Franklin’s First Christmas in Boston

As we were driving to Boston, Franklin stared out the side window curiously. I turned and explained to him,
“Franklin, that’s snow.”

James wondered out loud, “Do you think this might be the first time he’s seen snowflakes?”

“I doubt he ever saw snow in south Florida.”

When we arrived in Boston the flurries had ended. We walked up Charles Street into Beacon Hill, one of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods in the city. The brick sidewalks were lined with gas lanterns decorated with Christmas wreaths and bright red bows. It felt like we had just stepped into an old-fashioned colonial Christmas card. All that was missing were the Dickensian carolers on the corner singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”

Through the holiday shoppers we spotted our friend, Ali, who we met last summer at the beach in Provincetown. She introduced us to her friend Bob, who presented to Franklin, Rosie, his pretty six-year-old Golden Retriever. The two kids sniffed each other and a friendship was sealed.

As we strolled along on our way to Boston Common we passed families with strollers and dogs. Many of whom, surprisingly, were Golden Retrievers. There had to be six or seven of them. We even bumped into a Golden and his dad who we knew. This was definitely a Golden neighborhood.

There was barely room to walk on the sidewalk. Normally, I don’t like crowded places like this. But today it was exciting. It was good to be in a city with lots of young energy. Franklin, looking dapper in his new, red holiday scarf, and sweet Rosie, got lots of attention.

We entered the “Common”, which was established in the 1630s. It was originally used as pastureland by the Puritans. In the 1830s it became the first city public park in America. But we weren’t there for a history lesson, we were there to see the lights and decorations. We walked through the Common where on the outer boundary of elm trees were strung different colored lights. Two of the oldest elms were planted by John Hancock.

It was freezing cold that day so the brisk walk kept us a little warmer. James and I were definitely dressed up like folks from Lapland with scarfs, hats, gloves and sweatshirts, thermal shirts and long johns and winter coats. The Goldens thought the weather was quite comfortable in their fur coats. We stopped for pictures of Franklin and Rosie sitting together on a park bench, which caused a gathering of onlookers snapping their own pictures. (Make sure you check them out at the bottom of the blog.)

It had been a long time since I was in the Common to see the decorations and lights. As a young boy my parents used to bring us here in the early evening to see the festooned decorations and the live reindeer corralled in a fenced-in area. Afterwards, we’d get a hot chocolate and a blueberry muffin at the Pewter Pot Muffin House. It was always one of the highlights of Christmas.

For our own cheer, we stopped at the “Thinking Cup” on Newbury Street. It was a spirited and crowded shop. I had the best hot tea latte I had ever had. James was pleased with his caffe mocha latte. No whip. With two shots. Our friends sipped hot chocolate. While the pups slurped from their water bowls.

Franklin was sad to see Rosie depart as Bob had another commitment. To help lift Franklin’s spirits we continued across the wet slushy grassy mall, past the outdoor skating rink mobbed with families, to the giant, official, city of Boston Christmas tree. The perfect cone-shaped, forty-five-foot white spruce tree was protected from onlookers by a short white picket fence. Multi-colored lights, my favorite, were strung from top to bottom, around the entire tree, creating a celebratory atmosphere.

Since 1971, Nova Scotia has sent a tree to Boston to thank them for the help they provided after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. A disastrous explosion triggered when two ships collided and one had high explosives on board. Nearly 1800 people were killed resulting from the blast, fires and tsunami that the explosion caused.

Ali knelt down next to this historic tree with Franklin and reenacted her love-at-first sight, beach kiss from last summer when she first met Franklin. Then I joined her on his other side. We wrapped our arms around each other with our boy squished between us, careful not to muss his holiday apparel.

As the winter sun set on this cold December afternoon, it was time to head home. Our outing to Boston was cheery and bright. Spending time with Ali reminded us that there is no better gift than time with a friend. It was the perfect way to ignite the holiday spirit.

Happy Holidays to everyone from Franklin and me.

22 replies
  1. June Kaufman
    June Kaufman says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading y’all adventure. You just put a bug in my ear. Possibly I’ll come out there next year. My brother lives in the North Shore/Beverly.
    Happy Holidays & A Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year !!!

    • Dan Perdios
      Dan Perdios says:

      So glad you liked it June. It was a special day in a special place. Thanks for all your support. Stay well. Are you home? A very happy holiday to you. And likewise a Happy, Healthy and Happy New Year, too.

      • June Kaufman
        June Kaufman says:

        Dan, Yes I just got home from being in & out of the hospital 3 times, 32 days the first, 14 days the 2nd time, & 21 days the 3rd time. Majority of my meds have been changed. Went from lots of fluid retention on both legs. Lower GI problems. Last Thursday in the morning they had to shock my heart. Fortunately the got the rhythm back with 1 shock.
        Glad I’m finally home. I will tell you Cashew missed me. I missed JR.
        I do have a home healthcare nurse, home physical therapy. Thanks for asking

  2. Jan Cioffi
    Jan Cioffi says:

    Absolutely beautiful pictures Dan. I wish you and your family the very best Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. Franklin is so handsome. Please give him a big hug from me. ❤️

  3. Gloria Molleur
    Gloria Molleur says:

    Thank you for all the interesting information you gave us about Boston, especially about where the tree comes from and why. Merry Christmas to you all ❤️

    • Dan Perdios
      Dan Perdios says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Gloria. I found it all fascinating. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family. I can’t believe it’s in a week. Stay warm and dry.

  4. Betsy Smith
    Betsy Smith says:

    Hi Dan! Another excellent story! I love it! You writing about your visit to Boston makes me want to go back there again next year. I thought, for me, one visit would be enough. Boy was I wrong. The two Elm trees that John Hancock planted, are they marked so people know he planted them?

  5. Bob Bordone (@bobbordone)
    Bob Bordone (@bobbordone) says:

    Rosie and I LOVED meeting you, James, and sweet Franklin. I wish we had more time to spend together. But I hope we’ll have another meeting either in Boston or in P-Town! Love these pictures. They are so sweet! And I love this blog! Merry Christmas!

  6. Bill Hronek
    Bill Hronek says:

    Happy Holidays to you, James & Franklin & may 2023 bring you all a great New Year filled with much happiness, good health & fun times with Franklin, your family & friends! ❤️❄️

  7. Mary Ann
    Mary Ann says:

    I LOVE this article and anything else about Franklin and his adventures. He is such a ORECIOUS LITTLE BOY and I just love his expressions. Loved the article and all the intersting people and places that were covered.

  8. Karen S Reid
    Karen S Reid says:

    I loved reading about Franklin’s first Christmas in Boston! It sounded so awesome! He is such a handsome boy! Merry Christmas to your family & of course to Franklin!

  9. Hilda Martini
    Hilda Martini says:

    The pictures and reading were magnificent. God Bless you and Merry Merry Christmas to Handsome Franklin and his dads❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  10. Ann Monaghan
    Ann Monaghan says:

    So enjoyed reading yr blog Hey Franklin yr friend Rosie is awfully pretty! merry Holudays to you all Franklin I’m so happy you have yr Dads to share this beautiful season with sweetheart! Enjoy yr living family kisses from us here in SE Ct!!❤️❤️


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