As ringing bells herald this Christmas season, another city church has gone silent. The West Genesee United Methodist Church in Syracuse has closed its doors, and last week it auctioned off its contents.
The Watertown Urban Mission is busy around the holidays. Along with running its regular programs like the food pantry and thrift store, it also distributes warm winter coats and Thanksgiving turkeys, puts on a craft fair, and holds a sale of Christmas items. Fortunately, it's gotten some help from a small army of volunteers – literally.
At the end of this week, the biggest Christmas giveaway in central New York takes place and the high numbers of families who signed up for the annual Christmas Bureau shows an economy that's still hurting.
Almost three-thousand Central New York families found some Christmas help at the Annual Salvation Army Christmas Bureau in Syracuse Thursday. That's 400 more families than needed help last year, a nearly 15% increase.
Jim Greene is not an academic Dickens scholar, but he plays Dickens and runs the Dickens Christmas Festival in Skaneateles. In this holiday version of the Campbell Conversations, he talks - often in the character of Dickens - about the meaning and the writing of "A Christmas Carol," the Christmas holidays, and his experiences in the town. Given the stark portrayals of poverty in his writing, what would Dickens have made of the Occupy Wall Street Movement? Here’s one person’s take. All in all, the conversation contains holiday wisdom worthy of Dickens’s tale.