Check It Twice: the Grid December To-Do List



1. Make a holiday wreath. If you celebrate Christmas, living in small spaces in cities often means not decorating a real tree. But a wreath will fit just fine, and you’ll still get that fresh pine scent.

2. Go wassailing. You’ve got two options in the wassailing tradition: Sing for your neighbors, or head to an orchard and sing for the trees in the hopes of a good spring harvest. Bring friends!

3. Donate your money or time. Whatever your cause, end-of-year donations give a boost to local nonprofit organizations. If you’re not able to give money, consider volunteering instead.

4. Shop local for gift-buying. If you haven’t yet finished your holiday shopping, you still have time to hit local stores that offer one-stop shopping, and many retailers offer Philly-made artisan goods. You can see some of our picks on Page 8. Local bookstores and other shops also offer online ordering if heading to the stores isn’t an option— keep that money in town!

5. Lace up your ice skates. Until Feb. 25, the Rothman Ice Rink at City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza is open for skaters of all levels. The Rothman Cabin will once again offer an option to warm up with craft beer and cocktails after you skate (or if you just plan to cheer on your friends and family). Hearty food options include chili and poutine.

6. Change up your workout routine. On those days that the ice, snow and cold are preventing you from going for your normal running or biking session, don’t settle for the treadmill at the gym. Check out our picks for interesting workouts around town that will keep you indoors but get you in shape. An interesting new routine will stave off boredom and the holiday pounds. See Page 26.

7. Give a stray a place to stay. We can’t adopt them all, even if we want to. Consider building or buying a feral cat shelter for your community garden or yard. The organization Alley Cat Allies has an online gallery and DIY videos that demonstrate options for getting them through the winter.

8. Get some houseplants. It’s going to be a long winter, so stock up on greenery. Boston ferns, English ivy and peace lilies are just some of the varieties known to help with indoor air quality.

9. Clean out the freezer. It’s not the world’s most exciting job, but take 20 minutes to get rid of everything that’s undated or unidentifiable. You’re going to want room for those holiday leftovers.

10. Take it easy on New Year’s Eve. The New Year’s Day Mummers Parade and 2 Street celebration are Philadelphia’s own version of Mardi Gras. Lay low on the 31st so you don’t miss the revelry!

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