LISTEN: Bobby Hill Drops a Christmas Song

Now that we’re nearing the middle of December, you may be a little over the Christmas music already, but boy soprano Bobby Hill — the young man who sang for and wowed the pope in September — released a new Christmas tune today that may put a little spark back into holiday-tune listening experience.

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5 Ways to Make Boring Christmas Parties into Networking Gold

VGstockstudio/Shutterstock

VGstockstudio/Shutterstock

Lots of us will be attending holiday parties and networking events this season. You may have an office Christmas party, a non-profit related soiree or a holiday get together for the members of one of your regular networking groups. Although you may attend with the goal of having a cocktail and seeing friends, there are lots of networking opportunities to be found at these type of events as well.

Here are some tips to help you close out the year strong: Read more »

New Jersey Church Hosting Living Star Wars Nativity

star-wars-nativity-new-jersey

A church in New Jersey is taking advantage of the hysteria surrounding the long-awaited release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by hosting three weeks worth of Star Wars-themed sermons and activities called “Cosmic Christmas.” You’ll have to drive a ways to take part, but one event in particular should totally be worth the trek.

On Christmas Eve, there will be a living Star Wars nativity scene at all five locations of Liquid Church in New Jersey. A rep from the church tells me Princess Leia will stand in as Mary, Han Solo will represent Joseph, Chewbacca will be all the animals in the manger and R2D2 will rep the wise men. What about baby Jesus, you ask? Sadly, it’s not Yoda. “We have a wooden cresh with swaddling clothes to represent Jesus, but no Star Wars character will be in the cresh,” she says.

The inspiration behind it is pretty cute: Lead Pastor Tim Lucas says that, as a kid, he sneakily replaced all the characters in his mom’s miniature nativity with his Star Wars figurines. The lineup is much like the one you’ll see at Liquid, except he swapped Jesus with a jawa. (“Sacrilege, I know!)

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Little Nonna’s Celebrates Sinatra’s 100th Birthday with Special Menu

Frank SinatraAs you probably know, Frank Sinatra and the holiday season go pretty well together if you ever listened to his Christmas classics of the past.

So in honor of what would’ve been his 100th birthday, on December 12 Little Nonna’s is preparing a four-course tasting menu inspired by Ol’ Blue Eyes’ favorite dishes.

Owners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran of the Italian-American eatery located at 1234 Locust Street in Midtown Village have put together a special menu to celebrate the life of the legendary entertainer.

The menu features Frank’s mother’s signature marinara sauce and other Sinatra family recipes. It will be available during their dinner service starting tonight (Monday, December 7) and running through Sunday, December 13.

And yes, of course we have the menu

PHOTOS: Holiday Lantern Parade and Tree-Lighting in Christmas Village

Philadelphians brought glowing lanterns of all shapes, colors and sizes to the first-ever Lantern Parade to Christmas Village over the weekend. The procession began at Comcast Center Plaza and made its way to LOVE Park for the annual tree-lighting ceremony, with folks singing carols along the way. The actual tree-lighting saw a performance from The Philly POPS Brass Quintet, and appearances by CBS3 Meteorologist Kate Bilo and First Deputy Commissioner of Parks & Facilities Mark Focht, who had the honor of flipping the switch. Check out photos from the event below for some beginning-of-the-week holiday inspiration:



15 Things to Do in Philly This Week

This week, take a holiday trolley tour to the different mansions in Fairmount Park. | Photo by R. Kennedy

This week, take a holiday trolley tour to the different mansions in Fairmount Park. | Photo by R. Kennedy

There are multiple ways to ring in the holiday this week, including the remarkable Vienna Boys Choir who will be in town for a benefit performance for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Don’t miss two early-evening young friends cocktail parties at Fleisher Art Memorial and National Museum of American Jewish History and a couple holiday trolley tours through Fairmount Park. Looking for tunes? No matter what your taste, you’ll find something to tap your feet to with a performance by The Philly Pops, Q102 Jingle Ball and a curious-sounding Star Wars rock-and-roll cabaret.

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21 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

things to do in philly tree lightings

This weekend, there are plenty of holiday celebrations to greet December properly, from shopping opportunities on Rittenhouse Row, to a trio of tree lighting ceremonies, at Christmas Village, Winterfest and South Street.Jewish celebrations aren’t exempt either — enjoy Hanakkah festivities at Latkepalooza with latkes, donuts and ice cream. Want to get away from the Christmas-y mood for a while? Check out a show like Deerhunter at Union Transfer, an award-winning film made by Temple and Penn students, a murder mystery at the Art Museum, and more.

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The Best Christmas Lights In and Around Philadelphia

The popular light display at Shady Brook Farm. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

The popular light display at Shady Brook Farm. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Shady Brook Farm

931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley

You haven’t seen the Statue of Liberty, Leaning Tower of Pisa or Great Wall of China until you’ve seen them made out of Christmas lights. Weave your car (or let a tractor pull you) along the two-mile path past the Seven Wonders of the World and through tunnels made of twinkling lights as you view more bedecked trees, snowmen and toy soldiers than you can possibly imagine. You’ll end up at the farm market for hot chocolate, s’mores by a bonfire, and, if you want, the perfect tree to haul home. $20 per carload during the week with a food donation; $25 on weekends.

Go here for: Family tradition; the Flemings have been running this farm for generations and the holiday show for 20-plus years.

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Philadelphians to Spend 18 Percent Less on Holiday Shopping in 2015

imtmphoto/Shutterstock

imtmphoto/Shutterstock

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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