The giving season: Lao Diaspora style

It’s the holiday season and while we know the Lao way of celebrating isn’t just eating holiday hybrid favorites like honey-baked ham with a side of sticky rice and jeow, it’s also about giving. The reflections of the past year, what it means to be in tuned with one’s self, and building community one hopes to see. Continue Reading


Rethinking Hanukkah traditions, or why I’m not buying Mensch on a Bench’

Every year at this season, the Jewish community reignites the debate about the extent to which Jews can authentically participate in the holiday season without compromising the true meaning of Chanukah. We look at new traditions and products and ask ourselves: when is it okay to borrow and adapt, and when does a practice cross that highly subjective line of just feeling too much like Christmas? Continue Reading

My DIY sufganiyot crawl

Running a Jewish preschool is fun. It often inspires me to take on fun projects. For example, one of my staff was looking at resources for Hanukkah and said “Wait, what do donuts have to do with Hanukkah?” Continue Reading

(Photos by Paige Elliott)

Dazzling holiday lights and sights in Twin Cities (and beyond)

Now is the time to shine, light-seekers! Holiday sparkle is back, illuminating cold, dark winter streets with bursts of vivid color and community spirit. Below, we’ve made a list – and checked it twice – of a few choice spots to see holiday lights around the Twin Cities and beyond. Scroll down to see how you can share your photos and add light displays in your community to our list!Related seasonal articles below:How to make ice lanterns, a Scandinavian tradition2014 Holiday Arts & Attractions RoundupShop small, shop localTis the Season of Giving & Receiving   <a href=””>When should holiday lights and decor go up?</a> Holiday Light DisplaysTaking in neighborhood light displays never seems to gets old. Whether they’re religious or secular, there’s something captivating about a neighborhood all lit up with holiday cheer, each house putting forth their best designs. We’ve started with a list of residential displays, some of which were submitted by readers. We invite you to add displays to our list by using the comment section or emailing paigelelliott@tcdailyplanet.netThe Beaumont Holiday Light Show229 21st Avenue South, South Saint Paul, MN | 5 – 11:30 pmFeatured are 11,000 bulbs in blue, soft white, and bright white, with wireframe angels, deer, and trees choreographed to music that you can hear by tuning into 97.9 FM in stereo.Glowing Tree in Bloomington9145 Meadowview Road, Bloomington | NightlyThe big, glowing oak tree in Bloomington features over 35,000 glowing lights and is a sight to behold. Continue Reading


What’s German for ‘bah humbug’?

So it seems our little Holidazzle Market has some critics. Apparently, it’s not stroller or kid friendly enough. Apparently it’s outrageous to stop offering the same old free entertainment the patronage for which was insufficient to induce downtown businesses to continue supplying it. Apparently it’s just uncouth to ask visitors to contribute a small amount of money to cover the costs. Apparently the organizers are supposed to be thankful if people just browse for free. Continue Reading