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AHH 24-Hr. News

Veterans Affairs Committee Brings Vet Center Services to Middletown
Friday, 11 July 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Mobile Vet Center (MVC) of Lakewood, NJ offers weekly counseling and outreach services in Middletown Township. VFW Post 2179... Read More...
IMAGE 129 Recruits Graduate from 22nd Annual Sheriff Youth Week
Friday, 11 July 2014
NEPTUNE, NJ -  Sheriff Shaun Golden proudly handed certificates to the 129 recruits who graduated from the 22nd annual Sheriff Youth Week.... Read More...
IMAGE FilmOneFest: Not Just Movies
Thursday, 10 July 2014
photo: Freedom Pottery at FilmOneFest 2013 ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The flourishing arts scene in Atlantic Highlands is evident at FilmOneFest... Read More...
IMAGE Shore Paddle Scheduled for Sunday, July 13
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Paddleboard Race and Fun Paddle to Benefit Clean Ocean Action and Surfers’ Environmental Alliance WHAT:  A paddleboard event to benefit Clean... Read More...
IMAGE Free Historical Augmented Reality Tour of the Asbury Park Boardwalk
Thursday, 10 July 2014
ASBURY PARK, NJ - The Asbury Park Boardwalk has been experiencing an upswing recently. The restaurant, entertainment, and tourism industries have all... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE For the Children
by Woody Zimmerman
Thursday, 10 July 2014
When I was raising my own children, I could always be had by a bedtime plea of “Dad, I’m hungry…” A ritual bowl of cereal and some... Read More...
IMAGE Book Review: Love and Treasure
by Lindsey Stefan
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Jack Wiseman is an elderly man who has only one regret in life. He asks his granddaughter Natalie to take a necklace that he has been keeping for... Read More...
IMAGE A See-Through Fish Swims in Local Waters
by Joe Reynolds
Thursday, 10 July 2014
So far this summer, the seining has been pretty good around local waters in Raritan Bay and Sandy Hook Bay. Along with the usual suspects, such as... Read More...
IMAGE When Did I Become Danny Dorn
by Daniel Murphy
Monday, 07 July 2014
For those of you who have grown up in Red Bank and are over 20 you will remember Dorn’s Photo Shop.  Born in 1910 Danny Dorn Sr. became a... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Chef
by David Prown
Saturday, 05 July 2014
The movie "Chef" has been out for several weeks. All I knew was that it starred "Jon Favreau" who I clearly remember from the awesome guys comedy... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Sat Jul 12 @12:00PM - 02:00PM
Belford Independent Fire Co Open House
Tue Jul 15 @ 3:00PM - 04:30PM
Free Summer Mini-Camp
Tue Jul 15 @ 6:30PM - 08:00PM
Restoring Credit After Sandy Seminar
Wed Jul 16 @ 9:30AM - 10:50AM
Story Time
Wed Jul 16 @ 3:00PM - 04:30PM
Free Summer Mini-Camp

anne_mikolay_2012_120As a child, my favorite Christmas decorations were the miniature glitter-houses my mother set up atop fake, cotton snow on the window sill. Known as a Putz village, these pasteboard structures with cellophane windows were routinely sold in dime stores and the Sears catalogs. Putz houses, sprinkled with glitter, were Bermuda-pink and Bermuda-blue, among other equally non-seasonal colors. I adored the little houses that today are collectibles fetching quite a pretty penny, depending upon condition.

Back in my day, holiday decorations were mainly plastic...plastic Santa, plastic reindeer, plastic bells with plastic ribbons. Mom's best ornaments were made of colorful glass, and she hung them on the tree with tinsel icicles. Poinsettias (yes, plastic) flanked our fireplace, and shelf elves or wax candles shaped like carolers adorned the end tables. Exterior decorations were limited to Christmas lights with big red, blue, green, and yellow bulbs now considered “retro”; seasonal lawn figures were non-existent.

Though I miss the simple decorations of my youth, I rather like contemporary holiday décor (no plastic!); lighted lawn reindeer and Christmas trees are beautiful. However, the lawn inflatables so popular nowadays are nothing more than eyesores to me. A four foot, inflated Winnie the Pooh is not cute, nor is the “puddle” of nylon left on the lawn when he deflates. This brings me to an inflatable lawn ornament I find most baffling: the flying pig.

The pink, winged, flying pig first appeared as a holiday decoration in my neighborhood about two years ago, at which time I posed the as yet unanswered question: what does a flying pig have to do with Christmas? An internet search failed to reveal anything other than sites selling the incongruent sow. The porker's holiday connection remains a mystery. Do people put the flying pig on their lawn at Christmas because they eat ham for the holidays? Do the politically correct employ the pink pig to convey the message they will cease saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” when pigs fly? Does the flying pig honor Miss Piggy, star of The Muppet Christmas Carol, or is it a character in an obscure children's book? Was there a pig beside the manger when Jesus was born? Was there an angel pig beside the manger? Is there a marketing tie-in somewhere? Is McDonalds stuffing happy meals with pink flying pigs these days? You know what they say...you can put lipstick (or, in this case, wings) on a pig and it's still a pig, so somebody tell me please...what does a flying pig have to do with Christmas?

Christmas decorations are meant to be whimsical, memorable. Granted, a flying pig is both, but I prefer the traditional...a Putz village, an elf on the shelf, even a plastic Santa and plastic reindeer. I will forego the traditional and embrace a pink pig as a symbol of the holiday season...when pigs fly.