There will be no shortage of Christmas cheer in Bridesburg during the 12 nights leading up to the holiday this year.
Bridesburg resident Stacy Schwab, 54, is once again coordinating with fellow neighbors to organize nightly Christmas activities with a twist.
Last year, the initiative was known as the Bridesburg Christmas Countdown and each night, one or two households would host an activity outside the house.
“It’s an opportunity for families with young children to go out and meet neighbors and celebrate with some holiday activities like crafts, games, movies, treats,” Schwab said, “and just enjoy the holidays through donated and sponsored activities by their neighbors.”
Complimentary activities commenced on Dec. 1 and were offered every night until Dec. 24.
Schwab staged the initiative like a life-sized Advent calendar, with participants going on social media each day to find out which activity was taking place at night.
This year, the project will be known as the 12 Days of Christmas in Bridesburg.
Activities will begin the night of Dec. 12 and run until Dec. 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each night.
“It all stemmed out of this idea we really didn’t have a lot of places to go with the kids and there wasn’t a lot for everyone to do during the lockdown,” Schwab said. “And now, because it was so successful last year, and the kids enjoyed it so much, people reached out to see if we were doing it again.”
Each night will now feature three to four activities at various houses.
This year’s change came at the request of the sponsoring families, according to Schwab.
“They thought it would be better to consolidate several houses into one night over a shorter period of time versus one house every night for more days,” she said.
Also new this year is an optional signup form to help families better plan for the number of participants each night.
“A couple days in advance of each night, we’ll post the houses and what they’re doing and we’re going to ask people to click a sign-up link and let us know they’re coming,” Schwab said.
People are still welcome to participate if they choose not to or forget to sign up, but the hope is to make sure there are enough supplies or snacks for all those who do come out.
Schwab arranged households by category each night featuring crafts, activities, snacks and small gifts.
Renzi’s Pizzeria will kick off the first day of the countdown giving out Santa hats, which can be worn for each of the remaining nights during the countdown.
This year’s activities are similar to last year such as decorating cupcakes and making reindeer food, but there are some new ones including a movie screening night, pet photos with Santa, and Riverfront North Partnership will also sponsor a night.
“With no home in the neighborhood yet, we’ll be setting up at the Bridesburg Rec to share in some holiday festivities,” said Gina Craigo, community engagement manager at Riverfront North.
The nonprofit will be at the rec on Monday, Dec. 13, with a Christmas activity and photo booth pictures to give away.
Ferko String Band will perform for 30 minutes at 7 p.m.
“Riverfront North is continually impressed on how the Bridesburg community comes together in fun and collaborative activities and we’re so thrilled to be part of the festivities this year,” Craigo added.
The 12-day countdown is just a small way to show how special the community is, according to Schwab.
“It’s just for the kids and their families to have an opportunity to enjoy the holiday season and showcase the neighborhood and what a generous and caring community we live in,” Schwab said. “It’s become an opportunity to spread Christmas cheer and do goodwill during the holidays.” ••
For details about the 12 Nights of Christmas in Bridesburg, follow Free Books in Bridesburg on Facebook.