The Best Week December 2011

December is here. You’ve waited for it all year, sometimes with giddy anticipation, and finally, it has come. What will you do? Everything, we hope. After all, is this not the season of favorite things? Your friends, your family, your places, your wish list being fulfilled and your compassion rising to aid the charities making Long Island a better place…all the things you love at once! Take it in stride, day by day, to ensure you have the best week.

3 Can’t Miss Events

Dec. 2 @ 7pm
Family Service League
85th Anniversary Gala
Carlyle on the Green (Bethpage)

FSL provides services like counseling, career prep and child summer camp placement for families in crisis. They serve the LIers who might otherwise slip through the cracks.

Dec. 11 @ 4pm
Tree Lighting and Toy Drive
c/o The Maidstone (East Hampton)

Owner Jenny Ljungberg is opening The Living Room to the public and serving hot cocoa, cider, grog and Scandinavian cookies. Music abounds with Brad Beyer on piano and the East Hampton High School Choir leading a singalong. Gifts are being collected for Toys for Tots.

Jan. 10, no earlier than 2:30pm
Ronald McDonald House of Long Island (RMHLI)
Hockey Cup Championship Game
Nassau Coliseum (Uniondale)

Top area junior hockey teams will compete. Tickets: $25, includes Islanders game at 7pm. All proceeds will benefit RMHLI, a “home away from home” for sick kids and their families.

Seven Great Days

At time of printing, some NE ski havens were reporting a few slopes open and anticipating many more to be ready by early December. Spare this day from holiday shopping and make for the trails. While you’re at it, stay overnight to take advantage of no-crowd Mondays. Go ahead, we’ll call in sick for ya.

(See Sunday.) Still around? At least have the good sense to call out of work and do something. Activities on the East End abound on the weekends, get the most of Holidays in the Hamptons by heading out during the week. (See page 116.) On your way back, swing through Riverhead for the hidden and incomparable Farm Country Kitchen, a superb restaurant, if you can get in (BYOB).

This may be the only day you can have to yourself. After work, fix yourself a Pulse Dragon Gin and Tonic (page 38). Get one of the best 2011 movies going in the background (page 103) and start decorating. Rumor has it purple and green are the big colors this season, get the skinny from the Duke of Holiday Decorating on page 92.

There is one thing you can do to make the season complete: Volunteer your time to a local charity (cash isn’t bad, either). Island Harvest needs drivers to assist in food rescue, Toys for Tots needs help distributing toys and other veteran and community organizations are in need of assistance in a range of areas. Here’s your chance to get on the “nice list.”

Work out the mall parking aggression at a hockey game. The Islanders are sticking their way into the new season, which makes for a great late week tension reliever. Afterwards, Mint (Garden City) is the resto-lounge offering Indian fare in a chic, cool atmosphere. And the super-cocktails to go with it.

Holiday shopping is upon you, get to it. Point yourself to the venue of your choice and bang through that list like it’s nobody’s business. Then take a page from a Rockwellian picture book and idle the evening away at one of LI’s destination villages and enjoy the village—wide holiday finery.

Shop the trunk shows at Solomons Jewelers (Plainview) featuring fine brands like Verragio, Anzie’s, Rebecca, Bulova and Marco Bicego. Bond while “she” is picking out what she wants and “he” is being freed of jewelry shopping guesswork. For dinner, Brasserie 214 at The Inn at New Hyde Park specializes in European style comfort food and the international beers to go with it. Live music most Saturdays.