Monday, December 17, 2012
The NORAD Santa Tracker website is counting down the seconds to Santa Claus's impending arrival.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Patch Staff
Monday, December 17, 2012
It's getting colder and that means more time indoors for kids, which means some parents could probably use help keeping the little ones under control--especially when they start to ask, "When's Santa coming?" Well, here's a link to a website that could help keep them occupied in the weeks to come. The NORAD Santa Tracker isn't monitoring Kris Kringle's every move just yet, but it does feature a countdown clock that keeps track of the seconds until his departure. So here's the countdown to Christmas clock to share with everyone in your household who still believes. Happy counting down!
Monday, December 10, 2012
Forks Township farm features five reindeer as a holiday tourist attraction.
You know Donner and Blitzen... Well how about Ginger, Clarise and Gus? They may not be in Santa's sled, but on a farm in Forks Township, five reindeer have become one of the Christmas holiday's hottest attractions. At the Z Arch Barn Farm, an upstart Christmas tree farm, the reindeer are just as popular as the pre-cut Fraiser and Douglas fir Christmas trees that owner Vince Zarate has on display on Klein Road. He built a barn over the past year and turned it into a place to sell Christmas trees in late November, opening for business on Black Friday. But the reindeer are the stars of this show. Zarate said he acquired three of them from a breeder in New York and the other two from another one in Wisconsin. The reindeer are very friendly for…
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
There are countless ways to display the Elf, as he flies off store shelves this holiday season.
Over the past decade, the “Elf on the Shelf” has become a tradition in many homes. According to online research, the Elf was born in 2005 when a mother and daughter decided to write a book. After being rejected by numerous publishing houses, the pair decided to self-publish the book – first printing 300 copies. By the end of 2010, more 1.5 million copies of “Elf on the Shelf” had been sold. The basic premise is that Santa sends his "Elf scouts" to families’ homes. Once the family reads "The Elf on the Shelf” book, it is directed to give the elf doll (which comes with the book) a name and register it on a website to make "the adoption" official. From then on, the Elf lives with the family and watches the children’s behavior every Christmas …
Sunday, December 25, 2011
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen… but did you know that Christmas trees are edible?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, according to someone. And even though that someone isn’t on our list of fun facts, there’s plenty of other Christmas trivia to enjoy this holiday season. So settle down with a mug of egg nog and enjoy our gift to you, these 10 things you probably didn’t know about Christmas: 1. Your Christmas tree is edible. Well, unless it’s made of plastic. The bark of evergreen trees is not only edible, but is actually a pretty good source of Vitamin C. Just don’t eat the pinecones. And speaking of trees… 2. The average Christmas tree takes seven years to grow to a height of 6 to 7 feet. ...and is used for about two weeks. That means, if you were born today, and a tree was planted today, you’d be in second grade…
Thursday, December 22, 2011
We’ve been given the gift of time. The trick is to use it well.
The movie “In Time,” released earlier this year, is about a futuristic society in which time is the main currency. Poor people work to be able to extend their lives a few more days, while the rich stockpile time, living to a ripe old age. You could argue that the film simply adds a dramatic edge to deals most of us make every day. After all, the wealthy can already buy more leisure time and better health care, nutrition and safety, which often contribute to longer lives. The working poor essentially sell chunks of their time every day to make money to keep body and soul together. In this economy, many of us in the middle class are just happy when someone is willing to pay us to work 40 hours each week. Unlike in the movie, we don't have …
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Toy trends are manufacturing mixed messages for good little girls and boys.
It all started when I was wrapping gifts. As a gag, I picked up one of those bath time shaving kits normally given to small child but intended for my 12 year old son who has taken to inspecting his upper lip daily for any signs of manhood. So, in the hurry of my Christmas shopping, I picked one up off the discount shelf. Before wrapping, I showed it to my partner saying, “what a funny gag this will be.” He replied, “Who is that for?" He told me to read the box and left it at that. I read aloud, “Sponge Bob Bikini Bottom Groom & Go Kit.” My mind must have been a bit numb from shopping and wrapping but, emerging from my holiday haze, I finally realized the joke was on me. Bikini Bottom is, after all, where Sponge Bob resides but in the …
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
As much as I'd like to prove a point by leaving lumps of coal, I just don't have it in me.
Year after year I’m tempted to do the unthinkable – leave a lump of coal under the Christmas tree. Despite my many warnings that “Santa” and the “elf on the shelf” are watching (the white lie continues), my boys seem to be pushing the limits even farther than usual this holiday season. The threat isn’t working, and it’s pushing me to the point that I’m just about ready to donate the gifts and set out the coal. And I’m not talking about the candy kind. At 9 and 4 years old, one would think such threats would have them doing all things right – making their beds, playing nicely, avoiding conflict at all costs. Not this year. In my book, they have been pretty naughty. So then the question hangs…what would they do if they woke up to coal? I …
Monday, December 12, 2011
Students from St. Michael the Archangel Middle School took part in the special service Dec. 5.
- HOLIDAY GUIDE
Monday, December 12, 2011
St. Michael the Archangel Middle School students took part in an Advent Service on Monday, Dec. 5 in the Hanlon Center of Assumption BVM Church in Upper Saucon Township. The students, who attend grades five through eight, told the story of St. Nicholas and the holy family through music and words. Family and friends were invited to the event in celebration and preparation for the coming Christmas holiday. --Information courtesy of St. Michael the Archangel School
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Get out the lights and holly. Your decorating could net $100,000 for our school district.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to win a $100,000 gift for Southern Lehigh public schools. Patch.com is launching a nationwide contest to find the best dressed home in its Patch communities, and the winner’s school district will receive $100,000, no strings attached. Here’s how the contest works. Beginning Dec. 8 and continuing through Dec. 26, you can nominate your home by uploading a photo to the contest entry form on the site. During that same time period you and your neighbors will also be able to vote for your favorite festive home. The winning entry will be forwarded to a national Patch judge who will select 24 finalists. Each finalist will receive $500 that they can apply to their December electric bill. From Dec. 30 through Jan. …
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Lehigh Valley Hospital offers workshops to help grieving families cope with the holiday season.
From the Peppermint Latte at the Barnes and Noble to the twinkling lights adorning the trees on the street lights, reminders that the holidays are in full swing abound. These harbingers of the season produce emotions of joy and excitement for many. But for others who experienced the death of a loved one this year, the red and green twinkling lights take on a melancholy hue. “The anticipation of any event is always worse than the event itself,” said Jason Boyko LPC, Coordinator of Bereavement Services of Lehigh Valley Health Network. “Holidays are triggers because the traditions carry a lot of meaning.” For the bereaved, the anticipation starts months before the holidays arrive and so do the reminders that there will be an empty space at …