December 2011

Watching the ball drop, the midnight kiss, champagne toasts… these are some of our common New Year’s Eve traditions, but for centuries the Irish have celebrated the coming of the New Year in other interesting ways.

Luck of the Door
After the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve the Irish would watch to see who enters through their door first. If a tall, dark and handsome man is first to enter, this will bring the home and the family good luck, but if a red-haired woman enters, she will bring hardship and grief.

Luck in Love
Mistletoe is commonly associated with Christmas, but for the Irish this magical plant would be put underneath their pillows so they dream of their future wife or husband and receive special luck in love.

Honoring the Dead
The Irish honor loved ones by having an extra place setting at the table to represent a deceased friend or family member. The front door would also be unlocked to allow spirits to freely enter the home.

Luck of the Home
“Cleansing” is a spiritual action. The Irish represent this cleanse by cleaning the home for the New Year. A spotless home also represents making room for new memories, new joys, and new luck.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread was used to scare away bad spirits by banging it against the walls of the home. This also allowed good spirits to enter the home.

At midnight many would enter the house through the front door and leave through the back door for good luck.

Luck of the Hotel
Our Dublin hotels offer great packages for New Year’s Eve. It’s the perfect way to relax and packages start at $89. Aren’t you lucky? Start your own traditions with a fun hotel party and perhaps add in some of the Irish traditions you just read about.

Chase Suites Hotel
Enjoy a cozy fireplace suite, a fresh hot breakfast, indoor hot-tub, free movies for your in-room DVD and an Irish Gift Basket. Packages start at $89. 4130 Tuller Road. 766-7762.

Embassy Suites Dublin
Enjoy early check-in, an upgraded manager’s reception, movie rooms for families, big screen TV’s with football games, indoor pool and a Champagne toast at midnight. Packages start at $139. 5100 Upper Metro Place. 790-9000.

Hilton Garden Inn
Enjoy a champagne toast, a free in-room movie, indoor pool and spa and a hot breakfast buffet. Packages start at $99. 500 Metro Place North. 766-9900.
For more information about Irish traditions go to 

-Post by Allison

I don’t recall when I found out that Santa didn’t exist. I don’t remember being sad, or throwing his cookies in the air and exclaiming, “Why is everything a lie?!”

But I do remember being excited. I remember hardly being able to sleep through the night knowing that glorious presents will be there in the morning waiting for me to rip them open. You could say I was a little like Ralphie. 

For whatever reason, I was always really excited for the first day of school too. I was kind of a nerd.

With the holiday right around the corner and me being well out of school, I now experience a different anticipation.

The anticipation of giving.

You proudly place your gift in the hands of your friend or family member, anxiously watching them figure out where the invisible scotch tape is located and then wait for the classic, “I love it!”

As much as I love anticipation there is one ugly thing that I can’t seem to avoid.


How are we only a few days away from the big event? Where did the time go? Why am I paying shipping costs and hoping items arrive on time?

From the looks of our malls, I’d say procrastination or “last-minute shoppers” are in the majority. So to help you out, majority, here is a quick list of some awesome last minute gifts.

For the Hostess with the Most-ess

The Woodhouse Day Spa
Who doesn’t like to be pampered? Especially after the stress of having family over for the holidays. Make a spa day extra special and tell your mom or sister that you both are going for some quality time.

PRICE TAG DEAL:  For every $100 Woodhouse day spa gift certificate you purchase, you will receive both a free $20 Woodhouse gift card and a free $20 Mezzo’s Ristorante of Dublin gift card. You can knock out three people on your list!

For the Food “Nut”

Sister’s Sweet Shoppe
‘Cash & Pistach with Panache’ and ‘Pecan and Peanut Lover’s Unit’ are two gifts that are already put together and ready to be devoured. Don’t forget to buy one of the Sister’s famous fruitcakes.

PRICE TAG: $25.95 – $58.95

For the One Miles Away

Sometimes a person just can’t make it home for Christmas. So give the gift of Columbus, Ohio’s own, Jeni’s Splendid Icecreams. Jeni’s will ship a collection (or at least four pints) directly to their home. The new Holiday Collection will make their taste buds quake.

PRICE TAG: $50 – $175 per collection. $12 per pint.

For the Big Family
Do you have family in town for awhile? Give them something to do while they are here in Central Ohio. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights is a great event for all ages. You can even coax them into staying in a Dublin hotel by wrapping up the Dublin CVB’s Kids Go Free Columbus Zoo Wildlights Package.

PRICE TAG: The Dublin Wildlights Package rates at Dublin hotels begin around $109. With the package, kids ages 2-9 receive free admission to the Zoo, plus free kids meals at participating restaurants.

MILITARY DEAL: The Zoo is offering FREE Zoo admission to all who are serving and have served our great nation, including their immediate family, starting Monday, Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 1. Military personnel should show their military ID and veterans must show proof of service for free entry to the Zoo. Immediate family is defined as active or non-active military personnel, their spouse and any kids living in the household.

For the Crafty One
Guess what? You can make that bracelet (above).The Adventurine & Flower Bracelet (Toho Kit) is available at 1 Stop Bead Shop. Or buy one of the several classes and go together.

PRICE TAG: $36.60 Toho Kit.  $70 Class Fees + Class kit.

Happy shopping and happy holidays!

-Post by Allison

Thursday, Dec. 15th |1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
“Wrap it Up” Holiday Shopping Day
Excitement is building with 10 shopping days until Christmas. Visit Historic Dublin for an afternoon and evening of fun-filled shopping, dining and free trolley rides. Enjoy the Luminaria Walk and help fight cancer.

Month Long, December 1st – 23rd
The Twelve Elves of Dublin Contest
Throughout the month of December, contestants hunt for 12 carefully hidden elves in participating businesses. Contestants enter their cards for great prizes. Print your Passport or get one at the listed businesses. Once you find all the elves, drop off your completed passport at a business for a chance to win.

Friday, Dec. 23rd | 10 p.m. – 12 a.m.
The 11th Hour at Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market Dublin is making your last minute shopping fun. The “11th Hour” will feature:
Live Music, Champagne & dessert tastings, Raffles every 15 minutes
$10 gift card for every $50 spent
**Valid only 10PM-12AM on 12/23
3670 W. Dublin-Granville Road Columbus, Ohio

Month Long | 5 p.m. -10 pm.
Wildlights!The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has decked the halls, trees, bushes, everything but the animals with all new eco-friendly LED lights for the brightest Wildlights display ever! Musical animated light shows around the lake are every thirty minutes starting at 5:45.

  • Enjoy the Magical Timbernacle Forest Chorus
  • A Down Home Country Christmas in the barn at Habitat Hollow
  • Polar Bear Express, Kiddie Mini Sleigh Ride
  • Moose Habitat and Santa’s Reindeer Corral
  • Santa’s Holiday Home and Santa’s Holiday Wishes Tree
  • The Diving Claus – an Island Holiday at the Manatee Coast and many more fun family activities!

Stay the night and save. The Dublin CVB Kids Go Free Wildlights Package is still available.

Saturday, Dec. 17th | 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The Nutcracker will be performed at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in the Recreation Center. Enjoy this annual treat from Dublin Dance Centre and Gymnastics. Its shortened time is perfect for families. $5 admission. 5600 Post Road. 410-4550.
December 17th through the 23rd

COSI (Center of Science & Industry) Put on your railroad engineer’s cap and check out a huge room full of model railroad layouts from Central Ohio model train enthusiasts. COSI is hosting this special Trains Exhibit of all train sizes and shapes – plus wooden trains and tracks for little engineers to explore. 333 West Broad Street, Columbus. 228-2674.
Sunday, Dec. 18th | 3 p.m.

Dwight Lennox – Holiday Jazz Performance at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre will feature Columbus’ finest jazz singer that will delight you with holiday standards and favorite songs. $7 adults, $5 students and seniors. 5600 Post Road. 410-4550.
Sunday, Dec. 18 | 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Holiday Brunch with SantaMatt The Miller’s Tavern
Enjoy a Sunday Brunch with your friends, family and Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus. Matt The Miller’s Tavern will be hosting the jolly couple so bring your camera to take pictures and enjoy the following brunch buffet features:

Carving stations, prime rib, honey glazed ham, omelet station, eggs benedict, breakfast favorites, pastries, flatbreads, pastas, salads, chef specials, fresh fruit, desserts and holiday favorites.

Reservations are Required. Call 614-799-9100
6725 Avery-Muirfield Dr. Dublin, OH
Adults: $24.95
Kids 5-10 yrs old: $7.95
Kids 4 and under FREE with each paying adult. (Additional 4 and under: $4.95 each)

All month
Silent Movie Sundays at the Ohio History Center
The Ohio History Center in Columbus is featuring a classic silent film with live theatre-organ accompaniment and free popcorn. Enjoy scenes from A Christmas Carol (1910) and The Adventures of the Wrong Santa Claus (1914) starting at 3 pm in the auditorium.
The adjacent Ohio Village will be featuring A Dicken’s Christmas with crafts, decorations, caroling and cooking demonstrations 1982 Velma Ave., Columbus. 800/686-6124.

All month
Graeter’s Ice Cream
Enjoy a fantastic assortment of specialty holiday Graeter’s ice cream that will make your elves go crazy! Stock up on pints for when your houseguests are raiding the freezer at midnight. Seasonal flavors include peppermint, eggnog and cinnamon. Don’t miss the gift card sale: For every $30, you receive a $5 gift voucher. 6255 Frantz Road. 799-2663; 546 West Powell Road, 336-3661.

-Post by Allison

The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, decorating and traveling makes me want to write “CHRISTMAS TO BE OVER” on my wish list to ol’ Saint Nick. That’s why I’ve decided to take a step back and find out the history behind these seasonal necessities, instead of spinning around in a blind fury of tinsel. 

Before Coca-Cola was placing a tall, cold, glass of soda in Santa Claus’ hand, America’s favorite holiday didn’t have our current traditions until the mid 19th century. I mean, how did a fat man in a red suit get so deep rooted into popular culture?

In 1821, an anonymous poem was published in a popular children’s book. This poem referred to a “Santeclaus” and was the first mention of a character based on St. Nicholas having a sleigh. Fun Fact: St. Nicholas in Dutch is “Sinterklaas” which would eventually evolve into our English “Santa Claus” which would eventually evolve into Tim Allen.

The tradition of the Christmas tree originated in Germany, but it didn’t gain popularity in British and American society until Queen Victoria’s husband, the German-born Prince Albert, decorated a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle in 1841. Illustrations of the tree were published in America a year later. The tree became a fashionable home-decor necessity for upper class homes.
I can understand this considering I want every outfit Princess Kate wears.

What else in the 19th century sparked our current holiday traditions? What traditions have been put to rest?

Find out by going to the Kelton House Museum & Garden Holiday Tour. From November 26, 2011 through January 6, 2012, The Kelton House will celebrate the holidays with a special tour of the Victorian-era Museum and teach you a little holiday history. This is the only home in Columbus that has been preserved exactly how life was from 1850 to 1900.

The Holiday Tour includes a display of 19th century Christmas ornaments from a collection provided by local collector Michael Girard.  Visitors will be able to see feather trees, handcrafted and glass ornaments, scenic cardboard villages, and observe how Santa Claus has changed over the years.

This truly beautiful home and tour is the perfect opportunity for you to slow down and enjoy the lovely holiday season.

The Details:
The museum offers an audio tour Monday through Friday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. (last tour begins at 3 p.m.).

Docent-led tours are available on Fridays from 12 noon – 2 p.m. and Sundays at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m. Reservations are not required.

Tours for groups of six or more can be scheduled throughout the week by calling the Kelton House Museum and Garden at 614-464-2022.

Ticket prices are Adults $6, Seniors $4, Children 6 and over $2.
For more information, call 614.464.2022 or visit

586 East Town Street, Columbus, OH

-Post by Allison