The basic, and very blunt answer is "not much".  And, it's all thanks to the state's "blue laws"

What Are Blue Laws?

According to Wikipedia, the purpose of "blue laws" is to restrict labor and to promote rest on religious days like Sunday and certain Holidays.  How long have these laws been around?  The first of these type laws were put on the books in Rome by Roman Emperor Constantine in 321 AD.  The first relatively modern mention of "blue laws" was in a Connecticut newspaper in March of 1755.  Currently, many European countries, Canada, and the United States have some sort of "blue laws" on the books.

What About Blue Laws In Maine?

Maine is one of the only places in the United States that still has "blue laws".  The rules prevent retail businesses that are 5,000 square feet or larger must follow the laws.  Even though it appears the portion of the law regarding being open on Sundays is still in place, it has been modified to allow those businesses to be open on Sundays.  The stipulation is that they may nor require employees to work on Sundays as part of normal employment.  owever, the rule that prevents businesses from being open on major holidays is in place.  These holidays include: Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Of course, there are some exception to the laws.  These include smaller retail businesses (like small grocery stores), restaurants, pharmacies, airlines, taxis, and media outlets.

You can read the details of the law HERE - but you may want to have your legal dictionary on hand.

What Is Open & What Is Closed?

You can expect the following to be closed:

  • Walmart
  • Sam's Club
  • DIck's Sporting Goods
  • Kohl's
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe's
  • Big Lots
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Shaw's
  • Hannaford

These places may be open:

  • Small grocery stores
  • convenience stores
  • Drug stores (like CVS and Walgreens)
  • Coffee shops like Dunkin
  • Some restaurants

Clearly, many of the exempt businesses will still be closed for Christmas.

So, please plan ahead and have a great Holiday!

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