Last week Steve Grand released his version of the Bing Cosby classic “I’ll be home for Christmas”, which many have covered over the years. The video brings back handsome actor / model, Trevor LaPaglia who played the role of Grand’s boyfriend in his 2015 remake of the Mariah Carey Christmas classic, All I want for Christmas.
Through “The Wunderfund of Massachusetts”, Toys for Joys is shipping $1,000+ worth of toys and gifts to each and everyone of the 29 DCF (Department of Children and Family) offices. To date the organiztion has funded 22 DCF offices. THEY NEED TO RAISE $7,000 more to cover all 29 offices!
This year, Toys for Joys has already raised enough funds to sponsor the following organizations; representing thousands of children.
Casa Iris/Multicultural AIDS Coalition (Jamaica Plain): 465 Gifts Purchased ($6,000) IBA (South End): 367 Gifts Purchased ($5,000) Eastern Service Worker’s Association (Dorchester, East Boston, Mattapan): 430 Gifts Purchased ($6,000+) Urban Farming Institute (Mattapan, Dorchester): 191 Gifts Purchased ($2,500+) Boston Housing Authority, Joseph Tierney Learning Center 313 Gifts Purchased ($6,000+) Boston Public Health Commission Homeless Shelter 22 gifts purchased ($800) St. Ann’s Home and School (Methuen): purchase pending ($2,200)
If you know of any individual or company who would like to sponsor a DCF office, please email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can also be made through their website, www.toys4joys.org, or by sending your donation to: Toys for Joys, Inc., PO Box 315, Belmont, MA 02478.
little tree little silent Christmas tree you are so little you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest and were you very sorry to come away? see i will comfort you because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark and hug you safe and tight just as your mother would, only don’t be afraid
look the spangles that sleep all the year in a dark box dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine, the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms and i’ll give them all to you to hold every finger shall have its ring and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see and how they’ll stare! oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands and looking up at our beautiful tree we’ll dance and sing “Noel Noel”
Initially published in 1920, EE Cummings is one of America’s greatest poets. Born in 1894 in Cambridge, MA, he lived most of his life in New England, passing away in 1962 in his home in North Conway, NH.
The poem shares the excitement a young brother and sister feel about their little Christmas tree. In more modern times, a children’s book was illustrated and used the poem, but I couldn’t find much more about this work. MichaelasMommy Blog provides some more thoughts and insights into the poem for those who may be interested.
While the weather outside hasn’t been exactly frightful it has hardly been warm and sunny either. However, it is exactly the weather one should expect in New England this time of year and following the Thanksgiving holiday many neighbors started decorating.
The main difference between the decorations you see in the suburbs vs. the city come down to space; there is no yard in the city, lights (for the most part) are used with restraint and since few people own an entire building you rarely see an entire Bowfront Victorian decked out.
However, what residents lack in space they more than make up for by decorating their entries, doors and windows. I captured a handful of photos after a walk around the neighborhood.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the annual fundraising party that Toys for Joys hosts to raise money and collect gifts for underpriviledged children in our community. The cruel irony is this year there are more children living in poverty and in need of your kindness and charity.
Without having the benefit of a large party to bring people together, that makes this year’s challenge to collect enough donations to distribute gifts to children that much more difficult. As a long time supporter of T4J and someone who believes in their mission, I’m asking you to share this message and join me in making a donation to this worthwhile charity that was started and has been nurtured by our LGBTQ community.
This year T4J is teaming up with The Wonderfund of Massachusetts, a private non-profit organization that works on behalf of children engaged with the MA Department of Children and Families. Donations to T4J will help fill most of the Wonderfund offices with toys and gifts for the children and families they serve. Your dontations will also go to support the following groups with toys and gifts this year:
Multicultural AIDS Coalition (Jamaica Plain)
IBA (South End)
Eastern Service Worker’s Association (Dorchester, East Boston, Mattapan)
Urban Farming Insitute (Mattapan)
United South End Settlements (South End)
Click the link above to learn more and to make a donation so the Toys for Joys charity can continue their good work, and please help spread the word.
The South End Business Alliance (SEBA) and South End Local have partnered to create a “multi-date” 2020 Holiday Stroll and with so many local and small businesses struggling I’m hoping more people will come out to buy local this year and show the South End businesses some love.
More than 90 local businesses and working artists will be opening their doors (of course there will be strict adherence to state guidelines and everyone must wear a mask and observe social distancing protocols).
The Boston Ballet is partnering with NBC10 Boston to bring Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker to your home with a one-hour special excerpted from the 2019 production, with featured narration by Hoda Kotb (Today) and Colton Bradford (NBC10 Boston’s The Hub) as Drosselmeier.
The Nutcracker will air on NBC10 Boston on Saturday, November 28 at 7 pm with encore airings and on-demand viewing opportunities on NBC10 Boston, NECN and Spanish-language Telemundo. It will also be available free of charge on bostonballet.org for a limited time.
When to watch:
Saturday, November 28 at 7 pm on NBC10 Boston Sunday, November 29 at 7 pm on NECN Saturday, December 5 at 11 am on Telemundo Friday, December 25 at 5 pm on Telemundo Friday, December 25 at 7 pm on NBC10 Boston
Mass Bears and Cubs are continuing their annual tradition to collect toys for those in need and have partnered again with Solutions At Work, a nonprofit organization for homeless families.
The toy drive is starting earlier this year due to COVID-19 precautions. Mass Bears and Cubs would welcome unwrapped toys in their original packaging and will be offering a Touch-Free COVID-Safe option for donations.
Toy Drive runs through Tuesday, December 15th
Drop off unwrapped new toys at The Alley Bar’s collection box and while there stop in and support this local gay business which is now serving apps, burgers and sandwiches in Downtown Crossing.
Mark Kanemura was on So You Think You Can Dance a few years back. He regularly posts short, entertaining videos like this one from last year. As you can see, Mark has enough Christmas spirit for all of us.
It is hard to believe this Speedo run started by friends back in 2000 would grow to be so popular in so many cities around the country but the idea is just the right mix of foolishness and fun. Sergio and I will miss this year’s run up Boylston Street and down Newbury Street but if you’re in town you may want to head over to the Prudential Mall and Hynes Auditorium where hundreds of runners will line-up for the quick (and very brisk) run.
Santa Speedo Run
Saturday, December 14th @1PM
Corner of Boylston & Gloucester Streets
Toys for Joys is this Saturday. Get your tickets ASAP.
Although Sergio and I are traveling and not able to attend this year’s event, I wanted to give a shout out for this year’s Toys for Joys celebration, that will take place this Saturday, December 14th at the Artists for Humanity Epicenter in Southie. Unlike most fundraisers, this event is devoid of rubber chicken dinners and long speeches, but organizers do ask that anyone who buys a ticket also purchase 3 gifts (minimum value $20-$25 per gift) to be donated:
tots (3-mos to 5 yrs)
tweens (6-11 yrs)
If your last name begins with A-M you purchase toys for a girl and if your last name begins with N-Z purchase gifts for boys. Gifts should be unwrapped and will be placed under the tree.
Spread some holiday cheer and help the Mass Bears & Cubs by participating in their annual holiday toy drive. You can drop off unwrapped children’s toys at Club Cafe and The Alley through December 13th.
Although the holiday season has not officially started, I wanted to make sure you make time to attend this year’s Toys for Joys; scheduled to take place Saturday, December 14th at the Artist for Humanity building in South Boston.
Toys for Joys 2019
Saturday, December 14th || 7:00 PM to Midnight
Artists for Humanity Epicenter 100 W. Second St., South Boston
For those unfamiliar with this holiday tradition, Toys for Joys has become a significant force for good, collecting toy donations for children in our community most in need. The team behind this annual toy drive host the best fundraiser of the season – devoid of rubber chicken dinners and long speeches. The evening is filled with great music, delicious cocktails from Tito’s Vodka and a casual and welcoming atmosphere to meet and mingle with friends and new acquaintances.
If you’d like to learn more about corporate sponsorships or how you can get more involved, visit the website, toys4joys.org.