In Maine, Kris Kringle leaves the reindeer home at the North Pole.
There’s one thing you can say about the guy with the white beard: He’s even more dependable than the postman. In Maine, keeping to a schedule can be a challenge for Santa, what with our frigid harbors, deep woods, and piles of snow that nature throws into his way. Luckily, communities from Kittery to Calais and Fort Kent have come up with some ingenious ways of making sure Père Noël makes it to all of Maine’s smiling boys and girls. By the time Santa arrives, the lobsters have usually headed out to Monhegan for the winter, for instance, but miraculously there always seems to be a lobsterboat that appears in harbors like Kennebunkport and Camden around late December, ferrying Santa around for photographs, storytime, and hot chocolate. (Luckily all that sleigh-time has given him a stomach strong enough for an ocean voyage.) He’s proven more than willing to accept a ride with the firemen down in Old Orchard Beach, and even the North Woods can’t stop him; he just ditches the sleigh for a snowmobile and zips into towns like Houlton and Millinocket.
We do have one question, though. If Rudolph was going to put in an appearance anywhere, shouldn’t it be someplace like Caribou?
(Photograph by Daniel O’Connell)