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.
I love, love, LOVE felted elf booties—they make my heart leap with joy whenever I find a beautiful pair. These little baby booties are absolutely perfect for anyone who is welcoming (or has recently welcomed) a new addition to their family. Use them in a holiday photo shoot or add them to baby’s Christmas outfit.
Do you know someone who has an affinity for foxes? I’m sure they’ll be quite pleased to receive a pair of these fox gloves for Christmas. Half of the design is hand-sewn onto each glove, so whenever the recipient cups their hands together, they’ll see the fox’s face. Not only are these gloves adorable, but they’re practical, too. The gloves themselves are a wool blend, so they’ll keep hands cozy on chilly days! (Note: This Etsy seller ships express, so you’re sure to get the gloves by Christmas.)
Black Friday is here yet again! Some people will decide to #OptOutside, but we’re sure a few folks in the States are braving the cold weather and early morning hours to snag some good deals. For those of you who prefer to stay at home, safe from chilling temperatures and crazed crowds, here are some deals on goods that’ll keep your whole family warm this winter.
The closer it gets to Christmas, the more I think about all the yummy foods I’ll be eating this holiday season. Surely I’m not the only one who is salivating over such thoughts, right? I’m particularly excited to try out a few new recipes, such as the yule log. Depending on how it turns out (and how my family responds to it), it might become a “must-have” Christmas dessert!
I also like to keep things lively at family gatherings, so I’m going to tuck away some facts from this infographic so I can pop a few trivia questions at Christmas dinner. Speaking of Christmas dinner, did you know that 50% of people have a gene that makes Brussels sprouts taste bitter? So, if half your family hates sprouts, now you know why!
To learn more fun facts and stats about some British Christmas foods, click on the infographic below.
Click on the image for a closer look! Infographic via The Fact Site
While I was admiring a needle felted narwhal in this Etsy shop, I stumbled across this chicken in a walnut shell Christmas ornament. I’m not quite sure why, but this rooster speaks to me. Maybe because I’m amused by the idea of rooster in a walnut shell or maybe because it reminds me of a children’s book where people magically packed large things inside small walnut shells. At any rate, this would be a charming ornament to give to someone who keeps chickens on their urban or country homestead.