WISHING FOR a holiday season that is bubblier and could cleanse away stress and the winter doldrums? With a quick stop into Portsmouth Soap Company, a new specialty shop located at 175 Market St., you can give that feeling to someone on your gift list – and yourself.

Between the early snow that has got our fireplaces roaring and the Christmas music we’ve got rocking, I’ve been feeling more and more in the holiday spirit. To me, nothing marks the start of the Christmas season quite like getting the tree up and decorated. I love to get our tree up early so…

In troubled times, “Look for the helpers,” the inestimable Mister Rogers liked to say. “There’s always someone who is trying to help.”In New Hampshire, you don’t have to look far. The Union Leader put out a call asking readers to tell us about “acts of kindness” — everyday people who go abou…

FOR BRINN SULLIVAN there’s something almost magical about the Portsmouth Holiday Parade. “It’s dark, it’s cold and everyone’s gathered in Market Square in the shadow of the North Church,” Sullivan, parade coordinator for the city, recalled. “All the floats are lit up — it’s the Portsmouth Il…

LAST YEAR Celebrate Laconia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the lakeside city, decided the iconic Weirs Beach sign needed a lift for the holidays. “We changed out all the bulbs and put in red-and-green ones,” said Beth San Soucie, president of the organization. “The sign is …

TRACY HUTCHINS, president of the Hanover-based Upper Valley Business Alliance, doesn’t mind a little good-natured competition on her patch, and she’s found it with two of the downtown banks. “The Mascoma Bank always puts on an extravaganza, with Santa holding court, rides for the kids and co…

NASHUA’S LARGEST holiday event — and one of the largest community events of the year in southern New Hampshire — is the annual Winter Holiday Stroll, happening on Saturday.

CREATED SIX YEARS AGO as “a whim to help others and celebrate the holiday spirit in a small community,” Womenade Exeter Area Holiday House Tour is a must-see holiday tradition for many.

<]