23 February 2016

Shady Brook Farms Holiday Light Show Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2117

Shady Brook Farms PhotosEvery year we look for fun “Christmas-y” places to visit during Christmas week. One new place we discovered this year was Shady Brook Farms in Bucks County, PA. Their Christmas light display consists of over 3 million lights and includes displays ranging from light tunnels to iconic structures from around to the world to almost anything else you can imagine.You can drive through or ride on a tractor pulled wagon. We opted for the open air wagon ride because who wants to take pictures from behind glass while driving. Of course, I took full advantage of the wagon ride to take a bunch of photos.

You can check out the photos right here.

31 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas

Category: Life — Posted by Michael at 2003

I’m happy to see Apple embracing the 12 days of Christmas with their 12 Days of Gifts app. The gifts have been of varying quality but they seem to want to find something for every taste which is cool.Personally, I have always been a fan of the 12 Days of Christmas. No, I don’t mean the song (no offense to partridges or turtle doves). I mean the 12 days following Christmas Day. December is always a crazy month. You’re running around preparing for the holidays, decorating, gift shopping, trying to get caught up at work before leaving for the holiday, baking cookies and on and on. It feels like the buildup to the holiday is more and more stressful with each day and then when Christmas Eve arrives things finally wind down and you can relax. To me, this is when the holidays truly begin. I’m lucky enough to be able to take off between Christmas and New Year’s Day so this is when I go to “Christmassy stuff” and visit with friends and family.

Most years it’s more like the 9 days of Christmas, but this year with the way that the weekends and my days off have fallen (minus some working at home), I’ll be going back to work on the 12th day of Christmas. So, counting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day which really days -1 and 0, I certainly can’t complain!

So, on this 5th day of Christmas, here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry 12 Days of Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

04 December 2010

Politically Correct Scrooges Lose In Philly

Category: Interesting Links,Randomness — Posted by Michael at 0141

Christmas Village Sign

If you live in the Philadelphia area, you’ve no doubt heard about the short-lived renaming of Philadelphia’s annual Christmas Village. Just in case you aren’t familiar, Philadelphia has, for the past few years, has put on a Chriskindlmarkt in Center City outside city hall. They don’t call it a Chriskindlmarkt. They instead call it a Christmas Village. Earlier this week, the city decided to remove the word Christmas from it to avoid offending people. This ridiculous move was met with a proper level of outrage from the public and Mayor Michael Nutter had the name restored.

While I think he made the right move, it’s insane that they ever changed the name to begin with. I don’t think he’s a hero for putting out a fire that the city started to begin with. I also don’t think this is the last time we’ll hear about this. So, I feel like I should get on my virtual soapbox and shout into the wind.

I’m not a member of any religion, Christian or otherwise,  and I don’t care about what religion anyone belongs to any more than I care what race someone is. Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Pastafarian has nothing to do with the situation. I think the separation of church and state is extremely important and I think religion has no place in government. However, my argument is, and always has been, that there are really two Christmases. First, there’s the “baby Jesus Christmas.” I’m referring to the religious holiday that the Christians only celebrate. Then there’s the Christmas that’s for everyone, the “Santa Claus Christmas.” Yes, Christmas started as a religious holiday, but it has evolved into the secular version that most of us celebrate today. Christmas is about decorating, giving gifts & cards, being with family and friends and spreading goodwill. Those parts of Christmas are unrelated to religion. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and it sickens me when I hear of schools, businesses or anyone else referring to Christmas as “The Holiday” or “The Winter Holiday.” It just seems ridiculous. I’ve never read the Bible but I’m pretty sure that there’s no mention of Santa Claus, eggnog, candy canes or flying reindeer in there.

So, I’m very glad that the for once, the whiney minority was shut down by the sane majority. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s a sweet victory when it does.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s article regarding the Christmas Village debacle is here.

Some photos from previous visits to the Christmas Village can be found in the Photos section of this site.

08 October 2010

It is towel season again

Category: Interesting Links,Randomness — Posted by Michael at 1836

I just updated my mother’s towel catalog for the first time in a while. Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all coming up and there are towels for each! Of course, the everyday ones make great gifts too! Take a look look at what’s available here.

04 January 2009

Christmas at Longwood Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 0916

Longwood GardensLongwood Gardens is a fun place to visit all year long but at Christmas time it’s a totally different place. The amount of lights and flowers is astounding. They’ve really exapanded the displays since the last time I was there two years ago.

Because we were there after dark this year, there aren’t as many great photos, but there was plenty of cold weather and Christmas lights which is all it takes to make me happy apparently! Check out the photos here.

24 December 2008

Merry Merry Merry!

Category: Life — Posted by Michael at 0501

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

20 December 2008

Koziar’s Christmas Village

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2259

KoziarsAfter going to the Bethlehem Chriskindlmarkt, we stopped at Koziar’s Christmas Village. It was the first time I’ve been there since I was a little kid. It’s only grown more impressive over the years. My photos don’t do it justice.

Two Chriskindlmarkts

Category: Life,Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2236

BethlehemWhen I think of Christmas it conjures images of small towns with rows of little stores selling gifts in Germany. OK, so maybe not the Germany part. However, a really cool Christmas tradition does come from Germany. It’s the Chriskindlmarkt. Bethlehem, PA (a.k.a. Christmas City) puts on a huge one every year. I finally got a chance to go to it this year. It was a fun day of shopping and some sightseeing.

Then i heard Philadelphia was putting on one of their own at City Hall. It was called the Philadelphia Christmas Village. While not as big it will hopefully be an annual event because it has real potential.

Check out my photos from Bethlehem and then take a look at my photos of Philadelphia.

23 March 2008

Lancaster Christmas Show Photos

Category: Life,Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2151

After a very difficult few months, I’m finally trying to start getting caught up with things. That includes updating my site. I just posted some photos that I took when we took my grandfather to the annual Christmas show at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA. It was a christmas gift to him from my Mom & Dad.

This particular place holds a special meaning to him and me because the threatre is on the property where there once existed The Willows Motel that he and my grandmother used to take me to when I was little. The covered bridge on their property is what started my love of covered bridges.

Check out he photos right here.

25 December 2007

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

Category: Life — Posted by Michael at 0212

Here’s wishing you have a jous and healthy Christmas. Hopefully you are as lucky as I am to be able to take the week off and spend it with family and friends!

24 December 2007

Track Santa with NORAD

Category: Interesting Links,Randomness,Technology — Posted by Michael at 0715

When you you hear about Cheyenne Mountain Complex, you probably think about a super secure military facility, men & women of our Armed Forces protecting us from attack from the sky, and maybe even the TV show Stargate SG-1 (a personal favorite of mine).

On this special day every year, the men and women of NORAD that serve 2400 feet under the ground add a very special mission to their other critical tasks.

As they have for the 52 years, NORAD will follow Santa Claus on his flight around the world. This year it’s greatly enhanced by teaming up with Google Earth to make it fun and educational. (But mainly fun!)

Track Santa at noradsanta.org.

03 December 2007

Peddlers Village Christmas Festival

Category: Life,Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2312

Peddler's VillageYou’ve seen my photos from Peddler’s Village taken during the summer. (If not, view them here.)  Their annual Christmas Festival was this past weekend, so Kelly and I went back to see what it’s like in winter. It’s a whole different experience. The sub-freezing temperature was made bearable by marshmallow roasting over an open fire, hot cider cooked over a fire, carolers and even a little parade to welcome Santa Claus. Add thousands of Christmas lights and you have a great start to the Christmas season!

Click here to view my pictures from the festival.

25 December 2006

Merry Christmas!

Category: Life — Posted by Michael at 0708

Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas! I hope that you and your family the best Christmas ever!

23 December 2006

Tracking Santa

Category: Interesting Links — Posted by Michael at 1143

As they do every year, NORAD will track Santa Claus beginning tomorrow morning. See, you knew the military had to have a fun side! 🙂

Check it out at www.noradsanta.com.

22 December 2006

The Story of Christmas

Category: Interesting Links — Posted by Michael at 2332

When you think of Christmas you probably think of Christmas trees, lights, Santa Claus, a blazing fireplace, gift giving, etc. But why do these images mean Christmas to us? Whether or not you believe the Christian mythology of how Christmas started, you should know that the holiday that we celebrate every December is a result of centuries of traditions from around the world coming together to form what we as a culture call Christmas.

To learn about all of these traditions and how they shaped our current Christmas celebrations, check out this great History of Christmas site put together by the History Channel. I stumbled upon it while looking for something specific, but wound up reading every page.

Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

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