So you have finally rid yourself of the last lingering relative. The house has been cleaned. Well, emptied anyway.
You can't look at one more tacky piece of turkey, another shimmering slice of cranberry sauce. Or one more big Bowl Game.
What can you do to bust loose, throw off the cabin fever and nicely-exhaust your kids in the process? Rye has your back.
Get ready for Mistletoe Magic! No, it's not a big Rockettes number, with high-kicking girls in spangly costumes. It's an annual street festival, The City of Rye throws for all of its deserving denizens.
"This is a way for Rye to say thank you to the community for shopping here," said Sally P. Wright, Development Director of the Rye YMCA, who has been helping to organize the festival since it began 8 years ago. "It's simply a Feel- Good event, a little way for people to have fun and relax, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It's always been fun. And yes, it's free."
Expect a real small town, Americana street scene. Free snacks, crafts for the kids, someone helping them write letters to Santa. A lovely, real-life Norman Rockwell painting (well, if he had deejays in his day), that will remind everyone how lovely it is to live in a small town. All sponsored by Rye's Chamber of Commerce, with the city's merchants pitching in the snacks (popcorn, cookies) and general good vibes.
"We shut down Purchase Street from Purdy to the Post Road," said Wright, "so the kids can run up-and-down and be safe. We will also have a 'climbing wall' and an inflatable 'Jumping Castle,' everything that kids like. The only exception to the 'free' scenario, will be the Chili Cookoff. You have to pay for your mug, if you want to get two servings of chili. But that's the only activity with a price tag."
Even though stores will be open that day, Wright says they are making a sacrifice by participating in this Mistletoe Magic.
"Sales at most of the places do tend to suffer on this day, what with people mostly enjoying the outdoor activities," she said, "But, the store owners don't expect to have terrific sales on this special Sunday. Mostly they like the goodwill it engenders among their patrons. And they hope maybe, you'll come back the very next day and shop! Plus, if you want to buy something on Sunday, you can safely say the merchants won't mind."
However, Wright says there are "side benefits" to all of this street activity. Certain venues that often do well each year: meaning, Rye's restaurants.
"Parents get hungry after a while," she said. "Popcorn and snacks are great, but they won't completely satisfy you. So our restaurants do report a nice spike in activity on this day. It's a great little by-product."
Wright knows this hasn't been the easiest year for people. But she hopes that this block party (which is staffed solely by volunteers), will get people in the groove, both emotionally and monetarily.
"Mistletoe Magic is really just meant for people to have fun," said Wright. "But it also, basically marks the start of the holiday shopping season. So we hope everyone will come, bring their kids and just enjoy themselves. But, also, remember the storeowners in the days to follow."
Lastly, you may wonder about parking.
"Parking is free," said Wright, with a wry sound to her voice. "Of course, if you really do want to feed the meters and help support Rye, you certainly can," she said chuckling. "Still, that's completely optional."
Info: Mistletoe Magic will take place on Purchase Street, Sunday the 27th, from Noon-3:00 PM.