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Sacramento Boomer

Winter Wonderland: Your Guide to the Holidays

Dec 09, 2019 09:05AM
The holidays have arrived, which likely means a jam-packed calendar full of festivities. To ensure this year’s celebrations are extra merry and bright, we compiled the only guide you’ll need to make it through the season smiling.

Holiday Home Tours

The only thing better than a beautifully decorated house is when you don’t have to put up—or take down—the decorations yourself. Here are three local tours to get into the holiday spirit and inspire you to untangle your own sets of lights.

East Sacramento’s Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour
Now in its 46th year, this home tour returns with five elegantly decorated homes in East Sacramento’s historic Fabulous Forties neighborhood. Homes this year range in style from a charming cottage to a colonial and a brick Tudor. The self-guided walking tour begins on 46th St. between M St. and Folsom Blvd., winding its way through the neighborhood and ending on 41st St. between J St. and M St. Following the tour, attend the holiday boutique and café located at Sacred Heart Parish School, full of local vendors with unique gifts, as well as sandwiches, salads, soups, wine, beer, and even a champagne bar.

Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of the event. December 6, noon-8 p.m.; December 7, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; December 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit sacredhearthometour.com or email [email protected] for more information.

East Sacramento's Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour



Woodland’s Dickens in the Valley Holiday Home Tour
Start off the holiday season by visiting seven beautiful homes decorated in holiday splendor. Tickets can be purchased at Corner Drug Co. (602 Main St., Woodland), A Well Stocked Home (412 First St., Woodland), Serendipity Boutique (519 Main St., Woodland), The Nest (424 Main St., Woodland), and Re/Max Gold Davis (408 2nd St, Davis); proceeds benefit Friends of Meals on Wheels Yolo County.

Tickets are $30. December 7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit 2019dickensinthevalley.eventbrite.com for more information.

Folsom’s Holiday Home Tour
Celebrating its eighth anniversary, this holiday home tour features not only charming abodes, but also two festively decorated historic churches and added stops at the Folsom History Museum and Murer House. With a full schedule of music, ranging from bluegrass to classical, and a handcrafted holiday gift boutique at the Murer House, plus docents in period clothing, you’ll step back in time as you enjoy the holiday season.

December 6 and 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit folsomhistoricalsociety.org or email [email protected] for more information.
Folsom's Holiday Home Tour



5 New Year's Resolutions That Aren't to Lose Weight

Perhaps we should spend more time at the gym or drop some extra weight in 2020, but there’s more to focus on than that. If you’re not sure how you want to spend your time and energy next year, here are five ideas. 

Give Back to Animals with Doggie Day Out
If you’re an animal lover who can’t care for a dog full-time right now, or if you already have a furry friend but find yourself with a free afternoon, why not spend it with an animal in need? Front Street Animal Shelter offers Doggie Day Out, which helps shelter dogs that might be experiencing stress in the shelter burn off energy and get more exposure to potential adopters. Take a scenic walk around town and enjoy a beer or lunch at a dog-friendly spot with your pup and then return him or her to the shelter. Visit cityofsacramento.org/community-development/animal-care/doggiedayout to schedule your day.



Join a Book Club
We all say we should read more, but do we? Joining a book club will not only add accountability to your book reading schedule with a social bonus, but will also offer a variety of perspectives you may not have considered before. To join a local club, try looking on the NextDoor app (an app that connects you with verified nearby neighbors), meetup.com, or visit your local library.

Meditate
If you’re seeking more peace and mindfulness in 2020, perhaps you should give meditation a try. Not only does it reduce stress and anxiety, but it also may give you the clarity or motivation you were missing in other aspects of your daily life. If you’re new to meditation, try this: Set a timer for five minutes. Then, for five minutes, simply count your inhales and exhales. On your first inhale, count “one.” On your first exhale, count “two.” Continue until the timer rings.

Give Meatless Monday a Try
Meatless Monday is nothing new, but if you haven’t given it a try yet, 2020 might be your year. The idea is simple: On Mondays, don’t eat any meat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Not only will it reduce your carbon footprint, but benefits of a plant-based diet include lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well as lower risk of heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Plus, it’ll give you a fun opportunity to try out new recipes!

Compliment One Person Every Day
When’s the last time a stranger on the street said something nice to you? Whenever (and whatever) it was, you probably still remember it! Whether it’s a neighbor, the grocery store cashier, or someone in your family, see if you can deliver 365 genuine compliments this year. The world needs more positivity!


5 Gift Ideas for Your Millennial Kid or Grandkid

Idea #1: A Plant
Why: Millennials love plants, especially those that are difficult to kill. Snake plants (also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) are more or less indestructible and attractive plants, even for low-light situations or the most forgetful millennial.

Buy: Plant Foundry, 3500 Broadway, Sacramento, 916-917-5787. plantfoundry.com. $12.99-$25.99, prices vary based upon size.

Idea #2: An Experience
Why: Millennials are more interested in experiences rather than things (although things are nice too), so why not give them the gift of a memory? If they need time to chill out, a trip to Asha Urban Baths (with a self-guided circuit of steam rooms, saunas, warm soaking tubs, and cold plunges) might be a good idea. If they need to unwind even further, floating in a sensory deprivation tank at Capitol Floats might be the perfect choice. And if they’d rather spend the day solving a puzzle? Send them and a friend or two to an escape room at Enchambered!
Asha Urban Baths



Buy: Enchambered Escape Room, 2230 Arden Way, Suite C, Sacramento. 916-674-2008. enchambered.com. $30-$35 per person. Asha Urban Baths, 2417 27th Street, Sacramento. 916-837-3290. ashaurbanbaths.com. $25 per person for a one-time drop in. Capitol Floats, 3513 Broadway, Sacramento. 916-739-1218. capitolfloats.com. $75 for one 60-minute float.

Idea #3: The Best Part of Brunch
Why: Millennials love brunch, but more than that, they like brunch cocktails. When the line at their favorite place is too long, they can have brunch at home with Preservation & Co.’s Bloody Mary Mix, arguably the best mix around. The mix comes in mild, original, and extra hot.
Bloody Mary Mix



Buy: Preservation & Co., 1717 19th Street, Suite B, Sacramento. 916-706-1044. preservationandco.com. $5-$25, depending on flavor and size.

Idea #4: A Unique Throw Blanket
Why: Millennials love to get cozy and watch Netflix, and they also love interior décor. Kill two birds with one stone in the form of a one-of-a-kind Moroccan blanket, ideal for both snuggling up with this winter and draping over the back of the couch for a pop of color. 

Buy: Kechmara Designs, 1104 R Street, Suite 120, Sacramento. 916-342-0257. kechmaradesigns.com. $275 for one handwoven blanket, 4x5’ x 8’.

Idea #5: Socks
Why: Socks weren’t great as a kid, but just try to find me one millennial that wouldn’t love a fresh pair of funny socks today. I’ll wait. Strapping offers dozens of options.
Silly socks make the perfect gift



Buy: Straping, 3405 Broadway, Sacramento. 916-476-3376. strappingsacramento.com. $9.49.

5 Dinner Conversation Starters That Aren't Politics

Before table relations get tense—or perhaps to just take a break from the typical dinner banter—here are five conversation starters about local topics, from a “did you know?” to brainstorming about the future.

Rice in Sacramento
Does anyone know where the sushi rice in the U.S. comes from? Following the discovery of gold in California, a high demand for food to support the enormous influx of immigrants from all over the world grew. The largest groups were Chinese workers hired by the mines and railroad, and their diet created interest in growing rice locally rather than importing it. When many immigrants didn’t strike gold, they returned to their previous profession of farming. While initial rice experiments of growing long grain rice didn’t prove fruitful, a soil specialist discovered that a medium-grain rice from Kyushu, Japan, could be successfully grown in the Sacramento Valley. (Attempts to do the same in Los Angeles and Sonoma Counties failed.) Today, California farmers specialize in short- and medium-grain Japonica rice, which have sticky and moist characteristics. The rice they produce provides an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion to the California economy. While top export markets include Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Middle East, 55% of California rice remains in the U.S., and California rice is found in every piece of sushi made in America. (Information from calrice.org)

Calling All Dreamers
If you were going to start a business in Downtown Sacramento, what would it be? Or, what business do you think the capital city is lacking? Every year, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s “Calling All Dreamers” competition offers hopeful small business owners a chance to jumpstart their dream business downtown. Previous winners include Andy’s Candy Apothecary (2013), Ana Apple (2014), Allspicery (2015), Oblivion Comics and Coffee (2016), Milk House Shakes (2017), and NEO Escape Rooms (2018). To apply, you’ll need a business model concept, a 60-second video pitch, resumes of all business partners, and a $50 registration fee. Winners will receive a package worth nearly $100,000, including up to $10,000 start-up capital, business planning and support, legal services, accounting consultation, interior design, advertising, and more.
Rendering of Future Major League Soccer Stadium at the Railyards



Sacramento Gets Major League Soccer
Are you going to go to soccer games at the new stadium? What do you think will happen with the Railyards? On October 21, 2019, Major League Soccer announced that it would be welcoming Sacramento Republic FC into the league to start playing in 2022. The addition of Sacramento as the 29th team comes at a time when soccer fans had been let down numerous times before, making it an enormous win for the city. In addition to the new stadium in the Railyards, what do you hope will happen there? What would you like to see added to downtown?

Old Sac Waterfront
How often do you visit Old Sac? What would make you want to spend more time there? Generally, Old Sac is a place where we suggest out-of-towners visit, but as locals, we don’t tend to frequent it. Last May, the city council approved $42 million in funding to improve the historic waterfront, and a competition called Waterfront Idea Makers brought several ideas to light. Official plans have yet to be finalized, but propositions include a floating terrace, rooftop event deck, and chic multi-use market space.
JUMP Bikes



Sacramento as a Green Mobility Hub
What green mobility devices do you currently use? What are you curious about? What do you think would truly make the region a green mobility hub? The City of Sacramento has set its sights on wanting to become the country’s clean transportation hub and set an example for other cities. Plans to add more bike lanes downtown as well as along Broadway are already underway, SMUD has pledged to invest up to $15 million in the future California Mobility Center, a financially sustainable policy and technology focused consortium, and it’s hard to miss all of the black and blue electric Gig cars, JUMP bikes, and electric JUMP and Lime scooters around the city.

5 Unconventional Christmas Movies

Look, I love A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as much as anyone, but I’ve seen them both so many times that I could probably never see them again and be just fine. If you’re in the same boat, here are some other ones you might’ve missed over the years that are worth viewing.

Four Christmases (2008) | PG-13

Four Christmases (2008) | PG-13


Directed by Seth Gordon
Starring Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Robert Duvall, and Sissy Spacek
Plot: A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day.
Why You Should Watch It: With varying degrees of exaggeration, it hits all of the pluses and perils of having a large family, quirky members, and a sense of obligation. Basically, it’s a story about everything we dread about the holidays, plus some feel-good moments, because it’s still Hollywood, after all.


The Holiday (2006) | PG-13


The Holiday (2006) | PG-13


Directed by Nancy Meyers
Starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black
Plot: Two women with troubled love lives swap homes in each other’s countries and towns (LA and the English countryside) where they fall in love with local men.
Why You Should Watch It: Everyone who has ever spent a holiday alone or who has ever wanted to just run away from home for a while will appreciate this romcom.

Jingle All The Way (1996) | PG

Jingle All The Way (1996) | PG


Directed by Brian Levant
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rita Wilson, Sinbad, and Jake Lloyd
Plot: A workaholic dad promised to get his son a popular action figure toy for Christmas. The only problem is that it’s Christmas Eve, and every store is sold out.
Why You Should Watch It: This is, perhaps, the most relatable movie on the list. At some point, we have all been the idiot on Christmas Eve trying to track down the perfect gift. As a bonus, it stars the Governator.

Serendipity (2001) | PG-13

Serendipity (2001) | PG-13


Directed by Peter Chelsom
Starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale
Plot: A couple meets and hits it off but part ways without exchanging contact information with the thought that if it’s meant to be, they’ll find each other again.
Why You Should Watch It: Oh, to be young and in love and believe that you can write your phone number in a book, toss it in a donation bin in New York City, and have your true love stumble across it years later! John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale give equally charming performances in what is, I think, one of the sweetest movies around (that happens to take place during the holiday season).

Elf (2003) | PG

Elf (2003) | PG


Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Will Farrell and Zooey Deschanel
Plot: After discovering that he is a human, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father.
Why You Should Watch It: Sometimes, you just want to suspend reality and believe in magic, and that’s what this movie is all about.

By Luna Anona