Philadelphians to Spend 18 Percent Less on Holiday Shopping in 2015



When it comes to holiday shopping, the Philadelphia region is tightening its belt this season. It’s decreasing its holiday spending by 18 percent compared to last year— but nationally, spending is increasing 12.5 percent.

That’s according to a new study from professional services firm Deloitte, finding that Philadelphia-area consumers expect to spent $1,249 compared to $1,532 in 2014 — a difference of nearly $300. Nationally, spending is set to be $1,462 in 2015. Read more »

Philadelphia Museum of Art Tree-Lighting

Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Tomorrow evening (November 25th), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) will hold a ceremony to light the 47-foot-tall Christmas tree on the Museum’s Eastern Terrace. The event starts at 5 pm, with hot chocolate, candy canes and cookies provided by the Museum, and a performance by the Haddonfield Madrigal Singers.

The tree will be lit with solar-powered lights and, for the first and only time, it will stand behind Robert Indiana‘s AMOR sculpture, that was unveiled in September for the pope’s visit. The sculpture is expected to stay at PMA through the end of January — long after the tree’s gone.

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Dilworth Park’s Rothman Ice Rink Opens Next Week


With all the announcements about Christmas villages and holiday light shows popping up, there was one question on all of our minds: What about Dilworth Park’s Rothman Ice Rink? The answer is Friday, November 13th.

Despite the sinister Friday the 13th starting date, the opening celebration promises to be full of all the seasonal cheer you’d expect but with an emphasis on Philly sports. Philadelphia Eagles mascot Swoop will be on hand to lead a pep rally along with Sixers mascot Franklin and the Phillies Phlight Squad. (I guess the Phanatic was too busy basking in his newfound fame.) The afternoon will be set to tunes by the Eagles Pep Band, and, just to make sure the ice is good and sound, the Flyers Skate Girls will slink out onto the rink to test out the ice before the crowds descend upon it for winter.

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Oh Sh#%, Here Comes Christmas


Oh sh#% indeed. | Shutterstock.

I only heard the announcement because WHYY was conducting a fund drive and I was surfing the radio dial in the car. (Then again, when isn’t WHYY conducting a fund drive?) Still, what I heard did cause me to look a bit less fondly at my decade-old Honda, which, despite the extensive body damage inflicted by my parking garage (love you guys!) and the 197,568 miles on its odometer, I usually like very much. My Honda, though, doesn’t have Sirius. And the announcement from radio station More FM 101 was that already, now, right this very minute, it was conducting an online poll to choose which Christmas songs we, the people, want to hear this year.

This was two weeks before Halloween. Read more »

Christmas in September? 14 Percent Have Already Started Shopping



Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier every year. Last year I saw a Christmas commercial before Halloween. (Before Halloween!) Corporations, I know Christmas is your biggest opportunity to sell things we probably don’t need, but at least wait until it’s cold outside to start your Christmas promotions. It’s going to be 88 degrees in Philly today!

But some Americans would disagree with me. A new poll by found that 14 percent of consumers have already started their Christmas shopping. If extrapolated to the American populace, that would mean 32 million Americans have begun shopping. What’s more, 2 percent — or 4.6 million consumers — are already finished their Christmas shopping. Wow. Read more »

Cops Deliver Christmas Baby on SEPTA Train

Two SEPTA police officers helped deliver a baby Christmas night, on the eastbound Market Frankford subway as it approached its 15th Street stop.

NBC 10 reports the delivery occurred around 6 p.m.:

“When she was on the train I guess the baby said, ‘I’m ready to come out now,” said witness Toney Harris-Saunders who was on his way to see family for Christmas.

Harris-Saunders, a 26-year-old Philadelphia resident, said he called 911 when he saw the woman having the baby in the seat in front of him — calling the entire experience a “phenomena.”

“I helped relax her and a couple of other people helped her as well … told her to relax, to take some breaths,” said Harris-Saunders.

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Here’s What’s #OpenInPHL This Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

LOVE Park Christmas Tree by Lauren Mame Thomas

LOVE Park Christmas Tree by Lauren Mame Thomas

As always, follow the #OpeninPHL hashtag on Twitter to see what bars and restaurants are opening today in Philadelphia.

If you’re a business owner, announce that you’re open on Twitter with the hashtag, #OpenInPHL.

It’s Going to Be a Warm Christmas in Philadelphia

It’s not going to feel very Christmas-y in Philadelphia on Christmas, weather-wise.

But what’s wrong with that? It’s actually kind of exciting you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday without also dealing with freezing temperatures. So what if there isn’t any snow? It should be in the 50s, at least. And the 60s on Christmas Eve! Even I might go outside!

Last week, we told you about forecasters’ predictions of precipitation on Christmas Eve. We immediately dashed your hopes for a White Christmas by telling you it’d be too warm to snow. But who knew it’d be this warm?

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A Philadelphia Christmas List

monica weymouth

I have no reason to believe that Philadelphia made Santa’s list this year. If he checked it even once, he’d probably realize that we don’t do a lot of good for goodness sake around these parts.

But just in case – because Christmas is a time for miracles, and Santa seems like a pretty solid dude – it wouldn’t hurt to have a wish list at the ready.

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