It's not quite baseball season, but for my colleague Bob Brookover it's the perfect time to take a look at how far the Phillies have come. Today that includes a three-part series on the team's connections to Latin America, from their roster to their work in Venezuela. It's a must-read for any Philly sports fan. It is the holiday season, though, and if you're in the market for a Christmas tree, it's your lucky day: we've got a guide to picking the right one and keeping it alive.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

To win baseball these days, a team has to be good at signing and developing players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and the other countries where it is the king of sports.

The Phillies have taken that to heart, using the most Latino players of any team in the National League in 2018 — and their influence is felt on and off the field.

In a new three-part series, reporter Bob Brookover examines the bond between the Phillies' Latino athletes, the roster's lack of Latino superstars, and the team's continuing work in Venezuela during civil unrest.

Once again, the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s annual present to the city — free Saturdays at parking meters Thanksgiving through New Year’s — is making seasons bright … for some.

The PPA and local businesses pitch the gift as a way to attract out-of-towners to the city's holiday events and shopping. But critics point out that the agency loses $400,000 of its annual parking meter revenue, a portion of which goes to Philadelphia schools, in exchange for this "gift."

No one quite knows whether the free parking actually does boost city businesses, and so the debate rages on.

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it’s time for many Philadelphians to put up their Christmas trees. If you’re looking for one that will last you through New Year’s, follow reporter Grace Dickinson’s tree-hunting advice.

More holiday advice comes courtesy of columnist Elizabeth Wellington: she traveled around Philly to find the best specialty boutiques with unique gifts for everyone on your list.

If you still have time (and energy) after all that shopping, you can keep spirits bright this week by creating a Philly-themed advent calendar in time for Dec. 1.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

That sparkly display is such a gift to holiday visitors, isn't it @justseas_21?

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

Opinions

November 29, 2018
Signe Wilkinson
November 29, 2018
"Kenney's not afraid to sue the Trump administration over his sanctuary city policies, or convince a reticent City Council to back his soda tax, take on running the school district, or antagonize his South Philly base by suggesting we move the Frank Rizzo statue. But street sweeping really, parking is a bridge too far."
— Columnist Mike Newall on Mayor Kenney’s “positively Dickensian” view of street sweeping.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Miracles

Talk about living life in the fast lane: earlier this month a South Philly woman delivered her own baby in the middle of a snowstorm on I-95 in Boston in a car going 90 miles per hour.