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Holiday preparations are in full swing as we try for a “nice” celebration in the middle of this “naughty” pandemic! Experts say “keep as many of your traditions alive as possible” for our own mental health in this crisis. OK, so here goes:

Antique wreaths for sale

David Oates at the Searsport Antique Mall has used his artful skills to produce unique Victorian wreaths made from antique ornaments. Sale of these wreaths will benefit the Searsport Historical Society for the maintenance of the collections at the Crary-Carlin-Coleman House. For $20 you can have a one-of-a-kind heirloom decoration!

Searsport Historical Society raffle

If you are unable to get a wreath at the Searsport Antique Mall, you can buy a ticket for the spectacular Santa ornament wreath for $5. Only 100 tickets will be sold for the drawing on Dec. 19.

Virtual Sailor’s Valentine Workshop

If you’d like to hand make an unusual, historically nautical gift for a special person this Christmas, this is it! On Dec. 10 at 6 p.m., the Penobscot Marine Museum will show you how to make a sailor’s valentine on Zoom. Legend has it that sailors at sea would create these gifts for their loved ones back at home. The cost of the workshop is $30 to $50 depending on material requirements. Register at penobscotmarinemuseum.org by noon on Dec. 9. For more information or questions, get in touch with Jeana Ganskop at jganskop@pmm-maine.org. This program has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Christmas trees for scholarships

Don’t forget that the Bay Area Lions Club and the Searsport Lions will be hosting their annual Christmas tree sale for Searsport scholarships in the parking lot of Bangor Savings Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6, as well as Dec. 12 and 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Take the test

The Searsport Broadband committee would like some help to evaluate the upload and download speeds on the internet recently improved by the newly installed hotspots. The committee needs to discover “slow spots” around town where speeds are not up to snuff. Federal authorities say uploads of 3 megabits per second and downloads of 25 megabits per second are adequate. The need for expanded service is greater now that some are working from home as well as students learning from home. Get in touch with George Kerper at the Town Office or Sue McClintock at the library to report poor service.

Unique heirloom gifts

If you are in the neighborhood of the Searsport Antique Mall, it might be a chance to find something unique for a gift especially for someone who appreciates a peek into the past. It’s been open since 1992 and David Oakes and Becky Ellsmore have been the host and hostess at the mall for 28 and 27 years, respectively.

The mall represents over 70 dealers who maintain booths featuring furniture, artwork, rugs, and lighting; and at holiday time, antique toys, dollhouse miniatures, silver plate, linens, punch bowls, and antique ornaments. One of the best takes is the mammoth bookstore downstairs with nautical, historical, regional, and one of the best children’s book selections in the area! Hopefully you’ll find time to visit this gem of an antique oasis this season. And when you do, you might be in the company of celebrities. David tells me Barbara Streisand, Martha Stewart, John Travolta, Noah Wyle, Kirstie Alley, and others have been seen strolling through the booths. The Searsport Antique Mall is open seven days, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.