When I think of American nostalgia, some of the first images that come to mind are by Norman Rockwell, the famous illustrator whose paintings of day to day American life graced the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Some of his most famous works portray the holidays in New England, including this painting, Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, of his hometown in the Berkshires. Each December, Stockbridge sets about recreating the nostalgic image of Main Street.
This year's celebration takes place from December 4-6. Activities kick off on Friday night with a reading of popular Christmas stories at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church. On Saturday, visitors can take a tour of the town's historic homes, join in on a round of caroling, and spend the evening at a holiday concert performed by the Berkshire Lyric and the Blafield Children's Chorus. Sunday sees Main Street transformed into the painting, with antique cars parked along the street and a range of festive activities and food. There's also a Santa's workshop activity center for children set up at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Founded by Rockwell and his wife in 1969, it's home to the most significant collection of the artists's work in the world.
At the center of it all is the historic Red Lion Inn, which has been hosting guests for two centuries. The main inn and its guest houses are bedecked in beautiful antiques, with reading rooms, parlors, and sun porches throughout, perfect for curling up with a book and a glass of wine from the hotel's lengthy list. The inn's main dining room is one of the better spots to eat in the Berkshires, with New England comfort food sourced locally and served in the pretty, candlelit dining space, where tables are set with antique china and colonial pewter. Afterwards, head to the Lion's Den Pub in the inn's basement to cozy up with a mug of hot mulled cider around the fire.