The holiday season is upon us and everyone is thinking about gifts for Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Bodhi Day, Birthdays Anniversaries, and more.  But, are you feeling like your house already has too much stuff?  Too little time to wrap and ship gifts?  Not enough time to go to stores?  Traveling for the holidays and can not take packages with you?

If you fit into any of the above categories this Blog may be custom made for you!  The gift suggestions here may all be done online or by phone with no need to go shopping and battle the hustle and bustle of crowded stores and parking lots.  They require nothing larger than an envelope for mailing and no wrapping paper or bows.  Your house will not be filled with “stuff” that may only be of interest for an hour, a day or a week.  However, the heads of the recipients will be filled with wonderful memories of a different type of gift.

 

The first suggestion is, of course, the beautiful Ocean Point Inn which sits along the ocean seven miles out to sea from Boothbay Harbor, Maine.aerial#4 inn1 From now until December 21st you may purchase a Holiday Gift Certificate and get a 20% Discount.  Wow!  That one is hard to beat.  The certificate may be used for the Inn, the seaside Dining Room and/or the Gift Shop.  Go to http://www.oceanpointinn.com and see what a spectacular gift you could give someone…or give yourself!  Call the Inn at 207-633-4200 and Nate or Duey will get that Gift Certificate in the mail for you.  This suggestion is guaranteed to please!

http//www.sailmainecoast.com/gift-certificate/ A Maine Windjammer sailing vacation makes a perfect gift! winjammers And, it can even be mailed to you in a special sea-going bottle.  What a great gift to look forward to next summer.

https://www.mainehuts.org/gift-certificates  This is a wonderful four hutsseason gift where you may hike, snowshoe, cross country ski, mountain bike, swim, fish and paddle.hut2 The four “Huts” are Eco lodges built along an 80 mile trail system.  They have hot showers, toilets, heated bedrooms, a great room, a reading room, and screened porches.  What a great adventure for the whole family…even the teenagers will love it!

http://www.mainegardens.org  The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is an absolute gem offering days and weeks of pleasure.  You may get a botanical gardensGift Certificate Membership for one or two adults or a family.  Not only do you get free admission, but you will receive advance notice on all the great events plus discounts on many things.

http://www.balmydayscruises.com/ lobstertraphaullwhaleCap’n Fish’s Boothbay Harbor Boat Trips include Lobster Trap Hauling, Seal Watch, Whale Watch, Puffin Cruise, Kennebec River Cruise, Music Cruise, and Harbor Cruise.  Fun, fun fun!

http://www.balmydayscruises.com/  The Balmy Days does daily trips to theHarbor TourOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABayLady wonderful off shore island of Monhegan.  The Bay Lady, a beautiful Friendship Sloop, will give you a relaxing sail of the harbor.  The Novelty provides Harbor Tours and regular ferry service to Squirrel Island.

https://www.northcountryrivers.com/maine-moose-safari-wildlife-watching-tours.htm moose_home This company located in Bingham, Maine, offers several high adventure activities.  From May to October you can do a Maine Moose Safari White-Water-Rafting-Maineand White Water Rafting.  When I did the Moose Safari we saw so many moose right up close and personal!

http://www.mooseheadcabins.com/snowmobiling/  Enjoy a winter vacation of snowmobilingsnowmobiling-tour-1024x768 at the The Cozy Moose on Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine.

http://www.saltwaterfarm.com cookingsdchool Classes at the Saltwater Far on the Coast of Maine in Lincolnville offer seasonally inspired hands on cooking.  They will start taking reservation for next season on December 1, 2016. They use locally grown produce and fresh fish!  Go home with a new menu for your next dinner party!

http://www.savethewhales.org/adopt.htm  Adopt a Whale!  It is the perfect gift for any age.whale

http://www.fruitshare.com/fruit-clubs/fruit-of-the-month-club/  Have a Fruit of the Month deliveredfruit to someone for three, six or twelve months.

http://www.wineofthemonthclub.com/  You may give a gift of wine for four, six or twelve months. wine The gift that just keeps on giving!  They also have Gift Certificates for baskets and wine accessories.

http://www.mainekayak.com/  Sea Kayaking, Lake Kayaking and Whitewater Kayaking are available from Maine-Sea-KayakingMaine Kayak located in Pemaquid, Maine.  Overnight Kayaking Trips with one or two nights at the Ocean Point Inn are very popular and loads of fun.

https://www.cheaptickets.com/events/categories/sports-tickets/  Tickets to Sporting Events,baseball-tickets Concerts and Theaters all over the United States are available here.  Lots of  interests are covered here.

 

 I hope you find something useful in these suggestions.  Over the years, I have personally found this type of gift a great success.  Do something with your whole family….no cooking for Mom,  no assembling bikes for Dad, no bored children!  The memories will last much longer than the game that was used once.  Gather your credit card, addresses and a phone….your shopping will be done before you know it!

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!  Have you planned what you will be serving for the special feast?

roast turkeyI’d like to share with you a “Traditional Maine Thanksgiving Dinner,” from Ocean Point Inn. Having grown up in Maine, I have to say this is almost the exact same menu I had as a child.  Definitely remember that turnip which I dislike to this day!

  •        Roast Turkey
  •        Onion and Celery Stuffing (not called dressing in Maine)
  •        Mashed Potatoes
  •        Gravy
  •         Parker House Rolls
  •         Squash
  •        Turnipth dinner plate
  •        Creamed Onions
  •        Celery stuffed with cream cheese
  •        Green and Black Olives
  •        Cranberry Sauce
  •        Pumpkin and Apple Pies

People debate whether a fresh Maine turkey or a frozen turkey is best?  Butter injected or store brand?  And, do not forget the wild turkey!! wild turkeys I have only had wild turkey once and it must have been on the run for months as it was tough as LL Bean shoe leather!  But, everyone has their own opinion on this.  There are certainly dozens of wild turkeys running around Ocean Point Inn these days.  I wonder if any of them will end up on a Thanksgiving table??

Some insist you have sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, pumpkin cheesecake and on and on.  The menu today is limited only by one’s imagination and favorite foods.

Our classic turkey dinner is very popular, on our menu on Sundays at the Ocean Point Inn, its “Turkey Dinner with all the Fixin’s.”  You want to eat early on Sunday evenings if you want Turkey as it usually sells out quickly.  Many people return every Sunday evening just for the turkey.

cornucopiaBesides just having leftovers, some feel the best part of the turkey is turkey sandwiches the next day.  These sandwiches can vary as much as the meal itself ranging from just meat and bread to lettuce, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayonnaise.  Of course, there will always be the discussion of which is best – white meat or dark meat?  A distinct advantage of cooking your own turkey is having the carcass left to make turkey soup, a wonderfully warming late fall treat.roast turkey

We do lots of planning to come up with the perfect menu and table decorations, but ultimately the day is for being thankful and sharing food with family and friends.  It does not matter where we are, who we are with or what we are eating. cranberry We are thankful for what we have.

One Thanksgiving I spent the day on an uninhabited tropical island.  We  grilled lobster and ate fresh conch we had caught. These treats were served with salad and orange cake plus lots of rum punch.  Somehow this experience and setting made everyone  especially thankful that Thanksgiving Day.  You could swim, walk the beach or hunt for shells to work off the meal.  Or, some found a fishnet hammock hung between two palm treats the best way to work off the meal!!

This year I will have Thanksgiving dinner on a tropical island but in a traditional table setting.  The guests will be from different parts of the happy thanksgivingcountry with different traditions.  Everyone, no matter where they are from, will be thankful on that day.

May your Thanksgiving be full of fun, family, love, traditions and much thankfulness.  Enjoy!

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