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Holiday Gift Guide •

2012

Mike Allen, 55, poses with oversized toys at his downtown Grand Junction store, Toys for the Fun of It.

The sock monkey: Bringing generations closer for Christmas page 8

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Your Gui d e to a H ap py Holi d ay

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Celtic band FEAST presents an ALL-NEW show

Budget perfect Christmas ideas By Dusty Reed

A

Celtic band

FEAST

Champion Irish dancers Blaine Donovan

North American Irish Dance champion!

Eimear Toal

multiple award winning dancer from Ireland!

MONTROSE Montrose Pavilion Thursday, Jan. 10, 7:30 PM

GRAND JUNCTION Avalon Theatre Friday, Jan. 11, 7:30 PM Saturday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM

TICKET OUTLETS: online at www.JunctionConcerts.com Grand Junction: Roper Music Montrose: Pavilion Paonia: Farm & Home Call 970-241-4579 for more info.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS

Glenwood Springs High School Sunday, Jan. 13, 3:00 PM TICKETS, Montrose & Grand Junction: Adults: $26/$31/$36 in advance, $29/$34/$39 at the door. Kids: $16/$21/$26. All seats reserved. Glenwood Springs: general admission. Adults: $24 in advance, $27 at the door. Kids $9.

www.JunctionConcerts.com

Merry Christmas!

December 2012

present is something given to show friendship and affection. Sounds simple. Then why, come Christmas season, does the selection of gifts for people who are important to us bring confusion, throwing us into the familiar “this or that” dilemma? If our budget is tight, why are we willing to ignore the fact “just because it’s Christmas?” Some folks tackle gift selection with a no-nonsense attitude. They are the fortunate. The majority of us sink into a quandary, trekking along store aisles searching for the “perfect gift.” If we find ourselves in this state of mind, the following tidbits might spark some ideas for gift lists this year. Whether operating on a limited budget or simply trying to avoid the customary, gifts can mean a million but actually cost only a few dollars. Kids leaving the nest for college or jobs? Copy recipes that are personal family favorites. “Aunt Gussie’s Walnut Honey Brownies,” “Grandma’s Quick Stickies,” or “Mom’s Microwave Fudge” on recipe cards can be bound together in colored ribbon and used as stocking stuffers. Raid a family photo album and paste pictures of relatives on the back of their recipe, laminating them when finished. Pictures make a wonderful gift if presented with a bit of imagination. Use snapshots taken within the past year, place in a photo frame, and enclose a brief note to let the recipient know the memory of the moment the photo was taken is still special. Dig out a picture of your grown children when they were the age their children are now, add the postscript, “Remember when...” Search for snapshots of “the folks” in front of their

first Packard at a long ago Saturday night dance or during the war years. Select a frame appropriate to the era and be prepared for a moment of silence when the “keeper” is unwrapped. Recycle relics of the past, but be forewarned that timing is of the essence. Great-grandma’s old cookbook published by a baking powder company during the rationing era of World War II is an item any cook would enjoy reading to compare baking techniques. My book is a special keepsake, given to me by my aunt from the era of my first memories of visiting their home in California in the early 1950s. Heirlooms are often the most appreciated gifts under the tree. Made-to-order signs or sayings are always popular. Computers make all sorts of things possible. Take advantage of the fonts available and select a type style to create a mood for messages of sentiment or comic relief. Paper stock can add the customized look for these gifts (parchment for accomplishment or quotes to live by, neon for the teen with an alwayscluttered room). Paper is available by the sheet for pennies at a variety of stores. A “turn-about” present can be the gift that keeps on giving. Is there a budding writer in the family? Select a decorative journal with blank pages and request poetry or fiction as a return gift next Christmas. Genealogy buffs might enjoy outlining the family tree or writing about a historic moment of family history. Care packages containing a variety of teas or coffees with a special mug, homegrown popcorn or packaged, instant and microwave foods, or exotic canned goods will be a special treat. Frozen gifts of sweets, homemade


December 2012 bread or soups will help ease the hectic winter routine for working families or provide an easy menu for the housebound elderly. Kids gifts with everything they ever needed for doing nails, a blizzard kit for the college student’s car, a supply of stamped envelopes and stationary to eliminate the writer’s excuses. If you’ve discovered your grown kids forgot how to write when they left home, have a roll of address labels made for every member of the family, a package with stamps and envelopes, and you might be surprised what the mailman brings you. Create a notebook for household hints. Clip magazine articles appropriate for the person’s hobby and place inside page protectors. One thrifty, thoughtful woman clips daily crossword puzzles and word jumbles out of the newspaper, fastens them in a vinyl notebook for her sister to work during frequent air travel. A

www.BeaconSeniorNews.com retired great-grandpa makes it his mission to clip magazine articles about dinosaurs for his second grade grandson. The project has closed the generation gap a bit and produced a common thread for them. More time than money? Offering coupons or pledges requires no cash. Grandparents may offer promises to help their favorite scouts earn badges. Young teens may offer to shovel sidewalks, rake leaves or chauffeur Grandma to the grocery store. Grandparents living on a fixed income, living close to the family, can be their grandkids’ personal clipping service by clipping school activities, church projects and sports articles to assemble “a year in the life” scrapbook. Kids or their parents may not have the time, and besides, everyone likes to see their name in print. It’s later than you think. Time to get started with your Christmas ideas. Happy holidays. ■

Shabby Chic’: promoting artists contributing to a cause By Michelle Hooper

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here is little left to the imagination with the creativity shown by over 45 local artists at Shabby Chic’ Arts and Crafts Boutique, 2586 Patterson Road in Grand Junction. The boutique opened Thanksgiving weekend and will continue through December 29. Admission is free. “There’s something for everyone, including your pets,” the boutique’s promoter Connie Ferguson said. Shabby Chic’ has everything from black and white drawings to custom quilts and paintings, candles, herbs, stained glass and handmade soaps. Jewelry, engraved towels, barbecue sauces, birdhouses made from recycled products, and tole painting classes are among the mix as well. Each vendor’s products are unique. It is not every day that one sees antique items such as a wedding dress from the 1920s, emergency survival items including freeze-dried celery, or a one-of-a-kind dragon art sculpture made from fabric. It used to be

Cabbage Patch Kids that came with adoption certificates, but these dragons have adoption certificates, too. Several vendors have fascinating stories about the products they sell and the motivation behind their creativity. Some artists are raising money for cancer contributions. One artist contributes to a local scholarship for kids involved in athletics. Operation Interdependence has various items for sale including knitted hats, handmade patriotic key chains and Christmas ornaments. Proceeds are used to assemble and mail care packages for U.S. troops stationed overseas. Thousands of care packages are shipped out through OI each month. Support your community and visit Shabby Chic’ between 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 487-3544. Visit Ferguson’s Christmas in Colorado Arts and Crafts Show at the Montrose Fairgrounds from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. on December 7 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on December 8. Admission is free. ■

Give the gift of rail travel this season with an Amtrak Travel Gift Certificate. Visit Amtrak.com/Store or call 1-800-USA-RAIL for more information.

holiday gift guide 3

®

Amtrak and Enjoy the journey are service marks of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Amtrak_BeaconSrNewsDEC_5.087x5.2.indd 1

11/17/11 8:54 AM


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Give the Gift of

Make it a holiday season to remember!

Flight

Looking for that special gift for everyone on your list? Take them up, up and away for an experience they’ll never forget. Visit gcairtours.com or call 970.243.4359 today to give the gift of flight.

An interview with Santa Claus Editor’s note: Joe Replogle, 72, has appeared as Santa Claus at Christmas parties and children’s events on the Western Slope for 20 years. All donations from his appearances support the local Veterans Golden Age Games Team. BEACON writer Linda Lovendahl interviewed Replogle about why he continues his role as Santa.

Q. What makes a good Santa? Someone who is cheerful, enjoys kids, and enjoys being appreciated by kids and adults. I have as much fun as the kids do.

Q. How many events do you attend each year?

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About 12-15 typically. I’m asked to individual houses and to big parties where lots of people show up to meet Santa. The two largest events in Grand Junction are usually held at Bibs & Cribs and the bowling alley in Orchard Mesa. I also attend events in Battlement Mesa and Rifle. Basically, anywhere I am asked.

Q. Why do you keep doing it?

The

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December 2012

It’s a lot of fun. This is my fourth year raising funds for the Grand Junction Veterans Golden Age Games Team. Donations will help pay for the travel and housing to the 2013 National Golden Age Games in Buffalo, New York on May 30. Fifteen of us are slated to attend this year. Last year I participated in shot put, horseshoes, bows and air rifle. I won second place in the air rifle competition. There’s usually about 900 participants from all over the U.S. The team is composed of veterans 55 and older who use the VA for medical reasons. We’ve been to Des Moines, Iowa and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Q. Do you have to do anything special to prepare for the role? I’ve been growing my hair and beard since June. I have a lot of white but my daughter dyes it a purer

white. I dress at home before an appearance. I’m pleasantly plump so I fit the suit well without padding. My wife Sara is the sleigh driver.

Q. What is the funniest situation you’ve had? There is always one kid in a crowd who is completely fascinated by Santa and keeps coming back after his or her turn. One time a girl drew a picture of herself hugging Santa. It was real touching.

Q. What is the most difficult situation for Santa? The most awkward time is when a child is afraid and crying, but the parents insist he or she sit on my lap. I want to please everyone and that situation makes it tough.

Q. How did you get started? Twenty years ago we were having an employee party where I worked and someone said we needed a Santa. I rented a suit and had a good time. After that, I was invited to an employee’s home to surprise the kids. Toys were placed outside the door. I knocked and the kids opened the door. Soon after that, Santa was invited to a party at the school. My first big event was with the Lift Up program in Rifle. Two hundred kids showed up to sit on Santa’s lap. That was a long day. Next I was invited to ride in the parade in Battlement Mesa. The parties kept getting bigger and bigger as the news spread. I don’t charge. I always say, “Whatever you want to give.” But lately I’ve been asking for donations for the Grand Junction Veterans Golden Age Games Team. We’ve added digital Santa pictures as a fundraiser as well.

Call today! Santa’s a popular guy! To book a visit from Santa and to support the Grand Junction Veterans Golden Age Games Team, call Replogle at 712-2717. ■


December 2012

www.BeaconSeniorNews.com

Christmas decorating: think small By Jan Weeks

I

t’s the holiday season and unless you have a little elf blood, you may be dreading the decorating. Sure, it was fun to have a big tree and lots of tinsel and glitter when the kids were home, but maybe you’ve downsized your space or you just can’t face dragging all the decorations out. Never fear. You can lift your holiday spirits easily and inexpensively. If you don’t have the space or energy to put up a ceiling-high tree or cover every spare surface with Santas and crèches, you can still bring the Christmas spirit into your home by using some quick and easy tricks. Display your treasured ornaments without shedding needles and lost floor space. Swag some long tinsel or evergreen ropes over a window, interior doorway, mirror, or across a wall and hang those special memories from the cord. No mess, no forsaken floor space. For the price of a sheet of butcher paper and some crayons or markers, the grandkids can create a homemade tree that won’t take up any space at all, except on the wall. Draw the outline of a fir tree on the butcher paper, as big or as small as you like. Then turn the kiddos loose and let them draw ornaments, elves, and presents underneath. Spring for some glitter, glue sticks, and icicles for even more fun. When the kids have decorated to their hearts’ content, glue some tinsel around the edges and hang it up. Another way to brighten up the place is to spray a yucca or small tree branch with gold or silver spray paint and set it in a pot filled with gravel or dirt to keep it from toppling. Top the yucca spikes with small colored balls. Hang small ornaments from the branch. Even the lowly tumbleweed can become a magical centerpiece with a little help from spray-on flocking or paint.

Candles symbolize Yule and the returning sun, but you don’t have to fill the house with them. For an inexpensive yet elegant decoration, place pillar candles of different heights on a metal tray or in a glass pie plate and surround them with tiny Christmas tree balls or wind a rope of tinsel around the bases. Mix candle colors or match them. Red candles, green decorations? Or are gold and white more your style? Place the arrangement in front of a mirror and the festive effect will be doubled. Christmas cards are overwhelming, especially if you have tons of friends. They can also be disappointing, now that many have enclosed form letters or just a signature. That makes sending cards seem like an obligation. No one likes to drop a friend or relative from the annual card list, but doing it gently, perhaps via email, might save you tons of postage and card cost. “We treasure your friendship and love you to pieces, but to save landfill space and postage, we’re paring our Christmas card list drastically. Would love to hear from you via email or through a phone call.” Okay, so that’s not as tactful as you could be. How about this? “We’ve decided that next year we’re going to give the money we’d spend on cards and postage to Habitat for Humanity (or other worthy cause).” This lets recipients know not to expect cards next holiday season. The cards you do get can be displayed in flowerpots or pinned to a Styrofoam wreath form. Instead of waiting until New Year’s Eve to change your habits, resolve here and now to spend less time decorating and more time enjoying the holidays. ■

holiday gift guide 5

H

oliday Cup of Cheer Join us for a special Open House and learn more about Hilltop’s Unsurpassed Care Options for Seniors

December 26 • 1:00 - 3:00 pm at The Commons of Hilltop (625 27 1/2 Road • Grand Junction) • Tour the area’s premier senior assisted and independent living communities including The Commons, The Fountains and The Cottages of Hilltop • Learn about Hilltop’s Home Care offering unique services for seniors who want to remain safe and secure in their own homes • Talk to a dementia and Alzheimer’s care specialist and learn about Senior Daybreak - daycare for those affected by memory loss • Hot beverages and snacks, free gifts and prize drawing

For more information call (970) 243-3333

Nown! Ope

Arts & Crafts Boutique

Connie is back with her holiday arts & crafts show. • Over 45 local artists • Free admission • Fun for the family

Open Nov. 23 - Dec. 29

W are DOUe LING the sizB e of our store Grand Ju in nction

Mon-Sat, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm

2586 Patterson Road, the Hi-Fashion Fabrics facility

Christmas in Colorado 88 Booths ~ Several Local Artisans ~ Door Prizes Galore

Friday, Dec. 7th 3 am - 7 pm

Saturday, Dec. 8th 9 am - 4 pm

Montrose Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall

Colorado West Promotions  Connie Ferguson  970-487-3544


6 holiday gift guide

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Treat Someone Special to a Winter Getaway!

We have a number of WINTER SPECIALS for you to choose from! 312 Onarga Avenue  Paonia, CO See our website for a special package for you!

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Now registering for Winter classes and workshops for adults and children! That special person would LOVE a class, workshop or Art Center membership. Gift certificates available too! Stop by or call today!

ART, is the perfect gift! Ceramics, painting, glass, collage, drawing, book-making, sculpture and a lot more!

Spending New Year’s Eve in western Colorado By Michelle Hooper & Cloie Sandlin

N

970-527-6776

Clas New ses Janu begin ar y 7

December 2012

ew Year’s is a celebration spent with family and friends, a time to end one chapter and start another, a time for resolutions and a time just to have fun. Here are a few ways to spend New Year’s Eve in western Colorado. Some of them entail not even having to leave the house. Grand Junction residents Robert and Karen Jones decided years ago to avoid drunk drivers on the road and start a tradition of celebrating New Year’s Eve at home. They invite several other couples and spend the night playing games such as 31 and Scat. To make it more interesting, they shop for inexpensive gifts ($1 or less) ahead of time, wrap them in comic strip newspaper and place them in a basket. “As the card games progress and players are eliminated from the game, they choose a gift from the basket,” Karen, 69, said. “Players can choose a new gift or take one from someone who has already opened one. Of course, the last players in the game end up with the real loot.” Karen’s mother-in-law also spends New Year’s Eve in a unique way.

“My sister-in-law is deceased now, but she and my mother-in-law would go out and buy the biggest, most complicated puzzle they could find and work on it until midnight,” Karen said. “Then they work on it for the next month or so until they finish it.” Rifle residents Paul and Cheryl Currier also play games with friends, but they make it into a potluck. “My husband’s birthday is January 2, so that is my main focus over New Year’s,” Cheryl said. If you’re not a homebody and the nightlife is calling you to celebrate New Year’s, here are a few other ways to bring in 2013:

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“I Do! I Do!”

Darrel and Sue Chapman usually welcome in the new year by going to see the High Desert Opera. High Desert Opera kicks off its 10th season on New Year’s Eve with the production “I Do! I Do!” at 7:30 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre in downtown Grand Junction. There will be another performance on January 5. This musical comedy is supported by a 12-piece orchestra. The audience will see the characters age through the show as a matrimonial

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December 2012 sage follows them through 50 years of marriage. “This shows what it really takes to be in a committed relationship,” HDO Marketing Director Marnie Benson said. High Desert Opera is a local nonprofit organization bringing highquality Broadway musicals to the Western Slope. “The opportunity to see live theatre in a small town is very special to the Grand Valley,” Benson said. To purchase tickets, call 523-9605, visit www.highdesertopera.org or drop by Roper Music.

to the public and takes place from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. in the Senior Dining Room at the Montrose Pavilion, 1800 Pavilion Drive. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Bring your own snacks. Sparkling cider will be provided for the toast at midnight. A limited number of horns and hats will be available, so feel free to bring your own. For more information, call Winnie at 249-5644.

New Year’s with a splash

Firefall at the DoubleTree Bring in the new year with 1980s rock band Firefall at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton, 743 Horizon Drive. Firefall was formed in Boulder in 1974 and has hit singles including “You are the Woman,” “Staying With It,” “Mexico,” “Sold on You” and “Strange Way.” The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.doubletreegrand junction.com or call 357-8138 for

holiday gift guide 7

New Year’s at Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. Photo courtesy of Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. dinner and/or room reservations.

Dancing in Montrose The hours before midnight will fly by while you dance the night away at the Montrose Pavilion’s New Year’s

Eve Dance, hosted by the Pavilion Dance Club. The Ghost River Band will perform and there will be a mix of music, including country, ballroom, waltz, Latin, swing, rock and roll, and more. The dance is open

Grab your swimsuit and ring in the new year with a splash at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, 415 E. Sixth St. in Glenwood Springs. On this night, the pool stays open until 1 a.m., giving you time to celebrate the first hour of 2013 relaxing with family and friends. Party hats and noisemakers will be provided and visitors can enter to win a season pool pass. All-day pool admission is $14.25 for adults, but drops down to $9.75 after 9 p.m. For more information, call 800-537-7946 or visit www. hotspringspool.com. ■

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December 2012

The sock monkey: sharing holidays past By CJ Golden

T

here is definitely magic in the air on December 25. There is no denying that this day holds something special—a day to bring families and friends together, a day to share good food and cheer, and most special of all, a day to remember Christmases of years past. That is just what occurred last year when I spent Christmas with my children and grandkids—all because of a sock monkey. Let me explain: while rifling through holiday catalogs in search of suitable gifts for my friends and family members, I noticed the resurgence of the once ubiquitous sock monkey. These charming little creatures first appeared in the early 1900s when several ingenious and talented women started fashioning Rockford Red Heel work socks into monkey dolls for their children. The fad caught on and in short order children around the country began toting their own sock monkey dolls, each with its own personal touches and characteristics. They were charming, soft, cuddly and a favorite of many children— myself included. Then they disappeared, going the way of Gumby and Pokey, Mr. Bill and Mr. Potato Head. Yet there they were again in my gift catalogs—the appealing little dolls in an assortment of colors and sizes, replicas embroidered onto cuddly lap blankets, and fashioned into scarves, winter hats and slippers. They were, indeed, the perfect gift for two of my friends— gals who I knew would be able to recall their own sock monkey dolls from their childhood. I thought I had found something extremely special and unique. Well, they might have been special, but they certainly were not unique. It wasn’t long before I started spotting adults and teens alike wearing all

manners of sock monkey paraphernalia. In seeing this resurgence, I recognized that this was a gift my grandchildren would appreciate as well. I hadn’t realized, however, the profound significance of sharing this little guy with the children. Gearing up for my Christmas Eve overnight stay with my husband and my daughter Donna at another of our kids’ house, I knew I wanted to appear on Christmas morning in a unique pair of pajamas. It is fun to be the “outrageous” grandmother and I work hard at keeping up that appearance. I eagerly ordered sock monkey pajamas and slipper-socks online for Donna and myself. Then I got smaller versions of the socks for each of the grandchildren. It was Donna who took it a step further by ordering two pairs of socks with instructions on how to make our own sock monkeys. Much to my pleasure, the kids were amused when Donna and I appeared in our pajamas and slippers. Even more exciting was their delight at receiving their own pairs of sock monkey footwear. Donna produced the sock monkey kits and we proceeded to spend much of the morning making these personable little dolls, complete with the hair color, button eyes and hats of the kid’s choices. This charming little fellow, having been reborn, gave to my family’s newest generation the same pleasure he had given to me as a child so many years ago. It is amusing to see this affable little fellow sitting atop heads and being wrapped around jackets as he keeps people warm in such a jocular manner. But mostly, the thrill I get from seeing the rebirth of the sock monkey is in sharing a piece of my childhood with my children and grandchildren. They understand that in their sock monkey items, they are experiencing a bit of the young girl Grams was so many years ago, bringing us a little closer together. ■


BEACON - Holiday Gift Guide (December 2012)