Neighbors: Share your holiday traditions and stories

Hello, neighbor.

Everyone has a story they like to tell about a holiday past or a favorite tradition their family has adopted over the years. I would love to hear about them, so please call or email me this coming week with yours. My contact information is at the bottom of the column.

Do you serve a nontraditional Thanksgiving Day dinner? Is there something you do on Hanukkah or Christmas that the rest of us haven’t thought of? What makes your holiday season so special?

Several years ago, my children and I decided — well, I actually decided — that we would give each other some sort of handmade gift, whether food or photographs or something else.

I just recently decided to learn how to sew again. My last sewing project was done in my senior year of high school and that was 37 years ago. Yikes!

Once I get the sewing down, I want to learn how to quilt.

Anyway, I’ve been giving my family food and such, but hopefully by next year some, if not all of them, will get quilts. I have some ideas, but am not quite ready to share them, because I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be able to pull it off.

So, I’ll look forward to hearing from you this coming week with your stories. Until then, have a great weekend.

ATHOL BIRD AND NATURE CLUB is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and it looks like there are some pretty interesting things coming up for you members.

Tonight, members, and anyone else who is interested, can see “The Big Year,” a feature film about the sport of birding, at the club’s headquarters, Millers River Environmental Center, on Main Street in Athol. The evening is free.

Then, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Athol Town Hall, “The Big Year” guy, Greg Miller, who inspired the 2011 film, will speak. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.

The film is about Greg’s 1998 effort to spot more birds than anyone else.

For more information, visit: or

OUR LADY OF PEACE CHURCH on Seventh Street in Turners Falls will hold its annual Dove of Peace Christmas Bazaar on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Father Casey Hall in the church.

There will be handmade crafts, pies, raffles, baked goods, attic treasures, a children’s room, Christmas ornaments and more. Lunch will be available for sale at the Christmas Cookie Café.

ALSO ON SATURDAY, Rowe Elementary School PTO will hold its annual Holly Berry Craft Fair at Mohawk Trail Regional School on Route 112 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be 25 vendors with crafts, food and more. There will be a coffee can raffle and World Eye Bookshop sale.

Breakfast treats and lunch will be available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit the elementary school’s programs.

TRIVIA NIGHT starts at 6 p.m. in the library, Saturday at Frontier Regional School. Bring family and friends to this fun event hosted by Frontier Regional School’s Model U.N. Club. The club is raising money to go to a three-day convention in Boston in February where the students will participate with their peers in international policy negotiations in the manner of the United Nations.

Trivia categories will include pop culture, general knowledge, Disney, music and many more. Teams can have from 1 to 8 people. For advance registration, the fee per team is $16. If you wait and just show up on Saturday night, it will be $20. There will be concessions, a 50/50 raffle, and of course, prizes.

Register at:

IF YOU HAVEN’T MADE Pioneer Valley Ballet’s “Nutcracker” a must-see holiday tradition yet, now’s the time. It will be held Dec. 13 through 15 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets are $15 to $40. I’ve seen it and believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 413-527-6363 or visit:

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE GEM SHOW in the dining commons at Greenfield Community College on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is presented by Pioneer Valley Institute.

The 17th annual Gem Show will also feature the Jurassic Roadshow.

PIONEER VALLEY REGIONAL SCHOOL’S senior class will hold a coin drop on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the intersection of Routes 10 and 63 in Northfield. The fund drive will benefit the class, as well as Northfield Food Pantry and A Friend to Friend. So take a ride to Northfield and don’t forget your coins.

JUST ROOTS WILL OFFER Herbal First Aid with Annie Burdett on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be held at 34 Glenbrook Road, Apt. 1A in Greenfield. Bring a bag lunch.

Visit: Contact Annie to register: 413-376-8333 or:

NORTHFIELD HIST-ORICAL SOCIETY’S 2014 calendars are ready and you can purchase one for $10. You’ll find many Northfield scenes from the past throughout the calendar. The money raised will support the society’s museum on Pine Street.

Call Jean at 413-498-5344 or Helen at 413-498-2017. It is also on sale at Dala Bird gift shop at 105 Main St.

CRAFTS-ARE-US will once again hold a craft fair and this time it will be at Greenfield High School on Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free, but the organizers are asking that everyone bring one or two nonperishable food items that will be donated to the Survival Center in Turners Falls.

For more information, call Bette at 413-665-4039 or Karen at:

MONTAGUE CONGRE-GATIONAL CHURCH will hold its Fete Noel on Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the church at 4 North St. The holiday fair will feature candy, food, drawings, used clothing, crafts, holiday items and fair-trade coffee products, to name a few.

Join the fair for coffee and lunch featuring corn chowder and stuffed rolls.

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