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Holiday Hours: Christmas & New Year's

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Businesses, schools and government offices will be taking breaks over the next week as the nation celebrates Christmas and New Year's. Christmas falls on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, and New Year's Day on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. 

Christmas is now a state holiday but it wasn't always. The General Court under the control of the Puritans outlawed the holiday in 1659.

There was too much eating, drinking, wassailing and other festiveness for the colony's righteous rulers. Even after the ban was lifted, Christmas was treated as a regular day until its popularization during the Victorian era. Thank goodness. Can you imagine Norman Rockwell not painting Stockbridge at Christmas?

The Puritans weren't big on New Year's either, preferring to eschew partying for quiet reflection. They did, however, like a good resolution, as Stockbridge's the Rev. Jonathan Edwards proved a prime example (70!).

Schools and public colleges are closed for Christmas vacation, with most local school systems being closed Monday, Dec. 23, through Thursday, Jan. 2. Clarksburg School is taking extra days and closing early on Friday, Dec. 20, and not reopening until Jan. 6 to accommodate a construction project at the school. 

Christmas Day, Dec. 25
(Most stores close early on the Dec. 24, some restaurants and bars may be open later)

Closed
Liquor stores
Businesses
Most retail (convenience stores & gas station may have limited hours)
NOTE: BRTA will not be operating the extended evening bus service on Tuesday, Dec. 24, and no buses will run on Wednesday, Dec. 25; regular service resumes at 6 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26. Administrative office closed Tuesday, Dec. 24, & Christmas Day.

Local, state and federal offices
Public libraries
Schools
Banks
Stock market
Museums

Open
Cinemas
Ski areas
Convenience stores

New Year's Day, Jan. 1
(Most stores close early on the Dec. 31, some restaurants and bars may be open later)

Closed
Retail businesses open but may have limited hours
Public libraries
BRTA not operating

Local, state and federal offices
Public libraries
Schools
Banks
Stock market
Museums (Mass MoCA is open on Jan. 1, 10 to 5).
 

Open
Cinemas
Ski areas
Convenience stores

Travel will be higher than normal over the holidays and MassDOT strongly urges all drivers to minimize distractions by turning off or putting away cellphones, traveling the posted speed limit, driving sober and devoting full attention to what is ahead on the road.  MassDOT encourages travelers to make an extra effort to be courteous on the roads and report to law enforcement any reckless driving.
 
Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 25, through 5 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26, and from 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, through 5 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.

Send closures to info@iBerkshires.com.

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'The Sunshine Boys': 'All the Men & Women Merely Players'

By Michael S. GoldbergeriBerkshires Film Critic

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the Bijou.

…………………………………………………………….............................................................
 
I can't review Herbert Ross' perfect film adaptation of Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys" (1975) without thinking about and acknowledging all that I learned about comedy from my college dormmate Tom Clinton Jr., now Dr. Thomas Clinton. Forever taking a comedy writer's correspondence course — it seemed he was on the "Characterization" chapter for at least two semesters — he would regularly pop into my room to regale me of the latest bit of shtick he had gleaned from his zealously dedicated study of what tickles the funny bone.
 
"So, these two guys meet on the street. Guy One says to Guy Two, 'Didn't I meet you in Chicago?'
Guy Two says, 'I've never been in Chicago.'
Guy One says, 'Y'know, come to think of it, I've never been in Chicago, either.'
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