Christmas in Boston

The Christmas season in Boston is magical. Each year, the city transforms itself into an 18th-century winter wonderland, complete with Christmas trees, concerts and cobblestone streets illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights. Those lucky enough to own Boston homes have a myriad of holiday events and attractions, right at their doorsteps. Below are just a few Boston holiday favorites:

1. A Boston Pops Christmas. Some of the most popular Boston holiday events are the Boston Pops Christmas concerts. Held at Symphony Hall, the Pops play a selection of favorite holiday music for three weeks during December. Santa is usually able to make an appearance at the end of each concert.

2. Mikko Nissinen's Nutcracker. The Boston Ballet and artistic director, Mikko Nissinen, perform Nissinen's interpretation of the holiday classic each year at the Boston Opera House for 30 days between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Nissinen's version, which debuted in 2012, "brings a softness and light to the venerable holiday classic," according to the "Boston Globe."

3. Shopping at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Fanueil Hall Marketplace's open courtyard and historic buildings provide a perfect backdrop for holiday festivities, shopping and decorations. The area features thousands of twinkle lights; two massive, decorated Christmas trees; Santa in his cabin; strolling carolers and more than 100 retailers, offering everything from national brands to locally-owned boutiques and push-carts.

4. Candlelight Carols at Trinity Church. A holiday tradition since 1909, Candlelight Carols at Trinity Church features two hours of traditional Christmas church music in a beautiful historic Romanesque setting right off of Copley Square. The fund raiser is held for two nights in mid-December each year. It's lovely and inspiring.

5. Tree lighting at Boston Commons. Boston's official Christmas tree stands tall and proud in Boston Commons, the centerpiece of thousands of lights and decorations throughout the Commons and Boston Public Gardens. The tree, a gift each year from Nova Scotia, commemorates the anniversary of the maritime disaster in Halifax in 1917 when a French ship departing from Boston exploded in Halifax harbor. The tree is lit the first week of December, accompanied by music, live performances by local musicians and ice skating. The tree and the other holiday decorations stay up through early January.

6. Harvard Square Holiday Fairs. Since 1986, local crafters, artists and one-of-a-kind merchants have set up in Cambridge's Harvard Square for a holiday market every weekend between the first of December and Christmas Day. The market features everything from books to textiles to holiday decorations to original artwork. Each week features a different array of merchandise.

The holiday season in Boston is not to be missed. Boston homes and businesses throughout the city area adorned with greenery, lights and other holiday decorations. Music spills out of virtually every doorway and events like those above help unite the people of Boston and visitors alike in a sense of holiday good cheer.

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