On the to-do list this week: It’s getting to be about that time, if you’re so inclined, to haul a tree into your house. We’ve got everything you need to do just that. And if you’re shopping for gifts, we’ve got some great finds for foodies on your list. Plus, if you’re daydreaming about some winter travel to somewhere warm, we have some tips for knowing the rules and risks.
And remember: We’ve collected our best articles with our best Philly tips. They’re in one place here.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, it’s still a good idea to stay home.
✉️ When do I have to ship a package so it arrives in time for the holidays? by Nick Vadala
🤒 Can you quarantine with your friends if you’re exposed at the same time? by Grace Dickinson
😷 If I’ve had COVID-19, when can I see people again? by Grace Dickinson
🤓 When should I replace my fabric face masks? by Grace Dickinson
» Ask us a question through Curious Philly: inquirer.com/askus
Stay safe, do stuff
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
🍿 PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard (Movies / in-person / drive-in / family friendly / multi-day) The Philadelphia Film Society’s drive-in movies can accommodate up to 200 cars per screening. Holiday programming includes screenings of A Christmas Story, Dec. 5; Polar Express, Dec. 10 (to benefit Philabundance); Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dec. 12; Love Actually, Dec. 17, and Elf, Dec. 19. ($7-$12, screening to Polar Express is free with a donation, through Dec. 19, 6 p.m., filmadelphia.org, map, add to calendar)
It’s tree time. If for no other reason, it will make our work-at-home offices smell a little nicer. If you have yet to grab your tree, here’s a handy guide to make the task easier this year:
Yes, you can get a tree delivered. Delivery is a major theme this year. And Christmas trees are no different. You can pick out a tree in person or order online and get it delivered to your door. Some places will also set it up for you. Get our full list here.
There are lots of tree farms within about an hour’s drive. Whether you want to take out 2020 stress by sawing through a trunk or you just want a nice scenic drive somewhere, there are plenty of Christmas tree farms close to Philly where you can cut your own tree. And, if that sounds like a lot of work, you can buy fresh cut trees from most as well.
Not sure what tree to choose? We got you. If all evergreens sort of seem the same to you, check out our guide to what the varieties are, what the differences are, and how to keep it fresh, and not shedding needles all over your carpet all month long.
It’s perfectly natural to be daydreaming about a trip somewhere sunny now that the weather is getting cold. But is there any possibility that it can happen? Like after the new year? Just for a few days? With worsening numbers but a vaccine coming, what does that really mean for travel this winter? Nick Vadala found out.
Am I allowed to travel? Yes, but it’s not a good idea. With Pennsylvania’s surge in coronavirus cases, there are new restrictions to help curb the climb. Gov. Tom Wolf has issued a statewide stay-at-home advisory, and officials advise against seeing people outside of your immediate household.
Do I have to quarantine if I travel? Possibly. Rules vary by state, but according to the latest Pennsylvania order, if you visit other states, you have to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of coming home or quarantine for 14 days. And the state is stepping up enforcement: If you defy the rules, you could be fined between $25 and $300.
But what about the vaccine? According to reports, it will likely be April before the general public starts getting the vaccine. Which could put the idea of a winter holiday in some perspective.
If I am traveling anyway, how can I make it safer? Part of the answer is some of the same commonsense advice: Stay away from people, stay away from crowds, wear masks, and socially distance. The other information to consider is where the risks are when you travel by air or car, or if you stay in a hotel or rental property. Nick outlines those risks here.
» READ MORE: Can I travel this winter?
If you want to get some holiday shopping done, we can help with that. Here are some great gifts for foodies on your list who have helped you get through this year:
Cheese ornaments? Yes please. Mike Geno, Philadelphia’s renowned cheese painter, is known for dairy portraits that would melt your heart. He’s painted more than 400 cheeses, from ash-ribboned wedges of Morbier to half-moon slices of Bayley Hazen Blue. Now you can adorn your tree with ornaments of some of his work.
Food gifts you can get only in Philly. Cookware from Fante’s, three spirits from Art in the Age, enamel pins of Goldie falafels: We’ve got a roundup of food gifts for the fiercest Philly fan.
These are the best cookbooks to give this year. Most of us have been doing a lot of cooking this year. And a cookbook can help us break out of the rut of our regular rotation. Inquirer food editor Jamila Robinson picked 21 of her faves, including books on soul food, simple dinners, cocktails (and mocktails), and, of course, dessert.
There are new restrictions in place in New Jersey and Philly. Having a hard time keeping track of what the latest rules are? We’ve got it all for you in some handy, easy-to-use guides: