Blog Archive

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From power banks to ‘Planekets’: Here are holiday gift ideas for the traveler in your life

Do you have a traveler on your holiday gift list? Chances are they had their wings clipped this year. That’s especially true for international travelers. With the exception of a few countries, an American passport won’t get you very far in the world today. Heck, with very few exceptions, you can’t even drive into Canada.

But whether you’ve got your sights set on a trip around Alaska, to the Lower 48 or beyond, it helps to have the right gear.

Many of the items on my short list for holiday gifts are things that make a trip easier or more fun. Plus, many of them are small enough to slip into a stocking — or carry-on luggage.

Let there be light: When I walked into REI the other day to search for ideas, a sales associate, Mark, asked me about my headlamp. It’s a Zipka model by Petzl. “Oh, this

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  • December 5, 2020
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Covid can’t stop the holiday cookie swap

There is no crowding into a small kitchen this year, waiting for your turn with the stand mixer or the oven, and grabbing handfuls of warm treats off a buffet platter.

Like so many other 2020 events, holiday cookie swaps will look a little different in the time of social distancing.

But you can still get the sugar rush and endorphin boost of a traditional baking binge without cramming into close quarters. These pandemic-friendly cookie swap ideas will help you celebrate this time-honored holiday tradition safely — and much less stressfully.

Do a virtual swap

The easiest way to do a cookie swap in the middle of a pandemic is — where else? — online. There are a few ways to pull off a virtual cookie swap.

If you want to make a bunch of different cookies on your own, each participant in your swap can choose one recipe and

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  • December 5, 2020
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Italian Cinemas to Stay Shuttered, Missing Out on Holiday Season Box Office

Italian cinemas are set to stay closed over the holidays after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended Italy’s soft lockdown until early January.

The widely expected move comes as the country contends with a flare up of the pandemic. On Thursday, Italy suffered 993 COVID-19 deaths, the highest number ever recorded — more than the previous peak of 969 reached on March 27, when the country was in full lockdown. The infection curve, however, has been flattening this week, down 20% to 23,225 new cases compared to Thursday of last week.

Italy’s exhibitors had been clamoring for the government to agree to a Christmas season re-opening since late October, when movie theaters were shut just as attendance was starting to perk up since the mid-June re-opening following full lockdown.

Pleading his case for a Christmas reopening, Mario Lorini, head of Italy’s exhibitors org ANEC, had cited 2020 box office losses amounting

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  • December 4, 2020
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Anthony Fauci Warns Americans Against Traveling For Christmas Holiday

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease expert, appeared on MSNBC on Thursday and warned Americans against traveling for Christmas amid the surging coronavirus pandemic, Breitbart reported.

“I think they’re going to have to make individual decisions, but I think we need to, as a nation, seriously consider the things that we in the public health arena have been talking about, of minimizing travel to the extent possible,” he said after Andrea Mitchell asked him if people should cancel their Christmas plans.

“Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary, but to the extent possible, don’t travel; don’t congregate together,” he continued.

Fauci noted the difficulty of the decision and claimed to understand the desire to have a “large Christmas dinner with family and friends over.”

“Right now, that just should not be done. To the best of our capabilities we should avoid travel and avoid congregate settings.”

Fauci’s comments come as

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  • December 4, 2020
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CREATE A HOLIDAY TRADITION WITH RAISING TWELVE ON A NICKEL AND A PRAYER STREAMING DEC 18-20 at Powerstories

BWW Previews: CREATE A HOLIDAY TRADITION WITH RAISING TWELVE ON A NICKEL AND A PRAYER STREAMING DEC 18-20  at Powerstories

For a special limited engagement on December 18-20, join Powerstories Theatre for a very special holiday treat online. Enjoy Raising Twelve on a Nickel and a Prayer, a prerecorded video of their 2018 live production. With music by Terez Hartman, this is a true story written by Powerstories founder Fran Powers.

Raising Twelve on a Nickel and a Prayer is an original musical spanning three Christmas seasons, beginning in 1950 and closing in 1966. It follows the love story, adventures, and trials and tribulations of Betty, who dreams of having 12 children, and Harold, her husband, a Navy sailor.

The story shows the struggles of living on a Navy paycheck, broken promises, a cross-country train adventure, and a bleak Christmas when Betty is raising children alone in a new city while Harold is at sea. Later, when their dream of having their twelfth child is about to be realized, they

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  • December 3, 2020
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Holiday Events: Christmas, Hanukkah & Santa 2020: San Clemente

SAN CLEMENTE, CA — The holidays are nearing in San Clemente!

Christmas this year falls on a Friday, Dec. 25. Hanukkah runs Thursday, Dec. 10 through Friday, Dec. 18. And Kwanzaa is Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

Celebrations are markedly different for 2020, to be sure. Many annual community extravaganazas were canceled throughout San Clemente and the O.C. region this year due to the pandemic.

But festivities still abound throughout the area as towns and organizations are getting creative with drive-thrus, virtual and in-person, socially distanced events — many with limited availablity and required reservations.

Check out our annual event guide to see what’s going on near you. And Happy Holidays, from Patch!

NOTE: Bookmark this page as additional events will be added when announced.

Also, remember to double-check with organizers to confirm activities still are proceeding as originally planned as last-minute cancellations are possible.

—————

ALISO VIEJO:

DEC.: Fairy

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  • December 3, 2020
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8 Holiday 2020 Staycation Ideas, According To Experts

The holidays in 2020 will look and feel very different — not least because, well, traveling isn’t a great idea, public health-wise. Looking longingly at holiday posters for far-flung places and flicking through travel magazines miserably? With 2020’s holidays all about the ‘staycation’, it can be difficult to deal with your desire to be somewhere — anywhere — else.

“People get the urge to travel for many reasons,” therapist Heidi McBain L.M.H.C. tells Bustle. “They want to see family and friends living afar, to visit new places, to create new adventures and memories, or to go back to a special place year after year because that’s their family tradition.”

Itchy feet can affect some people more than others, Cynthia V. Catchings L.C.S.W-S, a therapist at Talkspace, tells Bustle. “Boredom and COVID exhaustion have set in,” she says. “The more we think about being stuck in our daily routine, the stronger

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  • December 3, 2020
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Pandemic won’t stop these annual Tri-Cities holiday events

Tri-Citians will once again be able to enjoy two Tri-Cities Christmas holiday traditions that date back to the 1960s.

Both can be viewed from the socially-distanced safety of a car like they have been for decades. And they start this weekend.

A light boat parade along the Columbia River launches Friday, Dec. 4, and the decorated yards of Christmas Carol Lane in Kennewick will be ready for viewing starting Saturday, Dec. 5.

The Clover Island Yacht Club called off its official parade for 2020 because the U.S. Coast Guard and sheriff’s office were too short staffed to provide the safety support.

But parade organizer Kent McCue said that didn’t stop a group of boat owners from coming together to continue the tradition started in 1964.

About 10 lighted boats will set sail at 6 p.m. Friday and again on Saturday.

The parade starts under the cable bridge at Clover Island,

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  • December 3, 2020
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More Americans are opting for ‘buy-now-pay-later’ this holiday shopping season — beware of these pitfalls

Americans are relying on buy-now-pay-later to make holiday purchases this year. That could spell trouble later on, experts told MarketWatch.

Shoppers checking out in stores have traditionally been offered an incentive to save on their purchase if they sign up for the store’s credit card. These days, consumers shopping online are being tempted with the option to buy merchandise now and pay for it later in a series of interest-free installment payments. 

And during this holiday season so far, consumers are falling head over heels for these payment plans.

“We are doing more transactions today, in a single day, than during Klarnas first 4 years combined,” Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, a buy-now-pay-later platform, said on Twitter
TWTR,
+1.20%

on Black Friday. He added that “regularly during the day over 100 transactions per second” were made.

On a competing platform, Afterpay, consumers generated 1.2 million clicks on Black Friday as

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  • December 3, 2020
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Porch pirates on the prowl for holiday deliveries

SAN DIEGO — Online shopping during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic is shattering records, and with more home deliveries come more opportunities for opportunistic porch pirates. 

Carlsbad Police are investigating a recent incident in the Montecito Luxury Apartment complex after a man wearing a Unite Parcel Service vest was caught rummaging through packages and opening one.

“The theft was reported to us and we are investigating the theft, which includes the man who appears to be stealing a package in the video,” said Carlsbad Police Community Relations Manager Jodee Reyes. “We would encourage community members to check out the shipping tips included on our news page.”

Jonathan Hong reported the theft after watching his home security camera.

“I saw this guy keep coming by rummaging through my packages and I got more and more suspicious, and finally I saw the one where he opened one,” Hong said.

The contents inside were

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  • December 3, 2020