Tuftonboro Family Christmas Festival to feature building of "Yum Yum" houses Sunday

MELVIN VILLAGE — From 3-4 p.m, on Sunday, Dec. 17, families from the greater Tuftonboro area are invited to Willing Workers Hall in Melvin Village to make and decorate “Yum Yum” houses to help celebrate Christmas. All you’ll need is your imagination and sense of fun. Materials and instructions will be provided. There is no charge, just come and enjoy the fun with your neighbors and friends.

To ensure there are plenty of ingredients, please call the Melvin Village Community Church at 603-544-9661 to let them know you’re coming and for directions to Willing Workers Hall (just down the street from the church).

BELKNAP MILL MATTERS A Christmas tale - A mill and an elf named Socks

Long ago in 1823, when the city of Laconia was still growing, when there were no cars on the roads or electricity in people’s homes, a hosiery mill was built. What is a hosiery mill, you ask? It made socks.
For years this mill provided socks for the people of Laconia and the surrounding towns. It also made sure that all the soldiers that fought in the Civil War and both World Wars had wonderful socks to keep their feet warm. It was a very important mill with very hard working people.
One of these hard-working people was J.P Morin. Mr. Morin started as a laborer at the mill, but in 1913 he bought the mill and became its owner. However, this story is not about Mr. Morin. It is about his son Alphonse and a little elf named Socks.
Alphonse loved Christmas. It was his favorite holiday, and every year he looked forward to hanging his stockings up for Santa to fill with gifts and treats. It was one Christmas when he was very young that Alphonse asked his father to have the workers at the mill make him a very special stocking, a stocking that would make Santa smile with Christmas joy.
The mill was so busy making sure it filled all its sock orders that sadly there was simply no time do so, and to be honest Mr. Morin had no idea how to make such a Christmas stocking. However, a child’s Christmas wish is always heard by Santa and Alphonse was about to find this out.
Up at the North Pole, there lived an elf named Socks. Now Socks was not your average toy-making elf. Oh no. Socks made sure that Santa’s suit was well taken care of and that all the elves’ suits were without tear or ruin. Socks was a tailor and he was very good at what he did.
It was on the last day of November that Santa came to Socks while he was finishing up a few small repairs on the famous red suit and exclaimed, “Socks, I have something special for you to do. For years, children have been hanging their stockings by their fireplaces to dry. As you know, on Christmas Eve I fill these stockings with toys and gifts for the good boys and girls of the world. I need you to create a special Christmas stocking for the children. And I have just the place for you to do it.”
Santa and Socks discussed the details, and the very next day, the first of December, Socks paid a visit to the Belknap Mill. Now, the workers had since all gone home to their families and Socks began working on making the most special Christmas stocking anyone had ever known...and then he made another....and another. He kept working until the morning light shown through the Mill’s windows, and when he was done a pile of the red and green stockings were upon Mr. J.P. Morin’s desk. Socks then found a comfortable place to rest high in the wooden beams of the mill and drifted off to sleep
You can only imagine the surprise when Mr. Morin arrived the next day and discovered them all. He did not question where they came from, he only gave them out to his hard-working employees, making sure he saved one for Alphonse. The joy he saw on the child’s face made him want every child to have a special Christmas stocking. And when he arrived the next day, there upon his desk was another pile of stockings.
This continued every morning for the next three weeks leading up to Christmas, as Santa requested Socks to return on the 22nd of December to help with preparing for the big Christmas Eve trip.
For the years that followed, Socks would always return on the first of December to make more stockings for the children. He was never seen and Mr. Morin never questioned who was making such lovely stockings. It was a Belknap Mill secret.
But, in 1969 the Mill stopped working. In 1969, Socks stopped coming on the first of December. There would be no more Christmas stockings made at the Belknap Mill.
However, recently children have begun to come into the Mill to learn about its history. Of course, the Christmas stockings story was never included in what the children were told...until now.
All of this new activity at the long quiet Mill has brought Socks back! And this time it is no longer in secret. The place he loved so much, once again needs his help. Socks has been assisting with daily activities of the Mill, helping to fix the sock making machinery (as there are not many left that know how), and finding time to have fun with the children.
So if you happen to visit the Belknap Mill during the first three weeks of December, make sure you ask to see Socks. He loves taking ELFIES (selfies) with the children and their families. He even has special permission from the Mill staff to give a small candy cane to any child who takes one with him.
Though, be aware that he must return to the North Pole on the 22nd of each year to assist Santa as he always has, so don’t miss your chance to say a “thank you” to Socks; the special little elf that brought Christmas stocking joy to children everywhere from the Belknap Mill. #belknapmill #wherecommunityhappens

- Christopher Beyer, teacher, Laconia School District

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Socks the elf

Squam Lakes Association kicks off Squam Rangers guided hikes Saturday

HOLDERNESS — Join the Squam Lakes Associationon Saturday, Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon to kick off an ongoing series of guided hikes around Squam to introduce participants to SLA’s Squam Rangers program. These hikes are led by Lakes Region Conservation Corps AmeriCorps members, who just started their service on Squam Lake in November. As a part of their service, they host a variety of Adventure Ecology programs twice a week throughout the entire winter.

This week, Becca will host a leisurely 4-mile hike up Livermore Mountain and down the Prescott Trail. This loop will check two trails off in your Squam Ranger logbook! Don’t worry, if you are not currently in SLA’s Squam Ranger program, you can still attend this hike.

By the end of the hike, participants will have a better understanding of the work the new LRCC members are doing here at SLA and the different ways we strive to provide low impact recreation to the public. All ages are welcome to participate in this program. Please dress accordingly.

For more information, or to sign up for this Adventure Ecology Program, visit the SLA website (squamlakes.org) or call 603-968-7336. These free programs are held every Tuesday and Saturday. They are open to the public and cover a variety of nature and conservation related topics.

Pitman’s Freight Room kicks off sixth year of monthly comedy nights

LACONIA — Pitman’s Freight Room in Laconia will kick off its sixth year of monthly comedy nights on Friday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. with a special three-person performance starring Harrison Stebbins (Boston’s Wildman), Steve Scarfo, and Paul Landwehr.

Stebbins is a longtime Boston headliner and crowd favorite whose unique blend of high energy comedy, and clever, witty insight makes him a regular at the top Boston clubs and beyond. Stebbins has performed at Caroline’s in New York, the Gotham Comedy Club, Catch a Rising Star, and more as well as having been a previous winner of the Best of Boston Comedy competition. He has performed on the Comedy Central Live Tour, Dave Attel’s Insomnia Tour, and has been seen on Comcast Comedy Spotlight. “It’s been a while since I’ve been to Pitman’s,” said Stebbins. “Looking forward to getting back. The room is great, the atmosphere is conducive to great comedy and the crowds are receptive.”

Also appearing will be Scarfo who is a regular at Nick’s Comedy Stop in Boston, Laugh Boston, Comix at Foxwoods, the Comedy Connections and more. Landwehr is a rising star on the New England comedy scene.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by contacting Pitman’s at 603-527-0043 or 603-494-3334. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the show. For additional information visit www.pitmansfreightroom.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Pitman’s is a ‘bring your own food and drinks venue.’

 12 15 Stebbins at Pitmans

Comedian Harrison Stebbins will headline a three-person show to kick off the sixth season of monthly comedy nights at Pitman's Freight Room on Friday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m.