Tags Posts tagged with "Holidays"

Holidays

Congressman Steve Israel speaks on the dangers of hoverboards at the Commack Fire Department on Dec. 15. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.

One of this year’s hot holiday items might be a little too hot.

Hoverboards have been flying off the shelves this holiday season, but recent safety issues, including multiple cases of boards catching fire or exploding, have given some shoppers pause. That’s why U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D) gathered with members of the Commack Fire Department Tuesday and urged consumers against buying hoverboards specifically made in China, because he said the type of batteries used in them may ignite.

“Hoverboards may be the hot holiday gift, but they are literally catching on fire and igniting questions about their safety and the safety of lithium-ion batteries,” Israel said. “New Yorkers should remain hesitant before purchasing these hoverboards and stay vigilant while using and charging them.”

Hoverboards are self-balancing and electronic two-wheeled devices on which people can travel from place to place. When riding one, a person may appear to be levitating, or hovering, similarly to those on the hoverboards featured in the film “Back to the Future II.”

Israel stood beside a photo display of several fires that the Commack department had already responded to where hoverboards caused combustion inside someone’s home, destroying property and, sometimes, entire rooms.

Hoverboards shipped from overseas use lithium ion batteries, which can combust if heated or overcharged due to their limited voltage range. Israel called for more research from the U.S. Department of Energy on the safety of using lithium ion batteries in hoverboards.

The congressman also noted that airports already task their security personnel to remove all lithium ion batteries from checked bags for the same reason.

“Well if we know that those lithium ion batteries could be a hazard to the plane, and we know a hover board with a lithium ion battery could be hazardous to our homes, that says we need to do a little bit more research,” Israel said.

Commack Fire Marshal Joe Digiose flanked the congressman on Tuesday and said he urged residents to be careful when buying hoverboards until more research is completed. He said there is no research that shows the American-made products are not working well, but the ones from overseas pose more of a danger and are being shipped at a very high rate to the United States.

“We recommend you don’t buy them but if you do, buy an American-made one,” he said.

Don Talka speaks on research of lithium ion batteries at the Commack Fire Department on Dec. 15. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
Don Talka speaks on research of lithium ion batteries at the Commack Fire Department on Dec. 15. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Don Talka, senior vice president and chief engineer at Underwriters Laboratories has been involved in research on lithium ion batteries for years, starting back when they were involved with similar issues in laptops. He said the major problem is the mating of the battery with the rest of the electronics used in the hoverboards.

“What we’ve learned through our research … is that the combination and how these pieces interact causes the issues,” Talka said. “And how the batteries are charged and discharged are all items which need further investigation.”

At the press conference, Israel inspected the box that a hoverboard came in, and said that despite all the instructions and caution labels about the product, there is nothing to be said about the battery.

“That has been established as one of the single greatest threats to property and potentially lives when they’re coming from China,” Israel said. “That’s why we want to comply with the energy chair to fully research this and make sure that people aren’t being exposed to greater risk and threat by lithium ion batteries.”

The town’s Chief Fire Marshal Chris Mehrman shows how Christmas tree fires can have devastating results. Photo from Brookhaven Town

Brookhaven Town officials demonstrated the dangers of Christmas tree fires last week, igniting an unwatered tree in a model living room.

The Dec. 9 event was aimed toward raising awareness about proper care for live trees. Before the dry tree went up in flames, officials from the town’s Division of Fire Prevention failed to set a properly watered Christmas tree on fire.

The dry, fiery tree caused damage to the model living room, referred to as a “burn pod.”

“This was a frightening, first-hand look at what could happen if Christmas trees are not sufficiently watered,” Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) said in a statement. “I urge everyone to make sure when purchasing a fresh Christmas tree to keep it properly watered to prevent a fire like we witnessed today.”

Christmas tree lights and Hanukkah candelabra called menorahs can also create fire safety issues. Councilman Dan Panico (R-Manorville) warned residents to “inspect your lights for frayed wires or broken bulbs.”

Christmas trees caused 210 house fires across the country annually between 2009 and 2013, although almost a quarter of those fires were intentional, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Another more than 750 unintentional fires per year were caused by other holiday decorations. The fires result in injury, death and property damage.

“It took only seconds for this fire to develop and consume the burn pod and cause severe damage,” Councilman Neil Foley (R-Blue Point) said in a statement.

The National Fire Protection Association has advised people to place trees at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, vents or lights, and to make sure it does not block any exits. It is recommended that 1 to 2 inches is cut from the trunk’s base before the tree is set into its stand, the association said, and trees should be watered daily.

For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association at www.nfpa.org.

Tours of decorated mansion held through Dec. 30

From left, Karen Mills-Lynch, Phyllis Kelly and Mary DiFronzo of the Three Village Garden Club trim the tree in the Vanderbilt Mansion library. Photo from Vanderbilt Museum

Interior designers and garden clubs deck the halls of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Centerport each year, and hundreds of visitors see the delightful results beginning the day after Thanksgiving.

The 24-room Spanish Revival house — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — is enhanced with garland, holly, 10 elegantly ornamented trees, poinsettias, brightly wrapped packages, greens and pine cones from the Vanderbilt estate and an enchanting atmosphere of early- and mid-twentieth century holiday cheer.

Lance Reinheimer, executive director of the museum, said, “We’re grateful to these imaginative decorators, who generously donate their time and talent to create an atmosphere of charming holiday grandeur and sophisticated living. They bring magic to this historic house.”

Participating this year were the Dix Hills, Centerport, Honey Hills, Nathan Hale and Three Village garden clubs; Harbor Homestead & Co. Design; and the master gardeners of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension. All have participated in the project for many years.

Artists and garden specialists from the Three Village Garden Club (representing Old Field, Setauket and Stony Brook) decorated the spacious, paneled Vanderbilt library and its tree. Beneath the tree are faux gifts wrapped with bright papers, foils and ribbons. Ornate, two-foot, stylized silver trees adorn the fireplace.

“We trimmed the tree with gold and copper ornament balls and with strands of clear, multi-faceted stones to reflect the light from the small white bulbs,” said Joann Canino of the Three Village Garden Club. “The white poinsettias used as ornaments suggest doves, a symbol of peace. We also placed white poinsettias with silver bows on the mantel of the library’s large fireplace.

“The Vanderbilt Mansion is an architectural celebration. It’s one of those grand houses that has a warm, family feeling. Our club is pleased to be part of dressing it up for the holidays. It’s great fun.”

Mary Schlotter and daughter Krishtia McCord, both of Centerport, decorated the bedroom of William K. Vanderbilt II, and the Moroccan Court next to the Vanderbilt library. They operate the Harbor Homestead & Co. design firm.

For the past several years, Schlotter also has been among the designers invited to decorate The White House for the holidays, the Fourth of July and Halloween.

“Mr. Vanderbilt loved peacocks and had them on the estate,” Schlotter said. “The bedroom color scheme is inspired by the colors in peacock feathers — deep teal, cobalt blue, apple green, plum and gold. We wanted it to look like a sophisticated man’s room,” Schlotter said.

Schlotter and McCord added wreaths of teal-blue feathers to the top of the French doors that open onto the bedroom porch with a view of Northport Bay. “Acorns are a feature of the Vanderbilt family crest, and we used acorn ornaments with the greenery that decorates the fireplace mantel. Ivy vines sprayed with gold paint and woven through the garland trim the doorways.”

In the Moroccan Court, with its rare Spanish and Portuguese tiles, they decorated the built-in tiled bench with throw pillows. The colors of the pillows match those in the antique tiles, each of which is a miniature folk painting. Decorations include a café setting with a small round table and two chairs; a basket of fruits and nuts; silver candles in ornate, antique bronze candlesticks; up-lighted palm trees; a candle-lit silver lantern next to the small fountain set into the floor; and gauzy, transparent fabric hung in front of the tall, arched windows.

Christine Lagana and her friends from the Dix Hills Garden Club decorated the Portuguese Sitting Room. “The tone was set by the deep blue in the rug and the sculpture of a knight on horseback, which has the same colors as the rug,” Lagana said, “and by the medieval theme of the 1494 fireplace surround, which features carved faces of crusaders.

“We added gold ribbon and pine cones to the garland, and small turquoise and cobalt ornament balls on the tree. One group of large ornaments displays a replica of the Vanderbilt family crest inside clear-glass globes.” Acorn-shaped ornaments echo the acorns in the family crest, which is painted on the fireplace hood in the dining room.”

Guided tours of the decorated mansion will be held through Dec. 30. During the day, tours are given Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday (including Dec. 28 and 30) at 12:30, 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Visitors pay the general admission fee plus $5 per person for a tour.

The popular Twilight Tours of the mansion will be given Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 26 and 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for students and seniors (62 and older) and $5 for children 12 and under. Hot chocolate and cookies are included. This event is a treat for visitors, and the only time of the year the Vanderbilt family’s private living quarters can be seen at night.

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Mansion is located at 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport. For more information, call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

Kate Keating and Austin Morgan in a scene from ‘Frosty.’ Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

The holidays are upon us and that means it’s time for “Frosty” to come to life at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport. Under the direction of Richard T. Dolce, the annual production, with a spirited cast of five adult actors, presents a lively show with song and dance that is perfect for its target audience.

Uber-talented Kate Keating reprises her role as Jenny, a young girl living in the town of Chillsville who loves the snow and loves winter. With the help of her mother, lovingly played by Courtney Fekete, Jenny builds a snowman who magically comes alive, and the duo are quickly best pals. Making his Engeman debut, Austin Morgan is a terrific Frosty and quickly connects with the audience, especially after he dances to “It’s Your Birthday.”

Jen Casey is the villain Ethel Pierpot, who wants to make Chillsville warm and snow-free so she can build a new factory. Her weather machine starts to make everything melt, including Frosty. With the help of the audience, Ethel Pierpot’s plan is foiled and, after a thrilling chase scene through the theater and an intense snowball fight, the machine is turned off.

From the very beginning the theatergoers become part of the show, thanks to the efforts of the narrator, Michael Verre, who guides the audience through the story with comedic genius. Verre draws the most laughs as he goes from being bundled up for winter to wearing less and less each time he makes an appearance on stage to demonstrate how warm Chillsville is getting.

Asking a full house last Sunday how to stop Ethel Pierpot from turning Frosty into a puddle of water, Verre received some creative suggestions, including have Frosty “go to a new town where there’s plenty of snow,” “put Frosty in an ice cream truck” and “reverse the machine to cold.” At the end of the show, all the children are asked to wish for snow to keep Frosty from melting and are rewarded for their efforts.

There was magic in the air at the Engeman Theater that morning — yes, a snowman came to life and, yes, it snowed inside the theater. But even more magical than that were the priceless expressions of joy, excitement and wonderment on the faces of the children in the audience.

Meet the cast after the show for pictures and autographs. An autograph page is conveniently located at the back of the program.

Take your child or grandchild to see “Frosty” and let them experience the magic of live theater. They will love you for it.

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport, will present “Frosty” through Jan. 3. Tickets are $15 each. For more information, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

by -
0 871
Hailey Del Giorno, left, is out for a meal with three of the girls she works with at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York in Wading River. Photo from Hailey Del Giorno

It isn’t typical for a 9-year-old to reject the joy of crafting a Christmas list from scratch, but that’s exactly what 22-year-old Setauket native Hailey Del Giorno encountered.

Del Giorno, a Ward Melville High School graduate, recently launched a campaign to raise money to buy holiday gifts for children she works with at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York in Wading River. She works in Mary’s Cottage with girls between ages 9 and 16, providing foster boarding home care, residential treatment care and adolescent development. And while she said she knew raising funds would be a challenge, she did not expect the toys list to be equally as difficult.

“They seemed hesitant at first,” Del Giorno, who is now studying psychology at St. Joseph’s College, said about the young girls’ reluctance to share their holiday wishes. “They didn’t seem to want to get their hopes up.”

Del Giorno landed the Wading River job over the summer to satisfy her desire to help others in need and has since been working closely with the young girls, many of whom come from abusive or neglectful homes, every weekend over shifts that could run as long as 12 hours. Since June, she has been working on developing relationships with these girls, but it was not easy, she said.

The group did not openly trust Del Giorno at first, she said, often misconstruing her caring demeanor as intrusive or fake. But she made it a point to squash those misconceptions by working longer and longer shifts on a week-by-week basis.

“These girls have tendencies to be defensive, untrusting and resistive to authority figures because of what they have been through,” she said. “When I started getting to know the girls, I wanted to show them that I had a true interest in learning who they were as people.”

And with each passing week, and each blossoming relationship, Del Giorno said she saw the upcoming holiday season as an opportunity to give back and show the girls that she’s on their side.

Her co-workers and even family members jumped into action. The goal was to raise $5,000 for the girls so Del Giorno and her team could buy them holiday presents and take them out to dinner on Christmas somewhere in the community. She launched an online crowd-funding page via Gofundme.com and has since raise close to $2,000 of that goal, with more than two weeks left, and has spent weeks polling her girls with hopes of assembling a holiday items wish list.

“Hailey I’m so proud of you,” supporter Belinda Groneman wrote on the page. “You have a big heart”

Maria Adams also chimed in.

“God bless you for caring,” she said alongside her donation.

And even when she did get an answer, they were still selfless ones. Several of the girls Del Giorno approached used their holiday gift wishes as opportunities to request items for siblings or loved ones instead, including anything from Barbie dolls to paint brushes and portable Casio keyboards.

In the end, Del Giorno said she hopes to make a lasting impression on the girls and remind them that family does not have to be just along their bloodlines.

“In my family, we always practiced the concept of giving back to the less fortunate,” she said. “After [my family] learned to care about these girls the way I did, we felt we needed to give these girls an extra special Christmas … They are all unique and special in their own ways and shine so positively when they are passionate and excited.”

by -
0 571

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of shopping for holiday gifts during the December rush. Most of us are trying to get in and out of stores and malls as quickly as possible, but staying a little bit longer could go a long way this holiday season if we all make an effort to buy just one more present.

It doesn’t have to be a big one, like a video game console — although we’re sure nobody would mind that — but we could all buy just one more gift and donate it to a child in need through a local church or charity. There are kids whose parents simply cannot afford gifts, or live in domestic violence shelters, or don’t have parents at all. Those kids deserve a little happiness, too, to know that they are part of a community and that there are other people out there who care about them. We could also consider donating a gift to a hospital or a nursing home, where there could sometimes be people without family to remember them during the holidays.

Our newspaper told a story this week about a 22-year-old woman from Setauket who spent the last month raising money to buy holiday gifts for underprivileged teenagers. Her name is Hailey Del Giorno and she works at Little Flower Children and Family Services (631-929-6200) in Wading River. She is an only child and grew up reaping the bounty of the Christmas morning loot. But that did not deter her from reaching out to those who may be less fortunate, and she has already raised close to $2,000 to provide presents to teenagers she works with at the nonprofit organization.

We also see many local schools raising money to donate toys to those who are less fortunate. The Students Against Drunk Driving club at Mount Sinai raised money for Holiday Magic (631-265-7200), a not-for-profit organization that dedicates itself to making the holidays special for less fortunate children and their families. The club raised more than $7,000 and went shopping at Walmart and the Smith Haven Mall to purchase gifts for 67 children.

We, too, could look beyond ourselves and make our community better this holiday season.

There are strangers all around us who need a friend. Let’s make a difference in one of their lives during the season of giving.

by -
0 745

By Bob Lipinski

I am absolutely the best holiday shopper and everyone loves my gifts. My secret? I do all my shopping in a liquor store — wine shop, if you prefer — and it takes less than one hour. Forget those long lines, crowded malls and roads that resemble parking lots. I have never had a gift returned because it doesn’t “fit,” it’s the wrong color or size, it’s out of style, or “I already have one of these.”

There are countless holiday gift packs of wine and distilled spirits, some even contain glasses to enjoy the beverage. From cardboard boxes, tins, ribbons, bows and wooden boxes, each is colorfully decorated and makes a great gift. If you’re uncomfortable making a selection or really don’t know that much about wines and spirits, simply ask one of the store’s employees for assistance.

Some of my suggested wines and spirits for the holidays that won’t break your pocketbook are:

Bubbly
Cavicchioli Lambrusco “Vigna del Cristo” (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Roederer Estate “Brut” (Anderson Valley, California)

Wines
Ferrari-Carano “Fumé Blanc” (Sonoma, California), white
Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi, California), red
Sella & Mosca “Cannonau Riserva” (Sardinia, Italy), red
Nino Negri “Quadrio” (Lombardy, Italy), red

Spirits
Jim Beam “Black Label” Bourbon Whiskey (Kentucky)
Old Forester Bourbon Whiskey (Kentucky)
The Famous Grouse “Blended Scotch Whisky” (Scotland)
Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky (Scotland)
New Amsterdam Vodka (USA)
Svedka Vodka (Sweden)

Now, if you want to go all-out and impress, here are a some more suggestions:

Bubbly
Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill “Brut” (Champagne, France)
Besserat “Blanc de Blancs” (Champagne, France)

Wines
Gundlach-Bundschu “Chardonnay” (Sonoma, California), white
Olivier Leflaive “Puligny-Montrachet” (Burgundy, France), white
Clos du Val “Cabernet Sauvignon” (Napa, California), red
Domaine Alain Burguet “Chambolle-Musigny” (Burgundy, France), red
Zuccardi “Reserva Malbec” (Mendoza, Argentina), red

Spirits
Chivas Regal 18-Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky (Scotland)
Booker’s Straight “Small Batch” Bourbon Whiskey (Kentucky)
Diplomatico Reserva 8-Year old Rum (Venezuela)
Prunier XO Cognac (France)

Now, what do I want as a holiday gift? A bottle of Baker’s, 107 proof, 7-Year-Old Bourbon, and a long straw to keep me happy on a cold winter night.

Also, recently, I had the opportunity to taste a simply delicious rosé wine from Provence, France, which will certainly be part of my holiday celebration. Maison Belle Claire Rosé is salmon-colored, with a luscious bouquet and taste of fresh fruits, cherries, peaches, strawberries, and orange. It is light, dry and refreshing, with plenty of fruit. Serve it chilled as part of your holiday brunch celebration.

In the words of the late Clifton Fadiman, an American writer, editor and book reviewer for The New Yorker, “Wine is alive, and when you offer it to your fellow man you are offering him life. That is why there are few better gifts to send than a case or two — or a bottle or two — of wine. It is not that when drinking it, they will recall the donor — if you crave such vulgar satisfactions, it is more efficient to send them a chair with a pair of spurs set in the upholstery. It is that, when drinking it, they will become more conscious of themselves, of their own capacity for joy.”

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written nine books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He conducts training seminars on wine, spirits, and food; and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com or boblipinski2009@hotmail.com.

by -
0 774

By Rabbi Sharon L. Sobel

When I was growing up, Hanukkah was literally a “festival of many lights!” As the oldest of six children, my parents gave each one of us our own chanukiyah. (Note: A menorah is any multibranched candelabra. A chanukiyah is a menorah specifically designated for Hanukkah. It has nine candle holders: one for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, plus one for the “shammash” — the helper candle that is used to light the other candles.)

Every morning during Hanukkah, each of us would carefully choose which color candles we were going to light that night. My mother placed a table in front of one of our living room windows with all of the chanukiyot (plural form of chanukiyah) circled strategically around. The mitzvah — the commandment — of Hanukkah is to publicize the miracle. Hence the directive to light the candles in a window. My siblings and I loved watching all those candles burn and glow!

I have a collection of many beautiful and unique chanukiyot now. But the one I still use every year on Hanukkah is the one I used growing up, the one I inherited from my mother. It is not beautiful, but it takes me back to my childhood, it reminds me of my mother and helps make me feel as if she is part of my Hanukkah celebration, even though she is no longer alive. That feeling helps the flame of my candles glow even more brightly.

It is no accident that Hanukkah, our festival of lights, occurs during December. These are some of the darkest days/nights of the year: We are approaching the winter solstice. Once again, Hanukkah reminds us that during the darkest time of the year, we human beings have the power to kindle lights against the darkness. We have the power to brighten the lives of others.

For those who celebrate Hanukkah, let me suggest that we can make the flames of our own Hanukkah candles burn even more brightly by dedicating at least one of the nights of our own Hanukkah celebration to a family tzedakah (social justice/charity) project instead of giving gifts to each other. The word tzedakah comes from the root tzedek — which means “justice” and “righteousness.” We don’t simply give tzedakah because it makes us feel good, but rather out of our sense of responsibility to God and to taking care of others in the world around us.

There are a number of different provisions for tzedakah outlined in the Jewish tradition. They all center around one basic principle: No matter what form our tzedakah takes, we must make sure that we never compromise anyone’s dignity, honor or self-respect. In fact, the highest form of tzedakah is when we can help someone to help themselves, so that they will no longer be dependent upon the help of others.

This year, may the light of the Hanukkah candles ignite the spark of justice, passion for human rights and freedom for all.

Chag Urim Sameach! May you have a Happy Festival of Lights!

Rabbi Sharon L. Sobel is the Rabbi at Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook.

by -
0 626
A wind chime would make great holiday gifts for the gardener in your life. Stock photo

By Ellen Barcel

Well, the holidays will be here before you know it. Is there a gardener on your list who’s giving you a hard time? What do you get him or her that you haven’t given already? Of course, there are always gift certificates to your favorite nursery, new gardening shoes or a new tool. Gardening books and subscriptions to gardening magazines are nice, but are you looking for something unique? Different? Here are some ideas that you may not have thought of.

If your gardener has blueberries or other plants that birds love to dine on, consider a crop cage. The ones that I’ve seen range from $60 to $100. The cages are large enough that the gardener can actually walk into them — they even have doors. Made from steel and nylon netting, they protect from not only birds but deer, rabbits and other wildlife.

Smaller varieties, called popups, are lower, just 42 inches high and provide the same protection for smaller plants.  Both varieties are green, so they blend in with the rest of the garden but get the job done. These smaller varieties range from about $25 to $70 depending on size. Even smaller varieties of plant protection are just a foot high for even smaller plants like strawberries and lettuce. They cost about $20 each. Another really nice present if you’re gardener is doing battle with Bambi and friends is any one of the various deer repellents available.

Garden decorations are also available. Depending on the taste of your gardener, you could go classical (like Greek statues, sundials, bird baths or bird houses) or whimsical garden art, like statues of birds, colorful glass bottle trees, glass orbs or even glass flowers. One of my favorites is a set of three “flowers” made from old water spigots, painted in bright colors. Another is a flower made from knives, forks and spoons. Stop by your local arts and crafts fairs that flourish in December for a whole variety of garden art.

Being more practical, consider a new composter. I’ve seen one that is a tumbler, basically a barrel on a stand. There’s a side door that allows you to add material to be composted. There’s also a crank on the side that allows the gardener to turn the barrel easily, even every day. This makes the chore of turn over the compost pile really easy. It also speeds up the composting process. Some of these composters boast compost in just eight to 10 weeks. I’ve even seen one brand that has two separate chambers — one for almost ready compost and the second for a new batch you’re just starting.

For the mycologist (an expert in fungi), or just a mushroom lover, consider a mushroom growing kit. Grow the common button or even portobello mushrooms. The grower decides just how big or small their mushrooms are by how long they let them grow. A terrarium or unusual planter keeps greenery growing in the house.

For the lover of butterflies, consider a butterfly house to go along with the beautiful plants that attract them.

If you decide on a new potting bench, make sure you take some measurements first so that it will fit in the appropriate area. If the bench needs some sort of finishing, include a can of paint, stain, etc. and some brushes, perhaps with a promise to help come spring.

And, if your gardener comes in the house complaining of aches and pains from “overdoing” it in the yard, a new heating pad might make you an angel to them.

Ellen Barcel is a freelance writer and master gardener. Send your gardening questions and/or comments to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com. To reach Cornell Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener program, call 631-727-7850.

A view of the interior of the Panfield Manor House. Photo from Maria DeLeo

By Victoria Espinoza

Plan on decking the halls this season with the Huntington Historical Society.

The group will be hosting its annual holiday house self-guided tour this Sunday, Dec. 6, when participants will take a tour of five private houses and two museums in Huntington.

“It’s a nice way to kick off the holidays and get into the spirit,” said Maria DeLeo, office coordinator of the Huntington Historical Society. “Many families and big groups of friends come together to celebrate.”

Participants at a previous year’s tour view one of the houses. Photo from Maria DeLeo
Participants at a previous year’s tour view one of the houses. Photo from Maria DeLeo

All houses will be decorated for the holidays and will have a representative from the historical society to answer any questions, DeLeo said.

Each house is at least 100 years old, according to DeLeo, and displays different kinds of architecture with many aspects of the homes in their original form.

The oldest house by far on the tour is the Cornelia Prime House, with construction beginning back in 1760. According to the historical society, Prime donated money to the Huntington Trade School, was a benefactor of the Huntington Hospital and donated the famous tower clock to town hall.

The Panfield Manor House is another stop on the tour. Its original owner led the incorporation of the Village of Lloyd Harbor in 1926 and became its first mayor, according to the historical society.

The Dr. Daniel Kissam House Museum and the David Conklin Farmhouse Museum will also be decorated for Christmas and open to all participants of the holiday house tour.

A view of the exterior of the Panfield Manor House. Photo from Maria DeLeo
A view of the exterior of the Panfield Manor House. Photo from Maria DeLeo

DeLeo said the tour itself is more than 20 years old, and the society expects as many as 500 people to come this year.

“We have people calling in October asking about the event,” DeLeo said. “It’s very popular and many people come back year after year.”

The Huntington Holiday House Tour Committee starts searching for properties to feature over the summer, and DeLeo said the event is possible because of the generous people who open up their homes to her group.

The Huntington Historical Society was created in 1903 as an exclusively female organization. DeLeo said the founders were inspired by the town’s 250th anniversary celebration, which they took part in, as well as President Theodore Roosevelt, who was the featured speaker.

The first charter named the group the Colonial Society of Huntington, and when the organization received a new charter in 1911, they renamed themselves the Huntington Historical Society.