Monday, December 17, 2012
Here are 10 ways to have fun and spread holiday cheer without breaking the bank.
This year’s holiday season can be special for you and your family regardless of your budget. Here are some fun tips for creating new holiday traditions while saving money. 1) Make your cards from recycled materials. Cards can be made from paper grocery bags, cereal boxes, used file folders and even last year’s holiday cards. Feature your family’s artwork and use recycled wrapping paper or paper from catalogs and magazines for backgrounds. A great resource for making cards from recycled materials is "Creative Correspondence" by Michael and Judy Jacobs, at local bookstores or on Amazon.com. 2) Have fun together and create a festive decoration by making a gingerbread house. You can bake the gingerbread yourself and use royal icing to …
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Take our poll at the end of the story: Do you mail holiday cards?
The White House Christmas card this year features a painting of Bo, the Obamas' four-year-old Portuguese water dog. The reproduction of an oil painting by Des Moines, Iowa artist Laressa Kabel features the pooch prancing through the snow on the South Lawn of the White House wearing a winter scarf. Each year the coveted cards are created by work commissioned by an artist or from a photograph taken at the White House. In her book "Season's Greetings from the White House," published in 2007, historian Mary Seeley delves into the details of the annual White House Christmas card, from Calvin Coolidge to George W. Bush. (Seeley runs White House Holidays and A Presidential Christmas.) She notes that the first season's greetings was sent by …
Did you decorate your house for the holidays this year? Enter our "Deck the House" contest and you could win $100,000 for your local school district and $500 to pay your electric bills!
Sunday, December 16, 2012
We’re launching our annual Deck the House Contest to find the most over-the-top holiday decorations in America — the best “decked” house in the country —the one home so spectacularly decorated that everyone in town jokes your holiday decorations could rival Rockefeller Center’s. If this sounds like your house, upload a photo or video of your home to our contest page from Nov. 26 to Dec. 16 (check the site Monday for a direct link to our contest page so you can enter). Only residents of Patch towns are eligible to enter. We’ll select 24 regional finalists, and from them, pick one grand prize winner. Patch will pay up to $500 of the utility bill for each finalist, while our national winner will have $100,000 donated to his or her local …
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Have you outdone yourself this year with holiday lights? Show the world!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Enter our holiday lights contest here! If you have a fabulous light display you want to show the world, you could win $500 toward your light bill and $100,000 for your school district. Find out all the contest details here. Good luck!
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Unique gifts for all ages available at Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at Dulles Expo Center.
Looking for unique gifts this holiday season? There are alternatives to "store-bought" goods. A holiday tradition continues Friday through Sunday when 300 artists and craftspeople gather for the seventh annual Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. Hours are: The festival takes place right in the middle of prime shopping season for the holidays. Anyone looking for a unique gift will likely find one among the more than 300 craftspeople who will be on hand showcasing their one-of-a-kind pottery, sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion, wood, metal, furniture, home accessories, photography and fine art. Many of the artists on hand (see photos of their work in the photo gallery here on the site) are from the area, …
Friday, December 7, 2012
Friday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Dec. 9
The holiday season is in full swing with a variety of local events happening this Friday through Sunday. Annandale Holiday Lighting Ceremony Del Ray Holiday Tree Lighting and Luminaries Rockapella: A Rockapella Holiday Drumming with Dishes: The Holiday Edition Celtic Christmas 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run Super Science Saturday Holiday Ice Show Plantation Christmas Punjabi Masti 2012 Jane Austen’s Regency Christmas All I Want for Christmas Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours Mason Symphony Orchestra and Choruses: Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along! Holiday Shops and Craft Fairs: Library Events: Nature Highlights:
Which camp are you in?
In addition to ringing bells, ho, ho, hos and holiday lights, the holiday hoopla in recent years has added inflatables. You know what we're talking about: Enormous Santas bobbing in the wind or more sadly, deflated Santas, reindeers and elves. Where do you fall on this slightly new holiday fad? Love 'em or hate 'em? Got a great photo to share of a gynormous candy cane or an elf? Post it here!
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Cinema Siren's top picks for 2012.
Last year I offered my top 10 Christmas cartoons for the first time. As an animation art gallery owner of 25 years, and an animation historian, I have been studying and enjoying them a long time. What an uproar I caused! I got a veritable avalanche of emails about the cartoons I "couldn't possibly overlook." While I stand by all last year's excellent offerings, I do have some amendments this year. Here is the list with some considered additions and subtractions. The cartoons listed below are all classics and are wonderful opportunities for holiday viewing with friends and family. You can enjoy them while chomping down highly caloric peppermint bark, or swilling down highly spiked eggnog! #10. Arthur Christmas - 2011 Such a new movie…
Fun events for you and your family Sunday, Dec. 2
Check out Patch’s list of local events happening Sunday. Holiday Model Train Display and Show Toys for Tots Benefit Square Dance Holiday Shops and Craft Fairs: Library Events: Nature Highlights:
Sunday, November 25, 2012
County officials want shoppers to be savvy during the biggest online spending day of the year.
After millions of people across the nation line up outside retailers for Black Friday, millions more will plop down at their work computers for Cyber Monday, Nov. 26. According to BusinessWeek, digital specialists at the National Retail Foundation created Cyber Monday in 2005. The shopping holiday was meant to entice office employees who were still riding the high of Black Friday and were able to shop from their work computers. It has since become the centerpiece of online holiday shopping. In 2005, shoppers spent a total of $484 million nationwide, comScore reports. In 2011, they spent $1.25 billion, making it the biggest online spending day in history. Retailers like Wal-Mart are going one step further, advertising Cyber Monday bargains …