Hilltown Families

Monthly Archives: December 2008

For the third straight year, I’ve worked with Stefan from Zooglobble.com and Amy from TheLovelyMrsDavis.com to put together a consensus poll of DJs, reviewers, bloggers, and other people who pay a lot of attention to music for kids. The poll is called the Fids & Kamily Awards, and you can see the results at http://www.fidsandkamily.com, along with reviews by a bunch of different writers.

Cecilia Leibovitz (Founder, CraftsburyKids.com) writes: Save Handmade Toys From the CPSIA: A Proposal From the handmadetoyalliance.org: In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public’s trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small parts, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in… Read More

Happy New Year! How does your family ring in the New Year?

First Night Northampton 2007
First Night Northampton 2007

This coming week we welcome in another new year! How does your family ring in the New Year? Fireworks? First day hike? Culinary traditions are very popular. In Spain they eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds. In the Netherlands it’s apple fritters. And down south it’s black-eyed peas. Share with us in our comment box, local listserv or over on the HF Facebook page.

How It All Got Started Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness…. Read More

“This is an old black & white presentation of the holiday classic that was originally produced by Castle Films in 1946. This video was transferred from an 8mm print of the film (by Lunarparcel Media) that is over 60 years old, and was stored in marginal conditions for several decades.” “Although this video presentation shows a significant amount of image degradation due to the the deteriorated condition of the film, it is… Read More

Happy Winter Solstice, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and all other seasonal celebrations! SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Get Directions | Free Museum Passes | School Closings and Delays | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Facebook Events Happening in… Read More

Notes from Nan: Power to the People! BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati To our long-lost brethren who are still without power (and feeling powerless) Free coffee and a hot shower at Elmer’s! As we were the last people in downtown Ashfield to get power, we feel your pain and annoyance and invite you in for Free coffee and a hot shower at Elmer’s! We also have a phone and internet that… Read More

Lights dimming or flickering could signal that your power may be interrupted. A short circuit within your home, an impending storm or simply a tree branch that has dropped on a power line could be the cause. Knowing what to do when you see flickering lights or if you lose power is helpful to keep you and your family safe and secure. READ MORE:  If Your Power Goes Out.

There are many families in the hilltowns still without power that will not have their electricity back on until the 20th. If your family is in need of support (or if you know of other families in the hilltowns), or maybe your family has resources to offer/loan (generator, place to warm up, ride to Red Cross Shelter in Williamsburg, etc.) please feel encouraged to post to the HF Local Listserv so communication… Read More

December Updates from Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Montgomery County Pulls the Plug on BusRadio Last Thursday, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) terminated their relationship with BusRadio, the controversial company created to force children to listen to commercialized radio broadcasts on school buses around the country. Their decision came a day after CCFC sent a letter urging MCPS to end the use of BusRadio on their school buses. Montgomery County had been… Read More

St. Nicholas Center: Discovering the Truth About Santa Claus Material about St. Nicholas, “lover of the poor and patron saint of children.” Features background about this 4th-century saint, illustrated descriptions of St. Nicholas customs from around the world (such as Sinterklaas celebrations on December 6 in the Netherlands), and activities, crafts, recipes, and stories related to St. Nicholas celebrations. The gallery provides images of St. Nicholas from cards, toys, church banners, and… Read More

The Snowman One my favorite films to watch during the holidays is The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, a 23 minute pencil-drawn animation. It’s the purity of The Snowman that I enjoy the most. The film is without words and set to the composition “Walking in the Air” by Howard Blake and performed by Peter Auty. With his wonderful illustrations and a timeless musical composition, Briggs brilliantly captures the innocence of a young… Read More

Yesterday the Town of Chesterfield sent out the following message that might apply for tonight too. Call 296-4247 to confirm, and please pass along this info/number to your hilltown neighbors without electricity so they too may know about this resource: TOWN OF CHESTERFIELD Message sent – 12/12/2008 Sheltering 12-12-08 This is the Emergency Management Director. We currently expect power to be out for several days. With temperatures dropping, an emergency Shelter has… Read More

A pre-winter ice storm with high winds downed trees and power lines throughout Western and central Massachusetts overnight, and Gov. Deval L. Patrick declared a state of emergency Friday morning. More than 100,000 customers were without power statewide. READ MORE: Ice storm creates state of emergency – MassLive.com.

SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Get Directions | Free Museum Passes | School Closings and Delays | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Facebook FEATURED EVENTS: There are great opportunities this weekend to craft handmade gifts, decorations and… Read More

Andrew Baker of the Hilltown CDC in Chesterfield, MA writes: Dear Friends, You’ve seen headlines like these: “Worst financial meltdown since Great Depression” Can we find the opportunity in this crisis? Our small Hilltowns face big challenges as the state economy tips into recession, as do Hilltown CDC and your neighbors – the lower income elders and families we serve. Our opportunity is to find new ways of working together locally, and… Read More

Daniel Finn of Pioneer Valley Local First in Hatfield, MA writes: Our support of local businesses is not about protectionism; we can -and should- help take care of the rest of the world. This is why we worked with Northampton Fair Trade to make Northampton, MA the 6TH Fair Trade Town in the United States (please see http://www.mafairtrade.com). However, if we are going to not just survive, but thrive during these economically… Read More

I have an extra copy of Joan Nathan’s The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen that I wanted to offer. This is a great recipe book for any family to have, including not only recipes but also activities and lessons. It is a great resource for families who wish to explore Jewish culture, folklore and history through cooking.

New Support Site for Postpartum Dads By Lauren Hale, HF Contributing Writer The Postpartum Dads Project plans to focus on collecting stories from Dads who have experienced depression themselves or have been with a partner who has experienced a Mood disorder after the birth of a child. With the goal of getting new Dads to open up about the havoc Postpartum Depression can wreak, the Postpartum Dads Project launches today. The project… Read More

SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Get Directions | Free Museum Passes | School Closings and Delays | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Facebook FEATURED EVENTS We recently featured a couple of events that are happening this weekend… Read More

Randy Kaplan in Florence at Cup & Top Please join us at the Cup and Top Cafe in Florence today, Wednesday Dec. 3rd @ 4pm for a free after-school kids concert by singer/songwriter Randy Kaplan. Randy Kaplan is a New York and California-based songwriter known for his incisive lyrics and songs which blend American roots, folk, alternative, and pop. Kaplan’s children’s CDs have been praised and recommended by New York Magazine, Time… Read More

If you were asked to describe the ideal holiday season, what would you say? [Newdream.org] Perhaps you would include the company of loved ones, good food, fun and relaxation… maybe an inch or two of snow. Aiming higher in our holiday daydreams, we might even envision a feeling of tranquility and peace blanketing our homes, our community, the wide world. Whatever you imagined, contrast it now with the typical mid-December scene at… Read More

Eco-Family Annual Winter Fair As an alternative to traditional holiday buying, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School will host their annual family book and “green” craft fair on Saturday December 6, 2008 from 10 am to 4 pm at the “Brassworks” building on Rte. 9 (132 Main St.) in Williamsburg. Parents and children alike will have the opportunity to make a variety of eco-friendly craft items using mainly recycled and natural materials… Read More

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