Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Patch helps you enjoy the New Year's holiday week.
Normally, we do a countdown of activities to help you plan for your adventures in the upcoming weekend, but with another holiday coming up, we thought we'd focus on everything New Year's. On Monday, we told you about: If thinking about the boozing, the binging, and the headache the morning after doesn't sound fun to you this New Year's Eve, try these five fun options: Do you have ideas to share? E-mail Tim.Rath@Patch.com.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
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.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Black Friday spending reached all-time levels this year, but the biggest jump was in 'couch commerce.' Have you shopped mobile this year?
Spending reached all-time Black Friday highs this weekend as a record 226 million shoppers jumped into holiday purchases – many of them using mobile devices to do so. The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 Black Friday and Saturday, according to a National Retail Federation survey. And Black Friday global mobile payment volume increased 516 percent from 2010, according to data from PayPal. A lot of mobile shopping appeared to take place from the couch following Thanksgiving dinner: Five times as much was spent that day via mobile as was spent on turkey day 2010, PayPal's blog reports. According to eBay, U.S. shoppers purchased nearly 2 1/2 times as many items through mobile devices this Black Friday compared with 2010. What about you…
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Here are some quick recipes to save you time before vacation starts, the kids are home and stores are packed with last-minute shoppers.
Editor's note: Check back Monday on Patch and read about some special diet-friendly holiday events coming up around Oakland County. It's a busy, busy time of year. Whatever your faith or customs, this is an event-packed season and the race is on to get things done before vacation starts, the kids are home and stores are packed with last-minute shoppers. I say I'm going to work ahead every year and have my cards addressed and ready to go, my house decorated and holiday gifts made or wrapped by Thanksgiving. It has yet to happen. So, in these busy times, it's nice to have a few recipes that will help me save time. For special dieters, these are the standbys we cling to, especially since stopping for a little pick-me-up isn't always an option…
Friday, November 25, 2011
Shoppers were still hungry for sales after a turkey sandwich.
Area shoppers kept the Black Friday madness going throughout the day as they stopped at local big box stores to score deals. Best Buy drew a crowd of more than 300 shoppers waiting to get their hands on electronics deals that sold out within an hour, said Tyler Deanda, a Bloomfield Hills store employee. “We let about 25 people in at a time to make things go smoother,” Deanda said. A few police officers were stationed outside of the Bloomfield Hills store as well which helped deter any Black Friday brawls. One of the hottest bargains was a Sharp 42-inch television for $199.99. There were also select 99-cent DVD’s and 4.99 Blu Rays. Costco had a more traditional Black Friday opening at 9 a.m., unlike Target and Best Buy’s midnight madness …
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Check out the roads around Somerset, Twelve Oaks and Oakland malls before heading out.
Heading out to the mall this Black Friday. Make sure to check out the traffic around (from top to bottom) the Somerset Collection in Troy, Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi and Oakland Mall in Troy. Also, note any current construction with the yellow icons. Here are mall hours and other "if-you-go" details: Address: 27500 Novi Road, Novi, MI 48377 Mall hours: Friday: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Photos with Santa: At the Ice Palace; every day now through Dec. 24 during mall hours (generally 10 a.m.-9 p.m.). Breaks are from 12:30-1 p.m. and 5:30-6 p.m. on Mondays-Saturdays. Break on Sundays are 1-1:30 p.m. More Holiday events in Novi Address: 412 W 14 Mile Rd, Troy, MI 48083 Mall hours: Friday: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. …
There are 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We'll fill every one of them with ways to give back in West Bloomfield, but we need your help.
What a memorable year it's been so far at "the Patch." From launching this site in the dead of winter — Feb. 21 this year — to where we are now, I've written myriad stories that will stick with me long after they're tucked away in my portfolio. When running around the township's 31 square miles, "You're everywhere!" is still a popular greeting for yours truly, right after "Tim!" The residents make it easy to feel thankful. Whether it's a government official willing to take the extra five minutes during election night to spell out something I don't immediately understand, or a store owner nice enough to offer coffee on a cold, rainy morning, or an athlete willing to offer precious quotes after a bitter defeat, people make the work worth it…