December 21, 2011 |
Every Christmas Eve after singing "Silent Night" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas" in perfect Wellington off-key pitch, my mom gets up from her wooden rocking chair and retrieves two gifts from under the Christmas tree. She hands one to me and one to my sister, Jennifer. Inside each box (signed "from Mrs. Claus") is a pair of brand-spanking-new pajamas. My sister and I are in our mid-30s now, but we take our decades-old Christmas tradition seriously. Soon after opening the boxes, we take quick showers, put on our new PJs, and twirl around the house like teenagers.
December 19, 2011
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been living together for nine months. We have decided to host Christmas dinner at our house and invited 20 people - 10 from each of our families. His mother, unfortunately, is having a hard time accepting that her 27-year-old son is growing up. She says that she feels "awkward" and that their family has had its traditions for many years. (My boyfriend has spent every Christmas Eve and Christmas night at his parents' house since birth.) I come from a family that is adaptable to change.
December 19, 2011 |
Ho, ho, ho, they're not kidding. Snow's a possibility Saturday night and Sunday - Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - in Philadelphia and its nearby suburbs. Areas to the north have several shots this week to see some snow - or more likely, a wintry mix including sleet and rain. The Lehigh Valley and the Poconos could see a little snow tonight. Even parts of Bucks County could see some snow and sleet Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning - officially the first day of winter.
December 18, 2011
J ust in case you haven't had enough Christmas music so far this year, match the artist with the best-selling album. Answers: D3. 1. Susan Boyle. 2. Boyz II Men. 3. Mariah Carey. 4. Bing Crosby. 5. John Denver. 6. Celine Dion. 7. Kenny G. 8. Mannheim Steamroller. 9. Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 10. Vince Guaraldi Trio. a. A Charlie Brown Christmas . b. Christmas Eve and Other Stories . c. Christmas in the Air e. d. Christmas Interpretations . e. Faith: A Holiday Album . f. The Gift . g. Merry Christmas . h. Rocky Mountain Christmas . i. These Are Special Times . j. White Christmas .
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.