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Asheboro Magazine-Local Holiday Shopping Guide Revised

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This Local Holiday Shopping Guide was designed to help you “think local first.” Along with great Christmas stories, cookie recipes and community-focused articles, there are pages designed to highlight all the wonderful things that are available right here in your own backyard. You can get a personalized cake pan, a hand-painted platter, real and silk flowers, designer clothing (new and gently worn), a zoo membership, unique artwork, groovy furniture, jewelry, discounts on European travel, wine, beer and much, much more. If you think about it, there really isn’t any reason to shop anywhere else. Shopping and generosity aside, it is my sincerest hope that you and yours have a very happy and safe holiday season.
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  • ASHEBORO magazine

    Local Holiday Shopping Guide

    December 2010 Revised Special Edition Complimentary

    tips for a stress free christmas

    top 10 christmas books

    be a santa to a senior

  • Reduce. Resale. Reuse.asheboRos laRgest one stop

    upscale consignment shop

    Ladies Kids Maternity Apparel Handbags Jewelry & Shoes Danceware Trendy Luggage Baby Equipment Toys Quality Furniture Home Decor

    1520 e. dixie dR. suite l asheboRo noRth caRolina 27203336.625.2742

    Quality Clothing & Accessories for the entire family!! Baby Equipment-Toys-Furniture & Home Decor.

    Expansion of All About Fashion is NOW IN

    PROGRESS! Hope to be completed by Dec.

    18th! 2,000 sq. ft. offering MORE furniture,

    Home Decor & New Line of Office Furniture at

    Wholesale Prices!

    We take pride in offering top name brands at an

    affordable price!

    All About Fashion

    Have furniture you want to sell? Let US do it for you...Hassle FREE!

    OPEN HOUSEDecember 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

    LOTS OF NEW INVENTORY WILL BE OUT ON THE SALE FLOOR!

    EXTRA 10-25% OFFALL PURCHASES(OPEN HOUSE SPECIAL)

    REFRESHMENTS$50 Gift Certificate Drawing & More

    (OPEN HOUSE SPECIAL)

    Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers Welcome

  • 4 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    letters from the publisher

    PUBLISHERSherry B. Johnson, ext. 802

    [email protected]

    VPBUSINESSDEVELOPMENTDavid A. Johnson, ext. 801

    [email protected]

    STAFFPHOTOGRAPHERLauren Johnson, ext [email protected]om

    [email protected]

    www.asheboromagazine .comT |336.698.3889 F | 866.559.2920

    Content deadline for the December edition is November 26, 2010.

    This is a special electronic edition of Asheboro Magazine

    designed specifically to encourage our readers to

    Think Local First when holiday shopping. The group of local merchants featured here has much to offer in the way of

    unique and meaningful gifts and we strongly encourage you to shop local because

    the benefits to the community are tremendous. This holiday,

    Think Local First.

    Asheboro Magazine is published monthly by Crown Harbor Marketing, Inc. Any reproduction or duplication of any part thereof must be done with the written permission of the Publisher. All information included herein is correct to the best of our knowledge as of the publication date. Corrections should be forwarded to the Publisher at the address above.

    Disclaimer: The paid advertisements contained within Asheboro Magazine are not endorsed or recommended by the Publisher. Therefore, neither party may be held liable for the business practices of these companies.

    incorporate several different beliefs and celebrations, so that our children would understand many cultures. We called the holiday Christ-hanu-kwanza and with the help of my mother-in-law, we took the time to really learn about the differences in the cultures and integrated pieces of each. They learned songs from all three celebrations. They researched the different foods that were served at each celebration and we combined some of each in a wonderful Christmas Eve feast. We enjoyed the planning, preparing and sharing of each stage of the holiday.

    You may find this offensive, my parents thought it just plain weird, however, our children were so excited to take part and learn the different stories and traditions of each holiday. It was another way of celebrating and rejoicing together. We had a wonderful holiday and the kids talked about it for months after.

    No matter what way you celebrate the coming holidays, be safe and be happy.

    Merry Christmas!!

    Sincerely,

    Sherry Sherry Johnson, Publisher

    facebook.com/asheboromagazine

    Dear Reader,

    Ah, the holidays. I love this time of year. The twinkling of lights decorating trees both inside and out, the good cheer that is so contagious throughout the shops and offices, and above all, the anticipation on childrens faces because they know its now or never and they better behave or Santa is going to hear about it!

    Tis the season to be merry, to put aside petty disputes and grievances with loved ones, and rejoice in the fact that we are celebrating with family and friends the birth of Jesus Christ. Nothing is more important than family, and no matter what your differences are, big or small, they stick by you, coach you, prod you, and above all LOVE you. Make sure that you tell your loved ones as often as you can that you love and cherish them, for our time on earth is finite, and you dont ever want to regret not vocalizing whats in your heart.

    Several years ago, my kids asked why we didnt celebrate Hanukah. I explained to them that we were not of the Jewish faith, and that we celebrate Christmas. They had so many questions about the differences that Dave and I sat down and talked about the holidays. We decided to create a new family holiday tradition and

    ASHEBORO magazine

    Local Holiday Shopping Guide

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 5

    revisedspecialedition table of contents

    22

    thebigwheel

    think local firstasheboro shops

    3 sallaboutfashion7 af&g8 stateoftheartcustom

    framing9 burgeflowershop10 charmed11 stones&taylors12 reddoorbargain boutique13 picketfenceinteriors &gifts14 north carolina zoological society16 lumina wine and beer17 groovyscavenger18 dishn19 incantatotours21 circagallery24 flipflops25 all-startrophies& engraving25 flowersfrombettys

    barn28 santoshayoga29 brewbakescoffee&

    cakes30 treesNC31 asheborozumba

    features

    In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone.

    tips for a stress free christmas

    15

    christmas cookie recipes

    15

    heaven & angels sing

    23

    christmas traditions-how they got started

    26

    top 10 christmas books

    32

    be a santa to a senior

    34

  • 6 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    editorial dave 2.0 beta

    I cant believe it is that time of year again. It really crept up on me this year and I can hardly believe there is only one month between now

    and Christmas Day. This year is going to be especially memorable for the John-son family. We are in a new house in a new city that, oddly, feels like it has al-ways been home. We have new friends with whom we will, undoubtedly, create new traditions. And, we have a new family business that allows us to share our passion with all our new friends in our new city. Best of all, I talked Sherry into buying a fake Christmas tree last year that already has lights on it, so I dont have the unpleasant task of string-ing lights this year. This may not sound like a big deal but you have to realize that Sherrys father was a tree farmer and to her, owning a fake tree is akin to an Eski-mo having a plastic igloo or Santa Claus having robotic reindeer. For me, its all about convenience.

    During this time of year, as a family, we reflect on the many things that we have to be thankful for. It is easy to take things like a roof over our head, food on our table, time spent with loved ones and everything else for granted. How-ever, there are plenty of folks out there that, for whatever reason, are not as fortunate as we are. It is these people that I would ask you to consider dur-ing this joyous time of year. If you are

    able, please be especially generous this year as there are still large numbers of families that are feeling the impact of the slowly recovering economy. And, if you are finding yourself a little short in the resource department, please reflect on the things that you have to be fortu-nate about versus the gifts you may not be able to buy. Remember, a hand-made gift from the heart (like cookies) is just as valuable, if not more so, than anything that can be purchased.

    While you are making your list and checking it twice, please think local first. We have a tremendously vibrant retail community here in Asheboro and keeping your money local helps busi-ness owners and the community grow. If you have to go out of town to purchase something, please remember to finish up your shopping locally. And, if you are doing any shopping on the Internet, please remember that even though it is convenient and sometimes less ex-pensive, that money is leaving our com-munity and will never return. In other words, think local first - it really does benefit everyone. And, with gas prices being close to $3.00 per gallon, shop-ping local makes sense from your wal-lets perspective, too.

    This Local Holiday Shopping Guide was designed to help you think local first. Along with great Christmas sto-ries, cookie recipes and community-fo-cused articles, there are pages designed to highlight all the wonderful things that are available right here in your own backyard. You can get a personalized cake pan, a hand-painted platter, real and silk flowers, designer clothing (new and gently worn), a zoo membership, unique artwork, groovy furniture, jew-elry, discounts on European travel, wine, beer and much, much more. If you think about it, there really isnt any reason to shop anywhere else.

    Shopping and generosity aside, it is my sincerest hope that you and yours have a very happy and safe holiday sea-son.

    Dave

    MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN

    20

    11 EXPANDING YOUR COMMUNITY

    YMCA IN 2011!ADDITIONS-6,000 Sq Ft Fitness Center-3 Group Fitness Studios-Adult Only Locker Rooms-Community Meeting Room-Teen & Senior Center

    RENOVATIONS-Family Locker Rooms-Nursery-Youth Programs Center-Pool-Gymnasium

    BREAKING GROUND IN JANUARY!

    JOIN DECEMBER 13, 2010-FEBRUARY 14, 2011 FORNo Joinging Fees (SAVE $70-$100)! Heated/Indoor/25 Meter Pool, Three-Court Gymnasium, Wellness Center,

    Two Racquetball Courts, Youth/Adult/Senior Fitness, $25 Registration Fee For Afterschool Programs Waived!

    MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN

    20

    11 EXPANDING YOUR COMMUNITY

    YMCA IN 2011!ADDITIONS-6,000 Sq Ft Fitness Center-3 Group Fitness Studios-Adult Only Locker Rooms-Community Meeting Room-Teen & Senior Center

    RENOVATIONS-Family Locker Rooms-Nursery-Youth Programs Center-Pool-Gymnasium

    BREAKING GROUND IN JANUARY!

    JOIN DECEMBER 13, 2010-FEBRUARY 14, 2011 FORNo Joinging Fees (SAVE $70-$100)! Heated/Indoor/25 Meter Pool, Three-Court Gymnasium, Wellness Center,

    Two Racquetball Courts, Youth/Adult/Senior Fitness, $25 Registration Fee For Afterschool Programs Waived!

    MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN

    20

    11 EXPANDING YOUR COMMUNITY

    YMCA IN 2011!ADDITIONS-6,000 Sq Ft Fitness Center-3 Group Fitness Studios-Adult Only Locker Rooms-Community Meeting Room-Teen & Senior Center

    RENOVATIONS-Family Locker Rooms-Nursery-Youth Programs Center-Pool-Gymnasium

    BREAKING GROUND IN JANUARY!

    JOIN DECEMBER 13, 2010-FEBRUARY 14, 2011 FORNo Joinging Fees (SAVE $70-$100)! Heated/Indoor/25 Meter Pool, Three-Court Gymnasium, Wellness Center,

    Two Racquetball Courts, Youth/Adult/Senior Fitness, $25 Registration Fee For Afterschool Programs Waived!

    EXPANDING YOURCOMMUNITY

    YMCA IN 2011!

    MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN

    20

    11 EXPANDING YOUR COMMUNITY

    YMCA IN 2011!ADDITIONS-6,000 Sq Ft Fitness Center-3 Group Fitness Studios-Adult Only Locker Rooms-Community Meeting Room-Teen & Senior Center

    RENOVATIONS-Family Locker Rooms-Nursery-Youth Programs Center-Pool-Gymnasium

    BREAKING GROUND IN JANUARY!

    JOIN DECEMBER 13, 2010-FEBRUARY 14, 2011 FORNo Joinging Fees (SAVE $70-$100)! Heated/Indoor/25 Meter Pool, Three-Court Gymnasium, Wellness Center,

    Two Racquetball Courts, Youth/Adult/Senior Fitness, $25 Registration Fee For Afterschool Programs Waived!

    BREAKING GROUND IN JANUARY!MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN

    JOIN DECEMBER 13, 2010-FEBRUAURY 14,

    2011 FOR...No Joining Fees (SAVE $70-$100)! Heated/

    Indoor/25 Meter Pool, Three-Court Gymnasium, Wellness

    Center, Two Racquetball Courts, Youth/Adult/Senior

    Fitness, $25 Registration Fee for Afterschool Programs

    Waived!

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 7

    Jewelry, Gifts & Flowers!336.629.1402

    1505 S. Fayetteville St. Asheboro

    Pre-wrapped Hostess GiftsHoliday Decor Great Gift Ideas

    FREE GIFT WRAP

    Asheboro's most unique gift shop for you, your home and

    your outdoor space!

    af&g1505s.fayettevillest.asheboro

  • 8 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    Orders for this beautiful time-limited gicle will be accepted from October 4th through November 27th, 2010 with the edition size being determined at the end

    of the reservation period. The issue price is $250.

    150 Sunset Ave. Asheboro 336.629.7377stateoftheart.art thatfi ts.com

    150sunsetave.asheborostateoftheartcustomframing

    stateof theART.ar tthatf i ts .com

    150 Sunset AveAsheboro, NC 27203

    336.629.7377 p336.629.2699 f

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 9

    FLOWER SHOP, INC.

    Were Giving Away BURGE BUCKS!

    www.burgef lowers.com

    625 S. Fayetteville St. Asheboro336.625.3466

    Earn $1 for every $10 Purchase made in the store between Nov. 12 & Dec. 24, then redeem your

    BURGE BUCKS Jan. 1 - Mar. 31, 2011

    Burge Flower Shop proudly serves Asheboro, Randleman and Ramseur. Burge

    Flower Shop in Asheboro, NC delivers fresh flowers to those you care about at the following facilities: Carillon Assisted Living, Carolina House Of Asheboro, Clapp's Convalescent Nursing,

    Cross Road Retirement Community, Gailes Funeral Home, Inc, Loflin Funeral Home, Pugh Funeral Home, Randolph Cancer Center, Randolph Hospital, Randolph Health and Rehabilitation, Randolph Memorial Park, Ridge Funeral Home, Sunbridge Care & Rehab. Burge Flower Shop has a large inventory of fresh flowers, tropicals, plants, European/dish gardens, contemporary and traditional arrangements, high-style floral arrangements, silk arrangements, dried floral arrangements, wedding and funeral designs. Burge carries an extensive gift line, including gourmet and fruit baskets, gift baskets, greeting cards, candles, Willow Tree

    Ornaments, and Anna Lee Dolls.

    burgeflowershop,inc.625s.fayettevillest.asheboro

  • 10 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    CHARMED.925 Sterling Silver

    212 Sunset Ave. Asheboro336.610.1110 336.202.9862beencharmed.vpweb.com

    Rosette sets designer styles Swarovski crystal pieces Italian charm bracelets and

    beads adult and children rings a variety of chain styles and lengths Stainless Steel rings,

    chains, and bracelets for men

    212sunsetave.asheborocharmed

    Charmed officially began in January of 2010 after my dear paternal

    grandfather passed away at the age of 91 in September of 2009. Because of the love and generosity he always had for his two children, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, his strong work ethic, and his survival spirit, I dedicate my business to him. After transcribing for 11

    years, I decided I was ready for a career change. I have told each of my three boys to decide what their passion is in life and to find a way to make a living from it. So I took my own advice....I have always loved flashy, yet classy, quality jewelry, but couldn't always afford it and I figured there had to be other people out there just like me! So with the guidance, advice, and many tips from a 14-year 'veteran' of this industry, CHARMED was born....and I can now provide quality Sterling Silver jewelry at very reasonable and affordable prices to all the folks just like me...and because of this, Charmed has and is gaining more and more loyal customers each day. Now the exciting part begins....YOU get to join the club and become one of those lucky customers! Charmed now has a physical, permanent store front! Come

    check out all our new silver jewelry and cool purses and totes!! However, we will still come to you if you wish....we will set up at your home, your office, your business, your church, your school, your club, etc....and we have great incentives for you for doing so! However, if it is easier on you, we are now able to host shows from our store...you invite your guests and you all simply come to the store for the show...and YOU still receive all the hostess perks! And just like before, we have no presentation, no sales pitches, and we are not looking to recruit anyone!

    We just want you to have an enjoyable shopping time without being under any pressure whatsoever! Contact us today to set up a shopping showtime for you and your friends, family, and coworkers.

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 11

    www.stonesandtaylors .com

    161 B & C Hwy. 42 N. Asheboro Stones-336.625.9652 Taylors 336.318.1122

    We Have Just the Thing toMake the Holidays Memorable & Special

    stones&taylors161B&Chwy.42n.asheboro

    this holiday season, we wish you i cy cold SNOWFLAKES s t e a m i n g h o t c h o c o l a t eENDLESS belly laughsand plenty of warm hugsenjoy the holidays and have a wonderful new year!

    with love,The Staff at Stones & Taylors

  • 12 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    THE RED DOOR BARGAIN BOUTIQUEShop to Stop Domestic Violence

    New To You Womens Clothing & Accessories

    Donate Clothing and Accessories and receive 10% off your next purchaseMon. - Fri. 10 am - 5 pm Sat. 10 am - 3 pm

    113 E. Taft St. Asheboro 336.626.4159

    All Proceeds Support Randolph County Family Crisis Center

    113e.taftst.asheborothereddoorbargainboutique

    All proceeds from the Red Door Bargain Boutique benefit the Randolph County Family Crisis Center.

    The mission of the Family Crisis Center is to serve people in crisis from abuse

    while working to eliminate abuse in our community.

    Did you know Randolph County is ranked in the top 3 of all NC counties for Domestic Violence?

    Donations of gently worn women's clothing, shoes and accessories may be dropped at the store Monday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-3

    www.randolphfcc.org/services.html

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 13

    BamBags

    GurglePots

    AshleyFetner

    HarveysSeatbeltBags

    NorthernBrights

    Jewelryby

    Jesse323 NC Hwy 49 South, Suite C Asheboro 336.629.7707

    Picket Fence Interiors & Giftstrend driven gifts & decorative accessories

    the difference between house & home

    323nchwy49s,unitcasheboro picketfenceinteriors&gifts

    B E S TSHOW

    in

    AWARDbest small independent re ta i l e r d i sp lay

  • 14 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    Give the Gift of the ZooGive an annual membership in the NC Zoo Society so your friends/family can enjoy 364 days of FREE admission to the NC Zoo.

    Order online at www.nczoo.com or by calling toll-free 888-244-3736.

    HOLIDAY GIFTSGet your Holiday shopping out of the way early and receive $10 off on every gift membership that you purchase before December 1st.

    To receive your $10 discount, fill out the portion of the membership application that tells us who will be receiving your Holiday Gift and then use the Promotion Code HDAYGIFT when you place your order.

    Consider, too, making this Holiday Gift even more festive, by clicking here to add this cute plush Chimpanzee to your gift membership package. The additional $7 covers shipping costs, too.

    To purchase this gift membership1. Click here to add the plush chimp to your order2. Click here to order a membership.

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 15

    Christmas is meant to be fun, but for many it can become a source of anxiety and frustration as financial, emotional and family issues come to the fore. Here are some tips from The Salvation Army

    on how to avoid stress this Christmas.

    Ideas for buying Christmas presents make a list before going shopping make gifts instead of buying them set a limit on the cost of presents leave your credit card at home whilst browsing for presents have each member of the family buy for a different person, rather than everyone buying for everyone

    avoid last minute spending

    Ideas before Christmas Day

    try to have a rest day before Christmas dont expect a "perfect" Christmas Day celebration organize any parenting issues well before Christmas so children are not subject to any extra stress

    try and clear the air with anyone youve had a recent disagreement with before you see them on Christmas Day

    be flexible to changing previous years' arrangements if family members want to try an alternative

    be mindful of any stressful situations or family issues that might arise

    Ideas for Christmas Day

    share responsibility for the meal with a number of family members (not just the women!)

    if you drink, watch your alcohol intake (and avoid saying something you might regret!)

    dont bring up previous quarrels on Christmas Day dont be too critical if everyone does not behave how you hoped.

    a cold lunch may reduce the stress of cooking (and also means that family members are free to come and go as they need to)

    try having your main meal in the evening so relatives can also visit others during the day

    focus on the positive things about people rather than the negative

    visit someone who may be lonely or invite them over to share lunch with you

    visit a church and contemplate the real meaning of Christmas

    tipsforastressfreechristmasfrom the Salvation Army

    1 cup butter or shortening1-1/2 cups granulated sugar2 large eggs2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour2 teaspoons cream of tartar1 teaspoons baking sodacinnamon and sugar mixed to taste

    Preheat oven to 400F. Mix together butter and sugar until smooth, then add eggs, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Stir in flour until well mixed. Roll into balls about 1" in diameter and roll in cinnamon and sugar to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes. Cookies are done when they are just barely browning.

    Snickerdoodles

    Pistachio Christmas Ribbon Bars

    1/2 pound unsalted butter or margarine, softened1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon salt (omit this if your pistachios are salted)1/2-2/3 cup raspberry or strawberry jam2/3 cup pistachios, chopped

    Preheat oven to 325F. Combine butter, sugar and egg; beat until thoroughly blended. Stir in flour and salt. Spread one-half of dough into 9 inch square pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven. Spread jam to within 1/2 inch of edge. Add pistachios to remaining dough. Drop by spoonfuls over jam to cover. Bake 35 minutes until top is golden brown; cool. Cut into squares. Recipe and photograph courtesy of the California Pistachio Commission.

    christmascookierecipes

  • 16 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    152 Sunset Avenue Asheboro336-610-1060

    [email protected]

    We have a great selection of wine & beer.

    Pre-order Holiday Gift Baskets

    Pick your wines, glasses, crackers, cheese & dips.

    Prices Vary

    Tailored to Your Needs

    152sunsetave.asheboroluminawine&beer

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 17

    the coolest furniture deals on the planet

    www.groovyscavenger.com

    The Mill 130 S. Church St. Suite 1B Asheboro336.625.2300 www.facebook.com/groovyasheboroTues. 9am-3pm Thurs. 1pm-7pm Fri. 9am-3pm Sat. 9am-3pm

    Groovy New Inventory Arriving Weekly and ALWAYS

    AT LEAST 60% OFF Retail!

    the coolest furniture deals on the planet

    www.groovyscavenger.com

    All of your home furnishing needs priced near or below WHOLESALE!

    Wholesale lots, factory closeouts, overstocks and clearance items!

    New, first quality merchandise at unbelievable low prices!

    Living Room, Bedroom, Dining Room, Accents and Accessories

    groovyscavenger130s.churchst.suite1basheboro

  • 18 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    Dishn148 Sunset Ave. Asheboro 336.672.3476 paintatdishn.com

    Gifts Designed by You are Unique Ways to Show Someone Special How Much You Care

    GiftsGifts designed by you are unique ways

    to show someone special how much you care. Great for all ages!

    Christmas * Teachers * Birthdays * Fathers and Mothers Day * Grandparent Day *

    Graduation * Weddings * Anniversaries * Births * Retirements

    Want something special but dont have the time to do it yourself?

    We can provide the artistry. You choose the piece and we do the rest. Prices vary

    according to the complexity of the design and the size of the piece.

    Let's PartyDishn is a great place to put ART into

    PARTY and add creativity to celebrate any special occasion.

    One of the best features of hosting a party at Dishn is WE CLEAN UP THE MESS!

    Enjoy our space, supplies, staff and ideas to make your occasion memorable.

    Feel free to bring your own decorations, refreshments, and even music that you like.

    148sunsetave.asheborodishn

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 19

  • 20 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our

    Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it-overspending...the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma -- the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

    Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

    Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church, mostly black. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.

    As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.

    Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church.

    On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.

    For each Christmas, I followed the tradition---one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers

    whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its

    contents.As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical

    presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

    You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.

    Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

    May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the true Christmas spirit this year and always.

    fromsowingseedsministrythechristmasenvelope

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 21

  • 22 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone.The boys ranged from three months to seven years;

    their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

    Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

    I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then

    put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

    The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck. The kids stayed, crammed into

    the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck. The last place we

    went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called The Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

    That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job.

    And so I started at The Big Wheel. When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money -- fully half of what I averaged every night.

    As the weeks went by, heating bills added another strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered. I made a deal with the owner of the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

    I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there

    TheBigWheelAuthor Unknown

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 23

    would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

    On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in The Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

    When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road

    down by the dump.) It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car -- or was that just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what. When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows.

    Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, scrambled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off

    the lid of the top box. Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There were candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll. As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

    Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at The Big Wheel truck stop.

    At the Christmas Eve church service, I sat with my two boisterous grandchildren, ages three and five. Their parents sat in front of the church to present a nativity reading titled "Silent Night." They had warned the children to behave. I had warned the children to behave. With scrubbed angelic faces and Christmas wonder in their eyes, they looked like model children posing for a magazine holiday spread. I indulged myself in a few moments of pride.

    Alec pinched Aubrey. I was grateful that the organ thundered into the first hymn just then, drowning out her yelp. I grabbed her hand before she could return the pinch. During the Lord's Prayer, Aubrey shredded the program I had given her to color on. The crayons had already rolled under the pew. I watched bits of paper fall on the carpet like snow. I would help her pick it up later, but for now the naughtiness I was allowing kept her occupied and her brother quietly admiring.

    We were enjoying an uneasy truce when their parents stood to deliver the reading.

    "Mommy!" Alec yelled.She frowned, and he sat back in his seat."Silence," my son said to the congregation. "Think for a

    moment what that word means to you."My daughter-in-law signed his words. Earlier that year, she

    began to use her new signing skills for the benefit of the few hearing-impaired members of our church.

    Alec said a naughty word, thankfully too low for many to hear. I scowled at him, shaking my finger and my head. Aubrey grinned. Then she proclaimed, every syllable enunciated perfectly, in a clear voice that carried to far corners of the sanctuary, "Alec is a potty mouth!"

    Everyone stared. I was too stunned to speak. My son and his wife looked at each other. But instead of anger, I saw surprise.

    My son set aside his script and told another story. He told about their daughter being born profoundly deaf. He talked about four years of hearing aids and speech therapy with no guarantee she would ever learn to speak plainly. He talked about the rugged faith that kept the family praying she would have a normal life.

    He said Aubrey's outburst was an answer to prayer: the first perfectly enunciated sentence she had ever spoken.

    From the back of the room, a lone voice sang the last line of a beloved Christmas Carol: Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king.

    While the congregation sang four verses of the unscheduled hymn, my two little angels wiggled in their parents' arms, adding laughter and giggles to the joyful Christmas noise.

    by carol stiggerheavenandangelssing

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  • 26 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas,

    Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children. After his death around 340 A.D. he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purport-edly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicho-las' popularity throughout Eu-rope.

    His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop's mitre.In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors, in France he was the patron of lawyers, and in Belgium the patron of children and travellers. Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity. After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes by the fireplace, and Sinterklaas would reward good children by placing treats in their shoes. Dutch colo-nists brought brought this tradition with them to America in the 17th century and here the Anglican name of Santa Claus emerged.

    Santa Claus

    According to leg-end, a kindly no-bleman grew de-spondent over the

    death of his beloved wife and foolishly squandered his for-tune. This left his three young daughters without dowries and thus facing a life of spin-sterhood.The generous St. Nicholas, hearing of the girls plight, set forth to help. Wishing to re-

    main anonymous, he rode his white horse by the noblemans house and threw three small pouches of gold coins down the chimney where they were fortuitously captured by the stock-ings the young women had hung by the fireplace to dry.

    Christmas Stockings

    Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

    The Chicago-based Montgomery Ward company, department store operators, had been purchasing and distributing children's coloring books as Christ-mas gifts for their customers for several years. In

    1939, Montgomery Ward tapped one of their own employ-ees to create a book for them, thus saving money. 34-year old copywriter Robert L. May wrote the story of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and 2.4 million copies were handed out that year. Despite the wartime paper shortage, over 6 million copies had been distributed by 1946.May drew in part on the story "The Ugly Duckling" and in part from his own experiences as an often taunted, small, frail youth to create the story of the misfit reindeer. Though Rollo and Reginald were considered, May settled on Rudolph as his reindeer's name.Writing in verse as a series of rhyming couplets, May tested the story as he went along on his 4-year old daughter Bar-bara, who loved the storySadly, Robert Mays wife died around the time he was creat-ing Rudolph, leaving Mays deeply in debt due to medical bills. However, he was able to persuade Sewell Avery, Mont-gomery Ward's corporate president, to turn the copyright over to him in January 1947, thus ensuring May's financial security.May's story "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was printed commercially in 1947 and in 1948 a nine-minute cartoon of the story was shown in theaters. When May's brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, wrote the lyrics and melody for the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", the Rudolph phenomenon was born. Turned down by many musical artists afraid to contend with the legend of Santa Claus, the song was recorded by Gene Autry in 1949 at the urging of Autry's wife. The song sold two million copies that year, going on to become one of the best-selling songs of all time, second only to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas". The 1964 television special about Rudolph, narrated by Burl Ives, re-mains a holiday favorite to this day and Rudolph himself has become a much-loved Christmas icon.

    christmastraditions-howtheystarted

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 27

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    FROM THE CAF

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    TREES NC is a grassroots, citizen-based organ-ization emphasizing ecological stewardship and community collaboration as vehicles for the betterment of the urban environment. Promoting the rules and practices of the International Society of Arboriculture, our mission is to inspire citi-zensfrom youth to business leaders and elected officialsto work together as tree advocates in their communities. In addition to planting trees in urban spaces, TREES NC endeavors to foster relation-ships across an array of diverse individuals and or-ganizations seeking simple solutions to problems in their community.

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  • 32 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    The story is about a young couple, Richard (who narrates) and Keri, who accept a position to take care of a lonely widow, Mary Parkin, in her spacious Victorian mansion. As Christmas draws near, Mary becomes concerned about Richards obsession with success and his failure to make time for his family. She urges him to reconsider his priorities, but he is always too busy to heed her advice. It is only when Mary is on her deathbed and her secret sorrow is revealed through the letter-laden Christmas box of the title that Richard realizes what she has been trying to tell him. The message concerns love, of course, and the strings Evans pulls to vivify it should squeeze sobs from even the stoniest of hearts.

    10.TheChristmasBoxBy Richard Paul Evans

    9.ThePolarExpressBy Chris Van Allsburg

    It tells the story of a young boy on Christmas Eve, patiently lying in bed. Suddenly, a magical train called the Polar Express pulls up in front of his house, and the boy is invited to journey to the North Pole. The train is filled with many other children, all dressed in their pajamas. As the train reaches the North Pole, the boy and the other children see thousands of elves gathered at the center of town to send Santa on his way. The boy is handpicked by Santa Claus to receive the first gift of Christmas. Realizing that he could choose anything in the world, the boy asks for one beautiful-sounding silver bell from Santas sleigh. The boy places the bell in the pocket of his robe and all the children watch as Santa takes off for his yearly delivery. Later, on the train, the boy discovers that the bell has fallen through a hole in his pocket. On Christmas morning, his sister finds a small present wrapped under the tree, behind all of the other gifts. The boy opens the box and discovers that it is the bell, delivered by Santa who found it on the seat of his sleigh. When the boy rings the bell, both he and his sister marvel at the beautiful sound. His parents, however, are unable to hear the bell and remark that it must be broken. However, those who believe can hear it.

    The chief gardener at Rockefeller Center dreads Christmas because one of his responsibilities is the selection of the centers giant Christmas tree, which is not an easy job. Thus, he is thrilled one spring to have found the perfect tree so early and foresees no problem in persuading the nuns who own the property on which the tree stands to let him have it. Then he meets Sister Anthony, who came to the convent as a young orphan and made a close friend of the Norway Spruce she calls Tree.

    8.TheChristmasTreeBy Judy Salamon

    7.TheNutcrackerBy E.T.A Hoffman

    The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is a story written in 1816 by E. T. A. Hoffmann in which young Marie Stahlbaums favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls after defeating the seven-headed Mouse King. In 1892, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov turned the story into the ballet The Nutcrack-er, which became one of Tchaikovskys most famous compositions, and one of the most popular ballets in the world.

    The Father Christmas Letters is a collection of letters written and illustrated by J. R. R. Tolkien between 1920 and 1942 for his children, from Father Christmas. They tell of the adventures and misadventures of Father Christmas and his helpers, including the North Polar Bear and his two sidekick cubs, Paksu and Valkotukka. This is a particularly good book for those who love Tolkien and it is a chance to see his writing focusing on something other than middle earth and fantasy.

    6.LettersfromFatherChristmasBy J.R.R. Tolkien

    thetop10christmasbooks

  • November2010 asheboromagazine.com 33

    5.AChristmasCarolBy Charles Dickens

    A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of one evening. Mr Scrooge is a financier/money-changer who has devoted his life to the accumulation of wealth. He holds anything other than money in contempt, including friendship, love and the Christmas season. In keeping with the musical analogy of the title, A Christmas Carol, Dickens divides his literary work into five staves instead of chapters. This is a little joke Dickens has carried out throughout the story, it adds humour to the story and links in because, a stave is something you will find in a piece of music, and a carol is a type of music/song.

    The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-villes holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.

    4.HowtheGrinchStoleChristmasBy Dr. Seuss

    3.ThetheNightBeforeChristmasBy Charles Dickens

    The poem, A Visit From St. Nickolas (also known as The Night Before Christmas, and Twas The Night Before Christmas (from its first line), first published in 1823, is largely responsible for the contemporary American conception of Santa Claus, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and first-ever printing of the names of his reindeer, and his delivery of toys to children.

    Jim Dillingham Young and his wife Della are a young couple who are very much in love with each other, but can barely afford their one-room apartment due to their very bad economic situation. For Christmas, Della decides to buy Jim a chain which costs twenty dollars for his prized pocket watch given to him by his father. To raise the funds, she has her long hair cut off and sold to make a wig. Meanwhile, Jim decides to sell his watch to buy Della a beautiful set of combs made out of tortoise shell for her lovely, knee-length brown hair. Although each is disappointed to find the gift they chose rendered useless, each is pleased with the gift they received, because it represents their love for one another. This is a heartwarming tale that has been retold countless times in TV and film.

    2.TheGiftoftheMagiBy O. Henry

    1.AChildsChristmasinWalesBy Dylan Thomas

    This was a very easy book for me to include because I love the writing of Dylan Thomas im-mensely and this is my favorite Christmas story. Dylan Thomas, one of the greatest poets and storytellers of the twentieth century, captures a childs-eye view, and an adults fond memories, of a magical time of presents, aunts and uncles, the frozen sea, and in the best of circumstances, newly fallen snow. This book has been in print for over 50 years and it will make a welcome addi-tion to any familys bookshelf.

    thetop10christmasbooks

  • 34 ASHEBOROMagazinesLocalHolidayShoppingGuide

    The popular campaign that in the past has delivered hundreds of gifts to local needy seniors is being planned again this holiday season. Home Instead Senior Care has joined with Randolph County Area Agencies to make sure that isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior program. Be a Santa to a Senior sets new records each year in contributions of gifts to a group that often is forgotten during the hectic holiday season, said Laura Cox, Customer Service Representative of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Randolph county. While children are the beneficiaries of many holiday programs, people often dont think about the isolated and lonely seniors who need to be remembered as well during this season. Be a Santa to a Senior is also designed to help stimulate human contact and social interaction for older adults who are unlikely to have guests during the holidays. Heres how the program, which runs from now through mid-December, works: The Randolph County Area Agencies will identify needy and isolated seniors in the community and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care for this community service program. A Christmas tree at Walgreens at 207 N. Fayetteville St. will be set up on November 24th and will feature ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them to Walgreens with the ornament attached. Home Instead Senior Care then enlists the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts to these seniors. Be a Santa to a Senior is a fulfilling way to say thanks to those older adults who have helped build our community, Cox said. Our hope is that many will be touched by this holiday gesture of goodwill. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering to help with the program, contact Laura Cox at (336) 380-7730. Local businesses are encouraged to contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office about adopting groups of seniors. For more information about the program, contact [email protected]

    Be a Santa to a Senior ContinuesPopular Holiday Gift Giveaway for Seniors

    By Laura Cox

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