December 17 2020 Edition
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By the Way
It's snowing tonight. It's the seventh night of Hanukkah as I'm writing this by the fire, and in windows nearby candles are burning down quietly.

As friends have explained it to me, Hanukkah is a holiday about resilience and resources that stretch farther than you thought they would. And it can be about sitting quietly and letting the candles take their own time.

I remember watching a friend's menorah one night, reflected in the glass, and feeling a kind of calm, knowing we would stay in the kitchen as long as the flames kept alight.

This is what the holidays look like in a pandemic. I'm walking around Windsor Lake with a skin of ice on the surface, talking about the uncertain future. Finding gifts nearby, one at a time.

I pick up honey from a local beekeeper who keeps a box in his front garden. I hear neighbors talking at a careful distance at Chapter Two Books on Spring Street.

Walking downtown feels like a rare event. And it's a careful negotiation, cleansing hands and keeping a careful account of space. But I keep finding moments of warmth.

I roll into South Egremont to look into Only in My Dreams and their local care packages for the first time and laugh out loud at their deft improvisations, or pause in Cheshire to peer into a glass bead glinting like mother of pearl, and I feel intensely aware of the space around me and all the light in it. By the Way Berkshires


A handmade glass ornament glows warmly at Cheshire Glassworks.

Cheshire Glassworks glimmers with the colors of winter

In her studio at Cheshire Glassworks, Jill Reynolds is making beads. They reflect the changing seasons and shifting landscapes outside her window.

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Michael Zippel and Oskar Hallig have opened a shop for Berkshire-themed gift boxes at Only in My Dreams in South Egremont.

Only in My Dreams gives the Berkshires in a care package

Imagine fresh coffee, or tea and honey, coming to you as a gentle surprise. Oskar Hallig and his husband, Michael Zippel, have evolved Only in My Dreams in the pandemic to offer locally sourced gifts.

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Krupka 1a

A holiday artist co-op forms in Great Barrington

In a holiday reshaped by Covid, makers in Great Barrington are coming together with cut-paper scenes and ceramics, jewelry, millinery and more.

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Alan H. Green, Joel Waggoner and Alysha Umphress appear in Barrington Stage. Company's Holiday Getaway. Photo courtesy of Barrington Stage.

Barrington Stage Company's Holiday Getaway (online)

From December 18 to December 23

Three Broadway performers, Alan H. Green, Alysha Umpress and Joel Waggoner, will offer a virtual holiday cabaret with Barrington Stage.

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Holiday trains are running on the Hoosac Valley Line. Press image courtesy of Berkshire Scenic Railway.

Santa's Mail Express on the Hoosac Valley Line

December 19 and 20

Berkshire Scenic Railway's holiday train rides are running between Adams and North Adams this weekend, as families deliver letters to Santa (at a safe distance).

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GreylockWorks Winterberry H

Berkshire Grown holiday farmers markets

December 19 in Great Barrington and December 20 in North Adams

Berkshire Grown will gather locally grown and produced foods — from winter squash, fresh greens and apples to meats, cheeses, honey and maple syrup and more.

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Ventfort Hall houses the Museum of the Gilded Age in Lenox.

Miracle on Walker Street

December 19 and 20

Lenox Winterland will celebrate the season with lit trees in town decorated by artists and a festive popup with food and cheer at the Gateways Inn.

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David Adkins and Tim Jones look across time as Truman capote in A Holiday Memory. Press photo courtesy of Berkshire Theatre Group.

Truman Capote's Holiday Memories

December 19 and 20

Berkshire Theatre Group presents a live outdoor perfomance of the play Holiday Memories, inspired by Truman Capote’s autobiographical short story about his own experiences growing up in depression-era Alabama.

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Mass MoCA presents Hamilton's Daveed Diggs in his band Clipping, streaming in the galleries after hours.

Hamilton's Daveed Diggs (virtually) at Mass MoCA

December 19 from 7 to 9:15 p.m.

Following their explosive midnight set during Solid Sound 2019, Clipping — Hamilton's Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes — will return to Mass MoCA (in spirit) for a night of music in the galleries.

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