Monday, December 19, 2011

Celebrating Christmas in Raritan, NJ

Have you been out and about in Raritan and the surrounding area this Christmas season?  There’s so much to see and do, it can seem impossible to do it all.  However, there are surely a few events you just have to get to.  Here are some of the things going on in and around Raritan during the holidays.  Try to make it to at least one—you won’t regret it!

You can get your photo taken with Santa up until Christmas Day at the Bridgewater Commons Mall!  Santa will also give children a free coloring book when the visit him.  Santa will also be available for photos at the TD Bank in Somerville on Dec. 23rd from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Starting this week, the Village Theatre in Somerset will be performing The Christmas Toy Shop.  Tickets are $10.  Performances are on Saturdays and Sundays.

Between Saturday the 24th through January 8th, take a drive to the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton for something really cool: the Laser Nutcracker Spectacular 3D.  This laser show features the classic Tchaikovsky music, but it puts a major modern twist on it.  Other beloved holiday characters like Frosty and Rudolph also make appearances.  Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for kids under twelve.

If the lasers are a bit much, many local theater groups perform The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and other classic holiday stories during December.  For example, the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown is performing The Nutcracker ballet on the 22nd – 26th.

On Dec. 27th, head over to the Somerset County Library in Bridgewater for Home for the Holidays Stories and Crafts.  Kids will have the opportunity to hear stories and even make a little something for those special to them.  Be sure to pre-register with the library—it’s required.

For those who love wine, check out the holiday winemaker’s dinner.  The theme this year is “Christmas in Merry Olde England,” and guests are promised traditional English Christmas dinner and customs.  A five-course meal and wine are included in the $89 per person price.  The dinner is December 28 at 7:30 at the Crossing Vineyard and Winery.

Christmas Flowers in Raritan, NJ.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bringing Back the Magic of the Holidays

The holiday season is here!  Starting with Thanksgiving (or possibly before!), it seems like we have over a month of different holidays.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s…all of these holidays are bunched together.  Sometimes, it seems like we can be completely overwhelmed by all of this.  This year, take the time to bring some of the magic back to your holiday season. 

How do you bring back the magic?  It can be difficult, especially if the holiday season is always stressful and unhappy for you.  However, if you do your best to refocus your holidays around what really matters, you’ll find yourself feeling less stressed.

Remember what the holidays are all about.  It’s not the big meal, the number of gifts, or any of the events.  The importance of the holidays is about seeing family members you haven’t seen in quite some time and getting together with friends.  Those who are hosting a dinner or party may feel very stressed over the preparations, often to the point of exhausting themselves and not enjoying everything they’ve worked so hard towards.  They worry so much about what people will think if there’s any little detail wrong that they drive themselves crazy.  However, the reality is that most people don’t even notice these “disastrous” little things, so there’s no point in stressing over them.

Another thing that seems to suck some of the magic out of the holidays is the stress of gift-buying.  While the saying about it’s the thought, not the gift, you know some people really are keeping score.  However, these should also be the people you’re least interested in impressing.  Try your hardest not to get caught up in the game of giving gifts, and give what you can.  In some cases, this means homemade gifts instead of buying expensive presents.  The people who know you and truly love you, though, will appreciate everything you’ve done.

If you feel yourself getting too stressed out by the holidays, take a moment to relax and remember why the holidays exist.  Enjoy your time with your friends and family, and don’t worry about the little things.

Christmas Flowers in Bridgeport, NJ.