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Holiday

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

Over the years, I’ve seen many ways of decorating for Christmas although they are variations on the Rudolph, Santa, Frosty, Nativity themes.

This year, perhaps we could use some modern iconography to celebrate the themes and elements that are parts of our lives. Here are my top 10 suggestions for new Christmas iconography — without any connection to a religion:

10. Déjà Santa: Perhaps, in addition to Santa on a sleigh pulled by reindeer, eager decorators should add another Santa, pulled by a similar-looking group of reindeer behind the leader in an homage to the sequels that have become routine in our lives, from Wall Street to Main Street to “Rodeo Drive, baby” — yes, that’s a reference to the movie “Pretty Woman,” which in case you haven’t heard or seen the ubiquitous ads is now a Broadway musical. By the way, I read recently that “Dear Evan Hansen” will become a movie.

9. Cellphones: Somewhere on lawns throughout America, oversized cellphones could become a part of the decorative landscape. In addition to a mother and father cellphone, little cellphones could congregate around a cellphone Christmas tree, with little wrapped apps under the tree just waiting to integrate into the world of the little cellphones.

8. Ice-cream Cones: Ice-cream stores seem to be springing up everywhere, with the scent of malted cones wafting out of their doors and up and down streets, beckoning to those whose stomachs anticipate the inextricably intertwined link between sugar and celebrations. Let’s also celebrate all the mix-ins and candy toppings which have become the main course, pushing the ice cream deep beneath a pile of multicolored candy toppings or shoving a small melting pile to the side.

7. Gyms: Yes, I know Olivia Newton-John and her generation celebrated “getting physical,” but with the abundance of ice-cream stores, we could use more time at gyms, which are often conveniently located next door to ice-cream shops.

6. The Intrepid Weather Person: We’ve watched as weather reporters race off to find the defining images of storms of the century, which appear to rip through the country almost every year. Let’s install on our lawns a windblown weather person, holding a microphone that threatens to fly out of his or her hand.

5. A Collection of Marchers: Not since the 1970s have this many people come out with a wide range of signs in support of or in opposition to someone or something. How about some marchers with “Go Santa” or maybe just “I believe in something” signs for the modern decorated lawn?

4. The Constitution: More than ever, a document ratified 230 years ago has kept the peace. The Constitution seemed to anticipate modern imbroglios. Perhaps an enormous Constitution, or even a list of amendments, could glow on a lawn.

3. A Grand Stage: Everyone seems well aware of the cellphones pointed at them, recording their celebrations and pratfalls. People crave their five minutes of fame: Why not give them a stage on a front lawn?

2. The Driverless Car: Yes, it’s finally here, a car that drives and parks itself. A modern lawn could celebrate the long-discussed innovation with a car that pulls away from a decorated curb, circles a small block and reparks itself. I would watch the car the way I used to watch model trains.

1. The Hashtag: What was once a tic-tac-toe board or an extra button on a phone has become a calling card for self-expression. Let’s add colored lines and lights to our #moderncelebrations.      

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Thousands of people were swept up in a wave of holiday cheer as the Port Jefferson Village played host to 23rd annual Charles Dickens Festival from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.

A score of volunteers, all dressed up in mid-19th century garb including not a small amount of chimney soot, walked around the village shaking hands and singing carols as if straight out of Charles Dickens’ classic novel “A Christmas Carol.” Attendees had the opportunity to view the village’s festival of trees, make cookies and ornaments, participate in a gingerbread house contest, ice skate and watch several live music, theater and dance performances, all while walking through village streets with stores all dressed up in seasonal decorations.

A sign in front of The Gift Corner on North Country Road at Mount Sinai invites those passing by to shop Nov. 24. Photo by Kyle Barr

A sign on North Country Road in front of The Gift Corner in Mount Sinai during the Black Friday weekend could be easy to miss. Cars passing by had only seconds to read the words “Small Store Saturday — If you haven’t been here, today is the day!” as they drove on the winding road.

Marion Bernholz, the owner of The Gift Corner, was busy on Small Business Saturday and the entire Black Friday weekend, marked on the calendar by shop owners and customers alike as the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season. The small space, packed with small decorations and knickknacks, had customers squeezing past each other as they picked out their holiday gifts. Despite the bump in business Bernholz saw over the weekend, she wondered why relatively few people have even heard of Small Business Saturday.

“How long has this been going on, eight to 10 years?” the gift shop owner said. “It still cracks me up we have people coming in on Saturday and, holy Christmas, they say, ‘What is small store Saturday?’”

Small Business Saturday originally started in 2010, sponsored by American Express, as a way to incentivize people to shop local during the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

American Express reported the weekend after Thanksgiving was quite a busy time for small businesses across the nation. Consumers spent approximately $17.8 billion nationally while shopping local, according to data released Nov. 26 from the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from American Express and the nonprofit National Federation of Independent Business. The survey noted 42 percent of those surveyed reported shopping at local retailers and restaurants, just 1 percent down from last year. Still, 41 percent reported also shopping online that same day.

Those small business owners surveyed in the report said they expect an average of 29 percent of their total yearly sales to come through the holiday season, yet the owners of local small stores on the North Shore know they have a disadvantage compared to big box stores and the online retail giant Amazon and the like.

“People should understand how hard it is to run a small business,” Maria Williams, the owner of Sweets N Scoops in Shoreham said. “A small business’ costs are necessarily greater because we can’t buy in bulk like [large businesses] can.”

Business owners across the North Shore reported a range of outcomes from the busy shopping weekend.

Port Jefferson

Outside Ecolin Jewlers in Port Jefferson. Photo by Kyle Barr

Ecolin Jewelers, 14 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson

Linda Baker, co-owner of Ecolin Jewelers, said while most of her sales come in the last two weeks before Christmas, and not the Black Friday weekend, the year overall has been very good for her business.

“This whole year has been better,” Baker said. “This is probably the best in maybe eight years.”

She said she she’s experienced more people coming in toward the end of the year, with the phones constantly ringing off the hook with people’s orders, adding she’s feeling good about her numbers for the season.

“I’m glad to see that people are happy, walking around and coming into stores,” she said.

Outside East End Shirt Co. in Port Jefferson. Photo Courtesy of Google Maps

The East End Shirt Company, 3 Mill Creek Road, Port Jefferson

Owner of The East End Shirt Company, Mary Joy Pipe, said her business participated in the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce annual Holiday Shopping Crawl, offering a free hoodie valued at $20 for those spending $50 in store. She added turnout on Small Business Saturday was comparable to last year, and that has always had to do with the foot traffic and the weather.

“Our Santa Parade brings a lot of people down into the village, and more folks are around for the extended holiday after Thanksgiving,” she said. “We need feet on the ground and nice weather, and we got that on Saturday.”

Pipe’s business has changed with the times. East End Shirt has both a website and brick-and-mortar storefront, but her online component is a comparatively small percentage of her sales compared to her shop, which has existed in Port Jeff for close to four decades, she said.

“Is Cyber Monday or Cyber Week having an effect? — yeah it is,” she said. “People are not coming out, but anything that has a shipping component I know the potential for retail is still there if they can’t get it shipped in time.”

Outside Red Shirt Comics in Port Jefferson. Photo by Kyle Barr

Red Shirt Comics, 322 Main St., Port Jefferson

Joshua Darbee, the owner of Red Shirt Comics, said he had multiple sales going on, including buy-one-get-one-free on new comics, 25 percent off back issue comics, and 20 percent off on most of the toys and graphic novels in the shop. As a store that only opened in 2017, Darbee has been working to build a loyal customer base.

“If people are going to buy on Amazon, they’re going to buy on Amazon,” he said. “There’s really no competing with them.”

The comic industry relies on periodicals, driving customers back monthly for the next issue in an ongoing series, and Darbee said without return customers there is no way his business can thrive. He saw a steady stream of traffic come into his shop during Black Friday weekend — a better turnout than last year — and he hopes those sales, along with his card game and tabletop role-playing events hosted at the shop, will bring in return customers.

“The hope is that people will see the long-term damage [Amazon and other online retailers] can do to the local economy,” he said. “You just have to try to engage with people, be friendly and be part of that community. It’s been awesome to see people go out on weekends like this and support small businesses.”

Shoreham to Mount Sinai

Game On, 465 Route 25A, Miller Place

Tristan Whitworth, the owner of video game shop Game On in Miller Place said his business did well the days after Thanksgiving, this year seeing a 30 percent increase in customers compared to last year. He attracted customers with select sales of up to 60 percent off specific products, which incentivized people to come in and spend time on the few video game consoles he set up around the shop.

“It’s making sure the customer knows that we’re there to give them a good shopping experience,” Whitworth said. “I always try to keep it so that it’s not about customers rushing in to make a sale. People were there for an hour or two even though it was Black Friday.”

Whitworth said he knows there is a huge market for used video games online, but he always tries to make his business about the customer service.

“You can get every single thing we sell online, so it’s really about having the experience of going to the shop and buying stuff, talk to the guy who owns it about what game you should buy or try out,” he said. “That’s what you need.”

Sweets & Scoops in Shoreham. Photo courtesy of Sweets & Scoops Facebook page

Sweets & Scoops, 99 Route 25A, Shoreham

While Maria Williams, owner of dessert haven Sweets & Scoops, said most of her business occurs just before holidays, rather than afterward, but she was pleased with the sales she had for people ordering custom chocolate arrangements and other party favors.

She said she sees the importance of local business as a means of giving vitality to an area.

“People need to stop shopping on Amazon,” Williams said. “If they stay local and shop local in small business we do well, and we can hire more people.”

The sweets shop owner said the best product she and other small businesses can offer people is something unique. She said she tries her best to make items customized for the individual, products that one cannot get anywhere else.

“It’s eight years now that I’ve been in business and thank god it became a success because of its uniqueness,” Williams said. “[Large corporations] don’t have that extra touch, and everything is so commercial with them. Here no two things are ever alike.”

Outside The Gift Corner in Mount Sinai. Photo by Kyle Barr

The Gift Corner, 157 N. Country Road, Mount Sinai

Bernholz said last year’s Black Friday weekend was one of the busiest in years, with lines going out the door of her small North Country Road gift shop. This year was also good for her business.

“We did well on Friday, but Saturday was awesome,” Bernholz said. “It was very packed all day, and so many people came in that are my regulars — really showing their loyalty.”

Bernholz business has been around for close to 30 years, but she said she is not very active on the internet, nor is she proficient with technology in general. She still relies on her dedicated customers, some of whom bought holiday gifts from her as kids and continue to buy them as adults.

Her dedicated customers even advertise for her. The Gift Corner has signs along Route 25A promoting her shop, but it was one put up for free, without even originally letting Bernholz know they were there.

“I don’t advertise, I have never advertised,” she said. “A customer does that on their own … It’s unbelievable.”

Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes

By Alex Petroski

An idea that started as a seed about 15 years ago has sprouted into a full-blown tri-yearly tradition at North Shore Heritage Park in Mount Sinai.

The Parade of Flags, which is the brainchild of Mount Sinai resident Fred Drewes, takes place three times a year on Memorial Day in May, Independence Day on July 4 and Veterans Day in November. The first Parade of Flags was on July 4, 2010. The retired biology and environmental science professor created the event to promote national pride, teach kids about history, recognize those who have served our nation and help to express a “sense of country.”

Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes
Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes

The parade occurs on the Avenue of America, which is a few hundred feet of the nearly one-mile perimeter of the park. The avenue features approximately 100 flags on parade days, which includes flags from all 50 states arranged in the order of when they ratified the Constitution, flags for United States territories, previous versions of the American flag, flags of U.S. armed forces and many more. Signs that provide information about when the state joined the Union, state mottos and pictures of state coins and symbols accompany the flags. The avenue is also lined by each state’s official tree. The flags are assembled in the morning on parade days by volunteers just before 9 a.m., and then retired at 4 p.m.

“When people walk through the flags they just revel in the feeling and it also lifts spirits,” Drewes said in a phone interview last week.

Drewes has created something truly special, though he often attributes credit to the Heritage Trust, a nonprofit organization responsible for overseeing the park, and other volunteers like the Boy Scouts and community members who make the event possible three times a year.

“This is all something that Fred created — he never really gives himself much credit,” said Paul Dodorico, a Mount Sinai resident who volunteers with his wife Carol to help assemble and retire the flags, in a recent interview. “Seeing the flags on a sunny day with a little breeze —it’s just beautiful.”

Dodorico added that it’s important for kids and adults alike to learn and remember why holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day are celebrated and indicated that Drewes has established an enjoyable and visually memorable way for community members to do just that.

A guided tour of the avenue begins at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day.

The park features some other patriotic imagery like the Court of America, which is a sitting area with benches, plaques with quotes from presidents and other famous citizens and a rock garden in the shape of the continental United States. The rock garden is full of symbolic rocks, plants and flowers that are native to the region in America where they lay in the corresponding region of the garden. Blocks featuring the names of all 44 U.S. presidents and the years they held office border the garden.

A scavenger hunt will be available to help visitors interpret the representations found in the landscape and Parade of Flags.

The landscape, flags, plaques, plants, flowers and everything else that makes the avenue and park as a whole special were donated and arranged by volunteers.

Bob Koch of Koch Tree Services in Mount Sinai, who has had a hand in many features of the park including donating the state trees lining the avenue, also praised Drewes for his vision and hard work. “It really pays tribute to our country,” said Koch in an interview Monday. “It makes me appreciate being here.”

’Seeing the flags on a sunny day with a little breeze — it’s just beautiful.’
—Paul Dodorico

Drewes has kept a visitor’s book containing testimonials from people who attended the Parade of Flags over the years. Accolades including “A wonderful experience to share with my kids!,” “Thanks for the history,” “Well done. A beautiful tribute to our country,” and “A remarkable display, schools should visit,” jump from the pages.

Drewes said those thinking about attending the parade on May 30 should “expect to spend time and learn about the growth of our country and learn about the symbols and representations of states and territories of the United States.”

The 7th annual Memorial Day Parade of Flags will be held at Heritage Park, 633 Mount Sinai-Coram Road, Mount Sinai, on May 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Inclement weather cancels. For further information, call 631-509-0882 or visit www.msheritagetrust.org.

Other parades around Suffolk County

The following Memorial Day parades and services will be held in remembrance and to honor our nation’s fallen war heroes:

Calverton: Calverton National Cemetery, 210 Princeton Blvd., Calverton will hold a Memorial Day service on May 30 at 1 p.m. For further information, call 631-727-5410.

Centereach: The Centereach Memorial Day Parade will be held on May 29 at 1 p.m. beginning at the corner of Middle Country Road and Henry Road and ending at the VFW Hall Post 4927 on Horseblock Road. Memorial service to follow. Call 631-585-7390.

Centerport: The Centerport Fire Department will host a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 starting at 10:30 a.m. The parade will run from Harrison Drive to Park Circle. For further information, call 631-351-3012.

Commack: VFW Post 9263 will sponsor the Commack Memorial Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade steps off from the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Larkfield Road with a ceremony at Cannon Park to follow. Call 631-368-9463.

East Northport: The Knights of Columbus will lead a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 12:15 p.m. from Clay Pitts and Larkfield Road north on Pulaski Road to John Walsh Memorial Park. Questions? Call 631-262-1891.

East Setauket: The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3054, will host the annual Memorial Day Parade in East Setauket on May 30 at 11 a.m. The parade will follow the route along Main Street and 25A. Opening ceremonies will be held on the Old Village Green opposite Emma S. Clark Library. Closing ceremonies will be held at Memorial Park on Route 25A. Call 631-751-5541.

Farmingdale: Farmingdale Village will hold a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade kicks off at the corner of Thomas Powell Boulevard and Bethpage Road and proceeds south on Main Street to Village Hall. A ceremony will follow. Call 516-249-0093.

Farmingville: The Farmingville Residents Association will host a Memorial Parade on May 30 at 11 a.m. kicking off on Horseblock Road just west of Granny Road and commencing at the memorial by the Nicolls Road bridge. Call 631-880-7996.

Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes
Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes

Greenlawn: The Greenlawn Fire Department will host a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 9 a.m. The parade will run from East Maple Road, south on Broadway to Greenlawn Memorial Park at the corner of Pulaski Road and Broadway. Call 261-9103.

Huntington: VFW Nathan Hale Post 1469 will host a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 11:30 a.m. The parade will run from the Big H shopping center north on New York Avenue to West Carver Street to Green Street to Main Street to Stewart Avenue. Call 631-421-0535.

Kings Park: American Legion Post 944 of Kings Park will sponsor the 92nd annual Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 9 a.m. stepping off at the RJO School at the corner of Old Dock Road and Church Street and proceed west on Old Dock Road, east on Main Street to the Veterans Plaza at the corner of Church Street and Route 25 for flag ceremonies. Call 631-269-4140.

Melville: The Melville Fire Department will lead a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. stepping off at Bertucci’s on Route 110, south of the Northern State Parkway and will proceed to march on Route 110 to the fire house at 531 Sweet Hollow Road. Refreshments will be served. Call 631-423-2635.

Northport: Northport American Legion Post 694 will host a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade will run from the north end of Laurel Avenue to Main Street to Northport Village Park. Call 631-261-4424.

Smithtown: This year’s Memorial Day Parade in Smithtown will be held on May 30 at noon from the corner of Main Street and Route 111, continuing west on Main Street to Town Hall, with a ceremony to follow. Call 631-360-7620 for additional information.

Sound Beach: The Sound Beach Civic Association will hold Memorial Day services at the Sound Beach Veterans Memorial Park on New York Avenue on May 30 at noon with a wreath ceremony. Call 631-744-6952 for more information.

Stony Brook: On May 30 at 9 a.m., VFW Post 3054 and American Legion Irving Hart Post 1766 will host a Memorial Day Parade in Stony Brook beginning at the Village Center, east on Main Street to Veterans Memorial Park. Ceremony to follow. Call 631-751-5541 for more information.

St. James: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 395 will host the St. James Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade will step off at the intersection of Lake and Woodlawn Avenues and march to St. James Elementary School for a ceremony. For further information, call 631-862-7965.

By Rabbi Mendy Goldberg

Friday night, April 22, Jews the world over will be celebrating the first night of Passover with a traditional meal called the “Seder.” During the Seder, we observe various traditions such as eating the “matzah” (an unleavened bread) horseradish and drinking four cups of wine.

Mendy-GoldbergwAll of these rituals are reminders of the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt 3,327 years ago, the birth of the Jewish nation. Our ancestor’s miraculous release from oppression to freedom has served as a source of inspiration for many generations and will do so for many more to come.

A central theme of this holiday is asking questions and providing relevant answers so that children will understand the significance of this celebration. I, however, find myself asking year-after-year the same question: What meaning does an ancient story and its associated ceremony hold for the average American in 2016?  How can we look at events that transpired so long ago and still be spiritually inspired by them?

The answer is found in the Talmudic dictum: “In every generation a person must feel as if he or she was liberated from Egypt.” In other words, we have a responsibility to make an ancient experience important to us living in modern times. We achieve this by recognizing that the imprisonment from which the ancient Hebrews sought emancipation is conceptually still present.

Slavery finds many forms and takes on various appearances. In days of old, it was depicted by a whip-toting taskmaster hovering over a slave with a chain wrapped around his ankle. Today, bondage is often found in our jobs, relationships and attitudes where we find ourselves addicted to a certain negative trait and find it excruciatingly difficult to “break free.” Sometimes we are trapped in a bad relationship or negative habitual behaviors with no easy way out.  Then there are those who are enslaved to material items and cannot possibly fathom life without them. At times we box ourselves into believing less in ourselves then we are truly capable of. Are these not the modern-day equivalents of slavery?

Therefore, every year as we begin the holiday of Passover and the celebration of freedom, we are reminded that the stories we recount and the rituals we observe are more about a commitment to the present then reminiscing about the past. During this time of year, we once again reaffirm our obligation to fight all forms of bigotry, negativity and slavery, be they within or without, to think and do “out of the box,”  realize and actualize our true potential. And, most important, we devote ourselves to being positive members of society at a time when we all crave the most priceless blessing of all: peace on earth.

Rabbi Mendy Goldberg is the Rabbi at Lubavitch of the East End in Coram.

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Ukrainian Easter eggs are decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. Photo from RBCC

Resurrection Byzantine Catholic Church, located at the corner of Edgewater and Mayflower Avenues in Smithtown, invites the community to take part in its 5th annual Traditional Ukrainian Easter Egg (Pysanky) workshop on March 6 and 13 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The two-day workshop, which will take place in the church’s Social Hall, is open to all levels of experience. Learn and complete your first egg, discover new patterns and tips or show your skills and enjoy the company. Bring your dyes and tools or start fresh with a new kit, available for an additional $15. Each participant must bring a candle in a holder, pencils and a roll of paper towels.

Two day class fee is $20. Advance registration is required by calling Joanne at 631-332-1449 after 6:30 p.m. or email hapinred@juno.com. Deadline to register is Feb. 19.

Kevin McGuire as Kris Kringle in a scene from ‘Miracle on 34th Street — The Musical’ Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

By Charles J. Morgan

With perfect timing, “Miracle on 34th Street — The Musical” arrived at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport last weekend to usher in the holidays. When the playbill tells you that the book, lyrics and music were all done by Meredith Willson of “The Music Man” fame, one knows that they are in for some solid musical theater entertainment. And so it was with this effort, attempting to prove there really was a Santa Claus, lifting it all from what could have evolved into crass, sentimental claptrap up to a paean to the goodness and the true warmth of Christmas.

Direction was in the hands of Richard T. Dolce who is also production director of the Engeman. His talents were, as usual, quite evident in blocking done smoothly, and interpretation, making the characters into individuals.

Dolce made the female lead Susan Walker, played by Meaghan Marie McInnes, the secular positivist, devoid of emotion, unbeliever, into the loving, caring mother and equally loving woman opposite ex-Marine Fred Gaily, handled neatly by Aaron Ramey. The innate talents of both in acting and singing shone through brightly. The complementarity of his near-lyrical tenor and her plangent soprano coalesced not merely musically but also intimately … despite a slapped face from her and a stolen kiss by him. The two were the jeweled bearing that the whole story  turned on.

Then there was Kris Kringle played handily by Kevin McGuire. Fully bearded, avuncular, outgoing, knowledgeable … he even sings in Dutch! He never relents in proclaiming himself to be Santa Claus. His singing voice was a powerful tenor. Matt Wolpe plays Marvin Shellhammer, the officious climber. He is perfectly styled as the pushy “idea” man who thinks up the marketing plan to sell plastic alligators as a Xmas sale only to be rebuffed by R.H. Macy who threatens to fire him because he had fired Kris who was telling customers to buy at Gimbels or FAO Schwartz. Macy is handled by Bill Nolte, gruffly but efficiently, the image of the impervious CEO.

The Ensemble was based on the “platoon” system, the Red and Green crew. On opening night, the Red crew was on and the ubiquitous Antoinette DiPietropolo, one of the most talented choreographers in town, wrought her ever present terpsichorean magic.

Music had David Caldwell on keyboard directing with Brian Schatz on reeds; the indefatigable Joe Boardman on trumpet; Frank Hall and Paul Sieb on trombones; Russell Brown on bass; and the rock solid Josh Endlich on percussion. This outfit revealed (again) a range of skills that has marked the success of many other Engeman productions.

Musical numbers such as “Plastic Alligators” by Shellhammer and his clerks was piercingly funny. Kris Kringle’s “Here’s Love with McInnes” with Ramey and the Ensemble  was practically the signature number of the show. Your scribe was deeply impressed with “She Hadda Come Back” by Ramey and three of his card-playing buddies in Act II but was bowled over with laughter by “My State, My Kansas” by Macy, Shellhammer, Nick Addeo, Todd Thurston as a judge and Kim Carson as a legal secretary. It was a vaudeville quartet plus one and done in a courtroom. Certified hilarious.

Staging and lighting were under the direction of Stephen Dobay and Jimmy Lawlor, whose integration of the know-how pulled together all the elements of what made the “miracle” of this show.

Er, one more thing. Your scribe referred to Kris singing in Dutch. Please let him express himself in the only Dutch expression he knows: Gelukkig Kerstfest (Merry Christmas).

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport will present “Miracle on 34th Street — The Musical” through Jan. 3, 2016. Tickets range from $69 to $74. For more information, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.