Tuesday, December 25, 2012
What gift have you received that left you speechless?
There's one every Christmas, it seems. That gift that puzzles you, irritates you, embarrasses you, frustrates you. And even if you know in your heart that it's Christmas and that you should be gracious and thankful, you just want to shake your head in disbelief? Was it the ugly Christmas sweater that you gave to Aunt Margie last year, carefully wrapped and unknowingly (or knowingly) re-gifted right back to you? Was it that set of salt-and-pepper shakers shaped like cheese wedges that your grandmother gave you because she thinks you need a hobby, and shouldn't everyone have a collection of something? Was it the donation made in your name to a charity you would never have wanted to support, but that the giver supports enthusiastically? The …
Monday, December 24, 2012
How much will we spend this year? And what's the best-selling Christmas song of all time? Find the answers below.
We know that there were three Wise Men, 12 days of Christmas and that Santa delivers all his presents around the world in one night. But did you know... $23,439.38 How much it would cost to buy your "true love" all the gifts in the 12 Day of Christmas . 12.9 billion hours, $447 billion How many hours Americans were expected to spend shopping, wrapping and returning gifts last year. That was about 42 hours and $688.87 per person. Get your postman/postwoman a gift According to Hallmark, Christmas is the largest card-sending occasion . Nearly 1.5 billion cards are sent to friends and family every Christmas Season. (That's actually down 400 million cards since 2004.) $983 million The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from …
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Tchaikosky's Sugarplum Fairy made them popular but few have ever eaten let alone know what a sugarplum is.
Sugarplums have a mottled past. Sugarplum, also written as sugar plum, conjures up a variety of images that may or may not dance in one’s head as Clement Moore wrote in Twas Night Before Christmas. For many, a sugarplum brings to mind a ballerina or a fairy, the Sugarplum Fairy to be precise, from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite. For others, sugarplums are candy made from chopped dried fruits and nuts, which by the way does not include plums. It’s a candy known as dragee or comfit that’s generally rolled in sugar or panned, a technique that creates a hard shell like an M&M. Without any plums in the recipe one might ask – why call it a sugarplum? Historians believe in the 1600s sugarplums were named to reflect the shape and size of …
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Find out how to become one of the ubiquitous Salvation Army bell ringers this holiday season and help raise money for families in need.
It's that time of year again when volunteers for the Salvation Army don their red aprons, stand in front of their red kettles and ring bells to raise money for those in need. We're sure you've seen the famous Salvation Army bell ringing army around every holiday season in front of your favorite mall, grocery store or pharmacy. This year, Patch is making it easy for you to sign up and become a bell ringing volunteer yourself! The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Christmas campaign helps raise funds to provide food, clothes and toys to 6 million people nationwide. Why volunteer? Here are the top 10 reasons why Salvation Army volunteers say they donate their time: If you'd like to volunteer, choose your region below and sign up for a shift online…
Monday, November 19, 2012
The next-generation gaming console is on sale, but shortages are expected for those without pre-orders.
It's release day for the latest gaming console from Nintendo and only the quick or those with pre-orders are likely to find one in stores today. (For instant updates follow Patch on Facebook and Twitter.) The Nintendo Wii U debuts at $300 and likely to be one of the most sought-after items of the holiday season with the company hoping to move 3.5 million units this year. However, national media is reporting that shoppers who haven't pre-ordered can expect day-one shortages. (Read Related Story: Walmart Holding Its Earliest Black Friday Ever) Locally, representatives from some locations of Target, Walmart and Best Buy said they would have some Wii U's on hand for those who didn't pre-order, but expected them to sell out quickly. "I would …
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Buy your annual holiday cards from a local charity this year.
Every holiday season, families across the country send cards to their loved ones, filling them in on the last year and wishing them a happy new one. For families planning to buy holiday cards this year, nonprofit organizations around the area are offering unique cards that benefit their missions. That way, each card sends holiday cheer while supporting a worthy cause. Here is our round-up of holiday cards for charity. Operation Food Search Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Our Little Haven Saint Louis Zoo Is your non-profit organization selling cards this holiday season? Add your photo and information to the story by clicking the Upload Pictures and Video button.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Vantage Credit Union is now collecting gifts and donations for children in need.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Yes, it's still a little early to think about Christmas shopping. I understand. But it's coming up soon. And we all know that one person who is extremely hard to buy for. What do you do?
I will make no apology for this edition of our weekly "Conversation Starter." I'm selfishly motivated by the need for your help. And I don't care that Halloween is still three days away. Or that Christmas is still nearly two months off. We need all the time we can get. See, here's the problem: My father is in his early 70s; my father-in-law is in his early 80s. If anything, they're trying to get rid of things. What do you buy for the hard-to-buy-for? What do you do to make the Christmas merry for the folks who seem to have everything, don't need anything or who won't let themselves get pinned down? Here's another stumper for you: My son is 17. He's a drama kid, a singer, a World of Warcraft fanatic. He is every bit as hard to buy for as my…
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Visitors can enjoy a candlelight tour, children's story time throughout the month.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Use our holiday light guide map to plan a night of family fun.
Each blue point on our holiday light guide map represents a particularly beautiful light display in the St. Louis region. Click on the blue points to find addresses, hours and details. As more parks, businesses and neighbors begin to deck the halls, send us your pictures of beautiful holiday light displays. We'll add them to the map so families can plan light-viewing outings. Send pictures, addresses and impressions of light displays to your local Patch or to Lindsay.Toler@patch.com. If you're on the road, tweet about it @StLouisLindsay.