Here are the findings of the annual Park Slope Parents 2014 Holiday Tips Survey:
- While economy rebounds, holiday tips stagnate. Three in four (75%) people report giving the same holiday tips as last year.
- A personal touch still happens. One in four (26%) still give something homemade (cookies, treats, candy) to their service providers.
- Having kids in Kindergarten to 12th Grade (K-12) invokes the power of the masses. In preschool/daycare the majority (60%) give monetary gifts individually. In K-12 this changes and over half (54%) give money as part of a class gift.
- Dog walkers are getting lots of treats! Tips for dog walkers average more than building doormen.
Home Related Providers
Mode*(Most frequently mentioned amount)
United States Postal Service (USPS) Mail carrier
Package Delivery (United Parcel Service (USPS), FedEx)
*Data points are too few to give a valid average.
- Category: Holidays and Special Events
Make sure no child goes without a present to open this Holiday season with Toys for Tots.
This year the Park Slope Civic Council and Park Slope Parents are joining forces for the biggest Toys for Tots drive EVER! With over 30 locations throughout Park Slope, Gowanus and Kensington, there’s always a convenient place to drop off toys! Donate a new or very gently used unwrapped gift for children ages 12 and under at locations across the Slope. All toys collected are given to local organizations that work with families in need.
Toys will also be collected at this year’s Jingle Bell Jamboree held at at Congregation Beth Elohim (Eighth Ave at Garfield Place) on Saturday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m. Let’s make 2014 even better than last year! Thanks to your support, we collected over 2,000 toys that went to kids in need from organizations such as Safe Horizons, CHiPS, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center and others!
TIPS FOR GETTING INVOLVED:
- SHOP LOCAL to keep the community strong!
- If you’re unable to shop local, put an extra gift in your online cart for those in need!
- Make it a family affair and have your kids help choose the gift and deliver them together.
Your guide to Holiday Events! We’ll be updating this with regularity, so be sure to check back!
Holiday Light Spectacular
now - January 3rd, every 20 minutes Sunday-Thursday 5-10pm, Friday/Saturday 5-11pm!
PSP Member Chris Schneider runs a fabulous light show
Address: 310A 22nd Street Park Slope (btw 6/7)
CHiPS 7th annual Holiday Christmas Sing-a-long
December 16: 10AM
Sing-a-long for small kids, families, and nannies which is a charity benefit (money donated will go to CHiPS Food Pantry and Women's shelter). Songsheets are provided for the adults, and musical eggshakers and bells for the kids. They will be selling Pizza at the end of the sing-a-long.
Address: Da Nonna Rosa Restaurant, 140 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
35th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration
December 18 & 19, 2014 8:00 PM - 10:00PM
December 20, 2014 2:00PM and 7:30PM
Join Artist-in-Residence Paul Winter for this non-denominational event is a modern interpretation of ancient solstice rituals, which brought people together on the shortest day and longest night of the year to celebrate new beginnings. This year's show features the Paul Winter Consort, vocalist Theresa Thomason, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, and special guest performers Danny Rivera and Puerto Rican musicians Ricky Martinez (accordion, piano); Pachito Vega (guitar, cuatro); along with bomba drummers and singers joining in the celebration of the musical traditions of Puerto Rico.
Cost: General Admission: $35 and $55; Reserved Seating: $90
Address: THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street New York, NY 10025
American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker
December 21, times vary
Cost: tickets start at $20
As the lights dim and Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score fills the air, join young Clara for a dreamlike journey amid colorful, larger-than-life scenery, magical toy soldiers, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes, and a glittering Christmas tree! The New York Times praised it: "a production like no other, made with complete theatrical authority from first to last. The poetry of Alexei Ratmansky’s vision is very striking. I’m impatient to see it again.” Leadership Support: David H. Koch is the Lead Underwriter of The Nutcracker. Linda Allard is the Original Underwriting Sponsor of The Nutcracker Costumes.
Address: BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Ave Brooklyn, 11217 United States
A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 21, 1:00 pm
Address: The Brooklyn Lyceum, 227 4th Ave Brooklyn, 11217
First Unitarian Christmas Eve Family Candlelight Service
December 24: carols at 4PM; service 5PM
First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn is pleased to announce that this year, in addition to our traditional at 5PM, we have a Family Service of Carols and Lessons at 4PM. They welcome visitors of all ages to join us in the McKinney Chapel for hot cocoa, a simple craft, and a joyful worship service of familiar carols and readings. All Are Wecome! For more information, please visit their website.
Address: Brooklyn Heights, on Pierrepont St between Clinton and Monroe
KWANZAA 2014: Our Brightest Lights
December 27: 12noon and 3:00PM
Yaffa Cultural Arts director Linda Humes is hosting this special Kwanzaa event. Dancer, choreographer and actor Savion Glover will be performing, and a yet-to-be-announced film screening. The Tap Dance Kid makes his Museum debut, as he brings in ‘da noise and ‘da funk for the Museum’s 36th annual Kwanzaa celebration! Artistic Director of Yaffa Cultural Arts Linda Humes hosts a dynamic, family-friendly program that will get your toes tapping and includes an exciting film screening, introduced by a special representative of the United Nations.
Address: The American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side
Instead of seeing Santa, why not meet the Grinch instead? The Grinch Visits the Strand!
December 13 + 14: 2:00PM – 3:00PM
His heart is an empty hole, he’s got garlic in his soul, and he’s coming to put the coal in our stockings on Saturday, December 13th and Sunday, December 14th! We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the Holidays than with a visit from the meanest and greenest, so we’re very much hoping to see you at this special Holiday edition of Storytime at the Strand!
Address: Strand Book Store, Children's Department, 828 Broadway - 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10003
Now - December 24, 2014, times vary
Santa is stopping by your favorite Macy's! It's the perfect opportunity to share everything on your holiday wish list. He's only here for a limited time, so catch him while you can! Have your photo taken with the man himself! Photo packages range from $19.99 to $59.99.
Cost: Photo packages run between $19.99 - $59.99
Address: 8th floor of Macy's Herald Square on 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
Kings Plaza Mall
now - December 24, times vary
What PSP Members say: “Kings plaza mall last weekend and so was Santa! NO LINE! He's a great looking Santa, and they took 3 'poses' this year. My fav is one of my son whispering what he wants in Santa's ear. Great pics this year.”
Cost: Photo packages are $29.99
Address: 5100 Kings Plaza Brooklyn, NY 11234
Atlantic Center Mall
now - December 23, 12noon-8pm; December 24, 10am - 12noon
Address: 625 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 - lower level, near DSW
Cost: From a PSP Member: "Cash only and if I remember correctly it's $7 for a 4x6 and $10 for a 5x7 (there are more options, but it's pretty low budget). It's definitely not a Macy's/abc home set up, but everyone was pleasant and the line was completely doable."
December 20th: Du Jour Bakery, 365 5th Avenue, 3:30-5:00PM
December 20th and 21st, 12noon - 4:00PM
The Bahche has this year again the annual event for holidays. Customers will be able to speak and take pictures with Santa and his elf.
Address: The Bahche, 191 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11215
Saturday, December 20: 3:30PM - 5:00PM
Fifth Avenue is the place to be this holiday season to #shopsmall. On December 13th and 20th, the avenue will be filled with music from carolers and Santa will take a walk along the avenue spreading joy (and candy canes). He'll also make stops for photos and treats.
Address: Du Jour Bakery, 365 5th Avenue
Lighting of the Brooklyn’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah
Tuesday, December 16 at 6:00p (and every day until Tuesday December 23, times vary see website fo details).
At Grand Army Plaza, 1st Night of Chanukah, Brooklyn’s Largest Menorah is 32 feet tall. Every night The celebration is celebrated with live music and hot latkes for all and gifts for the children.
Address: Grand Army Plaza
Chanukah on Ice
December 16: 6:00PM - 9:00PM
The Chabad Centers of New York invite you to celebrate to the sounds of the Ta Shma Orchestra.
Cost: Online ticket orders: $25 including skate rental, $18 no-skate rental. Day-of tickets: $28 including skate rental, $20 no skate rental. Complimentary Kosher Food is also be included.
Address: Trump Wollman Rink Central Park
Come celebrate Hanukkah at Congregation Beth Elohim
December 19, 5:30PM
CBE has so much planned, including a community-wide Shabbat Hanukkah celebration, Sing-Along with Debbie Brukman, Candle lighting 6:30pm, Delicious Dinner and Fun Kids Theater with the Yeledudes, Ma'ariv (evening) services
Cost: Adults $15, Childern $7, Children under 2 are free.
Address: CBE is located at 274 Garfield Place at 8th Avenue, Park Slope
Toys for Tots
Grand Army Plaza New Year's Eve Fireworks
Wednesday, December 31, 11:00pm
New Year's Eve Fireworks at Prospect Park. Start the celebrations off around 11 p.m. with entertainment and hot refreshments at Grand Army Plaza. We can't help you keep your resolutions, but we can get you off to a dazzling start! Best locations for viewing the fireworks include: anywhere in Grand Army Plaza, inside the Park on the West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.
We asked our members about how to winterize NYC homes and here are their helpful replies...
Tips from Parents:
1. Get an energy audit
"You should call for an Energy Audit. I’m having ours done next Wednesday, I’m not sure of the cost yet but I believe it is covered by various incentives. After the audit you can become eligible for incentives offered by National Grid and NY SERDA for up to 20% of the cost of any weatherization measures done. We had a free audit done by a guy from National Grid who was knowledgeable but he was basically there to get people to take advantage of the weatherization incentives (which need an actual audit to qualify). My feeling is that no matter how much we spend on weatherization, we’ll get it back in lower heating bills."
"National Grid has a service for businesses or multi-family dwellings where they do have an online analyzer and an onsite audit etc. Check it out here."
2. Insulate any drafty places, like an attic.
"The most important measure is probably insulating the attic and sealing any airspaces up there (If you insulate without sealing, you are basically creating a giant, expensive air filter). If your house is a rowhouse, you probably aren’t losing too much energy from the walls."
Parent safety reminder: "Is your house ventilated? You don’t want to start sealing everything up and not have enough clean ventilation."
Thanks for those of you who are posting the Department of Health information about the EV-D68 enterovirus.
With school back in session and classes well underway, kids coming in contact a lot more with each other. It's important we talk and teach them about public health safety.
Regardless of which virus, remember:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Use the same precautions you would use to prevent the spread of influenza.
Here are some other ways to stop the spread of infection:
- Have kids wash their hands when they come home from school.
- Wash hands after being on the subway, going shopping, or being out and about. Make it a habit to wash when you get home..
- Wash dishes well and don’t reuse glasses.
- Remind kids not to share things such as chapstick, towels, razors, toothbrushes, etc.
- Don’t pick your nose (and keep your kids from picking theirs – or yours!).
- Clean the “green 11s.”
- Keep tissues handy to clean off kid snot before they get it on their hand, to get it on the school banister, etc.
- Cover your mouth (not your hand) with your arm when you sneeze or cough. Teach your kids to do this religiously (have them practice)
- Use safe cooking (and sex!) practices
DO NOT SEND YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL SICK! It doesn’t matter if they are in 4th grade and you fell the “but absences matter” pressure — keep them home for everyone’s benefit.
Keep the pathways to infection clear to reduce the ability of “bugs” to get in your body.