The best part of the holiday season isn’t necessarily the holidays themselves. It’s the days leading up to it; Your town starting to hang up the Christmas tree lights, buying the first gallon of eggnog at the store, turning on the radio to 94.9 WHOM and hearing the cheery sound of holiday music.

The ‘25 Days of Christmas' is the best part, and getting in the spirit every year makes the short days feel brighter.

Christmas is a feeling just as much as it is a day on the calendar.

When I walked into Batson River Brewing & Distilling the other night, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of Christmas.

Meghan Morrison (Townsquare Media)
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I walked into the smell of pine needles and Christmas trees, whether it was the holiday trees they had dressed up and lighting up the room or some type of air diffuser, I was immediately hit with the smell of the holiday.

For most of us, smell is the one sense that elicits strong feelings and memories so right away I felt a wave of emotions.

The entire restaurant was covered in holiday decorations, from snow to wreaths, Christmas trees, wrapped presents, holiday music, it was positively overwhelming.

As the hostess led us through the restaurant, my head whirled around taking it all in. Every step brought a new “oooohh!”, and “aahh!” and my friend giggled as I skipped through with bright eyes like a child.

Meghan Morrison (Townsquare Media)
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We took a seat at the bar in the back and I kept looking around in absolute awe. It was the most decorated winter wonderland I have seen all season! They even had adorable mushroom decorations hanging on the ceilings and topping the trees.

Meghan Morrison (Townsquare Media)
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The bartender was delightful and merry and was adorned with an antler headband, adding to the holiday presence surrounding us. Of course, we ordered from the holiday cocktail list and sipped on some festive ‘Tinseltini’s.

If I hadn’t been in the Christmas spirit before, I was radiating it as we left the restaurant.

If you’re looking for some holiday cheer and a bite to eat, I would highly recommend Batson River Brewing & Distilling in Portland!

Maine-Made Holiday Gift Ideas: A Guide to Buying Local

Here are 50 Maine-made holiday gift ideas so you can find the right gift for the right person while buying local and supporting our fellow Mainers - because that’s a gift in itself.