Tag Archives: Holiday

Canada’s Cannabis Advent Calendars, Eh!


Image result for Advent Calendar

Image result for Advent Calendar

Image result for Advent Calendar with Chocolate

With December coming soon in just three days, it’s almost time to break out the advent calendars.  Advent calendars are a fun way to countdown the days until Christmas; they come in various themes within many shapes and sizes.  Some advent calendars feature treats hidden behind the doors.  Hidden treats include chocolate, lotions, alcohol (yes, even alcohol!), and other intriguing collectibles.

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Advent calendars are always in the rage at the end of November.  Everyone looks to get their hands on a calendar once Thanksgiving is over.  One company in Canada is seeing a HIGH demand in their unique advent calendars that feature — wait for it — CANNABIS PRODUCTS.

Image result for Cannabis Advent Calendar

Image result for Cannabis Advent Calendar

You heard me RIGHT, readers – cannabis advent calendars are up for sale!  Canadian company Coast to Coast Medicinals is selling cannabis advent calendars.  These sets of calendars come at $200-$230 ($157-$180 in US Dollars) and feature three options.  The first option provides 26 grams of flowers, another choice features 24 cannabis-infused edibles, and there’s the mixed-bag option (14 grams of flowers and 12 edibles.

Image result for Coast to Coast Medicinals Vancouver

Image result for Coast to Coast Medicinals Vancouver

Coast to Coast Medicinals is based in Vancouver, B.C.  They are one of many medicinal cannabis dispensaries around the area that sell many forms of flowers, concentrates, edibles, topicals, capsules, and other cannabis products.  The company operated earlier this year, but their business has been skyrocketing due to the large demand of pre-orders for the cannabis calendars.

Image result for Canada Cannabis

Image result for Canada Cannabis

Not only is this genius marketing tactic perfect timing for the Christmas season, but it’s also relevant to Canada’s transition period for the cannabis industry.  Canada is looking to legalize recreational use in July 1st of next year and the government has been working ruthlessly to set plans into place.  If all goes accordingly well, the country of Canada could be going to pot (LITERALLY!).

Image result for Dockside Cannabis Seattle

Image result for Dockside Cannabis Calendar

What’s interesting is that Coast to Coast Medicinals isn’t the only cannabis company utilizing this marketing tactic.  Seattle-based dispensary Dockside Cannabis started selling their cannabis advent calendars last year.  Customers can choose from either the 12-day calendar for $160 or the full 25-day adventure for $300.  You’ll have to celebrate in Seattle if you truly want a Happy Holidaze!

Image result for Advent Calendar

Image result for Advent Calendar

The cannabis-themed advent calendar is a fantastic idea!  I enjoy opening up the doors on the advent calendar each year and providing cannabis products into the mix would make the experience that much more enjoyable.  It’s an interesting product that mixes the traditional spirit of Christmas with the modern socio-progressive liberal stance towards legalizing cannabis.

Image result for Canada Medicinal Cannabis

Image result for Canada Medicinal Cannabis

Many Canadians have been leaning towards legalizing recreational use for the country, with the release of these cannabis advent calendars proving as a great example.  Canada legalized medicinal cannabis in 2001 and the cannabis industry has been flourishing since.  With cannabis legalization spreading nationwide, it’s about HIGH time we mix our holiday traditions with a modern spin.

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Image result for Cannabis Advent Calendar

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Cannabis advent calendars prove that we have come a very long way from cannabis prohibition.  What was once sold in the clear plastic bag is now being placed inside a small box to open up before Christmas.  It’s like the ugly duckling of the consumerist world became the beautiful swan that it is today.  So much PR nightmares made cannabis become this ugly duckling that no one would bother caring for.  It took years (even DECADES!) for this ugly duckling to transform into the magnificent swan.

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Here’s to Coast to Coast Medicinals for helping that swan look more gorgeous than ever.  It’s cannabis companies like them that will help the cannabis industry grow even further.

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Boston Gets LIT: 11/27-12/1


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Welcome back readers!  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.  I’ve spent many days gobbling down some tasty food and now I’m slowly creeping into the work mode.  It’ll be a while before I slip back into the normal routine.

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Image result for Winter is Coming

Nevertheless, MakeSandcastlesNotWar will be cranking out some juicy stories happening around the holidays!  Thanksgiving may be over, but Christmas is around the corner.  December starts in four days and the weather is only getting colder.  It’s just like what the motto of House Stark from Game of Thrones once said – Winter is Coming.

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Image result for Tree Lighting

Winter is DEFINTELY coming, folks!  With a new season comes the festival holidays before we ring in the new year (2017 went by FAST!).  Nevertheless, we are trading in our pumpkin lighting for tree lighting.

Tree lightings are a lot of fun to go to.  I love seeing the decorated Christmas tree and waiting for the countdown until the lights turn on.  This yearly tradition of the tree lighting marks the start of a warm and joyous season.

Image result for boston tree lighting

Image result for boston tree lighting

I already checked out the Salem Holiday Tree Lighting (which was absolutely fantastic!) and I’m excited for more to come.  Surely enough, there are more tree lighting events happening around the city of Boston.  There’s a tree lighting event happening every day this week and MakeSandcastlesNotWar has you covered on when they will be happening.

Here’s the lowdown on Boston’s Christmas Tree Lighting Celebrations:

Today – Copley Square

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Image result for Boston Copley Square Old South Church

Our first tree lighting of the week kicks off at Copley Square.  The event goes on at 5:00-6:00, with the Old South Church bell tolling when then lights go on.  Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty will be joining us as well as music from local chorus groups.  Other than the tree lighting, the Boston Public Library will be hosting story time and candy cane tea from 3-4:30.  This event may be free, but you must call ahead to make the reservations.  Be sure to swing by the Fairmont Copley Plaza for a post-lighting reception at 6 PM.

Tuesday 11/28 – Massachusetts State House

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Image result for MA State House Rotunda

Tomorrow’s tree lighting will take place over at the Massachusetts State House.  A giant Christmas tree will light up in the Rotunda, followed by an open house and visit from Santa at Doric Hall.  The tree will be lit at 5 PM tomorrow.

Wednesday 11/29 – Faneuil Marketplace

Image result for faneuil marketplace boston

Image result for faneuil marketplace boston

If you’re in Faneuil Marketplace on Wednesday, be sure to check out the tree lighting ceremony.  The event will begin at 7 PM and the tree will light up at around 8 PM.  Blink! (the music-light show on the Christmas tree) will start at 4:30 and run every hour from then until January 1st from 4:30-9:30 daily.  You definitely don’t want to miss Blink! this season.

Thursday 11/30 – Boston Common

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Take a stroll through the Boston Common this Thursday for another festive tree lighting event.  Head over near the Visitors Information Center on Tremont Street to find the tree.  Refreshments, entertainment, and music will be provided by local groups.  Lights on the tree (almost 7,000 in total!) will be lit around 7:55 PM, as well as the lights on 80+ other trees throughout the Common and Public Garden.  This show will close with a joyous firework display over the Common.

Friday 12/1 – North End

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Image result for Boston North End Hanover and Cross Street

The first Christmas tree lighting on the first day of December will take place in the North End.  Walk over to the corner of Hanover and Cross streets to enjoy some light refreshments.  Other than the tree lighting, the North End’s Holiday Stroll takes place as well.  All of this will go from 6-8 PM on Friday.

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That’s it for the 411 on Boston’s tree lighting events.  Be sure to check out a tree lighting event if you are ever in the area (better yet, go to ALL of them if you can!).  The holiday season is upon us and Boston will be filled with Christmas cheer.

Come out and celebrate the beginning of the cheerful and joyous season of winter!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I’m thankful for all of my amazing readers for following this incredible journey.

Come back tomorrow for another epic discussion in the world of entertainment PR

Jon Carey
MakeSandcastlesNotWar President/CEO

Santa Clause Swings By Spooky Salem!


It’s been almost a month since Salem celebrated another fantastic Halloween celebration and now the city’s got another holiday event – Santa Claus heading to town and the lighting of the Salem Holiday Tree!

Santa’s Arrival & Holiday Tree Lighting

SMS Tree Lighting and Santa 2015 - Photo Credit Creative Salem

That’s right folks – Santa Claus will be making his appearance yet again in Salem!  Santa Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel, which is at 18 Washington Square West.  He will be arriving on 6:00 p.m. at the rooftop (with some help from the Salem Fire Department!).

If you’re interested in attending, I’d recommend arriving to the Salem Common by 5:45 p.m. to catch Santa’s arrival.  Bring your friends and family for a night of carols, festivities, and lots of fun!

After Santa arrives, we will be followed by a procession down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall towards Lappin Park (its nest to the Bewitched Statue within the intersection of Essex and Washington Street), where we will join Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Santa for the Holiday Tree Lighting.  Everyone is also welcome to bring lanterns to carry with them.  Both store-bought or homemade would work great.

Special Guest: Angie Miller

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Another special guest that we are thrilled to have is North Shore’s own Angie Miller.  She will be leading several holiday songs for the Tree Lighting at Lappin Park.  Angie Miller is most known for being a finalist on season 12 of American Idol.  Since then, Angie Miller resides in Los Angeles and is enjoying her flourishing career (she goes by her artist name Zealyn).

Salem Main Streets (SMS)

Salem Main Streets (SMS) continues to revitalize downtown Salem as the vibrant, year-round, dining, retail, and cultural destination it is today.  Some of the many community events and initiatives that SMS supports include Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, the Salem Farmers’ Market, and most especially the October Information Booth.  It’s so exciting to see another holiday event sweeping through downtown Salem this week!

Many thanks go out to the Hawthorne Hotel, Remix Church, Gigi Gill, the City of Salem, and many other community partners that helped make these events happen.  Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Francis donated this year’s tree in memory of Joseph R. Ingemi III.  The tree will be secured and decorated by the City of Salem Tree Department, with assistance from Mayer Tree Service as well as Spencer Contracting for transportation and installation.  Many donations went towards the lights and decorations, with many donations stemming from Salem’s October visitors via Gigi Gill.

About Salem

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Image result for Salem Witch Trials

Salem has a colorful and bizarre history, being known for the infamous ‘Salem Witch Trials’ event.  The Salem Witch Trials was a disturbing event during the 17th century in which many individuals were accused of witchcraft and black magic.  These creepy tales modified Salem as the Witch City it is today.  Many shops feature products of witchcraft such as wands, capes, hex bags, potions, and many other kooky things involving black magic.

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That ‘black magic’ flows through the streets during October when Salem residents gear up for Halloween month.  Halloween is Salem’s most significant event of the year, with hundreds of thousands of tourists from all across the nation to visit the Witch City.  While other events are held every month, nothing comes close to the spookiness that is Halloween.

Image result for Salem LGBTQ

Image result for Salem LGBTQ

Centuries later and Salem continues to be the spooky ‘Witch City’ that it is today.  Minorities were oppressed during the 17th century, with some women sentenced to death due to witchcraft.  But celebrities like Gigi Gill are flipping the city upside-down – fighting back against those who are preventing Salem from flourishing higher.  Gigi provides as a quintessential example that people from all walks of life are welcome.  Leaders like Gigi help make Salem a better place not just for the LGBTQ community, but for other communities as well.

If you’re looking for something to do after Thanksgiving, I definitely recommend checking out Santa’s Arrival & the Holiday Tree Lighting in Salem.  It’s going to be quite the event to ring in the holiday season!

For those looking for more information on any of the events, feel free to contact Salem Main Streets Executive Director Kylie Sullivan at kylie@salemmainstreets.org. Feel free to follow Salem Main Streets on Twitter and Facebook.

Until then, Happy Holidays!

Bong Appetit’s Halloweed Criss-Cross!


Image result for Halloween

Image result for Halloween

Happy Halloween Eve!  Just one day left until we get to celebrate the spookiest day of the year.  We’ve got cold weather, blustery wind swishing everything around, loads of candy being handed out, and people roaming around everywhere in costumes.  The spirit of Halloween is strong these days (most especially in Salem, MA!).

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Halloween may not be as entertaining to me now that I’m an adult with REAL plans these days, but I still enjoy watching the holiday-themed content on my favorite series.  Viceland’s Bong Appetit celebrated the holiday with a special HalloWEED party (get it? Halloweed, Halloween?).    The cast and crew got into the Halloween spirit with some cannabis-infused treats for the guest; they ended the dinner party in true Bong Appetit fashion – dabbing and smoking out of creature-shaped bongs.

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But the best part about last week’s episode?  The guest starring chefs that came back to create another entrée for the menu.  Four chefs from previous episodes of Bong Appetit created their own dish, each with their own Halloween twist.  It’s time to celebrate what’s known as the Bong Appetit TV Criss-Cross!

David Wilcox (Season 2, Episode 8)

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Our first TV criss-cross starts with David Wilcox.  David graced us with the cannabis-infused beef-tartare while dressing as a zombie for the night.  You’ll remember David back in the episode ‘Grow to Table Cuisine’ when they filmed at the ranch in Malibu.  Props to David for dressing up as a zombie while serving the beef!

Badmaash chefs Arjun and Nakul (Season 2, Episode 13)

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The Badmaash brothers Arjun and Nakul Mahendro returned to the Bong Appetit kitchen to create yet another Indian dish.  They first appeared on the episode ‘Tandoori Toke Fest’ to prepare some meals for the Indian dinner party (with some smokeable puri for afterwards!).  The eyeballs made from eggs and olives were a really creative idea for the curry they served for the Halloween feast.  Who knew that even Indian dishes could get a taste of Halloween?

Natalia Pereira (Season 2, Episode 16)

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          Brazilian chef Natalia Pereira came back to prepare the desert.  Pereira was on the last episode titled ‘Cannabis Coconut Stew’ where she created some amazing Brazilian meals.  She came back to prepare some chocolate brigadeiro spiders (infused with cannabis, of course!).

Devon Tarby (Season 1, Episode 5)

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          Last, but not least, we have the cocktail mixer Devon Tarby.  Tarby first appeared in the episode ‘Tour de Terpenes’ back in season 1.  She made those incredible cannabis-inspired cocktails that went well with those various dab rips (that apple pipe drink was easily the best concoction I EVER saw on that show!).

Devon Tarby whipped up some cocktail resembling something that looked like witch’s brew.  This bright-orange colored drink was the perfect potion to drink for Halloween.  Just like back in season one, Tarby utilized cannabis flavors to the very fullest for a creative potion drink.

That’s it for today’s TV criss-cross.  Who knows what interesting guests we’ll run into next on Bong Appetit or other series.  Until then, get ready for Halloween tomorrow!