3rd Annual Trees For Troops

3rd Annual Trees For Troops The 3rd Annual Trees for Troops hopes to provide at least 100 lighted, two-foot Christmas Trees, presents and filled stockings to United States military troops serving in the Middle East.

Hosted by Mothers of America’s Military Fallen, Spc Kelly J. Mixon Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 tax expempt not-for-profit organization established in Kelly’s memory. He grew up in Nassau County, Florida and graduated FBHS in 2005. Kelly was killed in action in Afghanistan on December 8, 2010.

Donations ideas include:
LIghted and decorated 2-ft artificial trees (Non breakable ornaments, please.)
Beef jerky
Summer sausage
Tuna packets
Crackers
Hard Candy
Granola bars
Hot cocoa packets
Boxed cookies
Gum
Lip balm
and more…

Trees for Troops will be held at Maxwell Hall, Memorial United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 1, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Located at 601 Centre Street, there will be a “drop off” service available on North Sixth Street.

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7th Annual Holiday Home Tour

7th Annual Holiday Home Tour7th Annual Holiday Home Tour will showcase five vintage private homes decorated by professional florists and designers in the Historic District of Fernandina Beach, Florida. Free trolley service will transport guests to the featured homes while costumed carolers and characters from Fernandina’s colorful past return them to the Victorian era.

The tour is held on Friday December 6th, and Saturday December 7th, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Tickets are only $25.00 before December 6, 2013, with $30.00 tickets on the days of the event. Group rates for parties over 10 are available.

Breakfast With Brett
The perfect beginning to your Tour day. Join renowned Island Decorator and Restaurateur C. Brett Carter for delicious food, creative decorating and entertaining tips, fabulous door prizes, and a genuine good time. The fun begins at 9 a.m. both mornings (December 6 & 7) at Brett’s Waterway Cafe on the harbor in the Historic District of Fernandina Beach.

Limited seating is available and it is recommended you purchase your $25.00 ticket in advance.

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Planning Christmas in July

Planning Christmas in JulyYou may feel that it is way too early to be thinking about Christmas since it is the beginning of July, but this is exactly the right time to start. Most of us are on a tight budget these days, and the holidays can be very expensive. Many department stores have big clearance sales in July that can save you some money and shopping earlier in the year helps ease the burden of buying everything after Thanksgiving.

Another reason to start early is to plan to give personalized handmade gifts. Like most people, I have a very busy schedule and it is going to take some time. I find I have some time to myself early on Sunday mornings when no one else in my house is awake. I can have a cup of coffee, sit at my sewing machine, and create. My favorite projects can be finished in a weekend, but I have a couple of quilts that I am making that will take a few months.

You don’t have to be that creative to make thoughtful gifts. You could fill a journal with favorite recipes for your daughter, paint clear wine glasses with flowers, or even make scented soaps for your family and friends.

There are all sorts of handmade items that you could create. I have a friend that makes Christmas stockings, another that knits sweaters, and yet another that paints. No matter what creative idea you have, if you start planning in July you won’t need to stress out in December.

End of the Christmas Season

End of Christmas Season

End of Christmas Season

It seems that everyone has a tradition of when to decorate for the holidays and when to take down the decorations. It is a guarantee that you will start seeing Christmas lights lit up by the weekend after Thanksgiving. You can also be fairly certain that you will see Christmas lights up on some houses year round. Our tradition has always been to take down all of the decorations before the end of the year to separate Christmas from our daughter’s birthday on New Year’s Eve.

Some people leave up all of their Christmas glitter and lights until the Epiphany which is generally on January 6. This day has many meanings in different religions, but it is said to be the day that the three Magi’s, or wise men, were led by the star to Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus. Other churches celebrate this as the day that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Both of these celebrations have the same essence and that is the manifestation of Christ to the world.

This date is also significant in that it ends the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, or Christmastide, which begins on December 25 and ends on January 5. Other cultures, especially those of Latin America, leave up the greenery and lights until February 2 ending a 40 day celebration of Candlemas.

Many countries have local traditions that take place on the Epiphany. The United States has customs that include the Great Fruitcake Toss in Colorado where participants dress as kings and fools and throw fruitcakes as a symbolic end of the Christmas holidays.

In Louisiana, the Carnival season begins on King’s Day which is also the Epiphany. The interval between the Epiphany and Mardi Gras is known as “king cake season” and many of those will be consumed. A doll is baked into each cake and the person that finds the doll must provide the next cake.

In Virginia, the Epiphany, or 12th Night, was a night for merriment and weddings in the Colonial Days. During this time, a Great Cake was prepared and the youngest child present cut and served the cake. In the same way that a doll is baked into a King Cake, a bean was baked into the Great Cake and the person who found it was crowned “King of the Bean.”

John Milton said, “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” No matter how you celebrate Epiphany, the New Year has arrived and the holiday season has ended. The decorations must come down until at least Valentine’s Day.

A Grandpa for Christmas

A Grandpa for ChristmasA Grandpa for Christmas is a 2007 Hallmark Channel movie that touches the hearts of many grandparents who have not been permitted to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives. It is a good example of Parental Alienation Syndrome, a term coined by child psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner.

Wikipedia decribes the movie’s plot:

“Bert (Ernest Borgnine) is a retired Hollywood actor who has been estranged from his only daughter Marie (Tracy Nelson) for many years. When she ends up in the hospital following a car accident, Social Services places her 10-year-old daughter, Becca (Juliette Goglia), with the grandfather she has never met. The generation gap is apparent as Bert and Becca try to adjust to their new lives together.

The story addresses one of the major issues that face divorced and single parents, what does a father do when the mother does not want you around your child? Do you fight for your child, which can take years, and cost tens of thousands of dollars, or do you simply walk away as she wishes? In the case of Bert, he fought to see his daughter, only to lose at every turn, until he finally gave up, never to see his daughter again, until she is injured, as presented in the movie. Unfortunately, his ex-wife tells the daughter, as well as anyone else, that he is uncaring and unsupportive of his daughter, physically or financially.

In taking in the granddaughter, he never knew about, he is faced with the resentment toward him due to these stories told by the grandmother. Bert is faced with the dilemma of whether to tell his granddaughter, and later his daughter, the truth, which if they believe him, may ruin their memory of the late grandmother, or stay quiet. The dilemma is resolved when one of Bert’s friends tells the mother the truth.”

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Ernest Borgnine several years ago at a charity golf tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, and he was simply delightful at every turn.

His roll in A Grandpa for Christmas earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television, for his performance. At 90, Borgnine was the oldest Golden Globe nominee ever.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTVFVd8eykA&feature=fvsr

The Hallmark Channel will air this emotional movie again on December 27th at 12:00 AM. Set it up to record on your TiVo or DVR, unless you have AT&T U-verse who dropped the Hallmark channels this past August in a dispute with the network over fees. (The movie is also available on DVD.)

For more information regarding non-custodial parents, read the Federal Child Support Enforcement Handbook.

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The Christmas Pageant

The Christmas PageantAuthor Unknown

My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn’t been blessed with a baby. I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide. God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us with another son. The following year, He blessed us with yet another son. The year after that we were blessed with a daughter. My husband thought we’d been blessed right into poverty. We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old.

I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me, “If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella.”

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs. I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children and I didn’t want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs.

When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn’t keep my promise to be a perfect mother – I didn’t even come close… I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to “wash up” Jesus, too.

Something was lost in the translation when I explained that God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his “last wife.”

My proudest moment came during the children’s Christmas pageant.

My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man. This was their moment to shine.

My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line, “We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.” But he was nervous and said, “The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes.”

My four-year-old Mary said, “That’s not ‘wrinkled clothes,’ silly. That’s dirty, rotten clothes.”

A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, “Mama-mama.” Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced, “We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur.”

The congregation dissolved into laughter, and the pageant got a standing ovation.

“I’ve never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,” laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes. “For the rest of my life, I’ll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur.”

“My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing,” I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.

Fernandina Lighted Christmas Parade 2010 [Video]

Fernandina Lighted Christmas Parade 2010

Fernandina Lighted Christmas Parade 2010

Fernandina Beach, Florida presented their annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 11, 2010 under delightful weather conditions on Amelia Island. There was just enough of a chill in the air to make it feel like the holiday season and plenty of family, friends and neighbors in this small community poured in the the historic Victorian seaside village to catch all of the action.

Mighty Marching Pirates, Cats Angels, local law enforcement, Island Tribe Belly Dancers, crowd favorites The Fernandina Pirates Club and many more organizations dressed in their best bells and holiday lights to participate in the parade.

Here is the video for you to re-live this family friendly event any time of the year!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VebcBi-kpg

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Ride the Amelia Island Polar Express

Ride the Amelia Island Polar Express

Ride the Amelia Island Polar Express

All Aboard!!!

Come ride the Polar Express. Presented by the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library, you can board the Amelia Island Trolleys this Saturday, December 11th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and enjoy great local stories and visit with Santa Claus.

Crafts and refreshments will also be available while they last!

Free tickets available now at the library. For information call (904) 277-7365. Visit www.nassaureads.com for more information about your local library.

The library also is accepting toy donations to make the holiday special for those in our community who are in need.

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Free Photos with Santa at Peterbrooke

Free Photos with Santa at PeterbrookePeterbrooke of Amelia Island presents Free Photos with Santa!

Saturday, December 11th, from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM you are invited to come and enjoy a chocolate covered celebration at Peterbrooke. Bring the kids to sit on Santa’s lap and receive a Free downloadable photo and you get to treat yourself to delicious chocolate samples!

This event is fun for the whole family!

Peterbrooke Fernandina Beach is located in the Island Walk Shopping Center, next to Publix. Call them at (904) 277-0162 for more information.

Artistic Florist Presents Their Holiday Encore

Artistic Florist Amelia Island

Artistic Florist of Amelia Island

The Artistic Florist is holding an encore performance of their Holiday Open House.

Come see beautifully decorated trees, centerpieces and more. All items on display are for sale; buy an ornament or the entire tree. They will even deliver and set up your arrangements.

Want to know what’s hot and what the trends for the 2010 season are? Then Artistic Florist is where you want to be on Thursday, November 18th from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

The Artistic Florist is located at the corner of 14th Street and TJ Coursan Road. For a sneak peek, take a look at this video.

Open House at Artistic Florist

The Artistic Florist is holding an encore performance of their Holiday Open House.

Come see beautifully decorated trees, centerpieces and more. All items on display are for sale; buy and ornament or the entire tree.

Thursday, November 18th from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Thanksgiving Weekend in Fernandina Beach

Thanksgiving Weekend in Fernandina Beach

Thanksgiving Weekend in Fernandina Beach

Kick off the holiday shopping season in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida during the Thanksgiving Weekend! The popular Pajama Party Sale & Contest, held annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving, will begin at 8 a.m., on November 26, 2010. Shoppers are encouraged to dress in their favorite pajamas, fuzzy slippers, and other assorted sleepwear, and stroll along Centre Street and throughout downtown Fernandina Beach, exploring the eclectic shops, local attractions and eateries. Pajama clad shoppers will enjoy deals and discounts, along with fresh juice, coffee and pastries to fuel their shopping spirit. Shoppers that wish to be eligible for “Best Dressed Individual Shopper in Pajamas”, “Best Dressed Duo or Trio in Pajamas” and “Best Dressed Shopping Group in Pajamas” must wear their pajamas (of course!) and have a free photo taken at the judges booth in the 100 block of Centre Street. Free contest photo registration ends at noon, but most shopping specials will be available all day!

Ye Ole Pirate

Ye Ole Pirate

A full day of entertainment leads up to the official City of Fernandina Beach Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 6:00 p.m., at the foot of Centre Street. Starting at 12 noon, carolers, choirs, dancers and singers will entertain visitors all afternoon with the sights and sounds of the Christmas holiday season. Santa Claus will arrive at 2 p.m. at the Fernandina Harbor Marina aboard the Ye Ole Pirate charter boat and all are invited to welcome him to town! Santa will make his way over to the Train Depot at the foot of Centre Street to be available to meet and take pictures with the kids of the community until 5 p.m. Photos with pets will also be available. Hosted by the City of Fernandina Beach and Historic Fernandina Business Association.

Santa and Mrs Claus

Santa and Mrs Claus

For more area holiday activities, access the Events Calendars at www.ameliaisland.com, www.fbfl.us (and of course, your SearchAmelia Events Calendar). For more information about Fernandina Beach’s Thanksgiving weekend events, contact Sandy Price at 904-206-0756 or email blueskyevent@gmail.com.

10th Annual Alternative Gift Market

10th Annual Alternative Gift Market is Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21, from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM at Burns Hall at St Peter’s Episcopal Church.

The church is located at 801 Atlantic Avenue, (the corner of 8th Street and Atlantic Avenue) in Fernandina Beach. The admission price is FREE!

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