Sunday, December 25, 2011
When my parents moved to Arizona seven years ago, our Christmas traditions changed. What are your favorite holiday memories or traditions?
- HOLIDAY GUIDE
- Jen Anesi
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Growing up in a small town in northwestern Wisconsin, I had many wonderful Christmases with my parents and two younger brothers in our 150-year-old drafty, creaky, lovable Victorian home. Every Christmas Eve, we'd go to the candlelight service at church; every Christmas morning, we'd eat Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and open presents before hosting extended family for a big Christmas dinner. Even after graduating in 2001, I still came home for Christmas every year. Then, seven years ago, everything changed. I was 21, married and living in Portland, MI when my parents sold the house I grew up in, left my hometown of Hudson, WI and moved to Scottsdale, AZ. Suddenly, the town I'd grown up in was no longer "home," and Christmas, for the first time…
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Feel free to sing along with this special video message.
Rochester Patch followed along as the Choraliers from St. John Lutheran School in Rochester went caroling at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center. The group of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders is directed by Julie Espinoza.
The website offers fun activities for anyone eager for St. Nick's arrival.
Some people simply can't wait till Christmas morning to find out whether Santa Claus has paid them, or their neighborhood, a visit. For those who are impatient, don't worry. You can keep tabs on the big guy by following the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) website, which for one night is dedicated to tracking Mr. Claus' coordinates. The site is more than an enhanced GPS; it also contains a "Kids Countdown Village," which offers games, activities and other features for young ones who eager for Santa. According to its website, NORAD has been tracking Santa for more than 50 years now, as did its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). The tradition began in 1955, the website says, after a Colorado Springs, CO…
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Not all treats are created equal. Tell us what you love and loathe.
Taste is highly personal, particularly when that taste is literally on the tip of the tongue. So it's no surprise that when it comes to the sugary, colorful indulgences served this week, one person's delight may be another's disgust. Fortunately, abundant choices at office parties, family gatherings and neighborhood visits let us grab what we savor and skip what's out of favor. In these polls, tell what you crave and what makes you cringe. Pick one on each list. Then feel free to tell us in comments what we've missed.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Learn more about the history and meaning behind this Jewish holiday, which starts tomorrow at sundown.
While Christmas is among the top two Christian holidays in terms of importance, Hanukkah is considered a minor holiday for the Jewish people. Nevertheless, it has become one of the more widely celebrated Jewish holidays and is certainly a favorite among children. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jews over the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE (Before Common Era) and is celebrated by lighting one additional candle in a candelabrum, called a hanukkiah (or menorah) for eight days. The holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah means rededication and refers to the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE (or BC). As the website MyJewishLearning.com notes, "Beginning in 167 BCE…
Certain December music makes us pause, sing along and feel nostalgic.
Holiday voices sing, are you listening? Songs of the season are inescapable this week – whether they bring comfort and joy or lyrics and beats that annoy. Amid the jingling and roasting, most people cherish at least a few Christmas songs – perhaps because they've been sung many times, many ways since we were young. Though it may be tough to single out a favorite, here's a chance to click on one that invariably makes you pause, turn up the volume and feel nostalgic. So come and vote, faithful celebrants, and let's see which is triumphant. Write-in votes for unlisted tunes can go in the comments.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The Rochester Area Neighborhood House Giving Tree project provided gifts for almost 500 children this year.
On Friday, inside the First Congregational Church in Rochester, the families of 495 children who were helped by the Giving Tree project came to pick up their gifts and express their gratitude for those who have helped. “Our project started in September with the clients applying,” Sharon Sutton, of the Rochester Area Neighborhood House, said on Friday. “The outreach and the community support has been incredible, and I couldn’t have done this project without the volunteers.” She added, “It’s been an incredible project.”
Saturday, December 10, 2011
The Paint Creek United Methodist Church will use proceeds from the sale to fund church repairs and programs.
If you have a sweet tooth for homemade goodies (including a jam-filled bird’s nest from a family recipe that’s more than 100 years old), the holiday cookie sale at Paint Creek United Methodist Church is the place to be. The church sold out of 125 boxes with 12 different varieties of cookies during the presale phase for the first time since the sale started six years ago. Russian teacakes, gingerbread men, frosted cutouts, thumbprints, coconut macaroons, shortbread and chocolate dipped cookies fill the neatly decorated boxes stacked up on three long tables. “There’s a lot of good ones and a few pieces of toffee in there, too,” Colleen Barkham said. Barkham and co-chair Gretchen Drader started the holiday cookie sale six years ago for …
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Donate goodies to the Baldwin Center and receive a free yoga session.
This is part of a 30-day series of ways Patch community members can give back this holiday season. We hope you'll take part in this 30 Days of Giving and take the spirit beyond the holidays, because there truly is need all year long. Though many people donate to local organizations to simply help those in need, an incentive is always nice. With this in mind, UpDog Yoga’s Om Squad of Rochester will be giving away complimentary yoga sessions at the Village of Rochester Hills every Saturday through Dec. 24 to anybody who brings an item to donate to the Baldwin Center in Pontiac. The Baldwin Center is a nonprofit, outreach organization which clothes, feeds and educates those in need in the Pontiac community. Two sessions of yoga will take …
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Whether you're short on time or afraid of climbing up a ladder, here are some local services that will do your decorating.
Afraid of heights? Don't like the cold outdoors? Or maybe you just watched Christmas Vacation and you don't want to unleash your inner Clark Griswold ... or, then again, maybe you do ... Regardless, we decided to offer some help with your outdoor holiday decorating. Here are five businesses that will hang your lights for you.