Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: thanksgiving

Freeport Maine: November’s Best Kept Secret

October 18, 2011 by Scott Gile

As the summer fades into a memory, and the fall foliage season flutters to a close with the dropping of the last of the leaves, Freeport becomes a quiet village again. Gone are the crowds of bargain hunters that filled the shops and outlets over the past several months.

Gone, too, are summer’s high-season prices. Merchants are changing their inventory in anticipation of the busy Christmas season, so are clearing their shelves to make room. Many lodging properties have dropped their rates for the fall season, making it a great time to visit Freeport.

November can be a delightful time to be in Freeport. While autumn brings greater chance of rain, or even a snow flurry, weather is often lovely, significant snowfall is still a few weeks away, and the quiet stores make for easy shopping, to search out the best bargains.

Mid-November brings the Girlfriends Getaway weekend (November 11-13), with specials and sales all over town.

L.L. Bean’s Northern Lights Celebration begins November 18 and continues through New Years’ Eve. It includes lighting of a giant Christmas tree, demonstrations and displays all through the season.

A bit later in the month is Thanksgiving weekend, with more specials, and the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On Thanksgiving Day, the Maine Dining Room at the Harraseeket Inn generally offers its all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Dinner, with a huge spread of everything from traditional ham and turkey to lobster (contact the Harraseeket Inn for information and dinner reservations).

On Friday, November 25, Freeport’s Moonlight Madness kicks off Black Friday, with fun, gifts, and sales throughout the village. This is a great way, and a great location, to start (and quite possibly finish) your Christmas shopping!

What a wonderful time of year November in Freeport can be! Don’t miss it!

Brewster House Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010 by Scott Gile

Our guests and friends who are familiar with our pages on the history of the Brewster family will know that Jarvis A. Brewster, who built Brewster House, was a descendant of William Brewster, a pilgrim who arrived in New England on the Mayflower in 1620. That history makes the American holiday of Thanksgiving something special at Brewster House.

Edward Winslow
Edward Winslow, 1651

Of course, many are familiar with the story known as the first Thanksgiving in America. But more than just a holiday (or the beginning of Christmas shopping), it is a story of a group of brave people – pilgrims – giving thanks to God for His provision of safety and food. At the time it was not intended to be an annual event, but simply a time of rejoicing and giving thanks to God.

The group of pilgrims had been Separatists (sometimes referred to as Non-Conformists) – Christians who felt they could no longer remain in the Church of England, because they believed it had adopted practices which were incompatible with the teachings of the Bible (Separatists held views generally similar to the Puritans, with the primary difference being that Puritans attempted to reform the Church from within, rather than separating from it).

This group of Separatists had spent ten years in Holland, to avoid the persecution they suffered in England. However, fearing they would lose their English language and culture, they decided to seek an English settlement in the New World, and embarked on the Mayflower in 1620. The Pilgrims were led by Captain William Bradford and Elder William Brewster. Brewster acted as spiritual leader of the group, as they did not have a qualified pastor. There is an interesting recitation of the reasons for the venture to New England near the conclusion of a letter by Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow (the letter primarily deals with unrelated matters).

Winslow also provides the only contemporaneous description of the 1621 Thanksgiving, in a letter dated December 12, 1621 (the language has been modernized):

Our corn [i.e. wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

This account is confirmed by William Bradford’s account, written about 20 years later, in his History Of Plymouth Plantation.

In the USA, several presidents proclaimed a Thanksgiving holiday, and several states had made Thanksgiving a state holiday, but Thanksgiving was celebrated as a national holiday, the last Thursday in November, by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

Please join with us in celebrating this Thanksgiving Day.

Thirty Shopping Days ’til …

November 17, 2009 by Scott Gile

Brewster House at ChristmasFor most Americans the thirty days (or thereabouts) between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are the days we are subjected to constant advertising for holiday gifts and the countdown of the number of shopping days until Christmas.

As an aside – for those too young to recall – we used to count shopping days instead of simply the number of days remaining because most stores were not open 7 days a week. Hence the number of shopping days was less than the number of days by an amount equal to the number of Sundays in that time frame.

Since those familiar with Freeport already know what a shopping Mecca it is, it will come as no surprise that there is a lot going on in town during those 30 days!

Shop, Dine & Stay
Throughout most of that time (Now through December 19, 2009) Brewster House Bed & Breakfast is offering its Shop, Dine & Stay package, with two nights double-occupancy in a queen room, an L.L. Bean gift card, a gift certificate at Azure Cafe, for only $499 (taxes included), and the ability to add a third night for only $100.

Moonlight Madness
In addition, Freeport’s Moonlight Madness event begins in the wee hours of Friday morning, November 27, with many stores open, special events, sales, etc. This is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, and only Freeport can do it all up with L.L. Bean’s stores, and other shops and restaurants.

Sparkle
A week later is Sparkle weekend in Freeport. An entire weekend of holiday fun for the whole family! The weekend begins with a parade of lights down beautiful Main St., decorated to look like a scene from a Christmas card. The celebration will include a tuba concert, jingle bell run, craft fair, hot cocoa stops, talking Christmas tree, Wally the Green Monster, and of course… SANTA!!!

Northern Lights Celebration
From November 20 through New Years Eve is L.L. Bean’s Northern Lights Celebration. It begins with the lighting of the giant Christmas tree, and includes book signings, demonstrations, ice carving and special events, leading up to a huge New Years celebration for the entire family.

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping
Freeport’s over 170 shops and restaurants will be open with values galore, throughout the holiday time, and with the new stores in Freeport Village Station adding to the mix, there is truly something for everyone on your Christmas shopping list.

Of course, if you’re not busy shopping for holiday gifts, and can wait… there are the after-Christmas sales. Like most places there are sales in Freeport after Christmas. However, after New Years there are even more, and then in late January and February, still more!! But that’s a closely guarded secret, so we better not say too much about that!

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