The first Friday in December marks the official start of the holiday season in Medfield. The town will gather at Baxter Park to watch the lighting of the Christmas tree, see their neighbors, and sing some carols. The whole town will be there.
But what happens next will be different this year.
"In the old days," what followed was an evening of shopping centered around Lord's Department Store. The event was called "Midnight Madness" and started with Lord's staying open late to offer discounts on merchandise as well as a place to gather and celebrate community.
Over the years, the concept spread to other businesses in town who would also stay open late (though not til midnight) so residents could browse and shop and gather.
Many businesses will do that again this year -- be sure to walk down Main Street, Park Street and Frairy Street -- but Lord's closed in February after 73 years in business, and the other businesses won't be open as late as midnight, so it can't really be Midnight Madness, can it?
We posed that question on Facebook yesterday -- Midnight Madness or Midnight Sadness? -- and here's what we heard:
- Such memories
- they shouldn't have it it will be stupid/pointless without lords
- Sadness, not the same
- Sadness for sure!
- a huge loss.... a tradition gone....
Some said it was "time to move on," some said to leave the "midnight madness" memory to Lord's. We are feeling the loss, for sure.
So, if it's not Midnight Madness, what is it? It's much bigger than just a holiday tree lighting, so it needs a big name. The Baxter Park festivities are sponsored by MEMO, could it be "MEMO Madness?"
What do you think, Medfield? What do we call the largest community gathering of the year that will include the lighting of the Christmas tree and all other light decorations along Main Street, the Joy to the World singing contest, and businesses open late to celebrate?
Share your thoughts in the comment box below, and Happy Holidays, Medfield.