Saturday, December 24, 2011
Feel free to sing along with this special video message.
Rochester Patch followed along as the Choraliers from St. John Lutheran School in Rochester went caroling at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center. The group of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders is directed by Julie Espinoza.
The website offers fun activities for anyone eager for St. Nick's arrival.
Some people simply can't wait till Christmas morning to find out whether Santa Claus has paid them, or their neighborhood, a visit. For those who are impatient, don't worry. You can keep tabs on the big guy by following the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) website, which for one night is dedicated to tracking Mr. Claus' coordinates. The site is more than an enhanced GPS; it also contains a "Kids Countdown Village," which offers games, activities and other features for young ones who eager for Santa. According to its website, NORAD has been tracking Santa for more than 50 years now, as did its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). The tradition began in 1955, the website says, after a Colorado Springs, CO…
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Not all treats are created equal. Tell us what you love and loathe.
Taste is highly personal, particularly when that taste is literally on the tip of the tongue. So it's no surprise that when it comes to the sugary, colorful indulgences served this week, one person's delight may be another's disgust. Fortunately, abundant choices at office parties, family gatherings and neighborhood visits let us grab what we savor and skip what's out of favor. In these polls, tell what you crave and what makes you cringe. Pick one on each list. Then feel free to tell us in comments what we've missed.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Learn more about the history and meaning behind this Jewish holiday, which starts tomorrow at sundown.
While Christmas is among the top two Christian holidays in terms of importance, Hanukkah is considered a minor holiday for the Jewish people. Nevertheless, it has become one of the more widely celebrated Jewish holidays and is certainly a favorite among children. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jews over the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE (Before Common Era) and is celebrated by lighting one additional candle in a candelabrum, called a hanukkiah (or menorah) for eight days. The holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah means rededication and refers to the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE (or BC). As the website MyJewishLearning.com notes, "Beginning in 167 BCE…
Certain December music makes us pause, sing along and feel nostalgic.
Holiday voices sing, are you listening? Songs of the season are inescapable this week – whether they bring comfort and joy or lyrics and beats that annoy. Amid the jingling and roasting, most people cherish at least a few Christmas songs – perhaps because they've been sung many times, many ways since we were young. Though it may be tough to single out a favorite, here's a chance to click on one that invariably makes you pause, turn up the volume and feel nostalgic. So come and vote, faithful celebrants, and let's see which is triumphant. Write-in votes for unlisted tunes can go in the comments.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
The Troy store offers Detroit-themed gifts and locally-made products with some items benefiting local charities.
This is part of a 30-day series of ways Patch community members can give back this holiday season. We hope you'll take part in this 30 Days of Giving and take the spirit beyond the holidays, because there truly is need all year long. During the holidays, the Somerset Collection in Troy, as well as its 100 or so stores and restaurants, attracts thousands of shoppers every day. One of the mall's hidden gems is The Detroit Shoppe — a unique experience for any shopper. The store, found on the second floor of the mall, functions as part retail store, part Detroit museum. Detroit and its history can be found in everything displayed and for sale at the Detroit Shoppe — from Detroit sporting goods to items from Fox Theatre, to Detroit-made …
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The Rochester Area Neighborhood House Giving Tree project provided gifts for almost 500 children this year.
On Friday, inside the First Congregational Church in Rochester, the families of 495 children who were helped by the Giving Tree project came to pick up their gifts and express their gratitude for those who have helped. “Our project started in September with the clients applying,” Sharon Sutton, of the Rochester Area Neighborhood House, said on Friday. “The outreach and the community support has been incredible, and I couldn’t have done this project without the volunteers.” She added, “It’s been an incredible project.”
Area churches support both local and worldly initiatives, including the Kensington Church.
This is part of a 30-day series of ways Patch community members can give back this holiday season. We hope you'll take part in this 30 Days of Giving and take the spirit beyond the holidays, because there truly is need all year long. 'Tis the season for giving trees, adopting families and serving Christmas meals. A variety of area churches provide many of these opportunities to reach out into the community. One church in particular, Kensington Community Church, has provided the public a way to give back to their neighborhood and to those around the world. Kensington Church has selected 10 causes to motivate people to give back. One of these causes includes donating money to a clean water fund, in which money is donated to the Pokot tribe …
Friday, December 16, 2011
Recent news about the dangers of raw cookie dough has us wondering: who DOESN'T think the dough is the best part?
Researchers last week announced that contaminated raw flour found in pre-packaged, refrigerated cookie dough caused an outbreak of E. coli in 2009. Not necessarily the best news to hear in the height of cookie-baking season, right? On the Rochester Patch Facebook page, readers weighed in on whether they sampled the dough before they baked. "Sometimes my family eats so much of the dough, I don't have much to cook!" one reader admitted. We especially appreciate blogger Nina in New York's take on the news: "E. coli ruins practically everything," she writes, and goes on to disclose that despite the news, she'll continue to treat herself to cookie dough. "There are some lines a girl must draw," she writes. What about you? Have you been baking…
The downtown resale shop offers a list of gift ideas.
The Funky Frog is a resale shop, but did you know they sell new merchandise too? Owner Renee Perkins showed me both the new and the used gift ideas the Frog has to offer. Perkins put on her thinking cap (which looked suspiciously like a skunk) and shared these holiday favorites: Around Town Laura is delivering holiday gift ideas to you in an ongoing series. Click on the links to read about Top 10 lists from: