Ho Ho Ho or Ho Hum?

If you’re not in the Christmas spirit by now, it may simply be too late for this year. I mean, how much more fluffy snow, how many more four martini lunches, how fewer days of last-minute shopping, do you need to get you in the mood for merriment?

But hey, that’s fine, maybe it’s not going to happen this time around. So let’s focus on getting you all hopped up on happy for next Christmas. You have lots of time to plan and I’m going to make it really, really easy for you. In three easy steps, here’s how to get in the Christmas spirit for 2014:

1. Book a flight to Boston. Or Portland, Maine. The latter is better, though admittedly harder to reach on a direct flight.

2. Rent a car and drive an hour and a half north (or 30 minutes south if you fly into Portland) to the classically cute town of Kennbunkport. This stretch of coastal southern Maine is booming in the summer when vacationers flock from near and far for family time on the spectacular seashore. Everyone knows that secret. Come early winter it morphs from bustling to bucolic—a hidden gem for those who like their lobster sweet and their ridiculously picturesque New England towns even sweeter.

3. Timing is everything, so it’s vital that you plan your seasonal pep rally trip to Kennebunkport over one of the first two weekends of December when the town celebrates Christmas Prelude. K’port (for those who have too much wrapping to spell out the word in full) was recently voted the #2 Christmas Town in America. And it’s pretty easy to see why. A mammoth Christmas tree is pitched in the town square, the stores get all wreathed and red-ribboned, and every window of every impeccably maintained colonial house in town is glowing with a single candle or light. Carollers swarm the tree after sunset and sing until the chill ’n’ chowder dinner starts over in one of the church halls. The whole event stays solidly on the right side of tasteful and has a truly wonderful holiday feel. If you’re still bah humbug after a weekend of Prelude, then your dad must be the Grinch.

Charlie has been going to Kennbunkport with his family every summer since he was a swaddled bambino. But this was his first time visiting the area in December. He says he’s never been so full of seasonal joy. And lobster. 

K’port was recently voted the #2 Christmas Town in America.

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