December: To-Do List

Illustration by Chris Bernhardt

Illustration by Chris Bernhardt

1. Cope with the election
If you’re concerned about November’s election results, volunteer time or donate to organizations that reflect your values. Voting is one day—the real work begins now.

2. Donate winter clothing
As cold weather sets in, clothing drives and shelters will be grateful to receive garments
from the back of your closet that can help keep someone warm.

3. Take a walk in the neighborhood 
It’s worth strolling in the cold to see your neighbors’ decoration prowess, and until Dec. 31, Franklin Square has a Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show.

4. Celebrate with your neighbors
Winter festivals have a different sort of charm than their summer counterparts: Hot cider, crackling fires and hearty menus set the mood. The Hazon Philadelphia Jewish Food Festival will be at Rodeph Shalom on Dec. 11, and both of Greensgrow Farms locations will host music and activities during the Subaru Arctic Blast on the first two weekends of December.

5. Save time for self-care
In addition to a brutal election season, winter can be just plain hard. Make yourself a January appointment now for a great massage, or find a meditation center where you can find peace
of mind. See listings on Page 46.

6. Laugh a little with a new favorite holiday movie
OK, so we’re all going to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story” again. But what about less popular holiday movies? “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” sounds promising, as does the “Star Wars Holiday Special,” featuring Chewbacca’s son Lumpy and a cameo by Bea Arthur. And don’t miss “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas”—a Jim Henson spin on an O. Henry classic.

7. Enjoy some winter bulbs 
If you don’t have room for a ton of holiday decorations, a single $5 amaryllis bulb, which will grow up to 3 feet high and have a large, gorgeous bloom or two, can really brighten a room. Paperwhites are another choice that will bloom indoors and give you a little solace as the winter sets in.

8. Change out your screens for storm windows
We know this is still lurking on your energy efficiency to-do list, even though November would have been a better time. Get that weather stripping up, too!

9. Read a great book
If you’re fortunate enough to get some substantial time off work this season, cozy up under a blanket and finish something on that ever-growing reading list. Facebook can wait.

10. Find unique gifts from local makers 
Check out the events on Page 58 for holiday markets selling work by artists and crafters from the area. The Clay Studio will hold craft demonstrations Dec. 10, Germantown Kitchen Garden will showcase handmade goods Dec. 10 and 11, and Go West Craft Fest returns Dec. 18.