Saturday, November 17, 2012
Buy your annual holiday cards from a local charity this year.
Every holiday season, families across the country send cards to their loved ones, filling them in on the last year and wishing them a happy new one. For families planning to buy holiday cards this year, nonprofit organizations around the area are offering unique cards that benefit their missions. That way, each card sends holiday cheer while supporting a worthy cause. Here is our round-up of holiday cards for charity. Operation Food Search Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Our Little Haven Saint Louis Zoo Is your non-profit organization selling cards this holiday season? Add your photo and information to the story by clicking the Upload Pictures and Video button.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The National Retail Federation released its annual holiday shopping forecast. Americans are shopping earlier than ever, the survey shows, which could lead to a 4.1 percent increase in national sales.
Accustomed to pinching pennies thanks to years of economic downturn, holiday shoppers this year will look for ways to cut corners, comparative shop online and even plan to travel less, if not at all, the National Retail Federation said in its annual shopping forecast for the Christmas season. On average, the NRF expects holiday consumers to spend $749.51 on holiday gifts, decor, greeting cards and more in 2012. That's more than the $740.57 shoppers actually spent in 2011. And before you think Patch is reporting on the holiday season, think again. According to the survey, nearly half of Americans say they've begun holiday shopping before Halloween—12.3 percent of those surveyed before September; 7 percent during September; and 22.1 percent…
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Yes, it's still a little early to think about Christmas shopping. I understand. But it's coming up soon. And we all know that one person who is extremely hard to buy for. What do you do?
I will make no apology for this edition of our weekly "Conversation Starter." I'm selfishly motivated by the need for your help. And I don't care that Halloween is still three days away. Or that Christmas is still nearly two months off. We need all the time we can get. See, here's the problem: My father is in his early 70s; my father-in-law is in his early 80s. If anything, they're trying to get rid of things. What do you buy for the hard-to-buy-for? What do you do to make the Christmas merry for the folks who seem to have everything, don't need anything or who won't let themselves get pinned down? Here's another stumper for you: My son is 17. He's a drama kid, a singer, a World of Warcraft fanatic. He is every bit as hard to buy for as my…
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Patch asked newly-published children's book author Jo Ann Kairys of Monmouth County to tell us about the most magical children's book on the shelves this holiday season. Here is her list.
Kids say and do the darndest things, right? And so often, they provide tender or hilarious or wonder-filled inspiration for picture books. One day I heard my granddaughters complaining about the rain as they thumped on the window. Eager to get outdoors, they waited impatiently for the storm to end. Suddenly, they pretended they were the rain. “SWOOSH! SPLAT! SWISH!” Their sounds were innocently poetic, perfect ingredients for a rhyming picture book. Putting it all together in story form is when the magic happens—a sound in just the right place, a vibrant image that brings the story alive, and characters who draw you right into their world. There are so many wonderful children’s picture books. I’d like to share a few from 2011 that I think …
Monday, December 26, 2011
One family takes time to enjoy the holidays before they're over.
Every year, the holidays get crazy and blow by in a flash. Many of us find ourselves staring at the January on the calendar in disbelief, wondering what in the world just happened. We’ve been rushing through the last six weeks of the year, every year, and then when we hit the drudgery of January, it feels as if we might have overdone it. This year, with a baby due at the end of December, it was particularly important to me that we take some time to really slow down and enjoy the season. I have been tempted for several years to take a trip to the YMCA Trout Lodge for their family holiday weekend, and we finally decided to try it. This year, the theme was Nutcracker Christmas and took place over the first weekend in December. When checking …
Saturday, December 24, 2011
The district has been donating and contributing to various service projects.
Mehlville School District staff and students have been picking up extra clothes and food for those in need in Mehlville and Oakville. The schools have had collections personal hygiene items, books, pet care items, winter clothing and food. Several departments and classes have also sent letters and care packages to service men and women overseas. Here are a few projects that went on during the holidays in the district: Parents as Teachers/Early Childhood Program: Adopted families in need Beasley Elementary: Made gift bags for veterans at the Jefferson Barracks V.A. Medical Center Bierbaum Elementary: Collection benefitting families served by Feed My People Blades Elementary: Contributed to the Shoebox project Forder Elementary: Collected …
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The district's bus drivers helped eight needy families this holiday season.
Eight families across the Mehlville School District will have a better holiday season thanks to the people who drive our kids to school. For the last 20 years, the district’s 95 bus drivers have banded together to adopt needy families, but this year, a record eight families in the district needed help. The project —headed by bus drivers Edith Browner and Annette Kobermann— provides food, toys, clothes and even furniture for Mehlville and Oakville families. The goods were delivered to Monday in, of course, a big, yellow bus. “Most were appreciative,” Browner said. “We picked families that had little ones and they’re just grateful that they have something, and it gives us a good feeling.” The drivers usually adopt six families and put up a …
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Give gifts with a big impact, not a big footprint.
Wrapping paper, packaging, decorations—Americans throw away 25 percent more material from Thanksgiving Day to New Years than at any other time of year. If you’re looking to put a little more green into your holiday gifts, here are some suggestions from the St. Louis County Department of Health: Check back with Patch after Christmas for tips on how to recycle and reuse your Christmas tree and wrapping paper.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Get out the lights and holly. Your decorating could net $100,000 to our schools.
Patch is launching a nationwide contest to find the best-dressed home in its communities, and the winner’s school district will receive $100,000, no strings attached. Here’s how the contest works. Beginning on Dec. 8 and continuing through Dec. 26, you can nominate your home by uploading a photo to the contest entry form on the site. During that same time period, you and your neighbors will also be able to vote for your favorite festive home. The winning entry will be forwarded to a national Patch judge that will select 24 finalists. Each finalist will receive $500 that they can apply to their December electric bill. From Dec. 30 through Jan. 8 you will be able to vote for the Best Decked House in all of Patch. The grand prize winner’s …
Monday, December 5, 2011
Traffic in peaceful Mehlville gets a little crazy during the holidays.
Way back in 2001 when we bought our house, we made the purchase in the month of March, when Christmas is a fuzzy memory that seems like it will never occur again. However, we go past South County Mall and a few other holiday hot spots to get home, and within a few months we were thinking our great location had a major drawback. We have learned to bypass our exit and take the long way home to avoid the crazy drivers— the ones who are not even from South County. Every weeknight and late afternoon on Saturday, there is a long line of traffic begging for a turn to merge onto Interstate 55 south. I don’t know what’s at the end of that highway, but it must not have a Bath & Body Works. We’ve also learned that Black Friday, for us, is a day best …