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 23, 2012
A weak storm front expected to bring up to two inches of snow starting Monday night.
Cross your fingers. As of Sunday, weather projections indicate a storm front entering the region that could give us—gasp—a white Christmas. According to the National Weather Service, there is a 20 percent chance of snow on Tuesday, with a temperature ultimately reaching 38 degrees. Stephen Pellettiere, with Ion Weather based at the Morristown Municipal Airport, said current projections appear to have the small storm begin producing at about 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, tapering off at the latest 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. "A little storm is passing to our south," he said. "There's a tenth of an inch of moisture, which translates to about an inch of snow." Some areas, including southern Morris County, could see as much as two inches of the white …
Saturday, December 22, 2012
A look at the hot toys for tots this holiday season.
Every holiday season, the mailbox fills with the latest toy catalogs. Children peruse the pages as they scribble their lists, daydreaming about what they will find under the tree come Christmas morning. Parents pull out their pocketbooks, spending hard-earned cash as they anticipate the joy on those little faces. What will be the runaway favorites this year is always a guess, but here are some of the latest trends, mixed with tried-and-true perennial favorites. jChews Smartphone teether by Jellystone No tears for parents or babies. Babies love nothing more than to gum Mom and Dad’s cell phone, but now they’ll be too intrigued with their own smartphone to chew on. The Jellystone smartphone teether comes in seven funky colors and is BPA …
As you look over the list of gifts you need this holiday season, an unsettling feeling starts. How will I pay for all these gifts? How about homemade gifts?
Gift-giving is meant to be a time for sharing how much you appreciate others, but rising prices and tight budgets take the feel-good vibes right out of gift-giving traditions. This year, take the money stress out of the holidays by turning to homemade gifts. Homemade gifts are a great way to show you appreciate someone while also adding a personal touch. Gifts don’t need to be expensive to be special. Get the family involved in the fun and you will be creating memories while making unique gifts for those who mean the most in your life. Patch explores the homemade holidays in hopes that you will find something to inspire you to enjoy the season more. Healthy options: Pack energy in a jar with healthy snacks like energy bars, dark chocolate…
Friday, December 21, 2012
For our family, these cookies herald the start of the holiday season.
In my house, it isn’t the holidays until the Chocolate Crackle Cookies come out. They are, for us, as much a staple of the season as decorating the tree and overspending on presents. There are many different variations on this recipe, but they all follow the same basic structure: whip up an ultra-fudgy cookie dough, roll it into balls, coat with confectioners sugar and pop into the oven. As they bake, the cookies split open on top and the powdered sugar gives them a festive, crackled look. They are almost pretty enough to hang on the tree, although I wouldn’t recommend it. Crackle cookies are easy, delicious and last for at least a week – which makes them an ideal holiday gift. I wrap a few in festive bags, tie with a ribbon and hand …
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Our Patch Elf on the Shelf has gotten ahold of our computer and now wants to know what his buddy elves are up to. Share your photos here!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Hi friends! I'm the Patch Elf on the Shelf. Call me Patchy. I've heard about more of my friends hanging around the area lately, and I wondered what they were up to. Could their families post pictures here on Patch to show me? I'd love to catch up with them. We all go back to Santa on Christmas Eve, but in the meantime, we'll be watching you! Cheers, Patchy the Elf Add your photo by clicking on the green "Upload Photos and Videos" icon.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Need a quick holiday cookie recipe? Make one of these for your parties this season.
One of the most important holiday questions to ask yourself is: What kind of cookies will you be baking for your get-togethers this season? From sweet to savory, holiday cookies come in all shapes and sizes. And what’s better than to top off a tray of cookies than a glass of homemade eggnog? You can check out myrecipes.com to learn how to host a successful cookie swap and view more holiday cookie recipes. You can also head down to Splurge Bakery, Patch Readers' Choice 2012 award winner, or check out Bella's Bakery if you don't feel like making the sweets yourself. Want to do it yourself? Check out the recipes below: Eggnog In a saucepan over low heat combine milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cinnamon stick and clove. Bring to a slow boil…
Monday, December 17, 2012
Here are ten 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, available at The Zen Shop 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 …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
If the holidays leave you with little time to shop for gifts, try these stores in Millburn for great last-minute gift ideas.
With all of the tree trimming, cookie baking and partygoing, there is so much to do during the holidays that it's easy to leave shopping for Christmas presents until the last minute. But by then, the malls and chain stores are usually chaotic and the mere thought of battling crowds is exhausting. Here are some ideas for easy gifts that can be bought locally and require little stress: Tell us: What are some of your own last-minute gift ideas? Share in the comments below.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
2012 is venue's busiest year.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
The Essex County Turtle Back Zoo set a new annual attendance record for the eighth consecutive year, according to the office of Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. On Saturday, Dec. 1, DiVincenzo welcomed Pompton Plains residents Shannon and Alex Patti and their 2½-year-old son Roman as the 525,508th visitors to the zoo in 2012. In recognition of the milestone, DiVincenzo, Essex County Parks Director Dan Salvante and Turtle Back Zoo Director Dr. Jeremy Goodman presented the family with a gift basket filled with toys, stuffed animals and merchandise from the zoo, along with a one-year membership to the Essex County Zoological Society. This is the third consecutive year more than half a million visitors have come to zoo. “…