Christmas Eve

As many finished their Christmas gift wrapping and holiday preparation I headed out to find some other folks working on Christmas Eve.

I went to local bakery, Dolce Vita Desserts in Lemont, to find the owner hard a work decorating holiday cakes.

DolceDesserts1DolceDesserts2DolceDesserts4To end the day I headed to the fire station to wait for the departure of Santa.  The fire company’s volunteers and families decorated the trucks with festive lights and left the station with Santa on board waving to youngsters through town.
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Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Santa Express

Last year I was assigned to the Santa Express, a ride on a historical train through Bellofonte to celebrate the holidays with a reading of the Polar Express, and a visit from Santa.  I hadn’t been on a train since I was a youngster and didn’t think about the motion aspect of the journey.  When I stepped off the train after the hour long adventure I felt terrible.  Walking the wrong direction of the train, kneeling and taking photos completely threw off my equilibrium.

The ride is a big success and tickets sell out faster and faster each year.  This year when I found out I had the same assignment I was prepared.  I made sure I had some food in my stomach, I had Dramamine on hand, a ginger ale in the car and tried my best to stay moving in the direction that the train was.  For my equilibrium the ride was a great success.  For my photos I have mixed feelings.  As I started weaving through the cars with Elf, and Santa himself I discovered my flash batteries were dead.  I figured it would be okay especially as we entered a car with all red and green lights.  Perfect for the holiday spirit, not for my white balance.  The effect didn’t turn out as I hoped and left me with a discolored Santa.

Next year I know I need prepare for the motion, and double check all batteries since the spares in my car do no good when I’m on a train.

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Busy Busy Busy

To quote a classic holiday cartoon today I was busy busy busy!

The day started off earlier than I thought with a garage fire with alerts of explosions. Small gas tanks and air compressors in the building caused the firemen to fight the flames from the perimeter.  POgarageFire2From the fire I headed to Penn State graduation.  I’m always look for something different at the commencement ceremonies and this semester a native student was one of the marshals. In addition to focusing on her accomplishments I looked for expressions as the proud graduates crossed the stage.  PSUwintergrad5PSUwintergrad6PSUwintergrad7PSUwintergrad9From a gymnasium full of cap and gowns to a gymnasium full of cheers and baskets as I headed to a high school game.  BEAbball2 To round out the day I stopped by the State Theatre as a group of performs put on their rendition of a Charlie Brown Christmas.  As I recited all the lines in my head along with the actors I captured their incense and uplifting spirit of the characters.  Charliebrown1 Charliebrown2Now time for some late dinner!

 

Festival of Trees

Today the 18th Annual Festival of Trees kicked off in it’s new location.  After covering the event last year in the Penn State Ag Arena, which was a very large space with poor light, I enjoyed the new warm and homey feeling at CPI.  With a smaller venue, the trees were closer together which made the experience, and photographs more overwhelming.  As I wondered the rows of trees decorated by local organizations and business’s I watched for people expressions to light up as the holiday cheer spread.

Examining all of the ornaments is what brought many visitors in.  People of all ages had a hand in creating the decorations, including preschoolers for a Red Fish, Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss themed tree, and middle school students for dog and cat ornaments on the Centre County PAWS tree.