Shh-h-h-h-h! Don't tell the kids, but after the guests repair to their rooms following Thanksgiving dinner at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield, N.H., all the resort's elves get to work. They transform the immense hilltop inn from an autumn getaway into a Christmas season destination by decking the halls and hanging wreaths everywhere.
There's a big Christmas tree in the main lobby and some years Santa's helpers manage to erect a smaller one near the fireplace in the cozy Dodge Lounge. Wooden “soldiers” like figures from The Nutcracker stand sentinel at the ends of the corridors. In fact, the 6-foot-tall soldiers are all over the hotel at the holidays, rather like the army of Christmas. Mind you, the effect of all the decorations is like a Victorian Christmas--gleeful without being gaudy. Most guests know in advance about the overnight transformation, but it still comes as a treat to the kids. So mum's the word. Instead of standing in a mall parking lot, Black Friday at the Mountain View Grand is like a preview of Christmas morning. Mountain View Grand, Mountain View Rd., Whitefield, N.H.; (866) 484-3843; www.mountainviewgrand.com.