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Holiday Edition


Inside Christmas Town USA Christmasville Caroline Calouche

Holiday 2017

Contents Features



7 Renate Moore


Survive the Holidays

22 Intentional Lifestyle Scrooge or Not to Scrooge

McAdenville, NC

Photo Credits: Steve Rankin


hen you have the privilege to visit Christmas Town USA located in

McAdenville, North Carolina you would think you stepped right into a Charles Dickens play. The town park and streets are lined with the most glorious lights you have ever experienced during the Holidays. My interview with Steve Rankin and Dick Roberts went similarly the same. They made me feel as though I was right in the heart of a Norman Rockwell scene. As their story unfolded they took me back to a much simpler time, the year was 1881 and the gentlemen whom the town is named after is Rufus Yancey McAden.


cAdenville was incorporated in 1881.

It was named after Rufus Yancey McAden, president of McAden Mills, the town's textile mill. McAden had served in the North Carolina House of Commons from 1862 to 1867, and was Speaker of the House in 1866. He came to Charlotte in 1867 to become president of the two-year-old First National Bank. Mr. McAden purchased Springs’ holdings along the river, opened the Springs Shoals Manufacturing Co. and planned a mill town around it, complete with the county’s first library, mercantile store and company-built houses to attract workers. Two years later, the town was officially incorporated as McAdenville, and the mill was renamed McAden Mills.

McAdenville is located on the South Fork Catawba River. Today McAdenville is the headquarters of Pharr Yarns. The company has operated a yarn manufacturing plant in the town since 1939. It is the town's largest employer and the 7th-largest employer in Gaston County.

A place where family meant everything and hard work was an every day occurrence? One thing remains the same when you drive through McAdenville and experience all the beautiful historical residences that are lit to perfection you cannot help but be overcome with the holiday spirit.

In the early years around 1954 the employees of the mill had an idea to do something for Christmas. There were old metal rods outside the shop that they asked permission to use. They wanted to use them to spell Merry Christmas and display it out front. Stars were also created from those rods and put up on the Mill tower. Only one tree was decorated at that time. Mr. W.J. Pharr President of Pharr Yarns, LLC suggested that for next year “Why don’t you decorate Main St. towards the Community Center? That year 9 trees were decorated. Mrs. Pharr suggested the use of red, white and green lights, the traditional colors of Christmas. Mr. Pharr offered to pay for the decorations. Later, at Mrs. Pharr’s suggestion, the trees around the lake were decorated and the manger scene became the focal point of the Christmas decorations.

“You won’t find a lot of animation, but it is a real town, with real people who decorate their own homes”

The next year in 1956 the Men’s Club got behind the initiative to light the town. They took some wood and put chicken wire on it and the Women’s Club would decorate those with greenery. They became the wreaths. That was the year it really began and expanded within the town. The Men’s Club was created in 1954 and these are the original members. All four worked at the Mill. Dick Roberts Billy Alexander Neil Hagan Dorus Woodward


Today more than 371 trees are giving off the warm holiday glow. Spot and flood lights are used to give special effects to the trees. More then 600,000 cars visit Christmas Town USA annually.

If you come on a Saturday night, come early and be prepared to wait in line. Buses are welcome. We encourage people to park your vehicle in a designated parking lot and walk through the streets to really experience the feeling of Christmas.

The pristine Charles Kuralt helped McAdenville gain National attention in 1981. He was born in Wilmington, NC and later lived in Charlotte. He had a long career with CBS Evening News. The CBS TV crew from Atlanta came for 3 days and they aired it on his Sunday morning program. Since then McAdenville was featured on Guidepost Magazine, 700 Club, HGTV, MSNBC and Turner South just to name a few.

Romare Beardon Park Nov. 23rd to Dec. 24th

The Charlotte Christmas Village The Charlotte Christmas Village is an open air, European inspired Christmas marketplace nestled in Uptown. Celebrating Queen Charlotte and Mecklenburg County's heritage, the family friendly event, supported by presenting sponsor, Coca-Cola, provides people of all ages a unique holiday experience that includes offerings of traditional German and other various food and drink, music and fun activities for children. Market-place vendors will

offer high-quality,

Santa will visit the CCV

Christmas inspired

each weekend, and other


specified days. There will also be kids' Holiday Arts &

Perfect for gift-giving

Crafts, special musical

during the festive holiday

performances, and other

season. Admission is free.

special events for kids and

This event opens right after

parents alike!"

the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and runs from November 23

- December 24,closed on Mondays.

What is a Christkindlmarkt? Originating in Germany, the first document-

What’s the deal with “Glühwein”? Glühwein is a mulled, spiced wine served warm in Germany and other European countries. It may

ed open winter market “Christkindlmarkt”

be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and is traditionally

1310 in Munich, Germany. By definition, a

served around holidays.

Christkindlmarkt is an open-air market with lights and decorated booths selling homemade crafts like little figurines and carved toys

made of shaved and polished wood, dainty ornaments, as well as local specialty foods, beer, Glühwein, ciders and more.

That’s a good textbook answer, but what we know is that Glühwein is an experience! The aroma, the warmth, the deliciousness that is Glühwein is all a wonderful part of European Christmas Villages. Tradition dictates that you purchase your commemorative Glühwein mug

Traditionally held in the center of the village’s town square, everyone in the community would come to trade, eat, drink, dance, and sing!

upon entering the Village and carry around the warm concoction as you stroll and shop.

Attendees will enjoy strudel, gingerbread, bratwurst, roasted nuts, Glühwein, beer, Coca-Cola soft drinks, and hot chocolate. The Performing Arts Stage, featuring professional, community, and school groups, provides free live music. Strolling musicians and carolers will add to the

festive atmosphere. The Opening Ceremony for the Charlotte Christmas Village will be on Saturday, November 25. The traditional Christkindt will appear along with dancers from Charlotte Ballet’s “Nutcracker” as dignitaries kick off the holiday season. Live music and a visit from Santa will round out the day’s activities.

Romare Bearden Park 300 S. Church St. Charlotte, NC 28202

Santa Claus will be in his workshop each Saturday and Sunday and

November 23 – December 24

visits with him are free! Other

The village will be open:

children’s activities include arts &

11 am to 7 pm Tues - Wed

crafts, historical activities, and spe-

11 am to 9 pm Thurs - Sat

cial musical presentations.

11 to 6 pm Sunday Closed Mondays

Twitter: CLTChristmasVillage


Presenting Sponsor of Christmas Village:

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Claus! Christmas Village Founders Paul Claus and Dena Bruton-Claus are pleased to be extending the family business south of their North Pole headquarters! Having moved to Charlotte in 2007 from Texas, the Claus family really is delighted to help create holiday memories for other families. They both have had many experiences with outdoor events, but this one is their favorite. You'll find them at the Village every day, spreading holiday cheer.

Caroline Calouche Artistic and Executive Director Caroline Calouche & Co. Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center

Where were you born and where did you grow up? Born: Richmond, VA Grew up: Gastonia, NC

Tell me about your parents. Do you have siblings? Mother and father are both retired. Mother was an accountant and Father an environmental engineer for Bridgestone/ Firestone. I have a twin brother and younger brother who is 2 years younger.

What was your first job? Working in the Texas Christian University Alumni office calling alumn to donate to the school.

Greatest lesson learned from your school years? Beyond all the vital skills from classes Time management and organization.

What do you consider to be your

greatest success? Running a contemporary dance and cirque non-profit that made it through the recession and now in its 12th Season. My organization (Caroline Calouche & Co.) is the only one to my knowledge to have a professional season and a school running this long other than Charlotte Ballet.

What do failures in life teach you? To think of a myriad of ways to reach my goal but not to give up.

Where did you learn to be so fluid? Telll us about your training. While ballet was my core, I was encouraged at a young age to learn as many dance styles as I can. My fluidity in movement has come from my training at Texas Christian University and the many European teachers I had while living in Europe for 3 years. Training the inferior muscles and not the superficial long with proper alignment and use of momentum is key.

When was the last time you tried something new? The Marketing Seminar by Seth Gobin. (Charlotte Connector folks – LOOK IT UP! Great investment!)

What can you do today that you could not do a year ago? Tons of things! Physically - forearm balances, tippy lyra/aerial hoop, feeling secure in dynamic catches and releases on trapeze, and much more. With my organization – have worked to develop more of a family/team community .

What’s your biggest challenge? Consistent funding for season shows from the local and state arts councils as well as individual donors.

Clara LeBlanc trips at a holiday party and is whisked off to the hospital to learn that her ankle is broken. That night her friends and get-well gifts swirl in her dreams. This show is the perfect family event during the holiday season.

December 8 @ 7:30pm December 9 @ 2pm & 7pm December 10 @ 2pm Tickets: $20 – $45

Booth Playhouse 130 N. Tryon St.

For Tickets:

Take Your Business To The Next Level Come meet Jason Tyne the MC for National Achiever's Congress #NAC2107, that featured Tony Robbins and Marcus Lemonis event held in October.

December 4th, 2017 Sheraton Charlotte Hotel 555 South McDowell Street, South Tower Charlotte, NC 28204 Registration and Networking Begins @ 8 a.m.

An event not to be missed, if you are a business owner, entrepreneur or a sales professional, training is what sets us apart from our competition and allows us to add more value to our customers in our marketplace.

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Photo by

Holidays are my favorite time of the year. This stems from growing up in a culture where we celebrated the holidays with much merriment and festivities. Now-a-days, it feels like a hassle and stressful time which is unfortunate because that is not what the season represents. We all know that once Thanksgiving arrives, besides a time to be thankful for what we have it means the busiest time of year is staring us straight in the eyes.

Here are a few of my tips to enjoy the season with less stress. 1. Planning is very helpful! Write things

4. Discuss holiday plans with your spouse or

down and do not try to achieve everything at once. That will create stress and anxiety.

family to include everyone with the preparations. Not only will this help getting things done, you will be nurturing your relationship with each other.

2. Make gift giving simple. Remember the

5. Create a holiday dinner menu, then write

purpose of giving gifts is to show your thoughtfulness and love. When you keep it simple you will enjoy the shopping experience rather than expressing the feeling of just wanting to ‘get it over with’. Make a list of the gift recipients and ideas of what they like-

out your shopping list with ingredients and items you will need to make it. This could also be the start of a tradition family holiday dinner menu. For instance, in my family, I have created menus for all the major holidays and they have become traditions that have been passed on to my children.

3. Make time to Take time - pause and enjoy the

6. Do not aim for perfection! The holidays are

holiday decorations in stores, sit for a few minutes and savor a cup of holiday cheer without tuning into your phones or lap tops but rather engage your mind as shoppers go by with their treasures. Your mind and spirit will appreciate a simple 5 minute break.

about spending and enjoying time with friends and family. Do the best you can and make happy memories rather than striving for the perfect gift, the perfect outfit, the perfect gathering that ends with exhausting memories filled with tension.

Easy Shortbread Cookies Ingredients: 3 -sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

1cup sugar, 2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt Zest of 1 lemon (optional) Decorating sugar sprinkles


In a medium size bowl sift together the flour and salt and set aside. Place butter and sugar in an electric mixer bowl and mix together until they are just combined (about 5 minutes). Add almond or vanilla extract, lemon zest (optional) mix well then add flour and salt mixture to butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until dough starts to come together. Dump on a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into desired shaped cookies. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with decorating sugar. Bake for 15 - 16 minutes, until edges turn slightly brown. Remove from oven and let cookies rest in sheet for about 4-5 minutes then remove to a cookie rack to cool. By Renate Moore Local Baker and Author

Holiday Discount—20% Off Your Total Purchase. Offer Valid Through 12/24/17

Happy Holidays From the Staff at The Charlotte Connector

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Hey hey hey!!! How exciting! We meet again! We are so pumped to be apart of The Charlotte Connector’s HOLIDAY EDITION. Everyone’s favorite time of the year!……. Right??? Or is it the opposite?? How about this… there can be both good and bad things about this time of year. Its all about how you look at it and what you’re doing to eliminate the stressful piece of the season. Lets take a look at all the good things (in our opinion). We get to wear boots and scarves! The good home cooked meals are soooo abundant.

We have an excuse to go shopping. The Christmas lights bring joy. Friends and family come together. The smell of pine from the tree makes the house smell so fresh. Opening gifts is always fun. And of course, celebrating our Saviors birthday. Too bad we have a hard time focusing on only the fun things the season brings. Instead, it tends to be the most stressful season for many. Lets see…. Its cold! There is toooo much food. We gain weight. We spend too much money. There are long lines in every store. Noooooo…. Not family! The chore of putting up a tree… UGH! Finding a place to put the new toys…..


We’d like to share with you some of the things that have completely changed the way we feel during the holidays.

GIVE. Studies have actually shown that giving to others can help people cope with stress and boost their positive emotions. So I encourage you to be generous throughout the season. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money. You can always be generous with your compliments with friends, co-workers, or even strangers. You can also offer your time. Take an elderly person to the store for a little Christmas shopping. Or offer to run an errand. Get creative with your giving/gifts and I promise it’ll help keep you calm, content and cheerful this time of year. ***One thing we’re doing with the kids this year is giving each of our children 5 boxes for them to fill up with toys that they want to give to families at the shelter.***

We are excited to tell you… IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SO STRESSFUL!

EXERCISE. We get it. Exercise might be the last thing on your mind while your running around during the holiday season…. However, exercise helps to stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. And what do endorphins do??? They trigger positive feeling, boosts the your mood and reduces stress. Now look, we know this time of year gets busy and you may feel like you don’t have time. MAKE TIME. If you need to wake up 30 minutes early or cut your lunch break in half- do it! All it takes is 30 minutes of walking, jogging, playing sports, etc per day and it’ll definitely help maintain a calm mental state.

TIME ALONE. Yea we said it! Take

PACE YOURSELF. Don’t try to fit so

some time for yourself! Even during the holidays. ESPECIALLY during the holidays! Taking little as 15 minutes to sit with yourself in meditation and in gratitude can help maintain your sanity while your juggling family, holiday parties, shopping, meals, etc. So when you're planning out your busy days, make sure to schedule in at least 15 minutes to think of all the things you are grateful for.

much in one day. Instead of thinking you need to shop for everyone the same day, go grocery shopping for every meal the same day, put up all the decorations the same day, etc….. pace yourself. Create a schedule of what needs to be done over the next few weeks. Then as you find a gift for someone on the list or complete a task, cross it off. You will find this helps from feeling overwhelmed.

Lets start something new

BE PRESENT. Remember

this year. Lets take the holidays back! Don’t feel like you need to always be stressed during the season. This is a time to come together and give, enjoy friends and family, enjoy our savior and the season. Lets proclaim and reclaim, peace and joy this season!… starting with yourself.

what the season is all about and enjoy the moment. Its easy to miss it with so much going on. B But its important to stay present with the people around you and not miss what matters most.

We look forward to seeing all of you at peace this season! Until next time.

Connector Holiday Magazine  
Connector Holiday Magazine  

Join us in celebrating the holidays with great places to visit and bring your family and meet many wonderful entrepreneurs who can make your...