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Holiday in the Country
Capturing  the magic of Christmas’ past with historical holiday tours

Capturing the magic of Christmas’ past with historical holiday tours

Connecticut is brimming with holiday festivities, many of which date back decades or otherwise serve to bring on childhood nostalgia. A little harder to come by are events that truly take one back in time. “The draw to historic holiday celebrations is how they offer a peek at the past,”...
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Where to go tree hunting for Christmas

Where to go tree hunting for Christmas

• Audubon Society H. Smith Richardson Tree Farm; choose and cut Christmas trees; Sasco Creek Road, Westport; 203-623-0646 • Bob’s Tree Farm; choose and cut Christmas Trees; 6-68 Turkey Plain Road, Rte. 53, Bethel; 203-241-3450 • Everett’s Corner Tree Farm; choose and cut Christmas trees; 136 Sherwood Road, Easton; 203-268-2508 • Fairview Tree Farm; choose...
Holiday happenings for the young and young-at-heart

Holiday happenings for the young and young-at-heart

Events • Sixth Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop; Friday, Nov. 28 – Wednesday, Dec. 24, McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center, 48 Arch St., Greenwich. Santa and his live reindeer — Dancer, Dasher, Prancer and Blitzen — are coming back to town. The community is invited to McArdle’s for a welcoming “We’re Back Party”...
Celebrating the Festival of Lights

Celebrating the Festival of Lights

The Jewish celebration of Chanukah is often associated with the Christian holiday of Christmas, but that association has little to do with the significance of each holiday and more to do with the timing. Each is celebrated at the end of the year when the holiday season has hit full swing. But much like the...
Parenting from the Trenches: Holiday hysteria and managing the madness

Parenting from the Trenches: Holiday hysteria and managing the madness

When I picture my oldest child, Blake, now 31, at his first walking-and-talking Christmas, it is of a 16-month-old roaring about in my then in-law’s apartment with candy canes clutched in each hand and a face streaked with sticky red sugar. His excitement was both tangible and aromatic, and colorful bows and wrapping papers were...
Holiday party: Out-of-the-box themes

Holiday party: Out-of-the-box themes

Parties are an integral part of the holiday season, when friends and family gather to celebrate and give thanks. For holiday hosts, parties are a great opportunity to make the season even more festive with an event that guests won’t soon forget. The following are just a few themes to make your holiday party as...
5 reasons to mom-and-pop holiday shop

5 reasons to mom-and-pop holiday shop

Quick: Picture the holiday shopping experience. An image of a crowded Black Friday at the mall or a big-box retailer may well come to mind. Yet, when the National Retail Foundation surveyed consumers in October about holiday purchasing this year, close to 30% planned on doing at least some shopping at local/small businesses. There are...
O’ Christmas tree: Finding your family’s finest fir

O’ Christmas tree: Finding your family’s finest fir

In most homes during the holidays, the tree takes center stage, so choosing the “perfect one” is important. Do you cut your own? Buy one that is already pre-cut? And what type of tree should you buy: Balsam Fir, Blue Spruce, Scotch Pine? It’s a process that can be as easy or as complicated as...
Historic Holidays to the North and South

Historic Holidays to the North and South

• Trek north to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on weekends in December for the 35th Annual Candlelight Stroll at the Strawbery Banke Museum, which has 40 buildings within the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock. Historic activities on and around the 10-acre grounds include horse-drawn carriage rides, traditional barrel-making and 18th century hearth cooking demos, and tinsmith...
Busy pre-Thanksgiving weekend

Busy pre-Thanksgiving weekend

2015 UConn Extension Master Gardener Program, applications being accepted for January 2015; 16 full-day class sessions plus 60-hour volunteer commitment; fee $415; info., mastergardener.uconn.edu. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport; adm. $14/adults, $10/children 3-11 and seniors, free for children under 3; open daily 9 to 4; Carousel, daily 9-4; Peacock Cafe, daily 9-4; Gift...
No cost effective staging tips: Sell your house, not your home

No cost effective staging tips: Sell your house, not your home

Whenever I take a listing, I will go through the house and make a list of suggested tips that will improve the appearance of the property and make it more appealing to the buyer. Even though selling a home can be an emotional time, I always tell the sellers that they are selling their house,...
What to look for in an investment property

What to look for in an investment property

Historically, the appreciation rate for real estate is strong. Even when the housing market declines, long-term investors in real estate can rest easy knowing that property values tend to rebound rather quickly, rewarding patient investors in the process. Looking at real estate as a long-term investment is just one way approach a potential investment property....
Rooms with a View celebrates design

Rooms with a View celebrates design

Interiors showcase Rooms with a View, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary and whose honorary chairperson is national tastemaker Thom Filicia, will be hosting a weekend of design and has announced its theme for 2014: “20/20 Visions.” The event, which will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14-15, 10 to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov....