As I was l starting to write my annual year-end recap series and 2024 preview, I realized just how many other December happenings are going on that you need to know about. Therefore, I’m pushing the year in review/preview of 2024 series to start next week and devoting this week to a few more events you can enjoy with your families in December. Before that, though, here is a special annual holiday reminder:

Support your community sponsors

As a chamber of commerce, we recognize the importance of all types of commerce, which includes online ordering. The pandemic pushed people further into shopping from their couch and getting at-home delivery. Though that is a necessary convenience for those who are more home bound, for those of us who can get out to the shops and restaurants, we should really try to make that effort.

As the dad of two boys under 3 years old, I understand that it isn’t always convenient to go out. However, your local businesses need your support. National retailers are an important part of our economy, but Amazon doesn’t buy the ads in the theater program — local businesses do. EBay isn’t the T-shirt sponsor for the local tree festival. You don’t see the banners for many online retailers hanging at the community events because they aren’t the ones supporting the community events — our local businesses are.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Businesses are never doing as well as you think they are. It doesn’t serve them to share that with their customers and their clients, but every businessperson you know has pain points, and besides the trades people, many of the pain points are about getting more customers.

When you’re thinking about having UPS deliver all of your gifts to your house this year just so you can wrap them and then send them out again to your family and friends, maybe take the literal extra steps out the door and go see your retailers. Or pick up a gift card at a local business as a stocking stuffer (they fit neatly into any card envelope). Grab lunch while you’re out shopping — or even better, treat your family to a dinner out on the town.

Yes, it will be busy, but our businesses need these busy weeks, as the first quarter and a long winter is on the doorstep. These busy weeks help make those slower months ahead a little more bearable. Supporting those who support your community is the nicest way you can give back this holiday season. Plus, there are incredible gifts out there just waiting to be discovered — you won’t believe how many great items can be found locally.


‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ opens Dec. 8

Looking for some live family entertainment? Then look no further than The Theater Project’s production of “The Phantom Tollbooth,” based on the book by Norman Juster and directed by Julia Brown. This all-ages show follows Milo as he journeys through the Land of Wisdom and has to rescue the princesses from the Land of Ignorance. This show features numerous youth actors in the region exploring their love of theater and is fun for the whole family. Tickets are always pay-what-you-can, and more information is available by either calling the box office at 729-8584 or going online to Shows are Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17 at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. The Dec. 10 matinee is close to selling out.

Santa Day at the Chamberlain Museum, Dec. 9

Come get pictures with Santa from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday at the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum (226 Maine St., Brunswick). This free event is highlighted by the entire downstairs of the house being decorated for visitors to enjoy. Santa will be in the formal double parlor with the Chamberlain family’s gorgeous blue silk furniture, perfect for fun photo opportunities. Carols will be sung in the lobby by Bowdoin College’s a cappella women’s group, Miscellania. Light refreshments and treats will be available, and the Chamberlain Museum shop will be open for holiday gift purchases including books, apparel and memorabilia.

Shipwright’s Elves Workshop, Dec. 9

Maine’s First Ship is hosting a two-hour workshop at the Bath Freight Shed in downtown Bath from 1-3 p.m. this Saturday for creation of handmade projects. As they describe it, “Young people and their grown-ups can hand-make gifts with the help of our talented volunteers. There will be ingenious and easy projects with paper, rope, wood and more.”

An Old Fashioned Christmas in Bath

The festivities kicked off on Nov. 25 with Santa’s arrival and will continue right through New Year’s, and Main Street Bath helps cultivate one of the longest and long-standing holiday traditions in the state with An Old Fashioned Christmas. There are so many dates to remember, so the best thing to do is log onto to get all the details, but a few highlights include:

• Trolley caroling from 4:30-8:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 23 on the downtown trolley (free).
• Bright Night Bath, Friday, Dec. 8: Late night shopping until 8 p.m.; explore the gingerbread downtown.
• Play Downtown Candyland Dec. 8 and 9 by collecting Candyland pieces at different downtown locations; details on
• Santa’s Day in Downtown, Dec. 16: Breakfast with Santa at 8 a.m. kicks off a day full of activities that go until 1 p.m.

Check out the chamber’s community calendar

Many of these events are listed on the Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber’s community calendar, and we encourage local businesses and chamber members to submit their events to the calendar using the button on the calendar homepage. It’s a great resource and can be found on our website at There are a dozen other December events listed on that site, too.

Cory King is executive director of the Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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