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CONTENTS Volume 21 Number 5

30 Features 30 A Little Less Red, A Little More Green

36

Eco-friendly tips for a sustainable holiday

By Beverly Yates Wilson

33 Capital Celebrations

A history of holiday events in the Midlands

By Rodger Stroup

36 Celebrate the Season

Holiday photos from our readers

Departments Palmetto Business 16 A Grand Tradition

Devine Street’s Rice Music House continues to

expand its history

By Rosanne McDowell

Local Seen 27 Generation Green

44

Todd Beasley aims to create environmental stewards

By Beverly Yates Wilson

Home Style 39 Stepping into the Holidays

16

Jack Brantley celebrates Christmas and the 200th

birthday of Aberdeen

By Margaret Clay

44 Gifts from the Kitchen

Thirteen easy-to-make culinary delights

By Susan Fuller Slack, C.C.P.

27

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CONTENTS Volume 21 Number 5 52 Holiday Party How-To

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Cricket Newman gives advice to ensure an unharried host and hostess By Katie McElveen

Senior Living 59 The Unavoidable Questions

Caring for aging parents By Sam Morton

Advertising Sections 22 Getting Down to Business 62 Senior Living – In Their Own Words 64 Let’s Go Shopping!

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62

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In Every Issue 8 From the Publisher 10 City Scoop 21 Spread the Word 56 New to the Neighborhood? 71 Just Married 72 Out & About

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

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t’s interesting how family traditions get started. Some evolve simply from necessity – such as the need to select a Christmas tree every year. This relatively mundane task became one of our favorite family traditions when our children were young. More specifically, it began 20 years ago when we were new arrivals to Columbia and had only one daughter (instead of the three we have now). We decided that the logical place to look for our first Columbia Christmas tree was the farmers’ market. So off we went Henry and Margaret with Margaret, our little girl, strapped in her car seat, singing along in 1990 with Christmas carols plugged into the cassette player. After pulling up to Bauknights’ Christmas Trees and looking around, Margaret decided that this was a great place to play hide and seek. She took off and burrowed under the low hanging limbs of one of the many fragrant firs. At the age of 2 1/2, she wasn’t very sneaky. All we had to do was say, “I wonder where Margaret is,” and she would immediately answer, “Here I am!” After a long time of looking and playing, we finally selected a tree – and Joe Bauknight trimmed up the base and strapped it to the top of the car with binders twine. Once home, I had a one-on-one wrestling match with the tree while attempting to get it off the car roof and upright in the tree stand – no doubt a common occurrence with dads around the world. At last subdued, the Christmas tree was then ready for decorating. This little family errand has repeated itself 20 times now and has been enshrined as a Clay family tradition. Over the years, two more daughters, Mary and Helen, have been added to the mix, making hide and seek more interesting. Mary added her touch by suggesting hot chocolate for the drive there. Joe still trims up the tree for us and ties it down with the same old binders twine. We all drive home eating Helen’s candy canes and listening to Bing Crosby, et al., where I have round 20 with yet another tree. The first year Margaret was in college, we had to get the tree early, right after Thanksgiving, so she wouldn’t miss this tradition. We thought Miracle Gro would help preserve the tree, so we added it to the water, only to discover that it dried the tree out and caused all the needles to fall off in a matter of days. The Bauknights saw us twice that year. Family traditions center on the good and meaningful times when we all are together and memories are made. The Clays, 2010; Henry, Mary, Margaret, Helen and Emily The stories that are repeated year after year become part of the fabric that binds us together with happiness. We hope you feel, like we do, that Columbia Metropolitan and its readers and advertisers are part of a larger family where stories are told, tying us all to this wonderful community.

COLUMBIA M E T R O P O L I T A N

Publisher

Henry Clay e d i to r

Emily Tinch a d v e rt i s i n g A rt D i r e c to r ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Robyn Culbertson a s s i s ta n t e d i to r O f f i c e / c i r c u l at i o n m a n a g e r

Lindsay Niedringhaus E d i to r i a l A rt D i r e c to r

Dennis Craighead Design SENIOR ADVERTISING E X ECUTIVE

Shawn Coward ADVERTISING s a l e s

Emily Clay, Margaret Clay INTERN s

Elizabeth Keniston, Christine Presutti, Anna Westbury contributing writers

Sam Morton, Rosanne McDowell, Katie McElveen, Susan Slack, Rodger Stroup, Beverly Yates Wilson P h o to g r a p h y

Jeff Amberg, Bob Lancaster Columbia Metropolitan is published 10 times a year by Clay Publishing, Inc., 3700 Forest Drive, Suite 106, Columbia, S.C. 29204. Copyright© Columbia Metropolitan 2010. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Advertising rates available upon request. The publishers are not responsible for the comments of authors or for unsolicited manuscripts. Subscription price $19.97 a year, $29.97 for two years in the United States. Postmaster send address changes to: Columbia Metropolitan, P.O. Box 6666, Columbia, South Carolina 29260. (803)787-6501. Send press releases to lindsay@columbiametro.com.

Merry Christmas!

Henry Clay, Publisher

Subscribe to Columbia Metropolitan for one year for just $19.97!

About the cover: Jack Brantley celebrates Christmas and the 200th birthday of Aberdeen. Photography courtesy of Arlene Gaines

Visit columbiametro.com or call (803) 787-6501 TODAY! 8 C o lu m b i a M e t ro p o l i ta n

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CITY SCOOP

Jim Brickman Stars at the Township Auditorium By Elizabeth Keniston

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he Township Auditorium, home to first-class entertainment for audiences across the state, welcomes distinguished singer and pianist Jim Brickman to Columbia on Dec. 7. Since the release of his debut album “No Words” in 1994, Jim Brickman has become an extremely successful best-selling piano artist. Now, the musician will grace the state of South Carolina with his famously smooth vocals and romantic piano melodies. Brickman has collaborated with other famous artists such as Martina McBride, Lady

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Antebellum, Donny Osmond, Carly Simon, Michael Bolton, Olivia Newton-John and several American Idol Finalists, to name a few, in many of his most popular songs. His music has even earned the artist two Grammy nominations, six Gold and Platinum albums and 28 charted radio hits. Tickets range from $32 to $75 and can be purchased by calling (803) 576-2350 during box office business hours. Tickets can also be purchased through Ticketmaster locations, at www.ticketmaster.com or charged by phone at 1-800-745-3500.

Jim Brickman

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Woodcreek Farms Women’s Club to Sponsor USMC Toys for Tots Drive By Elizabeth Keniston

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or 63 years, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program has distributed toys as Christmas gifts to needy children. This year, the Woodcreek Farms Women’s Club will host its own Toys for Tots event to help brighten the holidays of many families throughout the Midlands community. The Women’s Club Toys for Tots event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 4, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Members Club at Woodcreek Farms. The event will include a guest appearance from the Columbia area coordinator for Toys For Tots, USMCReserve Staff Sgt. Timothy Mayberry.

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Each fall, the Marines collaborate with the Salvation Army to identify families in need, then distribute collection boxes to more than 150 businesses in six Midlands counties. Additionally, The Woodcreek Farms Women’s Club will place four collection boxes around the Woodcreek neighborhood so all residents of the northeast Columbia subdivision can have the opportunity to make donations. Timothy and the Marine Corps League, working with the local Reserve unit, consistently exceed their collection goals each year and have been able to increase the number of families they serve.

“Last year we distributed more than 8,000 gifts for area children,” Timothy says. “We hope to surpass that number this year.” Toys for Tots prefers toys without a religious or military theme, candy or chemicals. Though they have a particular need for toys for boys and girls from ages 11 to 15, toys for all children are appreciated. Monetary donations are also appreciated; checks can be made out to the Toys for Tots Foundation. For more information, contact Donna Hall at (803) 865-2766 or send an e-mail to donnahall112@yahoo.com.

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Tripp’s Fine Cleaners Spreads Christmas Cheer for Children in Need By Elizabeth Keniston

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his December, Tripp’s Fine Cleaners will continue to warm the hearts and bodies of families in need in the Columbia area. Tripp’s will hold its annual Coats for Kids drive at all Tripp’s locations until the middle of December. Tripp’s Fine Cleaners has hosted the Coats for Kids drive for 15 consecutive years and has successfully collected more than 22,000 coats for children and families in need. The coats are sorted and cleaned by the staff at Tripp’s and then distributed to local shelters and other

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charitable organizations. Tripp’s aims to continue to keep that number steadily growing this holiday season. “Each year that we continue to hold this event, we continue to help those in our community who are in need. It is a wonderful thing to be able to do something so rewarding and see the impact it has on those we try to help,” says Tripp Penninger of Tripp’s Fine Cleaners. Tripp’s Fine Cleaners has 13 locations in Columbia and Lexington where donations will gladly be accepted.

Tripp Penninger

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S.C. State Museum’s Winter Fest Entertains and Educates By Elizabeth Keniston

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eed a break from the mall crowds this December? The State Museum’s Winter Fest program will bring fun holiday events and activities to the Columbia community this year. For two weeks, Winter Fest will showcase a multitude of events at the museum, from simple crafts geared towards young children to events meant to broaden multicultural holiday horizons. During Winter Fest, the whole family can learn more about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even the Chinese New Year. Leading up to Dec. 25, watch classic holiday movies, gaze at the museum’s Star Lab planetarium or even make a trip to visit jolly Saint Nick with the young and young at heart. The museum plans to coordinate several events alongside exhibits, including old-fashioned holiday traditions and seminars. The program will even be celebrating the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21, welcoming the beginning of winter with earthconscious crafts and activities. For more information on upcoming activities during Winter Fest, call (803) 898-4952 or visit the Web site at www.southcarolinastatemuseum.org.

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RL BRYAN

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PALMETTO BUSINESS

A Grand Tradition

Devine Street’s Rice Music House continues to expand its history By Rosanne McDowell / Photography by Jeff Amberg

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n the upstairs recital hall of Columbia’s Rice Music House, piano students of every level display their talents before proudly listening families. Playing with due reverence on the hall’s magnificent Steinway grand, these students are part of a long line of young people who have learned performance poise and etiquette, taken lessons and procured their pianos at Rice – a line stretching back 86 years. And, as new owners Jyotindra “J.P.” Parekh and Mary Samulski-Parekh

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will tell you, while the recital hall was closed for several years before its recent refurbishing, Rice has never ceased to provide the Midlands with the bestcrafted pianos available, including the legendary Steinway. The “new” appellation for the Parekhs as owners is relative. By comparison to Rice’s previous owners, who stayed around for most of their lifetimes, the Parekhs are newcomers. But Columbia has watched them settle in at the Devine Street store

with the same sense of mission their predecessors demonstrated. J.P., originally from India, brought to Rice years of experience in retail piano sales, most recently as president of Steinway Piano Galleries in Atlanta. Mary’s resume is no less impressive – the North Augusta native is a classical pianist with a Doctor of Musical Arts, university teaching credits and a professional performing career. Both Parekhs enjoy expounding on Rice Music House history. “The Rice

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Jyotindra “J.P.” Parekh and Mary SamulskiParekh, owners of Rice Music House

family owned the business for over a half century or so until Emert Rice’s death in 1988,” says J.P. “In 2004, we purchased it from Thomas Gamble, to whom Emert had bequeathed the company. Before Tommy became owner in 1988 (jointly with another longtime Rice employee, A.J. Connor), he had worked for the Rice family for 22 years.” That’s another Rice tradition: Its staff members tend to work there for decades.

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“We inherited some very good employees when we took over,” continues J.P. “For example, we had a cabinet man who’d been in the company for 40 years, and our delivery crew has a combined total of 40 years of experience here. We’re really fortunate that all have continued working here and are so loyal to Rice Music House.” Robert Schaeffer, another longtime associate, came through the front door of Rice for the first time when he was 7. His first piano came from Rice; his first recital was upstairs on the Rice stage. He’s clearly proud of several Rice superlatives. “Rice is the oldest and largest piano-restoration dealer in South Carolina, as well as the state’s oldest piano retailer,” he says. “We’re the oldest Steinway and Sons dealer in the Southeastern United States – in fact, Sept. 18 of this year marked our 75th anniversary as Steinway’s authorized dealership for the Columbia area. We’re the world’s oldest continuous Hammond organ dealer. And we have one of the largest piano sheet-music departments in the Southeast and the largest collection of rental pianos in South Carolina.” One local superlative – Rice is the oldest continuing merchant on Devine Street in a building originally constructed for the business. Designed by Emert Rice, the building served as the company’s home after a move from its original downtown Columbia location in 1951. As vice president of sales, Robert keeps an eye on Rice sales records, which reach back into the 1930s. One of the earliest, dated Nov. 15, 1935, records an Everett studio piano and bench sold to the U.S.C. School of Music for a mere $75. In 1951, the School of Music purchased a Steinway Model L grand, for which it paid $1,650. Today, this piano would cost $60,000. For the Parekhs and their staff, the Rice legacy remains firmly in place not only in high-quality products and service, but in arts support as well.

J.P. explains, “When we bought the business, Rice had long been involved in support of the arts. We enlarged on this foundation. We helped begin the Music at Sandhills Concert Series in April 2008. We started supporting the Charles Wadsworth and Friends Concert Series and began working with The Columbia Music Teachers Association, The Palmetto Opera and other fine organizations.  We sponsored the Southeastern Piano Festival and donated its first-prize scholarship and contributed four annual scholarships to several Columbia-area music clubs.  These are new traditions we continue today. We are also currently working with the South Carolina Philharmonic on the ‘painted piano’ project. One old tradition we enjoy: For all these excellent organizations, we provide funds and fine pianos for performances and host concerts and receptions.” To complement the company’s rich heritage, J.P. and Mary are implementing forward-looking ideas. They’re currently testing the market in the Charleston area and hope to open a permanent store there. They keep abreast of changes in the music industry while seeking to encourage interest in classical music and the piano, especially with children. As J.P. sees it, “Youngsters are not exposed to much classical music; they are, however, exposed to the increasingly popular digital keyboard, which we sell, so we sponsor a keyboard tournament for the kids. We envision it something like the Southeastern Piano Festival – a ‘keyboard open.’ We’re also trying to get the children discounted tickets to the Philharmonic in hopes they become hooked on the music and the instruments.” Rice customer Marian Tucker, herself an institution as a Columbia piano teacher and concert artist, feels J.P. and Mary have hit the right chord with Rice. She believes the

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Parekhs have done a splendid job of continuing the grand tradition established by the Rices, a summation with which customer David Osterlund agrees. “They are outstanding people,” he says, “not only because of the top-quality pianos they sell but also in the way they accommodated us in the process of choosing our piano and in its delivery. Robert, who worked with us in selecting our Steinway, was there to make sure all went well, and he did a first-class job. Later, we hosted a recital in our home that Robert set up for us – a memorable time.” J.P., Mary and Robert try pinning down some of the qualities that make Rice what it is. “We’re passionate about what we do,” says Robert. “We’re selling joy; we’re selling beauty,” Mary adds. “We’re selling art – something that could go on for generations in a family,” says J.P. Considered along with the company’s commitment to quality, service and the community, these collective musings explain perhaps as well as anything the longevity of that Devine Street grand tradition known as Rice Music House.

How to Choose the Right Piano

The Declaration of Independence says we are all created equal, but this does not apply to pianos. Robert Schaeffer of Rice Music House says to look for these four qualities when you buy your instrument. 1. Touch: Without effort, you should be able to play soft, medium and loud, as well as between these levels of play. 2. Tone: Every piano has a different voice, and you should find one that appeals to your ear. Some pianos have deep resonance, complexity and presence of musical overtones; others have less. 3. Esthetics: You can make a piano merely part of a room or its focal point, so size becomes an issue. Do you want a grand or a vertical piano? And how about finish? Regardless of how much you play, you’re still going to look at the piano, so choose one that’s a pleasure to your eye. 4. Quality: Quality means an instrument from a dedicated manufacturer, that is, a company strictly in the music business. (There are piano builders that also sell high chairs and build cars.) Every brand represented at Rice comes from a dedicated manufacturer, such as Steinway, Boston or Essex – that’s the Steinway family of pianos. Following these guidelines will give you the assurance of taking home an instrument you and your family will treasure for generations. For a listing of events taking place at Rice Music House, visit www.columbiametro.com.

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L to R: James, Marilyn, Michael and Andrew Singletary

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SPREAD THE WORD

Andrew Cain

Anna Saunders

Ben Brantley

Tina Cundari

Kimberly Fulton

Savannah Lawner

Graem Clark

Lorri-Ann Carter

Kirby Shealy

John Baker

Gloria Boyd

Robert Gahagan

Nathaniel Barber

Alethia Reardon

Ida Thompson

Craig Garner

George King

Stanley McGuffin

Stephen McKinney

Martin McWilliams

Benton Williamson

George Zara

Jeffrey Wheeler

Ed Menzie

Andrew Cain has been named director of development of Palmetto Health Foundation. Anna Saunders has been named director of Community Relations and Development, Cancer Centers. Ben Brantley, SIOR, principal at CB Richard Ellis, has received the SC REALTOR® Advocate Award. The Salvation Army in Columbia has received donations totaling $10,800 from Absolut Vodka, USA Harvest, Southern Wine & Spirits and Green’s Beverage Warehouse. Michael Tandon, a member of Anytime Fitness, has been named one of the club’s “National Success Story Winners.” Tina Cundari of Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte has been named chair-elect of the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia. Fisher & Phillips has earned a first-tier ranking from U.S. News & World ReportBest Lawyers. Sandhills School has celebrated its 40th anniversary. Kimberly Fulton has been named program associate with The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina. Savannah Lawner has been named project assistant. Graem Clark has been named district manager for the Greater Columbia sales district of Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company.

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Jessica J.O. King of Ellis Lawhorne has been named to the Environmental Technical Committee of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Metropolis has received six 2010 American Graphic Design Awards from Graphic Design USA Magazine, including one for its trademark and branding for Vesta Builders. Cheryl R. Holland has been awarded honorary alumni status by Clemson University for her devotion and commitment to the institution. The Richland County Public Library has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for renovations at the Eastover Branch. Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A. has been recognized in the 2011 edition of Benchmark Litigation: A Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys as a recommended litigation firm in South Carolina. Vince Ford, senior vice president of community services at Palmetto Health, has received the Elaine Whitelaw Volunteer Service Award from The March of Dimes. Laurie Griner, an agent with Allstate Insurance, has received the Agency Hands in the Community Award. Lorri-Ann Carter, president & CEO of CarterTodd & Associates, has received the Renaissance Foundation’s “Passing the Torch” award.

The Historic Columbia Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2010 Awards of Excellence. The Sherwood Forest Neighborhood Association has received the The Celia Mann Award. Mike Bedenbaugh of Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation has received The Woodrow Wilson Award. Warner Montgomery has received the Helen Kohn Hennig Award. Chuck Garnett of NBSC has received the Ainsley Hall Award. Ali Borchardt, director of education at Columbia Museum of Art, has been named Museum Educator of the Year by the South Carolina Art Education Association. The Richland County Public Library has named board members for 2010-2011: Kirby D. Shealy III, chair; John Baker, vice-chair; Gloria Graham Boyd, secretary; Robert E Gahagan, treasurer. Nathaniel A. Barber, Alethia P. Rearden, Ida Thompson, Jack Godbold, George C. Johnson and Rox W. Pollard Jr. have been named to the board. Russell Porter has joined NAI Avant’s property management group. Derek A. Shoemake has been named an associate with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. David E. Dukes, Stuart M. Andrews and George S. Bailey have been named by Best Lawyers as the 2011 Columbia, S.C. Lawyers of the Year in their respective practices.

M. Craig Garner, Jr., a shareholder of McNair Law Firm, has been named by Best Lawyers as the 2011 Columbia, S.C. Banking Lawyer of the Year. George S. King, Jr., Stanley H. McGuffin, Stephen F. McKinney, M a r t i n C . M c W i l l i a m s , J r. , and Benton D. Williamson of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd have been named by Best Lawyers as the 2011 Columbia, S.C. Lawyers of the Year in their respective practices. Mike Brenan has been named 20102011 chairman for The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors. Robert Dozier has been named chair-elect. George Zara has been named chair of the Midlands Education and Business Alliance board of directors. Ben Green has been named vice chair. Andy Barbee, Dr. Katy Brochu, Lonnie Emard, Dr. Patrice Robinson and Mike Sisk have been named to the board. Jeffrey B. Wheeler, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors®, has received the March of Dimes of South Carolina’s Real Estate Award. Ed Menzie, an attorney with Nexsen Pruet, has been named by Best Lawyers as the 2011 Columbia, S.C. Merger and Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year.

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GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH

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Home Farewell

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hen Dr. Julie Reck graduated from veterinary school, she imagined a career in which she would be working in a small animal hospital, applying the latest and greatest diagnostic and treatment options to save animals’ lives. Early on, however, her path took a sharp right turn. “I began my career at a hospital, and I set out to be a compassionate, caring vet from the start. I have always tried to treat each animal as if he or she was my own personal pet,” she says. “When pets reach a point where medications and surgery no longer prevent suffering or offer comfort, pet parents and veterinarians look to euthanasia as a final act of mercy and love. I tried to make the in-clinic euthanasia experience as comfortable and relaxing as possible for both pet and pet owner, but all too often the owner lacked privacy and the pet experienced anxiety and restlessness from the environment.” Dr. Reck found that many pet parents wanted that euthanasia to be performed in their homes. So she created Home Farewell to allow all of them to provide their beloved pets a graceful and peaceful farewell in the comfort of home. Home Farewell has a team of compassionate veterinarians providing service for Columbia and Charlotte. In the spring of 2010, Dr. Reck published a book, Facing Farewell: a Guide to Making End of Life Decisions for Your Pet, to help owners gain knowledge and confidence as they face one of life’s toughest decisions. For more information on Home Farewell or Dr. Reck’s book, visit www.homefarewell.com. d e c e m b e r 2010


GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH

Carolina Children’s Dentistry

Dr. Felicia Goins and Dr. Lisbeth Poag

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rom as early as she could remember, Dr. Felicia Goins wanted to work in children’s dentistry. In 1986, she founded Carolina Children’s Dentistry in Sumter, S.C., because she realized that there was a need for children to receive the best dental care in the state, especially in rural areas where not many dentists are practicing. Dr. Goins practiced solo for almost 13 years before Dr. Lisbeth Poag joined her in 1998. In 2001, the practice expanded to include a second location in Northeast Columbia. Today, Carolina Children’s Dentistry has grown to include Dr. Shari Martin and Dr. Lisa Cherry, and they continue to render the highest level w w w. c o l u m b i a m e t ro . c o m

of pediatric and specialized dental care in a funloving and caring atmosphere. They provide a full range of dental restorative and dental hygiene services for patients ranging from toddlers to age 18. Carolina Children’s Dentistry believes that there is nothing more important than meeting the needs of children. Having good oral hygiene helps children not only have a great smile, but also prevents many other types of health problems down the road. Of course, Dr. Goins, Dr. Poag, Dr. Martin and Dr. Cherry all maintain that they would not be where they are without their tremendous staff. “They are the most dedicated, hard-

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working, caring people who care not only about their patients, but about the parents as well,” Dr. Goins says. Carolina Children’s Dentistry measures success by how many smiles they produce — hence their motto, “We Make Smiles!” “Many children are initially afraid of dentistry, but we try to unwrap each child’s fears one at a time, until that child greets us with a hug and a smile,” Dr. Goins says. “The greatest reward we can receive is to see a child grow up with a healthy, confident smile.” For Carolina Children’s Dentistry, it’s all about making children smile.

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GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH

Joe and Tammy Jur

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Vesta Builders

hen it comes to Tammy and Joe Jur of Vesta Builders, Inc., you could say that building is in their blood. Tammy is a second-generation builder in the Columbia area. She basically grew up learning the business. Joe was working locally as an engineering consultant prior to joining his wife in custom home building. And it seems that was the right career decision to make: Joe just earned the high distinction of becoming a Certified Master Builder in South Carolina. Becoming a Certified Master Builder is not just a status designation for Joe. He has been dedicated to focusing Vesta on improving building practices and developing a superior product for many years now. Strengthening his technical knowledge and taking it to the job site has become somewhat of a passion. And it

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won’t be long before many new homeowners in greater Columbia – and perhaps even the country – will learn and benefit from his devotion to the subject. With a vision to think differently and always push the envelope, Vesta Builders has been keeping an eye on the quality details that create new standards in building science and the application of materials. Some of these have to do with simply taking the time to do a better job. Others have to do with using affordable, readily available products. And in some cases, a tried and true old-fashioned approach, such as a cast iron plumbing drop is much better in the long run than its popular PVC counterpart. “We imagine living in the houses we build, and we don’t want our clients hearing Niagara Falls in their dining

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room when an upstairs commode is flushed,” explains Joe. “We don’t do things, because it’s acceptable or increases profit margins. We evaluate and re-evaluate. We care about the longevity of a home and the quality of life inside it for years to come.” All these tips can now be found in a handy photographic field guide Joe has authored called How to Build a Better Home. The book focuses on superior construction recommendations for builders, contractors and homeowners. “I am so excited that this idea has finally become a reality!” exclaims Joe. “I could not have done this without our expert contributor and project manager, Brent Zagata, our office manager, Robin Covington and of course my wife and partner, Tammy.”

DECEMBER 2010


GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH

Michael Arket and Stephanie Tsikerdanos

Tranquil Moments Day Spa T

ucked away off busy Devine Street is the secret to relaxation, appropriately n a m e d Tr a n q u i l Mo m e n t s D a y Spa. Tranquil Moments houses some of the industry’s latest innovations in a refinished 1930s house, creating a cozy, welcoming feel. “We take pride in being different from other day spas,” says Michael Arket, owner. “We want our clients to feel like they’re welcome to relax here, from the moment they walk in the door.” The relaxation room is the starting point of every appointment, where cozy seating and fresh beverages await clients before they are whisked away to their choice of relaxation method, whether it’s massage, facial, pedicure, manicure or any combination of the above. Of course, their services aren’t all meant just for relaxation. The aloe-vera herbal body wrap, which causes the client to experience measurable inch loss, is perfect for those who want instant results. Tranquil Moments is the only full-service day spa in Columbia to offer CND Shellac manicures and pedicures, a new and much-

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publicized innovation that uses a gel-polish hybrid and guarantees a minimum of 14 days wear with no chips or smudges and no damage to the natural nail.

If you want to take advantage of the variety of services that Tranquil Moments has to offer, the Spa Club is a great way to work relaxation into any budget. For a reasonable monthly fee, you have the choice of receiving

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a massage, facial, or manicure and pedicure each month, with the opportunity of adding on additional services at a discounted rate. Unlike a gym membership, you won’t have to force yourself to take advantage of this commitment. The true relaxing point at Tranquil Moments is the high level of customer service, from check-in to check-out, and even beyond. Personalized services are tailored to each client to address any issues or concerns. At the end of each appointment, product recommendations are offered to allow clients to continue their spa experience at home. You can also, from comfort of your own home, purchase, print and send gift certificates instantly online. For those looking to avoid the hassle of fighting holiday traffic, this is the epitome of relaxation and comfort. For a truly unique and personalized spa experience, Tranquil Moments is an outstanding offering in the heart of downtown Columbia. For more information on these and the other great services they have to offer, visit www.TranquilMomentsDaySpa.com.

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GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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LOCAL SEEN

Generation Green Todd Beasley aims to create environmental stewards

By Beverly Yates Wilson / Photography by Jeff Amberg

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odd Beasley’s environmental crusade began close to home. As a child he spent most of his waking hours outdoors. He still recalls the anticipation of the airboat trips he and his father would take as they navigated through the low mangrove keys and tall saw grass marshes of the Florida Everglades. The excitement of what might appear around the next bend was so thrilling that these early experiences may very well have shaped Todd’s environmental journey.

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Todd Beasley teaches fifth-grade science students at Heathwood Hall about sustainability while walking on the school’s environmental education trail.

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Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly insurmountable problems with the environment, he took what some might call a “wandering path” to become an environmental crusader of sorts. With a passion for nature and a deep concern for the environment, Todd joined Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in 2007 with the goal of transforming the campus into an exciting ecological learning environment where students enthusiastically embrace environmental education. Todd shares the concern of many educators who believe that our children are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world and contracting what Richard Louv has coined “Nature Deficit Disorder.” “As a child, I spent so much time outdoors,” says Todd, who was always escaping his Barbie-taunting sisters. “My thoughts were occupied with hunting and fishing and the occasional

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ride on a wild pig. I’d pretend to live in the wild all alone building forts and living in teepees.” To d a y, To d d i s c o n c e r n e d that children no longer have this unstructured play. “Students of the digital age can tell you what they’ve read on the Internet about the Amazon Rainforest or about the Great Barrier Reef; however, they’ve never explored the monarch caterpillars or the molting cicadas in their own backyard,” he says. “Advances in technology have barricaded our children in their rooms as well as in our classrooms.” In 2008, he approached the provost and Upper School head with his idea that students should see science as part of their lives – not just a lesson they must learn once or twice a week. He wanted to shake things up a bit and challenge students’ thinking and ideas about the world in which they live.

The school not only shared his philosophy, but also it provided him with support and autonomy that, according to Todd, isn’t always afforded to educators. He got to work immediately. Richland County Conservation Commission awarded him funds to develop an environmental education trail with his students. Todd is thrilled to have the opportunity to construct and maintain the trail system and hopes that his middle school students will become trail guides for the Lower School. Todd’s vision for the trail started to grow legs last year when maintenance crews began carefully clearing out debris on the campus’s 133 acres, some of which include 70-year-old mixed hardwoods. Twenty-five blue bird boxes, constructed with the help of a Heathwood Hall parent, have now been placed along the trail. Wildlife feeding stations, animal track plots and chimney swift towers are Todd’s next additions to the trail. “I love to see students get excited about nature,” he says. “It’s my job to find that one niche or activity that sparks excitement in a student.” Champions of the Environment and Palmetto Pride also awarded Todd funds to develop hummingbird and butterfly habitats, as well as a native tree alley. His most recent idea, “Treasured Places from Wasted Spaces,” also has rallied much excitement from the community. He plans to use existing physical structures such as parking lot islands, rights-of-way and retention ponds as viable wildlife habitats, and he hopes to involve his students in various ecosystem restoration activities, interpretive signage installation and habitat home construction – all hands-on activities tailored to his Intermediate/Middle School students. To d d a l s o h a s a n o u t d o o r photography project that orchestrates new and mysterious contact with the natural world. He supplies each

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“The time is now. We must reconnect

our children to nature by teaching them about their relationship to the earth and the wildlife that lives here.” –Todd Beasley student with a digital camera with the assignment that he or she must walk through their own back yard and photograph the nature that’s present. “This generation really appreciates a technological component in activities,” he says. Next, each student is required to do a presentation on what he or she has photographed. “The fun part is that I won’t identify what they’ve taken pictures of,” he says. “It’s their job to research the plants and learn about what’s growing here in South Carolina.” Todd is quick to note that everything in our environment is interrelated. As a fan of native South Carolina plants, he teaches his students how invasive species choke out native plants that are so beneficial to wildlife. As a result of his projects, the Heathwood Hall campus has become a sustainability showcase. The recycling program, wildlife habitat restoration program and, most recently, a medicine wheel garden are outdoor teaching laboratories for hands-on learning. “I love to see students who have moved on to the Upper School come back and see what they helped create a year ago,” he says. “They can’t believe how the habitat has changed.” Todd and his colleagues are proud that the campus continues to grow, expand and evolve into an outdoor environmental classroom. “Small projects can lead to big changes in a school,” he says. “I am amazed to see how the environmental and sustainability activities are integrated throughout other disciplines and within all grades.” “The time is now,” he says. “We must reconnect our children to nature by teaching them about their relationship to the earth and the wildlife that lives here.”

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FEATURE

A Little Less Red,

Mixing and matching your tableware is a perfect opportunity to create a conversation piece, and it’s also a better alternative to disposables. 30 C o lu m b i a M e t ro p o l i ta n

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A Little More Green Eco-friendly tips for a sustainable holiday By Beverly Yates Wilson / Photography by Jeff Amberg

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s the holidays approach, it’s a great time to reflect on how we live and how we treat the earth. Is this the season for crumpled paper, ribbon and environmental waste? Consider skipping the wrapping paper this holiday or passing on the disposable cutlery for the family g athering. From gift-giving to entertaining to decorating, reassess your preparations with a nod to sustainability.

Avoid Packaging and Plastic

As we shop for family and friends during the holidays, our bank accounts aren’t the only thing taking a hit. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, the Columbia landfill will take in 25 percent more trash. That extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million tons per week. A majority of this will be wrapping paper and packaging alone. The culprit thwarting the “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto: plastic. At the top of the list are plastic grocery store bags. The average household collects 60 plastic bags in just four trips to the grocery store, adding up to 720 bags accumulated over a one-year period. Plastic bags are made from a by-product of oil refining, which means they do not biodegrade. When they do break down, after a thousand years, they do so into tiny toxic bits that eventually end up in our waterways. Marine life is killed after mistaking plastic bags for food.

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Plastic is ubiquitous and never really goes away. From single use packaging to toys to household objects, plastic is all around us. To reduce your usage of plastic not only during the holidays but year round as well, carry cloth bags when you shop. Remember, recyclable bags aren’t just for groceries. Beverage shops, pharmacies and restaurants are quick to bag your goods, so politely decline the plastic bag and use your own or carry items without bagging. Get cooking this holiday season to break the plastic habit. For every packaged item you purchase at the market, you not only use a container, whether it is plastic, aluminum or paper, but also you pay for it. Packaging makes up from 10 to 50 percent of the price of food today, and the unrecycled material we generate costs our environment even more. Cooking from scratch saves money and is better for you since you’re not ingesting preservatives. Avoiding plastic altogether in our culture is next to impossible, so aside from planning ahead and avoiding plastic when possible, know your recycling rules. The City of Columbia’s Solid Waste Division provides recycling service to approximately 29,000 residents. Items that are currently considered recyclable include aluminum cans, newspapers, plastic bottles, magazines and glass. The city will not take egg cartons, plastic bags, containers from yogurt, sour cream or butter, or other food containers that do not have a screw-on top, as many of these items use #5 plastics,

which are not accepted for recycling in Columbia.

Shop Green

As you head out to select the perfect gifts this year, look for items that are locally made and produced. Columbia is home to award-winning artists who produce exceptional goods, many of which use recycled materials. One Eared Cow Glass and Southern Pottery are just a couple of the unique local retailers who offer handmade gifts. When you buy locally made gifts, whether through craft fairs such as the Craftsman’s Christmas Classic or from artis an shops, you decrease your impact on the environment by reducing emissions that would be created from shipping. Look for gifts that indicate they are made from recycled materials. Many Columbia artists have come up with unique ideas for repurposing materials that make real conversation pieces. If possible, skip the batteryrequired toys this season. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, billions of used batteries that contain toxic metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium end up in our municipal landfills or are incinerated due to improper disposal. Wooden toys, kites or art supplies are battery-free alternatives that still thrill children on Christmas Day.

Decorate and Entertain in an Eco-Friendly Way

Before Thanksgiving is even over, tree vendors start appearing on

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Decorating with flowers from the garden is a great eco-friendly alternative to using silk arrangements.

corners, marking the beginning of the Christmas season. Why not use a living Christmas tree this year? The live tree is a new trend gaining momentum – albeit slowly – across the country. Environmentally-conscious families can purchase live evergreens with root balls still intact, and plant them in the ground after the holidays. Several online companies rent a variety of potted trees and will deliver them to your doorstep. Then, after the holiday, they’ll pick up your tree and return it to their nursery for next year. If you become particularly close to your tree, you have the option of requesting the same one next year or buying it. Local garden shops also carry live evergreens, which may be less expensive. If you choose this option, make sure you dig the hole you intend to plant the tree in before the ground freezes. If you purchase a tree from a lot, be sure to look for information on the annual Grinding of the Greens

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organized by Keep the Midlands Beautiful. Recycling trees after Christmas decreases waste in landfills and serves as fresh mulch for gardens. The city also accepts trees as part of its yard waste pickup and takes them to a compost facility. Be sure to remove all ornaments, garland and lights before disposing. Light up your holiday without lighting up your electric bill this year. Replace old string lights with LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights, which use up to 90 percent less energy. In addition to their longevity over incandescent lights, LEDs are safer because they emit practically no heat. The U.S. Department of Energy states that LEDs have a use life of approximately 35,000 hours. And the good news is that when one light goes out, the rest of the string remains lit. Recycled items such as pine cones, small clay pots and pressed flowers from the summer garden can make great eco-friendly tree ornaments. String popcorn or unsalted peanuts to make

garland that can double as treats for birds and squirrels after the holidays. Di ni ng i s pr obabl y one of the easiest areas to reduce your environmental waste; however, it’s one of the most challenging areas for hostesses. Begin with the table setting. Using a combination of dishes that you have on hand or even renting dishes is a better alternative than disposables. Mixing and matching tableware and glassware is a perfect opportunity to create a conversation piece right in front of your guest. Incorporating special pieces of china with quirky serving platters and stemware not only eliminates the need for plastics, but also it introduces an opportunity to talk with others about our overconsumption of disposable plastics. If you must use disposables, look for biodegradable or compostable tableware. Using linen tablecloths and napkins is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment, and thrift store shopping can be just the place to score a unique vintage find or a recycled centerpiece on the cheap. Reduce your carbon footprint this holiday season by gracing your table with locally grown foods. Buying local not only decreases carbon emissions in the transportation process, but also it keeps your money in the local economy. Farmers benefit, and you end up with a far superior product that’s healthier for you than food that’s been shipped across the country. Shopping at local farmers markets and selecting home-grown foods is one of the most important changes you can make to “go green” this season. Making a decision to live lighter on the planet is a gift which everyone can give this season. While it’s easy to fall into the traps of excess and commercialization, committing to consume less will result in simple holidays and a better planet. Photo styling and design by Cricket Newman Designs (cricketnewmandesigns.com).

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FEATURE

Capital

Celebrations

A history of holiday events in the Midlands By Rodger Stroup

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s the holiday season approaches, many residents of the Midlands anticipate attending their favorite traditional seasonal events. Some of these began more than 50 years ago, while other more recent activities have emerged as favorites in only the past few years.

Photography courtesy of Columbia Garden Club

Lighting of the State House Christmas Tree

The State House Christmas Tree

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On Nov. 26, 1967, Gov. Robert McNair threw a switch that turned on the lights of the state’s first official Christmas tree. Located on the State House grounds at the end of Main Street, the lighting of the tree was the highlight of the Governor’s Carolighting ceremony for many years. That first year more than 40,000 people crowded onto the State House grounds and spilled into the first block of Main Street to enjoy music by over 1,000 carolers and musicians and to hear a holiday message from the governor. The first official state tree came from Spartanburg County and was decorated by Eddie M. Williams. Through the years, many individuals and organizations have ensured that the tree remains an important symbol of Columbia’s holiday season. For 25 years the South Carolina Forestry Commission assisted in locating a tree in South Carolina and transporting it to the State House. Beginning in the mid-1970s, the Breakfast Optimist Club procured and decorated the tree. In 2004, when the Columbia Garden Club assumed responsibility for acquiring and decorating the tree, they wanted to expand the number of ornaments, necessitating the use of a tree with sturdier limbs than the traditional cedar tree. In 2005 the official state tree came from the North Carolina mountains, the first time it came from outside of South Carolina. This year the State House Christmas tree will be lit at 6 p.m. on Nov. 28. C o lu m b i a M e t ro p o l i ta n 33


Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo

Photography courtesy of Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Garden

Introduced in 1987, the Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo is the youngest of the holiday traditions mentioned here, yet it has become perhaps the best known and boasts the largest attendance. In the mid-1980s, Riverbanks was looking for an event that would help stimulate attendance during the usual lull between October and March. After consulting with other zoos that had successful holiday light programs, the staff at Riverbank – working with a meager budget of $25,000 – used lights to create shapes ranging from animals to traditional holiday symbols. Since 1987 the program has grown rapidly. On the 20th anniversary in 2007, Riverbanks opened the Music in Motion Lights Spectacular, a 20-foot tree adorned with 30,000 LEDs. Now, staging the lights is a yearlong process, with over 360 light displays throughout the Zoo in addition to the twinkling lights that line the trees and shrubs. In 2009 more than 60,000 visitors enjoyed the Lights Before Christmas. This year the lights run Nov. 19 to Jan. 2, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. The Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks

Photography courtesy of First Baptist Church of Columbia

First Baptist Church Christmas Pageant

In 1987, Columbia’s First Baptist Church inaugurated the Columbia Christmas Pageant. The pageant was held in the church’s historic sanctuary on Hampton Street, but it was so popular that it was moved to the Koger Center in 1988. With the completion of a new 3,400-seat sanctuary in 1992, the pageant returned to the church facilities. Each year the pageant features a theme, special guest performers and a variety of seasonal music. This year’s theme is “God Promises a Savior.” The 2010 Columbia Christmas Pageant includes five performances from Dec. 9 to 12. Performances are free, but each attendee must have a ticket. For ticket information, contact First Baptist Church at (803) 217-3250. First Baptist Church Christmas Pageant

Photography courtesy of Shandon Baptist Church

Shandon Baptist Church Singing Christmas Tree

Shandon Baptist Church Singing Christmas Tree, circa 2001

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In 1985 Shandon Baptist Church presented a program of Christmas music, but unlike other performances, the choir members were singing from inside a 25-foot Christmas tree. The concept of a singing tree had been around for about 25 years, after a NASA engineer designed the first one for his church. An architect at Shandon Baptist adapted the tree design for the sanctuary on Woodrow Street. The program proved so popular that after a few years they moved to the larger Township Auditorium and eventually to the sanctuary at the new church on Forest Drive. After the 2003 performance, Shandon Baptist shelved the program, but this year it is reviving the singing tree with a 30-foot-tall metal structure housing 130 choir members and 100,000 lights. Performances in the new 2,800-seat sanctuary will be held Dec. 10 to 12 at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. Contact Shandon Baptist Church (www.shandon.org) for free tickets.

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Historic Columbia Homes

Photography courtesy of Historic Columbia Foundation

In 1967, the Historic Columbia Foundation decorated the restored Robert Mills House for the holidays and invited the public to experience an early-19th century Columbia Christmas. Every year since, Historic Columbia has decorated its historic properties – Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home and the Mann-Simons Cottage ­­­– for the holidays, providing visitors a glimpse of traditional decorations along with costumed interpreters and vignettes representing Christmases past. In December 1977, Southern Living featured the Christmas customs portrayed at the historic houses, along with tips on how to make the traditional decorations. In addition to the regularly scheduled tours, the Foundation also offered evening candlelight tours at no charge as a gift to the people of the Midlands. This year, the Robert Mills Historic House and the HamptonPreston Mansion will be open for holiday tours Nov. 19 to Jan. 2. Hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Tours are $6 for adults and $3 for youth. Candlelight tours of the Robert Mills House and the Hampton-Preston Mansion will be held Dec. 15 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Historic Columbia Tour of Homes, circa 1970

Carolina Carillon Christmas Parade

Photography courtesy of The South Caroliniana Library

Every year since 1953, the Carolina Carillon Christmas Parade has traveled through Columbia’s downtown streets. Prior to 1953, it was simply known as the Columbia Christmas Parade; when it first began is unknown. For several years the parade featured celebrities as special guests. The first was Allan “Rocky” Lane, who later became the television voice of Mister Ed. In 1966, Donna Douglas (Elly May Clampett from “The Beverly Hillbillies”) was scheduled to participate but became ill; she was replaced by Bill Mumy (Will Robinson from “Lost in Space”). Other celebrities included Lorne Greene (Ben Cartwright) and Michael Landon (Little Joe) of “Bonanza” and Chuck Connors of “The Rifleman.” Santa Claus is always a highlight of the parade. Beginning in 1983, Fred McCurdy portrayed Santa and continued to do so for 25 years. In 1992 the parade introduced high-flying inflatable balloons, featuring a 75-foot-tall Beetle Bailey guided by 38 people. Each year’s parade features a different theme, upon which all participating organizations are challenged to develop their entries. This year’s theme is “12 Days of Christmas.” The parade will be held on Dec. 4. The Carolina Carillon Christmas Parade

In 1966, the Columbia City Ballet, under founding director Ann Brodie, first performed The Nutcracker at Township Auditorium. A strong advocate for arts education, Ann believed in engaging children at an early age. Until 1982, the Ballet alternated performing The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella triennially during the holiday seasons. In 1982 the Ballet Board decided to perform The Nutcracker every year. It is now the longest running arts event in the state. This year’s performances are Dec. 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19. For tickets and information, visit www.columbiacityballet.com.

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Photography courtesy of Columbia City Ballet

The Nutcracker

The Columbia City Ballet’s The Nutcracker

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FEATURE

Celebrate the Season T

hanks to all of the Columbians who submitted photos for our “Celebrate the Season” feature. We enjoyed taking a peek into your holiday memories!

“Coach” submitted by Jeff Lawler

“I KNOW HIM” (based on a scene from the movie Elf) submitted by Jesse Von Fange

“Campbell Ellington” submitted by Christine Ellington

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“Sisters-in-law Danna Fields and Becky Fields at Family Hanukah Party” submitted by Suzi Fields D E C E M B E R 2010


“A Small Fan of the Carillon Carolers” submitted by Rosanne McDowell, photography by Beverly Allen

“Frasier Fir in Snow” submitted by Dottie Reynolds

“Niece, Austin Tuller, Mimicking Frosty” submitted by Bev Tuller

“Samantha and Luke Decorating Goldie” submitted by Mandy Summers

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“Mr. and Mrs. Santa” submitted by Grant Lorick and David Withers

“Isabelle Pretending to be a Ballerina” submitted by Jennifer Covington 38 C o lu mb i a M e t ro p o l i ta n

“Gus’s First Christmas” submitted by Monica Scott

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARLENE GAINES

HOME STYLE

Stepping into the Holidays Jack Brantley celebrates Christmas and the 200th birthday of Aberdeen By Margaret Clay

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ny Camden resident will tell you that Aberdeen, home of caterer Jack Brantley, is the North Pole of South Carolina. During the holidays, visitors are greeted by a life-sized Santa statue on the porch as they step through the wreath that encircles the front door of the

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200-year-old house. Once inside, they immediately marvel over an 11-foot tree dripping with more than 400 ornaments collected from all over the world. “It is just breathtaking,” says Jack. “People literally step into the holidays through the wreath, and the first thing they see is a huge Christmas tree which

takes up most of the front parlor.” Each year in August, Camden resident Laura Marshall selects a tree for Jack from a Virginia Christmas tree farm. The tree is then delivered the weekend after Thanksgiving, and Jack completely devotes the weekend and the following week to transforming

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARLENE GAINES

Jack’s good friend and decorator, Doug Vinson, dedicates three days to decorating just the tree, perfecting each detail.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY CLAY

his historical home into a Christmas wonderland. Jack’s good friend and decorator, Doug Vinson, dedicates three days to decorating just the tree, perfecting each detail. No star or angel adorns the top of the tree; rather, the circular gold ceiling moldings serve as the final ornament at the pinnacle of the tree. “Doug is very meticulous,” says Jack. “One year, after he was finished, he walked outside and noticed from a window that one ornament was not quite right. So he went in and pulled the ladder back out to correct it!” But the tree is just one part of it all. Jack wraps the beautiful white columns on the front porch with red ribbons, changing them into gigantic candy canes, and he hangs huge ornaments between them. The lights in his dogwood tree are the size of footballs and can be seen from downtown Camden. “You can’t miss it!” Jack smiles. Jack moved to Camden in 1971 to head the Chamber of Commerce and lived in a small house one street over. He bought Aberdeen in 1975, and it was the start of a massive project on Camden’s historic home. Having very few antiques himself, Jack borrowed some furniture from the previous owners while he began collecting his own. Now, as the house celebrates its 200th birthday, it is filled with Jack’s contributions, such as stained-glass windows, gorgeous window treatments and lovely ceiling moldings. The interior of the colonial house is now quite reminiscent of Victorian England. Tapestries adorn the walls of the dining room, and stained-glass windows are built into many of the doors. Jack

Most magnificent of all is Jack’s collection of Christmas porcelains, displayed along the back wall. Four shelves cover the span of the 12-foot ceilings and are filled with intricate Christmas figures.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY CLAY

Four-foot-tall nutcrackers stand on either side of the mantle in “The Christmas Room,” and a whole collection of various sized and themed nutcrackers cover the dresser beside it.

even has a full stained-glass window from his mother’s church displayed in the master bedroom. More than 1,000 antique porcelains embellish the rooms throughout the house, but look carefully, because many are filled with chocolates for his guests! These unique pieces are the result of Jack’s 20-year passion for collecting porcelains from all over the world, with most originating from England or France. An urn that belonged to the Earl of Bourbon features the faces of his children on either side of the top. While he has always loved Christmas, Jack’s extensive decorating has become a part of his holiday season over the past decade: “After having acquired so many pieces, I just started going overboard these past 10 to 12 years,” he says. Christmas decorations glitter all over the house, but one room in particular is completely dedicated to the season. Four-foot-tall nutcrackers stand on either side of the mantle in “The Christmas Room,” and a whole collection of various sized and themed

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nutcrackers cover the dresser beside it. Most magnificent of all is Jack’s collection of Christmas porcelains, displayed along the back wall. Four shelves cover the span of the 12-foot ceilings and are filled with intricate Christmas figures. “I leave these up all year round – they are just too beautiful to enjoy for only a few weeks of the year. They are reminders of the happy Christmas times that will soon be here again,” explains Jack. For Jack, Christmas is all about sharing, and he does this through his house. “The doors are open year round for people to come and enjoy, but it is especially fun during Christmas,” he says. More than 1,000 people come through Aberdeen on the day of the annual home tour alone. This year, he might even have a snow machine on the roof of the porch to help people forget for a moment that they are in South Carolina. Many families often visit to take their Christmas card

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY CLAY

photos in front of the tree, and Jack hosts a number of seated dinner parties, many of which are auctioned for charities. “My favorite dish to serve is freshly cooked cranberries,” he says. “They are so simple and so good, but not many people do them.” Jack always uses softly colored Victorian china plates to serve guests his delicacies, claiming that food just tastes better when enjoyed on a beautiful plate. And don’t think that the abundance of porcelains and antiques in his home inhibits the space any party might need. He is always rearranging the furniture to fit the flow of a party, and he even regularly takes down the fourposter bed in the master bedroom to create another dining room. Though Christmas permeates his home year-round, January 2 usually marks the end of the official Christmas season for Jack. He puts the nutcrackers back “to sleep” and brings out his collection of Staffordshire porcelains. Though wrapping up each individual piece takes much more

An upstairs room was converted to an evening room – a place to unwind and relax at the end of the day.

Jack Brantley

effort than unwrapping them in December, he usually finishes putting everything away in about four days. But at Aberdeen, Jack considers every day to be like Christmas. “I just love my house, and I wake up every day enjoying that I am here, and I love what I do – my catering, my clients and my staff. Every day is full of surprises.” Want to visit Aberdeen at Christmas? Jack Brantley’s home will be featured during the Candlelight Tour of Homes in Camden on Dec. 11. Visit www.camdenleague.com for details.

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HOME STYLE

Gifts from Your Kitchen 13 easy-to-make culinary delights

By Susan Fuller Slack, C.C.P. / Photography by Jeff Amberg / Food styling by Susan Fuller Slack, C.C.P.

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f you’re looking for something extra-special for the people on your gift list this holiday season, here is a “baker’s dozen” of delicious ideas. The gift of food with a homemade touch is certain to create holiday cheer. Giving one of these easy-to-make food gifts will allow you to share something of yourself, a tradition that will warm hearts – and stomachs – from the inside out.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch

1 cup crunchy peanut butter 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 12-ounce bag semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips 1 12-ounce box Rice Chex cereal 1 pound box confectioners’ sugar In a medium saucepan, melt peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips over low heat. Put cereal into a large bowl, then pour in chocolate mixture; mix well. Pour half of the confectioners’ sugar into a large zip-top plastic storage bag. Spoon half the cereal mixture into the bag. Shake well to coat. Remove to a large bowl. Repeat process with the remaining sugar and cereal mixture. Store the crunch in an airtight container. Pack into a decorative cannister, Chinese carry out or clear cellophane bag tied with raffia for gift-giving.

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Raspberry Almond Shortbread

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted 1 1/2 cups sugar 3 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 12-ounce jar seedless raspberry preserves, melted 5 ounces sliced almonds Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 15 1/2- by 10 1/2- by 1-inch jellyroll pan with foil, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Grease foil. Mix sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt together in a large bowl; pour in butter and stir to form the dough. Pat into prepared pan. Top with a piece of foil, and use a rolling pin or dowel rod to smooth top; remove foil. Bake about 25 minutes or until golden. Spread melted preserves on top; sprinkle with almonds, pressing in gently. Bake 20 minutes more until pastry is golden brown and jam is bubbly. Cool 20 minutes, then, using foil overhang, lift from pan to flat cutting surface. While still slightly warm, cut into strips or bars. Cool completely; store in an airtight container.

ChocolateDipped Coffee Spoons

Chocolatedipped spoons, along with gourmet

coffee beans or homemade hot cocoa mix, make a welcome holiday gift. Spoons can be dipped in contrasting layers of chocolate or simply coated with a single dip, then sprinkled with tiny peppermint candy chips or colored sugar sprinkles. 1 cup dark chocolate chips 1 cup white chocolate or butterscotch chips 18 to 20 sturdy white plastic spoons Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips into a large glass measuring cup or microwave proof bowl. Heat in 20-second intervals, stirring a little each time, to remove lumps. When chocolate becomes smooth, hold a plastic spoon by the handle and dip the bowl into melted chocolate to coat. Place on waxed paper to harden; chill for faster setting. Do this for half of the spoons. Repeat process with remaining dark chocolate chips and the other half of the spoons. In a clean bowl, microwave half the white chocolate chips, reducing the power to 50 percent. When melted, partially dip each dark chocolatecoated spoon to create layers. Place on waxed paper to harden; chill for faster setting. Do this for half of the spoons. Repeat process with remaining white chocolate chips and the other half of the spoons. When chocolate is completely set, wrap each spoon in cellophane or enclose 2 or 3 spoons in a cellophane bag; tie tops with ribbon. Tips: When melting chocolate, remove all water or moisture from inside the bowl, or the chocolate will

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1 tablespoon dough per cookie. Pressing dough is optional; bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

seize up and ruin. Microwave-melted chocolate holds its shape and won’t look melted until stirred.

Peanut Butter Crisps

These amazing cookies taste fabulous plain, or the dough can be embellished with mini chocolate chips, chopped brittle or extra chopped peanuts. Baked cookies can be drizzled with melted caramel or chocolate. Small buttonsize cookies can be sandwiched with chocolate filling made by gently melting 1 stick unsalted butter with 10 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave.

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2 cups plain or chunky peanut butter 2 cups granulated or light brown sugar (or half of each) 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients together well to create the dough. For large cookies, shape dough into 24 balls. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets 2 1/2 to 3 inches apart. Flatten the cookies slightly using the bottom of a lightly greased large Pyrex glass measuring cup dipped in sugar. Press cookies to about 2 1/2 inches wide. Bake 10 to 11 minutes, until crisp and light golden. For crisper cookies, reduce heat and cook a few minutes longer; watch to prevent excessive browning. For button-size cookies, form even-sized balls using

1 pound high quality white or dark chocolate 2 to 3 drops natural peppermint extract, if desired (to taste) 6 to 8 peppermint candy canes, or 24 hard peppermint candies, finely crushed inside a sealed plastic bag Line a large baking pan with foil. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir often until melted. Mix in peppermint oil, if used. With a spatula, spread chocolate over the lined baking sheet; sprinkle top with crushed candy. Let chocolate sit until hardened or chill in the freezer or refrigerator a few minutes. Break into pieces.

Variation: Peppermint Hearts

Me l t 6 o u n c e s chopped vanilla-flavored candy coating in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl on 50 percent power 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once or twice until smooth. On parchment or waxed paper, arrange 24 to 26 peppermint candy canes in pairs, each forming a heart shape. Spoon melted candy coating inside the center of the heart; sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy canes. Let the hearts sit at room temperature until set. Remove from paper.

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Almond Spritz Cookies

3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup almond paste 1 3/4 sticks soft butter 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour Put sugar and almond paste in a mixing bowl; blend at medium speed about 1 minute until mixture is crumbly. Add butter, egg and egg yolk, salt and vanilla. Beat 30 seconds more. Scrape down the sides of bowl. On low speed, slowly add the flour, blending just until ingredients form dough. Scrape sides and bottom of the pan to bring the dough together into a mass. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, use a cookie press to shape dough on baking sheets. Dough can be tinted with paste food coloring; decorate tops as desired. Store cookies in airtight containers; freeze up to 2 months.

Cheese Torta with Spicy Holiday Crackers

2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, room temperature 8 ounces mild goat cheese or crumbled feta, room temperature 1/4 cup finely-grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Asiago cheese 1 small shallot, finely minced 1 clove garlic, finely minced 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly grated black pepper 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto 1/2 cup prepared sun-dried tomato spread

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or oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, minced toasted nuts and fresh herbs for garnish Line an 8-inch round pan or other small decorative mold with plastic wrap; set side. In a food processor, blend all ingredients except pesto, tomato spread and garnishes. Put 1/3 cheese mixture into the bottom of the mold; top with a layer of pesto. Add half the remaining cheese mixture; top with tomato spread. Put remaining cheese mixture on top. Smooth cheese; tap pan on counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To serve, remove top plastic; invert onto a pretty serving dish. Decorate with nuts and herbs, as desired. Serve with crackers.

Spicy Holiday Crackers

2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground hot red pepper 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 3/4 cups chilled butter 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 6 to 8 tablespoons cold water poppy seeds Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Combine flour, salt, hot red pepper and dry mustard in a bowl. Cut butter in with a pastry cutter or fork to form coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese. Add enough water to form a dough. Shape into a flat ball and wrap in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour or longer. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough at a time to 1/8 inch thick; cut out crackers with desired cookie cutter shapes. Sprinkle tops with poppy seeds. Place cut-outs on lined pan and bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and store in airtight containers.

Decadent Hot ButteredRum Fondue

I created this recipe as a fondue for fruits. It also

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makes a wonderful sauce for sweets like ice cream, bread pudding and profiteroles. Caramel lovers would adore a jar of this sauce with serving suggestions. The recipe comes from my cookbook, Fondues & Hot Pots (HP Books, Penguin Putnam Books). 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 packed cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2/3 cup corn syrup 1/3 cup water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 tablespoon dark rum Add butter, sugars, corn syrup, water and salt to a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil. Using a long wooden spoon, stir often to help dissolve sugars. Cook until large bubbles form over the surface, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat; slowly whisk in cream. Mixture may bubble up; watch out for hot splatters. Cool 10 minutes; stir in lemon juice, vanilla and

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rum. Sauce thickens as it cools. When cooled to around 115 degrees, pour into a warmed fondue pot. Place over a tea light to keep warm. Serve with foods for dipping. This may be made a week ahead; store airtight in the refrigerator. Warm slightly in the microwave on 50 percent power.

Zestful Blue Cheese Dressing

This tasty dressing recipe is from former Clemson University Executive Chef Tom Brocaglia and is a staple at Clemson’s Seasons by the Lake. 2 ounces Clemson Blue Cheese crumbles 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice 1 cup quality mayonnaise 1/2 clove garlic, crushed 1/4 cup thick sour cream 1 tablespoon sugar pinch salt In a medium bowl, blend ingredients until smooth and creamy. Mix in extra cheese crumbles for a chunkier texture.

Serve at once or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Give a jar along with the recipe and an extra container of Clemson Blue Cheese crumbles as a gift.

Potato Scones with Rum-Cream Glaze

(Cooking With Grains, HP Books, Los Angeles) 3/4 cup fresh mashed boiled potato 3/4 cup buttermilk 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg 1 tablespoon sugar 1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted 2 teaspoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream, as needed 1/4 cup currants or chopped candied ginger

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, blend potato and buttermilk. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices and sugar into a large bowl; cut in butter. Stir in potato mixture just until blended. Turn out on a lightly floured surface; gently knead only 10 seconds. Pat dough into a circle, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter into rounds or cut into wedges. Place round scones into a greased, 9or 10-inch round baking pan, or place wedges on a baking sheet. Brush tops of dough with egg wash, if desired. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes. Blend confectioners’ sugar, rum and cream until smooth. Frost scones; sprinkle with currants. Makes 8 scones. (Recipe can be doubled). Tips: If gift scones are to be eaten a day after baking, package frosting and ginger or currants separately in small covered containers. Include instructions: Wrap scones well and refrigerate overnight. Reheat in the microwave on

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high heat 2 or 3 minutes or until warm. Add toppings; serve at once. Leftovers can be frozen.

White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge

1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 12 ounces white chocolate, melted 3 cups powdered sugar 1 1/4 cups finely chopped blanched almonds, toasted 3/4 cup dried cranberries, blueberries or apricots (or a blend) Line an 8-inch-square pan smoothly with a long strip of foil. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, spices and salt. Beat in melted chocolate. On low speed, add confectioners’ sugar; then raise speed and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup nuts and 1/2 cup cranberries. Pour into pan. Sprinkle remaining nuts and cranberries on top. Cover and chill

overnight. Turn out and cut into squares. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.

Apricot Cream Cheese Spread

1 8-ounce block cream cheese, slightly softened 1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons apricot or almond-flavored liqueur 1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract 3 ounces dried apricots, finely chopped Put all ingredients into a large bowl; blend well to combine. Pack into small decorative glass jars with tight fitting lids for giving.

Kerry’s Brownie Mix-InA-Jar

Kerry Ford’s recipe is the perfect gift for people who love being in the

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kitchen; kids can help too. If a small amount of space is left at the top of your jar, add a mix-in to fill the gap: dried cranberries, mini marshmallows, dried cherries or small chocolate candies. 1/3 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts) 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1/3 cup flaked coconut 2/3 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup baking cocoa 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour In a clean one-quart canning jar, layer the ingredients in the order listed, packing them well. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Attach a recipe card with the following instructions: Brownie Mix In-A-Jar 2 large eggs 2/3 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch baking pan. Pour jar of brownie mix into a large bowl and stir in eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla just until combined. Spread into pan; bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool and cut brownies. Mix can be stored in a cool dry place up to six months.

More Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

Include a recipe card with your edible gift. It will be enjoyed long after the holidays. Dip candy canes or candy sticks in melted semi-sweet chocolate. When set, place in cellophane bags with a bowl. Use as coffee or cocoa stirrers. Small herb plants grouped in a lined-basket with your favorite recipes for using each herb is a creative, useful gift. A bottle of wine, a piece of artisanal cheese and a bag of homemade crackers make a terrific gift. Fill a pretty oven mitt with special gourmet candies, nuts or seasoning salts, and tie with colorful ribbons. Package up a container of homemade cookies, and then add the frosting and trimmings for decorating. Don’t forget the cookie recipe. This is great for busy families.

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HOME STYLE

Holiday Party How-To Cricket Newman gives advice to ensure an unharried host and hostess By Katie McElveen / Photography by Jeff Amberg

T

hrowing a holiday party seems like such a great idea ‌ in October. Come December, though, as the to-do list expands and days and nights begin to fill with receptions, pageants and galas, it’s hard to keep panic from setting in. Party planner extraordinaire Cricket Newman, who has had a party-planning business in Columbia for nearly eight years, has two pieces of advice: Relax, and plan ahead. Way ahead.

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The Guest List and Invitations

Once you’ve decided to hold a holiday gathering, your first decision to make is the type of party you will have. Although you may be tempted to throw a huge holiday bash and include everyone you know, Cricket suggests taking the size of your house into account. If it can’t hold the number of people you want to entertain, consider hosting two or three smaller parties. “Your house will be clean and decorated, and everyone will have a wonderful time,” she advises. “There’s nothing worse than going to a hot, overcrowded house filled with people you don’t know.”

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRICKET NEWMAN

“There are so many little things you can take care of weeks or even months beforehand, like buying the non-perishable food and drink items, replacing chipped wine glasses and polishing silver,” she says. “Check them off the list, and they’ll be done. As the party gets closer, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy. Do what you can early.” And just how are you supposed to relax before a party? One way to take the pressure off is to realize that not everything about your event needs to create a “wow” moment for your guests. “Classic with a little twist is always lovely,” she says. “It works for food, décor, everything.” Nor do you need to do everything yourself: “Focus on what you do well, and hire people to do the rest,” she continues. “No one is great at everything!”

No matter what kind of party you’re hosting, kick it off in style with an invitation. “Your invitation sets the tone of the event and creates a sense of anticipation,” notes Cricket. “Even if it’s just a handwritten note inviting a few friends for a post-Thanksgiving casual supper, you’ve taken an extra step. That will go a long way toward a successful party.” Although Cricket isn’t a fan of emailed invitations – she believes it’s too easy to forget about a party when there isn’t an invitation stuck to the refrigerator – she does find them useful as reminders. They can also make it easier for guests to accept or regret your invitation.

Decor

Cricket got her start as an event planner decorating for parties, and it’s a skill she’s fine-tuned into a science over the years. Her cardinal rule is massing items in one place instead of scattering them around the house. “Three of anything in one place is a lot more effective than one of them in three places,” she explains. “Pick two or three spots in the house – maybe the entrance hall, dining room table and great room – and load ‘em up with poinsettias, amaryllis, whatever. Just be sure to unify everything with a color scheme – the repetition looks planned and polished. Choose something fun like Christmas red with lime green, or go for the simple elegance of silver. One year we filled the house with pink peonies,

and it looked gorgeous.” Although Cricket also believes that a fabulous wreath on the front door is a must for welcoming friends, she suggests waiting to get your tree until after the party: “Trees are wonderful, but they’re real space eaters. There are plenty of other ways to make your house festive. If you love ornaments, hang a few from your dining room chandelier, or pile them into a tub or pottery piece that you’ve filled with orchids. Grouping your collection of nutcrackers, angels or candlesticks in one place, such as a mantle or on a table, is a spectacular way to show them off.” For sit-down dinners, Cricket uses well-designed place cards to give the table a festive look. She writes each guest’s name in metallic ink on a camellia or bay leaf and tucks it, along with a flower, into a napkin. Christmas balls also make lovely place cards, but use plastic to avoid embarrassing a butterfingered friend. If you’ll be doing your own fresh flowers, Cricket advises collecting your vases and containers a week out, figuring out which ones you want to use and practicing with different arrangements. That way, you’ll have an idea of how many bunches it takes to fill them, and you won’t be looking for Oasis, floral tape or other flower arranging necessities the day before the event. On the day of the party, plan for traffic flow by removing ottomans, coffee tables and other “knee grabbers” and removing the chairs and a leaf from your dining room table. “You need to give people room to move,” notes Cricket. “On that same note, be sure not to put your bar at the end of a hallway, or people will end up getting stuck.”

Food and Drinks

The Newman Principle – massing elements in a few locations for maximum impact – applies to cocktail food as well: instead of putting all the party noshes on the dining room table, she believes you’ll help the party flow

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if you group a few dishes on tables in several rooms. “Filling your dining room table with food encourages people to get a plate and circle the table filling it up, which crowds the room,” she notes. “Instead, put two or three finger-food dishes in the dining room and two or three more in various locations around the house. You’ll keep the crowd moving, and you won’t need plates, which are so difficult to handle when you’ve got a drink.” Since Cricket often hires a few people to help with serving and cleanup, she suggests utilizing them at the beginning of the party when everyone is looking for the bar to serve a specialty drink. Once the crush is over and everyone has a glass in his or her hand, they can go back to their regular duties. As to what to serve, Cricket balances her menu between simple and exciting, often adding a unique twist to an old standby, such as substituting tender marinated flank

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steak for roast beef and flatbread for the ubiquitous roll. If your husband is known for his grilled venison sausage or pork tenderloin, so much the better: it’s a fun addition, and you can easily set up a food station outside. While you’re at it, placing a few self-serve refill stations for beer and wine drinkers around the house will keep bar traffic manageable. When planning sit-down dinners, Cricket keeps stress at a minimum with a few simple rules: “One: Never have more than one item that requires specific timing. For instance, if you’re roasting meat, baguettes are a whole lot easier than biscuits. Two: Do something unexpected, like serving a soup or cheese course or going outside for s’mores for dessert. Three: Know that not everything on the plate needs to be the star. Go ahead and serve purchased chicken salad at a luncheon. You can make it special with a homemade rosemary biscuit.” Christmas luncheons offer a

special challenge, since guests are often short on time and may not want to imbibe. Make them feel extra-welcome by offering an elegant non-alcoholic drink on silver trays along with the usual tea and water. Luncheons are also a great time to pull out all that girly crystal, china and silver that you inherited from a grandmother. “Go ahead and mix it up,” says Cricket. “Why not?” No matter what kind of holiday gathering you’re planning, Cricket says to remember that the best parties are thrown by an unharried host and/or hostess: “Plan ahead so you can enjoy your party and make your friends feel welcome and special. To me, that’s what parties are all about.” Styling/design by Cricket Newman Designs / www.cricketnewmandesigns.com. Orchids for photo on page 54 provided by Jarrett’s Jungle / www.jarrettsjungle.com. Shell containers for photo on page 54 provided by Mack Home / mackhomecolumbia.com.

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New to the neighborhood?

New Home Communities indicates a natural gas community

1. Allan’s Mill Price Range of New Homes: $100s - $160s School District: Richland 2 Palmetto Homes & Land Realty, LLC Mark Wright, (803) 404-1983 www.candcbuilders.com Directions: Take Percival Rd. to Smallwood. Turn left on Old Percival Rd. Allan’s Mill is on the right. 2. Chelsea Park Price Range of New Homes: $179,900 $204,900 School District: Lexington Richland 5 Rymarc Homes (803) 732-0118 www.rymarc.com Directions: Take I-26 West to exit 97 for Hwy 176/Peak. Take an immediate right on Julius Richardson. Proceed .7 miles to end. Turn right at West Shadygrove. The Chelsea Park entrance is .2 miles on left. Turn left into Chelsea Park on Heathwood. Turn right on Newton Rd., and the new phase is straight ahead. 3. Concord Park Price Range of New Homes: $160s School District: Lexington 2 C and C Builders of Columbia Tina Horne, (803) 736-5008 www.candcbuilders.com Directions: Take I-77 to exit 2 for 12th St. Extension. Turn left on Taylor Rd. behind Busbee Middle School. 4. Heath Pond Price Range of New Homes: $140s - $250s School District: Kershaw Palmetto Homes & Land Realty, LLC Diane Nevitt, (803) 414-3945; Dan Long, (803) 917-0947 www.DianeNevitt.com Directions: Take I-20 East to exit 87 for White Pond/Elgin. Turn left onto White Pond Rd., then left onto Larry Jeffers Rd. Heath Pond is ahead on the right. 5. The Homestead Subdivision Price Range of New Homes: $130s - $200s School District: Richland 2 EXIT Real Estate Solutions Richard Carr, (803) 421-9630 www.ExitColumbiaSC.com Directions: Take I-77 North to Farrow Rd. North. Turn right onto Hardscrabble, then right onto North Brickyard. Homestead Subdivision is on the left. 6. Jacobs Creek Price Range of New Homes: $124,900 $224,900

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School District: Richland 2 Great Southern Homes RMS – Realty & Marketing Services Robert Penny, (803) 360-9165 www.gshomes.gs Directions: Take I-20 East to exit 82 for Spears Creek Church Rd. Turn left onto Spears Creek Church Rd. Continue for three miles and cross Two Notch Rd. Jacob’s Creek will be approximately 1/2 mile ahead on the right. Follow signs to the new model home. 7. Lake Frances Price Range of New Homes: $169,900 $194,900 School District: Lexington 1 Rymarc Homes (803) 315-6409 www.rymarc.com Directions: Take I-20 to exit 55 for Hwy 6 East. Turn right at Hwy 6 East/S. Lake Dr., and continue for 3.6 miles. Turn left at Platt Springs Rd., and continue for 3.5 miles. Take a sharp right at Ramblin Rd., and go .5 mile. Turn right into Lake Frances on Lake Frances Way. 8. Lexington Villas Price Range of New Homes: $184,900 $273,900 School District: Lexington 1 Epcon Communities Jennah Wells, (803) 520-4381 www.LexingtonVillas.com Directions: Take I-20 West to exit 61 for Hwy 378/Sunset Blvd. Turn right, and go four miles toward Lake Murray. Turn right onto Whiteford Way. Lexington Villas will be ahead on the left. 9. The Lofts at Printers Square Price Range of New Homes: $749,000 $1,550,000 School District: Richland 1 Coldwell Banker United, Realtors® Danny & Karen Hood, (803) 227-3220 or (803) 227-3221 www.LoftsAtPrintersSquare.com Directions: In the Vista, the Lofts at Printers Square are at the corner of Lady and Pulaski streets. 10. LongCreek Plantation Price Range of New Homes: $250,000 $650,000 School District: Richland 2 Plantation Properties (803) 754-2071 www.longcreekplantation.com Directions: Take I-77 North to the Killian Rd.

exit, and turn right. Follow the signs to LongCreek Plantation. 11. Peach Grove Villas Price Range of New Homes: $184,900 $273,900 School District: Richland 2 Epcon Communities Levi Weisser, (803) 223-9545 www.PeachGroveVillas.com Directions: Take I-20 East to exit 80. Turn left onto Clemson Rd. Go 1.5 miles (towards the Village at Sandhill), and turn right onto Earth Rd. Peach Grove Villas is located on the right just before the entrance to Woodcreek Farms. 12. Pine Forest Price Range of New Homes: $120s - $180s School District: Kershaw Palmetto Homes & Land Realty, LLC Diane Nevitt, (803) 414-3945 www.candcbuilders.com Directions: Take I-20 East to the Elgin exit. Turn left onto White Pond Rd. Continue to the traffic light in Elgin, crossing Main St./Hwy 1. Cross railroad tracks, and bear right onto Smyrna Rd. Pine Forest is on the left about a mile ahead. 13. Quail Creek Price Range of New Homes: $100s - $150s School District: Kershaw Palmetto Homes & Land Realty, LLC Diane Nevitt, (803) 414-3945 www.candcbuilders.com Directions: Take I-20 East to the Elgin exit. Turn left onto White Pond Rd. Continue to the traffic light in Elgin, crossing Main St./Hwy 1. Cross railroad tracks, and bear right onto Smyrna Rd. Turn right onto Wildwood Ln., and then left onto Cook Rd. then left into Quail Creek community. 14. Rabon’s Farm Price Range of New Homes: $79,900 $159,900 School District: Richland 2 Great Southern Homes RMS – Realty & Marketing Services Lauren Sawyer, (803) 360-4327; Sandy Cleaves, (803) 622-9065 www.gshomes.gs Directions: Take I-77 North to Two Notch Rd. exit. Turn right onto Two Notch, then left onto Rabon Rd. Turn right onto Flora Dr. Rabon’s Farm is .5 mile ahead on the right. Take second entrance, and model home is on the left. 15. Rutledge Place Price Range of New Homes: $125,000 $225,000

School District: Kershaw Palmetto Homes & Land Realty, LLC Barbara Jordan, (803) 243-0524; Steve King, (803) 600-9414 www.barbarajordan.homesandland.com Directions: Take I-20 East to exit 98. Turn left onto Hwy 521 North. Continue 5.7 miles through Camden. Rutledge Place is ahead on the left on Edinburgh Castle Rd. 16. Saluda River Club Price Range of New Homes: Townhomes from the $200s; Craftsman Homes from the $300s; Executive Homes from the $500s; Village District Homesites from the $60s; River District Homesites from $113,900 School District: Lexington 1 Saluda River Club Edmund H. Monteith, Jr., (803) 358-3969 www.saludariverclub.com Directions: Take I-20 West to exit 61 for Hwy

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378. Turn right, and take an immediate right onto Corley Mill Rd. The entrance to Saluda River Club is located 1.9 miles down Corley Mill Rd. on the right. 17. South Brook Price Range of New Homes: $134,900 $152,900 School District: Lexington 1 Rymarc Homes (803) 315-6409 www.rymarc.com Directions: Take I-20 West to exit 51. Turn left, and South Brook is on the left. 18. Spring Knoll Price Range of New Homes: $120s - $150s School District: Lexington 1 Thomas Shumpert, (803) 518-2588 www.candcbuilders.com Directions: Take I-20 West to Hwy 6. Turn left

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toward Red Bank/Pelion. Go about 4 miles, and turn right onto Platt Springs Rd. Take the first road to the left, which is Brevard Rd.

Directions: Take I-77 North to exit 24. Turn left onto Wilson Blvd. Stonington will be one mile on the right.

19. Stoney Creek Price Range of New Homes: $220s - $280s School District: Lexington 1 ReMax Real Estate Consultants Thomas Shumpert, (803) 518-2588 www.candcbuilders.com Directions: Take Hwy 378 through Lexington, and turn right onto Wise Ferry Rd. Stoney Creek is ahead on the left.

21. The Thomaston Subdivision Price Range of New Homes: $160s - $200s School District: Richland 2 EXIT Real Estate Solutions Richard Carr, (803) 421-9630 www.ExitColumbiaSC.com Directions: Take I-77 North to exit 22. Turn right onto Killian Rd., then left onto Longreen Pkwy. Thomaston Subdivision is on the left.

20. Stonington Price Range of New Homes: $169,900 $199,900 School District: Richland 2 Rymarc Homes (803) 732-0118 www.rymarc.com

22. Wellesley Price Range of New Homes: $170,900 $194,900 School District: Lexington 1 Rymarc Homes (803) 808-1201

www.rymarc.com Directions: Take I-20 West to exit 61 for US 378/Lexington. Merge right on US 378, and turn left at the first light onto Ginny Ln. Continue to community ahead on the right. 23. Westcott Ridge Price Range of New Homes: $220s to $400,000 School District: Lexington/Richland 5 (Chapin) Russell & Jeffcoat Realtors, Inc. Brenda Berry, (803) 781-6552 www.westcottridge.com Directions: Take I-26 West to exit 97 for Hwy 176/ Peak. Turn right onto Broad River Rd. Continue 1 mile, and Westcott Ridge is on the left.

This listing is provided by the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia.

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SENIOR LIVING

The Unavoidable Questions Caring for your aging parents By Sam Morton

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Obviously Kevin recommends a proactive approach and suggests starting such conversations with non-threatening, open-ended questions: “Mom, if something happens where you need some help, what would you like us to do?” Or rather than, “Where’s your will and how did you divide everything,” you might start with, “Have you talked to an attorney about preparing a will?” Or, “Is your life insurance up to date, and if not, can I arrange a visit between you and your carrier?”

conversation. ‘Your dad and I went to the doctor this week, and the doctor says he has dementia, which will likely move towards Alzheimer’s disease.’ It seemed so unreal, like I was having a nightmare. My dad has Alzheimer’s? That only happens to other people, surely not my dad. I hung up the phone and cried the tears that many people have cried when they get similar news. I then began the research phase to understand what this meant. How does it progress? How can I help? What are the medications?”

Photo courtesy of Lutheran Homes of SC

S

ince we were born, they h a v e b e e n o u r r o ck s , our strength and our foundations – the measures by which we gauged good and bad, right or wrong in our lives. They are our parents. Sometimes they age gracefully, with laugh lines, smiles and not a single silver strand of hair out of place. But occasionally time is unkind, and our parents are ravaged by strokes, heart attacks or Alzheimer’s disease. Eventually we have to face the fact that they will all pass away. Regardless of your circumstances, times of crisis, mourning or panic are most definitely the wrong ones to make critical healthcare or financial decisions. Local financial advisor and parent care radio host Kevin Skipper helps us to understand the critical thought processes we must undertake to ensure good decisions for our aging parents. Most of us are children of the first baby-boomers, greatest generation progeny whose parents work hard and keep their lives private, even from the rest of the family. They are a population very much attuned to the old saw that children, even adult children, should be seen and not heard. So how does one even begin a conversation about finances, wills, property and elder care? “Most people aren’t going to talk about the last chapters of life until life forces the conversation,” Kevin says. “We can be proactive or reactive.”

Residents from the Heritage at Lowman on a trip to Stumphouse Tunnel

Kevin’s interest in helping people care for aging parents comes from an intensely personal experience: “One Sunday morning about 7:30 a.m. in June 2005, I got a call I will never forget. My mother called me from the garage so that dad could not hear the

Though the research resulted from a deeply emotional experience, Kevin discovered an objective and logical methodology. He bases his parent care approach on processes developed and written about by Dan Taylor, author of The Parent Care Conversation: Six

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The Big Picture Conversation What do we want for our longterm care? What are we excited about/ afraid of? What advantages do we have? The Money Conversation What do we have? Where is it? How do we get to it? The Home Conversation What is it worth? How do we use it? How do we leave it? The Property Conversation What do we want to give? What do we want to keep? When do we want to do it? The Care Conversation Where do we go? What do we need? Who provides it? The Legacy Conversation How will we be remembered? Who will remember us? When do we talk about our memories?

Kevin also advocates Dan’s CARE Listening System method. CARE stands for Changes, Alternatives, Resources and Experience, and, again, depends on open-ended conversations. “For the ‘Changes’ talk, you might ask, ‘What are some of the things you expect to happen in the future?’” Kevin says. He also suggests that adult children prepare for a range of responses during these critical dialogues, from “It’s none of your business” to denial that anything will happen to an open exchange. “The key is to begin early and have them often before a crisis forces the conversation,” he advises. O n h i s Ke v i n ’ s We b s i t e , www.parentcaresolution.com, he writes, “The Parent Care Solution is a unique process, which creates a lifetime program for the health, maintenance and welfare of parents who may be unable to care for themselves now, or in the future, without destroying the financial or emotional structure of the family.” He describes the process as having six stages: the conversation, the design system, the solution, the plan decisions, plan process and plan review. It all seems pretty cut and dried – these life decisions on how and where to care for our aging parents. They are logical steps, and all things being equal, Kevin’s is indeed an easy process to follow. But when in life are things equal?

Photo courtesy of NHC HealthCare

Walter Kennedy and Margaret Snell enjoy a Hawaiian feast at NHC HealthCare.

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The chef at Southlake Village

Photo courtesy of Southlake Village

Strategies for Dealing with the Emotional and Financial Challenges of Aging Parents. He says you begin by having six critical conversations:

Given that, we presented him a series of scenarios and asked him his advice on possible solutions:

Q: What about difficult siblings? A: It’s a given in every family that one or two of the adult children will take on the brunt of the responsibility. Whoever winds up taking the decisionmaking role should get a power of attorney or durable power of attorney from your parents so that when difficult decisions have to be made, they have the legal power to do it. Also worth considering is that when one person takes on the responsibilities, they also often put in a disproportionate amount of their time caring for the parents. Then at the end, all the siblings believe everything should be divided equally. I believe there’s a difference between “fair” and “equal.” You might want to consider a caregiver contract where you calculate an hourly fee that you’d have to pay someone else to do things like making sure the parents’ medication is taken properly, doors and windows are locked, mail is getting delivered and bills paid. Then you pay the sibling who is actually doing these things. That makes sure they are fairly compensated for their time and aren’t unfairly taken advantage of for doing things out of love or obligation.

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Q: What about the growing number of blended families where one or each spouse may have grown children from another marriage? Is there an equitable way to secure each parent’s finances without causing problems between the children? A : Th e b e s t s o l u t i o n i s a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage that identifies assets brought into a marriage and specifies that upon death those go back to adult children. But some people see those as displaying a lack of trust in a relationship, so you can do postnuptial planning, which is basically documentation that establishes ownership of an asset and spells out specifically what you want to accomplish. We also want to look at the increasing number of grandparents r a i s i n g g r a n d k i d s . Th e r e , i t ’ s extremely important to identify assets and specify how they are to be distributed.

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Q: In estate planning, do you advise parents to divide assets equally among the children; should parents base that division on each child’s needs/level of responsibility; or is each situation entirely different? A: It basically comes down again to the distinction between fair and equal. Most parents start with equal division because everybody wants to leave as much harmony in the family as possible. But in planning, you have to ask yourself, do you reward the weakest link – the person who decided against higher education and took whatever job was available? By doing that, do you, in turn, punish the child who, for example, went to medical school, paid back his or her own student loans, worked hard to build a practice, etc.? If you decide on the course of “equal” and you’re worried about one person’s level of responsibility, you can always do an outright bequest or set up a trust and have someone manage

it. Most of my clients have a strong work ethic and see the correlation between work and reward. They have the opinion that you shouldn’t punish one child to reward another.

Q: As a financial instrument, are reverse mortgages as good as they sound, or do they have disadvantages? A: They are valuable tools, but they should be a last resource to consider rather than a first. They are becoming more regulated, and the key as with any financial planning is to deal with a reputable person or firm. To find out more information on planning processes and instruments for aging parents, log onto Kevin’s Web site at www.parentcaresc.com or check out the Parent Care Solution at www.parentcaresolution.com. Look for Kevin’s weekly financial tips on WIS TV or listen to the Kevin Skipper Show, noon to 1 p.m. each Saturday on NewsRadio 560 WVOC.

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special advertising section

In Their Own Words Lutheran Homes of South Carolina

In the heart of the Midlands, scenic Upstate and coastal Lowcountry, Lutheran Homes offers Choices for Living Well. BeWell, Bringing Everyone Wellness Enrichment for Lasting Life, is Lutheran Homes’ innovative wellness standard. BeWell promotes successful aging through supportive programs which help prevent illness and conditions associated with losing independence. BeWell also helps residents to maintain optimal physical and mental functioning and assists them in remaining engaged in life. BeWell’s unique approach to successful aging begins with YOU! We work together to develop personalized wellness plans that enable you to enjoy life as independently and comfortably as possible. Our holistic philosophy incorporates six key components of wellness: Spiritual: finding faith and meaning in life Emotional: feeling positive and enthusiastic about life Intellectual: lifelong learning and cultural activities Physical: improving strength, endurance, flexibility and healthy lifestyles Social: fostering supportive relationships Vocational: developing and maintaining skills Whether you live on or off our campuses, we offer choices for life-enriching activities, and plenty of people to enjoy them with. Whatever you choose – improved health, cultural enrichment or spiritual renewal – we’ll be there to inspire you. In our continuing care retirement communities, independent adults choose to live in singlefamily patio homes, cottages or apartments with amenities for a chore-free, active lifestyle. When more help is needed, Assisted Living provides support with activities of daily living. Memory Support programs offer innovative care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related memory concerns. Rehabilitation and Healthcare Centers meet short-term recovery and long-term health needs. BeWell Home Services offers a variety of choices for personal assistance and home maintenance services tailored to fit your lifestyle. Lutheran Hospice offers compassionate care to meet patients’ end-of-life choices. We recognize that you are choosing much more than a place to live or people to provide care. You are choosing a way to live. With more than 100 years of experience, our reputation for quality precedes us. Learn more–log onto our Web site, call us or come visit. Embrace our rich history and Southern hospitality. It’s your choice. Choose Lutheran Homes of South Carolina … Choose to live well. Full Service Continuing Care Retirement Communities • Franke at Seaside – Mount Pleasant • Rice Home – Columbia • The Heritage at Lowman – White Rock • RoseCrest – Inman • Trinity on Laurens – Aiken Lutheran Hospice and *BeWell Home Services • Lowcountry • Midlands • Upstate *expanding in 2011

NHC Healthcare Parklane

NHC Healthcare on Parklane is a 180-bed skilled nursing facility with a 30-bed specialized Alzheimer’s unit, serving the long-term care needs of Columbia and the surrounding area. Our center meets the special needs of subacute and skilled level patients with physical, occupational, respiratory and medical nutritional therapies, as well as 24-hour nursing care. NHC offers a comprehensive rehabilitation service provided by in-house licensed therapists for inpatient and outpatient needs. Our care is a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to healthcare, centered around caregiver compassion delivered in a comfortable, homelike setting. Our team of healthcare professionals tailors programs to meet each patient’s specific needs.

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The Palmettos Assisted Living Facility

The Palmettos of Parklane is a luxurious 75-unit assisted living facility currently under construction. It is designed to offer apartment-style living with amenities inclusive of dining, laundry, housekeeping, transportation, physician services and much more. Residents may require assistance with activities of daily living such as medication management to assistance with bathing and dressing. The Palmettos of Parklane will also offer a specialized memory care unit with a specific program catered to meet the needs of those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related illnesses. We anticipate welcoming new residents by February 2011.

Oakleaf Village of Lexington

At Oakleaf Village of Lexington, our mission is to provide seniors with a worry-free lifestyle and a comfortable place to call home. We strive to provide exceptional assisted living care based on a foundation of personal, individual and heartfelt attention to each of our special residents. Our professional staff is devoted to each member of the community as if they were family. We offer studio, one- or two-bedroom assisted living apartments where medication management is included in our base rate, as well as three meals per day, housekeeping, laundry and transportation. Assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming and other activities of daily living are also available. Our secured memory care area, Oakhaven Place, provides a safe environment for residents with later stages of Alzheimer’s or other type of dementia. Residents are closely supervised, and all personal care services are included in the base rate. Scheduled activities such as exercise programs, pet therapy, religious services and community outings are part of the daily routine at Oakleaf Village.

Southlake Village

Southlake Village is the Midlands’ best kept secret, located on Gibson Road in Lexington. We’re only 15 minutes from downtown Columbia. With an extensive activity program, Southlake Village caters to active retirees. Choose from our one- or two-bedroom patio or garden homes. If that doesn’t fit your needs, we have studio and one-bedroom apartments as well. All apartments have washer/dryers, full kitchens, and we’re even pet-friendly. Everything, except telephone, is included in your low month-to-month rent; there are no long-term buy ins or hidden fees! Give us a call to see how Southlake Village can help you enjoy retirement living to its finest. Please call (803) 356-1158 for a tour and a free lunch with our award-winning chef.

Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community

All of us face the dilemma of how to help our aging parents. The greatest fears of older adults are loss of independence, becoming a burden to children and being isolated. All of us would like to see our parents live in their homes and “age in place” if at all possible. Organizations like Still Hopes’s Solutions for Living at Home make that possible for many in the Columbia area. There are circumstances, however, when moving to a continuing care retirement community makes sense. If you have parents who want to remain involved in activities, eliminate the burden of household chores and maintenance and understand the relationship of exercise to wellness, a retirement community could be the answer. Remember: Emotion + Motion = Successful Aging.

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Let’s Go shopping in Forest Acres

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Let’s Go shopping IN FOREST ACRES

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Let’s Go shopping ON DEVINE STREET

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Let’s Go shopping ON DEVINE STREET

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Let’s Go shopping ON DEVINE STREET

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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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Becca Luna & Eddie O’Connor

GRANT PHOTO & VIDEO

Katie Ward & John Christian, Jr.

MICHAELKOSKA.COM

Kezia Hall and Troy Johnson

D R E A M W E AV E R P H O T O S

Heather Domingo & Adam Chittam

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MICHAELKOSKA.COM

C L A R K B E R R Y. C O M

JUST MARRIED

Lisa Nine and Donald Accordini, Jr.

Lisa Butler and MJ Nashton

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OUT & ABOUT

december Associated Model Railroads of Columbia, amroc.org Dec. 2 & 4 Annual AMROC Christmas Show Capital Senior Center, capitalseniorcenter.com Dec. 5 Carolina Jazz Society Concert Dec. 8 Celebrating Christmas in the Holy City Dec. 17 Christmas Luncheon at the Grove Park Inn and Resort Carolina Carillon, carolinacarillon.com Dec. 4 Jingle All the Way 5k and Santa’s Fun Run, 9:45am Dec. 4 57th Annual Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade, 10am Chapin Community Theatre, chapintheatre.org Dec. 2 to 4 A Nice Family Gathering

Columbia Children’s Theatre, columbiachildrenstheatre.com

Dec. 3 to 5 A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas Columbia City Ballet, columbiacityballet.com Dec. 8, 9, 10, 15 & 16 Columbia City Ballet presents Rudolph, Koger Center Dec. 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 Columbia City Ballet presents The Nutcracker, Koger Center Columbia Classical Ballet, columbiaclassicalballet.org Dec. 3, 4, 5 The Nutcracker, Koger Center Colonial Life Arena, coloniallifearena.com Dec. 3 Trans-Siberan Orchestra Winter Tour 2010, 8pm Columbia Museum of Art, columbiamuseum.org through Dec. 31 I Heard A Voice: The Art of Lesley Dill through Dec. 31 Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Fine Printing through Dec. 31 Taylor Made: The Art of Anna Heyward Taylor through Dec. 31 About FACE Dec. 1 Wee Wednesdays: Snowflakes and Snow Faries Dec. 8 Wadsworth Chamber Music Series: Presented by Edward Arron & Friends, 7pm Dec. 10 One Room Schoolhouse: From Sand to Glass Dec. 20 & 21 Winter Workshops:

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Of Gods and Goddesses, Art Express-Holiday Express, Cookies, Cakes and Candy Oh My!, Sew Handmade EdVenture, edventure.org through Jan. 3 Once Upon a Time ... Exploring the World of Fairy Tales through Feb. 20 Snowville Dec. 4 to 5 “Museums on Us” Free weekend for Bank of America cardholders

Dec. 31 Big Band New Years’ Eve, 8pm McKissick Museum, cas.sc.edu/mcks Dec. 1 A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands: The Batiks of Mary Edna Fraser Dec. 21 “The Nature of Things” with Rudy Mancke

Dec. 4 StoryFest: A Storytelling Concert, 10am to 2pm

Palmetto Mastersingers, palmettomastersingers.org Dec. 3 Performance, Newberry Opera House

Dec. 14 Family Night, 5 to 8pm

Dec. 9 Performance, Koger Center

Dec. 21 Tales for Tots, 11am Dec. 31 Countdown to New Year’s Eve, 9am First Baptist Church of Columbia, firstbaptistcolumbia.com Dec. 9 to 12 23rd Annual Columbia Christmas Pageant Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, heathwood.org/ deckthehall Dec. 11 Deck the Hall 5k Cross Country Race to benefit Harvest Hope Food Bank Historic Columbia Foundation, historiccolumbia.org through Jan. 2 Historic Columbia holiday tours of Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion Dec. 15 Candlelight tours of Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion, 5 to 8:30pm Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra, sclmso.org Dec. 12 Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra concert, 3:30pm Junior League of Columbia, jlcolumbia.org Dec. 2 to 5 Holiday Market, Cantey Building, SC State Fairgrounds Newberry Opera House, newberryoperahouse.com Dec. 2 Carolina Freestyle, 8pm Dec. 5 Brenda Lee, 3 & 8pm Dec. 6 Three Irish Tenors: Christmas from Dublin, 3 & 8pm Dec. 9 The Music of Frank Sinatra featuring Nick Hilscher, 3 & 8pm Dec. 12 Crystal Gayle Christmas Show, 3 & 8pm Dec. 16 Lowe Family Christmas, 3 & 8pm Dec. 17 A Christmas Carol, 3 & 8pm Dec. 18 208th Army Band, 8pm Dec. 19 American Idol Christmas Tour, 3 & 8pm

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, riverbanks.org through Jan. 2 Lights Before Christmas Shandon Baptist Church, shandon.org Dec. 10, 11, 12 Singing Christmas Tree Shandon & HollywoodRose Hill Neighborhood, simplyshandon.org Dec. 5 Homes for the Holidays tour, 2 to 6pm South Carolina State Museum, museum.state.sc.us Dec. 5 Society of American Foresters Dec. 11 Holiday Tabletops Dec. 20 to 31 Winter Fest Town Theatre, towntheatre.com Dec. 2 to 4, 9 to 11 Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, 8pm Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12 Youth Production of Best Christmas Pageant Ever The Township, thetownship.org Dec. 7 Jim Brickman Holiday Concert, 7:30pm Trustus, trustus.org Dec. 3 to 12 The Great American Trailer Park Musical USC Drayton Hall Theatre, cas.sc.edu/thea/ Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 We Know We Can Dance, 6pm Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 Wideman/Davis Dance, 8pm Village Square Theatre, villagesquaretheatre.com Dec. 3 to 12 It’s a Wonderful Life Workshop Theatre, workshoptheatre.com Dec. 9 to 12 ‘Tis The Season

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December 2010  

December 2010 Holiday issue of Columbia Metropolitan magazine

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