Every holiday season, I indulge myself in watching my favorite Christmas movies and listening to my favorite festive songs. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without them! And although I have my “must-have” list of holiday classics, I enjoy adding new favorites into the mix. So if you’re like me and want to spice up your Christmas traditions, you may be interested in the Hip Hop Nutcracker.
A unique spin on Tchaikovsky’s classic score, this thrilling performance combines rap music and hip hop dance into a modern holiday show. The Hip Hop Nutcracker tour kicked off last month, and it will continue traveling across the United States during the month of December. Ticket prices range from $10 to $95. Check the dates below to catch a show near you!
2016 Performance Dates:
Tues. Dec. 6 (Tonight!) • Schenectady, NY • Proctors
Aren’t these little animal ornaments adorable? They are all so cute, but I think my favorite is the badger—I simply love its stout shape and etched details. The other available ornaments are: fox, rabbit, squirrel, owl, deer, hedgehog, toadstool, and bear. You can purchase just one, or if you love them as I do, you can order the whole set.
How cute is this teensy weensy gingerbread house!? Sculpted by hand and then mounted on a ring, this sweet accessory is fun way to show your Christmas spirit. Whether you wear it to the office or sport it at a holiday party, I’m sure you’ll get lots of compliments.
Last year I discovered the Singing Christmas Tree in Portland, Oregon, but at that time I didn’t realize what a global tradition it is! Every year folks all around the world are performing holiday shows that include a singing Christmas tree. I’m amazed at all the talented people who build the sets and the many others who sing, dance, and play instruments. Below are a few hand-picked shows that you can enjoy across North America.
If you live near Augusta, GA, clear your schedule next weekend, because the Singing Christmas Tree at Abilene Baptist Church is performing for just 3 days. With a full orchestra, an original drama sequence, and over 85 singers, you won’t want to miss it! To get a taste of what you’ll see, check out this clip from last year’s show.
Abilene Baptist Church
3917 Washington Road
Martinez, GA 30907
Admission: Free! But make sure you get your tickets in advance from the main church office.
For the 62nd year in a row, the Singing Christmas Tree in Charlotte, NC is entertaining audiences. This event will include a variety of talent such as puppetry, dance, and—of course—music! In addition to the regular performances, the Singing Christmas Tree is also putting on 2 abbreviated shows for kids. So whether young or old, everyone will be filled with joyful spirit.
430 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
The Singing Christmas Tree in Jackson, MS boasts as being the longest running singing tree in America! The first performance at Belhaven University was held in 1933, which makes this year the tree’s 84th anniversary.
Belhaven University Bowl Stadium
1500 Peachtree Street
Jackson, MS 39202
If you want to see the tallest Singing Christmas Tree in America, then you need to visit Muskegon, MI. This gigantic tree stands a towering 67 feet tall! It can hold 240 singers and is decorated with 25,000 lights. Unfortunately this performance is completely sold out for this year, but mark your calendars for next year so you can get your tickets early. In the meantime, enjoy this video from a previous year that includes footage of the tree being built.
Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts
425 W. Western Avenue #200
Muskegon, MI 49440
Folks in the Pacific Northwest can kick off the Christmas season at a performance of Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree. This musical production will delight audiences with two hours of traditional and contemporary music. A live orchestra, 350+ singers, dancers, and actors bring the spirit of Christmas to life!
222 SW Clay Street
Portland, OR 97201
For 60 years, the Singing Christmas Tree has been performing in Sacramento, and this year they are going all out to celebrate their anniversary. In addition to the choir, there will also be a 40-piece orchestra, dancers, actors, and soloists.
Capital Christian Center
9470 Micron Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95827
The Vancouver Singing Christmas Tree is such a beloved Christmas tradition that all their tickets are sold out. But if you haven’t already secured a ticket, don’t fret because you can still try to grab a seat. Get there early and wait in the “non-ticket holders” line. Thirty minutes before each show, they’ll start letting folks in until the auditorium is full. To get updates, follow their Facebook page.
2700 East Broadway
Vancouver, British Columbia
Earlier this year, I learned how to make a himmeli mobile using cocktail straws and thread. Since my discovery of this traditional Finnish decoration, I now see himmelis everywhere! It is most common to see a himmeli in the form of a mobile, so you can imagine my surprise and delight when I found this himmeli Christmas tree topper! Made with copper pipe and copper wire, this tree topper has a very modern and minimalist feel to it. If you’re really loving this tree topper, you might also be interested in a matching himmeli wreath.
As I mentioned earlier today, one of my favorite things about Christmas is the lights! Cities and communities all over the world are decorating their towns with holiday decorations and are kicking off the season with a tree lighting ceremony. In many places, you can expect a variety of fun festivities in addition to a grand evergreen, such as Christmas carols or live reindeer. Grab your hats and mittens and take your family to a tree lighting near you!
Make your plans to head into downtown Austin this Saturday, December 3rd, to participate in the Holiday Stroll. You’ll want to get there early because there’s much fun to be had! Shop the farmer’s market for holiday gifts at 5pm, then lift your voice and join the holiday sing-a-long at 6pm. Just as you’re getting warmed up, you can see the tree light up at 7!
The tree in Historic Dublin will be lit tonight! Brace yourself for an enjoyable evening, as kids can see live reindeer and visit with Santa, plus adults will enjoy watching artisans carve an ice sculpture. If that wasn’t enough to entice you, perhaps the free hot chocolate will—yum!
On Friday, December 2nd (tomorrow!) the jolly folks in Geneva, IL are putting on a spectacular holiday celebration. Santa Lucia’s arrival kicks off the festivities at 6pm, followed by Santa Claus himself who will light the tree. Stick around and roast some chestnuts, enjoy music from strolling carolers, or go for a carriage ride with your sweetie.
LEGO™ lovers in California will want to visit the LEGOLAND resort to see the giant Christmas tree made from thousands and thousands of bricks! Positioned near the entrance to the park, stop by to see this big tree come to life with twinkling lights every day from now until Christmas Day.
For those of you in the the metro Tucson area, hop in the car and take a short drive over to Marana for their tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, December 3rd. Fun for the whole family, the celebration starts at 3pm with performances by a youth choir, dance troupe, and more. Then at 6:30pm, the much anticipated Christmas light show will begin!
For 21 years, the folks in Mt. Pleasant, SC have been celebrating Christmas with an annual holiday parade. This year the festivities begin on December 11th at 5:30pm when the town’s Christmas tree will be lit. The tree lighting will be followed by a display of fireworks, and then the holiday parade will proceed through the streets. Want to find a good spectator spot? Click here to find out where exactly the parade will travel.
Roasted chestnuts, hot cocoa, and Christmas carols are just some of the fun things you’ll enjoy at this tree lighting ceremony. Rittenhouse Square is home to Philadelphia’s largest Christmas tree, so when the 5,000+ lights start glowing, it’s truly a sight to behold. Clear your schedule, because these festivities are tonight, December 1st!
In keeping with tradition, the grand evergreen in Trafalgar Square hails from Norway. Tonight, the Christmas tree will be lit at 6pm by a few folks, including the Norwegian Ambassador. If you miss this evenings’s festivities, you can mark your calendar for the Blessing of the Crib on December 4th or Carol Singing on the Square throughout the month.
It’s December—yay! With only 24 days until Christmas, we are eagerly anticipating the big day and are rather busy up here at the North Pole. One of our favorite things about this time of year are all of the pretty, twinkling lights on Christmas trees and houses. Here’s a cozy digital wallpaper for your screen, so you can enjoy the sight of colorful lights all month long! Click the buttons below to download.
Let’s stop for a moment and think what it would be like to live without food. Not only would we feel hungry, but it would be difficult to focus at work or school. For children, the effects of hunger are more far-reaching as it stunts their growth and development. Did you know that 1 in 5 children in America face hunger? And that statistic worldwide is 1 in 4! Feed The Children is on a mission to make sure all children are fed.
Poverty is the biggest reason for hunger, and in addition to providing food, Feed The Children aims to end the cycle of poverty. They have programs in the U.S. and around the world that provide education, living essentials, and disaster relief programs.
With donations from folks like you, Feed The Children boxes up food and essential supplies and distributes the boxes to families in need. Food provides nourishment for children’s growing bodies, and things as basic as soap and toothbrushes allow children to go to school clean and confident. When children and families have their basic needs met, they then have the strength, health, and opportunity to be successful!
Wondering how you can help? There are several ways you can get involved with this organization.
Give a Gift in Someone’s Honor
A great way to make a charitable donation and give your family a gift is to buy a present in their honor. To do so, browse Feed The Children’s gift catalog. When you purchase a gift, the item goes to a person in need, and the honorary recipient gets the pleasure of helping someone. Some gift ideas include sending school supplies to a child, providing medicine for 500 children, or supplying a family with chickens that will provide eggs for food and income. If you’re having a hard time choosing a gift, you can always give a gift where it is most needed. Simply click here, and scroll to the bottom of the page until you see the pink stripe that says, “Give a gift to help where needed most…”
When you give a gift in someone’s honor, you’ll want to give the honorary recipient something, so take advantage of the printable holiday cards Feed The Children has to offer. There are six different holiday cards that are available for you to download for free and print at home. (Click here to view, download, and print.)
Whether you live in the U.S. or not, there are several different ways to volunteer. Just a few examples include helping prep and pack boxes in a distribution center or greeting families and passing out boxes at food distribution event. To learn more about volunteering within the U.S., click here.
If you enjoy traveling and want to volunteer on the global front, then you might be interested in volunteering at one of Feed The Children’s offices worldwide. This volunteer experience can last 1–2 weeks, and you’ll be helping Feed The Children’s employees strengthen their communities. To learn more about this volunteer opportunity, click here.
A lot of silver and gold holiday items have been catching my eye this holiday season, so it’s no wonder why I stopped in my tracks when I saw this lovely gold magnolia leaf wreath. This stunning wreath is handmade in Charlotte, NC, where the maker collects and preserves the leaves prior to painting them. Amazing, right? I love crafting and making things by hand, but this is a whole other level of awesome!
Everyone knows that an elf’s four food groups are candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup. To some people that may sound like a sugar overdose, but to us elves, that sounds wonderful. This Cyber Monday, your sweet tooth is getting an upgrade because these fancy sweets are on sale today! Stock up and get some goodies to give as hostess gifts, family gifts, or stocking stuffers.
The top-notch sweets at Sugarfina are candies at their finest. This holiday bento box comes with 8 different candies, including candy cane caramels, mini gingerbread men, pumpkin pie caramels, and champagne bubbles. And when you spend $75 today, you’ll receive a Cheers 3pc Bento Box with code HOLIDAYCHEERS. Valid 11/28 only.