The B-Side

Lighting up the Common ๐ŸŽ„

It's Thursday, Boston. Catch up on today's headlines with The B-Side.

The B-Side
Welcome to The B-Side: The daily dose of news you actually want to hear.

🎁 Psst. It’s now December. If you’re struggling to come up with gift ideas this holiday season, here’s a quiz from that can help you find something to give. 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Will Boston lower the voting age?
  • Holiday cocktails to try
  • Sensory-friendly Nutcracker performance

Up first…


Brush Up on Christmas History

Images: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, David L. Ryan/Globe Staff, Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff, Jim Davis/Globe Staff. Gif: Katie Cole

The Boston Common Christmas tree is lighting up today. This year’s official tree is a 45-foot white spruce given to Boston by a family from Nova Scotia. Need to brush up on the history behind the annual tradition? Here’s an overview:


It all started over 100 years ago during World War I when two ships collided in Halifax Harbor. One of the ships, The Mont Blanc, was carrying nearly 3,000 tons of picric acid, TNT, and guncotton, and the resulting explosion killed nearly 2,000 people, injured hundreds more, and absolutely devastated Halifax. Nearly a quarter of surviving residents were instantly homeless. And then it snowed.

After hearing of the tragedy, Boston sent a train full of first responders and supplies to help. As a thank-you to the City of Boston, Halifax sent a tree in 1918. The practice was revived in 1971 and has lived on ever since.

You can find this year’s official tree on the Boston Common in front of the State House. The tree lighting will run from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight. If you can’t be there in person, you can watch on WCVB Channel 5 at 7 p.m.


Quick & Dirty Headlines

Illustration: Katie Cole

🗳 Boston City Council approved a petition that would lower the voting age to 16 in municipal elections. Boston teens would still need to meet state requirements to be eligible. Mass. already allows people as young as 16 to pre-register to vote, and this proposal would allow teens to be automatically pre-registered to vote in state and federal elections once they turn 18. The measure will now be sent to the Massachusetts Legislature for approval, which isn’t a guarantee. Similar proposals were approved in recent years in Cambridge and Somerville, but neither made it through the State House. 


🇬🇧 Boston welcomed the royal couple in a rainy celebration Wednesday night. Mayor Michelle Wu introduced Prince William and Princess Kate in front of a crowd of umbrella- holding supporters. In his speech, Prince William thanked the “hearty” Bostonians who stuck out the wind and rain to greet the couple. The royals are in Boston for the Earthshot Prize, an award Prince William created to honor efforts to repair the planet. 


Holiday Cocktails to Try

Gif: VH1 via Giphy. Illustration: Katie Cole

❄️ Indulge in the Blizzard of ’78, a cocktail made with peanut butter whiskey, Ancho Reyes, hot cocoa, and topped with a toasted marshmallow. $12 | The Bowery Bar, Dorchester 

🍷 Sip a winter sangria made with D’usse VSOP, Passoã, apple liqueur, strawberry, apricot, cinnamon and rosemary syrup, and red wine. $15. | La Fabrica Central, Cambridge 

🍍 Get a tropical twist with the Kris Kringle Colada made with dark Jamaican rum, amaro, allspice liqueur, lime, pineapple, and coconut. $16 | Shore Leave, South End

🎇 Grab a New Years Prayer mocktail. The non-alcoholic drink is made of Lyre’s Dry London Spirit, Aperitif Rosso, and Italian orange. $10 | The Quiet Few, East Boston


🎄 For a full-fledged holiday experience, head over to the Miracle pop-up bar at the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel. Their festive drinks come with creative names like the ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a T-Rex’ or the ‘Elfing Around.’ | Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, Cambridge


An Accessible Nutcracker

Image: Liza Voll, Courtesy of the Boston Ballet. Illustration: Katie Cole

The Boston Ballet is putting on a sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker.

The production will make accommodations so that audience members who are neurodiverse, have cognitive or learning difficulties, or need accessibility tools can enjoy the show. Loud noises will be limited, house lights will not be completely shut off, and some audience noise will be allowed during the performance, along with other available alterations.

The sensory-friendly performance will take place Dec. 29 at 1:30 p.m. Attendees can get a discounted ticket using the promo code ACCESS30.

🎧 Thanks for reading! Yesterday, my Spotify Wrapped told me that my night time music listening style is “Royalcore Victorian Soothing.” Reply to this email if you understand what that means, because I sure don’t. 

💃 Keep up with other B-Side tomfoolery on IG, TikTok, and Twitter @BostonBSide. Send comments and suggestions to Kati[email protected]