Weekend Dispatch

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I still feel like I am reeling from our busy weekend last weekend. But the next one is quickly approaching, so we'd better start planning. There's never a shortage of things to do at the Jersey Shore around the holidays. From plays to concerts to shopping, here's what's happening this weekend.

Lots and lots of holiday happenings going on this weekend for all ages. Let's start with Friday, December 8th. There's Market in the Park happening at Community Park in Point Pleasant from 5-9 pm. Food vendors, crafters, and more! Catch the tree lighting while you browse and munch on goodies, including edible cookie dough, pizza, and more!

On Saturday don't miss the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar located in Convention Hall. This is one of my favorite places to purchase gifts year round but especially at Christmas. There are artisans of all types from photographers to painters to potters who are selling their fabulous wares. Photo ops with Santa and a giant tree, music performances, hot drink bar and seasonal food, festive photo booth, and much more! Held most Saturdays and Sundays in December.

On Sunday is Christmas in Manasquan from 12-2. Stroll the quaint town of Manasquan window shopping while you sip hot cider and nibble on cookies while holiday music and carolers entertain you. Kids will have a chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and take a hay ride through town.

Why should s'mores be saved for summer? We love to put a festive touch on s'mores by making them with ginger thins and using peppermint white chocolate. These holiday s'mores can be enjoyed indoors by the fire or outdoors gathered around a fire pit. Either way, they are delicious!

Because this is such a busy time of year where I find myself with barely 30 minutes of free time, I like to read books that are short until the holiday season passes. A girlfriend recently raved about Heather, The Totality by Matthew Weiner and said I absolutely MUST read it. It's short (about 150 pages), and she knocked it out in one night after her kids went to bed. She could not put it down. Weiner, who also happens to be the creator of Mad Men, was inspired to write the book (which essentially could be a short story) while walking around Manhattan. He passed by a beautiful teenage girl walking into a brownstone. He happened to catch a construction worker who gave her a look that Weiner can only describe as a cross between "sexual and homicidal". Weiner felt immediately unsettled. He wondered, "Who is the girl?" and couldn't help but to wonder what her father would have done had he witnessed the look from the construction worker. And out of that incident was born a mesmerizing book.

A few miles from where I live in New Jersey is a town where there is a very heavy population of Hasidic Jews. I occasionally see them out shopping at Target, Marshalls, or Old Navy, but because they lead a very insular life, you don't see them often. When I came across the documentary One of Us on Netflix, I knew I had to watch it to be get a better understanding of my "neighbors". One of Us follows 3 ex-Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn who decide to leave the community. It's touching and heartbreaking to watch them struggle to make it outside of the community and to adapt to the real world where very few of them succeed once they leave the safe confines of the religious sect.

Also, the second (and final) season of The Crown will be on Netflix tomorrow. I can't dive right in to binge watching it just yet. I still have an episode and a half from season 1 to finish. I was surprised by how much I loved this series. It is portrayed so realistically, and I find myself obsessed with the inner workings of the British royal family. Plus, it's utterly fascinating that Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne since 1953.

Just a reminder, Scrooge is still playing at the Spring Lake Theater. I saw it last weekend, and it was AMAZING! I am seriously impressed with the level of talent that comes out of that theater. Go see it! Info and tickets here.

So, tell me. What do you have planned this weekend?

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