Monday, December 24, 2012
Does your family open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
I have a sister who is 12-years younger than me, so in my family we have always exchanged presents bright and early on Christmas morning. As soon as our baby sister was awake, so was the rest of the family. Down the stairs we went to see what Santa had in store. Some families wait until Christmas morning to exchange gifts, while for others, it's tradition to open one present on Christmas Eve. Over the past month, some Patch readers have shared their Christmas traditions, worst gifts and best gifts with us. Now we want to know, what is your family Christmas gift tradition? Do you draw names or participate in a white elephant gift? Do you pile presents under the tree throughout the month of December, or do you wait of Jolly St. Nick to …
Monday, December 17, 2012
What gift have you received that left you speechless—in a good way?
Everyone has that one gift they'll never forget. No, it's not that ugly sweater that was never worn. This gift is memorable for all the right reasons. They say it's better to give than to receive, but getting gifts can be pretty great. Last week we shared stories of bad gifts, but this time we're going to look at the other side of the coin. What was the best gift you've ever received at the holidays? Was it that toy you really wanted when you were six? Was it that first bike? Maybe it was an engagement ring. Whatever it was, let us know. What's the one gift you received that you'll never forget.
Friday, December 14, 2012
On the fourth day of Christmas, Downtown Wentzville has for me: four china teacups—at Old Town Kettles & Cups.
You often hear the admonition to "buy local." At Old Town Kettles & Cups, they take "local" very seriously. Owner Denise Menckowski does her best to stock her shop's shelves with beautifully crafted items from local artists and crafters. First, Menchowski pointed out that the tea cozies and wallets are handmade by a woman from St. Peters. Then she showed Patch the elegant wood-turned bowls, vases and wine stoppers that are the creation of a Wentzville man, and large prints framed with barn wood that are the work of a Lake Saint Louis photographer. Handmade jewelry is also created locally, and the goat milk soaps come from Foristell. Menckowski bemoaned the fact that the main product line of her shop—tea kettles and tea cups—cannot be …
Monday, December 10, 2012
What gift have you received that left you speechless?
There's one every Christmas, it seems. That gift that puzzles you, irritates you, embarrasses you, frustrates you. And even if you know in your heart that it's Christmas and that you should be gracious and thankful, you just want to shake your head in disbelief? Was it the ugly Christmas sweater that you gave to Aunt Margie last year, carefully wrapped and unknowingly (or knowingly) re-gifted right back to you? Was it that set of salt-and-pepper shakers shaped like cheese wedges that your grandmother gave you because she thinks you need a hobby, and shouldn't everyone have a collection of something? Was it the donation made in your name to a charity you would never have wanted to support, but that the giver supports enthusiastically? The …
Sunday, December 2, 2012
When shopping for wine, visit a local wine shop where experts are on hand to help you select the perfect vintage.
Patch asked three local wine experts what they would recommend for holiday gift giving and was suprised to get the same answer. “What do they like to drink?” In the world of wine, there’s no one perfect bottle. The best gift wine is given with ample thought towards the recipient. Do they like sweet dessert wines or a bold Cabernet Sauvignon? Would they like a bottle from a far away land, or one from their favorite local Missouri winery? When pushed, wine experts will reluctantly give a few recommendations. But they’d much rather talk with you in person where they can show you around the shop and point out popular or underappreciated wines. Straub’s (Clayton, Webster Groves) “The hottest category in wines are pinot gris from Oregon,” said …
Monday, November 26, 2012
Patch is looking for experts who can talk electronics and share their expertise this week.
It's the season of giving and chances are, you probably have some fancy technology to cross off your holiday shopping lists. Patch wants to help find the answers to all your questions about Blue-ray players, iPads, smartphones and television sets, but we need a little help. In the latest edition of "Ask the Patch Pro" we need local experts who can answer readers' questions and offer advice. If you are a local techie or consider yourself an expert and can answer these questions and more, let us know two ways. One: You can leave a comment on this post. Two: You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need experts to answer questions on Thursday, Nov. 29. Curious as to what we are looking for? Take a look at some of our previous …
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Books make great holiday gifts for young kids.
Commercials and toy catalogs have children begging for the latest new toys, but a bounty of books also appeal to kids’ varied interests while honing early reading skills. As Dr. Seuss wrote “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Open a new world of understanding while pushing your kids to the top of the class with these literary picks. Head to Barnes and Noble to find these great books that fit your children’s interests. For the budding artist: The Wall Street Journal recommends What is Contemporary Art? A Guide for Kids from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. A great book to prompt further discussion, kids and parents can share their impressions of the contemporary artwork …
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Check out these upcoming holiday markets.
St. John UCC Fair Trade Market: Unique handcrafted items made by artisans from more than 60 developing countries. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 10 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 11 2012, St. John United Church of Christ, 405 S 5th St, Saint Charles, MO Taste of Christmas Chic Boutique: About 40 vendors offering jewelry, clothing, accessories, home decor, candles, baskets, embroidereed products, stationery, hand-carved figurines and more. Nov. 10, 2012, 10-3 p.m., Academy of the Sacred Heart, 619 N 2nd St, Saint Charles, MO Francis Howell North Band Boosters Holiday Fair: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Francis Howell North High School. Event will feature 140 craft booths, fine arts, concessions and artists. Treasure Chest Holiday Expo: Visit vendor …
Friday, November 2, 2012
Who says you have to spend a ton of money on the holidays?
As you look over the list of gifts you need this holiday season, an unsettling feeling starts. How will I pay for all these gifts? Gift-giving is meant to be a time for sharing how much you appreciate others, but rising prices and tight budgets take the feel-good vibes right out of gift-giving traditions. This year, take the money stress out of the holidays by turning to homemade gifts. Homemade gifts are a great way to show you appreciate someone while also adding a personal touch. Gifts don’t need to be expensive to be special. Get the family involved in the fun and you will be creating memories while making unique gifts for those who mean the most in your life. Let’s explore the homemade holidays in hopes that you will find something to…
Monday, October 15, 2012
Techies are in luck this holiday season.
Techies will love the almost unlimited options available this holiday season. From affordable tablets to the newest cell phones, there is sure to be winner on this year’s list of the hottest in all things techie. Small tablets are becoming a major seller as consumers look for options packed in smaller packages. Apple has dominated the larger tablet industry with its iPad, and the iPad 4 will be released Nov. 2 with a starting price of $499. But competition is heating up in the smaller tablet market, with four worthy competitors vying for market share. Gaming systems are continually being updated and reconfigured. If there’s a gamer on your list, maybe a new system is high on their list. eReaders are turning paperback enthusiasts into …