Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Celebrate the Joy of the Holiday Season

Nov 26, 2014 04:00PM ● Published by Lisa Lewis

By Lisa A. Lewis

Well, it’s official: The holiday season is here. And although Black Friday used to usher in the start of the holiday shopping season, as you know, that is no longer the case. Many retailers now open their doors on Thanksgiving and welcome eager shoppers who want to enjoy the festivities and get a jump-start on their holiday shopping.

If you want to start choosing the perfect gift for everyone on your list, you definitely want to visit Westfield Annapolis. The mall is pulling out all the stops—creating a veritable shoppers’ paradise, where you can have a stress-free and fun holiday shopping experience.

Kick off your holiday shopping at Westfield Annapolis on Thursday if you wish. (The mall is open from 6 p.m.-midnight.) Or if you’re more traditional, wait until Black Friday, and enjoy extended hours from 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Get into the holiday spirit as you take in the sights and sounds of the mall’s festive environment. The Macy’s Court is beautifully decorated with snow and singing trees to celebrate the magic of the season. As you shop, keep an eye out for the Westfield’s “Merry Makers” who are in the mall beginning on Black Friday from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Dressed in stylish red and green holiday costumes, these professionally trained actors may sing, dance, or even give a complimentary gift or lend a helping hand to shoppers.

The “Merry Makers” are in the mall until Christmas Eve, so the more you shop, the more chances you have to meet them. You never know: A “Merry Maker” may just delight you with an unexpected act of kindness, such as carrying your shopping bags or giving you a gift card or a free sample.


*The History of Black Friday

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the official start of the holiday shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back in the days when accounting records were kept by hand. (Red ink indicated a loss, and black ink indicated a profit.) However, ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the “unofficial” start of the holiday shopping season.



Want to avoid the crowds and the hectic pace of Black Friday? No problem. Head to Easton on Friday to celebrate the 29th Annual Festival of Trees: “My Christmas Wish.”

The viewing of the trees begins with a Preview Party on Friday from 6-8 p.m. in the Gold Ballroom of the Tidewater Inn, which is adorned with beautifully decorated trees of all sizes.

Tickets are $50 and include an open bar from 6-7 p.m. and a lite-fare buffet. The party also features music, raffles, and a cash bar. In addition, you can purchase miniature trees and wreaths and start your holiday shopping at the Christmas Elves Shoppe.

The Gold Ballroom of the Tidewater Inn remains open from Saturday through Tuesday, December 2. Stop by to see the beautiful trees, listen to seasonal music, and celebrate the magic of the holiday season.

Admission to the Gold Ballroom is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (62+), $1 for children under 12, and free for children under one.

In addition to the popular viewing of the trees, many other special events are planned for this year’s Festival of Trees.

For a complete schedule of events, visit or call 410-819-FEST. Tickets for most of the events may be purchased online at All Festival of Trees events are presented by the Friends of Hospice to benefit the Talbot Hospice Foundation.


*Keep Up the Great Work!

The concept for the Festival of Trees was developed in 1986 by Midge Fuller and Leslie Ware who created the Friends of Hospice to raise community awareness of the Hospice program. Since that time, the Friends of Hospice has donated over $2.7 million to the Talbot Hospice Foundation. All of the funds have been generated from the annual Festival of Trees event.

Source: Festival of Trees


Celebrate the holiday season with the annual lighting of the tree during the Grand Illumination on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Annapolis near the Market House.

The event, which is hosted by the Annapolis Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) with support from the Annapolis Business Association, features performances by the Chesapeake Dance Academy, St. Mary’s Noel Choir, and Talent Machine, among others, and is emceed by WNAV.

Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, and get into the holiday spirit as you celebrate the joy of the season. Children can decorate the tree with beautiful ornaments provided by the Jaycees. Later, Santa Claus arrives by the Annapolis Circulator, followed by Mayor Mike Pantelides who will speak briefly before the tree lighting around 7 p.m.

Since it’s always important to remember those less fortunate, the Jaycees are collecting non-perishable food items and new, unwrapped toys for their annual Angel Tree Project, which supports 20 local families in need. Please donate items and help support these worthy causes.

Don’t miss this festive event, which kicks off the joy and magic of the holiday season.


*Fun Facts about Christmas Trees

  • Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.
  • The tallest living Christmas tree is believed to be the 122-foot, 91-year-old Douglas fir in the town of Woodinville, Washington.
  • The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition began in 1933.
  • In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, now held every year on the White House lawn.
  • Christmas trees generally take six to eight years to mature.
  • Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, including Hawaii and Alaska.



Check out some other events taking place this weekend, and don’t miss out on the special holiday festivities:

Annapolis/Anne Arundel County:

Eastern Shore:


To view more events taking place this weekend, please browse our online calendar. And be sure to follow What’s Up? on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Arts+Entertainment annapolis eastern shore event limelight holiday weekend west county november 2014