The Heart of Nashua with Joan Stylianos: Ready or not, here comes Christmas

Can you feel the holiday love, Gate City friends?

Despite the California-like Christmas scenery as I pen this column (weird, no snow), there’s still a holiday vibe in the air.

But I refuse to adorn my home with any decorations until we get at least a dusting of NH’s finest white powder. I should be careful what I wish for, as the old saying goes, because we might get clobbered here soon.

I admit that I’m a bit behind this year; maybe it’s the recent 40-plus temperatures, but all around me things are starting to look joyous whether I’m ready for Christmas or not.

Let’s begin at Main Street’s Rotary Park. For the thousands of drivers who travel up and down the city’s main thoroughfare, most probably glance at the park which sits across the street from Globe Plaza. A recent addition is now gracing the green, thanks to the generosity and forward-thinking of two Nashuans, Meri and Dr. Charles Goyette.

For those who know the longtime couple, it’s no secret about their love and unwavering support for the arts, beautiful sculptures, historic buildings and the variety of cultural influences that make Nashua a desirable community in which to set down roots.

This time, the elegant pair commissioned Brookline sculptors John and Nadiya Weidman to create an impressive piece, and the Goyettes donated the “Together” sculpture to the city of Nashua. The stone sculpture was recently dedicated by Mayor James Donchess; a gorgeous work of art that hopes to inspire lasting love and togetherness for our community.

The Together sculpture exudes a nice sentiment for Nashua, and its significance says a lot about the Goyettes. From what I know, the pair were childhood sweethearts, married and raised six children.

Dr. Goyette is a retired Nashua obstetrician and has delivered more than 10,000 babies. Their legacy is a beautiful one here in the Gate City.

I worked with Meri on the Hunt Restoration Building project some years ago. She’s a fun woman with a lot of energy, good taste, a love for her city, and she’s always been stylish. If she’s around 90, trust me, she doesn’t look it.

The new Arlington Street Community Center has also joined in the sapirit of the season and “branched out” for the holidays.

The mayor and board members of the My Brother’s Keeper chapter recently handed out some 70 freshly cut trees to those who might need one. It’s always nice having a “live” Christmas tree in the home to decorate with the family and enjoy that crisp, piney scent.

One could say that Christmas came early for Girls Inc. of NH at Burke Street. Two million dollars in renovations have breathed exciting new energy to the place and brought terrific updates to a lot of the interior. Finally, these impressive young women can enjoy using the popular facility with a new computer cafe and improvements made to the kitchen, gymnasium and the playground.

Girls Inc. has been doing fine work empowering girls across the Gate City since 1974, and donations at this time of year are always welcome to organizations like this one and the Arlington St. center.

The mission of Girls Inc. is a sound one.

“Our mission and passion is to help girls achieve their personal best through one-on-one attention, leadership development, a talented staff and volunteers, a wide range of enrichment programs and a caring family environment.”

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at