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Monthly Archives: November 2012
By Jennifer Forker, Associated Press
The advent calendar, which eases anxiety by counting down those pesky 24 days until Christmas Eve, is as much a holiday tradition for my family as the tree.
Sure, you can buy one and save the crafting time, but making an advent calendar adds to its allure.
Check out images posted on various do-it-yourself Web sites and you’ll see that DIYers are getting beyond—way beyond—the tree-on-a-felt-background calendar popular when I was a child in the 1970s. Those felt-made calendars are still with us—and updated creatively—but now there’s also a mind-boggling array of advent calendar options, all ready for a DIY twist.
Kelly Wilkinson, editorial director at Creativebug, an online crafts class site, reminisces about sewing matching calendars with her sister a few years ago.
“Pulling that advent calendar out and hanging it on the wall is a reminder of the time we spent making it together,” says Wilkinson. “That is a big part of my attachment to it.”
Yuletide at Wheatland-your ticket to the North Pole is just inside the door
‘Twas the night before Christmas, When all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…So begins one of the most beloved and well-known pieces of Christmas literature ever published. Written by Clement C. Moore in 1822, A Visit from St. Nick helped to shape the public perception of that most elusive fellow, St. Nicholas, AKA- Santa Claus. From his method of travel (sleigh pulled by reindeer, naturally) to his manner of dress (head to toe fur) and physical description (rosy red cheeks, belly that shakes like a bowlful of jelly) Moore’s uncanny description stuck in the American psyche and became the commonly accepted appearance of the December 24th globe trotter.
Visitors to Wheatland during Yuletide will enter the Moore household on Christmas Eve. Mr. Moore is hard at work, with nary a thought given to the impending festivities. Guests watch and interact with the story that unfolds before them as they move through the mansion, going from the Moore house to the North Pole and back again…all in 50 minutes! Along the way, observant guests will encounter mischievous elves, 6 foot polar bears, mountains of wrapped presents, St. Nick’s sleigh and Mischievous elves, polar bears, mountains of wrapped presents, St. Nick’s sleigh and the jolly old elf himself, St. Nick.
Lancaster, PA: Have breakfast with the Jolly Ole’ Elf this Saturday, December 1st! Hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, the breakfast will be held from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.
The event includes a buffet breakfast, a gift for each child and a visit by Santa. The breakfast also includes entertainment by Cissy and The Man. Cissy and The Man are a juggling and clowning duo from Manheim. You can find them performing at fairs, parades, carnivals, schools and churches. The Man has been juggling for over 20 years and his little sister, Cissy, is pretty good at juggling too … although she’d rather make friends and give hugs. To learn more about Cissy and The Man, you can visit their website at www.cissyandtheman.com.
Registrations are due for the breakfast by Wednesday, November 28th. Registration information can be found by visiting www.lancastercityevents.com or by calling the Mayor’s Office of Special Events at (717) 291-4758.
Breakfast with Santa is just one of the many holiday activities taking place this holiday season. During the month of December, come Downtown for visits with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides and shopping. With over 200 specialty shops, galleries, museums and restaurants, you can find the perfect gifts for family and friends.
I have long since put the sort of emphasis on my birthday as I did when I was younger. The attention it draws as I’m waiting to blow out the candles on my cake is something I would rather skip. Not because I’m afraid of getting older (quite the opposite, every year is one year closer to me retiring) but I am much happier spending the day with my wife and kids, blowing out candles on a small cake my kids helped to make, and opening whatever homemade gifts and cards they made me. Quietly.
I get much more joy celebrating other people’s birthdays. It gives me an incredible thrill to watch my kids blow out the candles on their cake and tear in to their gifts like wild raccoons digging through a garbage can. I love waking my wife up on her birthday to breakfast in bed, one of Hallmark’s finest cards, and treating her to an ‘Alicia’ day (which would include keeping the kids under lock and key).
While my wife doesn’t need a stack of presents or an 8 tiered cake to celebrate her birthday, she does enjoy the celebration of her birth. In fact, she enjoys it a lot. Sometimes, she has gotten a little carried away with when the celebration should begin. Every year it seems like her birthday gets to be more and more like Christmas as the recognition of the day starts further and further from the actual day (Christmas starts somewhere around Halloween now right?). While the early calls for her birthday are all in good fun, my wife is not shy about pointing out her impending birthday, sometimes weeks in advance.
Thursday, November 1st. Sometime after the kids went to bed.
“You know it’s my birthday soon.” I wasn’t sure if my wife was making a statement or asking me a question?
Many of us take “the simple thing” for granted. Things like going to malls over the Holidays or taking pictures with Santa. For individuals with sensory challenges, going to
crowded malls with loud music, twinkling lights and a bombardment of visual input, enjoying such a time-honored tradition isn’t so straight-forward and may take the assistance of a team of people that really understands that it could take some extra time and attention. On Sunday, December 9, 2012, The Tommy Foundation and The Franklin & Marshall College Chapters of Students for Autism and Kappa Delta Sorority, are co-hosting a Sensitive Santa event for children with sensory challenges like Autism or ADHD.
It is with great pleasure that we announce our Second Annual Edge of Autism Sensitive Santa Event for families in central Pennsylvania! This event is free to the public and features crafts, face painting, sensory activities and of course a picture with Santa in an environment where you and your child will feel at ease and welcome. Toys for Tots is also generously donating gifts for the first 100 children that attend the event! Here is a link to an article from last year’s event: http://lancasteronline.com/
Susquehanna Waldorf School’s WINTER FAIRE
December 2, 2012: 11:00 am- 4:00 pm
Marietta, PA: The Susquehanna Waldorf School- 15 West Walnut Street in Marietta PA, invites children of all ages to attend the annual Winter Faire. This year the theme is “Tip-Toe Through the Tannembaums.” From the moment you step into the front courtyard you will be enveloped in the sights and smells of a seasonal forest. Our evergreen theme will stay with you as you travel throughout the school to partake in games, activities, stories, dining and shopping experiences. You won’t want to miss even a pine needle’s worth of fun. There will be Puppet Plays, a Silent Auction, and a Café with seasonal treats to enjoy while decorating gingerbread tree cookies or exploring the Secret Santa room. Under the Sycamore Tree gift shop will be open and expanded for holiday gift shopping.
Winter Faire will be held Sunday December 2nd, from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm.
In classes from Pre-K through Grade Eight, the Susquehanna Waldorf School currently serves students from Lancaster, York, Harrisburg and their surrounding counties.
For more information about the Winter Faire or about SWS, please call the school at 717-426-4506 or visit the school’s website: www.susquehannawaldorf.org.
By Marty Crisp, Correspondent
Broadway, with its eight shows a week, is for wussies.
The cast of “Home for the Holidays” at American Music Theatre does 10 to 12 shows a week when they’re in high gear for the holidays. That cast includes a superb 10-piece onstage orchestra, dancers and vocalists, and 42 kids ages 7 to 15, broken into four teams. The Peppermint Team shot the opening week’s volley, but the Gumdrop, Lollipop and Gingerbread teams are all set to hit their marks between now and the end of the year.
Andrea McCormick, who wrote, directed and choreographed the new musical revue, does a particularly nice job with her youngest players, achieving a level of energy, enthusiasm, and spontaneity from the children that invites audience members to unleash their own inner children.
Strasburg, Lancaster County, PA - Travel back into holiday history with family and friends at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania during Home for the Holidays on Saturday, December 1 and Saturday, December 8.
Meet costumed railroaders and railroad passengers from days gone by as you stroll past the general store, hotel and tavern, photography studio, union office and railroader’s home. The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s resident telegrapher will be on hand in Steinman Station to send your personal message to the North Pole. Santa and his helper also will be visiting during Home for the Holidays, so bring your camera for pictures with the jolly old elf.
Visitors will experience the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s fascinating, world-class collection of more than 100 historic locomotives and railroad cars, a number of which are open for you to explore. Home for the Holidays features a backdrop of festive decorations and Yuletide music. The Elite Brass is slated to perform on Saturday, December 1 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the Brass Ornaments are scheduled to perform on Saturday, December 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Catcher, the Museum’s friendly mascot, will be greeting visitors from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on both Saturdays.
By Chuck Barney, Contra Costa Times (MCT)
Strength training is in. Pilates are out. Those are the findings of a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine that predicts majorhealth and fitness trends for the coming year. A quick rundown:
1. Educated and certified fitness pros: More fitness programs tied to businesses and organizations mean more jobs for fitness experts.
2. Strength training: Yes, body builders pump iron, but regular folk, in increasing numbers. rely on weights to improve or maintain strength, and rehabilitate injuries.
3. Body weight training: This back-to-basics approach, which requires only a minimum amount of equipment, is all the rage in gyms everywhere.
4. Obesity programs for children: A chronic — and frightening —health issue demands more specialized physical activities for those in need.
The Night Before Christmas Train
New this year, the Night Before Christmas Train runs on three Friday evenings during the holiday season, November 30, December 7 and 14. This very unique train recreates the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve. A reader dressed in a Victorian nightshirt and cap will read Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem, The Night Before Christmas, as passengers enjoy cookies and milk as the train rolls along. After the train ride, children are also treated to storybook readings of holiday classics aboard our Caboose (stationary) and visitors of all ages can enjoy a ride aboard the Tinsel Trolley, a self-propelled motor car.
In the spirit of the season, kids may come dressed in pajamas and bring along a new pair of pjs to donate to Water Street Ministries’ families in need. Just by attending this event, your participation will help men, women and children who are in need in our community. $5.00 from every ticket will support the work of Water Street Ministries.
Santa’s Paradise Express
Santa’s Paradise Express is pulling in to the Strasburg Rail Road to celebrate the Christmas season on November 23-25, December 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16, 2012. This holiday tradition provides a fun, relaxing atmosphere for families as they travel on a 45-minute ride in an authentic vintage steam train. Santa, his helper and musicians stroll from car-to-car, greeting and entertaining children of all ages.