Wanda Mooney

Holiday

Reverse Advent Calendar: Give Back This Holiday Season

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Although this year has been particularly difficult, today is a great reminder to appreciate what we are fortunate to have and to be grateful for the positive people and things in our lives. As we approach the end of the year, we can all think about ways to show our gratitude and to boost up the community around us.

You are probably already familiar with the advent calendar. Used for counting down the days until Christmas, these calendars usually offer some sort of treat behind tiny doors on each day, typically chocolate. They are a great way to build excitement leading up to Christmas. 

But have you heard of the reverse advent calendar? Rather than having a treat for yourself on each day, these calendars inspire you to give back. Every day you can collect a food item or donation to add to a box. Then at the end of the calendar, bring your box to your local food bank or donation center as a way to give back to your community. Reverse advent calendars are a great way to spread holiday cheer and to teach children that the holidays are not just about receiving gifts and eating chocolate, but also about making a positive impact on your community. Check out the reverse advent calendar below for ideas to fill your donation box.

reverse advent calendar christmas

Plus check out this list of thoughtful holiday gifts whose sellers will donate part of the profits to different charitable organizations.

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

 

Shop Locally Online for Small Business Saturday and the Holiday Season

In past years on Black Friday, the village of Shelburne Falls has come alive with vendors, performers, lights, and festive decor to kick off the holiday season with their annual Moonlight Magic event. Shops would stay open later and offer special deals to encourage holiday shoppers to support the small local businesses. Unfortunately, there will be no Moonlight Magic this year. Therefore, it is more important than ever to support our local businesses this holiday season. Many shops have expanded their online stores, making it easy to purchase items from them without having to enter the store.

Small Business Saturday is on Saturday, November 28 this year. Support our local economy by shopping local on this day and throughout the season. Here are some shops in Franklin County with online stores where you can find great locally made gifts for your loved ones this holiday season:

small business saturday shop local western massSalmon Falls Gallery - Gallery in Shelburne Falls representing 90+ local artists and the glass art of Josh Simpson

Shelburne Artisans Coop - A Gallery in Shelburne Falls of Fine Arts and Crafts owned and operated by regional artists

Ann Brauer Quilt Studio - Original modern art quilts that capture abstract landscapes using fabric and color made by Ann Brauer in her studio in Shelburne Falls

Molly Cantor Pottery - Handmade pottery inspired by New England nature and life

Zawalich Woodwork + Design - Custom woodwork including electric guitars!

Bridge Street Bazaar - Bohemian lifestyle boutique in Shelburne Falls

Love Marjorie - Ethically handmade gifts that are beautiful and functional

KeenEye Photo & Collections - Film photography supplies, antiques, and collectibles

Al Ladd, Woodworker - Fine edge woodworking

Marilyn Beal, Dyed Naturally - naturally dyed scarves

Morrell Metalsmiths - Handcrafted ironwork for your home

Rag Hill Farm - Functional fiber art

Moonshine Designs at Kedalby Farm - hand dyed, hand woven goods using mohair

Pegathus Design - Calligraphy and Color Judaica and more

Mason Willard Photography - New England nature photography

Inge Jockers Jewelry - Handmade jewelry by local artist

Happy Holiday Shopping!

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Give a Franklin County Gift Card This Holiday Season

Franklin County Gift Card Greenfield MassachusettsEarlier this year, the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce released a new Franklin County Gift Card. Now, as the holidays approach, consider gifting one of these versatile gift cards to your friends and loved ones. They can spend it at the participating Franklin County business of their choice - so they are guaranteed to love their gift! Plus, you’ll be supporting our local small businesses and the local economy.

Here’s where you can purchase a Franklin County Gift Card:

Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, 395 Main Street, Greenfield
Franklin First Federal Credit Union, 57 Newton Street, Greenfield
Ciesluk's Market, 55 North Main Street, South Deerfield
ENJOY. 4 Deerfield Avenue, Shelburne Falls
Greenfield Savings Bank branches: Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, Turners Falls, Conway, South Deerfield, Northampton-King Street

More locations to purchase coming soon!

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Gift card can be used at the following locations:

Andy's and The Oak Shoppe
Baker Office Supply
Berkshire Brewing Company Tap Room
Berkshire East Mountain Resort
Centennial House Bed & Breakfast
Ciesluk's Market
Crumpin-Fox Golf Course
ENJOY.
Greenfield Community College Bookstore and Bursar's Office
Greenfield Farmer's Cooperative Exchange
Greenfield Games
Hamel's Creative Catering
Institute for Wilderness & Emergency Medicine
Ja'Duke Theater
Mesa Verde
Northfield Golf Course
Northfield Mountian Recreation Area
Plum Boutique
Richie Richardson FAB
Ryan & Casey Liquors
Thai Blue Ginger
Upper Bend Cafe & Bruncheonette
Zoar Outdoor

More locations coming soon!

For more information about the Franklin County Gift card, visit the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce online or follow them on Facebook!

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Halloween At Highland Park in Greenfield: A Drive-Thru Experience

halloween trick or treat massachusettsThe Greenfield Recreation Department has saved Halloween! Alongside businesses and agencies throughout Greenfield, they have planned a socially-distanced drive-thru Halloween experience at Highland Park. Load up your household into a vehicle and enjoy a ¾ mile drive full of fun and scary Halloween sights, including ghosts, goblins, zombies, witches, and skeletons! 

Enter Highland Park via Highland Avenue and continue through the display, driving at 5 mph. Once you’ve reached the finish, exit via Crescent Street. Attendees are encouraged to dress up and masks are required. 

Plus, the first 2000 children through the entrance will receive a free Halloween Treat Bag full of goodies! 

This special Halloween event is happening Friday, October 30th from 4-6 pm. Visit franklincc.org for more information and RSVP to the Facebook event!

Happy Halloween!

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

halloween highland greenfield

Kick Off the Holiday Season at Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls

Moonlight Magic Shelburne falls 2019Thanksgiving isn’t far away, which here in Franklin County means it’s almost time for Moonlight Magic! Moonlight Magic is the annual kick-off event to the holiday season, which occurs every year in Shelburne Falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave close down to traffic, allowing pedestrians to wander freely through the town, browsing stores and pop-up vendor tents. This is a great opportunity to buy unique, hand-crafted gifts for the family from local vendors rather than spending hours at a chaotic mall.

Moonlight Magic is also about spreading holiday cheer. The village will be beautifully decorated with garlands and lights. Luminaria will line the streets, illuminating pathways towards significant places participating in Moonlight Magic events. Say hi to Santa and Mrs. Claus amongst other characters in the Parade of Lights, which starts on Conway Street and then continues down Bridge Street. Then enjoy other various local performers and musicians around the village. 

This year’s Moonlight Magic is happening Friday, November 29, 2019 from 4 to 9 pm.

For more information about Moonlight Magic, visit www.shelburnefalls.com. 

4th of July Celebrations in Franklin County Massachusetts

Western Massachusetts 4th of JulyWestern Mass is a great place to be on the 4th of July. Communities all around come together to celebrate Independence Day and enjoy summer. Check out these events happening for July 4th, right in our area:

Independence Day Jazz Concert

The Federated Church on Main Street in Charlemont is hosting an afternoon Jazz Concert with Kamaya Diggs, vocalist, and her combo from 4 to 5:30 pm.

COOP Concert

Every Thursday, this free summer music series attracts enthusiastic audiences to its family friendly downtown location by presenting a variety of talented Franklin County performers whose styles include Folk, Country, String Band, Singer/Songwriter, Bluegrass, Americana, Celtic, Comedy, Rock and Pop. Bring a blanket, lawn chair, picnic, or grab a quick "to go" at one of our nearby food establishments. 

For Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 6-8 pm, the series presents Jim Eagan and Dennis Avery, Joe Graveline and Nina Gross, and The frost heaves and hales.

All shows are at Greenfield Energy Park, 50 Miles Street, Greenfield and presented by the Franklin County Musicians Cooperative, a non-profit of over 40 musicians, and supported by local businesses.

Shelburne Falls Cub Scouts Parade and BBQ

The Shelburne Falls Cub Scouts, Pack 85, will host a parade through the village of Shelburne Falls at 11:30 am on Thursday, July 4th. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8503 will provide the color guard during the parade. The parade will end at the Buckland Shelburne Elementary School, 75 Mechanic Street, for a chicken barbecue, a fundraiser for the cub scouts. During the barbecue, there will also be a military band concert to entertain while you eat. 

Independence Day Community Celebration and Fireworks

Greenfield is hosting it's celebration and fireworks on Friday, July 5 at 4 pm to 10:30 on Beacon Field with music, vendors, food and more. See the flyer below for the full-lineup!

Happy 4th of July!

Greenfield's Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks

 

These Upcoming Events in Franklin County Are Sure to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit

With Hanukkah already upon us and Christmas only a few weeks away, the holiday season is in full swing! Franklin County has lots of great holiday events coming up in the next few weeks, which are sure to bring our community lots of joy and cheer.

Coming up this Friday, December 7th, downtown Greenfield will be the place to be. Jingle Fest, coordinated by the Greenfield Business Association will feature all sorts of holiday merriment. From 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, shop around the Pop-Up Holiday Market in The Pushkin. Of course, Santa will make an appearance at Jingle Fest and will be welcoming visitors at Wilson’s Department Store from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Other exciting happenings include a tree-lighting at Veterans Mall, carolers, pop-up performances and more! Visit their facebook page for more information.

If you still have a lot of holiday shopping left to do, you’ll definitely want to check out the Shutesbury Holiday Shop. For 7 years, the Shutesbury Holiday Shop has brought together an array of local artisans all from Shutesbury or the surrounding towns, to offer affordable, handmade gifts. There will be an assortment of jewelry, quilts, ornaments, woodcrafts, fiber art, artisanal food and much more. Plus, the Shutesbury Holiday Shop lasts for 3 days, starting Friday, December 7th, so there really is no excuse to not stop by and shop local for your holiday shopping. Click here for more information.

Turners Falls will host their annual holiday event on Friday, December 14th. It’s a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls will bring together downtown businesses for a night of holiday cheer. Art exhibits, live music, restaurant specials, and holiday shopping are all part of this wonderful event. Plus, Santa will arrive at Spinner Park at 6:30 pm to collect notes of hope from event goers. Visit the Turners Falls River Culture website for more information.

I hope you enjoy some or all of these wonderful holiday events coming up in our local community. Happy holidays!

Moonlight Magic Kicks of the Holiday Season in Style in Shelburne Falls

This Friday, many shoppers will head to corporate stores across the country for Black Friday shopping. However, here in Franklin County, we like to do things differently by supporting our local businesses and kicking off the holiday season in style with Moonlight Magic.

This annual event known across the region will take place in the beautiful village of Shelburne Falls. The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association has worked together with local businesses to put on this magnificent event. The village has already been beautifully decorated with holiday lights and garlands spiraling up the lamp posts along with pole tags with sponsors’ names showing their support. On the eve of Moonlight Magic, luminaria will line the streets directing event goers to various points of interest throughout the village.

Moonlight Magic is also one of the few times of the year where Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave will be shut down to traffic, allowing pedestrians to wander the streets, browsing vendor tents and businesses, which will stay open later for the event. Soon after sunset, the Parade of Lights will make its way down Conway Street, over the Iron Bridge and down Bridge Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be part of the parade, greeting shoppers and then ending at the Mason’s Lodge, for visits and photos. Throughout the event, there will also be various performances, including one of my favorites, the Ageless Waves of Rhythm, Shelburne Senior Center’s drumming group.

Moonlight Magic starts at 4 pm, giving you plenty of time to sleep in the day after Thanksgiving! Visit shelburnefalls.com for more information or pick up an event brochure the day of to find out what’s happening around the village.

It's Cold Outside: Fun Things To Do Indoors in Franklin County

As the days get shorter and darker, many of our favorite outdoor activities become less appealing. Fortunately, we live in an area with a variety of things to do, even when it’s dark and cold outside.

Candle Villages

With the holiday season fast approaching, Yankee Candle Village and The Shoppes at Kringle Candle, are both packed with great gifts, holiday decorations, and holiday-themed events. Starting now through December 23, you can have photos taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Yankee Candle Village, located in South Deerfield. Then, meander through the various shops and eateries, which spans over 90,000 square feet.

At Kringle Candle in Bernardston, there is plenty to see and do, as well. Pick out your favorite scent of their brand of candle, Country Candle. Visit the Shoppes at Kringle Candle to find unique gifts, home decor, toys, gourmet foods, and more. Then, sit down for a nice meal at The Farm Table, a gourmet restaurant which serves brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Galleries

Now is a great time to check out the many local artist galleries in Franklin County. Shelburne Falls boasts several great artists shops and galleries, including Salmon Falls Gallery, which sells Josh Simpson glass planets, amongst other local works of art. The Shelburne Arts Co-op, which is run by local artists, is constantly rotating the works for sale, and features different exhibits monthly. Also, in Shelburne Falls, you can find beautiful handcrafted art in Ann Brauer Quilt Studio, Wandering Moon, A Heart for Art, and more.

If you find yourself in Greenfield, take a walk through the Greenfield Gallery, a boutique art gallery featuring fine art and collectibles. You will also find great local works of art at Artspace Community Arts Center, a non profit educational and creative space or people of all ages. Their gallery shows off the works of local artists and has rotating exhibits. Down the road in Montague, is Sawmill River Arts Gallery, a quaint gallery on the Sawmill River, by the waterfall and next to the Montague Book Mill.

Bowling and The Movies

Of course, there’s always the classic favorite way to spend time indoors - bowling and the movies! In Franklin County, you can still support local businesses while you do. In Erving, visit the French King Bowling Center, or go to the second oldest bowling alley in the country, the Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley! This alley uses duck pins and you keep your own score. Around the corner from the bowling alley in Shelburne Falls is Memorial Hall, where Pothole Pictures has some great films lined up over the next few months, including Julie and Julia, Ratatouille, and Babette’s Feast. Arrive early for some live music before the film starts. For new releases, go to the Greenfield Garden Cinemas in Greenfield.

So, although it is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, remember there is still plenty to do and ways to get out of the house and enjoy all Franklin County has to offer!

 

Historic Deerfield Hosts Fun Fall and Holiday Events for All

With Thanksgiving and the holiday season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to head over to Historic Deerfield. They have a variety of upcoming events and demonstrations that are great for the whole family and for the cold weather. Located in South Deerfield, Mass, Historic Deerfield is an outdoor museum that exhibits life and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley.

Every weekend, there is something exciting to do at Historic Deerfield. This weekend and next (November 10-11 and November 17-18), their Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration will be all about pie. Come and learn about savory and sweet pies, a fall/winter treat since early New England. While you’re there, you can also check out the hands-on workshop about brooms. Learn about brooms and broom making, try sweeping with a handmade broom and even make your own whisk broom to take home. You can drop in to this workshop, titled A Clean Sweep, any time between 12 and 4:30 pm and entry is included with the price of admission.

Later on this month, Historic Deerfield has even more awesome events planned. On Friday, November 23 from 10 am to 4 pm, see live historic trade demonstrations by local artists. Learn about redware pottery with Stephen Earp and paper marbling with Regina St. John from Chena River Marblers. There will also be a lot of great events for the holidays in late November/early December, such as wreath making, gift making, horse drawn wagon rides, and make your own hot chocolate mix.

But that’s not all there is to do at Historic Deerfield. Go any time of the year and take a tour through twelve preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850 with authentic furniture, art, textiles, and other original decorative pieces on display. You can also view exciting exhibits at the Flynt Center for Early New England Life and do some research of your own at the Henry N. Flynt Library, which has over 21,000 volumes on the history and culture of the region.

For the calendar of events and more information on Historic Deerfield, visit their website.

 

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