Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Friday, December 30, 2016

First Night Celebrations To Ring In The New Year

There are so many different ways to ring in the new year. Each Adirondack town has special celebrations from Lake George cruises to Long Lake’s Little Bus festivities. There are even ski mountain extravaganzas like Oak Mountain’s Torch Light Parade or Titus Mountain’s free 1st Tracks Bash.

My family has always chosen to bring in the new year with a First Night Celebration in Saranac Lake or Saratoga Springs. Both events offer an alcohol-free, family-friendly tradition for welcoming in the new year. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Trees of Christmas

christmas treeYou picked it out, maybe cut it down, brought it home, watered it, and decorated it. But do you know what species of tree that is surrounded by presents in your living room?

If you purchased your Christmas tree rather than cutting it out of the woods, chances are it’s either a balsam fir (Abies balsamea) or a fraser fir (Abies fraseri) – these are the two species most commonly grown on Christmas tree farms in northern New England. Balsam fir is found naturally everywhere, from Alberta to Pennsylvania, and has the largest range of any North American fir species. It’s perhaps best known for its aroma – when people say they want a tree that smells like Christmas, they’re talking about a balsam. Fraser fir, native to the Appalachian Mountains, doesn’t have the same trademark scent, but it does have a little more visual flourish in the form of elegant blue-green needles with silvery-white undersides. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Christmas Yule Log Tradition

yule logsApparently, the ceremonial burning of a large chunk of wood on or near the winter solstice (Yule to the old Germanic peoples) may have begun as a Nordic custom in the 6th century, possibly earlier. Known as a Yule clog, Yule block, Christmas log and other variants, the Yule log was purported to bring good luck in the new year if it burned all day long without being fully consumed. A remnant was always saved, and used to light the following year’s log. Though the tradition is much less common today, it has not been completely extinguished (so to speak).

Given the climate there, it is no surprise that the hardy folks in northern Europe thought the best way to observe a winter holiday was to light a tree trunk on fire and gather round it. That’s probably what I would have done, too. The French, on the other hand, put a whole new twist on the thing, inventing a delicious Yule log cake that they never burn, at least not intentionally. It took them a dozen or so centuries to come up with the recipe, but let’s not complain. You don’t have to go to France to check out a bûche de Noël — in Quebec you can find Yule log pastries that are works of art in addition to being delectable. (In an ironic twist, the bûche glacée de Noel, or frozen Christmas log, is gaining popularity in France and its territories.) » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Letters to Santa from a Simpler Time

pa1922-xmasadChildren’s Christmas wishes and expectations years ago were much different from what they are today. I was so struck by this—the simplicity and innocence of children hoping to receive some sort of gift—that while researching a book back in 2010, I included a chapter entitled Letters to Santa (in History of Churubusco). The sample letters below are excerpted from that book, and were published in North Country newspapers between 1920 and 1940. They reveal a sharp contrast to the modern holiday, where expensive gifts have become the disproportionate norm.

Like hundreds of other small villages and towns in the early twentieth century, Churubusco (in northwest Clinton County) was a farming community. Families were often self-sufficient, and everyone, including small children, had daily chores. This fostered teamwork, family unity, and gave children a firsthand understanding of the value of goods, services, and hard work. Those lessons were conveyed in their missives to Santa. And some of the comments in the letters are just plain cute. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Balsam Fir: Adirondack Christmas Tradition

As a rule, the severity of the winter becomes harsher with an increase in altitude. In the lowlands, around the periphery of the Park, conditions are more favorable for life, as these valley settings are capable of supporting a wide diversity of flora and fauna. However, closer to the summit of the peaks, the weather becomes as inhospitable as at much higher latitudes, such as near the Arctic Circle, where only a handful of extremely hardy forms of vegetation can flourish to grace the rugged, boulder strewn terrain. Among the woody plants that are successful in rooting in the shallow soil of these frigid, wind swept sites is the balsam fir (Abies balsamea), known as our most popular type of Christmas tree. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll, Skate and Celebrate Saturday

holiday strollThe village of Lake Placid will host the 8th Annual Holiday Village Stroll, complete with holiday shopping, family fun, arts and entertainment from Friday, Dec. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016.

The Holiday Village Stroll weekend includes activities for kids and families such as a skating party, opportunities to visit with Santa, holiday movie screenings at the Palace Theatre, a tree-lighting ceremony, holiday crafts, story time and cookie decorating. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Adirondack Holiday Events This Weekend

holiday strollThere are a variety of ways to ring in the holidays with quaint Adirondack charm. It can be as simple as viewing the holiday lights throughout Long Lake or as active as this weekend’s Lake Placid Holiday Stroll and Christmas in Essex. With fresh snow in the mountains and holiday bazaars on every corner, it is beginning to look a lot like an Adirondack Christmas.

Over the past 20 years Christmas in Essex has evolved to include a mixture of traditional activities and new events. The event kicks off with a preview party, tree lighting and holiday concert. Adults can learn how to create a special holiday drink with a free lesson with Mixologist Lori Kudelski at the Essex Inn. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pining For That Evergreen Smell

balsamSpeaking as a guy who can hide his own Easter eggs and still not find them, I marvel how Father Christmas, who is at least several years older than I, still manages to keep track of all those kids and their presents. Lucky for us that the most enduring memories are associated with smell. If it was not for the fragrant evergreen wreaths, trees and garlands (and possibly a hint of reindeer dung), Santa probably would have long ago forgotten his holiday duties.

Of all the memorable aromas of the holiday season, nothing evokes its spirit quite like the smell of fresh-cut pine, spruce or fir. Although most American households which observe Christmas have switched to artificial trees, about eleven million families still bring home a real tree. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Adirondack Museum A Black Friday Holiday Headquarters

adirondack museum Friday, Nov. 25, through Sunday, Dec. 18, the Adirondack Museum Visitor Center and Museum Store will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm, with a variety of holiday activities and events.

The Adirondack Museum Store will feature holiday sales, unique wilderness gifts, and other Adirondack items. Visitors can explore free local history exhibitions, and access local area information.

The Museum Store features locally made pottery, jewelry, and crafts; books written in and about the region; holiday decorations and cards; Adirondack art and reproductions from the museum’s collection; toys and games for kids; one-of-a-kind artisan items; Adirondack home furnishings; and other unique holiday gift ideas.

Every purchase in the Museum Store helps to support the Adirondack Museum’s exhibitions, public programs, library, preservation work, and free programs at schools throughout the North Country’s 12 counties. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Forest Rangers And The ‘Christmas Detail’

Gib‘Tis the season for illegally cutting Christmas trees in the Adirondacks. That was the jingle, and it was followed by a stern warning from Conservation Department Commissioner Lithgow Osborne in December 1934 that his forest rangers would be on high alert for those attempting to steal their holiday cheer from the Forest Preserve:

“Forest Rangers are very much on guard this time of year because of the tendency of some persons to take trees from state land. Some of the newer forest plantations on state land offer a tempting array of Christmas trees and it is only by the exercise of constant vigilance on the part of the rangers that thefts can be prevented.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas At The Adirondack Carousel

LZ2A0096There are plenty of wonderful Christmas holiday celebrations happening around the Adirondacks, but only one year-round carousel. On December 20 from 2-4 pm, Saranac Lake’s  Adirondack Carousel is celebrating its third Christmas party for children and adults alike. Admission for the Adirondack Carousel Christmas Party is $5 per children or $20 for a family.

“The admission caps off at $20 no matter how many members in the family,” says Executive Director Jennifer Hunt. “We are having the same structure as we’ve had in the past. Each participant will receive a token for a carousel ride, make a candy house and visit with Santa.” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cali Brooks: Feel Good About Giving

Adirondack GivesThe Adirondack region has over 750 nonprofit organizations listed with New York’s Department of State. This group, as a whole, does a number of things daily that touch all of our lives. Some organizations are protecting our life-sustaining environment for the future; many others are helping our youth grow up to be strong, responsible, contributing members of our community; some deal with the horrors of domestic abuse of women and children; and several agencies help those near the end of their lives.

In the small towns that make up most of the Adirondack region, the nonprofit sector is best represented by the people. When you give to a charity, an organization, or even an institution, what you’re really doing is supporting the people that make it tick. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

This Holiday Season, Buy Local

Entering Adirondack ParkBuy local. It’s much more than a feel-good slogan or here-today-gone-tomorrow topic currently trending on Facebook or Twitter. Let’s face it, the choice we have as consumers – this holiday season and throughout the year – is to either support small, family-run businesses, local artisans and craftspeople or help some fat-cat one-percenter.

We can help our friends and neighbors make ends meet or send a child to college, soccer camp, piano or dance lessons, or we can help a CEO buy another yacht, sports car, or vacation home. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Plays Around The Adirondacks

12295332_970312599681712_8661386587782439186_nThere is more to the Adirondacks than being on a mountain, though that is certainly one way my family plans on spending the holidays. We also look forward to relaxing together during a classic Christmas performance. It sounds corny, but with our kids being pulled in one direction for school sports and my husband and I going in another direction for work, we find it best to meet somewhere in the middle. Thankfully there are plenty of wonderful theatre performances around the Adirondacks that will help us get into the holiday spirit. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 4, 2015

An Old Fashioned Christmas in Warrensburg

IMG_1018All around the Adirondacks, different communities celebrate the holiday season in a variety of ways. This Friday through Sunday, December 4-6, Warrensburg continues to bring an old fashioned Christmas to visitors and locals alike with its 27th Christmas in Warrensburgh.

According to Christmas in Warrensburgh Chairperson Teresa Whalen the event started when she was decorating her husband’s building for the holidays in downtown Glens Falls. She realized that she wanted to bring the same holiday cheer to her own hometown. Now the event has grown over the years, but the focus is still to highlight all the talented local artisans and activities found around the area. » Continue Reading.


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