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Don’t ruin the turkey | Satya Murthy via Flickr

Thanksgiving is around the corner, ringing in the start of America’s holiday season. It’s a time to celebrate with your family and friends…and a time to be smart. Whether you’re celebrating with candles, Christmas trees, or cooking a huge meal, an ounce of prevention can make sure your holidays don’t go from merry to scary.

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Good Friday in not  a holiday in New York.

From Wikipedia:

In the United States, Good Friday is not a government holiday at the federal level; however individual states, counties and municipalities may observe the holiday. Good Friday is a state holiday in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. State and local government offices and courts are closed, as well as some banks and postal offices in these states, and in those counties and municipalities where Good Friday is observed as holiday. Good Friday is also a holiday in U.S. territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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Image source: William Hook on Flickr

If you can believe it, there is only a week and a half left to shop for Christmas – thank goodness there are still two weekend in the mix. We’ve been sharing with you some great shopping resources over the season, but thought we’d put them and our other appropriate shopping suggestions all in one place to give you plenty of ideas. Read on!

Image source: MOMI

Great holiday shopping around the boroughWhether your endgoal is providing gifts for nieces and nephews at Hanukkah (which starts the night of Dec. 8!), co-workers for Christmas, or dear friends for Kwanzaa, we’ve all got serious shopping to do. You may not be aware of the wealth of independently owned shops around Queens where you can find something unique and interesting while at the same time supporting your neighbors, so we’ve rounded a few up.

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Shop at local Queens indie stores during the holidays (and all year long, too!)

We’ve put together another shopping guide, this time for brick and mortar independently owned shops throughout Queens – Astoria, LIC, Forest Hills, and beyond. This is a great time to help boost the local economy with beautiful things handpicked by folks in your communities. We hope your find this guide useful, as well as our guide to local artisan gifts, too.

See who’s going to be at the next Queens County Market

The December 2012 Queens County Market is chock full of great vendors selling everything from chocolate to curry, sauces to tea, spices to salsa, and more. Old favorites like Mel’s Melting Pot (try their apple quince sauce) to the Queens Harvest Food Coop’s Buying Club, who will be there for the first time (we’ve participated in the buying club and it’s terrific). There will also be some holiday cocktails involved.

Singlecut Beersmiths tap room opens tomorrow, Saturday 12/8

Just a reminder that the SingleCut Beersmiths tap room is opening for the very first time tomorrow from noon to 6pm. This should be an amazing event. If you’re worried that there might not be enough beer, let us allay your fears with this photo:

Image source: SingleCut Beersmiths

We’ll see you there tomorrow!

Feng shui is a big deal at the Vista in LIC

The Vista is a new condo development that is selling extremely well, in part because of the feng shui treatment the building and the residential units have gone though. According to Jennifer Dorfmann, executive vice president and director of sales at Modern Spaces, a number of the early purchasers were interested in the building specifically because of the feng shui treatement the building has been given. In Dorfmann’s words, “the Vista is like the motherland” for feng shui enthusiasts. Last month they had a blessing ceremony at the building and it was very well received. We’ll be curious to see if other upcoming buildings in LIC will join the club.

Broad Channel kids want everyone to have their houses back

The Wave – the Rockaway newspaper that was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy – is back and they’ve published a selection of wishes by local kids for this holiday season. The backstory: they all come from PS 47Q in Broad Channel, and fifth grader Jesse Sanchez inspired the first and second graders to write down their wishes. It is a heartbreaker to read, but within the wishes you see that these kids really are thinking about others beyond themselves, which really is an inspiration. They wish that everyone could have their houses back. A few wishes:

By Brooke Arnao, Grade 1

My wish is to help everybody in New York. I also need a lot of help. I lost my clothes and my toys. I really want the whole world to be the same again. I just want everything to go back the way that it used to be.

By Kara Malloy, Grade 1

My wish is that everyone can have their power and their homes back. I do not care about presents. I want everyone to be happy and then I will be happy. I also wish my friend Genevieve could have her power back. I also wish that poor people could have a home because it is sad if they can’t go inside from the cold.

By John Kelly, Grade 2

I wish for everyone who lost their houses, toys, rooms, walls, and floors, to get all this stuff back for Christmas. I want everyone happy again! This is my wish.

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Image source: Sarah Smith on Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week it was downright balmy for this time of year in NYC – 65 degrees on Monday! It’s starting to cool down again but it’s still relatively mild, all things considered. Some folks believe the holidays just aren’t the holidays with mild weather; some would love to celebrate in the 75 degree weather found in places like Florida. So tell us… does the weather make or break your overall sense of the holiday season? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity!

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The weekend is just about here, and we bet some of you will be out shopping for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice gifts. Where do you like to buy gifts locally?  Is there a shop you wish everyone knew about? Are you going shopping at a holiday market this weekend? We’d love to know – leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity.

BTW, here are a couple of resources for your shopping this weekend, in case you’re stuck or need some inspiration:

How to be the coolest aunt or uncle: Hip kids’ gift and toy stores in Astoria, Corona, and Elmhurst [QNYC]
Queens Holiday Markets 2012 [QNYC]

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Now that the holiday season really is upon up, for many it’s time to whip up cookies and then some. For some people, gingerbread is the flavor of the season. For others, it’s lemon or citrus, and for some it’s chocolate. The flavors of mulled wine are also a favorite. And did you know that you can actually make actual sugarplums (beyond them dancing in your head)? Don’t forget the peppermint, either. So what is your favorite holiday flavor? Let us know in the comments or via twitter at @queensnycity!