NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Posts from the “Holiday Traditions” Category

Shady Glen Carolers – A Holiday Tradition

Posted on December 11, 2016

Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Since my childhood, not a Christmas season has passed without anticipation of seeing and hearing the carolers perched atop the roof of Shady Glen, a sandwich and ice cream shop in Manchester, Connecticut. In an ever changing world this holiday tradition has been a joyful constant.   Shady Glen Dairy Stores include two shops both in Manchester. The original store is located along the Routes 6 & 44 corridor, which connects Hartford County with the state’s “Quiet Corner”.  Shady Glen is well-known as a Nutmeg State treasure and “local institution”. Famously, former CBS news anchor Dan Rather stopped in here.   Among my earliest memories as a little girl are those of my father carrying me…

History of Valentine’s Day Romantic & Courageous

Posted on February 14, 2016

Write-Up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett   Who would have thought the history of Valentine’s Day is rooted in both romance and courage?   Sweethearts will enjoy candlelight dinners this evening, while friends and loved ones exchange candy, flowers and cards throughout the day. In fact, the Greeting Card Association estimates that in America alone some 145 million Valentine’s Day cards, not figuring in classroom Valentines, are sent annually. Although there is more than one explanation as to how it all began, an especially heartwarming tale points to a priest named Valentine who centuries ago, on behalf of young lovers, stood up to what he considered an unjust decree from 3RD Century Roman Emperor Claudius II.   This legend, notes HISTORY.COM, goes that…

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

Posted on December 19, 2015

Write-Up by Jacqueline Bennett   Unseasonably warm temperatures have New Englanders worrying aloud that a “White Christmas” may elude the northeastern region of the United States this year. Ever since crooner Bing Crosby sang the Irving Berlin tune, “White Christmas” in the film “Holiday Inn”, it has been an anthem of the Christmas season.   After “Holiday Inn” was released in 1942, American service members deployed abroad to fight in World War II are said to have requested to hear “White Christmas” over and over again. Concurrently, the sentimental song brought melancholy as distance kept them from loved ones back in the states, yet joyful memories of home. According to a documentary produced by public television, when visiting the troops, Crosby said it…

Meet Me at the ‘Kissing Balls Bridge’ in Farmington, Connecticut

Posted on December 14, 2015

                                        Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   And if our love is true … Little tugs at the heartstrings more than plans for a clandestine love to be brought to light and sealed by a kiss in a future romantic rendezvous. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr gave unforgettable authenticity to such a story in the 1957 classic film “An Affair to Remember”, with a promise to reunite atop the Empire State Building six months after they fell for each other on a cruise despite being engaged to other people. Timeless in its intent to stir the emotions, an Empire State Building meeting was reprised…

Christmas Tree Custom Thrives at Dzen Family Farm & Garden Market

Posted on December 5, 2015

    Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Through the centuries the Christmas Tree has evolved into one of the holiday season’s most beloved customs. In central Connecticut, when it comes time to cut your own or pick from the best of already cut trees, the name Dzen quickly comes to mind.     Dzen Garden Market at the Ellington five corners is currently adorned with evergreen logs, kissing balls, wreaths and trees galore – the latter making their way to the market from the Dzen Christmas Tree Farm just up the road in South Windsor, along Barber Hill Road. Folks who choose to cut their own at the farm are greeted by a festive looking arch decorated by longtime Dzen employee…

A Father’s Dedication – Dad in the Car Trunk with the Christmas Tree

Posted on December 24, 2014

Holiday Reflection: By Jacqueline Bennett   *For several years after my father passed away, some of his grandsons (my nephews) – Lance, Eric and Glen Jr. – stepped in to carry on Dad’s Christmas tradition of visiting a Northeastern Connecticut tree farm that had special meaning to the family, sawing down our huge tree, then lugging it to the car. Once inside the house, we all – Lance, Eric, Glen Jr. Jillian, Deb, Candy, Mom/Nana, Aunt June and I –  had turns over time joining in the decorating !                        As the youngest of seven siblings, I had a big say in the selection of our family Christmas Tree. The ceilings in our…

A Joyous Holiday Season

Posted on December 23, 2014

By: Jacqueline Bennett   With the arrival of Ole’ St. Nick mere hours away, I have been reflecting on what a joyous holiday season this has been. It began with the Manchester Road Race where I bumped into a good friend followed later that afternoon with Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Mike & Melane (held at their daughter Maryann’s house – my niece.)   Maryann and Melane had put together four tables in the dining room to seat all of us. Melane and the two girls, Maryann and Michelle, then spent days preparing for the holiday company, some of whom drove down from New Hampshire. It was a lovely day.           Soon enough it was time for the Gingerbread House Exhibit at Wood…