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Shannon Bryan

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Posted: December 13, 2013

Caroling, crafters & Maine Craft Distilling: 6 things to do in Maine this weekend

Written by: Shannon Bryan

This is the last weekend before Christmas, which means the next few days are going to be a flurry of last-minute gift shopping and last-ditch efforts to embrace the spirit of Christmas. If you’re already done shopping and have been living high on holiday joy since November, well, more power to you. The rest of us could use some help. There’s a fine shopping opp at Portland Flea-for-All’s Etsy night, and two caroling events for folks who find holiday spirit is best shared through song. Get in the spirit for drinking spirits at Maine Craft Distilling and revel in classic holiday tunes during the Magic of Christmas. Let’s squeeze every mint-flavored drop out of this Christmas.

For the weekend of December 19-22

1. Do some last-minute local shopping

Portland Flea-for-All graphic

FleaStyle Etsy Night

6-9 pm Thursday | Portland Flea-for-All, Portland | Free admittance |
No need to panic if you still have holiday shopping to tackle. Esty Night gathers a bunch of local sellers who’ll be setting up shop on the first floor of the Portland Flea-for-All. And let’s not forget all of the Flea’s regular vendors, with their unique whatnots and all.

2. Celebrate Gritty’s Beer-iversary, sing some carols

Press Herald file photo

Gritty McDuff’s25th anniversary/Carolers unite!

4 pm Friday (anniversary open house), 10 am Saturday (caroling) | Gritty McDuff’s, Portland | No cover
Happy 25th anniversary, Gritty McDuff’s! We love your long tables and mug club and fries. And your beer! The beer! Celebrate Gritty’s birthday during their open house on Friday (there will be food, beer, and live music. No cover), then come back at 10 am Saturday to sing some Gritty’s-themed carols like “We wish you a Gritty’s Christmas.” Amid the caroling, they’ll also be collecting donations for Easter Seals Maine.

3. Write the next big carol! Or just listen. photo

Carol Slam

3:30 pm Saturday | Bull Feeney’s, Portland | Free |
The carol slam, modeled after the poetry slam, invites would-be carol composers to write their own holiday songs. Yours could be the next Jingle Bells! And you’ll be remembered forever just like the guy who wrote Jingle Bells, whatever his (or her?) name was! Submissions will be performed by the Carol Slam Choir and the audience gets to hear them all and vote for the best. Winner gets a wreath – the Christmas season’s highest badge of honor.

4. Get in the spirit with, well, spirits!

One wonderful montage by Maine Craft Distilling

Holiday Tasting Party and Open Distillery

5-8 pm Friday | Maine Craft Distilling, Portland | Free |
Nothing gets me into the holiday spirit quite like holiday spirits. And they’ll be pouring some fine ones at the Holiday Tasting Party at Maine Craft Distilling. Admission is free (though you best be over 21) and you’re encouraged to dress in your holiday best. MCD will be pouring samples of their Black Cap Vodka, Blueshine Blueberry Moonshine, Alchemy Dry Gin, Ration Expedition Style Rum, and more. Entertainment will be provided by the “Stocking Stuffer Bluegrass Band.”

5. Believe in the magic of Christmas

Press Herald file photo

Magic of Christmas

2 pm & 7:30 pm Friday & Saturday, 1 pm & 5 pm Sunday | Merrill Auditorium, Portland | $31-$61 |
The magic is going to get you, whether you want it to or not. No one leaves the Magic of Christmas feeling like a Scrooge. It’s just not possible. Go ahead, try listening to the magical, orchestral sounds of the PSO and those heart-warming holiday songs, and not walk away swooning over Christmas.

6. Catch a funny (and budget-friendly) holiday play

A Company of Girls photo

A Company of Girls Presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!”

7:30 pm Friday, 5 pm & 7 pm Saturday | Portland Ballet Studio Theater, Portland | Pay what you can (suggested $ adults, $6 children) |
It’s THE BEST Christmas Pageant ever! A Company of Girls is putting on this holiday play (the local organization helps strengthen and empower girls through theater and the arts). In this hilarious Christmas tale, a family struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids – the most inventively awful kids in history. The performances are all pay-what-you-can, too, so you can see a holiday show without breaking your wallet.

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