Saturday, December 24, 2016

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Tracks Santa (St. Nicolas)

Do you wonder what Santa is up to? The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has the military equipment and technology to find out if St. Nicholas is making tracks.

For the past 60 years NORAD has tracked Santa progress on Christmas Eve and all because of a misprint. In 1955 a Sears and Roebuck, Inc advertisement ran a phone number for children to call and talk to Santa.

Instead of reaching Santa, the children called in the NORAD (former  Continental Air Defense Command- CONAD). Director of Operations Colonel Harry Shoup had his staff check for signs of Santa and children calling in were given periodic updates regarding St. Nick's location.

Keep track of Santa! 
In 1958 the Canadian and United States governments created a new bi-national air defense command for North American, renamed from CONAD to the current NORAD. The new organization continued the tradition of tracking Santa for youngsters.

For anyone that is concerned about government funds being used to track Santa, NORAD TRACKS SANTA is staffed by NORAD volunteers who personally respond to emails and phone calls from children around the world and funds are raised through donation and sponsorship.

In preparation of Santa's Christmas Eve trip,  the NORAD Tracks Santa site goes live on December 1st with games, videos, coloring pages and other Santa related information.

NORAD TRACKS SANTA uses its radar North Warning System, 47 installations across Canada's North and Alaska. This is the same system tat provides warnings of any possible missile strikes aimed at North America.

Keep checking back because on December 24 all systems go live and the NORAD Tracks Santa website is using all the government intel to keep the little man in red in our sights. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pendragon Theatre’s A Christmas Carol Is the Perfect Mix of Holiday Spirit

A Christmas Carol at Pendragon Theatre, Saranac Lake
“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”~ Jacob Marley 
(Charles, Dickens, A Christmas Carol)

Dates: December 21, 22, 23,27, 28, 29, at 7 pm
Admission: Adults/$15, Students (9-18) $10, Children (8-under)/free
Where: Pendragon Theatre, 15 Brandy Brook, Saranac Lake NY

A young Scrooge (Galen Halsaz) is comforted by
his sister Fan (Lilly Grace Kipping)
(Saranac Lake) You don’t have to believe in Santa or even celebrate Christmas to walk out of Pendragon Theatre’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens knowing it’s never too late to make change for the good. Director Kent Streed pulls together a stellar cast for this classic tale of redemption and generosity.

Kudos to Kent Streed who wears many hats in this classic production from set and costume designer to director. His light-handed approach allowing the simple message that everyone can make a difference and help others, is paramount this holiday season. The sets are simple blacks and greys, allowing the audience to focus on the actors’ motion. The gauze backdrop transforms into a busy London street, a window into the future or a snowy evening sky.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Yes, There is a Santa Claus, by Francis Pharcellus Church (The New York Sun)

The New York Sun's newsman Francis Pharcellus Church's response to then eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial. 

Is There A Santa Claus? 

"We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of THE SUN:


I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


Thursday, December 15, 2016

National Ugly Sweater Day December 16, 2016

I can’t be the only person that has received a truly hideous holiday-themed garment and wonder what vibe I’d given off that would make anyone think that I should be given clothing that talked, glowed, blinked or buzzed. Now "ugly" sweaters are all the rage.

The gift of a true ugly sweater is akin to the bridesmaid dress as you are assured that you will be able to wear it again and again.

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is celebrated the third Friday of December each year. So break out your holiday garb and make this December 16, 2016 an ugly Christmas sweater to remember. (Yup, there is a holiday for that. )

The motto is "Bringing out the best in everyone by putting on the worst." 

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has partnered with
Buy Adirondack Family Time guidebooks here. 
Save the Children. So wear that ugly sweater and donate $5 to children in need. Save the Children is also the recipient of all sanctioned Ugly Sweater Road races.  So  "Make the World Better with a Sweater" #MaketheworksbetterwithaSweater

 © Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™ guidebook series. Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy, short Adirondack family hikes for ADK kids, parents, retired, seniors, dog-owners, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebooks online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Craft: Make a felt or paper ice skate holiday ornament

I have always found that a handmade ornament makes a great gift, allows me to spend time with family and creates memories. Each year when we decorate our tree, we hang our special ornaments and talk about when each one was made.

I hope you enjoy making this one as much as we did!

My daughter and I created two versions, one out of wool felt and the other out of paper.

The felt version is a bit complicated, but not so challenging that my 11-year-old with a stomach bug couldn't complete it.

The paper version is a great option for younger children who can use scissors and glue.

Parents may still want to lend a hand, because it's fun to make together!