How many of you saw “Star Wars:  The Force Awakens”?  Did you go to Star Wars Trivia Night at the Liberty Tavern or a tree lighting or Interfaith Prayer Group or Lessons and Carols at St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church or gather donate toys, food and/or clothes to the clothing drive at the Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center?  Whatever you did last week, this week try not to lose it--your patience with friends or family or that stranger who cut you off in the Mall parking lot, your nerve with telling someone you love them or your mind with all the details of putting together a holiday feast.  Please remember that not everyone is making plans to celebrate.  Some have experienced loss or are ill and can use an invitation to go out for coffee or come over to your home or apartment for a friendly game of Scrabble.  How about it?  Let’s try to chill, accept what life offers and go with the flow.

Tonight, Wednesday, 12/23 at 7, the NAMI Family Support Group, for caregivers and friends of people living with mental illness, will meet at Freedom from Fear, 308 Seaview Ave.  Call 718-351-1717 for more information.   

On the Night Before: the Jewish Way (for those who do not celebrate Christmas Eve), you can attend an evening at Temple Emanu-El, 984 Post Ave., tomorrow, Thursday, 12/24 at 6 with the movie – Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”, food—Kosher Chinese and popcorn and games—cards and chess.  Families are welcome but call Gary Carsel at 718-984-0451 for reservations.  Visit for more information. 

If you do celebrate Christmas, there are many Christmas Eve services as well as Christmas Day services to choose from.  Check the schedule online or listed outside your local church.  It may feel strange entering a church for the first time.  Ask your friends where they worship; ask if you can join them.  Most groups would be thrilled to have you as part of their church family.  I am certain you will be welcomed.

During the holiday season and perhaps all year round, many of us tend to eat and overeat, often feeling guilty, happy, sad or just “emotional”.  Assistance awaits you at Staten Island Overeaters Anonymous Intergroup, a self supporting groupwhich meets at various venues on the Island on different days.  On Saturday, 12/26 at 11, the group meets at Christ Lutheran Church 121 Cleveland Ave.  For a schedule of meetings and more information, visit: or call 718-605-1393. 

The Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums 2nd annual fundraiser will be held at the Flagship Brewery, 40 Minthorne St. on Saturday, 12/26 at 5.  You will enjoy a fun evening of Celtic music and dance. Call 718-448-5284 for more info.

If you would like to post photos of your worship services or you at parties this week, send them to me and I will share with my gentle readers.  You can call me at 646-258-9696, leave a comment below or e-mail me at

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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