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Holiday Hints Special Features Include: Christmas Crafts, Holiday Recipes, Gift Giving Ideas, Gift Wrapping Tips & More

Support Our Area Merchants and Their families This Holiday Season... Shop Locally! Many great holiday values all with the convenience of shopping close to home. A special Supplement to the Campbell County Observer Friday, December 9, 2011

Photo’s submitted by James Greyback

The Festival of Trees By Keary Speer The community was eager to experience Family Day at the Festival of Trees on Sunday, November 20th. There was a crowd waiting outside for the doors to open so they could be the first to see the trees and meet Santa. As soon as you walked through the door, the Christmas Spirit slapped you right in the face! The festive music was on and there were trees and wreaths as far as the eye could see. It also helped that the first thing you could smell was the coffee cart as you walked in the door just adding to the ambience. There were 27 large trees, 14 small, or “elf,” trees, and 27 Christmas wreaths, a record high in the 20 years that this festival has taken place. Some of the most amazing in design included an entirely upside-down tree, sponsored by the Nursing and Staff of the Medical Oncology Department, entitled “Happy Hippie Holiday,” and one made completely of wine bottles, sponsored by Powder River Construction, entitled “Wine Celebration.” Each tree and wreath was unique and beautifully done. The hard work put into each one was apparent in the details. Each day people voted for their favorite in each category and, in the end, the Judges chose:

Large Tree

1st Place: “Wine Celebration” sponsored by Powder River Construction 2nd Place: “Elfin Around” sponsored by Gillette Medical Imaging 3rd Place: “The Wintry Snowman” sponsored by Kuhbacher Trucking

Elf Tree

1st Place: “Hark the Herald Angels” sponsored by Lasting Memories Bridal 2nd Place: “Wildlife Christmas an Outdoor

Christmas” sponsored by BKS Environmental 3rd Place: “Little Buckaroo” sponsored by Kathie Means


1st Place: “A Holiday Howdy” sponsored by Untamed Design 2nd Place: “Camel Pride” sponsored by Black Cat Construction 3rd Place: “Winter Fun in the West” sponsored by Nance Edenfield The Seniors chose: Large Tree: “A Soldier’s Christmas through a Child’s Eyes” sponsored by 1st Interstate Bank Elf Tree: “Birds of a Feature Flock Together!” sponsored by Citation Oil & Gas Corp. Wreath: “Reflection of His Promise” sponsored by College of Cosmetology The children chose: Large Tree: “Cupcakes, Lollipops and Gumdrop Tree” sponsored by Jeff’s Industrial Repair Elf Tree: “Toy Story” sponsored by RE/MAX Professionals Wreath: “Reflection of His Promise” sponsored by College of Cosmetology And the general public chose:

Large Tree

1st Place: “A Soldier’s Christmas through a Child’s Eyes” sponsored by 1st Interstate Bank 2nd Place: “Elfin Around” sponsored by Gillette Medical Imaging 3rd Place: “Home by Midnight” sponsored by Peabody Energy

Elf Tree

1st Place: “Toy Story” sponsored by RE/MAX Professionals 2nd Place: “Little Buckaroo” sponsored by Kathie Means 3rd Place: “A Whimsical Christmas” sponsored by

Yates Petroleum


1st Place: “Reflection of His Promise” sponsored by College of Cosmetology 2nd Place: “Old Familiar Carol Songs” sponsored by JLC Signs 3rd Place: “Soft Whispers of Winter” sponsored by Winkler Law The kids had a blast, as well, with all of the crafts and games that were put on for their enjoyment. They were able to color a snowman paddle, create ornaments with pipe-cleaner, foam paper, and etching paper, as well as decorate bags of candy to keep their crafts in. All the children seemed to really enjoy the 3-hole mini golf course to try their hand at putting. By far, the most exciting thing for the children was the presence of Santa and Mrs. Claus. They were flooded with children greeting them and getting their pictures taken and later they had the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap to tell him what they wanted for Christmas and get a professional picture done. In the end, actually the night before, the trees went to auction. The community really rallied for the auction and raised an estimated $150,000 this year! This astronomical amount will go to benefit Lifeline and Close to Home Hospice Hospitality House. If anyone has had to use either of these services, then they realize just how important and useful these funds can be. This tradition of The Festival of Trees is something that, even if you are not originally from Gillette, makes it feel like you are home for the holidays. The hard work of the volunteers is definitely appreciated by all and we should be proud.

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Operation Christmas Child

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By Keary Speer This time of year there are so many ways to do good things that it is hard to choose just one. You can give to a veteran, a senior, a hungry family, a needy child and there are countless ways to do so! You do not have to look hard to find someone in need and an organization to help them. First Baptist Church on Gillette Avenue is doing their best to spread the Christmas cheer to a global level by participating in Operation Christmas Child. This amazing program helps get gifts, on Christmas, to children in other countries who would otherwise have nothing. They

have been operating since 1993 to bring gifts to children in 130 different countries and it is fairly simple to participate! First, a special shoebox can be picked up at the church itself, or you can even use a shoebox of your own. Then, you choose whether you want to send your box to a boy or a girl in one of three age groups. Next, you fill the box with things both practical (i.e. toothbrush/toothpaste, socks, underwear, school supplies) and/or fun (candy, toys, accessories). Then, you may either wrap the box or leave it be and drop it back off at the

church with $7 for shipping purposes. You are encouraged to leave a picture in the box of you and your family with a letter to the child. In a lot of cases the children will write back! What better way is there to show your children the meaning of charity with actual evidence of the child they have helped? So, if it is your prerogative to do something charitable this year, please consider Operation Christmas Child at the First Baptist Church. There they can tell you inspirational stories of the children that have been helped and further aid you in the entire process.

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Town of Wright hosting Community Open House and Tree Lighting

The Town of Wright will host a Community Open House and Tree Lighting on Dec. 12 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Town Hall. This will be an opportunity for residents to stop by, learn more about the new partnership with the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, enjoy light refreshments and join the Town Council and Staff in the first annual tree lighting. The Town Council recently decided to become a member of the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Tim Albin says “we have been working to promote our community and the County Chamber will assist us with this project.” Albin added “we hope to turn this event into a tradition for Wright during the holiday. Many communities around us host similar events and we are excited to invite everyone to our first Christmas tree lighting and Open House.” The evening will begin with an official ribbon cutting welcoming the Town of Wright as a new first time member of the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce at 6 p.m. followed by refreshments and the tree lighting at 6:45 p.m. The Town Council Workshop will begin at 7 p.m. and Council Meeting at 7:30. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information contact Wright Town Hall at (307) 464-1666.

Sounds of the Holidays

Only a few times a year do we, as citizens of Campbell County, have the opportunity to enjoy the music of some of our most talented. It would be a shame to miss out on their next upcoming event. December 11 at 3:00 pm, in the Heritage Center of the Cam-plex, the Powder River Symphony will be performing their “Sounds of the Holidays” symphony. It has become a part of what makes Gillette, WY such a great place to be around the holiday season. There is the Festival of Lights, the Parade of Lights, The Festival of Trees, Jingle Bell Hike to Santa and, of course, the Powder River Symphony’s Sounds of the Holidays. Tickets are just $15 for adults, $10 for seniors/military and FREE for children 18 and under accompanied by an adult (a ticket still has to be attained). This makes it, simply, a must for a festive family experience and fun is to be had by all. Tickets can be purchased at the Cam-plex Heritage Center ticket office. For more information go to http:// or simply call the Cam-plex at (307) 682-8802.

Post Office offers tips for mailing season’s greetings By Paul Wallem - Basin Radio News With 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages to be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has shipping tips to help make sure gifts are delivered promptly and safely during the holiday season. “Proper addressing and packaging will ensure every gift receives the service it deserves,” says Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products. As Christmas approaches, more people order things either online or from catalogs. Several years ago, UPS and Fed Ex both entered into an agreement with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages. As a result, consumers cannot be sure exactly which company will ultimately end up delivering their packages. For example, even though the company you are ordering from sends the order by UPS of FedEx, it is likely that UPS or FedEx will drop the package off at the Post Office for final delivery. Leonard Mcgillis, postal clerk with the Gillette Post Office, says it’s especially important for people who typically have their mail delivered to a PO Box to include both a street address and a PO Box number on the

address label to ensure that packages are delivered. That way, no matter who delivers your packages in the end, you’re sure to receive it. Mcgillis says problems occur when people with PO Boxes believe UPS or FedEx will ultimately be delivering a package. “So if they think it’s coming through UPS for FedEx they’ll give their street address, and then when we end up with the package it will end up being returned because there’s no mail receptacle up at their address,” Mcgillis explains. “People need to just insist on putting both their street address and their PO Box on anything that they order, that way no matter which provider ends up delivering the mail they’ll get their packages.” In all, the Postal Service says to just print the complete delivery address. This includes the recipient’s name, the PO Box number and street address, street number, street suffix (Ave., St., etc), street direction (N, S, E, W), secondary address (apartment or suite number), city, state, and 5-digit zip code. USPS advises consumers to never guess a zip code. In fact, leaving the zip code off is better than putting on

the wrong zip code. Mcgillis also says to only wrap boxes with packaging tape. “When they’re wrapping stuff, don’t use duct tape or cellophane tape or anything like that,” he says. Mcgillis also reminds the public to make sure the area around their home mail receptacles are cleared after snow storms. “Anytime it snows they need to make sure their mail receptacles are cleared off and stuff, because if the carrier can’t get to it safely they’re not going to deliver the mail,” Mcgillis says. On a final note, Mcgillis asks customers to pick up their larger packages if they receive a notice in their mail receptacle. Prior to Christmas every year, Mcgillis says, people use the post office to “hide” gifts from their family. “We don’t have a whole great deal of space here, and every year people don’t pick up their packages because they want to hide them so they store them down here. We don’t have space for it, so when you get a notice pick it up. “We get tons and tons of packages every year,” he concludes.

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Poinsettia napkin rings

Difficulty: Easy Parental supervision is recommended Put unruly Christmas napkins firmly in their place with these Poinsettia napkin rings. This craft is fun for both kids and grown-ups and makes a nice gift. What you’ll need: * Red felt * Green felt * Tulip gold glitter paint * Scissors * Ruler How to make it: Adjust the length of rectangle according to the type of napkins you use: 1. Cut a rectangle of red felt 1-3/4” x 7” long. 2. Cut the ends of the rectangle as shown in the picture. 3. Apply gold glitter paint along the side of each of the circular ends. Let dry. 4. Cut two rectangles out of red felt 2-3/4” x 3” to make the blooms of the flower. 5. Cut the two rectangles curving the edges of the flower as shown in the picture. 6. Apply gold glitter paint along the sides as shown in the picture. Let dry. 7. Cut one rectangle out of green felt 3-1/2” x 3-1/4” to make the leaves of the flower. 8. Cut the rectangle curving the edges of the leaves as shown in the picture. 9. Apply gold glitter paint along the sides as shown in the picture. Let dry. 10. Turn the long rectangular felt over and apply gold glitter paint along the side of each of the circular ends. (Optional) Let dry. 11. Place one red bloom on top of the leaves, so that you can see a leaf in-between each part of the bloom. 12. Place another red bloom on top of the first red bloom. Rotate so that you see the first red bloom parts between the one on the top. (see photo) 13. Measure the width of the long rectangular felt (napkin ring) at the “neck” (immediately after the round area) of the napkin ring. 14. Pick up all 3 pieces and fold in half. 15. With your scissors, cut a slit through all the layers that would measure 1/2 the width of the “neck” of the napkin ring. 16. Open up the 3 pieces. 17. Insert one end of the napkin ring through all 3 pieces (beginning with the leaves). 18. Insert the other end of the napkin ring through all 3 pieces. 19. Insert your napkin into the napkin ring. 20. Place on your table and enjoy using your napkin rings!

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Decorative Clothes Hangers

Light Bulb Santa

Difficulty: Average Parental supervision is recommended This recycled light bulb santa craft is sure to brighten someone’s day. A great Christmas ornament for kids to make and give as gifts. What you’ll need: * Burned out light bulb * Acrylic (craft) paint in white, red, flesh, black, and pink * Gold cord or ribbon * Hot glue * Black marker * Newspaper or paper towel * Paintbrush How to make it: 1. Paint an oval for Santa’s face with flesh acrylic paint in the center of the round part of the light bulb. 2. Paint entire remaining round portion of light bulb with white acrylic paint. 3. Paint neck of bulb red, and top (socket) of “hat” white. Allow to dry completely. 4. Using black acrylic paint, dot on two eyes. 5. Using black marker, draw on smile. 6. Dip clean paintbrush into pink acrylic paint, dab off excess paint onto newspaper or paper towel. Gently blotch on pink cheeks. 7. Touch up Santa’s beard and hat brim with more white paint. 8. Hot glue a loop of gold cord or ribbon to the back of the bulb. Craft glue is not recommended as it does not adhere as well as hot glue does. 9. Hang!

Here’s an attractive and practical gift you can wrap up in a jiffy: a collection of colorful padded hangers made simply from cloth ribbon and recycled plastic shopping bags. Materials: Plastic hangers 12 or so plastic shopping bags per hanger Tape 4-1/2 yards of ribbon (1-1/2 inches wide) per hanger

Total Time Needed: 1 Hour Instructions: Step 1 - To pad each hanger, wrap plastic bags evenly around it, using short strips of tape to attach them at both ends. Cover the whole hanger except for the hook. Step 2 - Next, wrap ribbon around the plastic bag padding, starting at the base of the hook and leaving a 1-foot tail extending above it (you’ll need this to tie a bow later). Overlap the ribbon enough to hide the plastic. Step 3 - When you get back to where you started, cut the ribbon so that you have another 1-foot tail, then tie the two ends into a tight bow.

Ice Crystal Decoration

Cranberries For Christmas

String up a few of these crystals, made of pipe cleaners and beads, and get ready for a flurry of compliments. For a cool twist, use silver pipe cleaners and pom-poms too. Materials: 12-inch white or silver iridescent pipe cleaners Clear tri or sunburst beads Needle and fishing line White iridescent pom-poms Total Time Needed: 1 Hour Instructions: 1. Cut 6 pipe cleaners in half to create 12 pieces. Hold 11 pieces together and tightly wrap the last piece around the middle of the bundle, as shown, twisting its ends to secure it. 2. Spread the pipe cleaner pieces into a starburst shape and thread about 5 beads onto each pipe cleaner half as shown. 3. Using the needle, thread the pom-poms on the fishing line, then tie the snowflake to one end of the line.

Cranberry Punch

1 cup fresh cranberries 1 12-oz. container frozen orange juice, defrosted 1 12-oz. container frozen lemonade, defrosted 1 48-oz. bottle cranberry juice cocktail, chilled 1 orange, thinly sliced 1 lemon, thinly sliced 1 25.4-oz. bottle sparkling apple cider or 750ml bottle sparkling wine, chilled Divide cranberries between 2 ice cube trays, fill with water and freeze. In a large bowl, combine all juices and fruit. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Just before serving add cranberry ice cubes and cider or wine to punch; stir well. Transfer to a pitcher and serve right away.

Cranberry Pretzel Salad This is made in layers so read entire recipe before starting: 2 c. crushed pretzels (lg. ones crushed fine) 3/4 c. melted butter 1 tbsp. sugar Mix first 3 ingredients together. Press into the bottom of a large flat baking dish. Bake 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. LAYER 2: Mix together: 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese 1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip 1/2 c. sugar Spread on top of cooled crust. LAYER 3: Mix together: 1 lg. pkg. black cherry Jello 2 cans whole cranberry sauce 2 c. boiling water Cool and pour over second layer. Note: The third layer can be mixed first and set in the refrigerator while other layers are being prepared. Just don’t forget it and leave it too long; you don’t want it to congeal.

Glass Bulb Ornament Wreath So easy and festive. #1 - Start with a regular metal clothes hanger. #2 - Bend the hanger into the form of a circle. #3 - Then, grab your glue gun and as many round ornaments in varying sizes as you can find. You’ll need about 80 in all. You can always find them for reasonable prices at a discount retailer, especially after the holidays. To secure the metal cap to the ball, dab a little hot glue and press. That way, the cap will remain attached as the ornaments are strung. #4 - Next, untwist the end of the hanger, then string one ornament at a time, through the loop on the ornament normally used for the Christmas hook. Make sure to alternate the placement and colors as desired. Use smaller sizes to fill in the gaps! #5 - Check out the final result! To secure it to the door (make sure it’s on the interior!), use the hook end of the hanger, together with a little wire. Then cut a strip of wide satin ribbon in a coordinating color as shown in figure 5. Use a large bow at top to complete the total look pictured right. How simple and beautiful is that?

Frosty Cranberry Mold 1 (8 1/2 oz.) can crushed pineapple 1 (1 lb.) can whole cranberry sauce 2 (3 oz.) pkgs. raspberry flavor Jello 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese 2 tbsp. salad dressing 1 c. heavy cream, whipped (I use 1 pkg. of whipped cream) 1/2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped 1 tart apple, peeled and chopped Drain fruit, reserving liquid. Add water to make 2 cups. Bring to boil. Dissolve Jello in hot liquid. Chill until partially set. Beat softened cream cheese and dressing together until fluffy. Gradually beat in gelatin, fold this mixture into whipped cream and set aside 1 1/2 cups of this mixture. Add drained fruit, nuts and apple to remaining cheese, Jello mixture. Pour into molds and refrigerate until surface sets about 20 minutes. Frost with reserved topping - refrigerate several hours or may be frozen. remove 1 hour from freezer to refrigerator before serving. Makes 12 servings

Cranberry Mustard Encrusted Salmon 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts ¼ cup chopped dried cranberries 3 tablespoons butter, melted 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon grated orange zest Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a baking sheet; season both sides of salmon with salt and pepper. Arrange fillets evenly on baking sheet.

Cranberry Face Mask 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 cup seedless red or green grapes 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 envelope unflavored gelatin A small bowl and blender

In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Press mixture onto top side of fillets. Bake until topping is light golden, about 20 minutes. Remove and serve.

Mix ingredients at medium speed for 20 seconds, until they have a paste-like texture. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to thicken. Remove from the fridge and let sit about 10 minutes. Spread the mixture on clean, dry skin, avoiding the eye area. Relax for 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

Cranberry Welcome

Dress up your entryway with a cranberry wreath and planters. String cranberries on thin florist’s wire and make circular ornaments and ropes to weave throughout your outdoor decorations.


Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Bundt Pan Birdseed Wreath

If you are looking for a chocolate fix, look no further. This is layer upon layer of chocolate. Moist Chocolate Cake, a mountain of Chocolate Frosting, and a sprinkle of chocolate chunks. If you feel the need for a little more, fill the cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache. This one is guaranteed to fulfill a chocolate lover’s dream. YIELD: 24 cupcakes Ingredients: Chocolate Cake: * 1 cup Dutch process cocoa * 2 cups boiling water * 1 cup butter, softened * 2 cups superfine sugar * 4 large eggs * 2-3/4 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour * 1 teaspoon baking soda * 1 teaspoon baking powder * 1/2 teaspoon salt * 1 teaspoon chocolate extract * Paper baking cups * Vegetable cooking spray Chocolate Frosting: * 1/2 cup butter, softened * 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa * 1/3 cup whipping cream * 1/8 teaspoon salt * 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar * Toppings: * 1-1/2 cups chocolate chunks Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cocoa and 2 cups boiling water in a large heatproof bowl, stirring until blended and smooth; cool completely. Beat butter with a mixer until creamy; gradually

Make clever use out of a Bundt pan by creating a suet-birdseed feeder for your feathered friends. 1 lb. Suet Saucepan or baking dish Fine cheesecloth Measuring cup Fresh cranberries 6-cup Bundt pan Wild birdseed Dried cranberries Roasted unsalted peanuts Large plastic spoon Wide ribbon Begin by cutting 1 pound of suet into small chunks and rendering in a saucepan (or baking dish in a 375-degree oven) until all the fat has melted. Strain rendered suet through fine cheesecloth, allow it to harden at room temperature, and then melt and strain again. Measure out 1 1/2 cups melted suet and set aside. Place fresh cranberries in bottom of 6-cup Bundt pan in desired pattern In a large bowl, thoroughly combine 4 cups wild birdseed and 1 cup each dried cranberries and peanuts. Add melted suet to dry ingredients and thoroughly coat using large plastic spoon or your hands. Once completely combined, fill pan with mixture, being sure to press down firmly. Allow mixture to harden overnight in the refrigerator (or freezer). Once hardened, remove pan from fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes before unmolding. With wide ribbon, hang wreath outside when temperature is around freezing. Be sure wreath is not in direct sunlight, to avoid melting or spoiling. (Tip: Avoid using twine or rope to tie up wreath as it can pull through and break the side of the wreath.)

Bundt Cake Pan Ideas Antipasto bread. Chop 1 jar of artichoke hearts, 2-3 ounces of pepperoni, and 1/2 of a red pepper. In a mixing bowl, combine chopped ingredients with 1 can of sliced black olives and 2 cloves of garlic, pressed. Cut 2 packages of premade biscuits (see my note above in the monkey bread tip) into quarters. Dip 16 pieces of biscuit in melted butter, roll in freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and arrange in the bundt pan. Top with 1/2 cup of the artichoke mixture, then 16 more biscuits that have been dipped in butter and rolled in cheese. Continue repeating the layers until you’ve used all of the ingredients. Bake about 30 minutes at 375.

add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate extract. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely. To prepare Chocolate Frosting, beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Makes 3 cups. Frost each cupcake with Chocolate Frosting using metal tip no. 2D. Top each with about 1 Tbsp. chocolate chunks.

Thumbprint Cookies Ingredients: 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. salt Seedless strawberry or apricot jelly

Apple pull aparts. Melt 1/3 cup butter and whisk together with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Pour into the bottom of the bundt pan. Sprinkle a handful of chopped pecans over the butter mixture. Slice the dinner rolls in 2 packages in half (so that they make thinner biscuits not half circles). Roll half of the biscuit pieces in a mixture of 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Layer over pecans in the bundt pan. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of chopped pecans over the rolls. Sprinkle 1 large apple, chopped, over the pecans, and layer the rest of the dinner rolls (rolled in the cinnamon and sugar mixture) over the top. Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 375.

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar and stir in the vanilla extract. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour and salt. Combine the flour mixture and the butter mixture until the dough is crumbly but holds together when pinched. Take a walnut-sized piece of dough

Ice Luminaries. Use any Bundt pan of choice. Fill Bundt pan with water and place in freezer overnight. Unmold resulting ice ring by briefly submerging pan in hot water. Once ring is desired shape, place votive candle in center and light for a brilliant display.

in one hand. With the thumb of the other hand, gently knead it three times. Roll it into a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. With your knuckle or thumb, press a well in the center and fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jelly. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Button Wreath

½ cup Unsalted Butter ½ cup Granulated Sugar ½ cup Packed Brown Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla Extract ½ tsp Salt 3 Tbsp Pasteurized Egg Product 1⅓ cups All Purpose Flour 4 tsp Shortening 1¾ cups Mini Chocolate Chips, divided use

Raid your spare-button jar for this unique keepsake. YOU’LL NEED (makes 1 button wreath):

DIRECTIONS: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; continue to cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly, until butter foams and turns light golden brown. Pour butter into large mixing bowl. Add sugars, vanilla, and salt to butter, and combine using a mixer on medium speed, until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg product until combined, about 1 minute. Reduce friends + football + Fun mixer speed to low and beat in flour until well Free Dinner Every combined. Stir in 1/2 cup Night of the Week For Paying Customers Only mini chocolate chips until combined. Roll cookie dough into 24 balls and place on a baking sheet. SPORTS BAR Freeze for 30 minutes. In a medium bowl, melt remaining 1-1/4 cups Order Jello Shots for mini chocolate chips and Your Christmas Parties shortening in the microwave, stirring twice, until melted and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. We have Dip cookie dough balls OYSTER into chocolate and place SHOOTERS Head toward the Airport on waxed paper to dry.

• 12 buttons in varying sizes and colors • Glue gun • 6” raffia Working on a protected surface, arrange six large buttons to form a circle. Position six small buttons atop circle, centering each where two bottom buttons meet. Apply a dab of glue to top button and press to secure it to bottom two so all are attached. Continue until all top buttons are glued to bottom layer and circle is complete. Thread raffia through a button hole and tie tightly to form a loop.

Card Curtain

5 Dozen for ONLY $25

Clip cards to lengths of ribbon hung from a tension rod.

ENough SAid

• Red spray paint • Mini clothespins • Tension rod to fit window • Scissors • Wide ribbon in a variety of styles • Small Wooden Clothespins • Glue gun • Rickrack, trim or thin ribbon • Holiday cards In a well-ventilated area, spray-paint clothespins; let dry. Position tension rod in window. Cut ribbon in lengths 1½ times as long as distance from rod to windowsill. Cut ribbon ends into an inverted V shape. Loop ribbon over rod so one end is just above windowsill and other end is midway between top and bottom of window frame. Secure shorter end to back of longer end with several dabs of glue. Space ribbons about 6” apart. Add rickrack and thin ribbon in between, gluing as above. Attach cards with clothespins.


Paper Cone Christmas Tree

Old Fashioned Pomanders

You will need 59 -2” x 2” scraps of Christmas Paper and a 2 7/8” x 7 7/8” cone to make your tree.. Turn your square 45 degrees so the corners are facing North/South/East/West. Now take the eastern corner and roll it toward the center of the square without creasing the outside. Now bring the western corner in to meet it and adhere these together to make your cone. Make all your cones first and then assemble the tree. Starting at the bottom of your cone add the first layer of cones using 1 1/2” straight pins about 1/2” from the top of the point of the cone.

Needed (makes 1 pomander): • 3’ satin ribbon, 1” wide Orange • Dressmaker’s pins • Scissors • 3’ ribbon in contrasting color, ½” wide • Glue gun • Whole cloves • 5” x 10” cellophane bag

Wrap 1”-wide satin ribbon around orange vertically. Pin in place; trim ends. Repeat, positioning ribbon around other half of orange. Pin in place. Repeat, layering ½”-wide ribbon on top of 1”-wide ribbon. Tie 1’ of either ribbon in bow and glue to top of orange.

Layer 1- is 12 cones - tips should be even with the base of the styrofoam cone. Layer 2 is 12 cones- place the following rows about 1 1/4” above the previous row. Layer 3 is 10 cones Layer 4 is 10 cones Layer 5 is 9 cones Layer 6 is 6 cones

Following lines of ribbon, push cloves into orange at ¼” intervals. Fill orange with rows of evenly spaced cloves. Place pomander in cellophane bag and tie with remaining ribbon.

Sides for the Season

You may use pearlized tip pins for layer 6 of the tree since these pins will show. When you get to the last layer of your tree place the tip of your paper cone 3/4” above the top of the styrofoam cone. This layer should complete the point of the tree. The pin tops will look like ornaments. You may add a 3-d snowflake or star as the topper. For added decoration use a Snow writer from Deco Art, glitter or other light embellishments to decorate the boughs of the tree.

Cornbread Casserole

1 can cream corn 1 can whole kernel corn (w/juice) 2 eggs 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix 1 cup sour cream 1 can Rotel tomatoes (mild or hot) w/juice 2 c. shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided in half Combine all but 1 cup cheese. Bake with 1 cup cheese sprinkled over the top, at 350°F until top is lightly browned.

Yarn Cross Ornament

Difficulty: Easy Age: 6 and up Parental supervision is recommended Celebrate your faith on Christmas by hanging this lovely cross on your tree. This ornament is easy to make and pretty to look at. What you’ll need: * 2 regular craft sticks * Scissors * White yarn * Christmas themed or colored ribbon * White craft glue * Yarn or ribbon for hanger * Faux berries (optional) How to make it: 1. Cut one of the regular craft sticks in half. Cut half an inch off of each end of the other craft stick, and then discard the cut ends. 2. Glue the craft sticks together to form a cross. Allow to dry. 3. Line the shorter (horizontal) craft stick with glue and wrap with yarn. Yarn should be running from left to right around the stick. After stick is covered with yarn (about 3-4 wraps), wrap the yarn around the intersection of the two sticks. 4. Line the long (vertical) stick with glue and wrap the yarn around the stick (horizontally), wrapping around the long stick until covered. Wrap the yarn around the intersection of the craft sticks several times to form a strong cross. Continue to wrap yarn vertically around the length of the shorter craft stick. 5. Cut the yarn at the back of the cross and glue in place. Add a generous amount of glue to all four ends of the cross to reinforce the yarn at ends. Allow to dry completely. 6. Tie ribbon into a bow and glue to the front intersection of the cross. If you like, add a few faux berries below the bow. Allow to dry completely. 7. Turn cross over and glue a piece of looped ribbon to the back for the hanger. Let dry completely.

Cheese, Squash and Corn Casserole 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped 2 ounces onion, diced 2 cups zucchini, sliced 2 tomato, chopped 2 teaspoons chili sauce 1 dash hot pepper sauce 1 cup corn, drained 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese salt and pepper, to taste In a medium-size skillet, cook pepper and onion about 5 minutes or until soft. Add zucchini, tomatoes, chili and sauce and cover. Cook over medium heat, about 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Stir in corn, cheese, salt and pepper, continue to cook about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Reduce heat, continue to cook about 5 minutes or until thickened.

Holiday Macaroni Salad 1 lb. box elbow macaroni 3/4 c. sweet onion, chopped 1/2 c. pickle relish 3/4 c. pimientos, diced 1/2 c. black olives, chopped 3/4 c. celery, chopped 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese 1 c. dried cranberries, sweetened 1 1/2 c. vegennaise or mayonnaise 1/2 tsp. granulated onion 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic 1/2 tsp. salt (or more to taste) 1/8 tsp. dry dill weed Cook Macaroni in salted water according to package directions, then drain in colander. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, pickles, granulated onion and garlic, dill weed and salt. Combine the remaining ingredients and the mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold.

Tips: * Every ten to fifteen minutes, lift the cross to be sure it isn’t sticking to the table or work surface. Putting a piece of wax paper underneath it might help. * Buy ribbon whenever it goes on sale and keep in a storage container for later use. * Craft sticks can be purchased in large boxes or you can save sticks from your kids’ ice cream bars.

Silverware Stocking These stockings add a playful touch to the dinner table throughout the holidays. They also make it easier to hang on to everything you need when maneuvering through a buffet line. You might see similar items in home decor catalogs, but you can make your own for a fraction of the cost. A beaded initial adds a personalized touch. Materials: Stocking template -- draw your own, buy one or download one from the internet Scissors Felt Patterned fabric Hot glue or fabric glue Rickrack Beads Beading cord (we used clear plastic cord)

Draw a stocking template from tag board. Use the template to cut two stocking shapes from the felt, then cut the cuff and toe shapes from the patterned fabric. The cuff is a long rectangle with the two long edges folded under and ironed for a clean look. Glue the two stocking shapes together at the edges, leaving the top of the stocking open. Fold a 6-inch length of rickrack in half and glue the ends just inside the stocking’s top. Glue the cuff and toe in place. String beads onto the cord. When the string of beads is long enough to form your letter, knot both ends. Draw your letter onto the stocking with glue, then press the string of beads onto it.

Rice Krispie Sweet Potato Casserole 1 lg. can sweet potatoes (1 lb. 13 oz.), drained 1 1/2 c. white sugar 2 eggs, well beaten 1 c. half & half or sweet milk 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1/2 tsp. cinnamon Mix mashed potatoes, sugar, eggs, milk, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour into buttered 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and bake 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees. TOPPING: 1 stick butter 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar 1 1/2 c. Rice Krispies 2/3 c. pecans, chopped Melt butter. Blend in brown sugar and pour over Rice Krispies. Spread the mixture over the cooked sweet potatoes. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. After baking, sprinkle pecans evenly over the top.

Triple-Cheese Broccoli Puff

*1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms *1 tablespoon butter *1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened *6 eggs *1 cup milk *3/4 cup biscuit baking mix 1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese * 1 cup small curd cottage cheese *1/4 teaspoon salt In a small skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until tender; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, eggs, milk and biscuit mix just until combined. Stir in the broccoli, cheeses, salt and mushrooms. Pour into a greased round 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Cookie Cutter Christmas Wreath

If making cutout cookies isn’t your thing, use cookie cutters in a new way this Christmas. To make this wreath, arrange large cookie cutters on a paper-covered work surface in a circular shape, and fill in the gaps with smaller cookie cutters. Glue the arrangement together with an adhesive appropriate for metals; let dry. Spray-paint the wreath, if desired, and finish with a festive bow.


Santa Claus needs your help

The Annual ABATE Toy Store Toy Parade

Secret Santa letters are available at the Campbell County Parks and Recreation Center. Your sponsorship will help create a merry Christmas for a child in need. “You can either sponsor a kid, or you can come down here to the Rec Center and donate some money and we can actually shop

By Sandra Boehler The Annual A.B.A.T.E. TOY STORE TOY PARADE was held on Saturday December 3rd at 2:00 PM. Parade viewers lined up on Gillette Avenue to watch the parade which, of course, included our favorite man of the season, Santa Claus and his elves passed out goody bags along the route. After the parade, everyone was invited to the AMVETS Bingo hall to enjoy hot chocolate, apple cider and baked cookies. It was a nice way to warm up after standing in the cool air to view the parade. Children of all ages were excited to visit with Santa at the hall and tell him what was on their wish list for this Christmas and get their picture taken with him also. As darkness approached, people made their way back outside to watch the Parade of Lights which took place at 5:00 PM down Gillette Avenue. We appreciate A.B.A.T.E., who every year makes it possible for needy families in the Gillette area to have a Christmas. This organization spends weeks collecting and setting up toys for the Toy Store which is set up for the purpose of those in need to come and shop for gifts for children of all ages. Without their huge hearts and efforts, many families would not be able to

afford anything for their children. We all know that Jesus is the reason for the seasons but, let’s face it; we all have the kid in our heart that loves to have a present under the tree with our name on it to open Christmas morning. Thank you, A.B.A.T.E. and all the local businesses and donators who make this a huge success each year. You can donate new toys for the Toy Store by either attending a “Stuff The Bus” day which will be held on 12-8......Interstate Power Noon-1pm 12/10....Walmart 3pm-6pm 12/15....VOA 4pm-5pm 12/17....All About Women -American Legion 9am-10am Fox Country will be doing live remotes at each event and Coach America donates the bus for stuffing. Donations may also be made at Campco Credit Union or by contacting Mike Argue (307-299-7718) or Donnella Woodward (307-680-0458). Contact Mike or Donnella if you have questions or know a family in need. I hope the people of our community open their hearts once again this year to make Gillette proud in helping those in need during this season and throughout the coming year.

Submitted by Donna Walters I spoke with the VA Clinic here in Gillette asking if there too was a need for anything for our Veterans locally. They felt as though they had plenty of daily necessities but there seems to be a huge need for phone cards and cab rides to and from their appointments. This is where you, my fellow Campbell County resident come in. I am challenging my friends and family to donated $5.00 to help with this project. I am also working with 2 cab companies here in town. The phone cards will be easy. You can either drop

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PART I: THE NIGHT BEFORE X-MAS 1: When up on the roof there arises such a clatter, you... A. Jump out of bed shouting “Santa’s here!” B. Jump out of bed shouting “What was that?!” C. Grab a shotgun and start firing toward the sound of footsteps. 2: Finish this famous line from a X-mas tradition: “On...” A. “a gada da vida.” B. “top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese...” C. “Cupid, on Comet, on Donder and Blitzen!” 3: By the way, what is a Blitzen? A. An incredible drink with five kinds of rum. B. Isn’t it that thing they serve with jam at a deli? C. A reindeer! 4: If a fat man in a red suit gives you a wink and twists his head, this means... A. He’s Santa! B. He’s got a facial tick! C. He is a wierdo! 5: How do you answer when the kids ask you when Santa will come? A. When he gets paid for his efforts. B. Ever since he got hired by The Government... Easter. C. When all the little boys and girls are asleep. PART II: A FAMILY KIND OF X-MAS 6: It’s December 23 and you finally realize you’d better buy some gifts. What do you do? A. Rush to Walmart. Since everyone else shopped early it should be fairly empty, right? B. Rush to McDonalds and buy every book of gift certificates they have. C. Rush to the liquor store. You can’t go wrong with vodka!

or a girl in one of three age groups. Next, you fill the box with things both practical (i.e. toothbrush/toothpaste, socks, underwear, school supplies) and/or fun (candy, toys, accessories). Then, you may either wrap the box or leave it be and drop it back off at the church with $7 for shipping purposes. You are encouraged to leave a picture in the box of you and your family with a letter to the child. In a lot of cases the children will write back! What better way is there to show your children the meaning of charity with actual evidence of the child they have helped? So, if it is your prerogative to do something charitable this year, please consider Operation Christmas Child at the First Baptist Church. There they can tell you inspirational stories of the children that have been helped and further aid you in the entire process.

7: If you want to have a peaceful visit, the best topic to discuss with Dad is... A. Growing Up. B. Politics. C. The weather. 8: When Mom starts asking those questions you really don’t want to answer, you... A. Turn red, start shouting, and leave the house in a huff. B. Say “oh look, an elf” and hide while she’s distracted. C. Lie and hope she’s had so much spiked eggnog that she won’t remember a thing in the morning. 9: The family’s singing “Deck The Halls.” When you get to “Don we now our gay apparel,” your bachelor uncle starts crying, then admits that for the past seventeen years he’s been secretly living with someone named Don who is all alone tonight. You... A. Tell him to invite Don over to join in the festivities. B. Try to protect him from your father who is loudly pronouncing that God will punish him! C. Start a fire in the kitchen to take everyone’s mind off it.

Historical house featured in Parade of Homes ner of Gillette Avenue and 7th Street directly across from Twin Spruce Junior High School in downtown Gillette. Kelley says it was constructed in 1906, back when Gillette was still part of Crook County. “The reason Harry Chassell is significant is he is the legislator who wrote the bill to create Campbell County out of Crook and Weston Counties, so he’s a little known celebrity, an important person in our past,” Kelley says. The Parade of Homes is


before Christmas. I am also asking that you pass this on to your family and friends. Remember, shop local and help local. Thank you so much in advance.

In this holiday season, the presents are under the tree, the good feelings are flowing... then the criminals kick into high gear and you have to see your family. Every bit of good is offset with a little bit of bad. Can you thrive and survive this holiday season? Take this quiz and find out.

By Keary Speer

If you appreciate the historical aspects of Campbell County you won’t want to miss your chance to get a personal view of one of the oldest homes in Gillette this weekend. “One of the last items that we’re doing for the centennial this year is including the Harry Chassell house on the Parade of Homes this Sunday,” explains Campbell County Historical Society President Mary Kelley. The Harry Chassell house is located on the cor-

the $5.00 of at the American Legion in a sealed envelope or you can send it to me at 503 Red Ryder Dr. Gillette, WY 82718. They will be sending out their care packages the week

Christmas Survival Quiz

Dyna-Mike Karaoke. “We have had various other sponsors in the area for the past two years but Jake’s Tavern has been our largest sponsor.” The first year, 2010, thirteen contestants were sent to compete in the National Final and 3 came home with a top 20, semi-final ranking in their respective categories. This year, nine were sent and 5 came back in the semi-final round. Of those nine contestants, Mike and his duet partner, Lorie Redfield, took the highest possible rank in their genre. “We did much better this year, as we had a much better idea of what to expect, and next year should be even better.” With the karaoke competition season over, he has his new effort to focus on and that is selling his new albums. In one week’s time, his Christmas album goes on sale at various locations. “I am very happy with the Christmas album. I think the Christmas Song (Chestnuts) is one of my best.” His CD can be found at the Candy Bouquet, Haggerty’s Musicworks, Zip Printing, or from him personally at any of the aforementioned karaoke nights. You may also request an album by e-mailing him at

Operation Christmas Child This time of year there are so many ways to do good things that it is hard to choose just one. You can give to a veteran, a senior, a hungry family, a needy child and there are countless ways to do so! You do not have to look hard to find someone in need and an organization to help them. First Baptist Church on Gillette Avenue is doing their best to spread the Christmas cheer to a global level by participating in Operation Christmas Child. This amazing program helps get gifts, on Christmas, to children in other countries who would otherwise have nothing. They have been operating since 1993 to bring gifts to children in 130 different countries and it is fairly simple to participate! First, a special shoebox can be picked up at the church itself, or you can even use a shoebox of your own. Then, you choose whether you want to send your box to a boy

family to deliver the gifts. If, however, you are too busy and you would like to donate cash, Rec Center employees will do the shopping, wrapping, and deliver the gifts. For any questions about the program, call Sandra at the Recreation Department at 682-8527.

Phone Card Challenge

Local Singer cuts Christmas Album

Mike “Country Crooner Mike” Olson, recently recorded four new albums in Seymour, TN. Among the four is an inspirational, country, Jim Reeves tribute, and, most relevant to the time of year, a Christmas album. To many in the community, Mike may be a familiar face. He has clocked a decade of singing and hosts karaoke in the area six nights a week. He can be found at Jake’s Tavern on Sundays and Mondays, at Good Times Lounge on Tuesdays, American Legion on Wednesdays and Thursdays he spends in Spearfish, SD at Lucky’s 13. Not only that, but he can also sporadically be found in Moorcroft and Sundance doing the very same thing. He used to make his living in the trucking industry but since retirement decided to pursue his true passion. “I am busier now then I have ever been. The difference is now I get paid to have fun!” A part of this busy lifestyle is Mike’s Regional Directors position for Talent Quest in the Tri-State area. This includes Northeastern Wyoming, Southeaster Montana, and Western South Dakota. Being that Talent Quest is a national karaoke singing competition, he is also a sponsor of this endeavor through his karaoke business,

for the kids,” explains intramural program supervisor Stephanie Stuber. “It’s just a great program for our community for families that need a little help.” To sponsor a child, come into the Campbell County Recreation Center and choose the letter you would like to shop for, wrap the gifts, and then contact the

10: The videotape to rent for the big family get-together this X-mas is... A. It’s A Wonderful Life... because they expect it. B. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown... because it’s the only video left in the store. C. National Lampoon Christmas... because all the kids will side with you and the adults will give in rather than hear them whine.

a self-guided tour, and it runs from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 4. “You just go from house to house and spend time there and see the decorations and see the house and the features,” Kelley says. “It’s always a fun event and it benefits the Powder River Symphony.” Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased in advance from Coffee Friends, or during the reception on Sunday.

SCORING THE QUIZ: As always, the scoring is simple. 1 point for every A, 3 for every B, and 5 for every C. Tally up your points and consult the chart below. 10-22 Points: In the words of Mr. T., “I pity the fool” who gets this score. You’re in for a bad X-mas. We’re talking a ride in the black van in “Twister” kind of X-mas. Then again, X-mas is supposed to be the time for miracles, but I wouldn’t count on it. 24-38 Points: You remember question #6? Read answer C, then buy yourself a gift too. You’re going to need it. 40-50 Points: You’re at or close to the right mixture of distrust and dishonesty that will help you have a safe and sane X-mas. Just remember this final simple rule to help you get through it... It’s not the gift itself that counts, but whether or not they kept the receipt.


Settle Inn & Suites offers “Room at the Inn” program

Settle Inn & Suites of Fargo, ND and of Gillette, WY has introduced the “Room at the Inn” program. This program reaches out to families, friends and loved ones who have somebody admitted to any hospital, nursing home or treatment center during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and offers them a free room. “We do not want our guests to worry about the added expense of a hotel room, even if for one day,” says Ray Lewis, Director Of Operations. The program is for anyone coming from out of town that needs a place to stay. For more information, or to reserve a room, please contact the Settle Inn & Suites at: 307685-6363 Gillette, WY 701-235-4699 Fargo, ND

“I have always thought of Christmas as a good time; a kind, forgiving, generous, pleasant time; a time when men and women seem to open their hearts freely, and so I say, God bless Christmas!” - Charles Dickens Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” - Washington Irving


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2011 Holiday Guide  
2011 Holiday Guide