Tag Archives: Christmas

Local Nonprofits Partner to Fight Hunger

very Juka christmasTis the season when Birmingham shows how generous its citizens can be. One of the most philanthropic cities in the country throughout the year, the holidays may be the city’s most giving season. On Tuesday, there’s another opportunity to help others less fortunate than ourselves: A Very Juka Christmas – Beat the Drum to End Hunger in Birmingham.

John Scalici’s Juka Tribe and the tribal belly dance group Erynias Tribe will perform at Bottletree on December 18 to benefit Magic City Harvest. Admission is $10 at the door plus a non-perishable food item. Tickets can also be purchased via The Bottletree’s website.

A Very Juka Christmas will be an evening of both music and community drumming, with a full-blown community drum jam to wrap up the night. Guests are welcome to bring their own percussion instruments, and drums will be available for those without.

According to their website, Juka Tribe’s sound can be summed up as World Boogie – a “mosaic of Middle Eastern, Brazilian, and West African rhythms.” In addition to Scalici, Cody McIain, poet Sharif Simmons, and bassist Jay Johnson have joined the Tribe. Performances often feature both live and sampled music.

Magic City Harvest was founded 17 years ago as a response to the hunger and homelessness issues in Birmingham. Its mission is to alleviate hunger, malnutrition, and food waste. The group distributes food, educates the public on the affect of poverty, and participates in collaborative efforts to combat hunger in the city. Magic City Harvest distributes 50,000 pounds of food annually to those in need.

Do some good. Have some fun. And get your groove on this holiday at A Very Juka Christmas.

A Birmingham Christmas tradition in photos

The Arlington House

One of the coolest things to do around Christmas here in Birmingham is to visit the Arlington House on Cotton Avenue on the Birmingham’s West Side. The house is a Greek Revival style Antebellum era mansion currently owned and operated by the City of Birmingham. The house and its beautiful grounds were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Each year the Arlington house hosts a Christmas tour day where you and your family can tour the house and enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and hot cider in the tea room while watching old school Christmas entertainment and music. This year the entertainment was a trio of harmonica players. These guys played some great traditional pop standards and Christmas songs as a myriad of guests looked on. NOTE: Check out the rest of the images in The Gallery to see for yourself.

After that you can self tour the grounds and there are a few local historians ready to give you details about the rich history of the house and of the Elyton area.

Arlington has a gift shop and also accepts donations all of which go towards the upkeep of the property as well as hosting free events like this one (that are open to the public).

If you can’t make it this year, be sure to put in on your calendar for next year. It’s well worth it to see some of Birmingham’s history preserved here.

Photos: Josh Self/Flickr

Holiday films for your consideration

One of my favorite holiday traditions is getting together with the family and watching some hilarious holiday films.

It all starts at Thanksgiving…

The air is chilly, we play a game of touch football in the front yard and after we’re sweaty and shivering, mom tells us to “come in from the cold or we’ll catch pneumonia!”. Then she makes us some hot chocolate and we sit down in the living room and try to find something to watch on TV. Its usually a parade or a football game but, I always have the John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains and Automobiles staring John Candy and Steve Martin handy in the car on that Thanksgiving day. When everyone gets tired of the parades, I pop it in and we all laugh our asses off as Del Griffith and Neal Page go on an epic adventure to try to get back home safely to their families for Thanksgiving.

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