December 16, 2011
Q: The holidays are here, and once again I'm dreading them. My husband's parents are divorced and each insists we visit them on Christmas. My parents are together and, of course, they insist we come to dinner so they can enjoy their grandchildren. My husband's brother always holds a big Christmas Eve bash at his house, which is two hours away. Any suggestion that we skip his party is viewed as an insult. My husband and I both work, and all this makes this time of year a nightmare. We have no time to plan for our own Christmas, usually end up fighting, and if we cut any visits short, our families lay a guilt trip on us. Help!
December 12, 2011 |
WHO WAS THAT guy in the clerical collar inserting himself into a class of serious future journalists at Columbia University? He was not only a priest, he was, at 31, older than most everybody else in the class, and his thinning hair made him look even older. To the younger students looking toward serious careers in the communications field, John Patrick Foley was an anomaly. But he quickly won the respect of even the most cynical with his charm, rich sense of humor and obvious dedication to the subject at hand, and, by extension, everything else he undertook.
December 11, 2011 |
Just a few years ago, on Christmas Eve, the family was sitting around, of all things, a laptop computer. The image on the screen was, as they say in television land, live. A handsome man in Army fatigues looked out as his wife bravely smiled back from her seat in our living room and wished him peace and joy. I glanced over at the wife's sister, my other daughter, tears lining her face, which was, like mine, thankfully out of sight of the young warrior. For him, dry eyes and smiles were the order of the moment.
November 23, 2011 |
We all have this vision of Santa Claus flying around on a sleigh pulled by reindeer, a big bag of packages tucked behind him. In reality, it doesn't work that way. Santa actually travels in the S-1, a red spaceship bigger than the Star Trek Enterprise with a central command station on the North Pole and black-clad elves who zip down ropes, Mission: Impossible -style. That's the version we get in Arthur Christmas, a new animation from first-time director Sarah Smith and Aardman Animations, the British company that brought us Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
November 3, 2011 |
Come into the cavernous California living room of the well-known Wyeth family, gathering for good tidings at Christmas Eve, 2004. Over here are the parents - he, a former movie star turned politician; she, a former Texas Jew turned WASP and a one-time Hollywood screenwriter. Together, they are scions of the state's Republican party, respected members of the nation's old-guard conservatives. Then there's her sister, also a former screenwriter and a basket-case from the bottle, drying out at the family's Palm Springs manse.
October 21, 2011 |
The Christmas Village, an outdoor marketplace erected each November in Dilworth Plaza at City Hall, will set up at Love Park this year. Currently, Occupy Philadelphia is encamped at Dilworth Plaza. The Christmas Village, however, had already planned to move. The plaza on the west side of City Hall is scheduled to undergo renovations starting in November. It's not clear yet what will happen with Occupy Philadelphia when it does. The Christmas Village was the subject of national controversy last year when an organizer of the traditional German-style market took down the word "Christmas" from the light-festooned archways leading into the village.
August 24, 2011 |
BACK IN THE DAYS before supermarkets and super drugstores, the folks of Manayunk had the Dalesandro Variety Store on Main Street. It was one of those stores that, over 30 years of operation, sold just about everything - groceries, hardware, cleaning supplies, fishing tackle - you name it. And it was a pleasure to deal with the owners, Rose and Eugene Dalesandro, who kept the store open six days a week. They were generous with customers struggling to make ends meet, never hesitating to extend credit.
December 30, 2010 |
A couple of unholy, intoxicated churchgoers - high on booze and drugs - crashed a Midnight Mass in Drexel Hill on Christmas Eve when they stumbled down the aisle, fondled each other in a pew and flushed drugs down the church toilet, police said. Authorities believe that Alexander Pirone, 21, and Catherine McGrath, 24, planned to hide in the restroom until after the building was locked up for the night so that they could burglarize the church, but a cop and an EMT at the Mass thwarted them, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
December 26, 2010 |
It is just after noon, and the restaurant is empty on what's supposed to be the busiest day of the year - Christmas. Owner Peter Fong isn't worried. Catering to synagogues the night before had nearly emptied the shelves at his Singapore Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant on Race Street near 10th in Chinatown, so Fong had to make a quick shopping trip to get ready for the crowd he knew would come. As Christians gather with family to mark the holy holiday, a Jewish tradition also plays out: going to the openings of new movies and eating at Chinese restaurants.
December 25, 2010 |
A Chester County woman was working at her son's elementary school Thursday when a bus driver called to alert her that police had just blockaded her street. In two minutes, shortly past noon, Angela Cupaiuolo was at the scene of what turned out to be a fast-moving fire that destroyed the home in East Goshen Township she shared with her husband, Mark Cupaiuolo, and their two children. Most of the family's possessions went up in flames, including Christmas gifts. But on Christmas Eve, the family was celebrating - and compiling a long list of people to thank.