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Great Christmas Events in the Champaign/Urbana Area!

by Rose Price

There are only 41 days until Christmas and everyone is getting into the holiday spirit! Christmas carols, decorations and good cheer will be filling the air everywhere. In Champaign/Urbana, there are plenty of Christmas events and activities for you and your family to enjoy all the way up until the big day!

 

21st Annual Festival of Trees

Dates: Saturday, November 19th - Sunday, November 20th

Times: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm (Saturday), 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Location: Hilton Garden Inn (1501 South Neil Street)

Cost: $5 per person, $3 per person (senior citizens and children ages 4-12)

Get in the festive spirit and support a good cause at this favorite annual event. Shop the holiday gift gallery and enter to win raffle and silent auction prizes. Proceeds from the event help children and families in the Champaign/Urbana area. From 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Saturday, enjoy a delicious brunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets for this particular event are $15 for anyone 4 and older and can be purchased HERE.

 

 

Santa's Secret Star

Dates: Saturdays, November 19th and 26th, December 3rd, 10th, and 17th

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: William M. Staerkel Planetarium (2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign)

Cost: $6 per adult, $5 for children/students/seniors

Watch the sky light up during this great holiday show. Help Santa find his secret star as you learn more about the day and night sky.

 

The Reds of Christmas

Date: Friday, November 25th

Time: 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: Historic Downtown Monticello

Cost: $15 per person (in advance), $20 per person (day of event)

Your entire family will love spending the evening in the enchanting Monticello. Experience all that downtown has to offer at the restaurants and shops, all of which will be in an extra festive mood. Sample red wines and holiday drinks as you explore. There will be carriage rides, carolers, and Santa with one of his reindeer. Tickets can be purchased in advance at several local establishments or online HERE.

 
 

The Nutcracker

Date: Thursday, December 1st - Sunday, December 4th

Time: Show Times Vary

Location: Krannert Center (500 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana)

Cost: $45 per adult, $30 per student, $21 per child (ages 12 and under)

Experience a great holiday tradition by watching the Champaign-Urbana Ballet and Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra put on their production of The Nutcracker.

 

Sweets with Santa

Date: Sunday, December 18th

Time: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: Allerton Park & Retreat Center (515 Old Timber Road, Monticello)

Cost: $8 for child, FREE for adults with paying child (limit 2 adults per paying child)

Have the chance to meet Santa at the beautiful Allerton Mansion. Enjoy festive treats, arts and crafts, and storytime with Mrs. Claus. It will be an event that your children will never forget. Purchase tickets HERE.

 

Are you looking for the pawfect gift for your furry friend this Christmas? For most of us, our pups aren't just our buddies, they are truly members of our families, and we want to pamper them at Christmastime just like we do the rest of our loved ones! So I've sniffed out some bark-worthy deals and spectacular gifts that your dog will absolutely LOVE. Take a look:

Dog Cookies

 

Everyone else is eating cookies at Christmas, so why can't your dogs?  Well, they can, just not our cookies, dogs really shouldn't have sugar, but there are many places offering homemade dog cookies.  Gifts like this pack from Exclusively Dogs offer treats with four different cookies in it, made especially for dogs. This one includes 1 package of peanut butter wafer cookies, 1 package of beef and liver bits, 1 package of vanilla sandwich cremes, and 1 package of cheese-flavored bones AND tt even comes in festive packaging!

Browse more Exclusively Dog Items Here.

WXQ Winter Reflective Dog Jacket

Winter can be dangerous for dogs. Sure, they have more hair than us (well most of us) but they are still susceptible to the dangers of freezing temperatures. It also gets darker earlier, making it harder to see.  Glare can be especially bad on wet nets, so, maybe this reflective fleece lined dog jacket is just what your pup needs.  It's waterproof, warm for snowy and rainy days, and it helps drivers see your pooch.  It's available in a larger variety of sizes too.  Browse Reflective Jackets & other products here.

Paw Protection

If your dog loves romping around in the snow, or if you live in a colder climate where snow is prevalent, chances are your dog comes in contact with a lot of sand and salt.  This does a number on your dog’s paws and can be very painful, sometimes leading to cracking and bleeding.  So here’s a tip from the Mushers.  Apply this cream to the bottom of their paws before a walk.  It forms a protective barrier over the paw, making each walk more enjoyable and protects their paws from bleeding .   This method is often more tolerated by dogs than those protective booties. Get your MUSHERS CREAM here.

 

Kurgo Loft Hammock-Style Car Seat Cover

Dogs who ride in the back seat make a mess, obviously, but It’s not their fault.  They shed, their paws get dirty, leaving trails of prints all over the seat.  But this doesn’t have to be the case.  No, the answer is not a crate carrier, that’s cruel.  Instead, try the Kurgo Loft seat cover. It’s really a gift for both of you.  It protects your seats and secures your dog safely in the back.  This one is reversible AND waterproof AND machine washable. Check your local pet store or get your cozy KURGO LOFT SEAT here.

1 Foot Long Dingo Rawhide Candy Cane 

Everyone loves Candy Canes at Christmas…now your Dog can Enjoy them too!  A foot long Rawhide candy cane.  This will definitely keep your pooch busy while everyone is opening presents.  Our local pet stores definitely have these holiday treats!

The Ultimat BARK BOX!

If you want to be as surprised as Fido once a month when the mailman comes to the house with a nice boxed gift....then the Bark Box is for you! The BarkBox is a monthly subscription service that delivers treats, toys, chews and gadgets handpicked to engage your pup. You can sign up for a one-, three-, six- or 12-month subscription, which will be shipped on the 15th of each month. You can order your BARK BOX here!

PETZI TREAT CAM!

The real world forces us to leave our pets at home for big stretches during the day, but that doesn't mean we have to be completely separated from them. While any home-monitoring camera will let you keep an eye on what they're up to, the Petzi Treat Cam lets you watch in 720p high definition, speak to them via an embedded speaker, take pictures of them and even reward your pet with a treat remotely. Just push a button on your smartphone or tablet and out will pop one to three treats. The camera works in low light and has a wide viewing angle.  SO COOL!

Find the PETZI TREAT CAM here.

4-Legger Certified Organic All Natural Dog Shampoo

A good dog shampoo is hard to find. The pet store formulations are meh, okay, I guess…and human shampoo isn’t made for dogs. This organic shampoo uses rosemary and lemongrass essential oils, which will help deter fleas and ticks while leaving behind a fresh lemon scent. This is formulated as a mild cleanser, so it should be good for even the most sensitive dogs.

GoughNuts - Indestructible Dog Toys

One of the toughest dog toys available.  They guarantee it!  It's made from two solid pieces of rubber. Their goal is to provide the safest fun and durable product possible.  In the case of the Tug Toy design, there are two rings to protect human hands and dog snouts. Perfect blend of function and play for your pet! There is a large selection of shapes and sizes, perfect for every dog. Want to try a Ghounut...get it here or at a local pet store

WHISTLE GPS PET TRACKER

This small system fits onto your pet's collar and acts as a GPS beacon should they escape. Just press "locate" on your computer or mobile device, and the system will show you where your animal companion is exploring, letting you go and fetch him or her. The system can also be set up to send you — and up to four other people — an alert when your pet escapes. It also acts as a fitness tracker of sorts for pets, logging their activity and rest, which gives some insight into how man's best friend spends his or her day.   Get your WHISTLE TRACKER here!

I love my pups, Pharis and Simon, and Christmastime for them is no different than it would be for children in our families. If you feel the same, try any or all of these items and spoil your pups too!

Have a POWERFUL Day!

Christmas Tree Safety in Champaign IL

by Rose Price

Christmas Tree Safety for Families in Champaign

For many people it just doesn’t feel like Christmas until there is a tree in the house. However, Christmas trees often present a few safety issues, even though they are much fewer than they were years ago. Each year home fires occur from Christmas Trees- Faux or Real for a variety of reasons.  Below are some tips to help ensure your Holidays are burning brightly....but in a good way, not with flames!

Choose your tree wisely: If you decide, like many people do, to go with a lovely fresh pine tree, there are certain things need to look for:

  • The tree should be flexible and fragrant NOT dry and brittle.
  • Shake the tree and make sure it doesn’t lose too many needles, this is a good indicator that the tree is fresh.
  • Examine the bark and make sure there are no insects crawling around.
  • Lastly, and often an after thought, bring a tape measure and make sure this tree will fit in your home.

Set it up right: Sounds simple, but there are things people overlook. Here's what you need to do:

  • Keep your tree at least 3 ft away from any heat source, including fireplaces, vents, radiators, and even light fixtures!
  • To keep your Tree fresh longer, always saw off the bottom 1-inch of the fresh tree- this ensures maximum hydration.
  • Make sure it is secured well; preferably in a tree stand and screwed in tightly!
  • Never put it in the path of traffic in your home. Find a nice, out of the way, focal point in your home.

Fa La La La Light it Up Safely! Faulty wires from Christmas lights is one of the main causes of Christmas tree fires. Although our Christmas lights are much safer now than they have ever been, caution and common sense should still be demonstrated.

  • Make sure your lights are working properly and meant for indoor use.
  • Always check for broken bulbs & exposed filament....replace before putting on the tree.
  • NEVER, EVER USE REAL CANDLES!! If you like the old fashioned look of candles in the tree, use the electronic version!

Your Tree Gets Thirsty....Water Often: Sure the tree is going to come down soon, it may not seem all that important to keep it watered, but having a well hydrated tree makes all the difference in preventing a fire. If you’re planning to keep your tree up for a while, don't forget to water in the New Year - almost as many Christmas tree fires occur in January as in December.

 


Faux vs. Real Christmas Trees:

Most people have already answered this question themselves, but for those of you still on the fence, here are some pros and cons of each to consider.

  • If your priority is minimum cost and maximum convenience, Faux Christmas trees may be the best way to go, especially since faux trees don't look all that "fake" anymore. You just purchase a quality artificial Christmas tree once and you will be set for years.
  • Most environmentally-minded groups advocate real over faux trees because they benefit local farmers (the great majority of trees currently come from farms and not forests), they are also 100 percent recyclable, and don't contain potentially harmful plastics or chemicals…all good things.
  • The whole faux trees are safer, hasn’t been proved, especially since most holiday fires are started by overloaded electrical outlets…in these cases, both types of trees are equally likely to catch fire. Even "flame resistant" artificial trees have been known to ignite if the temperature is high enough, and unlike real trees, they emit harmful toxins while burning.

​​

Our Conclusion: Do what makes you HAPPY!  If you prefer a Fresh Cut Tree...then get a beautiful fresh cut tree!  If you'd rather have a terrific Faux tree, then do a Faux Tree!  As long as you're happy and celebrating the season with love, joy, family & friends that's all that matters! 

If you are interested in looking for a home in the lovely Champaign/Urbana IL area, please give me a call! I'd love to show you around our Charming Community. 217-202-8843.  

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