The Best: Let Us Cast Away the Gloom and Have Some Fun This Weekend


On the day before Thanksgiving my daughter, Cecilia, called me freaking out because she saw someone tying a Christmas tree to the top of their SUV.

“The hell,” she bellowed? “It’s kind of early for this. Can’t they wait until after Thanksgiving at least?”

Uh, no.

I cheered when I witnessed the manager of Del Fuego restaurant on Magazine Street putting up holiday decorations two weeks before Thanksgiving and I have noticed an uptick in early, over-the-top holiday decorations in my neighborhood. Bring it. Let’s cast away this gloom even if we are toasting one another from across the street.

As for the past 30 years, First Unitarian Universalist Church (5212 Claiborne Ave., at Jefferson Avenue), Uptown, is hosting its annual sale of freshly cut, Fraser Fir Christmas trees and wreaths. This year’s trees and  wreaths are on sale via online contactless payment to be picked up curbside. While customers will not  be able to pick out the tree that “speaks to them,” FUU has been ordering these Douglas firs from the same tree farm for decades and attests that they have always been universally full, fresh, and fragrant. All proceeds go to support First UU Church and its various social justice and community service programs. Trees/wreaths/stands will be available for curbside pickup on Soniat Street between Claiborne Avenue and Story Street, this Saturday and Sunday between  9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Click Here to order .Click “Shop Now” and select your desired tree, wreath, and stand sizes and add them to your shopping cart. Click “Checkout” to enter your desired order pickup date and AM or PM in the gray comment box right before completing your order. Confirm/Enter your order. You will be sent detailed pickup process information a week or so before your requested pick-up date/time. Questions, call First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans at 866.9010

FAIT Nola ( will be conducting Holiday Wreath Making Workshops for two days only: Today, Dec. 3, from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 6, from noon-2 p.m., and 3-5 p.m. Guests will be instructed by FAIT plant mom, Kathleen Robinson. With over 30 years of floral design experience, Kathleen has a host of knowledge to help create your perfect Southern Holiday wreath. These are last of FAIT’s popular workshops for 2020. Save a seat for you and your friends while you can. You can sign up here.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Joanne and Dan Casey, proprietors of Alice + Amelia clothing and gift shop, and founders of NOLA Dogs Race to the Rescue 5K will host an-open-to-the-public silent auction in the lot adjacent to their store at 4432 Magazine St.. The auction, which is conducted in conjunction with the 5K, is currently up online here so you can register and get an early start on bidding. On Saturday people can stop by, view the items, and place bids. Tons of seriously fantastic items are up for bid including designer jewelry, gift certificates to restaurants, whimsical t-shirts, passes to museums and cultural attractions, a CBD Family Holiday Survival kit, and men’s and women’s designer clothing.  The piece de resistance is a stunning paining, “Plage,” a by Paris-born artist Marc Clauzade valued at $19,000. The event will be held outside and volunteers will be there to help anyone who needs help.  All proceeds go to five no-kill nonprofit rescues in four. Since its inception in 2017 the race and auction have garnered tens of thousands of dollars for area animal rescue organizations.

NOLA Dogs Race to the Rescue 5K

With your tree and wreaths secured and your shopping list taken care of via the auction (which is a donation!), you will need an easy dinner to enjoy while trimming your tree. James Beard award-winning Chef Nina Compton of Compere Lapin (535 Tchoupitoulas St. in the old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery) and her partner/husband Larry Miller are continuing their weekly pop-up series with a Hot Fire Chicken & Biscuits To-Go Pop-up on Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. . The special will be available for carryout.  You can place an order here. Each order includes one serving of the Hot Fire Chicken, which is buttermilk brined, fried and tossed a house-made hot sauce, two flaky biscuits and pickles for $20. Diners can wash it all down with boozy concoctions to-go. Priced at $12, libations on offer include Bloody Marys; Mimosas; Brandy Milk Punch (bottled); Brunch Punch; and Frozen Daquiris. Preorders are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Use it to spread a little joy.





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