Sixers to Play on Christmas Day AND in London

Photo illustration by Joe Trinacria.

Big day for Philly basketball fans with reports that the 76ers will make their long-awaited return to Christmas Day action, as well as the official announcement that the team was chosen to participate in the NBA London Game at O2 Arena just after the new year. Read more »

Grinch Does His Job, Ruins Christmas for Kids at Local Mall

Grinch - Neshaminy Mall

Photo illustration, obviously

The Grinch did his job.

On Sunday, the Terror of Whoville was supposed to have made a joint appearance with Santa himself at Bucks County’s Neshaminy Mall. But, according to the angry parents who have since flooded the mall’s Facebook page with complaints, the Grinch was a no-show. CBS 3 even did a report on it, which led to an amusing TV graphic: “Lisa Kots — Took Daughter To See The Grinch.”

So what happened? The Neshaminy Mall first issued a cryptic note: “Due to unfortunate circumstances, the Grinch will no longer be making any appearances.” Later, the mall said it was the fault of World Wide Holiday, the Ohio-based company contracted for the mall’s Santa visits. Read more »

Be Well Family: My Christmas Decorating Fail

iStock

iStock

My mother has the most beautiful Lenox holiday china – white, ringed with simple holly leaves. We used that china (along with special holiday napkins) in between Thanksgiving and New Year’s virtually every year of my life. That wasn’t all: She also has multiple nativities; stockings my grandmother crocheted; a snowman that sings a holiday medley when you press a button; an advent calendar we’ve had since 1980; plus several poinsettias, wreaths, mini trees for the front porch, candles, table-runners, Nutcrackers, the whole deal. I realize as I catalog it here that it maybe sounds a little over-the-top, a tad vulgar, but believe me when I say that it really isn’t, and it never was: It was magical. It felt special.

Me? I have a $14 light-up wreath from the hardware store down the street (with no batteries installed yet), stockings I bought from Target, and a Christmas tree with all the usual fixings. We had an advent calendar, but I have no idea where it is. We did manage to find and display a Santa and Frosty salt-and-pepper shaker set, which we only own because my mom gave it to us, and an Elf on the Shelf, which we only own because my mother-in-law gave it to us. (Note: Not sure if tools of child behavior manipulation also counts as decoration?) Speaking of my mother-in-law: She is also a decorator of epic proportions. Her house basically transforms into a Dickensian Village every Christmas. She actually has a 100-square-foot holiday closet. No joke. Read more »

WATCH: Cory J. Popp’s New Christmas Village Video

A scene from Cory J. Popp's Christmas Village video.

A scene from Cory J. Popp’s Christmas Village video.

Over the weekend, Philly filmmaker and photographer Cory J. Popp captured the holiday festivities at Christmas Village in its new home at City Hall. The open-air holiday market is officially up and running for the season, with 80 vendors, entertainment and food. It’s next to the ice-skating rink at Dilworth Park, also featured in the video. Read more »

Comcast Holiday Spectacular Opens on Thanksgiving

Photo by Joseph Kaczmarek

Photo by Joseph Kaczmarek

That mesmerizing video wall at the Comcast Center switches to its annual holiday show on Thanksgiving Day. If you haven’t seen the “Comcast Experience,” it’s one of the world’s largest and highest-resolution LED displays, according to Visit Philly, stretching 83 feet across and 25 feet high.

The Holiday Spectacular show includes a sleigh ride through the Pennsylvania countryside and up above Philadelphia, plus yuletide classics like Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, The Twelve Days of Christmas and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker by the Pennsylvania Ballet. Read more »

Hamilton Set Designer is Decorating the City Hall Christmas Tree

A rendering of the Philadelphia Holiday Tree at Dilworth Park. Courtesy of David Korins Design

A rendering of the Philadelphia Holiday Tree at Dilworth Park. Courtesy of David Korins Design

Anchoring a 40-foot Christmas tree outside of City Hall is an engineering feat in itself, even before you add the two-foot Liberty Bell ornament.

“We wanted it to be a love letter to Philadelphia, and we wanted the scale of the ornaments to feel different and special,” says designer David Korins of the oversized decorations and iridescent base he created for the Philadelphia Holiday Tree in Dilworth Park. Read more »

17 Things to Do in Philly Christmas Weekend

This weekend, several holiday attractions throughout the city will keep their doors open for some post-Christmas fun. For those who have filled their Christmas quota, we found some more secular activities people of all faiths can enjoy — musical concerts, theatrical productions, museum events and activities. Check out all our picks below.

Christmas Day

Catch a marathon of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" screenings Friday at Blue Cross RiverRink.

Catch a marathon of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” screenings Friday at Blue Cross RiverRink.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Movie Screening

America’s favorite furry recluse — the Jim Carrey version — will peak his head out to cap off the 12 Days of Christmas Movies celebration at the RiverRink. The showing will begin at 6 pm and play on loop until late into the evening. Enjoy the film as a backdrop to your skating experience or cozy up on a couch with a friend to give the film individual attention. Friday, December 25th, 6 pm, free, Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 South Columbus Boulevard.

Ciroc-mas Ugly Sweater Party 

Those oversized scratchy wool sweaters have been waiting all year to be pulled from the back of your closet. Now is their time to shine. The Bleu Martini is inviting you to join them for their annual ugly sweater party hosted by Icon Ryan. Live music will be played by guest DJ O-Boyy and drink specials will be served throughout the night. Friday, December 25th, 9 pm, Bleu Martini, 24 s 2nd Street. 

Read more »

10 Very Philly Christmas Songs to Break Your Holiday Tune Rut

Jon Solomon feeling festive in his studio at WPRB.

Jon Solomon feeling festive in his studio at WPRB.

On Christmas Eve, WPRB DJ Jon Solomon will kick off his 27th annual 25-Hour Holiday Radio Show, well known around town for his collection of off-beat tunes with a punk and indie twist. You can listen at 103.3 FM starting 5 pm on December 24th all the way to 6 pm on Christmas Day.

In the spirit of the season — and because we’re a little sick of listening to all the familiar tunes already — we asked him to share some of his favorite holiday songs from Philly artists. He sent us some doozies — from something by The Dead Milkmen to an oh-so-Philly-style version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” (eat your heart out, Tina Fey). Give them a listen below and share them with friends for the ultimate Very Philly Christmas.

Read more »

SEPTA Holiday Service: Everything You Need to Know

septa-trolley-940x540

Photo | Jack Cotter

One good thing about Christmas and New Year’s Day this year: Both fall on a Friday, so there will be overnight rapid transit service both days.

There will also be overnight rapid transit service the night before both. That’s one of several adjustments SEPTA is making to handle holiday travel.

Here’s the full rundown on the adjustments as per SEPTA: Read more »

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