Lord knows there is much to love about the Christmas Village of Philadelphia, the annual outdoor holiday market at LOVE Park that's modeled after traditional German Christmas markets. It opens Thanskgiving Day, runs through Christmas Eve and is studded with wooden stalls just like the ones that dot Germany's quaint villages. I'm a sucker for bratwursts and a gluhwine, stollen and spekulatius, so the food alone is worth several visits to 15th and JFK.
But even without the draw of hot mulled wine, I'd still stop by on Saturday, Nov. 24th, when the market will set up a drop-off location for donations to Liberty USO. The organization, which serves Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is organizing "Operation Stocking Stuffers", a project that will send stockings filled with treats to troops deployed overseas during the holidays. The organization needs 1,000 packages of nuts or trial mix and 1,000 hard-candy packages.
For more info, call Liberty USO at 215-694-555. And if you're wondering why the organization deserves enthusiastic support, click here for a story I wrote two years ago, about how Liberty USO offers soldiers a luxe home away from home - at the Philadelphia International Airport, of all places. These people are angels.