12 ways to do the 12 Days of Christmas, Akron style

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(Featured photo: Dina Younis/Dina's Days blog) 

Santa’s almost here and that means Christmas time—with its seemingly month-long build-up—is almost over. Cue the sad strings music. Or that whah-whah-wha-whah sound when you lose on The Price Is Right. Either way, it sucks, eh? And just when you were starting to relax a little, realizing the holidays aren’t all about shopping but hanging out with people you like and sharing a few drinks—you know, the Christmas spirit.

Now, it’s all done… …or is it?

You might remember this little thing called “The 12 Days of Christmas”. Well, guess what. That doesn’t even start until Christmas Day so really, you’ve got until January 6, 2015—or the Feast of the Epiphany, if that’s your thing—to enjoy the season.

And that’s where this list comes in handy. Here are 12 ways to do this 12 days of Christmas thing Akron style.

The Waitresses, “Christmas Wrapping”

If you’ve been listening to 91.3 The Summit, you’ve probably already heard this a few times. Good for you because it’s a great tune. But you know, it’s a specifically Akron song. (Who do we speak to about making this the official Christmas song of Akron?) That’s because The Waitresses were a specifically Akron band, conceived by Tin Huey’s Chris Butler.

In a video interview with NME, Butler told the story about how the song came about at the request of the band’s label and that it’s rise to popularity—which hit before “I Know What Boys Like”—was a shock.
“It was a real surprise because it was supposed to be a toss-off favor to our label, and who knew?”

LeBron isn’t the only one who comes back to Akron

There are two exciting homecoming concerts on Friday, December 26. I mean, yeah it was nice spending all that time with your family on Christmas Day. But now don’t you need to blow off some steam because you spent all day with your family? Well, you aren’t alone.

Here are two shows to help you unwind:

  1. Ghostman & Sandman at Thursday’s Lounge, 9 pm ($5)
  2. Ballroom Boxer/the Whiskey Drifters with Ottawa at Musica, 9 pm ($10)

Details on both in “14 Days Ahead

18th annual Illstyle Rockers Christmas Jam

For almost two decades, the Illstyle Rockers crew has unleashed the four elements of hip-hop in this annual Christmas Jam. That makes it an Akron institution in our book. You should party accordingly at Annabell’s on Saturday, December 27.

I’ll-a have-a blue… blue Santa

Hey Elvis, forget that whole “Blue Christmas” thing and get with Akron’s Blue Santa, unearthed when Lock 3 was being excavated. The little figurine is a tie back to the beginnings of the toy industry here in Akron. Get the story at The Akronist.

Gear Up

A new year approaches and there may be no better time to be an Akronite. Show your pride by shopping extra-local. Grab your Neighbors Apparel, which we profiled last month, online or in person at Market Path and NOTO. Be all about the bounce back with Rubber City Clothing. Rock your Akron pride everywhere with some gear from Rockeverywear. And/or study up on your Akronology.

Beer Up

Christmas Ale is a thing in northeast Ohio and our local brews reflect the best of this tradition. Personally, I’ll take Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas over Great Lakes’s Christmas Ale every day of the season.  Same goes for the Frosted Frog Christmas Ale at Hoppin’ Frog. And if microbrew is too big for you, hit the taps at our nanobreweries like Trailhead and Aqueduct who each have Christmas Ale’s among their offerings.

RELATED: Trailhead Brewery is proof Eli Smart wants you to be happy

Buddy Up

Find your people in 2015. Want to learn more about Akron’s neighborhoods? Take an Akron2Akron walking tour. Into tech? Check out Akron.io. All about local startups? Dig on Built In Akron. Spend some time browsing MeetUp groups in and around Akron to find other film aficionados, beer lovers, coders, hikers, foodies, newbies, writers and explorers of all stripes.

Watch TV with Joanna Wilson, Pop Culture Christmas Expert

You may recognize her name from the “Akron A to Z” or the amazing Akron Empire blog, but Joanna Wilson is more than just the resident Akronness Akroness. She’s all about the place where pop culture and Christmas time intersect and has written several books about it already, including “Merry Musical Christmas, Volume One”, “The Christmas TV Companion: a Guide to Cult Classics, Strange Specials and Outrageous Oddities” and “Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-Themed Episodes, Specials and Made-for-TV Movies”. In the spring of 2015, she’s releasing one that hits closer to home with a book about Archie the Snowman.  Get a preview of it here.

Pancakes, Putt-Putt and Decorations at O’Neil’s but in Lock 3

Once Christmas goes, Santa goes into hibernation so the breakfasts at Lock 3 that bear his name become just pancake breakfasts, but that means you still get to stroll through the nostalgia from bygone years of decorations—including Peter Pan and the Wizard of Oz …because Christmas?—from the old O’Neil’s department store, which closed downtown in 1989. (Skip across the street to see window displays from the old Polsky’s too.)

Deck the awe-inspiring, hand-carved wood-paneled halls

Christmas lights and big, amazingly well-built houses are always lovely, so don’t let the fact that Christmas has passed stop you from going to Stan Hywet.

Shiver ye timbers on New Year’s Eve

Local wife and hubby duo the Shivering Timbers are performing at the library downtown for First Night Akron. That’s all kind of Rubber City goodness wrapped up in a neat little $10 package. (PS – Watch out for the #BetterAkron2015 videos put together by First Night Akron and The Akronist.)

Start growing a beard so you can be Santa Claus next year

This video at The Akronist does a cool job getting behind the scenes with a “real beard” Santa. Just seeing St. Nick in a sweater is reason enough to hit play.

Got something we didn’t mention? Want to let us know something you love that we missed? Comment below and we’ll check it out. 

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