Christmas in Annapolis

Greenery and red bows make Main Street in Annapolis look classically festive.

Greenery and red bows make Main Street in Annapolis look classically festive.

Is that you, Rudolph? A bit of whimsy at City Dock.

Is that you, Rudolph? A bit of whimsy at City Dock.

A quick shopping trip in Annapolis can’t help but fill a visitor with holiday cheer.The Colonial streets are trimmed with traditional decorations — with a nautical note.

This year's Christmas tree across from the City Dock has traditional style.

This year’s Christmas tree across from the City Dock has traditional style.

I can’t get ready for Christmas without an afternoon of shopping in Annapolis’ historic district — along with lunch, of course at one of Annapolis’s lovely little restaurants. This year we stopped at the very Colonial  Middleton Tavern as we made our way through town. It was the day before the Army-Navy football game and the town was hopping with midshipmen and Navy alum.

That just added to the festive spirit I had craved. Once my shopping duties were done, we had time to walk around Main Street to the City Dock.

A wreath of vines, greens and fruit adorns the door of the Shiplap House in Annapolis.

A wreath of vines, greens and fruit adorns the door of the Shiplap House in Annapolis.

Annapolis offers plenty of opportunities for Christmas cheer. The local business association schedules special celebrations and shopping events, including a a few Midnight Madness events — one is set for Dec. 18 6 to (almost midnight) 11 p.m. I always like to visit Main Street and Maryland Avenue for their variety of locally-owned shops. It’s always so nice to see something different from the usual mall offerings. And if you want something unique, old, nautical, or Navy-themed, this is one of the best places.

Just drifting along in a Main Street shop window.

Just drifting along in a Main Street shop window.

And at Christmas, the town always looks great. Not only do the merchants festoon their shops with garland and ribbons, lights and windows filled with traditional and not so traditional decorations, the town’s historic sites, including the Paca House, Chase Lloyd House and Hammond Harwood House always look their best for the holidays. Historic Annapolis always has something special planned too.

Holiday cheer on Pinkney Street.

Holiday cheer on Pinkney Street.

Wreaths adorn the windows of Maryland's State House.

Wreaths adorn the windows of Maryland’s State House.

I always make sure my Annapolis stroll includes some of the

Some yachts are so big they need three wreaths.

Some yachts are so big they need three wreaths.

side streets, State Circle and the City Dock. I know there will be something I have to stop and look at, whether it’s the traditional greens at the State House, a pretty wreath on a gaily-colored townhouse or something whimsical on a big yacht.

And if you’re already looking for something to ring in the New Year, Annapolis has a full evening of fun, planned. You can even ring in 2015 early with fireworks at 7:30 p.m. or hang around until the midnight display.

Happy Holidays — and all the best in 2015.

 © Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman

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