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W N C PA R E N T | JA N UA R Y 2 0 1 4

contents This month’s features 4

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Taming stress

A DIY holiday Gift ideas that give kids a head start on projects.

Birthday + holiday Ideas for celebrating birthdays around Christmas.

Holiday break help How do parents handle working with kids at home?

Special considerations The holidays require a delicate touch with children with special needs.

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Follow these simple steps for taking some of the stress out of holidays.

Acting families It’s a family affair at Asheville Community Theatre.

In every issue

Story Times .....................29

Librarian’s Picks...............30 Growing Together ............31 Kids' Voices .....................34 Families & Relationships ..36 Educator’s View...............38 Nature Center Notes ........39 Artist's Muse ...................40 FEAST .............................42 Calendar .........................48 Kids Page ........................50

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Holiday reads Jennifer Prince recommends classic holiday books.

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Holiday fun

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Holiday hazards

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Christmas cookies

Our calendar of Christmastime events perfect for families. Dr. Susan Mims on what can cause harm to kids at Christmas. Baking inspiration from our sister paper in Rochester, N.Y.

Help for the holidays Katie Wadington, editor

I am so excited for you to read this issue. It’s sometimes hard to come up with ideas each year so we don’t repeat stories. But I think for this December issue, we have a little something for everyone. Looking for tips on how to ease some of your holiday season stress? Turn to Page 4. Need some children’s gift ideas that don’t involve a screen? You’ll find plenty of suggestions for DIY kits and more on Page 6. One topic I’d like to pay more attention to over these pages is families who navigate through life with children with special needs. If you’re in this situation, or help families in this situation, I’d love to hear from you on future story ideas. This month, we have a couple of stories on things to take into consideration regarding the holidays. For instance, having a Plan B for events. And dealing with extended family who may not understand what your child needs. You’ll find those stories on Pages 12 and 14. Jennifer Prince, our library columnist, writes about some classic holiday books on Page 19. And if you need some fresh cookie recipes, look at Page 44. The newspaper in Rochester, N.Y., writes a fantastic annual cookie roundup, and I’ve grabbed it for Parent. It’ll make you want to start baking. May you and yours have an amazing holiday season! And I’ll see you back here in 2014.

On the cover

Sophia Banks, by Kaelee Denise Photography, www.kaeleedenise.com. Photographed at WNC Nature Center, www.wncnaturecenter.com.

.com Are you a member? Join the conversation, post photos and connect with other parents at WNCParent.com. Look for WNC Parent on Facebook and Twitter.

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 www.wncparent.com PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Dave Neill WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington — 232-5829 kwadington@citizen-times.com

ADVERTISING Katy Graziano — 236-8994 kgraziano@gannett.com

Special thanks to features editor Bruce Steele and designer Val Elmore. CALENDAR CONTENT Due by Dec. 10. E-mail calendar@wncparent.com ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the January issue is Dec. 13.

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STAY SANE DURING DURING THE THE HOLIDAYS HOLIDAYS By Pam J. Hecht, WNC Parent contributor

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he holidays are supposed to be fun. But they can also cause stress — for parents and kids alike. Here are some expert tips for staying festive and keeping calm throughout the season.

Pare down the to-do list

“Try not to take on more than you can comfortably handle,” says David Von Kohorn, Asheville family therapist who is also parent to an 11-year-old daughter. “We tend to overload our plates and underestimate our tasks, especially the time required to accomplish them.” Plan ahead and limit the number of presents and cards sent to family and friends, he adds. “Talk to your family about each person choosing one other family member to buy for this year, or giving a more substantial gift to a charity that has some meaning for you all, instead of buying so many smaller and often less meaningful presents,” says Von Kohorn. “Keep it simple,” he adds. “The truth is, our families and friends just want to be together — no one cares how impeccably clean the house is or wonderful the decorations, or lovely our outfits, or perfect our presents.” Learn to say no. Too many celebrations can be overwhelming and upset regular schedules, particularly for young children, who tire more easily, says Susan Newman, a psychologist, author and online parenting expert. And rather than loading up on too many activities at once, try celebrating holidays with different sets of in-laws at different times, such as the week before.

Don’t overspend

“When it comes to holidays and gift giving, parents often feel the need to make everyone happy and give what they ask for,” says Newman, who gives back something each child once enjoyed but has forgotten about. “It turns out, especially with younger kids, the inexpensive items that aren’t on their list become the standouts.” Stick to a budget, says Von Kohorn. “Spending more than we had intended is a setup for stress.”

Take care of yourself

“The holidays should be a time of radical self-care — when we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others,” Von Kohorn says. “Keep up your healthy behaviors, such as exercise, rest, eating well and drinking in moderation.” The holiday season can also be a difficult time of year

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for many people. “Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions,” says Von Kohorn, even when they are negative, which frees you and others to experience the joy of the season, too. Pay attention to the symptoms and warning signs of stress, like irritability, fatigue, racing thoughts, forgetfulness, poor decision-making abilities, difficulty concentrating, increased sensitivity to aches and pains, insomnia, and/or disturbing dreams, he adds, and take regular breaks from the festivities to relax and reflect.

Curtail kids’ stress

Talk to kids about how holidays can be stressful and “give them permission to take a time out from festivities whenever they need it — it will give them a sense of empowerment, and help them engender an inner sense of calm,” says Von Kohorn. Be a good role model; kids sense stress and emulate parents’ behavior. “Reach out and touch your kids, especially when things are getting chaotic — research shows that touch, like a hug or simply a squeeze on the shoulder, calms us,” says Von Kohorn. “Offer holiday-related projects for kids to do (like decorating, baking or collecting firewood), so they feel important, valued and a part of the process,” he adds. Also, watch kids’ diet, allow plenty of down time and stick to regular routines as much as possible. Lower your expectations for behavior, within limits, says Newman. “Let kids be kids and don’t expect them to act like mini adults,” by expecting them to sit still during long dinners or wear uncomfortable holiday clothes. “Announce that spilling is allowed, particularly when young kids are at the table,” she says. Give up the idea of a “perfect” holiday. In most families, says Newman, there’s no such thing. Just do the best you can.

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THE GIFT

WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING OF IT? KIDS TOYS DO JUST THAT

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By Paul Clark, WNC Parent contributor

hose little fingers that glide over touchscreens, leading avatars through fantasy worlds the way conductors lead orchestras through fantasias, are also itching for a little analog fun. Curious, creative and analytical, most kids want to build things. Surprise them this Christmas with kits that challenge their dexterity as well as their minds. Lots of toys on the market give kids the tools and starting materials to explore interests that may open worlds as wondrous to them as the ones they enter through their touchscreens. Somewhere in the online world there are kits to help your child explore his or her interests. Asheville is fortunate to have toy stores devoted to helping kids find and develop interests in all things natural, mechanical and digital. Here are some suggestions that might make a light bulb go off in your little Einstein. KID CONCOCTIONS BUBBLING LAVA LAMP by ALEX Toys ($12.99 at Toy Box) lets your kids make something very much like a lava lamp, a pop hit from the ’60s. The kit contains mini lava lamp bottles, plus veggie oil, colored fizzies and glitter powder. The kids create the chemical reaction and marvel at the results. “This is something that younger kids can do,” said Susan Israel, a sales associate at Toy Box, 793 Merrimon Ave. “And it doesn’t look like it would be too messy.” Ages 6 and older. RECYCLED PAPER BEADS by Toy Smith ($9.98 at Toy Box) lets kids make beads from magazine pages, newspaper inserts and other paper laying around, (Christmas wrapping

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paper!). The tool that makes the beads fits over a standard two-liter bottle (not included) to wind beads that are colorful as a child’s imagination. Kids can string the beads together to make necklaces, bracelets, even decorative strands for the Christmas tree. “This is one of my favorite toys,” Israel said. “It’s an easy thing to do, and it teaches kids about recycling.” Ages 5 and older.

ZOOMORPHS by Zoomorphs ($19.98 at Toy Box) will keep your kids in giggles. Each kit — Zoomorphs makes many of them — comes with four creatures (animals, dinosaurs, etc.) that have three dozen or so interchangeable plastic parts. Your kids may start out building a zebra as a zebra, but then add butterfly wings and leopard’s tail. Then she’ll make up names for her new cre-

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LEGOS LIVING LARGE » Loving Legos? What kid doesn’t. See what can be done with them at the N.C. Arboretum. Through Jan. 5, the Arboretum is exhibiting “Some Assembly Required: The LEGO Brick Sculptures of Sean Kenney.” Kenney is a professional Legos builder whose work in the show include an 8-foot-tall hummingbird and a 5-foot butterfly. More at ncarboretum.org.

Kids can bake homemade training treats, too. “This is a good toy for helping kids understand how dogs think,” Butterick said. “That’s good for the childanimal relationship.” Ages 6 and up. DESIGNED BY YOU FASHION STUDIO by Creativity for Kids ($34.99 at O.P. Taylor’s Amazon store) brings out the designer in young children. The kit provides a pad for children to sketch out designs, as well as swatches of material, scissors and a 12-inch mannequin on which to pin their creations. Inside the box is a plain satin dress ready to be adorned with lace or other decorative trim that’s included. Sewing needles, needle threader, thimble, straight pins and tape measure come with the kit. Ages 9 and older.

ation (“leo-bra”? “ze-terfly”?). Toy Box sells ZooMorph’s Dinomorphs, which lets kids combine a T-Rex and a stegosaurus with a couple of other prehistoric stalkers. Ages 4 and older. FUEL CELL 10 CAR & EXPERIMENT KIT by Thames & Kosmos ($129.99 at O.P. Taylor’s Asheville) teaches kids about alternative energy and environmental science by letting them build a model car that runs on water. In the process, kids use solar energy to separate water in hydrogen and oxygen and learn to use an included tool called a multimeter. The kit lets them do more than a dozen experiments. “It’s a toy, it’s educational, and it’s fabulous,” said Katrina Butterick, store manager of the O.P. Taylor store in Biltmore Park. “And it’s made by a great company that builds quality experiments.” Ages 10 and older. PET SCIENCE DOG SCHOOL by International Playthings ($19.99 at O.P. Taylor’s) lets kids build toys that teach them about their dogs. Guiding children to an understanding of how a dog’s mind works, the kit has buildable toys that affect a dog’s behavior and helps a child determine its intelligence.

DYNAMO ROBOT by 4M Green Science ($19.99 at curio) lets kids make a robot that moves on its own electric power. First they build the motor, then they build the robot out of small household items. Winding the motor to create electric power, the kids watch their robot do its funny robot thing. “The kids are actually learning about alternative energy,” said April Cox, sales associate at curio, 2 Battery Park Ave. in Asheville. Curio also has Solar Mechanics, a similar toy by 4M Green Science that lets kids assemble a solar motorized module that spins whatever they attach to it. Ages 8 and older. DUCT TAPE PARTY by ALEX Toys ($29.99 at curio) lets kids create bags, earrings, hair clips, bangles, rings and other adornments with the brightly colored duct tape provided. The kit comes with a pre-sewn pouch to decorate, as well as bangles, hole punch, stencils, belt rings and other items they can decorate. “Or you can do it on your shoes,” Cox said. “Whatever kids have, they can make it into something original.” Ages 7 and older. PERFUME SCIENCE by Thames & Kosmos ($53.90 at Amazon, no direct Asheville connection) will take your children on a journey through science, scents, history and art while they are making perfumes of their own design. A perfumer’s laboratory in a box, Perfume Science includes eight perfume oils that professionals use, as well as finishing solution and decorative bottles. The kit, with a manual of 20 experiments and activities, lets children experience how the brain perceives smells and trains their noses to pick up scents. They learn the history of fragrances and theories of perfume design. Ages 10 and older.

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MAKE

HOLIDAY BIRTHDAYS EXTRA SPECIAL

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By Marla Hardee Milling, WNC Parent contributor

o you have a family member celebrating a birthday in December or early January? You might be tempted to make double use of your Christmas-themed wrapping paper. But if the thought crosses your mind, you might think again. Having a birthday present wrapped in holiday paper is a top pet peeve among many celebrating birthdays near the end of the year. “I hated getting birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper,” says Carole Hoffman Howell, whose birthday is Jan. 5. She’s learned throughout the years to celebrate a “second birthday” in July to avoid getting her day caught up in the hubbub. Birthdays before the holidays can create less of an issue. “It was never a problem for me,” says Sara Hart Stewart, of Asheville. Her birthday falls in early December. “My mother insisted on never, ever wrapping my birthday gifts in Christmas paper. I appreciated that.”

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Postpone the decorations Before you deck the halls and put up the tree, you might delay it a bit if the birthday falls in the first week or so of December. That’s the advice of Eden Foster. Her daughter’s birthday is Dec. 6, and they’ve always made a point to keep the holly and ivy out of the house until after her celebration. “It also means we never get tired of our decorations because they are never up or more than three weeks,” she says. Beth Buzogany says her family has a similar tradition. “Our son’s birthday is Dec. 8, so in the past we would not put up the Christmas tree until after his birthday.”

Celebrate a half birthday

Some families remove the holiday connection by pushing off the birthday party until the summer months. “My nephew has a Dec. 9 birthday and my sister-in-law’s is on Dec. 26,” says Jean Sexton, of Asheville, whose nephew will be 13. “We often have celebrated their half birthdays on June 9 and June 26 so they got a chance to have a summer party without any competition from the holidays.”

Planning a party in the summer also alleviates the problem of cancellations in the winter months. Stephanie Holbrook Stevens says she feels like her 6-year-old son is often cheated out of a real birthday because she has had to cancel his party at times because of bad weather. “We attempt to have a normal party each year so that he doesn’t feel like is birthday is washed into the rest of the holidays, it just hasn’t always worked out,” she says.“This year we are going to have to move his around for another reason. My husband’s cousin, who always bakes the kids outrageously wonderful cakes is having surgery and will be out of commission for several weeks. We’ll have to do his birthday early or attempt to freeze a huge character cake. God bless those with December birthdays.”

Create special birthday traditions

It may help to plan out some special traditions that make a family birthday celebration meaningful amid all the activity of the holidays. Patti Digh, of Hendersonville, says even though her dad’s birthday fell on Christmas Day, the morning was

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reserved for a fun birthday breakfast and gifts wrapped in birthday paper. “My father always cooked it,” she says. “He made his specialty pancakes, always mixed in the red bowl now in my kitchen, crispy bacon and orange juice.” Nancy Leigh Douglas, of Asheville, has a niece with a Dec. 25 birthday. “All day was Christmas, but at night it was all birthday — cake, ice cream and whatever Jenna wanted for dinner.” Teresa Mears grew up in a household with multiple end-of-the-year birthdays. Her big day falls on Dec. 20 and she had siblings with birthdays on Dec. 10 and 17, and Jan. 1 and 9. “Everyone always got separate presents for birthday and we all got a cake and a family party,” she says. Mindi Montgomery, of Candler, says her dad’s birthday falls on Dec. 21 and they make it a point to celebrate on that day with a special birthday dinner and presents. “Even if it means we drive down to South Carolina on Dec. 21 and have to go back two days later, we do it,” she says. “He loves that we make the extra effort for him even though it’s not easy. He feels special.”

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BALANCING WORK AND SCHOOL BREAKS

By Betty Lynne Leary, WNC Parent contributor

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he countdown to Christmas seems to come earlier each year, and by the time the kids are released from school for the holiday break, everyone is ready for a vacation. For many, although the kids are free from the daily demands of math and English, the alarm still goes off each morning and work demands attention. So what do parents do when the work schedule doesn’t match up with the school holidays? “We simply juggle our schedules to make it work,” says Melissa DeGaetano, a registered nurse who works parttime at Mission Hospital. Her husband, Al, owns Chowtime Pizza in Swannanoa and Black Mountain, and their two boys, Dylan, 11, and Gage, 9, often end up tagging along with dad during school vacations. “Our boys are pretty easygoing and don’t mind tagging along with dad to do things on the days I work,” DeGaetano says. “Sometimes we’ll trade off with close friends who have boys of similar ages. Mission is also an extremely accommodating place to work, and they are very flexible with my schedule.” Leigh Angel, a nurse from Fletcher, shares duties with her husband, Chris, the business development director at Mountain Credit Union, when their daughters Rebekah, 8, and Eden, 4, are off from school. “We usually try to incorporate a family vacation or we call my mom for help,” Angel says. “We have a fantastic support system and we are equal part-

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ners in parenting.” While it is impossible for both parents to be out of work for the entire holiday break, the couple share the time off with Leigh working in the morning and Chris working in the afternoon to split the day with their children and each only missing a half day of work. When her oldest son was born, Shalon Pierce realized how blessed she was to have both sets of parents nearby. “Our mothers decided on a schedule to alternate days,” Pierce explains. “My mom had our son on Monday and Wednesday and my husband’s mom had him on Tuesday and Thursday.” On Friday, the doting grandmothers split the day with one having him in the morning and the other taking over in the afternoon. “This same routine continued after our second son was born and is still the same today after the boys get out of school in the afternoon,” Pierce adds. Juggling three kids at Asheville Christian Acad-

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WINTER BREAK CAMPS For parents who aren’t able to take time off work at the holidays, places around Asheville offer winter break camps. Asheville Art Museum: Holiday Arts Extravaganza for grades 1-4, from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 26, 27 and 28 at 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Visit www.ashevilleart.org or call 253-3227. Bricks 4 Kidz: Lego camps for grades K-6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30 at Asheville’s Fun Depot. For more information, visit www.bricks4kidz.com/asheville. The Little Gym: Winter Wonderland Camp for ages 3-12 from 2-5 p.m. Dec. 22 and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 23 and 28 at 1000 Brevard Road, Asheville. Visit www.tlgashevillenc.com or call 667-9588.

Leigh and Chris Angel try to plan a family vacation or call in Leigh’s mom for help when their daughters Rebekah and Eden are out of school for the holidays. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

emy can be difficult for Heather Shockley, who works fulltime for the ABCCM Medical Ministry in Asheville, a free clinic for the uninsured in Buncombe County. Her husband, Paul, is a goldsmith for Grace Jewelers in Black Mountain. “Paul and I both work for family oriented businesses and for that we are truly grateful,” Shockley says. “Our employers understand the importance of

family and work with our schedules.” While both parents work 40 hours per week, they have different days off, which helps with coordinating child care especially during the holidays. “My parents are amazing and are always there to help out when we can’t work around the school holiday schedule,” Shockley adds. In Leicester, Tracy Waldrop balances her full-time work in the insurance and

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billing department of an OB/GYN office with her own photography business. With a 13-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter, school vacations present a challenge. “I normally try to arrange my days off so I can be with my kids. My employer is very flexible and understanding with my child care needs,” Waldrop says. “I also have a local neighbor who comes and does crafts with them or takes the kids to a movie. I do feel it is my most important role to be there for my kids as much as I can when they are out of school.” Lori Kutchman, of Fairview, sees balancing the necessity of work with the festivities of the holiday season as a blessing. Kutchman works at a local State Farm office and is off most days by 12:30 p.m. which allows her husband to be with their two children in the morning while she takes over in the afternoon. “Family time is the most important thing to us,” Kutchman says. “It is a great blessing that one of us can always be with the kids. We only get them a minute and then they are gone, so we try to be together whenever possible.”

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SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS CAN GET

HOLIDAY OVERLOAD By Marla Hardee Milling, WNC Parent contributor

Heather Holt is gearing up for a new experience with some of the kids with autism that she serves as director of Camp Lakey Gap in Black Mountain. She’s inviting them to represent the camp as they walk together for the first time in the Black Mountain Christmas Parade. The camp provides a remarkable residential summer experience for the kids, but Holt is expanding her focus to find ways to give them year-round opportunities to participate in things like parades, festivals and special events. “I think it’s important to include our friends with disabilities in events like that,” she says. “They are often forgotten in holiday events.” Of course, parades can be overwhelming, so she’s working to make sure she can alleviate as many stress triggers as she can before the parade walk begins. She’s been careful to ask parade organizers not to position the group next to large animals, horse carriages or blaring bands. Holt is also aware that parades create unexpected issues — things like having to stop and wait, a dog getting loose, or someone blowing a shrill whistle in the crowd. She’ll pass out ear phones to muffle the loud noises for those who have sensory issues. While she hopes many of her campers will show up to take part in

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the parade, she says there’s always a way out if they get overwhelmed or begin to have a meltSdown on the route. “We want our parents to walk with us,” she says. “If their child becomes overwhelmed, they can step out of the parade route and sit and watch or walk to the end of the route to meet up with the group.”

Have Plan B in mind

Even if you’re not on a parade route, holiday challenges with special needs children requires parents to always have a backup plan in mind. “We always have an escape plan for every event that involves large crowds or locations our daughter isn’t familiar with,” says Angela Roberts, of Asheville. “We also have a schedule for every day she is out of

school that incorporates holiday traditions and things we know she enjoys. “Of course,” she continues, “each year there is a new issue or circumstance to work around. We usually don’t find out what it is until it happens. We parents of special kiddos are always on guard.” Roberts says one year her daughter became freaked out because she didn’t want a stranger (Santa) entering the house through the chimney. They reassured her by saying they would leave the back door unlocked for him with a note asking him to lock he back when he departed. “Ultimately we have to do what is best for our family regardless of what others think we should do,” she says.

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HOW TO HAVE A SENSORY-FREE HOLIDAY DINNER By April Fox, Special to WNC Parent

The holidays can be a joyous time, but they can also be challenging, especially for children with sensory issues. There’s no way to predict and prevent every potential problem; after all, tantrums and tears are an inevitable part of parenting most any child. Here, the experts at Carolina Pediatric Therapy offer some ideas for how you can make your next holiday meal a more relaxed and peaceful one for your child and for you. » Comfort is key Some kids with sensory difficulties are bothered by the way certain clothes feel or fit. Let your child wear comfortable clothes that don’t bind or chafe him. It won’t hurt to let him wear his favorite tattered sweater, and it could help get your holiday dinner off on the right foot. » It’s about the feeling, not the food If your little one is sensitive to textures and tastes, this is not the time to insist that he clean his plate. Bring along a couple of favorite, precooked dishes for him, and don’t worry if all he wants to eat is a pile of plain potatoes and a slice of pie. If you’re concerned about potential food struggles, think about feeding your child something he loves before you leave home or before your guests arrive. Remember that holiday meals are more about being with loved ones than about what you eat. » Make a quiet space If you’re going someplace else for your holiday dinner, talk with the host beforehand and see if there is a quiet room where your child can go to chill out for a little while if the festivities get to be too much. If you’re at home, make a “Do Not Disturb” sign to put on your child’s bedroom door and give

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him as much time as necessary to relax away from the crowd. » Consider scaling back Holiday dinners have a way of expanding exponentially over the years. If you have a child with sensory challenges who gets overwhelmed by too much noise and activity, think about cutting back your guest list. Most people will understand if you explain the situation, and you can always get together another time. » Sweet smells of the season Some children are sensitive to smells, even things that we consider appealing. If your home is already swimming in the aromas of pumpkin pie, turkey and all of the accompaniments, skip the scented candles. It’s a little thing, but for kids with sensory issues, it’s the little things that count sometimes. » Keep them entertained Once the meal is over, the adults often gather to talk amongst themselves, and the kids disperse outdoors to play. If this is the case with your family, your sensory-challenged child may find herself left out in the cold, so to speak. Kids with sensory difficulties often find it hard to join groups of other children, and, no offense, but adult conversation can be pretty boring. Bring along a few favorite activities for your child so she can enjoy the after-dinner relaxation too. » Keep it short Nobody expects you to eat and run, but remember that for children with sensory difficulties, holiday dinners really can feel like they last forever. Set a time that you’ll leave, and give your child a timer half an hour before departure time. This will not only allow him time to transition, but it will

give him a visual cue that there really is an end in sight. » Picture this Before the day of your holiday dinner, show your child photographs of the other guests. Remind your child if they’ve met before, but don’t expect them to remember or to connect automatically with everyone just because they’re related. My son, who is on the autism spectrum, likes to remind me that “Just because I’ve met them, doesn’t mean I know them.” Create a simple picture schedule to help your child visualize what the day will look like. Simply draw or print out pictures of different points during the day and arrange them in order; it can be as simple or as complex as necessary and appropriate for your child’s development. » Educate the other adults Not everyone understands sensory difficulties, and talking with others beforehand can help diffuse some uncomfortable situations. Offer a brief explanation of sensory sensitivity and how it affects your child, and don’t forget to include something positive: “She doesn’t like hugs, but she draws the best pictures for people she loves.” » Relax Almost every family has at least one story about a kid having a holiday meltdown. It happens, and if you’re the lucky parent this year, take it in stride, deal with it just like you would any other day, and don’t let it ruin your holiday meal. Happy holidays! April Fox is with Carolina Pediatric Therapy. To learn more, please visit www.CarolinaPeds. com.

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It’s OK to break the ‘rules’ Some parents find they have to put a new spin on their holiday traditions in order to make the time more comfortable for their special needs child. It’s OK to relax your expectations of what the holidays should be and focus on creating happy memories in whatever way is best for your family. “I think it’s important for parents to be respectful of their child’s need to experience the holiday in the way that works best for them, even if it’s not the ‘textbook’ way the holiday is supposed to look,” says Elizabeth Welch Johnson, whose son Chris has Asperger’s Syndrome. “When he was young, the chaos of five family members all opening presents at the same time, crumpling wrapping paper and exclaiming over their presents was just too much for him,” she said. “He would open one present, explore it, examine it and then stop. Pushing him to open one more present just pushed him into a tantrum. We finally figured out he would open them all eventually on his own terms. We were the ones in the hurry to see his reaction to what Santa brought, but that wasn’t respectful of his needs. Sometimes it took a day to open all his gifts — one year it took three days.” One challenge that both Roberts and Johnson face involves dealing with extended family members who have a set idea of how kids are supposed to behave at the holidays. “It’s gotten better over the years as we have become more confident in telling family members what we can and can’t do,” says Roberts, “but it is still stressful dealing with family members who choose to only be a part of our lives once or twice a year and who aren’t willing to bend their traditions or expectations.” Johnson says she has encouraged her son to see a quiet space when holiday sights and smells become overwhelming. “While grandparents and friends might expect kids to be on display and present for all of the holiday events, we gave Chris permission to retreat to his room whenever he felt things were getting too much for him,” she says. “It’s far better to have him retreat while he was still in control than have to drag him away in the midst of a major meltdown because we forced him to join in.”

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FAMILIES THAT ACT TOGETHER KIDS AND ADULTS FROM SAME FAMILIES ARE AMONG ACT’S ‘PAGEANT’ CAST By Shanee Simhoni ssimhoni@citizen-times.com

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amilies and friends collaborate to bring audience members humor and chaos in the Asheville Community Theatre’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” which opens tonight. It’s true within the comic play as well as offstage, since at least two families have more than one member in the show’s cast. “I think one of the best things about ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,’ is when you think about Christmas in general, it can seem chaotic and crazy and you run out of time to do everything, and you don’t necessarily always remember, not to be cliché, but the true meaning of Christmas,” said Cary Nichols, the director of this production.

Written by Barbara Robinson, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” features the Herdman family, a group of six whom the town residents know as the troublemakers and bullies of the town. The Herdmans take over the town’s annual Christmas pageant, and amusing disorganization ensues. “My character is sort of uptight and flustered and a perfectionist — a little overwhelmed with the whole process, because the Herdman family shows up at church unexpectedly,” said Robin Oswald, who plays Grace Bradley, a mother in charge of organizing the pageant in the play.

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“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” cast includes family pairs, from left, JayAire Grier-McEachin and her great aunt Viola Williams, and Robin Oswald and her 9-year-old daughter Riley. The family pairs “were not necessarily cast because they were related,” director Cary Nichols said. /SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN-TIMES

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Robin’s 9-year-old daughter Riley plays Gladys Herdman, whom Riley describes as being “mean, fast, she likes to bite and is obsessed with amazing comics,” creating a foil to her mother’s character. “It’s all about having fun, and the fun part is, especially for this story, it’s about a group of kids who are putting on a play, and this is a group of a kids putting on a play about a group of kids putting on a play,” Nichols said. “When I started looking at this, I wanted to have family where it was applicable, and having Robin and Riley in the show has been a lot of fun.” Eleven-year-old JayAire Grier-McEachin plays Alice Wendleken, a prim and proper churchgoer. Her great aunt Viola Williams plays Irma Slocum, one of the town gossipers. JayAire said having a family member in the cast provides her with some comfort and lessens her stage fright. “You know more people, so you can be more comfortable around everybody,” said Grier-McEachin, a sixth-grader at Asheville-Pisgah Christian School. “They treat you like they know you, and it’s easy to become friends.” Viola said stage fright is not an issue for her. “I enjoy people, and I feel I’m a natural comedian in a way. If I can get a laugh out of anybody, I love to do that, so in my mind, it does not compute, being afraid or scared or frightened, because I enjoy it,” said Viola, who performed in some plays at her church in the past. The family pairs “were not necessarily cast because they were related,” Nichols said. “I had plenty of children that were here auditioning with other family members that weren’t cast. It kind of comes down to who is right for the part and then it ends up being a bonus, because their family members are in it. “It really does become irrelevant,”

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JayAire Grier-McEachin, 11, plays Alice Wendleken, a prim and proper churchgoer, and her great aunt Viola Williams plays Irma Slocum, one of the town gossipers. SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN-TIMES

IF YOU GO What: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Where: Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville. When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 8. No show Nov. 29. Doors to the lobby open about an hour before the show. Tickets: $12-$22. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.com or call 254-1320.

continued Nichols. “It doesn’t affect the directing at all, once they’re on the stage.” Robin said she sees her daughter as the character she plays while on the stage, because Riley portrays her character very convincingly. “When I’m talking with her on stage directly, she’s Gladys. She’s definitely Gladys. It’s the fun part of being able to do that, interact with her as Gladys, and then when you take a break, she has a snack, we sit together or she goes and plays with her new friends,” said Robin, who began involving herself in theater when she was 8 or 9 years old. Grier-McEachin and Williams also said their performances in the play aren’t affected by having a familial relationship — other than assuaging any nervousness.

“I was not aware that they had these many families participating together in this program,” Williams said. “To have these many children working together and having that much cohesiveness together, I’m very impressed.” Nichols, who became seriously involved with theater 10 years ago, said directing comes naturally to her, especially directing productions involving children. “My first interest in theater has always been in being on stage, but every time that I am on stage, I find myself getting a director’s mindset, the perspective of the bigger picture,” said Nichols, who directed six plays before this one. “For this one, I went into it knowing there are a lot of kids, which is one of the things that really drew me to this. “I have a natural affinity to be able to understand kids and work with them on the stage and have a lot of fun doing it.” “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” has 37 cast members, and 31 of those are children, including 12 from Enka Middle School’s chorus. Although filled with rambunctious energy, a rehearsal also teemed with enthusiasm and fluently-memorized lines. “My mom bought me the audio book of ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,’ so I can sort of feel what Gladys feels and how she says her speaking parts and stuff,” Riley said. Robin said Riley knows her own lines and almost every other cast member’s, a point that Nichols addressed during a rehearsal, when she asked Riley not to mouth other characters’ lines as they speak them. Although brimming with confidence, Riley said she feels “nervouscited” about opening night on Friday. “You will be hard-pressed to watch this show and not laugh. When it comes right down to it, the message at the end of the play is how this misfit group of children whom everybody thought was going to ruin the Christmas pageant, has basically literally made it the best Christmas pageant ever,” Nichols said.

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5 CLASSIC HOLIDAY BOOKS

By Jennifer Prince Special to WNC Parent

The winter holidays are a time to celebrate tradition. What makes a tradition varies. Maybe it is using the same recipe for pumpkin pie every year. Maybe it is attending Christmas Eve Mass. Maybe it is going skiing. Whatever the particular tradition is, there is room for a few good children’s books. Squeeze a read in while the pie bakes or before going to church. Pack a few books to read by the fire at the ski lodge. Some Christmas stories for children have been perennial favorites for generations. Other stories are new, yet their fine qualities make them contenders for the perennial favorites list. One of the most popular children’s stories for Christmas is “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. Since its original publication in 1823, the story has been adapted numerous times by various illustrators and writers. In a 2006 version (Marshall Cavendish), artist Gennady Spirin brings his characteristic style to the story. Using Moore’s original, unaltered story, Spirin imbues each page with layers of visual splendor. Rendered in colored pencil and watercolor, the illustrations sugContinues on Page 20

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gest a 19th century setting. The colors are rich and warm, and each image is wrought in meticulous detail. Santa’s sleigh is especially fine. It bears ornate gilt carvings and is laden with innumerable toys. The reindeer are wonders to behold. They have regal bearing and are outfit in harnesses of exquisite red and gold. Traditionalists will appreciate Spirin’s interpretation of the this holiday classic. Another holiday go-to is the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Like “The Night Before Christmas,” it has been interpreted several times in children’s picture books. Artist Jane Ray’s 2011 version (Candlewick Press) is a standout. The lyrics of the song are spread out over the course of the book. Ray’s eye-catching mixed-media illustrations are visual feasts. As each of the 12 days pass and the gifts are doled out, the recipient’s townhouse becomes a cheerful hive of holiday

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busyness. Ray depicts each day’s gift in lush detail, from the dusky tinting on the wings of the turtledoves to the pin-striped pants of the leaping lords. Ray’s use of long, fluid lines and raspberry hues gives the book an elegant look. In a unique twist, at the end of the book, the recipient’s true love shows up at her door bearing a single red rose. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is not the only holiday song to receive stellar picture book treatment. Author Maxie Baum and artist Julie Paschkis lend their talents to 2006 publication, “I Have a Little Dreidel” (Scholastic). In this sunny book, the text consists mostly of the tradi-

tional dreidel song. Baum supplements the verses of the song with a short rhymed story about a family getting together to celebrate Hanukkah. Paschkis’ illustrations have the look of traditional Swiss folk art. She uses bold, bright colors to create stylized images. Each twopage spread is bordered with blue and white designs, giving the overall book visual unity. Attentive young readers will enjoy spotting the family’s cat and dog in each illustration. The book is appended with directions on playing the dreidel game and a recipe for making latkes. Speaking of latkes, one new book about latkes — or one particular latke — is well on its way to becoming a holiday mainstay. Lemony Snicket, author of the “Series of Unfortunate Events” books for children, lends his slightly macabre humor to the picture book “The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story” (McSweeney’s Books 2007). The barebones of the story involves a latke

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who jumps out of a hot frying pan and runs away, indignant and a bit afraid at his plight. As the latke runs, he comes across various holiday characters — Christmas lights, a candy cane and a pine tree. None of the characters understands the latke’s meaning to the holidays, so the latke explains his importance to them. Ultimately, the latke is eaten by people, but not before the characters (and the reader) learn about the meaning of Hanukkah. Lisa Brown’s small, simple illustrations are set against plenty of white space. The latke’s expressive face is captivating, but does not overwhelm the power of the writing. This is an enlightening and laughout-loud funny read. Fans of Lemony Snicket might enjoy also his collaboration with artist Brett Helquist in “The Lump of Coal” (HarperCollins 2008). For the chapter book set, holiday reading is not complete without revisiting Barbara Robinson’s 1972 classic, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” The story revolves around the Herdmans, the town’s local juvenile miscreants. The Herdman children, singly or corporately, are guilty of every crime known to youth, and the older Herdman children might be guilty of a felony or two. So when the Herdman kids decide they want to participate in the town’s Christmas pageant, the pageant supervisors are more than a little concerned. The Herdman kids have never been to church. They have never heard the story of the Nativity. What could these kids contribute? It turns out, plenty — that is if the young Imogene Herdman will quit smoking cigars long enough to take a lead role in the pageant. Seen through the Herdman’s eyes, the Nativity takes on freshness and meaning that no one anticipated. By turns, hilarious and heartwrenching, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is not only a fine chapter book for newly independent readers, the book makes a great family read-aloud as well. There are many excellent holiday books for young people. The books described here are at the top of their game. All are available through the Buncombe County Public Libraries. Visit www.buncombe county.org/library or contact your neighborhood branch library to learn more.

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FAMILY FUN FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Parades

(on A-B Tech campus). House is decked in Victorian holiday decor. Candlelight tours available by reservation for groups of 12 or more for $15. Admission $10 for adults, $6 for college students, $5 for ages 8-18. Call 253-9231 or visit www.wnchistory.org.

Bakersville: 6 p.m. Dec. 3 Canton: 6 p.m. Dec. 5 Brevard: 3 p.m. Dec. 7 Hendersonville: 10 a.m. Dec. 7 Burnsville: Dec. 7 Weaverville: 1 p.m. Dec. 7 Maggie Valley: 6 p.m. Dec. 7 Waynesville: 6 p.m. Dec. 9 Tryon: 5 p.m. Dec. 11 Marshall: 11 a.m. Dec. 14 Saluda: 3 p.m. Dec. 14 Fletcher: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14 Sylva: 3 p.m. Dec. 14

Dec. 4

“A Christmas Story,” Dec. 4-22, Flat Rock Playhouse, Flat Rock. Based on the motion picture classic and on the book “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” by Jean Shepherd. The story of Ralphie and his Christmas wish for a Red Ryder BB rifle. $35. Visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org. Deck the Trees, 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4, Monte Vista Hotel, 308 W. State St., Black Mountain. Kick-off party and first viewing of 24 trees deocrated by community businesses, organizations and nonprofits. Lake Julian Festival of Lights, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” walk-through, 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4-5. For walkers only. Live music, fire with marshmallows. $5, children free. Parking is at Family of Faith Fellowship Church, 212 Long Shoals Road, Arden. Festval of Lights, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 6-23. Drive-thru light show with thousands of lights and more than 50 light displays. Call 684-0376 or visit www.buncombecounty.org.

Seasonlong events

Christmas at the Farm, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 21, Sycamore Farms, Mills River. Reading of the Christmas story and discussion about the shepherds and the sheep in the story, a Christmas craft project to take home and demonstrations. $8 per person; children 3 and younger $4; With tour: $12 per person; children 3 and younger $5. Call 891-2487 or visit www.sycamore farmsnc.com. Christmas at Biltmore, through Jan. 12, Biltmore Estate. Regular admission applies until dusk. Additional charge for Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Nov. 9Jan. 4. Visit www.biltmore.com. National Gingerbread House Competition. through Jan. 2, The Omni Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, 290 Macon Ave., Asheville. Community viewing Sunday-Thursday. Parking $10, with proceeds going to six area charities. Call 800-438-0050, ext. 1281. Holidays for Hospice. Asheville Mall hosts the CarePartners Garden of Memories. For details on memorial ornaments, visit www.carepartners foundation.org. Call 277-4815. “The Polar Express,” through Dec. 29, Bryson City. Travel through the wilderness to the North Pole on Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Santa will board the train, greet each child and give children a silver bell as in “The Polar Express.” Times and dates vary. Tickets start at $40 for adults, $26 for ages 2-12. Visit www.gsmr.com or call 800-872-4681. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland light and music show, dusk-10 p.m. through Jan. 1, WNC Ag Center, Fletcher. Drive-thru, synchronized LED light and Christmas show. Santa, children’s activities, food for extra fee. $20 for cars or family vans, $30 van/mini bus/limo, $75 bus. The Trolley Co. will offer a shuttle service, departing from Visitors Center, 201 S. Main St., Hendersonville, at 5:15 and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Group tours available all other weekdays with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Weekend shuttle is $10. Reservations required. Visit www.thetrolleycompany.com or www.shadrack christmas.com. Holiday Fest, through Dec. 23, Tom Sawyer’s Christmas Tree Farm and Elf Village, 240 Chimney Pond Road, Glenville. Elf Village open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Tree farm open 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

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Dec. 5

“A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 5-22, Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway St., downtown. Montford Park Players present the holiday classic. Performances at 8 p.m., or 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Dec. 5 is “Pay What We’re Worth Night,” see the show then pay what you think it’s worth. Visit www.montfordparkplayers.org.

Dec. 6

Santa Claus rappels down Chimney Rock on Dec. 7 and 14. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Kids listen to elf tales, create crafts, write wish lists or tell it to Santa in person, Christmas tree maze. Visit www.tomsawyerchristmastreefarm. com or call 743-5456. Christmas at Connemara, 10 a.m. Saturdays until Dec. 28, Carl Sandburg Home, Flat Rock. Celebrate Christmas with the traditions of the Sandburgs with holiday decorations, which will be up from Nov. 29-Jan. 6. Music or storytelling at 11 a.m. Crafts from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. free with house tour admission. Call 693-4178 or visit www.nps.gov/carl. Deck the Trees, Dec. 4-31, Monte Vista Hotel, 308 W. State St., Black Mountain. Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Kick-off party and first viewing of 24 trees decorated by community businesses, organizations and nonprofits is 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5. Voting open to the public. Awards/holiday celebreation 5-8 p.m. Dec. 20. 19th Century Carolina Christmas, through Jan. 5. Smith-McDowell House, 283 Victoria Road, Asheville

A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 6. A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment. Visit www.abtech.edu. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville. The hilarious Christmas tale of a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant and faced with casting six delinquent siblings. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.org. Biltmore Village Dickens Festival, Dec. 6-8, Biltmore Village, Asheville. Storytellers, carolers and entertainers on the stage and streets. Visit www.biltmorevillage.com. Bullington Gardens open house, 1-4 p.m. Dec. 6, and holiday sale, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6-7. 95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville. Ninth-annual sale will feature premium, native freshly-cut Fraser fir trees, wreaths and garland from WNC. Pre-order to guarantee. Amaryllis also available. Call 698-6104 or visit the website at www.bullingtongardens.org. Fletcher tree lighting, 6-7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Fletcher Community Park. Free. Visit www.fletcherparks.org. Gingerbread House Competition, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 6

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during Franklin’s Winter Wonderland celebration at Town Hall on Main Street. Entry form and rules can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce or visit www.VisitFranklinNC.com. Registration deadline is Nov. 25. Entry fee $25 adults, $10 age 12 and younger. Entries should be delivered from 3-7 p.m. Dec. 3. Call 524-3161. Holly Jolly, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 6, downtown Black Mountain. Refreshments, stores open late, Santa and more. Free. Visit www.visitblackmountain.com. Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas, 5-8 p.m., Dec. 6, downtown Hendersonville, from Allen Street to Seventh Avenue. Visit www.downtown hendersonville.org. Tree of Lights, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 S. Allen Road, Flat Rock. The 23rd annual community celebration. Hundreds of luminaries, many inscribed with the names of loved ones, will set the landscape aglow, while thousands of lights sparkle in remembrance of others. Lights, luminaries and personalized luminaries are available for advance purchase online at www.treeoflights.com, and at the event. Parking and shuttle services will be available from Blue Ridge College. To learn more or participate in the remembrance, visit www.fourseasonscfl.org. Winter Wonderland, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 6, downtown Franklin. Free. Wagon rides, refreshments, live music, live window displays. Visit holidaysinfranklin.com. Santa Under the Sea, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Team ECCO Ocean Center & Aquarium, Hendersonville. Visit with Santa and the Team ECCO mermaids, open to all ages, free photo disc of your time with Santa provided by local photographer Byron Collins. $3, children younger than 4 free. Visit www.teamecco.org. Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries, Dec. 6-7 and 13-14, downtown Dillsboro. Live music, carolers, holiday treats from merchants, horse and buggy rides (added cost plus tip) and Santa at Town Hall. Starts at dusk. Free. Call 800-962-1911 or visit www.visit dillsboro.org. ‘Tis the Season Holiday Fair, Dec. 6-8, WNC Agricultural Center Davis Event Center, Fletcher. Handmade gifts, adornments for the home, holiday foods, NC Wines, Christmas tree sales and music. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 6-7, noon-6 p.m. Dec. 8. $5. Visit www.wncholidayfair.net.

Dec. 7

Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 7, Asheville's Fun Depot, 2 Roberts Road, Asheville. Free pancake breakfast. Have your photo taken with Santa. No purchase necessary. Call 277-2FUN or visit www.Ashe villesFunDepot.com. Christmas at the Farm, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7, Historic Johnson Farm, 3345 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Holiday music, cookies and cider, house tours, wagon rides, more. $5 for adults, $3 for students, free preschoolers and younger. Parking in Rugby Middle School lot with free shuttle. Call 891-6585 or visit www.historicjohnsonfarm.org. Holiday magic show, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7, St. Mary’s Church, 337 Charlotte St., Asheville. Celebrate holiday magic with “Magic, Mirth & Meaning.” Join the magician founders of the public charity The Vanishing

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Continued from Page 23 Wheelchair, Inc. to share the magic of the season, a free family-friendly hour-and-a-half magic and music show. It will reinforce the love of the season and demonstrate that every person, no matter what level of ability, has a place in this world. Visit www. vanishingwheelchair.org. Vance Birthplace Christmas Candlelight Tour, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 7, Reems Creek Road, Weaverville. Guided candlelight tours and a look at Christmas in the southern Appalachians during the early 1800s. Call 645-6706 or visit www.nchistoricsites.org/vance/. Brevard Twilight Tour, 4-8 p.m. Dec. 7, Brevard. The 25th annual merchants’ open house, with Santa, Christmas parade. Call 884-3278. Visit brevardnc.org. Smoky Mountain Toy Run, gates open at 10 a.m., run at 1 p.m. Dec. 7, Kearfott Manufacturing, Black Mountain. Motorcycle ride to benefit children. Visit www.smokymountainhog.com. Email info@smoky mountaintoyrun.com. Open House with Santa, noon-3 p.m. Dec. 7, Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, 201 E. State St. Light refreshments, photos with Santa for $10. Call 669-2300. Santa on the Chimney, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 7 and 14, Chimeny Rock State Park, U.S. 74, Chimney Rock. St. Nick will descend from the top of Chimney Rock on a nearly 200-food rappel every 30-45 minutes, weather permitting. Kids can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy treats and kids’ activities. Each weekend, one guest will win free two-hour rock climbing lessons for two from

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The 21st annual National Gingerbread House Competition youth winner is Amanda Spafford from Maryville, Tenn. See her house and more at the Grove Park Inn through the holidays. BILL SANDERS/ WSANDERS@ CITIZEN-TIMES. COM

Fox Mountain Guides. The winner of each drawing will be announced at 1:30 p.m.; must be present to win. Visit www.chimneyrockpark.com. Santa’s Village, 5-7 p.m. Dec. 7, Chimney Rock Village. After Santa’s big climb on the Chimney, join him for an old-fashioned Christmas. Photo opportunities

with Santa on Main Street, caroling and a bake sale, tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Gathering Place. Historic Seventh Avenue “Polar Express” event, 12:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Historic Train Depot, Hendersonville. Visit www.7thavehvl.com. “Musical Tidings for the Holidays,” Blue Ridge Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Ferguson Auditorium, A-B Tech, Asehville; and 4 p.m. Dec. 8, Folk Art Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Visit www.blueridge orchestra.org. Guild Artists’ Holiday Sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 14. Southern Highlands Craft Guild artists sell their work at Folk Art Center, Milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Visit www.southernhighland guild.org. Christmas in Appalachia, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Upper Anderson Auditorium at Montreat Conference Center. A fundraising concert for Shindig on the Green, featuring headliner Whitewater Bluegrass Company and The Griggs. Master of Ceremonies is Glenn Bannerman. Adults $20; children 12 and younger $10; group Rate (10 or more adults) $15 per person. Reserve tickets by e-mailing info@folkheritage.org or by calling the Folk Heritage Info Line at 258-6101, ext. 345. For more information visit www.folkheritage.org. Circle of Lights, 6 p.m. Dec. 7. Celebration around Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain after the parade. Free. Visit www.exploreblackmountain.com. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Porter Center for Performing Arts at Brevard College. Free admission. 884-8211.

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Dec. 8

Hendersonville Community Band Christmas Concert, 3 p.m. Dec. 8. At Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall in Flat Rock. Adults $10, students free. Call 696-2118. “Sounds of the Season,” 3-5 p.m. Dec. 8, Bardo Arts Center at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. Call 227-2479 or visit www.wcu.edu/ bardoartscenter/. UNC Asheville holiday concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 8, Lipinsky Hall Auditorium. Call 251-6432 or visit www.unca.edu. Laurel Park Tree Lighting, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Laurel Green Park, corner of White Pine and Laurel Highway.

Dec. 10

Blue Ridge Ringers concert, noon Dec. 10, Transylvania County Library, South Gaston Street, Brevard. A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 10. A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment. Visit www.abtech.edu.

Dec. 11

“The Nutcracker” by The Moscow Ballet, 7:30

“O Holy Night,” Dec. 12-22, Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown, Hendersonville. A new musical adaptation of the classic nativity story told through traditional and modern Christmas music. Tickets $35, discounts available. Visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org or call 693-0731. “The Gifts of the Magi,” Dec. 12-22, Hendersonville Little Theatre, 229 S. Washington St., Hendersonville. A musical from the stories by O. Henry. Adults $20, under 18 years $10. Visit www.hendersonvillelittletheatre.org. ABCCM “Return to Bethlehem,” 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 12-13; 2-8 p.m. Dec. 14; 2-6 p.m. Dec. 15; Groce UMC 954 Tunnel Road, Asheville. Journey through a Bethlehem marketplace as it would have been during the time of Jesus’ birth. Free.

window displays. Visit www.holidaysinfranklin.com. A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13. A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment. Visit www.abtech.edu. Asheville Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 14-15, Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, downtown Asheville. Tickets $25-50 adults, $15 students and ages 12 and younger. Call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com or www.ashevilleballet.com. “A Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14, 3 p.m. Dec. 15, Mountain Heritage High School, Burnsville. $12-$15. Tickets available at the door or call 682-4285 or visit www.parkwayplayhouse.com. Appalachian Christmas Celebration, Dec. 13-14, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Visit www.lakejunaluska.com/christmas or call 800-222-4930. Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries, Dec. 13-14, downtown Dillsboro. Live music, carolers, holiday treats from merchants, horse and buggy rides (added cost) and Santa at Town Hall. Starts at dusk. Free. Call 800-962-1911 or visit www.visitdillsboro.org.

Dec. 13

Dec. 14

p.m. Dec. 11, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at U.S. Cellular Center, downtown Asheville. Starting at $29.50. Visit www.ticketmaster.com for tickets. “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” Dec. 11-29, times vary, N.C. Stage Company, 15 Stage Lane, Asheville. We know what happens to Scrooge, but what about his old business partner Marley? Visit www.ncstage.org.

Dec. 12

Candlelight Christmas Stroll, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13, downtown Weaverville. Luminaries, entertainment, horse and buggy rides and Santa. Visit www.visitweaverville.com. Winter Wonderland, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13, downtown Franklin. Free. Wagon rides, refreshments, live music, live

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Breakfast with Santa: 8:30 and 10 a.m. Dec. 14, Dr. Wesley Grant Sr., Southside Center, 285 Livingston St., Asheville. Admission includes pancake breakfast with

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Continued from Page 25Q sausage, yogurt, milk, orange juice and coffee. A picture with Santa; be sure to bring your camera. Holiday ornament making. Special holiday dance workshop led by LEAF. Reservations are required. 50 people per seating. For ages 2-9; children must be accompanied by an adult. $8 per person. Admission fee is required for all children and adults. For more information call 259-5800. Register at http://bit.ly/ Iewh21. Holiday cookie bake sale, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 14. At First Congregational Church Fellowship Hall in Hendersonville. Call 692-8630. 13th annual Family Fun Day Holiday Fest, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 14, WNC Agricultural Center-Expo Building, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher. Open to the public, the event is designed especially for persons with disabilities and their families, and will feature entertainment, family activities, music, games, information, and food. The event recognizes the diversity of our community, promotes community inclusion, and advocates for persons of all ages and abilities. Free. For more information, call 298-1977. Santa on the Chimney, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 14, Chimney Rock State Park, U.S. 74, Chimney Rock. St. Nick will descend from the top of Chimney Rock on a nearly 200-food rappel every 30-45 minutes, weather permitting. Kids can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy treats and kids’ activities. Lake Lure Classical Academy fifth-grade chorus performs at noon and

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rock ‘n’ roll band performs at 1 p.m. One guest will win free two-hour rock climbing lessons for two from Fox Mountain Guides. The winner of each drawing will be announced at 1:30 p.m.; must be present to win. Visit www.chimneyrockpark.com. “A Night Before Christmas,” 6-9 p.m. Dec. 14, downtown Waynesville. Caroling, storytelling, wagon rides, Santa, more. Visit www.downtownwaynes ville.com. Visions of Sugar Plums, 2-4 p.m. Dec. 14-15, Black Mountain area. Annual bed-and-breakfast/country inn cookie tour. First adult ticket $12 with gift bag and cookie recipe book. $10 additional adult (no bag), ages 5-16 $5, younger than 5 is free. Tickets at Visitor Center two weeks before event and at participating inns during event. Call 669-2300 or visit www.explore blackmountain.com. Guild Artists Holiday Sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 14. Southern Highlands Craft Guild artists sell their work at Folk Art Center, Milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Visit www.southernhighlandguild.org. Breakfast with Santa, 9-11 a.m. Dec. 14, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, Schoolhouse Road, Robbinsville. $5 per person. For all ages. Visit www.stecoah valleycenter.com. Victorian Candlelight Christmas, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 14, Thomas Wolfe Memorial, 52 N. Market St., Asheville. Light refreshments, music by Primrose, Victorian-era crafts, Santa. $10, free age 8 and younger. 253-8304 or www.wolfememorial.com.

Dec. 15

Asheville Symphony: A Classical Christmas, 3 p.m. Dec. 15. Featuring Handel’s “Messiah.” Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in U.S. Cellular Center, Haywood Street, downtown Asheville. Call 254-7046 or visit www.ashevillesymphony.org. Blue Ridge Ringers handbell concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 15, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 22 Fisher Road, Brevard. Free will offering. 692-4910. Celebration Singers of Asheville winter concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 15, First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., Asheville. Donations appreciated. Visit www.singasheville.org. Mills River Holiday Tour of Homes, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 15. Tour homes, bed-and-breakfast and a business decorated for the holidays. $12. Call 684-8425.

Dec. 17

A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 17. A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment. Visit www.abtech.edu.

Dec. 18

“The Nutcracker” by Ballet Conservatory of Asheville, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 and at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19-20, Diana Wortham Theatre, at Pack Place 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. $12-$25. Call 257-4530 or visit

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www.dwtheatre.com for tickets. Visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com.

Dec. 19

“Rediscovering Christmas,” 7:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 19, Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St. Jim Shores and Carol Anderson of Acts of Renewal Theatre Company bring a series of vignettes that rediscover the hilarity, mystery, and wonder of Christmas. $15. 669-0930 or www.blackmountainarts.org.

Dec. 20

Loving Food Resources’ Holiday Cookie Party, 6-8 p.m. Dec. 20, Kenilworth Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, Chiles Avenue, Asheville. Bring four dozen or more homemade cookies to help fill 200 cake boxes with cookies for the clients of Loving Food Resources and some to share. Coffee and milk will be provided. Cookies may also be dropped off at Ace Hardware North on Dec. 20 for delivery to the church (before 4 p.m.). For more information, contact Betty Sharpless at 273-2531 or bsharpl614@aol.com. Deck the Trees Christmas party, 6-8 p.m. Dec. 20, Monte Vista Hotel, 308 W. State St., Black Mountain. Christmas party open to the public, special entertainment. Winner of Deck the Trees announced at 7:30 p.m. A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 20. A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an

1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment. Visit www.abtech.edu.

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Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21. “A Carolina Christmas” concert with Hendersonville Children’s Choir at Blue Ridge Conference Hall. Adults $35, students $5. Visit www. hendersonvillesymphony.org. Holiday Homecoming, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 21, Oconoluftee Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee. Free. See old-time craft demonstrations, learn about quilting, weaving, basket and doll making, apple cider and butter making, more. Visit www.nps.gov/grsm. Winter Solstice Night Hike, 7-9 p.m. Dec. 21, DuPont State Forest, off U.S. 64, Hendersonville. Meet at Hooker Falls parking area on DuPont Road. Bring flashlights and a warm drink. Call 692-0385 or visit www.eco-wnc.org. Christmas on the Mountain with Sheila Kay Adams, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, Thomas Wolfe Memorial, 52 N. Market St., Asheville. A holiday program with balladeer and folklorist Sheila Kay Adams in the Visitor Center. $10. Visit www.ncculture.com, call 253-8304 or e-mail wolfe@ncdcr.gov for information.

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Dec. 22

“A Swannanoa Solstice” concert, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22, Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place, Asheville. Regular $35; student $33; children 12 and younger $15. Call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Dec. 25

Bounty of Bethlehem dinner, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 25, Immaculata Catholic School, 711 Buncombe St., Hendersonville. A free community Christmas dinner that includes entertainment, gifts and a visit from Santa. Visit www.bountyofbethlehem.org. Ski and ride with Santa, 1-10 p.m. Dec. 25, Cataloochee Ski Area, 1080 Ski Lodge Road, Maggie Valley. Holiday rates apply: $28-$59. 926-0285 or http://www.cataloochee.com/activities_events/index. php.

Dec. 31

New Year’s at Noon, noon Dec. 31, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Dress up in stage costumes and make noise makers in our Party Room, then ring in the New Year Hands On! style. Noise maker materials available at 10 a.m. Visit www.handsonwnc.org or call 697-8333. New Year’s Eve celebration, Dec. 31, downtown Marion. Visit www.hometownmarion.com.

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guest columnist

How to avoid holiday hazards

Dr. Susan Mims

Special to WNC Parent

Christmas trees, twinkling lights and stockings hung by the fireplace make the holiday season merry — but did you know these festive trimmings can also be holiday hazards for children? According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 12,500 people have to rush to the emergency room each year with holidayrelated accidental injuries. Keep your children safe and your holiday celebrations filled with happy memories by taking the following precautions this winter.

Batteries

Batteries of all shapes and sizes present a choking hazard to children who are apt to put things in their mouths. Button batteries, the small circular batteries often found in children’s toys, are especially dangerous when swallowed because they can burn holes in a child’s esophagus and stomach in less than two hours. In a study published in Pediatrics, researchers found that button batteries accounted for more than 84 percent of all battery-related ingestions among children 18 years and younger. The study found that 75 percent of children examined in the ER for battery-related visits were by children aged 5 and younger; 1-year-olds were the most frequent visitors. If you suspect your child has swallowed a battery, go immediately to the emergency department.

Christmas trees

Christmas trees may be a holiday tradition in many households, but these

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immediate medical attention for a child who has ingested any of these dangerous plants. Note: Contrary to popular belief, poinsettia plants are not considered toxic.

Snow sprays

festive trees can present several dangers for toddlers and young children. A study published in Pediatric Emergency Care found that glass ornaments were one of the worst safety hazards of Christmas decorations. After examining 76 cases over a 13year period, researchers found that more than half of the injuries involved small light bulbs and glass ornaments placed within a toddler’s reach. To avoid these injuries, be sure to place breakable ornaments at the top of the tree or consider putting them away until children are older. Use ribbon or string to hang ornaments rather than hooks, which are often small and sharp. If you select an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled “fire-retardant.” If you opt for a live tree, select one with a green color, sticky trunk and needles that don’t fall off or break easily — these are signs that the tree is fresh and more resistant to catching fire. Be sure to keep your tree secured in a sturdy stand so that children can’t knock it over.

Plants

Common holiday plants (and their berries) can look attractive to curious children. Poisonous holiday plants include boxwood, Jerusalem cherry, holly, mistletoe and various species of yew. Even a small amount of ingestion can be dangerous — as few as three mistletoe berries can be toxic to a child. Seek

Snow sprays are popular during the holiday season to create artificial snowflakes, but take note before you let your child help decorate: Propellants (such as acetone or methylene chloride) inside the aerosol can are toxic when inhaled. Snow sprays also can be extremely flammable, so always avoid spraying near an open flame. The contents can also be harmful if sprayed in or near a child’s eyes. If the spray does get into your child’s eyes, immediately flush them with water and continue to do so for at least 15 minutes. Get medical attention promptly if symptoms occur after washing. Once the snow spray dries, it is not dangerous.

Toys

When choosing gifts, be sure to select age-appropriate toys to match the abilities, skills and interests of each child. Strings and ribbons, particularly those longer than 12 inches, should be removed from toys before they are given to young children to avoid strangulation. Avoid choosing toys with small parts that present choking hazards. If you are visiting friends and family over the holiday season, keep in mind they may not have the same childproofing strategies in place, so be extra careful to keep an eye on children. Taking precautions will ensure that you and your family have a happy — and safe — holiday season. Susan Mims, MD, MPH, is VP for Women’s and Children’s at Mission Hospital and Medical Director for Mission Children’s Hospital.

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area story times Buncombe County Libraries Visit www.buncombecounty.org. Mother Goose: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Black Mountain; 11 a.m. Tuesday, Fairview; 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, North Asheville; 11 a.m. Thursday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Pack; 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Monday, West Asheville. Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Black Mountain; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Enka; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Fairview; 10 a.m. Wednesday, North Asheville; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Pack; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, S. Buncombe; 10 a.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Thursday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Wednesday, West Asheville. Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Black Mountain; 11 a.m. Wednesday and Saturday, East Asheville; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Enka; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Fairview; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Leicester; 11 a.m. Wednesday, North Asheville; 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Monday, Pack; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, South Buncombe; 11 a.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Tuesday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Thursday, West Asheville. Reading Corner (ages 6-12) 3:30 p.m. first Wednesdays, Pack.

Haywood County Library

Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org. Waynesville, 356-2512 or 356-2511: Movers and Shakers: 11 a.m. Thursdays; Ready 4 Learning: 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Family story time: 11 a.m. Wednesdays Canton, 648-2924: Family story time, 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Rompin’ Stompin’ story time, 10 a.m. Thursdays

Henderson County Library

Visit www.henderson. lib.nc.us. No regular story times in December.

Barnes & Noble

Asheville Mall and Biltmore Park Town Square: 11 a.m. Saturdays

Spellbound Children’s Bookshop

50 N. Merrimon Ave., Asheville: 11 a.m. Saturdays, ages 3-6. Free. www.spellboundbookshop.com

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librarian's pick

For kids, the grosser the better Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Libraries

Interest in gross things is a rite of passage for many kids. Body noises and smells are of special interest during this phase of intellectual development. “The grosser the better” could be the catch-phrase. What a golden opportunity it is when educators and parents are presented with an opportunity to combine a young person’s passion for grossness with learning. Such an opportunity is found in the 80 pages of Joe Rhatigan’s new book, “Ouch!” Rhatigan is no stranger to writing stellar nonfiction for youth. Among his books is “White House Kids: The Perks, Pleasures, Problems and Pratfalls of the Presidents’ Children.”

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Rhatigan begins the book with a disclaimer that the book is not intended as a guide for diagnosis and treatment. He recommends that children leave that to doctors and parents. Still, to give the book an coat of respectability, all of the content was reviewed by a doctor. Rhatigan lays the groundwork by explaining body basics; how the body reads pain, the purpose of skin, and so on. Then with a modified Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale, Rhatigan explains that the measure of pain in each subsequent health scenario will be marked with a corresponding face, be it an unperturbed straight face, a slight grimace or a red-faced holler. For each health scenario, the following are described: first response, what the doctor does, what the body does, and tips for prevention in the future.

Scenarios include things that happen to the outside of the body: getting a splinter, a blister, a bruise. Other scenarios include things that happen to the inside: catching a cold, having a fever, a stomach virus and an ear infection. The writing is informative, succinct and written in a way that is engaging and accessible to young readers. The illustrations consist of drawings by Anthony Owsley, and a variety of high-resolution photographs. The drawings are done in a cartoon style, and are amusing and informative. Many of the photographs show injuries in up-close (read gross) detail — the oozefilled blister, the speckled rash and the freeze-frame of the man in mid-sneeze. This book is available in the Buncombe County Public Libraries. To learn more, visit www.buncombecounty.org/library.

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growing together

Looking for the joy By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist

It’s especially cold today. The wind has chilled me to the bone each time I’ve had to brave it hustling to and from the car, even as the sun shines and sky forms a crisp, unyielding blue canopy. The weather sums up this year for me. I am filled to overflowing with gratitude and at the same time, saddened for my friends who have suffered so much. My children are healthy and happy and most importantly, making positive impacts on those around them. They aren’t perfect. Neither are their parents. I love my husband more than words can say, and I am continually amazed and grateful that he loves me right back. We have a warm home, our needs are met and we are lucky enough to have dogs as

the icing on our family cake. But I won’t be sorry to flip the calendar to a new year. 2013, I hope the door hits you square in the fanny on your way out. Intellectually, I know there are never years when suffering doesn’t abound. It’s always there. But never have I known a year where the degrees of separation for profound pain have been so few. In the past 300-plus days since the champagne popped and the fireworks exploded overhead, one of my children has buried two friends. Teenagers should not know such grief. Parents should not have to bury their children. I’ve seen multiple families disintegrate under the weight of poor choices, harsh words and betrayals. My friends have faced starting over without their partners. They’ve done so with grace that can only be described as supernatural. Friends have received dreaded phone

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calls from doctors and are left to wonder what the future holds. This year has been one for the record books, most certainly. But through the bitter I’ve witnessed patience and faith and joy that comes from the deep inner places. My hurting friends have grieved very public losses with glimmers of radiance coming through the cracks. They have received news that defies everything I know about goodness and hope and they’ve kept getting out of bed every day, even if only for their children. This is no small thing, this persistence of joy. Joy is not the same as happiness. I’ve lived long enough to know that. Joy is the thing that lets us brave the cold while we smile at the sunshine. It is the promise that summer is coming. I am thankful that I live in a part of the world where Christmas is celebrated in the winter, never more so than this year. And I especially thankful that the sun shines. The Son shines. Chris Worthy is an attorney who took down her shingle to be a stay-at-home mom. Reach her at chris@worthyplace.net.

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kids' voices

Holiday traditions

This month, we asked students about holidays, and traditions they share with their families. These are the answers we received from Melinda Rogers’ third-grade class at North Buncombe Elementary School. “Do you know what my favorite holiday is? It’s Christmas! That’s because that’s Jesus’ birthday. You get to spend time with your family. You get to eat yummy food and get presents from Santa. Christmas is the best day in the year! We get to put up the Christmas tree. I love Christmas a lot!” Camryn

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“Do you celebrate Christmas? Well, I do. When I celebrate, we have a Christmas tree with ornaments. Also, we have presents but it’s not about presents. It’s Jesus’ birthday. We make cookies and milk for Santa.” Cajes

“What is a holiday? I know, it is when you celebrate a time and place. During Christmas, my family sets up ornaments on the Christmas tree. Then we eat meat, we drink Sprite and our dessert is peanut ball covered with sugar and chocolate! In the morning, we go outside and make a snowman. Last, everyone packs up and goes home waiting to celebrate again next year!” Ridge

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“Do you have a family tradition? My family does. I am here to tell you about Christmas. When we wake up in the morning, we go down to where the presents are! We bring our stockings and look at the stuff inside them first. Then my mom gets her camera and we open the presents under the tree. Our last tradition is making a cake for Jesus’ birthday and eating it. That is what I do on Christmas.” Selah

“What is the holiday that your family celebrates? Well, my family’s holiday that we celebrate is Christmas! Why do we celebrate Christmas? Because on Christmas it’s God’s birthday. We celebrate God’s birthday in many different ways from other people. We decorate a tree. We put ornaments on the tree, and bright lights on the tree. But there’s still one more thing that we need... a star! Is that what you do? ... There are more things that I do too, like bake cookies for Santa. Yummy! We put water, apples and carrots out on the back deck for Santa’s reindeer. Finally, it’s time for bed. The next day there are presents everywhere! ... I love Christmas. Do you?” Lilly

“Do you have a favorite holiday? Mine is Christmas! On Thanksgiving, we go to get our Christmas tree. When we get home, my family puts on the ornaments. Next, we have a special ornament that is a cross that represents my Papa because he died. The most fun part is Daddy picking me up and I get to put on the star! Then, Mommy will wrap the presents and on Christmas we open them! First, I open one because I am the youngest. ... Last we make cookies for Santa and have carrots for Rudolph and the other reindeer. That’s why I like Christmas! I celebrate Christmas because Jesus was born.” Ashtyn

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“Do you know what my favorite holiday is? My family’s favorite holiday is Christmas! On Christmas Eve, we put out the cookies and milk for Saint Nick. This holiday has been in my family for about 130 years. On Christmas morning, we hop out of bed, and rip open our presents. ... Then we get dressed and we go to church. While we are in church we learn about Christmas and the Gospel. When I learned the true meaning of Christmas, I did not want my presents anymore. I learned Christmas is not just about presents. It is about Jesus’ birthday. When church is over, we go to my dad’s side of the family. Christmas is the best holiday.” Aiden

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families & relationships

Pitfalls of holiday gatherings By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

Without fail, this is the time of year that I get a most unusual request from a couple of clients. It goes like this, “You know, Trip, this is the time of year that I have to go and meet the bulk of my relatives, a few of whom I simply can’t stand. Seeing them makes me feel like I downed a whole bottle of Ipecac. Can’t you do something, like hypnotize me to believe I am in Tahiti sipping a pineapple drink when I see them?” I explain to them that, unfortunately, I can’t. I won’t tell them the embarrassing truth that I was only trained to hypnotize people to believe they are in

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Tahiti drinking a coconut drink. And, so, what I offer is tactical advice on how to respond to relatives that fall into one or more disorders. These are some of the more common disorders and what I suggest: » Power Drinker Disorder. Often combined with an equally tragic Blow Smoke around Your Face Smoker Disorder. These are people who would win a gold medal if drinking and smoking became an Olympic event. If you have children, these are people you may have to confront when they are sober. They need to understand that this behavior is not acceptable for children to see and that it poses a health hazard. If you take videos of the event, show them their part of the video and ask if this is how they want to be remembered by your children. Later, if your child is school age, use what they may have seen as a dialogue point about

drinking to understand (if your culture and religion allows it) the difference between responsible and irresponsible drinking. » Drama Vampire Disorder. These are people who may lead you to believe that all the dirt they are going to say is to be held in strictest confidence with you. Don’t be fooled. When your back is turned, you can be assured that they are saying something in “strict confidence” with another relative. Only this time it is about you. Manage this by telling them how emotionally important it is for you to have a good time at this gathering and that while you appreciate what they may say, you don’t to develop hard feelings about another relative. Apologize and explain that you live by an “ignorance is bliss” policy when it comes to other relatives. Do discuss matters that can be discussed in the open, like how the family

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can be supportive when a sick relative is going to undergo an operation. You can encourage this by inviting another relative to join in on the conversation. Recognize that the Drama Vampire is not interested in helping someone as much as getting high on the intense emotional reactions of others. » Brat Worst Disorder. This disorder comes from a German root word that means “rude, loud, out of control kids.” This is a tough one as NOTHING makes a parent as angry as questioning their parenting skills. That, and it is still illegal to Taser a child in the United States. So, if it is a known pattern with these children, you might want to try to talk to whoever the host is about hiring a baby sitter and put the children in a special area. If the host won’t go for that, consider what “distractions” you might sponsor to benefit all of the children. » You Are Agin or Fer Me Disorder. These are people who love to start a conversation so they can escalate it into an argument. Usually it is about politics, but, sometimes religion. I would remind you that no one ever wins an argument. It is just like playing ping-pong where the only

guaranteed way to stop the game is put down your paddle. To put down the paddle, you need to be a broken record and say, “I like you too much to argue with you (if it is true)” or “We are just going to have to agree to disagree.” And if nothing else works with prob-

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lem relatives, consider the virtues of coconut drinks. Trip Woodard is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a clinical member of the N.C. Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Contact him at 606-8607.

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educator’s view

Resisting brain drain during the holidays By Susanna Barbee WNC Parent contributor

It’s that glorious time of year when wreaths are hung, presents bought, desserts baked, and carols sung. The holiday season has officially begun, and students’ minds are making the big shift. All those neurons and dendrites are pushing away thesis statements, silent reading, and algebraic equations in favor of festive activities, wish lists, and snow dances. This time of year is obviously a lot of fun for children and parents alike. There is never a shortage of family-friendly events and the cheer has permeated the air. On the same note, school is still in session for several more weeks and with so much hullabaloo, most children are not focused first and foremost on academics. Beyond preschool, the days of making snowmen crafts and coloring reindeer are over. With an entirely new set of state standards and a national push to make our schools more rigorous and competitive, teachers are not wasting a minute on fluffy activities. When I was a child, I can remember it being very hard to sit still in school once Thanksgiving was over. I was so excited about Christmas and all that went along with it, that though I did what my teaches asked, I was anxiously counting down the days until I could bust out of the school doors and spend two weeks at home relaxing, opening gifts, and hopefully playing in the snow. As a teacher, I always planned an interesting but very involved lesson on O. Henry during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, ending it with “The Gift of the Magi.” If you’ve ever read this beautiful short story, yes, it is about gift giving, but the vocabulary is fit for a college literature major. How can we as parents or educators help resist the brain drain that inevita-

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bly wants to take over during the holidays? » Maintain routine: Though the family schedule is bound to change during this time of year, try to maintain a regular routine as much as humanly possible. Routine during the week and appropriate bedtimes are particularly important. » Keep reading: Visit the public library and check out holiday books. Even if every word your child reads involves the snowboarding or blizzards, the goal is that students continue reading during the entire month of December, even when home during the holiday break. » Embrace teachable moments: If you make a visit to Christmas at Biltmore, include the history of the Vanderbilts or the railroad industry. When writing to Santa, teach the basic format of a letter and discuss Arctic animals or study the differences between reindeer and elk. » Limit technology: Don’t rely on technology to baby sit children. Though teachers aim to incorporate technology into their instructional strategies, children are not on personal social media sites or otherwise perusing the Internet during school hours. Make sure your children are still reading, doing puzzles, socializing (with actual people), playing with Legos, etc. during their vacation. This will make the transition back to school in January much easier. » Get active: Yes, it is typically cold. But during the holiday break, make sure children are continuing to exercise because physical activity significantly impacts cognitive activity. Whatever you do to keep those budding brains active, make it fun and interesting. Children and young adolescents do deserve a break from school but not at the expense of erasing any of that knowledge gained from August to December. Happy holidays! Susanna Barbee is a local mom, writer and educator. Find more on her blog, www.zealousmom.com. Reach her at susanna.barbee@gmail.com.

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nature center notes

An Eastern hellbender relies on its tail to navigate through fast-moving mountain streams /SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

The tale of tails

By Jordon Crawford Special to WNC Parent

Think about your pets: What do they do with their tails? Does your friendly dog wag his tail when you play with him? Does your cat use her tail to balance on thin structures? Does your goldfish move its tail back and forth when swimming? The answer is usually “yes.” Most vertebrate animals have very useful tails that serve a variety of functions in their everyday lives. Wild animals have very different functions for their tails. For example, a red fox doesn’t need to grasp a tree branch like an opossum, but it might need to wrap its tail around its body for warmth. Opossums have prehensile tails, which allow them to grip onto trees and branches while they move through the forest. Tails are also used for movement in aquatic animals like fish and aquatic salamanders. An Eastern hellbender, the largest salamander in North America, relies on its tail to navigate through fast-moving mountain streams. Tails have protective functions, too. Some lizard species can actually detach their tails to get away from predators, and the tail will grow back within a few weeks or months. For more fun with tails, the WNC Nature Center’s Holiday Tails event on Dec. 7 features holiday crafts, games, and animal programs — and you might even see some animal tails up close! Visit www.wncnaturecenter.com.

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artist’s muse

Many hands make beautiful work By Ginger Huebner WNC Parent columnist

Families can work together to weave a work of art, perhaps starting a new holiday tradition. GINGER HUEBNER/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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When it comes to creating art or working through a design, we often think about the individual project each student will create. But collaborative projects, where students work together as a group, can be equally rewarding. Both types of projects result in building confidence in the makers and offer a chance to celebrate what has been created. This past month we have been working with our preschoolers on a collaborative

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weaving project. It is not finished, but — aside from teaching us all kinds of things about the elements of art and design — it has been the source of many great conversations, moments of pride and peaceful time together with fellow students. As we embark on a month full of many traditions and unique family gathering time, I thought it might be fun to see if we could adapt a similar project for families as they spend time together this holiday season. 1. Create a structure to be woven into: We used an old screen-printing frame. Other ideas could be a large picture frame (without the glass and backing), large sticks tied together, scrap wood, etc. 2. Use a strong, simple string to create the “web” that you will weave into. Again, many options here. We used a circular ring in the middle of our frame and pulled string out to the frame creating a radial structure. You could create any type of interior structure! 3. Find different kinds of yarn, string, wire and even papers to weave into your frame. There is no WRONG way to do this! 4. Invite friends and family members to

Invite friends and family members to add pieces to your artwork as they visit. GINGER HUEBNER/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

add a piece as they visit over the holidays and see what evolves. Many hands … one amazing work! Ginger Huebner is the director of Roots + Wings School of Art and Design, offering visual art and design education for all ages. Email her at info@rootsandwingsarts.com or visit www.rootsandwingsarts.com.

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EAT YOUR

GREENS! By Kate Justen

WNC Parent columnist

Kale is the new black, the trendy healthy food. People love it or eat it because they think they should love it. Others add it to their diet and after a few tries, they like it and eating it becomes a habit. Eating habits are something, like all other habits, that develop over time. There is this theory of the 21-day rule; you can create or break a habit in 21 days. As parents, we may have experiences that support this theory. It is often said with infants and toddlers that you need to introduce them to a new food five to seven times before they will eat it. Changing or creating a healthy eating habit takes time and patience. You will have to try different recipes, or just forget the recipe all together and do some trial-and-error cooking. If you know what flavors you like, add them to your favorite greens. You can easily change the flavor of these recipes by adding curry powder, fresh herbs, hot peppers or hot sauce, different types of oils and vinegars, honey or your favorite spice or sauce. Winter in Western North Carolina is a great time to add greens to your diet — not just kale but all kinds of greens. They are easy to grow and provide a variety of flavor to your favorite dishes. Mustards. Collards. Broccoli rabe. Bok choy. Pak choy. Arugula. Spinach. Radish tops. Beet greens. Swiss chard. Cabbage. All add vitamins and minerals that help us maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. They contain a lot of water which helps to keep us hydrated and in turn contributes to healthy hair and skin. It is also been said that regular consumption of dark leafy greens can help with mood and memory loss. Kate Justen is the program director of FEAST — Fresh Easy Affordable Sustainable Tasty, a program of Slow Food Asheville. Contact her at feast.avl@gmail.com or visit www.slow foodasheville.org.

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Greens, eggs and ham 1 recipe greens and garlic 1 loaf of bread 1/4 pound sliced ham or bacon (vegetarian ham or bacon) Eggs 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

Cook greens and garlic. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, saute the bell pep-

per for about 5 minutes in 1 teaspoon oil. Remove from pan and set aside. Make the egg: In the same pan add about 1/2 teaspoon of oil, just enough to coat the pan add 1 to 3 eggs. Pierce the yolk with a spatula and season lightly with salt and pepper. When firm, flip the egg, about 1-2 minutes depending on how hot your pan is. Add ham to the pan just long enough to warm it.

Greens and garlic

Lay greens on a cutting board. When the stack is about 1 inch high, roll 2 bunches fresh greens (chard, the stack of greens and slice them into collard greens, kale, mustard…) long ribbons. 1 tablespoon olive oil Over medium heat in a large skillet, 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped add oil, garlic and hot peppers. Cook for 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 2 minutes. (can substitute white vinegar) Add greens a handful at a time, stir 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in between each handful as they dePinch red pepper flakes or fresh hot peppers (optional, make as spicy crease in size. as you want) Add vinegar and salt, cover and cook for an additional 2-10 minutes. Rinse greens well and pull leaves Greens should be bright green. off stems, compost stem.

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Christmas COOKIES

By Karen Miltner

Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle

Gingerbread people

here are two fundamental truths about food. No matter where you are — a game, a high school dance, a farmers market — there’s bound to be a tasty MORE COOKIE food story to uncover. And RECIPES ON if you ask a few questions PAGE 46 about what a person happens to be eating or drinking, you’ll hear an interesting tale. So this year, we followed a different tack for our annual holiday cookies story. Instead of scouring cookbooks and websites, we focused the search on our own backyard. Here are some of the great recipes we found.

Gingerbread is a tradition in many families. This recipe comes from the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, N.Y., which has a gingerbread house exhibit and silent auction each year.

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5 tablespoons butter, softened 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1/3 cup molasses 1 egg 2 cups white flour 1 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Raisins, nuts or other edible things to decorate

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper). Put butter, brown sugar, molasses and egg in a large mixing bowl and beat with the electric beater for about two minutes, until light and fluffy.

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Add the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, and mix well with a spoon. Put dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Put dough on floured table or board and roll with the rolling pin until dough is about as thick as two nickels. Cut with the cookie cutter. Make eyes, noses, mouths and buttons with the raisins, nuts or other edible decorations. Put cookies on prepared cookie sheet with a spatula and bake 10 to 12 minutes until they just start to turn dark. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 40 3-inch gingerbread people.

Teatime tassies For nearly a century, the R.T. French Co. in Rochester, N.Y., better known as French’s Mustard, not only cranked out the country’s best-selling brand of mustard, but also filled American cupboards with spices, extracts, gravies, instant mashed potatoes, soup mixes and even pet treats. From 1956 to 1980, Rita Fitzgerald (formerly Dubois) of Webster, N.Y., was French’s manager of consumer services, which meant she and an aproned army of home economists churned out upward of 25,000 recipes using French’s products. More than a few of those recipes were for cookies. (And yes, one even had mustard as an ingredient.) The French’s cookies Fitzgerald remembers best were maple butterscotch brownies (made with French’s maple flavoring) and Teatime Tassies (miniature pecan tarts made with French’s vanilla extract). One 3-ounce package of cream cheese

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour 1 egg 3/4 cup light brown sugar 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Dash salt 2/3 cup coarsely broken pecans 24 candied cherries, for garnish (optional)

For the pastry: Let cream cheese and one-half cup butter soften. Stir in flour. Chill slightly. Shape into 2 dozen 1-inch balls. Place in miniature ungreased muffin cups. Press dough into bottom and around the sides. Beat together egg, sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, vanilla and salt until smooth. Divide half the pecans among the cups. Divide egg mixture into each cup and top with remaining pecans. If desired, add a candied cherry to each. Bake in 325-degree oven for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool; remove from pans. Makes 24 tassies.

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Maple butterscotch brownies 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed 1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavor (extract) 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup chopped nuts Confectioners’ sugar, if desired

Mix together melted butter, brown sugar and maple flavor. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Sift together flour and baking powder; mix with nuts. Add to butter mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour into greased and floured 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until done (don’t overbake or they will be dry). When cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares. Makes 16 brownies.

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Mostaccioli This traditional Italian Christmas cookie’s name, mostaccioli, comes from the word “mosto,” which is pressed grape juice before fermentation. For mostaccioli, the mosto is cooked down to a syrupy thickness. Be sure to give yourself extra time to make the reduced wine. It could take up to an hour. This recipe is from Bernardina Masci, a popular instructor at Casa Italiana, a cultural center at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. She mixes everything in the traditional way, by hand, no mixer, no spoon. You should do the same.

9 to 10 cups all-purpose flour 3 cups sugar 1 cup cocoa powder 4 tablespoons baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon allspice (optional) 1/2 cup of blanched almonds, roasted and chopped 1 cup honey 1 cup milk, or more, depending on dough texture 1 cup of cooked red wine (1 quart wine that has been reduced on low heat, stirring constantly, to 1 cup) Grated zest from 1 orange 2 tangerine peels (white removed), finely chopped Sweet vermouth, if needed (a few drops) For the frosting: 2 cups confectioners’ sugar 3 to 4 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

To make the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an extra large bowl, whisk together 9 cups of flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice. Add the remaining cookie ingredients and mix everything together by hand. If the dough is too thick you can soften it by adding Vermouth or a little extra milk. If it is too thin, add extra flour. Roll the dough into 1-inch thick logs or ropes (like making gnocchi). Cut diagonally into 2- to 3-inch pieces, then press down on the ends of each piece to shape the log in the form of a miniature loaf. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. To make the frosting, mix the confectioners’ sugar, milk and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Spread the tops of the cookies with chocolate frosting. You can freeze the cookies without frosting. Makes about 10 dozen cookies.

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Hungarian pastry squares Community cookbooks don’t typically enjoy the longest of shelf lives. The 40-year-old “Rochester Hadassah Cookbook” has proved otherwise. Filled with more than 1,000 recipes collected from chapter members, it is not only a wellorganized and thorough general-use cookbook given to countless Jewish brides, but it is also an interesting window into Jewish cooking of the time. Co-editor Helen Hecker suggested this one, submitted by Beverly Chesler, which is both incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. This recipe calls for margarine, but I used butter when testing it, with fine results. I also used slivered almonds, but just about any nut would do.

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 2 egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted 1/2 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of salt Pinch of baking soda

1 1/4 cups raspberry preserves Chopped nuts 2 egg whites, beaten until stiff (bowl must be clean and not oily for meringue to form)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream margarine and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, then dry ingredients, well sifted. Pat into a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch pan. Spread with the raspberry preserves, sprinkle with nuts, spread beaten egg whites thinly. Sprinkle again with nuts. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until egg whites start to turn golden. Cut into squares when cool. Makes 2 dozen 2-inch squares.

Gaiety pastel with Jell-O

1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder Additional Jell-O Brand Gelatin, any flavor, for decorating cookies (can be same flavor or different) Additional decorating sprinkles, optional

From Victorian aspics and the Jell-O salads of the June Cleaver era to hedonistic Jell-O shots and global gourmet Jell-O sushi, the jiggling, jewel-colored dessert product thrives on culinary adaptaPreheat oven to 400 degrees. In a tion and innovation. large bowl beat butter or margarine “Jell-O says to me ‘Experiment with an electric mixer on medium with me, what can you do with speed until light and fluffy. Jell-O?’ It brings out the creGradually beat in sugar and 1 ative nature,” says Lynne package of the gelatin. Mix in Belluscio, curator of the Jell-O egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and Gallery in Le Roy, N.Y., the baking powder until well-blendproduct’s birthplace. This recipe ed. came from a booklet printed in Force dough through cookie the 1950s or 1960s. press onto a greased or parchment-lined You will need a cookie press for this recipe. If you don’t have one, roll the dough baking sheet, keeping at least 1 inch of space into logs about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap in between cookies. Cookies should be about an plastic and chill for an hour, then cut into inch in diameter. Sprinkle with additional gelatin. Decorate with additional decorating sprinone-fourth-inch slices. 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or markles, if desired. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until garine, softened the cookies just turn golden brown around the 1 cup sugar edges. Remove and cool on rack. Store loosely in 1 package (4 ounces) Jell-O Brand covered container. Gelatin, any flavor Makes about 10 dozen 1-inch cookies.

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calendar of events

minimum retail value) and return it to the Oakley Library by Dec. 17. Or donate $10 and the Friends of the Oakley Library will do the shopping for you. The program has provided books to more than 1,500 local children since 2000. For more information, call 250-4754 or email oakley.library@buncombecounty.org.

Things to do

Dec. 2

‘CHRISTMAS WITH SANTA’: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 2, Mills River Branch Library; 4 p.m. Dec. 2, Henderson County Main Library, Kaplan Auditorium. Bright Star Children’s Theatre presents free performances. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us.

Through Dec. 7

BOOK GIVING TREE: Fairview Library, 1 Taylor Road, Fairview. The Friends of the Fairview Library is sponsoring a Giving Tree Project that will send Fairview Elementary School children home at winter break with books to keep. To participate, visit the library and select a gift card with a child’s information (gender, grade/reading level). Buy a book or books ($10 minimum total retail value) and return it unwrapped to the library by Dec. 7. Or, make a $10 donation at the library. For more information, call 250-6484 or email fairview.library@ buncombecounty.org.

Through Dec. 17

BOOK GIVING TREE: South Asheville/Oakley Library, 749 Fairview Road. Help provide new books for disadvantaged children in the community. Select a gift card with a child’s information (gender, grade/ reading level, a special interest). Buy a book ($10

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Dec. 3

DREIDELS & HANUKKAH: Opens 2 p.m. Dec. 3, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Learn about dreidels and play the game for Hanukkah, which runs Nov. 27-Dec. 5. Selfdirected activitiy through 3 p.m. Dec. 5. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. MAD SCIENTIST LAB: 10:30-11 a.m. Dec. 3, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 3 and older. Join Dr. Bunson and Dr. Beaker in the lab as they make crazy concoctions. This class learn about snow. $7 nonmembers/free for members. Limited space; please call to register. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. ORNAMENT MAKE & TAKE: 4 p.m. Dec. 3, Etowah Branch Library, 101 Brickyard Road. Children up to grade 5 can make ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Free. Registration required; call 891-6577.

DREIDELS & HANUKKAH runs Dec. 3-5 at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery in Hendersonville. The self-directed activities are free with admission. THINKSTOCK.COM

Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. PARI SCI GIRLS PROGRAM: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 3, Transylvania County Extension Office, 98 E. Morgan St., Brevard. PARI and Transylvania County 4-H host a program for girls ages 9-14 to show how different building designs affect heat control. $10. Visit www.pari.edu/programs/students/scigirls.

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Dec. 4

BOOK N’ CRAFT: 10:30-11 a.m. Dec. 4, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Hear the cultural tale of “Sammy Spider’s Hannukah” and create a book themed craft. Free with $5 admission/ free for members. All ages. Free with admission. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. ORNAMENT MAKE & TAKE: 4 p.m. Dec. 4, Fletcher Branch Library, 120 Library Road. Children up to grade 5 can make ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Free. Registration required; call 687-1218. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. PLANNING FOR COLLEGE: 4 p.m. Dec. 4, Main Library, 301 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Laura Misner, a representative from College Foundation of NC, will present information on helping teens plan and prepare for college. Information presented will include financial aid basics, college costs and scams, academic resources, and more. Free. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. READING CORNER: 3:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Make a friendship bracelet. For ages 6-12. Supplies provided. Call 250-4700.

Dec. 5

BREASTFEEDING CLASS: 4 p.m. Dec. 5, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. With with Henderson County Department of Public Health breastfeeding peer counselor Tammie Bogin. Free. Call 697-8333 to sign up. Limited class space. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. HEALTHY KIDS CLUB: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 5, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville.

Keep active in winter. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. HOMESCHOOL OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 5. Asheville Outdoor Adventures runs a trip for home-schooled students to Waynesville indoor waterpark. Ages 8-17. Depart from/ return to Oakley Recreation Center. $9 residents/$10 nonresidents. For information and to register, contact Christen McNamara at 251-4029 or outdoorprograms@ashevillenc.gov. YULETIDE SHAKE, RATTLE & RHYTHM: 4-4:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 5 and older. Learn simple rhythms and get to experience different instruments. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Dec. 6

FOR THE LOVE OF LEGOS! 4-5 p.m. Dec. 6, EnkaCandler Library, 1404 Sandhill Road. Lego club for kids ages 5-12. Meets the first Friday of each month. Call 250-4758 or email enka.library@buncombecounty.org. ’TIS THE SEASON HOLIDAY FAIR: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 6, WNC Ag Center, Fletcher. Market with arts, crafts and gifts, holiday food and N.C. wines, Christmas tree sales, and music. Visit www.wncholidayfair.net. WINTER ARTS & CRAFTS: 2 p.m. Dec. 6, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. All ages. Each Friday in December, make crafts that celebrate winter. Today’s theme: Snowflake jewelry. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call

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697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Dec. 7

FIVE BUCKS A BOX BOOK SALE: 10 a.m. Dec. 7, Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main St. Call 250-6482. GINGERBREAD HOUSE CLASS: 2-3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Dough Market, 372 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. What kid doesn’t dream of making his or her own gingerbread house? In this parent-child class, each child will make a gingerbread house to take home. Chef Heather will share some of the secrets to making and baking gingerbread. $45/per caregiver and child (age 4 and older). Visit www.doughasheville.com for details. HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Swannanoa Library, 101 W. Charleston St. Be crafty and bring your best to sell or trade, or just come and buy. Craft books for sale. Proceeds benefit Swannanoa Library. Call 250-6486 or email swannanoa.library@buncombecounty.org. LITTLE ELVES WORKSHOP: 4-8 p.m. Dec. 7, Hahn’s Gymnastics, 18 Legend Drive, Arden. Get some last-minute shopping done while kids do gymnastics, play games, do crafts and enjoy a snack. Register online or in person. $10 first child, $5 additional for children enrolled at Hahn’s/$15 and $10 for unregistered. Visit www.hahnsgymnastics.com or call 684-8832. MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE: 11 a.m. Dec. 7, Fairview Library, 1 Taylor Road. Decorate a graham cracker cottage. All supplies and candy provided. Best for ages 5 and older. Free. Call 250-6484 or

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Kids’ page DRAWING BY JEFF RUMINSKI

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calendar of events Continued from Page 49 email fairview.library@buncombecounty.org. ORNAMENT PARTY: 11 a.m. Dec. 7, Leicester Library, 1561 Alexander Road. Annual Holiday Ornament Making Workshop for children of all ages. Make several ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Free. Call 250-6480 or email leicester.library@ buncombecounty.org. SESAME STREET LIVE!: 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 7, U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville. “Make a New Friend” show with Elmo, Grover, Abby, Cadabby and more. Tickets $19-$50 at box office, www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000. ’TIS THE SEASON HOLIDAY FAIR: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 7, WNC Ag Center, Fletcher. Market with arts, crafts and gifts, holiday food and N.C. wines, Christmas tree sales, and music. Visit www.wncholidayfair.net.

Dec. 8

CLAY ORNAMENT WORKSHOP: 2-5 p.m. Dec. 8, Wine and Design Asheville, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Make up to three polymer clay ornaments or cover two glass votives. For kids 7 and older and adults. All supplies provided. All skill levels welcome. Visit www.wineanddesignus.com/asheville. or call 255-2442. GINGERBREAD HOUSE PARTY: 12:15-3 p.m. Dec. 8, Fletcher United Methodist Church, 50 Library Road, Fletcher. PB&J Club as host its annual gingerbread

house party for ages 4 through fifth grade. Make gingerbread houses to take home or give to our shut-ins. Talk about Advent and Christmas, play games and watch Christmas stories on the big screen. Parents are not required to stay. RSVP to Joy@fletcherumc.org. Find more at www.facebook.com/WeLoveFUMC/events. LITTLE ELVES WORKSHOP: 4-8 p.m. Dec. 8, Hahn’s Gymnastics, 18 Legend Drive, Arden. Get some last-minute shopping done while kids do gymnastics, play games, do crafts and enjoy a snack. Register online or in person. $10 first child, $5 additional for children enrolled at Hahn’s/$15 and $10 for unregistered. Visit www.hahnsgymnastics.com or call 684-8832. SESAME STREET LIVE!: 1 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8, U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville. “Make a New Friend” show with Elmo, Grover, Abby, Cadabby and more. Tickets $19-$50 at box office, www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000. ’TIS THE SEASON HOLIDAY FAIR: Noon-6 p.m. Dec. 8, WNC Ag Center, Fletcher. Market with arts, crafts and gifts, holiday food and N.C. wines, Christmas tree sales, and music. Visit www.wncholidayfair.net.

Dec. 9

ORNAMENT MAKE & TAKE: 4 p.m. Dec. 9, Mills River Branch Library, 124 Town Center Drive. Children up to grade 5 can make ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Free. Registration required; call 890-1850. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us.

Dec. 10

ELVES WORKSHOP: 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Hands On! A

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Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Join the elves to make up to three different craft ornaments. $7 nonmembers (includes admission for child participating in workshop); $2 for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. MAD SCIENTIST LAB: 10:30-11 a.m. Dec. 10, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 3 and older. Join Dr. Bunson and Dr. Beaker in the lab as they make crazy concoctions. This class, make snow paint. $7 nonmembers/free for members. Limited space; please call to register. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. MEAGAN SPOONER BOOK SIGNING: 5-6 p.m. Dec. 10, Malaprop’s Bookstore, 55 Haywood St., Asheville. Meagan Spooner sign copies of her co-authored, just-published book for teens. Every customer who pre-orders the book will receive a gorgeous “These Broken Stars” poster. Visit www.malaprops.com. ODYSSEY MIDDLE SCHOOL SHOW: 7 p.m. Dec. 10, Malaprop’s Bookstore, 55 Haywood St., Asheville. Students from Odyssey Middle School experimented with fiction and poetry through collaborative challenges, studies of master writers and experimentation with literary elements. During the last month, students worked through the publishing process with editor, agent, and illustrator interviews. Final drafts will be read during this event. Visit www.malaprops.com. ORNAMENT MAKE & TAKE: 4 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11, Main Library, 301 N. Washington St, Hendersonville. Children up to grade 5 can make ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Free. Registration required; call 697-4725. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us.

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calendar of events MOM’S GROUPS Asheville Stay-At-Home Moms Playgroup: Visit www.meetup.com/AshevilleStay-At-Home-Moms-Playgroup/ Arden Moms Meetup Group: Visit www.meetup.com/arden-moms or contact Susan Toole at ArdenMoms@gmail.com. AshevilleMommies.com: Meet and greets for moms while kids play. Two sessions, 11 a.m.-noon and 3-4 p.m. Wednesdays at The Hop Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, 640 Merrimon Ave. Asheville Moms with Multiples: Group for moms with multiples meets 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Women’s Resource Center on Doctors Drive, behind Mission Hospital. Meetings are an opportunity to share experiences and offer support in a social setting. Call 444-AMOM or visit www.ashevillemom.com. Biltmore Baptist MOPS: Group for all mothers of children from infancy through kindergarten. Meets 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month, September-May at Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Road, Arden. Call 687-1111, email mopsofbbc@yahoo.com or visit www.biltmorebaptist.org/mops/. Hiking with Preschoolers: Visit www.meetup.com/hiking-with-Preschoolers/ La Leche League of Asheville/Buncombe: For all those interested in breast-feeding. Nursing babies, toddlers and pregnant women welcome. Meetings are second Monday of every month, 10-11 a.m., at First Congregational Church, Oak Street, and third Monday of every month, 7-8 p.m., Awakening Heart Chiropractic, Ravenscroft Drive. Please call a leader for more information or directions: Susan 303-6352 or Adrienne 603-505-0855. Visit www.lalecheleagueofnc.org La Leche League of Hendersonville: Offers information and support for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Meets at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, 2021 Kanuga Road. Babies and toddlers are welcome. For more information, Contact a leader: Andrea 676-6047, Katie 808-1490, or Continued from Page 55 PAJAMA PARTY STORY TIME: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main St. Come celebrate the season with some cozy winter stories and crafts. Pajamas, blankets and stuffed animals welcome. Free. Call 250-6482 or email weaverville.library@buncombecounty.org.

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MC 693-9899. Mom2mom: Christian moms group meets at St. Paul’s Church, 32 Rosscraggon Road, Rosscraggon Business Park Building B, Asheville. Moms with any age children are welcome. Call 388-3598. Moms Club of Hendersonville: A support group open to mothers of all ages in the Henderson County area, including mothers who have home-based businesses and those who work part-time but are home with their children during the day. The group meets for speeches and topics for discussion, park days, playgroups, nights out, holiday activities and service projects benefiting needy children in the community. Meets 9:30 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Hendersonville Church of Christ, 1975 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Children welcome. Call Tamara Betteridge at 699-6292 or email tamara@networkedneighbors.com, or visit http://hendersonvillemomsclub.wordpress.com. Moms’ Support Group: For new moms (children ages 0-5 years) who cope with depression. This group focuses on challenges of parenting, building positive coping skills and sharing experiences in a safe, private environment with professional guidance. Next session begins the first week of July, meets weekly in the evening. Email momsupportgroup@outlook.com for more information. MOPS at Mud Creek: Mothers of Preschoolers provides an open, faith-based atmosphere for moms of infants through kindergartners. Meets second and fourth Wednesdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m., SeptemberMay, at Mud Creek Baptist Church, 403 Rutledge Drive, Hendersonville. Email Melissa Thorsland, melthor@tds.net, or MOPS.MudCreek@gmail.com or visit http:// mopsatmudcreek.webs.com/links.htm. WNC Mountain Mamas: Moms and kids can meet up and play at 11 a.m. Wednesdays the Hop Ice Cream Shop, 640 Merrimon Ave. Enjoy half-priced coffees and ice cream. Encompassing, supporting and uniting WNC families. Visit www.wncmountainmamas.proboards.com.

Dec. 11

BOOK N’ CRAFT: 10:30-11 a.m. Dec. 11, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Hear the story “Animals in Winter” and create a book-themed craft. Free with $5 admission/free for members. All ages. Free with admission. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. ELVES WORKSHOP: 2 p.m. Dec. 11, Hands On! A

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Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Join the elves to make up to three different craft ornaments. $7 nonmembers (includes admission for child participating in workshop); $2 for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. GINGERBREAD HOUSE CLASS: 4-5:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Dough Market, 372 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. What kid doesn’t dream of making his or her own gingerbread house? In this parent-child class, each child will make a gingerbread house to take home. Chef Heather will share some of the secrets to making and baking gingerbread. $45/per caregiver and child (age 4 and older). Visit www.doughasheville.com for details. GRINCHMAS!: 6 p.m. Dec. 11, Malaprop’s Bookstore, 55 Haywood St., Asheville. Bring kids to meet the Grinch. Call the store for details, 254-6734. ORNAMENT MAKE & TAKE: 4 p.m. Dec. 11, Main Library, 301 N. Washington St, Hendersonville. Children up to grade 5 can make ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Free. Registration required; call 697-4725. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us.

Dec. 12

CANDY CANE MATH: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 12, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Join a Hands On! educator to learn math through candy canes and finish with a take home craft. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS: 4 p.m. Dec. 12, Main Library, 301 N. Washington St., Hendersonville. Make edible gifts to sweeten the season. For ages 7 and older. Limited to 20. Call 697-4725, ext. 2312, to register. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. ELVES WORKSHOP: 2 p.m. Dec. 12, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Join the elves to make up to three different craft ornaments. $7 nonmembers (includes admission for child participating in workshop); $2 for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. ORNAMENT MAKE & TAKE: 4 p.m. Dec. 12, Green River Branch Library, 50 Green River Road. Children up to grade 5 can make ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Free. Registration required; call 697-4969. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us.

Dec. 13

DOG AGILITY TRIAL: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 13-15, WNC Ag Center McGough Arena, Fletcher. United States Dog Agility Association trial. Dogs jump hurdles, race through tunnels and climb over A-frames at high speed. Free. Spectators welcome; please leave dogs at home. Sponsored by Blue Ridge Agility Club, 713-3278 ELVES WORKSHOP: 2 p.m. Dec. 13, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Join the elves to make up to three different craft ornaments. $7 nonmembers (includes admission for child participating in workshop); $2 for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. SING TOGETHER: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13, The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, Asheville. Winter songs with Beth and Jim Magill. Join family and friends in a special series celebrating the joy of music and singing together. $10 for adults , $8 ages 12 and younger, ages 2 and younger are free. For information and reservations, call 257-4530 or visit

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calendar of events PARENTS’ NIGHTS OUT

Continued from Page 57 www.dwtheatre.com. WINTER ARTS & CRAFTS: 2 p.m. Dec. 13, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. All ages. Each Friday in December, make crafts that celebrate winter. Today’s theme: snowmen. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Dec. 14

ADAPTIVE BASKETBALL PROGRAM REGISTRATION: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 14, Family Fun Day, WNC Ag Center, Fletcher. Asheville Parks and Recreation will offer a noncompetitive adapted basketball program for boys and girls ages 6 and older, with or without a disability. Players will be placed on teams based on age and ability level, and will learn basic basketball skills, develop teamwork and sportsmanship, all in a spirit of fun. Games are Saturdays, mid-January to March. $40 residents/$45 nonresidents. Includes instruction, a Charlotte Bobcats youth jersey, a trophy, and a ticket to one Bobcats game. For more information, registration and eligibility requirements, contact the Therapeutic Recreation office at 828-259-5483 or trprogram@ashevillenc.gov. ‘A HOLIDAY TRADITION’: 2 p.m. Dec. 14, Main Library, 301 N. Washington St., Hendersonville. Flat Rock Playhouse’s YouTheatre presents a holiday skit of songs and poems for all ages. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us.

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Need a date night? Here is a roundup of upcoming parents’ nights out. Have an event to submit? Email information to calendar@wncparent.com.

DEC. 6

STEPHENS-LEE RECREATION CENTER: Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts hosts Parents’ Night Out from 6-9 p.m. at Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Ave., Asheville. For ages 5-12. $5 per child. For more information or to register, call 350-2058 or email jjohnston@ashevillenc.gov.

DEC. 13

COLBURN EARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM: Evening of science with activities, games, crafts, dinner and hands-on lessons. For grades K-4. 5-8:30 p.m. December’s theme is “Star Stories.” $20 per child, $16 for additional siblings and Colburn members. Visit www.colburnmuseum.org. FIRED UP! CREATIVE LOUNGE: Kids paint pottery, have pizza and play

games, 6-9 p.m. the second Friday of the month. At 26 Wall St., Asheville, and 321 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 5-12. $25. Registration required. Call Asheville shop at 253-8181 and Hendersonville shop at 698-9960. REUTER FAMILY YMCA: Themed nights of fun and games, taking place every second and fourth Friday of the month. Includes craft, movie and snacks. Ages 6 weeks-12 years. 6:15-9:45 p.m. $13 for the first child, $11 each additional child for members/$25 per child nonmembers. Call 651-9622 to register.

DEC. 21

KIDS CHRISTMAS COOKIE DECORATING: 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. Dec. 21, Dough Market, 372 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Get your last minute Christmas errands done by dropping your kids off for some cookie decorating fun. Chef Heather will hand decorate Christmas cookies with your children, sending them home with delicious cookies to enjoy with your family for the holidays. Ages 8 and older. $35. Visit www.doughasheville.com.

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DOG AGILITY TRIAL: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 13-15, WNC Ag Center McGough Arena, Fletcher. United States Dog Agility Association trial. Dogs jump hurdles, race through tunnels and climb over A-frames at high speed. Free. Spectators welcome; please leave dogs at home. Sponsored by Blue Ridge Agility Club, 713-3278. GROWN-UP SCIENCE NIGHT: 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Learn the science of wine making and chocolate. Join Hands On!, Falderal Winery, Kilwins, Fountainhead Bookstore, and Dancing Bear Toys for a fun night of grown-up science and entertainment! Participating partners will have goodies on hand for purchase and enter to win door prizes. $15 single ticket; $25 couple ticket. Proceeds benefit Hands On! Call 697-8333 for tickets. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. LITTLE ELVES WORKSHOP: 4-8 p.m. Dec. 14, Hahn’s Gymnastics, 18 Legend Drive, Arden. Get some last-minute shopping done while kids do gymnastics, play games, do crafts and enjoy a snack. Register online or in person. $10 first child, $5 additional for children enrolled at Hahn’s/$15 and $10 for unregistered. Visit www.hahnsgymnastics.com or call 684-8832. TEEN ANIME & MANGA CLUB: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 14 and 28, Main Library, 301 N. Washington St., Hendersonville. Teens can share interest in anime and manga with other teens. Snacks will be served. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us.

Dec. 15

DOG AGILITY TRIAL: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 13-15, WNC Ag Center McGough Arena, Fletcher. United States Dog Agility Association trial. Dogs jump hurdles, race through tunnels and climb over A-frames at high speed. Free. Spectators welcome; please leave dogs at home. Sponsored by Blue Ridge Agility Club, 713-3278. ‘YES VIRGINIA, THE MUSICAL’: 4 p.m. Dec. 15, First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., Asheville. Celebration Singers of Asheville community youth chorus presents Macy’s “Yes Virginia, The Musical.” No admission; donations appreciated.

Dec. 16

ORNAMENT MAKE & TAKE: 4 p.m. Dec. 16, Edneyville Branch Library, 2 Firehouse Road. Children up to grade 5 can make ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Free. Registration required; call 685-0110. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us.

Dec. 17

MAD SCIENTIST LAB: 10:30-11 a.m. Dec. 17, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 3 and older. Join Dr. Bunson and Dr. Beaker in the lab. This class, learn about winter animal tracks and exothermic reactions. $7 nonmembers/free for members. Limited space; please call to register. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. NEW VOICE SUPPORT GROUP: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Balance Point Collaborative, 263 Haywood St., Suite 100, Asheville. A new peer-led support group for those in recovery from eating disorders. Meets the third Tuesday of each month. Speakers include staff, former clients,

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and community members. There will also be topiccentered and open discussion among participants. For more information, call 348-6922 or visit www.balancepointnc.com.

Dec. 18

BOOK N’ CRAFT: 10:30-11 a.m. Dec. 18, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Hear the story “Legend of the Poinsettia” and create a book-themed craft. Free with $5 admission/free for members. All ages. Free with admission. Call 6978333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. MITTEN SCIENCE: 2 p.m. Dec. 18, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 6 and older. Listen to the book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett, then explore the science of heat and cold using technology from the NC Science House. A hands-on class. $8 nonmembers (includes admission)/$2 members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Dec. 19

MITTEN SCIENCE: 2 p.m. Dec. 19, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 6 and older. Listen to the book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett, then explore the science of heat and cold using technology from the NC Science House. A hands-on class. $8 nonmembers (includes admission)/$2 members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

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calendar of events Continued from Page 59

Dec. 20

ADAPTIVE BASKETBALL PROGRAM REGISTRATION: 4-7 p.m. Dec. 20 and Jan. 3, West Asheville Community Center, 970 Haywood Road. Asheville Parks and Recreation offers a noncompetitive adapted coed basketball program for ages 6 and older, with or without a disability. Players will be placed on teams based on age and ability, and will learn basic basketball skills, develop teamwork and sportsmanship. Games are Saturdays, mid-January to March. $40 residents/$45 nonresidents. Includes a Charlotte Bobcats youth jersey, a trophy, and a ticket to one Bobcats game. For more information, registration and eligibility requirements, call 2595483 or email trprogram@ashevillenc.gov. MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE: 2 p.m. Dec. 20, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 8 and older, or younger accompanied by adult. Limited spaces. Call 697-8333 to sign up. $8 for nonmembers (includes admission)/$2 for members. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. WINTER ARTS & CRAFTS: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 20, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. All ages. Each Friday in December, make crafts that celebrate winter. Today’s theme: mittens. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Dec. 21

ELVES WORKSHOP: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 21, Hands On! A

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Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Join the elves to make felt beads to create jewelry. $7 nonmembers (includes admission for child participating in workshop); $2 for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. KIDS CHRISTMAS COOKIE DECORATING: 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. Dec. 21, Dough Market, 372 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Drop kids off for some cookie decorating fun. Chef Heather will hand decorate Christmas cookies with your children, sending them home with delicious cookies to enjoy with your family for the holidays. Ages 8 and older. $35. Visit www.doughasheville.com.

Dec. 22

WINTER WONDERLAND CAMP: 2-5 p.m. Dec. 22, The Little Gym of Asheville, 1000 Brevard Road, Suite 168, Asheville. Prices vary depending on how many camps child attends. Visit www.tlgashevillenc.com or call 667-9588.

Dec. 23

BOOK N’ CRAFT: 10:30-11 a.m. Dec. 23, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Hear the story “Gingerbread Boy” and create a bookthemed craft. Free with $5 admission/free for members. All ages. Free with admission. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. GINGERBREAD COOKIE MAKING: 10 a.m. Dec. 23, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Decorate an organic gingerbread cookie. Cookie decorating shop will be open 10 a.m.noon and 2-4 p.m. in Party Room. $8 nonmember (includes admission for cookie decorator)/$2 mem-

bers. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. LEGO HOLIDAY SHOP N DROP CAMP: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 23, Asheville’s Fun Depot, 2 Roberts Road, Asheville. Put on by Bricks 4 Kidz, for grades K-6. Four hours of LEGO fun. $40. Register at www.bricks4kidz.com/asheville. WINTER WONDERLAND CAMP: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 23, The Little Gym of Asheville, 1000 Brevard Road, Suite 168, Asheville. Prices vary depending on how many camps child attends. Visit www.tlgashevillenc.com or call 667-9588.

Dec. 26

ART EXTRAVAGANZA: 1-4 p.m. Dec. 26, Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Hands-on art activities for grades 1-4. Registration requried. Call 253-3227 or visit www.ashevilleart.org to download mail-in registration form. SPIRIT OF KWANZAA: Dec. 26, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Come learn about this African American holiday through selfdirected educational activities. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Dec. 27

ART EXTRAVAGANZA: 1-4 p.m. Dec. 27, Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Hands-on art activities for grades 1-4. Registration requried. Call 253-3227 or visit www.ashevilleart.org to download mail-in registration form. WINTER ARTS & CRAFTS: 2 p.m. Dec. 27, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. All ages. Each Friday in December, make crafts that celebrate winter. Today’s theme: mittens. Free

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with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Dec. 28

WINTER WONDERLAND CAMP: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 28, The Little Gym of Asheville, 1000 Brevard Road, Suite 168, Asheville. Prices vary depending on how many camps child attends. Visit www.tlgashevillenc.com or call 667-9588.

Dec. 30

ART EXTRAVAGANZA: 1-4 p.m. Dec. 30, Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Hands-on art activities for grades 1-4. Registration requried. Call 253-3227 or visit www.ashevilleart.org to download mail-in registration form. BOOK N’ CRAFT: 10:30-11 a.m. Dec. 30, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Hear the story “Axel Annie” and create a book-themed craft. Free with $5 admission/free for members. All ages. Free with admission. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. LEGO CAMP: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 30, Asheville’s Fun Depot, 2 Roberts Road, Asheville. Put on by Bricks 4 Kidz, for grades K-6. Four hours of LEGO fun. $40. Register at www.bricks4kidz.com/asheville. SKI LAKE JUNALUSKA NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATION: Dec. 30-Jan. 1. Lake Junaluska Youth Events offers weekend that includes worship Dec. 30-31 in the evenigns, followed by late-night pizza party to ring in the New Year, along with skiing or snowboarding. This year’s theme is “Do Not Worry.” Youth will focus on the verse from Matthew 6:34. Duffy Robbins is featured speaker. Call 800-222-4930

For a list of holiday events, see Page 22. For the full family-friendly calendar, visit CITIZEN-TIMES.com/Living. To submit events, email details to calendar@wncparent.com.

or visit www.lakejunaluska.com/ski.

Dec. 31

NEW YEAR’S AT NOON: Noon, Dec. 31, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Dress up in stage costumes and make noisemakers, then ring in the New Year. Noisemaker materials available at 10 am. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Jan. 3

ADAPTIVE BASKETBALL PROGRAM REGISTRATION: 4-7 p.m. Jan. 3, West Asheville Community Center, 970 Haywood Road. Asheville Parks and Recreation will offer a noncompetitive adapted coed basketball program for ages 6 and older, with or without a disability. Players will be placed on teams based on age and ability level, and will learn basic basketball skills, develop teamwork and sportsmanship, all in a spirit of fun. Games are Saturdays, mid-January to March. $40 residents/$45 nonresidents. Includes instruction, a Charlotte Bobcats

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youth jersey, a trophy, and a ticket to one Bobcats game. For more information, registration and eligibility requirements, call 259-5483 or email trprogram@ashevillenc.gov.

Ongoing

ART & DESIGN PROGRAMS: For children and adults, unique, creative art and design classes for ages 3 and older. Next semester runs January-March. Visit www.rootandwingsarts.com. Register online or email info@rootsandwingsarts.com. LEGO SCULPTURE EXHIBIT: Through Jan. 5, N.C. Arboretum, N.C. 191 at Blue Ridge Parkway. Ranging from 6 inches to nearly 8 feet, a variety of creatures are represented in the exhibit by Sean Kenney. Created from nearly 500,000 LEGO bricks, 27 sculptures make up 15 displays. Visit ncarboretum.org. DEVELOPING FUTURE MALE LEADERS: Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts will offer a Developing Future Male Leaders program for boys in third to eighth grades, 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fall session runs September-December, and costs $5 per youth. A spring session will begin in February. Topics include: being a leader, outdoor skills, cooking and giving back. Registration required in advance. To register, contact William Hoke at 253-3714, whoke@ashevillenc.gov, or Seth Jackson at 259-5483 sjackson@ashevillenc.gov. TINY TYKES: 10 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Fridays, Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Drive, Asheville. Program resumes for the fall. Organized crafts and active play. Great way for you and your toddler to socialize. $1/class for toddlers and parents. Visit www.ashevillenc.gov.

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