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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Weigh In: Fake Macy’s tree and other holiday traditions

The Macy's Christmas Tree in 2012, when it fell as it was being lowered. Which might have something to do with the tree being placed in the parking lot this year.

The Macy's Christmas Tree in 2012, when it fell as it was being lowered. Which might have something to do with the tree being placed in the parking lot this year.

Warning: Christmas tree purists might want to skip this post. Macy’s revealed yesterday that for the first time in more than six decades, the Great Tree will be a fake.

Another Macy’s decision that could upset some: The tree will no longer be placed on top of the store at Lenox Mall, but in the parking lot.

Treegate 2013 made us wonder about some other revised holiday traditions:

  • No turkey on Thanksgiving: There’s been a movement of late amongst animal rights activists — and people who just hate the taste of turkey — to promote a turkey-free Thanksgiving. Alternatives including Tofurkey — a turkey made out of tofu, yum! — lasagna and cashew nut roast have all been offered up as main dish alternatives to the classic bird of the day.
  • No-gift Christmas: Seriously. We know most people can’t imagine waking up on Dec. 25 …

Continue reading Weigh In: Fake Macy’s tree and other holiday traditions »

Which Atlanta spot has the best Thanksgiving-to-go?

Don’t feel like cooking for Turkey Day? We want to know the best place in or around Atlanta to get turkey and all the other Thanksgiving fixings so you can skip slaving away in the kitchen and concentrate on all the eating. Head over to the Best of the Big A blog to nominate your favorites.

RELATED:

Best places to celebrate Halloween
More AJC Holiday Guide

Continue reading Which Atlanta spot has the best Thanksgiving-to-go? »

From glam to ghoul

Mrs. Georgia Meghan Hodges can be a real monster sometimes — with the help of Netherworlds makeup artist Roy Wooley. Check out Jennifer Brett’s story on the Hodges’ transformation from beauty queen to real scream and photos of the transformation.

Continue reading From glam to ghoul »

Restaurants, bars celebrating Halloween around town

Finally assembled the perfect Honey Boo Boo costume and want somewhere to show it off? Check out AJC food writer Jon Watson’s spooky good list of restaurants and bars offering up Halloween events.

Continue reading Restaurants, bars celebrating Halloween around town »

What are your resolutions for 2012?

Many people like to make resolutions for the new year. Some people vow to lose weight, others set a goal of running a marathon, and yet others begin a new hobby, such as learning to play the piano or taking up ballroom dancing.

iStockphoto.com

iStockphoto.com

If weight loss is one of your goals this year, check out these weight loss success stories for inspiration. Each person profiled in this photo gallery lost a 100 pounds or more! Our fitness expert breaks down the FRESH Start Diet Resolutions to help get you started.

What are your resolutions for the new year? How well did you do on last year’s goals?

Continue reading What are your resolutions for 2012? »

Ready to return gifts?

Buy Ugly Sweaters

Buy Ugly Sweaters

Atlanta Bargain Hunter has posted tips from an expert on how to make gift returns a smooth process. It covers everything from what you need to return an item to restocking fees and online returns. We hope you find the information useful as you get ready to head to the mall and return those well-intentioned but undesirable gifts.

Do you have any advice on gift returning? What’s the worst gift you received this holiday season?

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Last-minute gift ideas

Laretta Houston

Laretta Houston

There are only two shopping days left before Christmas, and perhaps you’re scrambling to find last-minute gifts for a friend, coworker or relative. Maybe you just need a hostess gift for that party or dinner you’re headed to this weekend. Here are a few things that you could pick up in a pinch and still look like you’d had it planned out all along:

SoRen Tea – Earlier this year, sister Sonnia Shields and Rena Williams launched SoRen Tea, LLC, a gourmet blend of loose teas. SoRen’s Tea’s signature collection features eight blends (including Cashmere Crème, Coco Chic, Vanilla Rouge, Citrine Blossom) that come packaged in sleek black tins. The teas are available at Spa Sydell at the Forum at Peachtree Parkway in Norcross, and Eleven Market at the Loews Hotel in Midtown. (Retails for $16.95 to $21.95) The classic holiday tote, which features Vintage Black, Bohemian Peach and Posh Noir blends retails for $54.50.


See's Candies

See's Candies

Chocolate …

Continue reading Last-minute gift ideas »

Looking for entertainment options on Christmas Day?

Even many churches are taking a holiday on Christmas, including North Metro Church in Marietta. That doesn't mean there's nothing to do on Christmas Day, though. We have a few suggestions. Photo: Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Even many churches are taking a holiday on Christmas, including North Metro Church in Marietta. That doesn't mean there's nothing to do on Christmas Day, though. We have a few suggestions. Photo: Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

There aren’t many options if you’re planning to get out of the house on Christmas Day. Even many churches have closed up shop to allow church employees and volunteers to spend the day with family, as the AJC reported earlier this week.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Most of the Christmas light shows will be shining bright, Horizon Theatre Company’s production of “The Santaland Diaries” will hit the stage at 8 p.m. Christmas night and Atlanta music legend Col. Bruce Hampton will play a free show at the Five Spot.

After the family, food and presents, if you’re looking for something to do Christmas Day, here’s a list of possibilities:

Col. Bruce Hampton And the Pharoah Gumit. 9 p.m. Dec. 25. Free. Five Spot.
Magical Nights of Lights. 5-10 p.m. …

Continue reading Looking for entertainment options on Christmas Day? »

Worst Christmas songs?

You might want a little nip of something strong, like Billy Bob Thornton in "Bad Santa" here, before being subjected to some of these tunes again and again. Photo courtesy Tracy Bennett and Miramax Films

You might want a little nip of something strong, like Billy Bob Thornton in "Bad Santa" here, before being subjected to some of these tunes again and again. Photo courtesy Tracy Bennett and Miramax Films

It’s a season of joy and peace, but for some, a few of those Christmas songs are enough to make them want to steer that one-horse open sleigh into a snow bank. Our own Atlanta Braves have even contributed to the holiday noise pollution, but we’ll get to that.

A pair of websites have marked the holiday by weighing in on the musical coal in our Christmas stockings, including MSNBC and Jezebel.

MSNBC takes a look at the “11 Christmas songs we hope never to hear again.” Some of their choices aren’t surprising. There’s been plenty of disdain for Paul McCartney’s best-known contribution to the Christmas canon and MSNBC calls “Wonderful Christmastime” a “strangled-by-synthesizer mess.” A few of the site’s other choices might not be so agreeable to the Christmas music lovers out there …

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Musical year-end best-of lists, critics weigh in

"Parallax" by Atlas Sound, a project from Deerhunter's Bradford Cox, is among several albums from Georgia musicians showing up on year-end lists. The Black Lips' "Arabia Mountain," Mastodon's "The Hunter" and Washed Out's "Within and Without" are also making year-end best-of appearances.

"Parallax" by Atlas Sound, a project from Deerhunter's Bradford Cox, is among several albums from Georgia musicians showing up on year-end lists. The Black Lips' "Arabia Mountain," Mastodon's "The Hunter" and Washed Out's "Within and Without" are also making year-end best-of appearances.

This time of year is a list-lovers dream. The year-end best-of lists are coming fast and furious, and the best albums lists are the perfect conversation starter.

Among our favorites is Pop Matters exhaustive musical look back at 2011, which includes more than 20 lists, from the 20 Worst Albums to Best Rhythm and Blues to Best Indie Rock. You could explore these lists for days, and it’s likely you’ll find plenty to agree with and plenty of choices that will baffle and annoy.

Another list we always look forward to is from Decatur’s own Paste magazine. Paste’s 50 Best Albums of 2011 has a lot in common with Pop Matters’ take, especially near the top of the list.

That’s just the tip of the musical …

Continue reading Musical year-end best-of lists, critics weigh in »