Rediscovering the Traditions Of the Holiday Season
The Southern Berkshires, more than any other place in the world, evoke a Norman Rockwell kind of holiday season because, of course, Rockwell lived here and often painted scenes of Stockbridge, Mass., where he lived and worked, and which is the site of the Norman Rockwell Museum.
To see some of the iconic Rockwell Thanksgiving and Christmas paintings, visit the museum during the special COVID-19 hours: Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seniors and immunocompromised visitors can come Thursday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon, if they would like. Two-hour-long private visits can also be arranged for up to nine people, on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.
Once you’re up in Stockbridge, it’s a short trip (about 20 minutes) to the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass., which is planning several seasonal activities at the farm/museum/history center.
On Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. there will be talks and demonstrations of how the Shakers lived and worked. Learn about woodworking and blacksmithing and the Shaker way of life. There are several hikes and talks planned (registration is requested). Children are invited to “smoosh” pumpkins and feed them to the farm’s pigs. There will be a foraging workshop on Saturday for an extra fee.
Holiday shoppers looking for handmade gifts can come to the artisan markets on Saturdays between Nov. 28 and Dec. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The curated selection of gifts from regional artisans includes everything from jam and syrup to clothing and jewelry to bath products, toys and more. No museum admission is necessary to shop.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be drop-in holiday cookie decorating and ornament-making workshops for a small fee, artisan demos, a gingerbread contest, story time with Santa (registration requested), caroling, a fire pit and Shaker history talks.
For more information on Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass., including hours and admission fees, go to www.hancockshakervillage.org.
For more information on the Norman Rockwell Museum, including hours and admission fees, go to www.nrm.org.