Do you have any Christmas traditions from your childhood that you still carry on to this day? Do you make recipes that were passed down from your grandparents. Our family has always had a fresh cut tree that we would decorate a few days before Christmas and take down after New Year’s. The stockings were always "hung by the chimney with care......"  Mom would make a roast of some kind and immediate family celebrated Christmas day together. As the years went by and the extended family grew, we hosted an open house all day and evening at our house centering around “Grandma” and/or the young children who, of course, were most excited about the holiday. At times, we visited other relatives in the evening, and we would eat and celebrate again. As young teens, we always sang in the choir at Midnight Mass. In later years, we attended Mass on Christmas Day. Sometimes, the tree would be displayed in one spot, then years later moved somewhere else. Our church is always decorated so beautifully, each year a little different from the last. There would most certainly be the singing of Christmas carols and the girls' annual "Santa Baby" rendition.  Below are some of the photos throughout the years of our Christmas holiday.






Have you started writing your memoirs at the Wednesday Morning Writing Group for Adults at the Great Kills Library, made a Gingerbread House for the Season at the Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, joined the Urban Park Rangers for the 120th Annual Christmas Bird Count at the Greenbelt Nature Center? Did you finally bring all your unwanted household goods, clothing, toys, etc. to the Stop 'N' Swap at the College of Staten Island so you can have a clean slate going into the New Year (or make room for the gifts Santa is bringing)?

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On Wednesday, 12/18 at 3:30, attend the First Lego League: Weekly Robotics Team Meeting at  the St. George Library Center, 5 Central Ave. Want a chance at robotics glory? Work together with teammates to design and build a LEGO robot to compete in a big competition this spring, all while imagining better cities of tomorrow! Space is limited; to join our team, speak with the Library. Good for ages 9-14. There will be no meeting on 12/25 or 1/1 as the library will be closed. Enjoy your day off and happy holidays!

Con Edison Family Science Night will be held on Wednesday at 6:30 at the Greenbelt Nature Center, 700 Rockland Ave.Each month we feature different science topics and provide experiments designed for children and their guardians to accomplish together. Good for ages 8-10 with adult chaperone. Free, fun and educational. Our online registration will begin shortly.

For teens/young adults 13-18, catch up on the Star Wars film series during the Star Wars Movie Marathon in the Teen Room on Thursday, 12/19 at 2 at the St. George Library Center, 5 Central Ave.

Attend Imagination Station on Thursday at 3:30 at the South Beach Library, 21-25 Robin Rd. Materials will be provided for open ended crafts.

Winter Tween Craft on Thursday at 3:30 at the Huguenot Library, 830 Huguenot Ave. Drop in for some awesome Winter themed crafts.

Bring the family to Crafty Cooking on Thursday from 4-5 at the Mariners Harbor Library, 206 South create some amazing edible artwork. We provide the supplies, you bring the imagination. Each month you’ll create a different themed treat to bring home. Registration Required.

Family Story Time is on Thursday at 4 at the Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 2550 Victory Blvd. Enjoy stories told by your favorite librarians! Good for all ages.

Children 1 ½ to 2 ½ will enjoy Toddler Time on Friday 12/20 at 11:30 at the Stapleton Library, 132 Canal interactive program featuring, books, finger plays, songs and rhymes, followed by unstructured play time. Network with other caregivers and provide social opportunities for your toddler.

Fun Friday takes place on Friday at 3:30 at the Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 2550 Victory Blvd. for ages 4+. Come and make a fun craft! Pre-registration is required in person or call 718-494-1642.

Enjoy an evening featuring Peace Train on Friday at 8 at Everything Goes Café, 208 Bay St. Peace Train is a dynamic trio of world class performers on synthesizer (Lou DiNatale) and vocals (Jim Ceribello) and bass (Steve Elias) who are often joined by one of their amazing musical friends such as Boricua Guitar Power's Pupa Santiago. Peace Train arranges songs from the 60s and 70s with their own sparklingly creative arrangements. If you enjoy creative songs of peace from the dawn of the transformation age, you will want to check these folks out.

Participate in ‘Tis the Season Toy Making Family Workshop on Saturday 12/21 from 10:30-1:30 at Staten Island MakerSpace, 450 Front St., Unit B. hosted by the Parent Creative Alliance for adults and children of all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. You don’t have to stay all day- you can drop in as you can. We will be sanding, assembling, and painting toys for the holiday. Each attending family is invited to make a toy to keep and a toy to give to another. Staten Island MakerSpace members will be on hand to help guide participants to make simple wooden toys out of scrap pine, maple or oak wood in a variety of animal, people, and shapes. Fee is $5. For non-PCA members, please register one ticket per family.

Join the Urban Park Rangers at Ecosystem Explorers: Coniferous Trees on Saturday from 1112:30 at Park Dr. and Clove Rd. in Clove Lakes Park as they discuss the difference between coniferous trees and deciduous trees and their vital role in the ecosystem. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilize the soil, and give life to the world's wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.

Join the NYC Parks arborists for a Winter Solstice Walk on Saturday from 122 at the Conference House Museum in Conference House Park, 298 Satterlee St. Explore and learn about the unique trees, natural habitats, and shoreline found within the park. Please dress accordingly. Warm refreshments will follow the walk.   

Kids build their strategic thinking and interpersonal skills as they play age appropriate board, card and video games (PS4 & Nintendo Switch) at Game On! on Saturday at 1 at the Mariners Harbor Library, 206 South Ave.

You will enjoy the Holiday Festival of Tradition: Festival of Trees and Lights on Saturday from 14 at the H.H. Biddle House in Conference House Park, 70 Satterlee St. This event repeats every week on Sunday and Saturday between 12/14/2019 and 1/5/2020. Celebrate the holiday festival of traditions including the menorah and Christmas trees of Germany, Hungary, Scandinavia, and Italy. The exhibit can be seen on weekdays by appointment only. This free cultural event sponsored by the Tottenville Historical Society with generous support by Council Member Joe Borelli. See photos from last year’s festival.

Come to the Holiday Open House: Conference House on Saturday from 1-4 at the Conference House Museum in Conference House Park, 298 Satterlee St. This event repeats every week on Saturday between 12/14/2019 and 12/21/2019. Visit NYC's southernmost and oldest manor house decorated for the holidays! Explore the historic Conference House during special holiday open house hours. While at the park, visit HH Biddle House (the other historic house on the park grounds) to see its special holiday traditions display.

The Staten Island Philharmonic will present Festipalooza, featuring Viva Voce Chorus and Dyker Singers on Saturday at 2 at Zion Lutheran Church, 505 Watchogue Rd. and including all the holiday favorites in one great concert.  Advance admission is $15, $20 at the door.  Children and students with ID are admitted free.  For more info, call 917-545-8266 or 917-783-2957.

On Saturday from 3-6, participate in Radiant Revelry 2019--A Celebration of Art, Culture & Community on Staten Island Co-Presented by HONK NYC & Friends of Tompkinsville Park.  Follow the light on the first winter’s night!

Featuring Music & Performances by:

Femi Nye - Nigerian born performer based on Staten Island
Day de Dada - Staten Island's very own avant-garde performers
Wollesonics - Renown drummer Kenny Wolleson's marching unit
MakerPark - Staten Island's web radio
Wu Tang Clams - Mermaid Parade heroes; Staten Island's pride

Event takes place in multiple locations between 3 and 5.
Finale of performances inside ETG Book Cafe from 5-6.

Outside in Tompkinsville Park: 3 to 5pm
Tree Trimming with Friends of Tompkinsville Park, CANVAS.Institute of Arts, Culture and Civic Engagement.  Activities with Staten Island Urban Center.
Performance by Femi Nye at 4:20pm

Inside ETG Book Cafe: 3 to 5pm

MakerPark Radio - LIVE with @DJ Tom

Activities with HONK NYC
Outside in St. George and on Bay Street: 3 to 4:15pm
HONK NYC's Renegade Art Parade for Make Music New York 
Led by Wollesonics Brass Band, will start at Beso Spanish Cuisine and end in Tompkinsville Park  at approximately 4:15pm.

Inside ETG Book Cafe: 5 to 6pm

Kick off the longest night of the year by learning about nocturnal animals at Winter Solstice Fun on Saturday from 3:30-5 at Clay Pit Ponds Visitors Center, 2351 Veterans Rd. W. We will play games, make a craft, and take a short jaunt outside. Good for ages 5+.

Join the Urban Park Rangers for Animal Tracks on Sunday, 12/22 from 1112:30 at Prospect Ave. and Brentwood Ave. in Allison Pond Park. Our Rangers are skilled in the techniques and development of diverse outdoor skills. Learn tips and tricks that will enhance your knowledge of the natural world. In this program, learn to identify animal tracks to understand animal behavior.

Every evening beginning at 5, you can visit the DiMartino home at 107 Sharrotts Rd. to enjoy the most spectacular Winter Wonderland Holiday Display and favorite for kids of all ages. Joe DiMartino erected this wonder in memory of his wife Debra Ann who died on 9/11. To date, more than $200,000 has been donated to Staten Island University Hospital in Debra’s name to support Pediatric Oncology. While you are visiting, drop a cash donation of any amount or a check made payable to “SIUH Foundation, Inc.” into the donation box. This year, DiMartino has set up credit card scanners along with an active Venmo account for donations. Visit “Lights for Life” on Facebook and read for more info and how Joe DiMartino makes our Christmas season just a little more joyous.

Holiday/Christmas Fairs

Wagner College – Main Hall, 631 Howard Ave., Friday 12/20 5:30-7:30 and Saturday 12/21 from 11-1

SISOS (Staten Island Support Our Soldiers) at All Saint’s Church, 2329Victory Blvd & Wooley Ave., Saturday 12/21 from 10-3

I welcome comments and photos at events you have attended. If you want to share events for me to post, email, text or call.

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