December 21, 2014 |
The question is a December evergreen: Are we going to have a White Christmas? The answer this year, is almost certainly no - the same answer as in most years. So why does the question keep popping up every Christmas season with the regularity of bad holiday music? Around here and for an overwhelming majority of the nation's population - not to mention Bethlehem, in the Holy Land - snow at Christmas is decidedly the exception. Only seven times in the last 56 years has an inch or more of snow been on the ground officially in Philly on Dec. 25, most emphatically in 1966, when a foot fell from a storm that continued into the early-morning hours.
December 1, 2014 |
A cookie roof, sweet-and-sour candy shingles, pretzel doors and chimneys, and snowdrifts of frosting. It's not a holiday fantasy - it's the recipe for a real, live gingerbread-house workshop in Chestnut Hill. Bredenbeck's Bakery at 8126 Germantown Ave. is hosting its third annual season of classes, teaching the art of making gingerbread houses. The tradition began in Norway for Christmas and Easter and was brought to America by immigrant bakers. "There's no wrong way to decorate a gingerbread house, and any age can do it, so it's great for families," says Bredenbeck's owner and operator, Karen Boyd Rohde of Fort Washington.
December 7, 2013 |
When Welsh singer Judith Owen moved to Los Angeles with her husband, comic actor and radio host Harry Shearer, in the 1990s, she found she wasn't so fond of sunny southern California during the holiday season. "I was feeling quite depressed because it all looked so lovely and I couldn't actually cope with Christmas in a hot, beautiful place," Owen says. She and Shearer are on a transatlantic conversation on her iPad from their home in London. "It made me feel terrible, and yearn to be somewhere that's dark and miserable.
December 26, 2012
Christmas is the only religious holiday officially recognized by the U.S. government. Federal employees get the day off, or are compensated extra for having to work. Does that make America a Christian nation? Not really. Sure, 78 percent of Americans describe themselves as Christians, but many don't attend church regularly or read a Bible. Then there's the nearly 5 percent of Americans who are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or another religion; the 4 percent who are atheist or agnostic; and the 12 percent described by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life as "nothing in particular.
December 19, 2012 |
WITH DEC. 25 a week away, it's time to ask: Any shot at a White Christmas? The answer for Pennsylvania, according to weather.com, seems to be: Yes, no, and maybe. And even that may be optimistic. According to the website's White Christmas map, snow is "likely" early next week in the western half of the state, "possible" along a band from Harrisburg to Scranton, and "not likely" in Philadelphia, its immediate suburbs, New Jersey, Delaware and Eastern Maryland. But even in Pittsburgh and State College, there's no more than a 20 percent chance of snow on Christmas or the day before, according to weather.com's own extended forecasts.
December 18, 2012 |
With Dec. 25 a week and a day away, it's time to ask: Any shot at a White Christmas? For Pennsylvania, Weather.com's answer seems to be: Yes, No, and Maybe. And even that may be optimistic. According to the website's White Christmas map, snow is "Likely" early next week in the western half of the state, "Possible" along a band from Harrisburg to Scranton, and "Not Likely" in Philadelphia, its immediate suburbs, New Jersey, Delaware and Eastern Maryland. But even in Pittsburgh and State College, there's no more than a 20 percent chance of snow on Christmas or the day before, according to Weather.com's own extended forecasts.
December 12, 2012 |
In these parts, it's not Christmastime until the man with the white beard says so. That would be Peter Nero. For more than a dozen years, Nero has presided over an annual holiday show with his Philly Pops. He's stepping down at the end of this season, which means that the current run in Verizon Hall is probably your last-ever chance to hear Enescu, Glière, and Mussorgsky as the pike, carp, and whitefish in a giant gefilte fish of a Hanukkah medley. Also, Nero's successor, Michael Krajewski, is not a pianist, which suggests that if this tradition continues, the format won't feature a jazz pianist who somehow manages to be both erudite and haimish, with a little showbiz humor thrown in for good measure.
September 19, 2012 |
The new Old Farmer's Almanac is out, with weather predictions through October 2013. Although its projection is for this winter to be generally cold and dry, snow is in the forecast for the second half of December for the Atlantic Corridor from Richmond, Va., to Boston. "The snowiest periods will be in mid-December, just before Christmas, and in mid- to late February," says the Region 2 Forecast. These specifics are even given: Dec. 15-20: "Rain and snow, then sunny, cold.
December 23, 2011
Repertory Films Bryn Mawr Film Institute 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; 610-527-9898. www.brynmawrfilm.org . Going Gaga. $7. 12/28. Colonial Theatre 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville; 610-917-1228. www.thecolonialtheatre.com . The Polar Express (2004) $5. 12/28. 4 pm. Easttown Library & Information Center 720 First Ave., Berwyn; 610-644-0138. www.easttownlibrary.org . Winter Family Movie. 12/29. 10 am. Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library 1001 Powell St., Norristown; 610-278-5100.
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 .