Holiday Specials 2019 Monday, Dec 9 2019 

Bourbon Baroque Messiah December 21, 8pm Louisville’s period-instrument ensemble presents Georg Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah in its entirety. A Christmas Pastorale December 22, 9am Host Alan Brandt presents an hour of holiday-themed music from the British Isles, including Gerald Finzi’s Dies natalis, Arnold Bax’s Christmas Eve, Frederick Delius’ Sleigh Ride and more music for the […]

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Advice on the art of regifting Monday, Dec 2 2019 

By Zoe Watkins —

Though we love our family dearly, sometimes they give us presents that make us wonder if they put any thought into it. While some items might not be your favorite, someone else might enjoy them.

Regifting is basically a form of recycling but taking an old, dusty present and pretending it’s new and something you recently bought for the person. However, this process is delicate. There is a certain etiquette that must be kept in mind.

First, try to put more meaning behind the process and try to be honest and thoughtful with the gift you choose to give someone.

Also be truthful about the gift rather than trying to lie about buying it. If you explain the gift was previously given to you, but you thought they would enjoy it more, they’ll understand.

Now keep in mind when and where it is appropriate to regift a present. Don’t go regifting things every chance you get unless you absolutely must. A great example of where regifting is a good idea is when you get two of the same items.

Now, here is what not to do. Never give away a present that someone made for you since that would really hurt someone’s feelings if they found out. Don’t give away personalized items since your name is literally written on it. And don’t give away used or out-of-packaged items.

As useful as it is, be careful when regifting this holiday season. Giving presents should come from the heart, not from the bottom of your closet.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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Free Events in December Sunday, Dec 1 2019 

We are all about free events in December! Here’s a selection of FREE family festivals, experiences and events around Kentuckiana. Surely, you will spend enough money this month. So, we want to provide you with ideas for free family fun. This is just a sampling of some of the amazing free events around Louisville. We are happy to provide you [...]

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Holiday movie guide to get in the festive spirit Friday, Nov 29 2019 

By Blake Wedding —

It’s that time of year again–nights by the fireplace while sipping eggnog and hot cocoa. The time of year where we think of others more than ever and give gifts. It’s time for holiday parties and cold nights with friends and loved ones. This also means it’s time to snuggle up in the living room and watch holiday movies that remind us why this time of year is so special. The Cardinal has prepared a list of five of the most festive films to make it easier for students to get in the holiday spirit.

1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles – John Hughes (1987)

John Hughes is a legendary filmmaker often regarded for many things, but his greatest gift was in casting the spotlight on the lives of small-town middle Americans in a sympathetic and forward-thinking manner. He is an auteur of the classic “coming-of-age” story in film history, but his 1987 holiday film “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” might be his finest comedic work. Featuring the likes of comedic geniuses Steve Martin and John Candy at the height of their careers, the movie is a wholesome story about two irreverent characters heading home for the holidays. Inevitably, the two characters butt heads due to their incredibly different lifestyles and personalities. But what “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” teaches is to appreciate people who are different than us and to embrace the holiday sense of giving and charity. It is a film that sheds sympathy for the downtrodden, the forgotten and the eccentric people in this world, and it reminds us that helping others is one of the greatest gifts we can give.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas – Bill Meléndez (1965)

There are few names as well known as “Charlie Brown” when it comes to naming classic holiday films. The Charlie Brown series has its name attached to a number of different holidays over the years, but without a doubt, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the best of them all. This is a film that captures the spirit and essence of the holidays, as well as the nostalgia and child-like wonder that accompany the holidays. It’s a film about friendship, togetherness, selflessness and caring about people. It also happens to have one of the most recognized and well-regarded soundtracks to any holiday movie.

3. Elf – Jon Favreau (2003)

Just when it seemed like Hollywood was running out of ideas for holiday films, “Elf” came along in 2003 and cemented itself as a modern holiday classic. Sure, the film is filled with clichés and some of Will Ferrell’s goofiest comedy to date, but it’s also an undeniably charming, funny and wholesome holiday film. It’s a film that reiterates already well-known themes of the holidays and why they’re important, but it’s the way “Elf” executes its ideas that makes it an endearing film. Ferrell is hilarious as Buddy the Elf, and as a character, is someone who forces others to reevaluate their selfishness during the holidays.

4. A Christmas Story – Bob Clark (1983)

“A Christmas Story” is a holiday classic in every sense of the word and a film as synonymously American as apple pie. It’s a film that nearly everyone mentions as the quintessential holiday film and one that tells a familiar story of the holidays in small-town America. It’s a funny, endearing and amusing story that shows how an entire family handles the holiday season. From Ralphie’s insatiable desire to have the newest and greatest gifts under the Christmas tree, to his father being overworked and jaded about the holidays, and his mother being overworked and stressed during this time of year, what “A Christmas Story” does best is show us that the holidays can be both full of wonder and worry depending on who you are. Furthermore, “A Christmas Story” manages to tell these stories through a lens that is relatable and undoubtedly hilarious, making it one of the best feel-good movies of the season.

5. It’s a Wonderful Life – Frank Capra (1946)

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a film that has been called the greatest holiday movie of all time year after year, and there is a reason for that. Not only is “It’s a Wonderful Life” the best holiday film ever, it’s also one of the greatest films of any genre ever made. Yes, this is an old movie, and yes, some younger viewers may be thrown off by the original film’s black and white cinematography, but it’s also a rare film that can resonate with people of all ages. It’s a film about learning not to take what you have for granted during the most important time of year. A film that exclaims that no matter how stressful or hard your life may be, you should take time to understand the importance of being thankful for what you do have. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a film about compassion, acceptance, togetherness and, as the title implies, life.

Festive Mentions: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1967); “Home Alone” (1990); “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989); “The Santa Claus” (1994); “Miracle on 34th Street” (1994); “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993); “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964).

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night Tuesday, Nov 26 2019 

By Ben Goldberger — 

Growing up Jewish, I always felt different from my peers. I was the only one of my friends who didn’t celebrate Christmas and one of the two Jewish kids in my graduating class of 461 students.  This meant that when jack-o’-lanterns were tossed and Christmas trees went up, I always felt like an outsider. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas time. There is a certain spirit in the air with all of the lights, music and hot chocolate everywhere you turn. But being told “Merry Christmas” when leaving a store is not something that I look forward to.

It leaves me feeling separated from society, almost like I am wrong for not celebrating Christmas. 

It feels like being told “Roll Tide!” while walking down the streets of Birmingham, but while wearing a Louisville shirt. You can’t help but feel like you don’t belong since you do not celebrate the same things as everyone else around you.

Still, I never get offended when someone tells me “Merry Christmas” because I know it is a way of spreading joy and well-wishes. After all, they do not know that I don’t celebrate Christmas. 

But at the same time, I shouldn’t have to put up with constantly being told to celebrate a holiday that is not a part of my religious practices.

In the spirit of spreading inclusivity during this wonderful season, I urge you to use the term “Happy Holidays” to spread your festive joy.

Many people are not a fan of this idea, claiming that this indicates a “War on Christmas.” 

Personally, I do not see a problem with this suggestion. Saying “Happy Holidays” to strangers will not destroy Christmas. Christmas is still included in this statement, but now all other holidays during this season are included too. It will not limit the amount to which people can celebrate the holiday, but instead welcome the many people who do not celebrate Christmas to feel the holiday cheer as well. 

According to a Pew Research Center data set from 2017, 10 percent of Americans do not celebrate Christmas.  This may not seem like a lot, but that is 37.2 million people, around the same amount as the population of Canada.

If the population of Americans who do not celebrate Christmas made their own country, that would be the 40th most populous country in the world according to the United Nations’ records. 

Journalist Lux Alptraum explains what it is like being a Jewish woman during Christmas time on an episode of the podcast “Conversations with People Who Hate Me.” She said, “it is really isolating at this time to sort of feel that everyone expects you to participate [in Christmas,] and if you do not participate, you are sort of shut out of the fun.”

I am not asking you to stop celebrating Christmas or not share your joy for the holidays with others.

I am just asking you to please be more aware that not everyone celebrates the same holidays as you do and act in a way that is more welcoming of those individuals, further inviting all people to enjoy the holiday fun that you love so dearly. 

The overwhelming spread of love and kindness that takes over society during this time of year is incredibly amazing, and it seems as if that is a big part of the meaning of Christmas to many people who celebrate it. Saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” to strangers whose religion is unknown to you spreads the love and kindness even farther.  

Have a lovely, peaceful, joyful and especially happy holidays everybody.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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Porter Scholars accept donations for homeless at Thanksgiving dinner Monday, Nov 25 2019 

By Jordan Geisler —

The University of Louisville’s Porter Scholars group gathered Nov. 21 to throw their seventh annual Thanksgiving dinner. The group collected winter accessories for the homeless community in Louisville as part of the event.

The Engage Lead Serve Board (ELSB) partnered with the Porter Scholars to serve dinner for a multitude of students both within and outside of the Porter Scholars organization. Leondra Gully, the advisor for the Porter Scholars, has been a part of their annual Thanksgiving dinner since its fruition in 2013, and she’s seen it serve a wide array of people in the community while also having an impact on students.

Gully said, “We can still come together, have fun, and have a social piece, but also incorporate some sort of service in giving back to the community. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be of a certain status, and you don’t have to look a certain way; anybody can benefit from giving back.”

Gully said a big part of starting the Thanksgiving dinner was not only so that people could get together before leaving campus for the holidays, but also so people who weren’t able to travel home for Thanksgiving would have a place to go for a good dinner.

“Some people don’t get to go home for Thanksgiving,” said Jalena Slaton, the vice president of the Porter Scholars. “So this is as close to family as they get, whether it be with the Porter community or just the campus community as a whole.”

Taris Smith, the president of the Porter Scholars and board member of ELSB, worked to get the sock company Bombas to donate 2,000 pairs of socks to help give out to the homeless community. They also received donations from U of L’s School of Dentistry such as toothbrushes and toothpastes to put in care boxes. “Our goal is at least 100 care packages. Every year we try to accommodate more people and do a bigger service aspect,” Smith said.

As far as the dinner itself goes, local restaurants like Boss Hog’s BBQ and Lucretia’s Kitchen served food that included turkey, chicken, dressing, green beans and stuffing.

Donations for the winter accessories drive will continue through December. Goods such as scarves and mittens can be dropped off in bins dispersed around campus.

Photo by Jordan Geisler // The Louisville Cardinal 

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2019 Holiday Choral Festival Wednesday, Nov 20 2019 

90.5 WUOL Classical Louisville proudly presents the 14th annual Holiday Choral Festival on Sunday, Nov. 24. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the first performance beginning at 7 p.m. This year’s event will be held at St. Martin of Tours (639 S. Shelby St). View a map here. The concert will be recorded and broadcast […]

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Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or Dinner with Santa around Louisville Friday, Nov 15 2019 

Christmas is coming and one of the best traditions is a breakfast with Santa. There are many options from paid to free to be sure to check them out.  We have loved some of the “fancier” events to all get dressed up. But, there are many quaint community events that are totally charming. November 13 – December 31, times vary: [...]

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The Best Christmas Lights in Louisville! Toyland Christmas Display Thursday, Nov 14 2019 

Where to see the best Christmas Lights in Louisville? It’s free! Toyland Christmas offers a free Christmas lights display in Louisville that will impress everyone! Looking for more Louisville holiday events beyond the best Christmas lights in Louisville? Click here for 2019 holiday event info. Click here for Lights Under Louisville discounts.  This review is not from this year and some of the [...]

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Discounts and Coupons for Lights Under Louisville Friday, Nov 8 2019 

Are you looking for a Lights Under Louisville discount or coupon?   Are you looking to go to Lights Under Louisville but want to save a few dollars? Here are Lights Under Louisville discount and coupon options for this popular holiday attraction.  What’s so special about Lights Under Louisville? According to their website…………. World’s only fully underground drive through Christmas light [...]

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