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St. Johns December 2013


Let Their Be Peace on Earth

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plans to achieve it one village at a time by Darren Rosenbaum


hat if there was peace on earth? It may seem implausible given our current world politics but there is an organization with strong roots in our local community that has its sights on peace. Its members believe the path begins with teaching young people cultural understanding and leadership so that future generations will have the wisdom to avoid conflict. That very special organization is CISV, Children’s International Summer Villages, founded in 1951 by Dr. Doris Allen, a child psychologist. The first delegates from eight nations gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio and during the past fifty years since then, over 250,000 kids from 60 nations have attended some 5000 international activities as part of CISV’s ever expanding core of programs, many from a very active Jacksonville chapter. Over the last few weeks, I’ve learned quite a bit about this amazing organization through its seemingly inexhaustible supply of parent volunteers. In fact, every adult I’ve spoken to is a volunteer who has had children participate in one or more CISV summer programs. I first spoke to Lynn Buff, a career business woman who runs ‘Jax Cash for Clothes’, a local recycling operation that collects used clothing for those in need globally. She’s been involved with CISV since her daughters, Rachel and Ally, expressed interest as young teens. Both girls became involved


in the local chapter and have since traveled internationally. Lynn told me that her girls started the process late, and that many kids travel on their own to foreign nations at 11 years old! I asked what any parent of pre-teens would; Is this safe? Buff said she was apprehensive at first but assured me each child and family is thoroughly vetted by each local CISV chapter. When your child arrives at their destination they are met by a host family and it’s likely the host family has a child experiencing a similar situation somewhere in the world. It’s this common bond that reassured Buff that her daughters experience would be safe as well as the adventure of a lifetime. After gaining a better understanding of CISV and their effort to promote cultural exchange, I realized how beneficial this might be for my children. In mid-November, I took my kids to the Ponte Vedra Public Library to attend a scheduled informational meeting and get an idea of what they thought. While there, I spoke with Lisa Taylor, a parent volunteer and local lawyer, who ran the session. After detailing CISV’s mission to appreciate diversity and build global friendships, Taylor described some of the programs now offered through the Jacksonville chapter, including a local village that would take place in Jacksonville this coming summer, as well as exchanges with students in Switzerland and Denmark & Egypt, just to name a few. & on facebook

Taylor stressed that parents shouldn’t be dissuaded by the expense involved in foreign travel. Some scholarships are available but the programs offered by CISV all have stateside locations as well. Attending the informational session was a great idea and all the way home and throughout the weekend my kids could not stop FACES, Village and Interchange, and all the places they dreamed of going. Hearing about CISV from adults certainly provided a good overview, but what had to be the highlight for me was an interview I had with Caroline McMullen, a Jacksonville high school student and CISV veteran since 6th grade. Caroline’s first experience occurred at a weekend ‘mini-camp’ for the Jacksonville chapter in February, 2009. Not 6 months later she was jetting off to England for a 4 week ‘Village’ program that ‘was one of the most incredible and memorable experiences of my life.’ She remembered it ‘like it was just a few months ago, and although it’s been almost 5 years, I still regularly contact friends I made there.’ Since then she has been to ‘an Interchange in Sweden and Denmark, a Youth Meeting in Costa Rica, and a Step Up in the Faroe Islands.’ Asked about the cultural experiences, she said ‘When you are at camps you don’t even realize that your skin color and language and background are different; all you care about is the fact that you’re friends.’ Caroline is nearing graduation but has no doubt she’ll be continuing with CISV throughout college and said, ‘I would especially love to be a leader when I am 21.’ As for me personally, Caroline sealed the deal when she looked far into the future and said that ‘CISV is an organization I certainly want my own children to be involved in.’ It is clear that the philosophy championed by Dr. Allen over 60 years ago, where children are the answer to our global problems, is thriving today. As a CISV advocate and promoter, Caroline finished our discussion by saying something Allen would have been hard pressed to say better; ‘When you’re young it’s kind of hard to wrap your head around the fact that you can be so similar to someone so far away, but after going to these camps and making lifelong friends, you wonder how you could have ever thought differently.’ If the future is in the hands of people like Caroline, maybe peace on earth will become a reality after all.


FACES of Jacksonville: A 2-week ‘sleep away’ held at a local public school that replicate a traditional CISV International Village atmosphere.

Village: A 4 week international camp-based pro-

gram for 11-year-olds from up to 12 nations to come together and take part in a variety of educational, cultural and fun activities.

Interchange: A two-way family exchange program

for 12–15 year olds that take place in two ‘phases’; First your family hosts a child from a delegation for 2 weeks, then your child visits the other country and is hosted by a CISV family for 2 weeks.

Step-Up: A 3 week camp-based program for 14-15

year olds, Step-Up encourages participants to plan and organize activities, such as identity, democracy, or environmental protection.

St. Johns Magazine 904-687-8538



peace on earth

a note from the


December 2013

When I was growing up our Santa was full of surprises. I remember one Christmas afternoon after we finished our family dinner with all my aunts, uncles and cousins, my Mother told me to look under the tree because there was a new present. How strange we all thought it was since we were sure we had opened everything. I rushed over, and found a little red box and note. It said, “To Debbie – Love Santa”. Inside the box was a pair of roller skates!

Photo by Graham Martin Ancient City Photography

Another year, a few days before Christmas, I was spending the day at my grandmother’s house listening to holiday records and helping her bake cookies. We lived up north and it was snowing outside. We heard some noise outside. My grandmother suggested it might be Santa making an early stop in our neighborhood. We rushed to open the door to catch him on his sleigh but instead we just found a little wrapped present on the porch. Inside was a beautiful angel for the top of our Christmas tree! That sense of possibility, of something unexpected and wonderful, is what I come back to each Christmas season. Now that I am a mother, my joy comes from giving this magic to my four children through our family surprises and traditions, even though they are different from when I was a kid they still center around four main constants: Music - Food - Family - Love Beginning on Thanksgiving, we start the Christmas music, and this continues until New Years (when we are sick of hearing it.) We also start watching our favorite Christmas movies including, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, The Grinch, Love Actually & the Family Stone. I spend entire weekends baking and eating Italian wedding cookies and fudge with my kids. A few days before Christmas our family of six makes a crazy 11-hour road trip to Noni’s house in Virginia to be with family and spend Christmas Eve at a wonderful party that brings together family and friends who feel like family. Christmas morning its all about the kids. For the entire week that follows we eat Noni’s homemade food (especially her pizelles & toffee), and spend time together with the people we love most in the world, shoring up our reserves for the new year ahead. Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



Debbie Gaylord


St. Johns Magazine is an upbeat magazine focused on the good things in life, and one of them is living is St. Johns Florida! Our main purpose is to help connect local communities in northwestern St. Johns, Florida. St. Johns Magazine keeps readers intrigued and inspired with articles for and about local people places and events.

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Peace on Earth - CISV

22 Audiology Corner


A Christmas Message from Pastor Williams from Hopewell Church

23 Message from the Vet 24 Dining Out, Parties & Catering


5 Holiday Beauty Tips


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Growing Grateful Children


Christmas Craft & on facebook30. Community Calendar -December

26 Holiday Mixology 28. Gift Ideas II 29. Traditions of the Season

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Christmas... So Much More Than Wrapping

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11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths

Dr. Gary L. Williams Senior Pastor of Hopewell Church

and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11, 12 ESV


n American culture, Christmas is presently deemed the most festive of all holidays. Parades, unique ornaments, decorative lights are just a few elements that accompany the tapestry of Christmas. For most parents nothing is more exciting than observing their children or grandchildren tear through the wrappings that contain their gift. The euphoria of the child discovering he received his favorite gift can only be matched by the jubilation parents experience when the child is satisfied with the gift. The type of gift you give projects an image of who you are. Furthermore, it expresses your feelings toward the person receiving the gift. When a child’s elation is spent on the wrapping, bow or box rather than the content, he has missed the point. Unfortunately, this is the road so many are traveling down in today’s society. Over two thousand years ago, God provided mankind the ultimate gift in unique wrappings. The gift was eternal life with the heavenly Father. Christ

provides the means by which one lives with the Father eternally. He was presented to the world in swaddling clothes and a manger. The uniqueness of His birth and life pivot on Him entering into this world to die while all others entered to live. He is more than a religious leader, founder of a religious movement or good moral teacher, He is a Savior. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Often at the passing of loved ones or acquaintances we comment, “Thank God they are in a better place.” Heaven is a prepared place for people who prepare themselves for heaven. Spending your entire life chasing the wrappers of the world might result in thwarting the opportunity for eternal life in a heavenly home. Inviting Christ into your heart this season affords you a gift that will last for eternity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV

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Dottie Smith is a tiny dynamo and owner of Stop for Pilates on Market Street in Palencia. She says her energy and health are thanks to her commitment to practicing and teaching Pilates. Pilates incorporates elements of both Eastern and Western philosophies of well-being through physical exercise by improving core strength, posture and flexibility. It is commonly known as “intelligent exercise with profound results” and is the work-out of choice for many celebrities. Although many women of her generation did not participate in organized sports, when Dottie was a girl she was lucky enough to ride horses for years, learning Dressage from German masters. As a sports-woman she was always interested in maintaining fitness and was drawn to Pilates. In 2000, she became certified to teach, and she has never looked back. “Opening the studio, STOP FOR PILATES, is a commitment to self and community. Coaching others helps me do what I want to do for myself “. Pilates was developed by German immigrant Joseph H. Pilates and was used historically to rehabiltiate wounded soldiers after World War I, and later as conditioning for boxers and ballet dancers. People who practice pilates find improvement in their range of motion, flexibility, circulation and abdominal strength. Highly trained Pilates instructors help students create body awarenesss and symmetry, improving posture in all daily activities, even sitting at a computer desk or driving to work. This heightened awareness of how you hold yourself helps to stop bad habits, and begin increasing core strength (which is the real reason why people who do Pilates tend to have flat abdominals.) Pilates is often taught in small groups and one-on-one, so that you receive the most out of your work-out with individualized attention. If you would like to learn more about Pilates classes at Stop for Pilates please visit

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Parent Pages

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GROWING GRATEFUL KIDDOS I used to be such a brat. Growing up as the oldest of four children I successfully hid my brattiness from the outside world … to teachers and friends I was such a sweetie, using good manners, saying please and thank you, looking out for those less fortunate than myself. But at home I was often a brat. Case in point, each year on Thanksgiving Day my parents arranged for all 4 of us to spend the morning raking our yard. Now I know this is a foreign concept here in St. Johns County, but in our South Carolina neighborhood there are lots of trees with lots of Fall leaves. And in my family we weren’t really maintenance people. We would scurry around in a frenzy cleaning the house when friends were coming over, throwing everything in closets and “off limits rooms,” praying the doors would stay shut. With that said it’s understandable why we needed to rake the yard on Thanksgiving Day: 1. Family was coming over for dinner in a matter of hours 2. It had yet to be raked all Fall, so the leaves were ankle deep. I have vivid memories of trying to sleep as late as possible so I would not have the lion’s share of the raking. This was pointless, however, because my siblings would quarter off the yard and the last one out there was stuck with the biggest section. I remember being soooooo cranky about this family activity, so much so that Thanksgiving became my most un-favorite holiday. I blamed my parents for turning this day of rest and food and parades into a time of (gasp!) pitching in and taking care of the home with which we were blessed. Well I guess what goes around comes around. Though we don’t have leaves to rake, my husband and I do find ourselves with the ever-pressing question of how to grow grateful hearts in our 3 young girls. For years I would try to get my girls to part with some of their oodles of stuffed animals. As they begrudgingly bagged them up to give to Goodwill I would try to explain that there are a lot of boys and girls who do not have toys to play with. I remember feeling disappointed that they didn’t just WANT to give them away. It took me a while to realize that they had absolutely no connection with the people who were receiving their “gifts”. Giving gracefully was just a fuzzy concept and they never got to see the end result. Over the past few years we have worked hard to find ways to let our girls engage in experiences where they can visibly see the needs of others in our community. One of those ways has been through volunteering with World Relief, an organization that helps refugees from around the world find a home here in Jacksonville. These folks come with the clothes on their backs, not speaking English, having given up everything so they can live in a free country. World Relief has provided our little family the opportunity to befriend some of these families and get to know them face to face. Now my girls can see and understand that we have been given much, and we have a lot to give. And not surprisingly, we receive so much in return … kindness, laughter, and surprising friendships with people who have so few worldly possessions, but so many riches to offer. Don’t get me wrong, it is often still like pulling teeth to get my girls to do their evening chores. My hope though is that their picture of the world is growing bigger, giving them a deeper understanding of how much we have to be thankful for. And hey, we don’t even have any leaves to rake in Florida! Buffy Smith (for more information on World Relief visit

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Christmas Craft Idea

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repurpose your wine corks with the simple & fun idea for your tree. Photos & Craft by Erica Bean If you love wine - you probably have few corks hanging around with nothing to do. These Cork Tree Ornaments are great for the tree, to help dress up your mantel garland, or to decorate Christmas packages.


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Audiology Corner with Dr. Faull

The Holiday Season is a Family Affair!! Rosann W. Faull, Au.D. CCC-A Board Certified Doctor of Audiology Your Community Resource for Better Hearing 904-262-5550

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Pet Page with Dr. Veling, DVM

Pet Parents are

Superstars! A Message from The Vet Dr. Veling, DVM ~ Palencia Pet Clinic

One of the little known benefits of being a veterinarian is

therapy laser to treat his disc as well. Well, he got lucky. Pharoah

seeing pet owners who are superstars. How does a pet owner reach

is walking. He has a couple months to go until he can play again

superstar status? Simply by going above and beyond the norm in

but, unless Pharoah gets too rambunctious during his recovery he

caring for a pet. There are many people in my career who have

will recover the use of his legs.

reached that hallowed status. Sometimes it is easy to spot those

people and their pets. Other times they sneak up on me.

have the privilege to work with. They and their pets tug at a vet-

On an early Monday morning one of those superstars

erinarian’s heart strings. They are the reason we continue to work

snuck up on me. The appointment had been scheduled ahead for

every day to help. For Dave, Rusty, Barbara and Pharoah you are

a few days. I have gotten to know Dave and his dog, Rusty, be-

the superstars that make my day.

These are just a couple of the pet parent superstars that I

cause Dave and Rosanne had been clients early on in Palencia Pet Clinic’s journey. Rusty is not a big fan of mine. He doesn’t dislike

Warm, Compassionate, Affordable Care

me. I make him nervous. And he does not like the treats I offer. He just “gets through” our visits. Rusty is a geriatric patient at 18. He has cataracts that amplify bright light into his retinas. He really squints from bright light. But, Rusty also still runs around the yard and still jumps up onto the furniture.

The thing that gets


Dave his superstar status is the fact that Dave gets up before dawn every morning and takes Rusty for a walk before the sun comes up. Why? After the sun comes up, Rusty’s eyes hurt if he goes for a walk. So, Dave, step up into the superstar spotlight (without Rusty because of the lights). You are one. (I am sure that Roseanne does great things for Rusty too but I haven’t heard about them.)

Another superstar pet parent from is Barbara who owns

a Miniature Pinscher named Pharoah. Pharoah could not stand up with his back legs. Barbara was justifiably upset. One look told me that Pharoah had blown out a disc in his back and was nearly paralyzed. The only reason I say nearly is that he could not move his rear legs unless he was stimulated. But, he could move them consciously. We talked about seeing a neurologist which was a nogo. Barbara elected to try medication. She understood that all the medications do is relax his muscles and relieve the pain. If Pharo-



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159 Palencia Village Drive, Suite 101

(next to Starbucks at Palencia) Mon, Tues & Thurs 8am-6pm, Wed 8am-12 Noon, Fri 8am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-12Noon

ah gets lucky he will walk again. Barbara followed our directions and kept him quiet and gave him his meds. We started using our

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The Reef The Reef is the perfect place for your next holiday party or event. There are few remaining venues offering such a spectacular view across the Atlantic Ocean. Swimming dolphin, breaking waves, reflecting sunlight and the rising moon over the water all combine to make your event truly memorable. We specialize in weddings or rehearsal dinners, receptions, birthday parties and other private party need, and are able to make recommendations for florists, entertainment, wedding cakes, photographers and anyone


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Tropical Smoothie CAFE Everyone meets better when they eat better! From morning meetings with the sales team to social gatherings of any size for the holidays, Tropical Smoothie Catering offers high quality, great-tasting food and smoothies that will leave your group refreshed, not sluggish! Everything comes smartly packaged for travel and serving convenience. We see to all the details, including the utensils, plates and napkins. Let us assist you with the menu that’s just right for your group

Los Portales Mexican Grill

Los Portales Mexican Grill proudly offer a very wide selection of Mexican dishes, including our famous fajitas, enchiladas, mexican style tacos and the biggest vegeterian menu in the whole city. Our bar serves a good selection of Tequilas, domestic and imported beer.

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Sumo Sushi Japanese Steakhouse What could be more festive than a night out to enjoy tap-pan-Yaki! Sumo Sushi is one of the best Japanese Steak House & Sushi restaurants in town! Located on CR 210 next to Every Body Fitness. Enjoy delicious Sushi & and traditional Hibachi Grille in an amazing Japanese steakhouse. Allow their Tap-Pan-Yaki Chefs to prepare a meal right in front of you . Bring your family and friends and relax in a modern, yet comfortable atmosphere. Daily football games on large screen televisions visible from any seat in the house make it an ideal place to hang out with friends. The food, service and environment are guaranteed to satisfy.

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Amaretti Desserts If you are entertaining in your home consider some treats from Amaretti Desserts. They are accepting pre-orders for pies, cakes and cookie trays, and will custom make items upon request. For an Italian holiday tradtions, Amaretti Desserts owner Donna will be breaking out the Pizelle iron the day after Thanksgiving - Pizelle’s are traditional Italian waffle cookies made from flour, eggs, sugar, butter or vegetable oil, and flavoring (often vanilla, anise, or lemon zest).

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A beautiful piece of art created by local Artist, Stacie Hernandez, Palencia Fine Arts Academy & Gallery

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St. Johns Family Traditions in the Making


by Angie Bell

oliday traditions vary from family to family, and they sometimes change over time. Decorating the tree and doing the Charlie Brown dance was one tradition we had when our kids were younger. We still play the Charlie Brown Christmas CD along with Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music, but our dancing is limited to the thoughts dancing in our heads. Food is a very big part of family traditions. I know my family depends on my mom’s Italian Cream Cheese Cake every year. Teresa Meares of Fruit Cove says, “For Christmas it is tradition that I cook a large breakfast of pancakes, sausage and bacon.” She has been doing this for 17 years, during which time she and her husband were both St. Johns County police officers. Christine Spendiff’s family has homemade saffron bread on Christmas morning. Her children are the sixth generation to experience this. Her family moved to St. Johns County in 2010 from North Carolina. Since they have often traveled during the holidays, they are looking forward to starting new traditions here in St. Johns County. There are many ways to build family traditions here in northeast Florida. There are parades and lights and lots of entertainment. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of The St. Augustine Nights of Lights. You can enjoy this display via a Vintage Car Tour, aboard a decorated pontoon boat from Bay Ray Boat Rentals, in a Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley or Santa’s Big Red Christmas Train.

Or, you may just want go on foot at your own pace. For parade goers, there are several from which to choose. The St. Augustine Parade is on December 7, as well as the Julington Creek Holiday Light (Boat) Parade. The Holiday Regatta of Lights is on December 14th. Ester Jenei has quite a list of traditions, such as candy cane making at Sweet Pete’s and the Mandarin Museum Winter Celebration, is on December 7th. She also enjoys the Jacksonville Symphony’s free holiday concert, which takes place this year on December 9th. When asked about traditions, Mark Aston responded, “Does watching Christmas Vacation count?” Well, I guess it does since the Amphitheater showed it on the 70-foot screen as part of their December to Remember series! The Amphitheater is also offering other events and free concerts during December. However you choose to enjoy this time of year, there is no better place than St. Johns County to make merry and build memories. A one-of-a-kind Vintage Brooch Headband by Brooch the possibilities and on facebook

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December Calendar Photograph by John Wall, Courtesy Palm Valley Light & Boat Parade

*December 1-5 Festival of Trees takes place at the St. Johns County Convention Center at World Golf Village. Admission is free. Come and vote for your favorite tree ($1 minimum) with proceeds going to The St. Augustine Record’s Empty Stocking Fund and the United Way of St. Johns County. For more information visit

December 2013 by Buffy Smith

*December 1, 2013-January 1, 2014 Come to the TPC Sawgrass Tour of Trees where you will have a chance to tour the clubhouse and view the spectacular holiday decorations. Open from 7am-5pm daily. Admission is free. For more information visit *December 4,11,18 Come to the Wednesday Market at the St. Johns County Pier in St. Augustine Beach from 8am-12:30pm where you will find home grown, hand picked, self created items for purchase. For more information visit *December 5-27 Holiday Art Sale at the Cultural Center at PV Beach There is an opening reception at the Cultural Center on December 5 from 6-8pm. This fantastic art sale offers works from over 35 well-known local artists selling over 300 pieces of original small works priced from $25 to $350. Don’t miss this opportunity to GO LOCAL and buy your holiday gifts from the Cultural Center. For more information call (904) 280-0614 ext 204. *December 6-8 First Coast Nutcracker performance will be held at the Times Union Center. For more information visitwww.jaxsymphony. org. *December 7th, 8:30 a.m. 3rd Annual Gingerbread Man Dash 5k Heritage Landing, World Golf Village, 370 Heritage Landing Parkway, St. Augustine FL 32092 Fun! Fun! Fun! Try to catch the Gingerbread Man. Chip timed, gun start, open to all ages. T-shirts for all pre-registered runners by Nov 27th, Gingerbread cookie, custom die-cast medal, free breakfast.. Pet friendly with a finisher medal for your pet! Great awards to top three male and female overall, first male and female masters. Age-group awards presented to age groups beginning with 9 and under through 70 & over. Bring a new toy for WithLove for a chance to win raffle prizes! to register visit www.ultimate / 904.710.2458


*December 7 St. Augustine Humane Society will hold a puppy training clinic from 1:30-3:30 at the non-profit’s location in St. Augustine. The event is open to the public and cost per person is $25. For more information, call 904-829-2737 or visit their website *December 8 The Driftwoods Bluegrass Band performs bluegrass, oldtime, swing, jazz and more at the Creekside Dinery from 5:30-9:30. For more information visit *December 9 The Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra will be hosting a free holiday concert on Monday, December 9th at 7pm. For more information visit *December 9-10 Communitey First Credit Union’s “A December to Remember” presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with David Benoit. Come enjoy this free show at the St. Augustine Ampitheatre. For more information visit *Holiday Pops performances and Handel’s Messiah will be performed during December. Come experience the joys of the season by taking part in these performances. For more information visit *December 13 Kathleen Madigan, standup comedian, will perform two shows at the PV Concert Hall. She has won many awards as “Best Female Comedian” and has been on numbers television shows like Leno, Letterman, and Conan. For tickets and showtimes visit *December 13-14 Ponte Vedra Presbyterian Church will host A Bethlehem Visit which is an 8000+ square foot village reminiscent of the city of Bethlehem as it may have been on the night of Jesus’ birth. The event will be held Friday, December 13th from 6-8:30pm and Saturday, December 14thfrom 5-8:30pm. For more information, including parking info, visit *December 14 Annual Palm Valley Light & Boat Parade will be held Saturday December 14 at 6:00 pm. This long standing tradition takes place on the Intercoastal Waterway in Palm Valley. Power boats & on facebook

and sailboats adorned with holiday lighting and festive cheer will assemble south of the Palm Valley Bridge (SR 210 Bridge) and head north along the “Ditch” on the ICW. For more information on entering your boat, or to find the best spots to watch the parade, visit or contact Kellie Osborne at 280-2555 or *December 14 The Friends of the Bartram Trail Branch Library will host a book sale from 9:30am-noon on Saturday, December 14. Books, DVD’s, CD’s, and more will be available. Proceeds support the programs at the Bartram Trail Branch Library. For more information visit *December 15 Riverside Avondale Luminaria will be held Sunday, December 15th. Come tour this historic part of Jacksonville, take part in The Luminaria Bike Ride at 6pm, or hop on a horse and buggy to view this beautifully lit neighborhood. This is a wonderful community event that you won’t want to miss. For more information visit *December 15 and 17 The St. Augustine Orchestra presents “Sounds of the Season.” Come and hear selections from “Messiah” and “The Nutcracker” along with other Holiday Favorites. The choir of Christ Church joins the orchestra. Friday’s performance will be held at the Lightner Museum. Sunday’s performance is at Christ Episcopal Church. For more information visit www.staugustineorchestra. org *December 21 Nocatee Farmer’s Market will be held from 10am-2pm every third Saturday with over 70 vendors and various activities available. For more information visit *December 21-22 The St. Augustine Ballet presents the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” at Lewis Auditorium. For tickets and information visit *December 23 and 30 Adventures in the Estuary Mini Research Camps will be held at the GTM Reserve in Ponte Vedra for kids ages 7-10. This science exploration camp is a fun and educational way for your child to learn more about the estuary and their environment. For more information please visit or call Patrician Price at (904) 823-4506.

*December 26 Bartram Trail Library presents Thursday Night at the Movies at 5pm on Thursday, December 26. Come take a break from the holidays, bring your own snacks, and join in for a western adventure on the big screen. For more information visit


*December 28 Uptown Saturday Nights are held on the last Saturday of each month in uptown St. Augustine. Come for live music, food, book signings and unique shopping from 5-9pm. The event is free, as well as parking provided by The Mission Nombre de Dios.

Photos by Graham MartinAncient City Photography

Palencia Fine Arts Academy & Gallery Exhibition Gina Torkos Exhibition ~ Passport: Cambodia

*Tuesdays in December The Ponte Vedra Branch of the library will host “Just for Babies” lapsit story time for ages birth-15 months at 10:15am. “Family Storytime” is at 11am each Tuesday where all ages are welcome. For more information visit *MOSH is hosting many events in December including a Train Display, a Happy Holidays experience for Little Learners, as well as Breakfast with Santa. There are also MOSH Winter Discovery Camps being held during the weeks the kids are out of school. For more information on any of these events visit *The Artist Series presents Broadway in Jacksonville – during the month of December you can experience shows like “50 Shades! The Musical,” “Flashdance,” and “A Christmas Carol.” For more information, as well as ticket pricing, visit *The St. Augustine Ampitheatre will be hosting a number of events during their “A December to Remember” celebration. There will be a Chili Cook Off followed by a Christmas movie double feature, drive in movies, as well as local performances from students and artists from the First Coast. For more information visit *St. Johns County Public Libraries will be hosting many events for youth this month. There will be a Teen Holiday Party, Family Holiday Craft Party, and Bedtime Holiday Storytime. Also “Teens Read with Kids,” led by Ponte Vedra High School’s Book Club, is a great chance for young kids to connect with some wonderful role models who love to read. For other events and for more information, visithttp://www. *The Limelight Theatre of St. Augustine will be staging Christmas plays including “The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays”, as well as KidzFactory performances “Jingle Jury” and “North Pole or Bust”. For more information call (904) 825-1164 or visit their website

1. Stacie Hernandez with Gina Torkos 2. Len Cutter, Patricia Bosio, Gina Torkos When a Point & Shoot Isn’t Enough and Sonya Cutter (with paintings titled “Crocodile El GalEon In-home family portraits Graham martin and Elephant relief ” I & photographer II) 3. Gina Torkos, HayCommunity events ley Digiano, Ross Torkos, Mark Torkos, Jay Saunders Sporting events 4. Mark Torkos, Yuliya KuImage enhancement bryakova, Gina Torkos, of your photos Emma Yak (painting titled “The Value of the Perspective) 5. Dante Armadeo, 904 - 504 - 5188 Lisa LaBue & Patricia Bosio 6. Julio Caballero and Cynw w w . a n c i e n t c i t y p h o t o g r a p h y . c o m 31 St. Johns Magazine 904-687-8538 thia Carbo

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December Holiday Issue