Saturday, December 20, 2014

This Christmas, Enjoy What's Really Important!



A Christmas message from www.CatholicVote.org.

Great Christmas House Lights In Cherry Hill!



There are always houses that Go All Out for Christmas.
Two of these homes are actually in South Jersey, on Mercer Street across from Town Hall in Cherry Hill.
Lights cover every available inch on these neighboring homes. The overall effect is nothing short of spectacular. You can find the homes on Mercer Street just off of Haddonfield Road between Chapel Avenue and Route 38. Don't worry: You'll see the lights (and the traffic) before you reach the homes.
Not far from Mercer Street, more spectacularly decorated homes are found on Deer Road in Cherry Hill just off of Chapel Avenue east of Kings Highway.
The owners of these homes have given us a wonderful Christmas gift. They are blessed with the Christmas spirit and we thank them and share in their joy.
Don't miss these inspiring displays!
The houses on Deer Road in the Northwoods section of Cherry Hill (one shown above) really caught our fancy.
They attract a big crowd -- and with good reason.
Family members (who live along the same street) compete with one another for the most spectacular Christmas displays. It's really a magnificent sight.
From Kings Highway in Cherry Hill take Chapel Avenue into Kingston Estates. Follow the road almost till it ends, then turn right onto Deer Road. You'll see the houses bunched together in a cul-de-sac.
It's worth the trip -- but if you're going on December 23 expect lots of traffic. Folks tell us that is always the biggest night for the display.

The 20 Best Christmas Movies Ever?

What are the top 20 Christmas movies ever?

Well, we'd put that nostalgic Barbara Stanwyck classic Christmas In Connecticut on our list. And we'd also include a number of other old black-and-white movies from Hollywood's golden age.
One thing's for sure: The legendary Hollywood studios and the movie moguls of yesteryear knew how to do Christmas. And they did it up right.
But Entertainment Weekly decided to rank the Top 20 Christmas movies of all time and they also included some that actually originated on TV. 
Anyway, here (from number 20 to Number One) is the list they came up with:
20. The Santa Clause (1994)
19. Gremlins (1984)
18. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
17. Scrooged (1988)
16. Die Hard (1988)
15. Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
14. White Christmas (1954)
13. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
12. Trading Places (1983)
11. Home Alone (1990)
10. Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
9. The Year Without A Santa Claus (1974)
8. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
7. Bad Santa (2003)
6. Love Actually (2003)
5. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
4. Elf (2003)
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
2. A Christmas Story (1983)
1. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)

US, France, Ukraine, Poland Top Blog Visits

Pageviews by Countries- Week of 12/13

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
EntryPageviews
United States
2580
France
823
Ukraine
354
Poland
328
Germany
159
China
150
Russia
96
Japan
58
Czech Republic
53
Slovenia
41

Dan Cirucci Blog - The Week's Top Stories!

NJGOP's Busy Week, Lokking To New Year Ahead!

A special message from the New Jersey Republican Party:

It's been a busy two weeks and there are a number of highlights, news, and upcoming events to share with you this week. Today we're excited to highlight our newly elected mayors in Ocean County in our second edition of our "New Seats & New Leaders" feature. Additionally, be sure to check out a recap of Governor Christie's recent event at the Mendham Township Middle School as well as his visit to Newark Renaissance House with Pastor Joe Carter as a part of the Administration's #SeasonOfService. Be sure to also read about the Lietuenant Governor's events focused on strengthening New Jersey's workforce and economic growth over the past two weeks. We also have important information about events coming up before and after the New Year that you will not want to miss, including Republican Assembly Leader Jon Bramnick's Statewide Republican Event of 2015. Last but not least, we hope all celebrating Hanukkah this week are enjoying a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

NEW SEATS & NEW LEADERS:  OCEAN COUNTY MAYORAL PICK UPS
South Tom’s River: Councilman Oscar Cradle
In the competitive race for Mayor in South Tom’s River, Republican Borough Councilman Oscar Cradle defeated the Democratic incumbent, Mayor Joseph Champagne 52-47%. As he finishes serving his seventh term on the South Toms River Boro Council, Councilman Cradle is already preparing to take office as Mayor and get to work with his Republican team. Cradle has already joined together with borough leaders to announce plans for the Streetscape project to begin shortly after the New Year. The Streetscape project will finally bring long-awaited improvements and construction efforts that will make the borough more pedestrian-friendly. 

Tuckerton: Councilwoman Susan Marshall
In this Tuckerton’s open race for mayor this year, Councilwoman Susan Marshall won a major victory, defeating her Independent opponent, incumbent Mayor George Evans 60-38%. Throughout the campaign, Councilwoman Marshall shared her message of experience, not only having served three years as a councilwoman but also stressed her passion to help solve her community’s problems with long-term solutions for the future.

GOV. CHRISTIE CONGRATULATES MENDHAM TOWNSHIP MIDDLE SCHOOL FOR RECEIVING 2014 NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL AWARD –
Governor Chris Christie visited Mendham Township Middle School on Wednesday to congratulate students, teachers, and parents on becoming the eleventh school in New Jersey, and first public school in the country, to receive a National Blue Ribbon award in 2014. Schools selected to be Blue Ribbon award recipients are honored for high levels of student achievement or growth in student achievement to high levels, with a particular focus on disadvantaged students. While celebrating with Mendham Township students and school leaders on Wednesday, the Governor applauded their commitment to providing quality education and serving as a model for schools across the state. Click below to watch the Governor congratulate Mendham Township Middle School on their extraordinary achievement:


NOVEMBER JOBS REPORT: NJ UNEMPLOYMENT RATE CONTINUES TO FALL, DOWN TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 2008 –
New November jobs numbers came out this week showing New Jersey’s unemployment rate has dropped to 6.4% from a high of nearly 10% when Governor Christie took office in January 2010. With 6,700 jobs added last month, the total number of private sector jobs created under the Christie administration is now at 153,200, continuing the long-term trend of positive job growth.

LT. GOV. GUADAGNO ADDRESSES NJ BUSINESS & INDUSTRY LEADERS, CONTINUING EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN WORKFORCE AND ECONOMIC GROWTH –
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno has been busy over the past two weeks with several events focused on continuing the administration’s efforts to strengthen New Jersey’s workforce, job growth, and economic vitality. Last week the Lieutenant Governor delivered the keynote address for the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) Public Policy Forum, “Looking Ahead: A Vision for a Better Business Climate.” Recognizing the importance of New Jersey’s business community to the state’s economic climate, Lt. Gov. Guadagno challenged business leaders to serve as New Jersey’s business ambassadors and promote the benefits of our economic environment to industry leaders out of state.

And on Tuesday this week, Lt. Gov. Guadagno hosted the first Manufacturing Skills Council meeting. The meeting brought together government and industry representatives to gather information on what degrees, certifications and industry-recognized credentials are needed to help fill workforce skill gaps and to strengthen connections between industry, government and higher education. The Lt. Governor Guadagno was joined by, among others, Harold J. Wirths, Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and Rochelle Hendricks, Secretary of Higher Education.

 
MARK YOUR CALENDARS

REGISTER NOW FOR THE STATEWIDE REPUBLICAN EVENT OF 2015 –
Don’t miss your opportunity to join hundreds of New Jersey Republicans for the Statewide Republican Event of 2015. With the New Jersey Assembly up for re-election in 2015, Assembly Leader Jon Bramnick is bringing together Republican leaders from across the state for a series of presentations, meet and greets, and events to rally New Jersey Republicans ahead of another election year. The event will take place on Monday, February 2nd from 4-10PM at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Click here to learn more information about this important event and to reserve your tickets today.


WATCH: GOV. CHRISTIE SITS DOWN WITH NJTV FOR ONE-HOUR LIVE INTERVIEW –
On Monday at 8PM, be sure to watch Governor Christie’s one-on-one conversation with Steve Adubato on NJTV. The Governor will discuss a range of important issues during the hour-long live interview, so don’t forget to click here and find out where you can tune in or stream online to watch.

CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS & CONTINUING THE #SEASONOFSERVICE –
The Christie Administration’s fourth annual Season of Service continued this week, bringing the Governor and Pastor Joe Carter of the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark together for an event focused on drug treatment and recovery efforts. At the Newark Renaissance House on Tuesday, the Governor and Pastor Carter continued their efforts to change our approach to drug abuse and addiction by hosting a roundtable discussion with young men enrolled in the organization’s Adolescent Residential Treatment Program. Watch the Governor’s remarks from Tuesday’s visit below and click here to find organizations in your community to volunteer for and take part in this year's #SeasonOfService.


Best,
Team NJGOP

Give HERE To The Salvation Army!


These jolly Salvation Army bell ringers stand outside Macy's on Herald Square in Manhattan and they dance merrily, spreading Christmas cheer to all those who pass by.
We snapped this photo and thanked them for all they do. And of course, we contributed - again.
What would Christmas be without The Salvation Army? And what would the world be without their endless good works -- helping so many, everywhere and Doing The Most Good.
Have you contributed this year?
Click here now to contribute to the Salvation Army.  Give genrously!


Shared Experiences: A Year With Chick-fil-A


Friday, December 19, 2014

New York City At Christmas - Spectacular!







If you come into New York City just to see the Rockefeller Center tree and you think you've experienced Christmas in New York, you're sadly mistaken --and you've cheated yourself.
Walk from 33rd all the way up to 60th in midtown and experience all that Manhattan has to offer for Christmas.
Look up, look around and discover Christmas everywhere you go.
It's all free and it's amazing!

Lord & Taylor Windows Stress Traditionalism





We weren't quite sure what the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue Christmas windows were all about this year.
They seemed to celebrate animal kingdoms (birds, mice and the like) with doll-like creatures and luminescent touches tossed in.
They are fun nonetheless and appear to evoke a bygone era when Christmas windows were simpler and more like storybooks.
Inside, the store is classic and reinforces L&T's traditionalist image.
Photos copyright 2014 by Dan Cirucci.

Bergdorf's Dazzles With Celebration Of Arts






On Fifth Avenue the legendary fashion mecca Berdorf Goodman has chosen to celebrate the arts in its Christmas windows this year.
As is customary with BG, the windows are lavish and abundant. Every inch is part of the display.
Now, we're not sure what all this has to do with Christmas (though it does reflect appropriate excess) but who can really argue with a salute to books, film, theater, music, painting, sculpture and the like?
We really enjoyed all the neon of the theatrical window and the rich red of the literary display.
Inside, BG is a total dreamland, as you might expect.
Classy!
Photos copyright 2014 by Dan Cirucci.

Barney's 'Baz' Windows Literally Come Alive











Forget animation.
Forget digital screens.
Forget the clickety-clack of Christmas window mechanicals.
Barney's New York on Madison Avenue has reinvented the Christmas store window with real live performers dazzling audiences every day. A golden Christmas elf performs gymnastics and an ice skating ballerina glides through two windows in alternating performances.
It's all created by movie director Baz Luhrmann exclusively for Barney's and the theme of peace, hope, love, joy and just plain fun is carried out across the front of the story, all surrounded by giant golden scaffolding that beckons shoppers and visitors alike.
The images you see are real people and nothing beats that. In fact, the elf presses the soles of his feet againt the window in some of the gymnastics and the ballerina comes up thisclose to the glass and seems to beckon you inside.
It's quite fantastic and truly unique!
Photos copyright 2014 by Dan Cirucci.

Saks Shows Off Splashy NYC Windows







The windows at Saks this holiday season tell a heady tale of Gotham indulgence.
Reflecting the towers of Rockefeller Center nearby, the windows celebrate the city with little or no reference to Christmas. It's all very ethereal and decidedly secular.
Inside, the store continues the these with icy snow queens and heavy greenery.
It's worth seeing, but don't expect it to put you in a Christmas frame of mind.
Still, it's worth coming back to Saks from 4 PM onward for the great light show that projected onto the front of their Fifth Avenue store. It's new this year and it's definitely worth seeing.
Photos copyright 2014 by Dan Cirucci.

In NYC, Macy's Is Clear Christmas Champ!












Nobody does Christmas like Macy's.
And in New York, at the world's largest store Christmas is a huge spectacle.
But for a few years, Macy's had been off its mark and we were beginning to wonder if even the word "Christmas" was still allowed.
Forget all that. Now, Macy's redo of its flagship store is complete and Christmas and all its glitter and glory are back in a big, big way.
Macy's Holiday Lane is an absolute joy and the store's main aisle on the ground level is a glittering festival of twinkling lights and shimmering crystal spheres.
But it's Macy's Christmas windows that truly delight. This year they tell the story of a little boy and his dog and their dreamy planetary adventure with Santa. It's not merely whimsical and enchanting, it's all supersonic as well. These are Macy's best Christmas windows in ages and clearly the best Christmas windows in Manhattan this year.
Thank you, Macy's!
Photos copyright 2014 by Dan Cirucci.

These Lions Are Dressed For Christmas Again!



For decades, the stately lions that guard the entrance to the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street were "dressed" for Christmas with huge wreaths around their necks.
The iconic literary lions welcomes Christmas in grand style. It was just another touch of Christmas in New York that thrilled visitors - especially children.
Then, a few years ago the lions lost their wreaths. When we inquired why, we were told that the wreaths damaged the limestone that the lions were made of. We found that hard to believe and we suspect many others did as well. After all, couldn't the library use artificial wreaths? Wreaths that weren't so heavy, maybe? Surely there must be a solution.
Well, we're not sure what happened but, thank goodness the wreaths are back. The lions are in their Christmas finery and all's right with the world.
And, this too -- inside the library's great entrance hall the huge Christmas tree with all its birds and natural decorations sits in grand style, just as always.
Our thanks to the New York Public Library -- an astounding edifice and rich resource, now and forever!


Photos copyright 2014 by Dan Cirucci.