Christmas

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Lots of First Coast families will no doubt be bringing home a real Christmas trees this weekend.

But do you know how to safely get that tree to the house without damaging your car or potentially hurting someone along the way?

First Coast Connect: Christmas In July

Jul 22, 2016
www.jacksonvillechristmas.com

The Enchanted Christmas Village will be hosting its Christmas in July community event at 10 a.m. this Saturday on The Keeler Property, 17255 Normandy Blvd.

Santa, Mrs.  and his head elf will be making an appearance for pictures, along with fun Christmas activities for the kids and local food truck options.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

As many people are preparing to travel home for the holidays, some Jacksonville residents still don’t have homes.

One advocacy group is helping ensure the city’s homeless aren't forgotten on Christmas.


Jessica Palombo

Visitors to the Florida Capitol likely won't see a Nativity scene this year. They also won't see a protest display from the Satanic Temple.

However, they could see a menorah. And an irreverent disco ball-topped, multi-colored gay pride festivus pole --- built of beer cans --- might still be on tap.

Rob Bixby / Flickr

The Christmas season seems to start earlier every year, and 2015 is no exception. The Avenues Mall and the St. Johns Town Center kicked things off with Santa's Arrival and the Holiday Spectacular, and St. Augustine Night of Lights and Jax Illuminations begin this weekend. Here is WJCT’s list of holiday events happening in Northeast Florida.

Tree Lightings & Light Displays

St. Augustine Nights of Lights

Nov. 21 - Jan. 31

WJCT Hometown

A Jacksonville wildlife sanctuary has gotten its Christmas wish—and then some—after asking for discarded holiday trees. The Catty Shack Ranch finds itself turning down hundreds of hopeful evergreen donors.

After Christmas, the Northside wildlife refuge located near the Jacksonville International Airport asked for Christmas trees to use as toys for its big cats. Coordinator Jordan Joseph says the response has been overwhelming.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

An Eastside man has been charged with the Christmas Day murder of his girlfriend.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrested 24-year-old Breon Leondre Fussell in the death of his girlfriend Shannon Woods, 22.

Fussell was arrested around 8 p.m. Thursday, shortly after police found Woods shot dead in his backyard in the 1000 block of East 12th Street.

Closed sign
Liz Ferla via Flickr

Most Jacksonville city offices and buildings are closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Those include

  • City Hall,
  • Duval County Tax Collector's office 
  • Duval County Property Appraiser’s office
  • County courthouses
  • Duval County Supervisor of Elections office

Also closed are all community and senior centers managed by the city, all library branches, the Ritz Theatre and the Tillie Fowler Park Nature Center.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s the time of year when many of us bemoan the commercialization of Christmas. We mourn the loss of the “reason for the season.”

But actually, the symbols of Christmas and the entire ‘holiday season’ are in many ways a product of commercialization, says Nathan Rousseau, sociology professor at Jacksonville University and author of Society Explained.

4 'Must-Have' Holiday Food Recipes

Dec 16, 2014
Hungry Dudes / Flickr

With the holidays around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you will prepare for your family this time of year.

International food consultant, Jeff Spear joined Melissa Ross Tuesday on First Coast Connect to discuss his new cook book as well as his own family holiday recipes.

Holiday food traditions vary from coast to coast, and every family has their “must have” food items every year for holiday foods.

Spear presents a few recipes from his new cook, showing the versatility of holiday meals.

DeversDreamWeavers / YouTube

If you want to get in your car and go out in cold, The Florida Times-Union has a list of the best light shows in Jacksonville, but if you want to stay in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home and still see the lights, we have you covered. We've gathered together ten of the best Christmas light shows set to music that we could find on YouTube and Vimeo and posted them here for your viewing enjoyment. Turn out your lights, turn up your speakers and enjoy.

You thought it wouldn't be back until next year, but today we've got one more bonus round of ONLY IN FLORIDA.

NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Two space station astronauts have floated outside on Christmas Eve in hopes of wrapping up urgent cooling system repairs.

It's only the second Christmas Eve spacewalk in NASA history. The first was 14 years ago. And it's the second spacewalk in four days for U.S. astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins.

Mastracchio and Hopkins removed a faulty ammonia pump at the International Space Station during Saturday's outing. On Tuesday, they'll work to install a new pump 260 miles above the planet.

Magic Madzik / Twitter

Saturday night, a beloved holiday tradition will take place on the First Coast.

The Satanic Temple / Twitter

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Officials overseeing holiday displays at the Florida Capitol have allowed a Nativity scene, a Festivus pole and even a chair holding fake pasta with eyeballs and an accompanying "provHerb" from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

But they are drawing the line with Satan.

The Department of Management Services emailed The Satanic Temple on Wednesday, telling the group its proposed display of an angel falling from heaven into an open fire was "grossly offensive."

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