Monday, December 3, 2012
Still looking for that perfect gift? No worries. Patch has you covered.
Are you still searching for a gift to give the cook in the family? Head on over to Marcel's Culinary Experience in downtown Glen Ellyn. Longtime Glen Ellyn resident Jill Foucre recently opened her specialty store that offers cooking classes, fine cookware and specialty foods. In this video Foucre shows us some gift ideas for the chef in your home.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Did you decorate your house for the holidays this year? Enter our "Deck the House" contest and you could win $100,000 for your local school district and $500 to pay your electric bills!
We’re launching our annual Deck the House Contest to find the most over-the-top holiday decorations in America—the best “decked” house in the country—the one home so spectacularly decorated that everyone in town jokes your holiday decorations could rival Rockefeller Center’s. If this sounds like your house, upload a photo or video of your home to our contest page from Nov. 26 to Dec. 16. Only residents of Patch towns are eligible to enter. We’ll select 24 regional finalists, and from them, pick one grand prize winner. Patch will pay up to $500 of the utility bill for each finalist, while our national winner will have $100,000 donated to his or her local school district. Our contest is right around the corner, so now’s the time to get your…
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Two weeks of unstructured free time can be an autistic kid's worst nightmare. Not to mention their parents'.
Although the weather doesn’t seem to indicate it, we are smack in the middle of the winter school break. School children everywhere get two to three weeks off to…I don’t know, what are they doing? Playing with their Christmas toys? Nah, that was over about five minutes after they opened them. They sure aren’t tobogganing or building snowmen, at least not in this part of the country. I guess the only certainty is that they are all enjoying not being in school. But not so much for most children with autism. See, autistic kids love nothing more than their routine, and winter break leaves them all kinds of out-of-sorts. Two weeks of unstructured time off without the benefit of their usual, predictable schedules can be their worst nightmare…as…
Friday, December 16, 2011
Hockey team prepares a home-cooked meal and stockings overflowing with gifts for the men at the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans.
- HOLIDAY GUIDE
Friday, December 16, 2011
Hockey players are not all rough and tumble. When they have the right reason, they'll bake, shop and do arts and crafts. Last weekend, local players from junior varsity and varsity combined teams from Bartlett High, Wheaton North, West Chicago, St. Francis and Wheaton Academy took a home-cooked meal, stockings, Christmas ornaments and gift cards to the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans. The teams cooked a ham donated by Trader Joe's, and made potatoes, carrots, French bread and a salad with food donated by Dominick's in Wheaton for the five men at the shelter. For dessert, varsity player Kyle Florian baked homemade chocolate chip cookies, and with a gift card donated by Graham’s Fine Chocolates, the team bought assorted truffles. The …
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Where do you draw the line when it comes to buying Christmas gifts?
This year, I'm all on my own. Since getting my big-kid job, I've moved out and with that comes a whole lot of responsibilities. OK, mainly just never-ending bills. I'm sort of a sentimental sap, and I want to get my family really nice gifts since this is my first "grown-up Christmas." But I'm also buying grab-bag gifts for some cousins, too. And, holy cow does this stuff add up! I dread getting loved ones gift cards, or something without much thought, because I want them to open something special. But those "something specials" can cost you! So what do you do when buying gifts on a limited budget?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
When I wasn’t paying attention, department store Santas evolved from obviously fake to scarily authentic.
The first time I took my daughter to see Santa Claus she was about 20 months old. She hadn’t yet been diagnosed with autism, but she had been diagnosed as a major fussbudget pain-in-my-hump. I knew that she wouldn’t be able to handle big crowds or long lines, so I set out to find the most abandoned mall with the lousiest selection of off-brand stores and the fewest patrons. I was living in California at the time and was looking for the equivalent of Brementowne Mall, if anyone remembers that gem from Tinley Park circa 1973. (You know, one of those dead malls that are anchored by a Walgreens and a Jo-Ann Fabrics with battery kiosks and sock outlets in between.) That way, if my daughter decided to have an epic meltdown, there would be no …
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Trying to live up to holiday car commercials will only drive you to depression.
I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed. Poor Charlie Brown. He really is the Charlie Browniest. But he’s not the only one having a blue Christmas, just the most famous. We all know that Christmas can be a stressful time of year, what with all the gift buying, card writing, cookie baking, tree decorating, and party-going. There’s a free-floating anxiety in the air that is very specific to this time of the year—the pressure to be ever-so-very-merry and for your life to resemble as closely as possible the picture-perfect scenes that we are bombarded with in television specials, commercials, …