Presidents’ Day Cometh Monday And Bringeth A Three-Day Holiday Weekend

Presidents’ Day is one of those tricky Monday holidays. It didn’t start out that way. In 1885 it was held on February 22 in recognition of George Washington and officially called “Washington’s Birthday.”  In 1971 it was changed in name and date as part of Uniform Monday Holiday Act to Presidents’ Day and held on the third Monday in February. The idea was to allow for a guaranteed three-day weekend.

However, some states didn’t go with the plan. They celebrated Washington’s, Lincoln’s and other leaders’ on different days.

Texas went with the national program and will celebrate past and present presidents on Monday.

While it is a legal holiday, U.S., state and City of Dallas offices will be shuttered, as will most banks and area schools. But retailers, the zoo, the Arboretum and the Perot Museum will have their doors wide open.

Since the weather guessers are predicting rain Saturday thru Monday, why not do a crash course in movie-watching? After all, the Academy Awards are coming up on Sunday, March 4, and you don’t want to think “The Shape of Water” is an environmental movie about the world’s oceans.

MLK Jr. Day Closings And Openings And An Opportunity To Serve

Monday will be the official Martin Luther King Jr. Day that will results in rethinking of what’s open for business. Here is a brief list of organizations that will be closed:

  • Banks
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Libraries
  • City of Dallas offices
  • Dallas County offices
  • Dallas Independent School District
  • Greenhill School
  • Highland Park Independent School District
  • Jesuit Dallas
  • Plano Independent School District
  • Richardson Independent School District
  • SMU
  • State of Texas offices
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • Ursuline School

Perot Museum of Nature and Science*

But what will be wide open and greeting you with open arms? The Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Arboretum are both offering their special pricing. But it might be rainy. Then what about a museum visit? Alas, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center are following their standard operating procedures of being closed on Mondays. But never fear! The Perot Museum will be wide open.

VNA**

And if volunteering is more to your liking, consider VNA Meals on Wheels. They’re expecting more than 600 volunteers to take over 350 routes starting at 10 a.m. to provide more than “4,700 homebound, hungry seniors” with chicken fajita taco, fiesta rice, refried beans, fudge cream cookie and milk.

* Graphic courtesy 
of Perot Museum Of Nature And Science 
** Graphic courtesy of VNA

Lovers Lane Post Office On Greenville Is Shutting Down On Thursday, January 11, And Moving To Its Former Digs Near SMU

Lovers Lane Station moving notice

For those who have relied on the post office at Greenville and Lovers Lane, it’s closing. But never fear, it’s setting up shop nearby. Here’s the planned schedule.

  • Thursday, January 11 — Lovers Lane Station closes
  • Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13 — The staff moves the operation to its former location at 5606 SMU Boulevard.
  • Sunday, January 14 — Office is closed.
  • Monday, January 15 — MLK holiday. Retail services will be closed
  • Tuesday, January 16 — Official opening day at new location.

FYI:

  • For those with P.O. boxes, the numbers and ZIP codes will remain the same.
  • Due to the move and the MLK holiday, there will be no mail deliveries from Friday, January 12, until Tuesday, January 16.

The good news is that you won’t be getting any of those holiday bills. The bad news is that you won’t be getting any checks either. Sorry about that.

MySweetMusic For Christmas 2017 – Part 5

Christmas Day is winding down. Tomorrow is a day of returns, sales and recovery.

To help you get back to the reality of post-Christmas Day life, here is some music plus a fireplace that you won’t have to stoke up.

MySweetMusic For Christmas 2017 – Part 4

If you’re just getting up, then you don’t have a couple of youngsters who have been up for hours. Regardless, here’s a great way to start Christmas Day — Dean and Old Blue Eyes singing some Yuletide tunes.

MySweetMusic For Christmas 2017 – Part 3

Let us be the second or third to wish you a Merry Christmas! May you be safe, healthy and happy on this day.

Now, open your gift(s), feast with family and friends and relax. To help provide some background sounds, here are some old favorites from Bing, Elvis and Johnny to keep you company.

MySweetMusic For Christmas 2017 – Part 2

Christmas Eve activities are underway. Dinners are being finished up. Dishes are being washed. Little ones are being put to bed. Cookies and milk are out for Santa. Last minute gifts are being wrapped.

Here are some tunes to ease back and prepare for the day ahead.

MySweetMusic For Christmas 2017 – Part 1

What better way to kick off Christmas Eve then with Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti? So, turn up the sound and watch the video of the Three Tenors’ Christmas concert at Konzerthaus in Vienna with conductor Steven Mercurio.

Return By Popular Demand: The Last Christmas Tree On The Lot

We have received requests for the following story to be posted again. Merry Christmas!

Years ago there was a child who was at that age when the belief in Santa, elves and flying reindeer was starting to fade. As she sat next to her father driving home from Christmas Eve dinner, she told him of her doubts about the season of miracles. Her father, who was dreading this talk more than the one about the facts of life, pulled into the garage and told her a story that his father had told him decades ago. On this Christmas Eve, we share the story with you.

That night was the coldest and windiest Christmas Eve ever. The seasonal Christmas tree lot was bare except for one little fir. People had wanted bigger, robust trees for their homes and the tiny tree just was passed by each time.

But despite the frigid temperatures, the tree and her guests huddled together and stayed warm. The little sparrows joined the mockingbirds and Mourning Doves in singing Christmas carols. The squirrels and mice applauded with great enthusiasm for each song. The little tree’s heart was warmed by all the happiness.

As the night went on, so the wintry conditions grew. Finally, just as the first ray of sunlight began to appear in the east, a great whoosh of breeze spun around the tree and there was silence. The tree and her friends discovered they had been joined by a sleigh, reindeer and Santa himself.

One of the mice peeked out from the tree’s branches and asked, “Perhaps you have a gift or two left?”

Mice can be a bit pushy, you know.

“I am pleased to say we had exactly the right number of gifts for children this year,” Santa replied.

“That’s remarkable,” said the tree. “How marvelous it must have been for all of my tree friends to be surrounded by presents. Just think what is happening right now? People are laughing and smiling and enjoying the happiness of Christmas. How lucky my tree friends are.”

“They probably are,” said Santa. “But unfortunately, I have a problem and must ask your help.”

The tree was surprised that Santa would ever need help.

 “You see,” Santa continued, “I forgot to get a tree this year and Mrs. Claus is going to be very disappointed if I don’t return with one. When I passed overhead just now, I was advised by the reindeer of a singing tree. Well, I know it’s rather late, but I was wondering if you and your friends would let me take you home to the North Pole.”

Santa on his way home with a little Christmas tree and friends (File photo)

Before the tree and the little creatures could reply, Santa added, “By the way, we’ll need you for quite a while. You see, we celebrate Christmas year round. It helps the elves keep focused.”

With that, Santa carefully lifted the tree into the sleigh and told all the creatures to hop on board for a trip to their new home. 

MSC Holiday Plans: Elves Hunkering Down With Relatives; Elder Elf Holding Down The Fort; Queenie Having Her Wrinkles Ironed

MySweetCharity

With Santa preparing to make his rounds and spanxing his way down chimneys throughout the land, the MySweetCharity elves have put together their annual holiday playlist that will kick off Christmas Eve.

The elves themselves will be joining their relatives (faeries, leprechauns, pixies, sprites and brownies) for their holiday celebration at the North Pole. Since Mr. and Mrs. Claus are going to be on the sunny beaches of David Copperfield’s Musha Cay, the North Pole elves will be in charge of the festivities. They’ve already put everyone on noticed that cellphones are be left at the front door, so there will be no distractions.

After playing “Pin the Horn on the Unicorn,” “Blindman’s Mistletoe” and “Invisible Jenga,” all will settle down to a revolving round table for a feast of s’mores, cotton candy and cocoa. The nectar provided by British Black honeybee queen will only be available to those guests who are older than the hills.

As they head for bed, they will find personalized footed jammies lined in Shea butter, duvets filled with down donated by Queen Elizabeth II’s swans and pillows that play tunes guaranteed to create sweet dreams.

As for Queenie, she’ll return to her age-fighting cocoon and grumble about the week only having seven days. She’s still lobbying for an eight-day week and a 30-hour day.

But if something happens that affects the MSC community, not to worry. Elder Elf volunteered to stay at the headquarters just in case any news breaks. He did make one request — “Because we have had so many losses and discord this year, I hope this song will make us all appreciate our blessings.”

 

If You Don’t Believe In Santa, NORAD Does

If you have munchkins, grand munchkins or still wonder if Santa really exists, then there are bona fide experts who have all the information to back old Kris Kringle. It’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command (aka NORAD) located in Colorado Springs. Starting at midnight NORAD will be monitoring Santa and his team’s travels through the world. But the NORAD Tracks Santa website is up now!

NORAD Tracks Santa*

Thanks to corporate sponsors, NORAD’s website is a holiday delight and as slick as a North Pole breeze. There are games, music, reading materials, movies and all types of activities and items.

They’ve come a long way since 1955 when a Sears Roebuck ad accidentally posted the wrong phone number for children to call Santa. Instead of Sears, the number directed the callers to (Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Commander-in-Chief hotline, where the late Col. Harry Shoup started the tradition of monitoring Santa’ annual trek around the world.

So, if you’re a Doubting Thomas or a Skeptical Suzy, check out NORAD Tracks Santa just for the fun of it.

* Graphic courtesy of NORAD Tracks Santa

MySweetWishList Series Triples Up Next Week

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity has been totally swamped with “Wishes,” so once again an apology is owed to you. We’re going to extend the series to next week and triple up with wishes from various people and organizations that are in need.

What’s that? Christmas falls on Monday? Yes, it does. But it’s never too late to grant a wish, especially since the donation could be made before the end of the year and included in 2017 tax reports.

If you have spent every last cent on gifts, at least consider keeping these good people and programs in your thoughts.

And if you find yourself in need of assistance, you just might a wishful group that might help you.

Stella Wrubel, Quinn Graves And Their MistleCrew Want You To Kiss-Off Hunger With Jingle Bell Mistletoe Starting Friday

The countdown is underway for Christmas. It’s ten days filled with parties, gift wrapping, cooking and kissing. Whoa! What was the last one? Yup. Kissing. There are all types of smooching. There’s the air kiss, the pucker planting, the kiss blowing, the hand kissing, the cheek pecking and the blissful buss to name a few.

Quinn and Stella’s Jingle Bell Mistletoe*

But this indoor/outdoor activity can be enhanced with a little inspiring decoration like mistletoe. While the greenery may be considered a parasitic plant to a tree, it is the seasonal good luck charm for a lucky locking of the lips.

And if you don’t want to haul out the extension ladder and perhaps break a bone or two by cutting some greenery out of the trees, 12-year-olds Stella Wrubel, Quinn Graves, Isabella Dickason, Trevor Godkin and their MistleCrew have it all under control.

Starting Friday, their Jingle Bell Mistletoe will be back in operation for a fifth year selling mistletoe with the hope of raising $60,000 for the North Texas Food Bank to feed 180,000 children in North Texas. Just last year, Stella and Quinn were awarded the North Texas Food Bank’s Golden Fork for their seasonal project.

Stuart Reeves, Quinn Graves, Lucy and Steve Wrubel, Stella Wrubel, Jennie Reeves and Katherine Reeves (File photo)

Here is the schedule for the pop-up plant stations:

  • Highland Park Village
    • Friday, December 15: 2 to 5 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 16: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Sunday, December 17: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Monday, December 18: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dallas Farmers Market on Saturday, December 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

xxoo

* Photo provided by Jingle Bell Mistletoe

MySweetWishList: Christmas In The Park

According to Christmas In The Park Volunteer Nita Clark,

“My wish is to help the SM Wright Foundation achieve its goal of securing 15,000 toys, one for each child attending this year’s Christmas in the Park event on Saturday, December 16! We are closing in, but we can always use your donations:  http://www.smwrightfoundation.org/content/donate-today/ .

Nita and Clark Cullum*

“Christmas in the Park is an annual event serving tens of thousands of residents of Fair Park and South Dallas – an area of Dallas with very high unemployment and scarce infrastructure and support. Christmas in the Park has grown beyond giving a toy or a bike to each child, but now provides winter coats, mattresses for kids who have no bed, plus books, a job fair, a college fair, hot meals, groceries, clothing, bus passes, gift cards for Walmart and help with utilities payments. 

“The Rev. SM Wright II pulls this off every year through the help from volunteers, members of the South Dallas community and corporations and donors from the greater Dallas community. Please help by supporting the toy drive.  You can also help by volunteering at the event!  Just email [email protected] to register. Like any great Christmas party, it’s sometimes chaotic, but always fun!

“The Christmas in the Park event is the best opportunity of the year for the SM Wright Foundation to reach families in the Fair Park area for the first time. Once the Foundation makes contact with a family, it can bring the adults into the computer skills training program, and kids into the South Dallas Top of the Class Community Tutoring Center. The Foundation helps people throughout the year with various immediate needs- from food at the Operation Hope Food Center, to clothes to help with rising electric bills. Again this year, there is a college expo with a dozen representatives from area colleges present, a job fair, hot meal, gift cards and bus passes. Please join us in participating in this joyous and meaningful holiday event! Christmas in the Park happens on Saturday, December 16, at the Automobile Building in Fair Park.”

-Nita Clark, Christmas In The Park volunteer

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky