O Christmas Tree! The definitive roundup of holiday events in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst

December 6, 2012 Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The holiday spirit is alive and well in Bay Ridge and neighboring communities as churches, elected officials, and civic leaders host Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, toy drives, and parties to spread the cheerful tidings.

Here’s a roundup of events taking place over the next few weeks as everyone waits for the arrival of Santa Claus on Dec. 25.

On Saturday, Dec. 8, Bliss Entertainment, along with U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Brooklyn-Staten Island) and state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) will present “Stuff-A-Bus,” a toy drive-outdoor party in John Paul Jones Park on 101st Street and Fourth Avenue from noon to 4 p.m.

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Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with Frosty the Snowman, will greet children in a Christmas village inside the park. Kids will be able to write letters to Santa and mail them to the North Pole via a special mailbox set up in the village. There will be music and dancing provided by Party Express and Diva Dance Studios.

Santa will also travel by bus to stores all over Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights to collect toys donated by merchants for children from underprivileged families and youngsters whose families were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church, 356 82nd St., will hold a “Winter Wonderland” on Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside the church hall (enter on 83rd Street and Fourth Avenue). The event will feature pictures with Santa, Christmas boutiques, Christmas carolers, arts and crafts, games and rides, a model train display, a 25-foot-high Christmas tree, food and refreshments.

Admission to the event is $5.00 per person and the proceeds will benefit St. Anselm’s School, according to organizers.

Hey kids, you can tell Santa Claus what you want for Christmas over breakfast! Boy Scout Troop 20 in Bensonhurst is hosting a Breakfast with Santa event on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the New Utrecht Reformed Church, 18th Avenue and 84th Street, starting at 11 a.m.

A French toast breakfast with sausage, juice, and fresh fruit will be served. Every child will have their picture taken as they sit with Santa and receive a gift.  There will also be arts and crafts and face painting.

For tickets, contact Elaine Delaney at 917- 715-2548.

State Sen. Marty Golden is inviting friends, families and neighbors to join him as he hosts two Christmas Tree lightings to help bring out the holiday spirit throughout the community.

The Christmas Tree lightings, which will feature Christmas caroling, hot chocolate and a special visit from Santa Claus, will take place on Monday, Dec.10, at Lady Moody Square on Avenue U and Van Sicklen Street, at 6:30 p.m. and on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at McKinley Park, on Fort Hamilton Parkway and 75th Street, at 6:30 p.m.

Donations for Senator Golden’s annual Toys for Tots drive will be collected at the events.  The Toys for Tots Foundation provides U.S. Marines the opportunity to bring the joy of Christmas to needy

“During the Christmas season, and all year, residents of our community should join together in the Christmas spirit and exhibit good will to serve the neediest. These Christmas tree lightings
will serve as occasions where all can come to embrace those values together and enjoy the warmth that this holiday brings as winter comes upon us,” Golden said.

For more information, call Golden’s office at 718-238-6044.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) is hosting her annual holiday toy drive to benefit local children including those from the Guild for Exceptional Children and those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“The holidays are a time of giving, and this year more than ever, our local children need and deserve a joyous holiday season,” Malliotakis said. “With so many families facing the long road to recovery in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, this is an opportunity for our neighbors to help bring a smile to the face of a child,” she said.

Malliotakis requested that residents drop off unwrapped toys at the following locations between now and December 20th: Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, 8401 Ridge Boulevard or Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, 345 Ovington Ave.

For more information, call the assemblywoman’s district office at 718-987-0197.

Two venerable organizations, the Dyker Heights Civic Association and the 68th Precinct Community Council, are getting together for a joint meeting-holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Saint Phillip’s Episcopal Church Hall at 1072 80th St., at 7:30 p.m.

There will be Christmas songs, coffee, cake, and lots of good cheer. “All are welcome, and everyone is asked to please consider bringing a new unwrapped toy, as it will be the last day of our toy drive,” Council President Ilene Sacco said.

The council sponsored a holiday toy, working in cooperation with local elected officials and business owners.

Anyone who wishes to donate a toy but cannot attend the Dec. 11 meeting, is asked to drop off an unwrapped toy to one of the council’s drop off locations, including the 68th Police Precinct, 333 65th St.

Also at the meeting, Civic Association President Fran Vella Marrone will announce the recipient of the association’s annual donation. Each year, the association offers a donation to a charity or community institution working to improve the quality of life for others

The holiday season brings plenty of fairs and festivities. The Scandinavian East Coast Museum, led by Victoria Hofmo, will host a Christmas Market on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside Nordic Delicacies, at 6909 Third Ave.

“We will be having a table outside the store with Christmas items for sale and lots of cheer. There will be entertainment at throughout the day, including a Santa Lucia Procession,” Hofmo said.

Santa Lucia is a Scandinavian Christmas tradition featuring a procession of girls dressed in white holding candles.

For more information, call Hofmo at 718-748-5950.

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