It’s that time of year where holiday shopping, endless parties, and stress can threaten to overwhelm our lives. So before things gets REALLY nutty, why not escape the hubbub and take a little trip this month? We love taking a quick trip to Portland, Maine to shop, eat, and enjoy the beautiful seaside city. While you’re there, plan to soak up some of Portland’s history with a side of holiday cheer.

At Portland’s Wadsworth-Longfellow House, the subject of this month’s digital desktop calendar, twinkly white lights bring life to the former home of famous writer Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow. Inside, the historic home is adorned with seasonal decor and features a special exhibit “Indoor Amusements“, a micro-exhibit featuring a selection of toys and games from the 1850s to the 1990s. Taking advantage of their substantial toy collection, the Maine Historical Society is displaying homemade and store-bought toys and games that entertained families through the cold, dark winter months, often surviving as keepsakes that were passed down from previous generations.  This exhibit is included in the Longfellow House tour from November 23 to December 31, 2012.

Next,  head to the beautiful Victoria Mansion in Portland’s West End. Each year, the staff goes all out to decorate the mansion inspired by a different theme. Take a look at New England’s Historic Homes & Gardens and this blog post to read about holiday decorations of years past, and then make a trip to the mansion to see this year’s theme: The Gilded Age.

How to set this image as your Desktop Background

  • Download this for your desktop screen in resolutions of 1280 x 800 (small), 1440 x 900 (medium), or 1920 x 1200 (large), based on the size of your screen.
  • Right-click (or ctrl-click for some Mac users) on the image, and chose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background”, “Use as Desktop Picture”, — the exact wording will depend on the browser you use.
  • If the image does not fit your desktop background neatly, you may have to go to your preference screen (on a Mac: System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop; on Windows: Control Panel > Display > Desktop) and choose “Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image.
  • Voila! You have a beautiful, seasonal desktop calendar to keep you on track all month long!

About the Union Park Press Calendar Series

When you publish books about arts, history, and culture of Boston and New England, you are bound to see some spectacular photography. It’s our goal to share some of those gorgeous scenes with fellow New England-lovers through our books, our blog, Pinterest and now through our  monthly Union Park Press digital desktop calendar series! We hope you enjoy and return each month for a new beautiful calendar.

To learn more about New England’s most stories homes, order New England’s Historic Homes & Gardens by Kim Knox Beckius through our website; online through Amazon or Barnes & Noble; or pick up a copy at your local bookstore. If your favorite shop doesn’t have it in stock, just ask—they’ll be happy to order it for you!