23 from 4:00 – 6:00pm. Santa will parade through town on a Newburyport Fire Truck, starting at the Newburyport Fire Department Headquarters and ending at the John F. Cutter Fire Station on Storey Ave. Be sure to have mittens and hot cocoa to keep you warm!

BONUS: Christmas Cookies and Hallmark Movies

If none of the activities above get you into the Christmas Spirit, our bonus idea is sure to do the trick. For this one, you don’t even have to leave your house! Simply relax in front of the TV to a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie. You can’t possibly avoid feeling that Christmas cheer after watching any of these movies!

No matter how you do it, we hope you find the Christmas Spirit this year, and enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. We are wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season!