I don’t know about you guys, but this year Christmas didn't feel like Christmas. For me, I think it felt different for five reasons- 1) my family didn't attend my aunt’s annual Christmas Eve party 2) my parents and sister requested I didn't buy them any gifts so I can focus on paying for college (as Jo March says in the first sentence of Little Women,“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents) 3) I had to work for the first time at one of the select places opened on Christmas Day, the movie theaters 4) it was two of my friends’ first Christmas without a parent and 5) there wasn't a single snow flake on the ground. Despite the fact that this December didn't feel as festive as previous ones, this isn't to say that my holiday season lacked any joy or magic. During Thanksgiving break, I got to stay at the charming Christmas Farm Inn in Jackson, New Hampshire, and it was an experience I believe every New Englander should have before they die! Set on a hillside called 3 Blitzen Way that overlooks the White Mountains, the Christmas Farm Inn is a country amenity that will literally make you feel as though you were transported to the North Pole.
The Cape Cod-style “saltbox," the inn’s original building, which my family had the pleasure of staying in, was believed to be built in 1778 and was the farmhouse of Rufus Pinkham family. The white main building, which has other rooms you can stay in and is where the restaurant is, was erected in 1786 and became the Pinkhead’s new home. The property had many owners before it was handed to Chase B. Perkins in 1883 who turned the place into the “Free Will Baptiste Church.” After doing some research, I learned that if you stand outside the main inn facing the porch you can see the outline of the old church. An ironic role this tranquil destination has had over the years has been a jail. During the Great Depression, Chase Perkin’s daughter sold it to a Philadelphia man who was gave it as a Christmas gift to his daughter. Naturally, she named the place ‘Christmas Farm.’ She had dreams of making it a working farm again but those goals failed so she sold the farm to Doris and Dick Welch in 1946 who renamed it to the ‘Christmas Farm Inn’. Since then, there has been other managers of the inn and they have contributed to its modern resort by importing a playground, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, fitness center, and the Carriage House and Spa. The current owners are Gary and Sandra Plourde.
Even though the Christmas Farm Inn is the winner of 'The Best 2014 Family Inn for New Hampshire' by Yankee Magazine, this place is perfect for romantic getaways, retreats, and weddings. 2014 was a successful year for this inn as it also received a 'Certification of Excellence' from TripAdvisor.com.
Besides the Christmas Farm Inn’s colonial atmosphere and generous hospitality, another reason that makes this inn authentic to New England, is its’ food! My parents and I arrived at the Christmas Farm Inn during the early evening of Thanksgiving Eve. Due to the snowstorm that occurred that day, our trip took twice as long. Needless to say, when we finally arrived, our moods were punchy, our bones aching and our muscles tight. But when our six o’clock dinner reservation rolled around, I wish that day never ended! The Christmas Farm Inn has an awarding-winning restaurant. They are under the direction of Executive Chef Stan Shafer, who won "Chef of the Year" by the American Culinary Federation. That night I ordered a quesadilla and garden salad, because I love myself some Mexican food. Even though my course was delicious, I wish I had ordered what my parents got, the Green Apple Bourbon Steak, the restaurant’s bestseller, which is without question the best steak I have ever savored! The great thing about this Christmas Farm Inn is there is something on the menu for everyone and all of their meals feature organic, locally grown ingredients. For dessert that night, my parents and I split their chocolate bag, which is so rich, you need to eat it with a group.
Of course, as a newly turned twenty-one-year-old, I can’t skip their drinks! The pub features a large whisky and Bourbon selection, Tuckerman’s on draught, as well a wide selection of bottled beers. Their Martinis and cocktails change seasonally. Before our dinner on Thanksgiving Eve, I had two Grinch Martinis and two glasses of red wine, both of which were delectable, and made me very happy during dinner.
I love this quote! I stupidly forgot to take some pictures of my breakfast during my stay, but they were hearty! They have a station for continental breakfast as well as a menu which consists of eggs, french toast, pancakes, and Belgium waffles.
Another reason to love the Christmas Farm Inn is its’ close to the North Conway shopping outlets (got to love tax free shopping in New Hampshire), StoryLand, the Polar Express Train Ride at Conway Scenic Railroad, and there are a wide of assortment of outdoor activities to do like golf, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and cross country skiing. But a must-see during your trip to Jackson is Jackson Falls. My parents have been visiting Jackson for years and it wasn't until our personable waiter told us about it on Thanksgiving morning that they had heard about it. It’s a five minute drive from the Inn and even though I got wet trekking through the snow to see it, it was SO worth it!
Breathtaking, huh? In the summertime, hundreds of visitors come to this swimming hole. As my family and I were leaving, we saw a wife take a picture of her shirtless husband pretending to take a dive into the water.
As we start this brand new year, my advice for you all is to take some time to de-shackle yourselves from your phones every once in a while and soak up what’s around you. If you’ve been following this little blog from the beginning, you will know that this post is the first one I have written in about three months. When I went to college, I got lazy and sadly became a little uninspired by life. Though I didn't spend my Thanksgiving with my extended my family, the trip to Jackson was much needed. I was mentally exhausted and I would say my two and a half day vacation was life changing. I know now the reason why I was sad was because I wasn’t being grateful. Going to New Hampshire, I saw so many cool things and they made realize it’s the tiny moments that flutter by, day after day, that define us. The hardest part is seeing what’s right in front of you and holding on to it. New Year Day’s is often seen as a time of rebirth, the chance to start anew, so in 2015, I encourage you all to really try and look for you will be amazed by how many blessings you have, especially here in New England.
Christmas Farm Inn
3 Blitzen Way, Jackson, NH 03846
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