Shortly after our first snowfall of the season, my little village held a Christmas home tour. This is something that is done semi-regularly here, but not every year. With my entire village being on the National Register of Historic Places it is quite a draw for others outside of our town to come in and see our classic New England village dressed up for the holidays.
It had only been the weekend before that I went on the Christmas in Salem home tours. I loved that tour so much, and was thrilled that my own village was doing it as well.
On this tour no indoor photography was allowed, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that the homes were gorgeous, and the holiday decor was impeccable. Not to mention, it was a bit of an inquisitive thrill to look into the lives of my neighbors, some living only down the road from me.
Strolling through the village, as we walked from house to house, brought me to a place of awe and serenity as it often does as I walk through the place I call home. There is peace both natural and purposeful in this village, a place that has strived to keep unnecessary business away from our town center, letting those build up instead on the big highway running through town, a few miles away. This village has been preserved with great care by those with a love of history, of New England, and of small town charms, and there is a special feeling that runs through this place.
The preservation of the past obviously reigns supreme here, and that brings a sense of consistency to the environment. There's a feeling that what one saw here a hundred years ago would not be much different than what one would see here today. It is a big, comfy security blanket in a fast paced world.
There's a slow, steady gait to this village, and that slowness is never more keenly felt than after snow has fallen and the world has gone quiet. Winter is like a whisper and one must be still to feel its power and peace.
The grey, quiet world, was punctuated here and there by brightly painted homes and the dazzling reds of winterberries and holiday ribbons, and the vintage gas pumps at Mike's Auto. The soft crunch of new snow underfoot was deeply satisfying as we walked from one merrily decorated home to another.
The village's history is felt most pensively in our old burying ground, where our founders, both virtuous, and not so virtuous all rest side by side; where soldiers from our country's first battles find their well-deserved peace. And nearby an ancient stream flows in pleasing and consistent curves through thick New England vegetation.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas home tour in my village, and hope they do it again next year. It gave me a moment to pause, to think, and to savor the beauty and peace that is winter in my village.