Free gift wrapping image from Grand Central Terminal website

Free Holiday Gift Wrapping for Customers of Shops at Grand Central

Shoppers can get complimentary gift wrapping at Grand Central Terminal from Monday to Friday, Dec. 17 to 21 at the Station Master’s Office near Track 37. Shoppers who present proof of any purchase from The Shops at Grand Central can get up to five of their gifts wrapped in custom wrapping paper featuring the iconic Zodiac mural in the Main Concourse. — from an announcement on the Grand Central Terminal website. No hours were specified.

Songs of the Season Grace Farms 2018

Series of Seasonal, One-Hour Music Concerts Coming to Grace Farms in December

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 Grace Farms Foundation offers visitors its Songs of the Season program, a series of free one-hour afternoon concerts featuring improvisational arrangements of seasonal music performed by local musicians. — an announcement from Grace Farms
Songs of the Season will take place on Dec. 19, 22, 26 and 28 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Sanctuary, which overlooks Grace Farms’ 80-acre preserve at 365 Lukes Wood Road in New Canaan. 
“Songs of the Seasons offers visitors a break from the holiday craze to reflect and contemplate in a welcoming environment,” said Chelsea Thatcher, director of communications & marketing at Grace Farms Foundation. “The diverse lineup of musicians lends unique voices to classic seasonal music, and we’re excited to showcase our community’s talented artists.” Concert Series Schedule

Wednesday, Dec.

Gingerbread house decorating Darien Community Association 2018

Girls’ Night Out Gingerbread House Decorating at the DCA

The DCA and Palmer’s Catering will provide light bites, wine, gingerbread houses and all of the decorating supplies you’ll need. on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. You supply the creativity! Gather your friends, neighbors, or book group! As one participant raved, “It’s like no other event of its kind—low key, lots of fun, and a really nice evening out with friends before the holiday rush begins.”
You’ll be supporting a great cause — the nonprofit mission of the DCA — which includes college scholarships for Darien High School graduates.

Darien Librarians Christmas gift guide

Still Trying to Decide on Christmas Gifts for Kids? Darien’s Librarians Have Suggestions (Only Half of Them Books!?)

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Santa’s helpers at the library’s Children’s Library have a list of books and other gifts for children ranging in age from infants to teens this Christmas.  They’ve even got a video. The library also has lots of recommended reading lists on its website, for both kids and adults. Remember: You’ve got 12 days to get the latest versions of  little tin horns and little toy drums, rooty toot toots and rummy tum tums … — Information and images in this article are from the Children’s Library newsletter, the Darien Library website and Darien Library’s YouTube account. See also:

Book lists on the Darien Library website
New books at the library (many lists)
DVD ideas

Office Christmas Party movie

Ruining Your Life by Christmas Party, Part I: The Office Christmas Party

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It’s time for the annual office holiday party. This is much more than just a celebration of the season. It’s a test, and you better believe that management is watching very carefully. How can you perform at your best? — Editor’s note: This news release on some of the avoidable pitfalls of the holiday season is from Sharon Schweitzer, billed as “an international etiquette and modern manners expert.”  See also: “Ruining Your Life by Christmas Party, Part II: Your Own Party (Happy Holidays!).”

Darien Community Association Christmas cookies

Festive Christmas English Tea at the Darien Community Association

Chef/caterer Laura Christie of Christie Caters is passionate about using high-quality, fresh and locally-grown ingredients. Join us as she brings her inventive twist on an English tea to our historic mansion this holiday season. A festive afternoon tea is the coziest way to relax and celebrate the holiday season, so gather some friends and join us for a delightful afternoon! Laura’s menu includes a variety of mini scones and tea sandwiches, with some creative updates and additions, such as goat cheese and apple scones, and mini avocado toast with micro greens. A third course of mini butternut squash and sage quiche enhances this wonderful culinary experience.

Maplewood Senior Living Maplewood Darien 06-18-17

You Can Drop Off Toys at Maplewood at Darien for Less Fortunate Kids

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Maplewood Senior Living joined forces with the Connecticut State Police to provide toys to less fortunate children in Connecticut this holiday season. — an announcement from Maplewood Senior Living

The annual toy drive now in its 18th year, is inviting anyone that wishes to make a donation to bring an unwrapped toy or toys now through Dec. 20 to any Maplewood Senior Living community in Connecticut, including Maplewood Darien at 599 Post Road. Toys will be distributed to local families across the state. “Many of our residents and our staff members partake in community outreach to help others,” said Gregory Smith, CEO and president of Maplewood Senior Living.

Mother-Daughter Nutcracker Tea Darien Community Association Christmas Christmastime 2018

Mother/Daughter Nutcracker Tea at the DCA

Our third annual Mother/Daughter Nutcracker Tea will be held at the beautiful DCA mansion, festively decked out for the holidays. A delicious menu, provided by Palmer’s Catering, will include traditional tea sandwiches (such as smoked salmon and caper), long stem strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, holiday cookies and assorted teas. For the children, festive sandwich cut-outs and raspberry lemonade will be served. Dancers from the Darien Arts Center will entertain the audience with an abbreviated Scenes from the Nutcracker, and our own DCA Blue Notes will lead a caroling sing-along. If You’re Going …

Elves Holiday Magic 2018

Santa Comes to Grove Street Plaza at ‘Holiday Magic’ Event

On Saturday, Dec. 1, Santa will come down the chimney for another pre-Christmas visit with children for this year’s Holiday Magic event at Grove Street Plaza. Families can be entertained while waiting for his arrival with Rides on the Giant Animals — Lucy the Polar Bear and Rudy the Reindeer. Carolers from Darien High School will entertain all and there will be hot cocoa. — an announcement from the Darien Chamber of Commerce

Rides on the animals begin at 4 p.m., carolers start at 4:15, Santa arrives at about 4:45 p.m. depending on the wind currents in the air.

Elves Holiday Magic 2018

REMINDER: Santa Comes to Grove Street Plaza at ‘Holiday Magic’ Event TONIGHT, Dec 1

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On Saturday, Dec. 1, Santa will arrive at Grove Street Plaza and come down the chimney to visit with children. Families can be entertained while waiting for his arrival with Rides on the Giant Animals — Lucy the Polar Bear and Rudy the Reindeer, Carolers from Darien High School will entertain all and there will be hot cocoa. — an announcement from the Darien Chamber of Commerce

Rides on the animals begin at 4 p.m., carolers start at 4:15, Santa arrives at about 4:45 p.m. depending on the wind currents in the air. Remember to bring your camera!

Darien School Music Groups to Perform at Stamford Mall Dec 2 to 7

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Several Darien School musical ensembles will be performing in the Stamford Town Center’s “Holidays in Harmony” concert series this Monday through Friday, Dec. 2 to 7. All of the student performances will be at 4 p.m. the the mall’s Center Court. The following school ensembles will be participating:

—Monday, Dec 3 — Holmes Elementary School Chorus

—Tuesday, Dec. 4 — Darien High School Flute Ensemble & Tokeneke Elementary School Chorus

—Wednesday, Dec.

Rowayton Community association Rowayton Gardeners' Annual Christmas Market 2018

Rowayton Gardeners Annual Christmas Market

At the Rowayton Gardeners’ Annual Christmas Market on Saturday, Dec. 1,  you can find items for holiday decorating —including more than 100 designer-quality wreaths, boxwood trees and festive table arrangements. The Christmas Market will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 am to 1 pm at the Rowayton Community Center, 33 Highland Ave., Rowayton. — an announcement from the Rowayton Community Center

The Community Center will be brimming with reasonably priced unique holiday gifts, ornaments and a fabulous Silent Auction.

Wreath Making Christmas 2018 Christmastime Darien Community Association

Holiday Greens Wreath Workshop at the DCA

Join our Greenhouse Group on Thursday morning, Nov. 29 as they lead you in this hands-on workshop to make a festive wreath of your very own. Bring your gloves, pruners and imagination and we’ll provide the rest, including fresh greens, ribbons and embellishments. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Have coffee from 9:30 to 10 a.m. The workshop takes place from 10 to 11 a.m.

The cost to participate for DCA members $20; all others, $30. Prepayment is required by Monday, Nov.