Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Here’s a little something to get you in the holiday spirit: a video of Decatur kids singing “Jingle Bells” during their visit to the Decatur Police this week.

The children and their parents carol and deliver treats to the police department and fire stations every December to thank police officers and firefighters for their service to Decatur. Kavarna provided hot chocolate to the carolers and Atlantic Limo donated a bus to transport them around town. Mom Kristin Ebersold said, “We’re so lucky to have such competent & welcoming fire and police departments and generous local business owners.”

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Sgt. Jennifer Ross with the Decatur Police Department shares the latest in a series of safety tips:

Snowy view on East Lake Drive, Winter 2011

Dashing through the snow…safely

 The next topic in our Holiday Safety Series addresses driving to your destination whether it be across town for a dinner party or a much longer journey to spend time with your loved ones.  My childhood holiday travel memories are of 2-5 hours (depending on which set of grandparents we were going to see) in the back of a car, that I swear had no seatbelts, while engaged in sibling warfare over the true center line of the backseat and who was in violation.  Looking back, I do not know how my parents safely made it anywhere with my brother and I in tow.  I recall thinking my father’s preparation ritual for holiday road trips was overly dramatic as it seemed like we were mobilizing for a road trip to Alaska instead of south Georgia or North Carolina.  I now understand that this was his way to keep his family safe and reduce the stress that comes with holiday travel so we could all enjoy ourselves.  Always following some basic safety tips whether driving short or long distances, investing a little bit of time to prepare for an emergency and being patient will get you where you are going safely and in better spirits.  Remember to make safety a habit and not a headache!

–          Before you start your trip, make sure your vehicle is tuned up and in good shape for travel, especially your tires (don’t forget the spare).  This is even more important for winter driving conditions.  If you are weary of your vehicle’s current condition and think it needs some work, rent a vehicle for a road trip.  You will be safer, less stressed and it can be a treat to have a newer, different or larger vehicle for travel.

–          Wear your seatbelt and make sure all of your passengers are wearing their seatbelt or secured in a car seat or booster seat appropriate for their size.  Unrestrained passengers are more likely to be injured and become a projectile to other passengers in a crash.

–          Keep your speed down. Give yourself plenty of time and distance to react to the traffic around you. Let impatient and aggressive drivers pass you or go ahead of you so that you control the situation.

–          If there will be drinking at your holiday get-together, choose a designated driver who will remain alcohol free, grab a cab or stay where you are.

–          Make sure you have a roadside emergency kit, you can buy a fancy one already put together or create your own.  Basic items for your kit: jumper cables, flares, extra fuses, flashlight w/extra batteries, first aid kit, tire inflator (such as a Fix-A-Flat), tire pressure gauge, basic tools (flat & Phillips head screwdriver, pliers, adjustable wrench), duct tape, blanket, bottled water and energy bars.  Make sure your cell phone is charged and that you bring your charger for the trip.

–          Be patient and stay fresh & alert when driving.  Your trip will be safer and more enjoyable if you are not in a rush and not exhausted before you even get started.  Whomever you are going to visit would rather you arrive a little later than for you to be in a crash.


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More holiday safety tips from Sgt. Jennifer Ross of the Decatur Police Department

Whether you have driven to the mall or the Decatur Square, having goods in the car can make you an attractive target because as you drive around seeking to buy what you are looking for, criminals drive around looking to take what you have already purchased. Don’t let a would-be thief ruin your holiday cheer so easily. Thieves are looking for quick and easy, so throw up a few more roadblocks. Remember to make safety a habit and not a headache!

  • Park your car in a well-lit area and keep track of where it’s parked. This will get you in your car and on your way faster.
  • Park in well-trafficked areas and avoid secluded and dark areas, as confrontations won’t be seen and yells for help won’t be heard.
  • Hide packages from view to prevent a break-in.  Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home or ask for them to be delivered.
  • If you return to your vehicle to unload shopping bags, move your vehicle to another space.
  • When placing electronic items in your car out of view such as iPods, cell phones and GPS systems, remember to also put chargers, cords and cradles out of view since would-be thieves look for these items as signs that what they are looking for may be in your car.

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Here are a few holiday shopping safety tips from Sgt. Jennifer Ross of the Decatur Police Department:

  • Be alert and aware! It’s easy to be distracted by the crowds, selecting the right gift, being preoccupied with holiday activities.
  • Keep shopping bags, valuables, purses, and wallets close to you. Keep purses or bags closed.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason and watch out for friendly strangers. They may ask a question or offer to assist you with your bags to distract you or put you in a compromising situation.  At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • Stay alert while you are walking to your car. Talking or texting on your phone or digging in your purse for your keys while walking is a distraction and makes you an easy target.
Police officers on the Decatur Square.Photo credit: Cheryl Burnette

Police officers on the Decatur Square.
Photo credit: Cheryl Burnette

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It is time to announce the winners of Decorate Decatur for 2009! Thanks to all who have decorated their homes for the holidays. The judges enjoyed viewing all the lights and festival decorations. If you are looking for a fun way to spend an evening then walk, bike or ride to see the winners. Might be a good time for those out of town guests looking for fun, free entertainment! Some photos are included below, but these homes really show off their decor at night when the lights are shining.

205 Adair Street

The winner of the coveted “Commissioner’s Cup” is Nancy Wilkinson & Susan Phillips at 205 Adair Street.

This raucous display always fills up the home’s front yard. New this year is a “snow packing” center complete with a train (with working smoke stack) to haul the crates of snow. Judging by some green-clad kicking legs sticking out from under a crate, an elf appears to have had a workers safety mishap. Good thing elves are magical! Other features include a lighted bike, a snowman in box, a waving Santa and a working railroad crossing sign. The judges note that the decorations are beginning to migrate to nearby yards as evidenced by the lighted cow cutout that graces the facade of the across-the-street neighbor’s home. Indications are promising for next year’s exuberant holiday displays.

Nancy Wilkinson receiving the "coveted" Commissioner's Cup!

The  following were winners of Decorate Decatur and received signage in their yards.

142 Adair Street: What is it about Adair Street? The folks there are always cooking up something new for the holidays, and this year is no different. You’ll want to walk or drive by twice to get both messages on the “Burma Shave” signs that accompany the tight-rope walking snowman.

122 Woodlawn Avenue: An extensive holiday menagerie fills the large front yard of this home and extends to the side yard in a dazzling display of lights. You could even say it glows.

107 2nd Avenue:  Two giant inflatable nutcrackers guard the gift-wrapped front entrance of this bungalow, accented by the plentiful lights that illuminate its small front yard near busy East Lake Drive.

112 Paden Circle: The colorful lights on the facade and the front yard of this house are like a holiday beacon welcoming drivers and passersby on the way in to Oakhurst.

211 Willow Lane: This home has a generous lot with a gracious plenty of lights festooned across the many shrubs and ornamental trees. The display extends to the back of the home. The judges found the visual effect to be quite dazzling, especially when approached from Church Street. 

Happy Huladays!!

302 Ponce de Leon Place: Happy Huladays! The more you look, the more you see in this hula-themed display. There are lights galore, lit Hawaiian versions of Season’s Greetings, a jolly inflatable snowman wearing a hula skirt, and so much more. The judges are careful to point out the team of pink flamingos pulling a sleigh.

151 Superior Avenue: These homeowners did not miss an inch of roofline — in front or out back — when they put up their lights. The house and garage are outlined in string lights accented by garland around the front door and porch. An inflatable polar bear with purple sweater presides over this  holiday presentation.

252 Kings Highway: It’s impossible to miss the giant full moon planted on this front lawn with Santa and his sleigh zooming across the expanse. But that’s not all there is to see! Lights and other decorations round out the tableau. Be sure to roll down your window or take out your earbuds to hear the holiday music playing.

428 Sycamore Street: This grand historic home is picture perfect, beautifully decorated with greenery, ribbon and lights, with every detail covered including delightful “house” luminaries lining the front stone wall.

There were several businesses that contributed to the Decatur holiday spirit and the judges wanted to mention them as well.

Steinbecks and U-Joint: Festive lights at these two anchor businesses contribute to the holiday bustle, welcoming patrons in need of refreshment during holiday preparations or a cozy place to celebrate the season.

Little Shop of Stories: The return of the beloved downtown Decatur Christmas tree is a special gift enthusiastically welcomed by the community.

Best Streetscape Experience – Shops on West Ponce: Passersby on W. Ponce de Leon Avenue are beckoned by the glittering white lights that fill the row of trees in front of the Shops of West Ponce Place. Just around the corner along the main thoroughfare, festive holiday decorations in the windows of Cakes & Ale, Kaleidoscope, Heliotrope, and Boogaloos Boutique are a visual treat for shoppers and strollers.

Neighborhoods that went all out:

Lamont/Vidal: Best overall neighborhood presentation with luminaria lighting the way along the rolling streets, and many houses harmoniously dressed up in beautiful white lights and garland.

Ridgeland Avenue: Delightful cluster of homes decked out in a right neighborly display of colorful lights.

Special Mention! The judges want to recognize the City of Decatur for the new LED string lights covering the ornamental streetscape trees around the MARTA Plaza and anchoring the ends of E. Court Square and N. McDonough Street, as well as the lit garland on City Hall and the lighted bandstand.

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Decorate Decatur is coming soon and the judges are looking forward to seeing Decatur’s Holiday Spirit. The anonymous judges will drive  the four square miles of the City of Decatur on Sunday, December 20 from 7 until 9 pm and decide upon the 2009 winner of the coveted Commissioner’s Cup. The winner has the priviledge of displaying the cup in their home for one year as well as having their name engraved on it.  Last year’s winner Ron Russell is pictured below. As you can see, he did not want to give the cup back!

In addition to the Commissioner’s Cup awarded to one lucky homeowner, several homes and businesses will be declared “winners” and a sign will appear in their yard on Monday, December 21st.

If you have a favorite decorated home or business that you would like the judges to consider, please call 678-553-6573 and leave the address.

There are no rules or regulations for the contest- so start decorating and may the best decor win!

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Happy Presidents Day!

This is just a quick reminder that City Hall is closed today. The Commission Meeting will take place tomorrow evening, Tuesday Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m.

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Congratulations to Ronald Russell and Tommy Sweat! The Mayor presented them the Commissioner’s Cup during Monday night’s Commission meeting.


The Decorate Decatur judges loved the over-sized snowflakes and blue and white lights on their Decatur home.


To see photos and descriptions of all the 2008 Decorate Decatur, visit the city’s Decorate Decatur webpage.

It might be 65 degrees outside, but Adair Street is filled with snow people. The street’s theme this year is “There’s No People Like Snow People.” We encourage everyone to take a drive or walk down this street at night. Here’s a preview of what you’ll see:




Wordsmith’s, Greene’s and Parker’s all have great holiday decor. Believe it or not, the paper snowflakes on Wordsmith’s windows were cut out by hand:


One of the winners even created a google map listing all of the 2008 Decorate Decatur sites. We’re so impressed! Check it out here.

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Tomorrow evening will be the first Terrific Thursday in December, which means two things:

1.) Santa will be out and about, visiting the shops and handing out candy canes! and…
2.) Two Terrific Thursday shuttles (Cliff buses) will be circling Decatur to take shoppers around town. The route and all ten stops can be found on the map here.


Each stop is marked with one of these fancy Shuttle Stop signs. Special Events Coordinator, Cheryl Burnette, is an expert at getting the signs in the ground – in heels no less!

We’re also excited about our brand new Terrific Thursday signs featuring a festive flamingo and penguin (we figured reindeers and polar bears were overused this time of year). Five of these signs will appear around the city every Thursday night until Christmas. Take a picture of you and your family standing by one of these signs, send it to us and we’ll include it on this blog!

Jeff, owner of Whit’s End, is kindly helping us out by taking care of the West Ponce Terrific Thursday sign for the next few weeks. He’ll be placing it outside on his end of the street each Thursday. Can you find the other four? *Hint: check out where Juan and I are standing in the photo above.*

A couple of highlights for this week’s Terrific Thursdays:

Dresscodes is throwing a two year anniversary party with a great art show opening. These events are always a lot of fun and the best part is you can still do some holiday shopping while you’re mingling with the crowd.



greensfinefoodsThis Thursday at Greene’s make your own gingerbread house from 3 to 8 p.m. The folks over at Greene’s will help you get in the holiday spirit and entertain your kids while you shop in the store at 10% off. The cost is $15 per house and is first come, first serve.

Visit the City’s Terrific Thursday page for a listing of the participating shops and restaurants.

>Terrific Thursdays 2008

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Halloween has come and gone (as well as an historical presidential election), which can only mean one thing…the holiday shopping season is upon us! I know most of you dread holiday shopping – the crowded malls, rows of aisles filled with the same old stuff, fighting for this season’s “it” toy, endless evenings of gift wrapping…

Luckily for us there’s Decatur’s Terrific Thursdays. Every Thursday in November and December (except for Thanksgiving) participating shops and restaurants stay open late, offer discounts, complimentary beverages and other holiday treats. It all starts this Thursday, Nov. 6. So, good-bye hectic, impersonal mall shopping and hello leisurely shopping for unique gifts while sipping wine and hot chocolate.

For a list of this year’s participants and discount details, visit the city’s Terrific Thursday webpage.

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