How do we find holidays in a time of Covid?
The beat is a quick tempo, jazz and rock and soul, and I walk into a tunnel of golden lights. They taper overhead like a flame, and far up ahead Brian Cruey, the manager of Naumkeag, is dancing into the garden. It’s the kind of music that lifts you on the balls of your feet. I’m walking through Winterlights outdoors on a crisp, clear night, and Darlene Love is singing Nobody ought to be all alone on Christmas.
Do you remember sleigh riding in the snow
And dancing all night to ‘Baby, Please Come Home …’
How will we celebrate this year?

In holiday season in a pandemic we are alive with light shows, local makers online, outdoor performances and festivals of trees …

The winter holidays are all usually times to come together. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter solstice, New Year … Up here they are ways to face the cold. On some of the longest nights of the year, they are a time to make a family recipe, light candles and listen to music, and take time with family (born-to or chosen).
How do we celebrate after a Thanksgiving with little travel, when people are worried about food, heat and shelter? This is not a year for parades and carolers and holiday parties.
And still … we have points of connection. Light shows have come outside. NightWood turns the gardens of the Mount into a glowing elfin world. Festivals of trees have moved downtown in Pittsfield, Lenox and Sheffield.
Local shops and bakers and artisans are adapting, physically and online. I hear people talking about shopping locally sometimes near them and sometimes near the people the gifts are for — calling the bookstore or the bakery around the corner and asking to send a gift or hold it there for the family to collect, like a treasure hunt.
One way or another, up here we can find light on a cold night. We can take a walk in the winter woods and warm up with a cup of thick, melted hot chocolate — and watch the Geminid meteor shower (December 13-14) from evening until dawn.

Tim Jones performs as Buddy, a young Truman capote, in A Holiday Memory. Press photo courtesy of Berkshire Theatre Group.
Photo by Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

Holiday events

Berkshire museums and theaters and more are finding ways to adapt to the changing world. Performances and lighted trees are moving outdoors, as artisan markets are moving online. We’re keeping an eye out for light shows and popup hot chocolate, Shaker walks and al fresco theater — including Berkshire Theatre Group’s ‘Holiday Memories’ (shown here).

Holiday events

Berkshire holidays