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Brought to you by The Great Bend Tribune •

Published by The Great Bend Tribune

Advertising Tammy Mason, Sales

Publisher Mary Hoisington

Graphic Design Hugo Gonzalez

Retail Account Executive & Special Projects Coordinator Diane K. Lacy-Trostle

Composition Karma Byers Daniel Kiewel

4 Home for the Holidays

Explore Great Bend this holiday season ..................................... 5 Rustic crafts................................................................................. 6 Beyond garland........................................................................... 8 Using fresh greenery.................................................................. 10 Shades of the season .................................................................. 11 Shiny and bright ....................................................................... 12 Christmas is in the air............................................................... 13 Shake up stockings .................................................................... 14 Santa showcase .................................................................... 15-17 Warm up with a classic holiday cocktail .................................. 18 Candies great for gifting............................................................ 19 Turkey alternatives .............................................................. 20-21 Delightful dips........................................................................... 22 Decorate your community ........................................................ 24 Visit a tree farm ........................................................................ 26 Donate your time ...................................................................... 27 Reconnect with loved ones ........................................................ 28 Christmas Eve traditions .......................................................... 30 Local gift cards .......................................................................... 32 Remember to use cash ............................................................... 33 Connect locally .......................................................................... 35 Sending gifts overseas ............................................................... 38 Visit Ellinwood for the holidays ................................................ 39 Visit Claflin for the holidays ..................................................... 40 Gift ideas for parents................................................................. 41 Music lovers .............................................................................. 42 Visit Hoisington for the holidays .............................................. 43 Visit Pawnee County for the holidays ....................................... 45 Couples ...................................................................................... 47 Donate to military support ....................................................... 48 Properly fly the flag ................................................................... 50 Check for special events ............................................................ 51 Help wanted .............................................................................. 52


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Explore Great Bend This Holiday Season! NOVEMBER 24 - HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 25 - EXPLORE GREAT BEND (DAY #4) Visit participating stores for a chance to win $1000 cash for the holidays. 25 - BLACK FRIDAY SPECIALS! Part of Explore Great Bend. Local stores want to give you great deals for the holiday season! Shop local first! 25 - REFINED MEDLEY OPEN HOUSE! 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Be sure to see the Christmas beauty at the unique shop with lots of passion. 1601 Kansas Ave. 26 - EXPLORE GREAT BEND (FINAL DAY)! Visit participating stores for a chance to win $1000 cash for the holidays. Ballot boxes will be picked up by 1:00 p.m. 26 - SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY! Shop local first and support your community during the holiday season!

26 - HOLIDAY COOKIE CONTEST! 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Participating stores are competing for title of the best Holiday cookie and shoppers get to be the judge! Stop by Cookie Headquarters at Rosewood Furniture Gallery at 16th & Main to pick up a cookie box and voting bracelet. A $5 donation goes towards the Food Bank of Barton County. 26 - GREAT BEND LIBRARY OPEN HOUSE! 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Come for Refreshments, Crafts, and Storytime for all ages! 26 - HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS PARADE! 5:30 p.m. Organized by Sunflower Diversilfied Services, this year’s theme is “A Star Spangled Christmas!” Watch the lighted parade on Main Street.

DECEMBER 1 - QUILTS AND HOLIDAY EVENTS! Shafer Art Gallery (Runs through Dec. 9th) 245 NE 30 Road. 620-792-9342. 1 - SANTA’S ELVES! 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. GBRC Activity at Lincoln School for 5-12 year olds. Join the fun and prepare a Christmas present for a special person this holiday season. 1 - HO HO NOOO!! 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. GBRC Activity at Jefferson School for 5-12 year olds to create a fun painting craft of Santa stuck in the chimney. 2 - JINGLE BELL SWING DANCE! 8:00 p.m. Join in the fun of this local talent and get yourself in the Christmas spirit. American Legion, 1011 Kansas Ave. 3 - KWEC HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE! Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE 156 Hwy. 3 - LIGHT THE SQUARE! 7:00 p.m. Join in the 2nd Annual Luminary Walk to Remember Loved Ones Lost. Jack Kilby Square, 1400 Main St.

4 - HOLIDAY HOME TOURS! 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Presented by the Barton County Fair Board. Six beautiful homes will be featured. Tickets are $10, can be purchased at the Chamber, Roth Embroidery & Credit Union. 5 - SANTA’S WORKSHOP CITY AUDITORIUM! Enjoy an evening of holiday cheer, festive crafts, food, music and more at the City Auditorium. A free family event for all ages, Santa will make an appearance, GBHS student organizations are busy planning Santa’s Workshop partnering with the Great Bend Recreation Commission and local businesses for an evening of FUN! 1214 Stone Street, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 5 - BCC HOLIDAY CONCERT! 7:30 p.m. Featuring the Jazz Band, Hilltop Singers and concert Choir. Barton Community College. 6 - ARTS AND CRAFTS! 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. GRRC activity for 5-12 year olds helping create Christmas decorations. Pre-register for this three day class by calling the Rec.

City of Great Bend 620.793-4111 Great Bend Convention & Visitors Bureau 620.792.2750

26 - ANNUAL MAYOR’S TREE LIGHTING! 6:15 p.m. Join Mayor Mike Allison with Santa & Mrs. Claus as they light up the Mayor’s Tree covered in 25,000 lights! Jack Kilby Square. 26 - VISIT SANTA & MRS. CLAUS! 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Bring the kids and have them sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their Christmas list! 1223 Main Street. 26 - SANTAS AROUND THE WORLD! 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. See the beautiful handmade lifesize Santas from all over the world created by Loretta Miller. 1223 Main Street. 26 - AFTER PARADE ACTIVITIES! 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Join us downtown for fun and games, train rides and so much more! 26 - LIVING NATIVITY PORTRAITS! 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Each year Foundry Methodist Church provides a memory you can keep for you and your family for free! 26 - TRAIL OF LIGHTS! Enjoy the official first day of the city of Great Bend Trail of Lights! Wind through town and capture the magic of Christmas!

27 - SANTAS AROUND THE WORLD! 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. See the beautiful handmade lifesize Santas from all over the world created by Loretta Miller. 1223 Main Street. 28 - HO HO NOOO!! 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. GBRC Activity at Eisenhower & Lincoln School for 5-12 year olds to create a fun painting craft of Santa stuck in the chimney. 29 - GIVING TUESDAY! 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Presented by Golden Belt Community Foundation, 1307 Williams St. More info available at 29 - SANTA’S ELVES! 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. GBRC Activity at Jefferson School for 5-12 year olds. Join the fun and prepare a Christmas present for a special person this holiday season. 30 - SANTA’S ELVES! 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. GBRC Activity at Eisenhower School for 5-12 year olds. Join the fun and prepare a Christmas present for a special person this holiday season.

7 - SANTA’S ELVES! Activity Center for 3-4 year olds, join the fun and prepare a Christmas present for mom or dad. 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 11 - GBHS VESPER’S CONCERT! 2:00 p.m. GBHS Auditorium, 2027 Morton St. 11 - GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST! 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. the Barton County Historical Society will be hosting their annual holiday open house with entertainment, decorations, refreshments, Santa and the little train. 85 US Hwy 281. 11 - YOUTH CHOIR CONCERT! 3:30 p.m. GBHS Auditorium, 2027 Morton. St. 11 - CLAY JEWELRY CRAFT! We’ll use polymer clay and natural materials to create one-of-a-kind pendants. Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE 156 Hwy. 12 - GBHS VOCAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT! 7:30 p.m. GBHS Auditorium, 2027 Morton St. 13 - GBHS ORCHESTRA CONCERT! 7:00 p.m. GBHS Auditorium, 2027 Morton St.

14 - CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINING MEALS! Noon - 1:00 p.m. GBRC. Join us for this wonderful lasagna meal and the sound of the Middle School Women in Harmony Group. $10 per person. Starts at Noon. Registration is due by Dec. 9th. 17 - FAMILY HOLIDAY CRAFTS! 9:30 a.m. GBRC. $7 per child ages 4-10. Please have adult to create Christmas Crafts. 19 - GBHS BAND WINTER CONCERT! 7:00 p.m. GBHS Auditorium, 2027 Morton St. 19 - CHEYENNE BOTTOMS CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT! 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE 156 Hwy. 23 - SANTAS AROUND THE WORLD! 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Last day to see this season. Explore the beautiful handmade lifesize Santas from all over the world created by Loretta Miller. 1223 Main Street. 24 - CHRISTMAS EVE! 25 - MERRY CHRISTMAS! 28 - CHRISTMAS CRAFT MALL, LAST DAY OPEN! Located at Central Baptist Church, 3301 Lakin Ave. Hours are 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 28 - TRAIL OF LIGHTS! Enjoy the last day of the city of Great Bend Trail of Lights! Wind through town and capture the magic of Christmas!

Rustic crafts A rustic Christmas theme lends itself to homemade crafts made from easyto-find materials, such as pine cones and branches, twigs and cuttings from the bottom of your live tree.

Rustic ornaments

Turn pine cones or decorative wrapped twig balls into ornaments by tying burlap ribbon into bows and at-taching to the top with hot glue. Then, loop a 6-inch length of twine or raffia through the knot of the bow on the back of the ornament and tie a double knot at the top.

Place the vase in the center of the plate and place the pillar candle inside. Arrange branches around the base of the candle to a height of about 3 inches. Add a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of the burlap fabric using the sponge brush. Press the burlap flat around the base of the candleholder, with the sticky side facing the glass. Tie a length of twine around the middle of the burlap fabric with a simple bow. For a snowy effect, sprinkle faux snow on the branches. For a touch of elegance, replace the twine with lace ribbon. For a simpler, quicker version, wrap twine around the middle of a pillar candle and secure with a bow in the middle.

Burlap Candleholder

1 glass hurricane vase, about 4 inches in diameter and 6 inches tall 1 white pillar candle Spare branches from the Christmas tree, with foliage Strip of burlap fabric, the same diameter as the candleholder and about 2 inches tall Mod Podge Sponge brush Twine Plate-style candleholder

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Beyond garland W

e’ve all seen garlands Edible arrangements If you’re as handy in the kitchen as of berries, leaves or you are with decorating, edible garlands flowers, but there are calling your name. Gingerbread are many more unconventional or cinnamon applesauce dough can options that can add a layer of the become gingerbread man-shaped dÊcor together with string, burlap or unexpected to your dÊcor. Whether strung Christmas ribbon. String store-bought you’re going glam or sticking with Christmas cookies or spice drops on ribbon or arrange candy canes into the basics, continue your theme hearts spaced evenly along strands of with a unique garland. red and white yarn. New ideas for materials

Pair lace with burlap for contrast, attach silver-plated metal ornaments to picture wire for a touch of the past, or string woodland creatures and pine cones on thick twine for a woodsy vibe. Get your other hobbies into the mix with crocheted ornaments hung from yarn, or if you’ve got some brightly colored paint samples lying around from home improvement projects, why not cut them into the shape of Christmas lights and attach them with string?

Of course the wild birds outside your window always appreciate a garland of popcorn and cranberries, but why not offer them some variety this year? Add birdseed to plain gelatin and let it set, then press into cookie cutters sprayed with non-stick spray. Don’t forget to use a stick to make a hole for stringing, then once they’re firm, string the edible ornaments with twine and wrap around a tree where the birds are sure to find their special treat. Another option is to offer the birds a garland of sliced apples and peanuts (shells on).

Hang it Who says garland is only for the tree or banister? There are many more ways to incorporate your creations into your holiday celebrations. Wrap garland around gifts for a personal touch, or make a curtain of nearly-invisible fishing line strung with various sizes of white Styrofoam balls for an instant winter wonderland. Dress up a light fixture or architectural column in your home, or drape several strands of garland along a wall as a dĂŠcor accent.

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ave you ever had the problem of finding a gift for that hard-to-shop-for person? This year, check out the Kansas Wetlands Education Center’s Wetlands Gift Store! The KWEC offers unique selections of gift ideas for just about everyone on your list. For the nature enthusiast, the Gift Store offers animal and plant identification guides, books, nature-themed t-shirts, local wildlife photographs, stuffed animals, bird feeders, and nature artwork. For other giftees, the Gift Store has many ‘Made in Kansas’ items, local artist artwork, science toys, and jewelry. The Gift Store has exciting new selections this year that would make excellent gifts. T-shirts and books are always popular gifts, and several new designs and titles have been ordered for the holiday season. Junior Naturalist vests will outfit your little scientists. Jewelry items also make great gifts, and new wildlife image porcelain necklaces might be perfect for animal lovers. A wide selection of wildlife puzzles are great for grandma. The Gift Store also carries various homemade jellies from the Sticky Spoon in Hutchinson, KS. And, for the gardener in the family, KWEC now sells wildflower seed mix packets from Sharp Bros Seed Company specially designed to attract butterflies and bees. The Wetlands Gift Store is sure to offer you a great selection of potential gift items. As you shop local for your Christmas gifts, be sure to check us out. The Wetlands Gift Store is located at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, at Cheyenne Bottoms, 10 miles northeast of Great Bend along K-156 Highway. For additional information or insights on other gift store items, call the KWEC at 877-243-9268. Come celebrate the holiday season at the KWEC during our Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 3. Activities and several special promotions will be going on. Mention seeing this article in the Tribune’s Home for the Holidays circular, and receive 40% off a single item purchase throughout the holiday season, excluding consignment items and tours.

Home for the Holidays 9

Using fresh greenery


our holidays may not be the same without the aroma of pine, cedar or fir. These plants make great wreaths, garlands and trees for your décor but need extra care to weather the holidays. Fresh or faux?

If you’re choosing between fresh and faux, ask yourself if the unique look and smell of live greenery is worth the extra expense and work. Fresh greenery can be two to three times more expensive than its artificial counterparts and can’t be reused from year to year. Live greenery can last from three weeks indoors to several months when kept outdoors in cold climates. If you buy your greenery too early in the season or don’t care for it properly, you could find yourself having to replace it, doubling your costs. On the other hand, you can spend less and buy pre-lit faux greenery that will save you some decorating time each year. As lighting technology makes our décor smarter, the ability to easily program your

greenery to light up with the rest of your decorations might be appealing. Live greenery also requires some specific care that you might not be up to handling during the busy holiday season. Watering, trimming and cleaning up dropped needles could become an unnecessary bother while you’re busy shopping for gifts, attending or hosting parties and otherwise preparing for holiday festivities.


There is much to consider about the specific type of live plant you choose for your décor. For example, white pine is soft and may droop under the weight of heavy ornaments, while a Virginia pine will thrive in a warmer environment and drop few needles. Noble fir has all-around appeal as a whole tree or cutting, while you might be surprised to learn that white spruce needles give off an unpleasant odor. Do some research about the type of tree that will work best for the intended purpose. The National Christmas Tree Association offers profiles of each type of tree on its website at dnn/Education/Tree-Varieties.

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10 Home for the Holidays

Shades of the season


f course red and green A touch of nature If the shades of green and brown you are the old standbys, see on your annual trip to the Christmas but if you’re looking to tree farm inspire you, why not bring colors into your holiday theme? shake up your Christmas decor those Tones of tree bark, from pine to aspen, provide a versatile natural backdrop that palette, Behr offers help. you can dress up or down.

The paint maker’s Trends 2016 palette provides a range of tones that are suited for the holidays. Whether your style is classic or trendy, you can find ways to put Behr’s color combinations into your décor.

Holidays at sea

You can change up your Christmas décor colors without making a total departure from tradition. If you’d like to stick close to greens and reds, consider coral and sea glass-green shades. Behr’s Trends 2016 palette includes variations on these colors, including Celadon, a deep teal called Emperor’s Silk, Coralette and Bowstring, a light gray reminiscent of driftwood.


Jewel tones

If none of Behr’s swatches strike your fancy, consider a more classic decor color scheme. Sapphires, emeralds and rubies are the inspiration for jewel tones. This palette is perfectly suited for getting colorful with ornaments, and you should have no trouble assembling a rainbow of options from your own collection or by making a quick trip to your local craft store. A good way to start collecting a wide range of décor in the same jewel tones is to visit a craft or department store that offers collections of a wide variety of holiday décor in the same color. Roam the aisles and gather select décor in coordinating shades of just about any bold color.

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Home for the Holidays 11

Shiny and bright I

f a rustic woodland look isn’t your style, glam up the holidays with some shiny metal tones. It’s easy to use silver and gold in your holiday décor, from the mantel to the tabletop to the Christmas tree. The mantel

Add some sparkle to even the most classic mantel with pine garland and red ribbon by adding shiny silver stocking hangers. Choose shapes such as reindeer, stars or wreaths. Another option for adding shine is metal-tone figural Christmas trees. Why not start a collection of gleaming metal trees on your mantel? Of course, if you really want to go all in with shine, replace your stockings with new ones heavy on gold fabric and details, and tie it together with gold ribbon dotted with gold-tone ornaments. Don’t be afraid to mix gold and silver elements for a unique look that lets you jingle and shine all the way.

The tabletop

The tabletop is an easy place to let your holidays sparkle. Stemware with silver-tone stems, plates with metal details, and napkin holders made of miniature glittery silver or gold garland. Silver-dipped pine cones and branches, gold wire-wrapped reindeer figurines — there really are hundreds of ways to make the holiday table bright. For a simple centerpiece, layer metal-tone ornaments in a tall vase or arrange various sizes of them on a fancy serving dish. They will reflect the light nicely and attract attention. If your holiday meal isn’t the talk of the table, the centerpieces certainly will be.

The tree

Glitter-covered figural snowflake ornaments have long been an inexpensive way to add sparkle to the tree. For a modern twist, pair silver details with pale teal accents. Silver beaded garland is another way to add a layer of glam. Gold pairs well with red, so pull out your red Christmas décor and put it to use in a new color scheme. Deep, warm red tones work especially well.

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Christmas is in the air what your family and guests smell in your home will likely stick with them over the years even more than what they see. So what’s a holiday hostess to do? Sprinkle your holiday décor with a few treats for the senses — especially smell.

Holiday Potpourri



Scented candles are an old stand-by but can only take you so far. For truly powerful aromas, burn candles with wooden wicks or those made with soybean oil, or place a quality wax warmer on each level of your home. Don’t forget a candle in the bathroom, and continue the theme with scented hand soaps and lotions on the vanity. To keep guests triggering those olfactory connections to your party for months to come, send them home with party favors of travel-size holiday-scented lotion or hand sanitizer.

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries 3 tangerines, halved 3 whole cinnamon sticks 2 star anise (optional) gives a strong black licorice smell. 1 teaspoon whole cloves 1 inch piece fresh ginger 1 vanilla bean + 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 small branch fresh pine 1 cup apple cider, pomegranate or cranberry juice water

Many of the smells that make us hark to the holidays involve food — cinnamon, apple, pumpkin pie spice, the vanilla we toss into the sugar cookie dough. Why not throw a pot of Christmas on the stove? Teen blogger Tieghan Gerard, the force behind Half-Baked Harvest, offers this recipe for a Christmas potpourri that you can simmer on the stove during a

Combine all the ingredients in a medium size sauce pot. Fill the pot with water until it reaches 3/4 the way full. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, adding more water as needed. I let mine simmer for close to 4 hours and then let it cool over night and simmer again the next day. Just be sure to keep adding more water.

ur sense of smell is more strongly tied to memories than any other sense. Mom’s apple pie baking in the oven, the cologne of a long-forgotten first boyfriend, and yes, the freshly cut Balsam fir in the living room that makes the holidays complete. What’s cooking?

These smells invoke powerful connections to the people and things we love. According to Psychology Today, that’s because smells are first processed in the brain by the olfactory bulb, which is directly connected to the areas of the brain that deal with emotion and memory. All that science and sentimentality mean that

day of baking cookies or a party with friends and family. It will not only overload your nose with the smells of Christmas but also is a great homemade gift idea.


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Shake up stockings A re your family’s stockings as simple as homemade felt creations or random socks from Dad’s drawer, or as elaborate as personalized garments featuring family members’ names in gold lettering?

We all know they’re supposed to be hung by the chimney with care, but if you’re looking to freshen up your family’s stocking tradition, consider some twists on the classic.

Ideas from around the globe

Shoes, boots and wooden clogs: You don’t have to hang stockings to collect goodies from Santa Claus, according to traditions from around the world. From Ecuador to the Netherlands, all kinds of holiday legends inspire people to leave their footwear where St. Nick is sure to find them. To inject your holidays with some international flair, read up on the traditions of other countries and choose one that resonates. Perhaps choose a country from which your ancestors hail to celebrate your family’s unique heritage along with the season.

Match your theme

Are you harking back to the days of old? Choose stockings that enhance the vintage vibe by combing thrift shops for originals or looking to your local craft store for reproductions. If you’re handy with knitting needles, make your own homemade versions. For a rustic holiday setting, replace stockings with brown paper bags or custom-printed sacks made of burlap. “Special Delivery for Luke” or “For Sally: Do Not Open Until December 25” are some ideas. Fashion a gift bucket by attaching burlap fabric to an empty paint can with Mod Podge and wrapping the handle with candy-cane-striped Christmas ribbon.

Location, location, location

Who says stockings have to go on the mantel? If you’d like to try something different above the fireplace this year, other good places to hang stockings include an indoor stair banister or balcony, strung from a rope attached to a wall in decorative fashion or hanging from a wrought iron floor-standing stocking hanger. Re-purpose a wall-hanging coat rack into a stocking hanger with a coat of red paint

Something special happens when you combine the right mixture of thanks, good will, tradition, friends, and family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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14 Home for the Holidays

and your family’s name in white letters. Arrange stockings on a section of faux rustic fence made from wood scraps or a decorative ladder to make them a piece of conversation-starting decor. Keep children entertained until everyone in the house is awake and ready to rip into the presents under the tree by hanging a pair of knitted mittens stuffed with small treats on their bedposts. When we open our stockings each Christmas morning, one theme remains the same: Our traditions are the real gift.

Santa showcase

Display highlights Christmas global Santas’ history Efforts to create a multi-cultural Santa Christmas traditions display began when the Great Bend


he “Santas Around The World� Exhibit will open Its 2016 Holiday Season On Nov. 26. You can view 23 life-sized Santas on display, each Santa showcasing Christmas stories and traditions from around the world. The exhibit will open immediately following the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree on Nov. 26, following the evening’s Holiday Parade in downtown Great Bend. The schedule for the remaining holiday season will be as follows: Thursdays and Fridays 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. The last day the exhibit will be open is Dec. 23. “I’m so impressed with the display; it’s absolutely beautiful,� said Loretta Miller, Great Bend artist and creator of the multi-cultural Santas, as she viewed them in their new surroundings last week. “Seeing them like this, it’s just what I envisioned they would be with all the lights and the magic. You just walk in here and the Santas look amazing in their new environment. Everything looks so warm and inviting. I am so happy with the work that has been done to showecase them.�

Convention and Visitors Bureau contacted Miller to sculpt the first Santa, approximately 15 years ago. Following that inaugural success, she constructed several more pieces each year, until there were 23 Santas in the collection. Although she continues to make smaller Santas today, Miller hasn’t created a life-sized Santa for about a decade. During and since there creation, the Santas have gained state and national recognition. Arts & Entertainment Network even featured Miller’s Santas in a 2003 holiday special, titled “Ultimate HolidayTown USA.� The desire to create a collection of life-sized international Santas was twofold. The city already had “Trail of Lights� as an evening holiday attraction, but needed a daytime activity to attract visitors. Another goal was for the Santas to help draw retail traffic to downtown stores, she added. Originally, the Santas appeared in downtown retail stores of Great Bend. After a few years, however, they were moved as a group to the CPI Qualified Plan Consultants Annex, then to a building on Lakin and Kansas Streets. During that time, the Santas were donated to

COURTESY PHOTO Pictured are “Santas� from England, Russia and Norway.

the Rosewood Roots & Wings Foundation. They were moved to their current home, when Rosewood opened its Wine Cellar nearly two years ago. Before this holiday season, the current location received the Christmas make-over that now accentuates the Santa display. “The Santas are exquisite pieces, created by a wonderfully gifted artist,� said Tammy Hammond, executive director of Rosewood Services. “They belong in a quality environment, which we believe we have achieved for them this year. I am honored that Loretta approves of our effort. I hope people will take the time to see the Santas in their new and festive surroundings.


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Home for the Holidays 1 5


COURTESY PHOTO Santa artist Loretta Miller discusses her creations as a visiting foreign exchange student listens.

An artist’s story

COURTESY PHOTO A group of foreign exchange students hear how artist Loretta Miller made her Santas from around the world. Some of the students offered suggestions on how to make the displays more authentic.

before her, she fell in love with the art right away. Her first attempt at sculpting was the face Miller didn’t start out as a Santa artist. For 30 of an old man; by the middle of the first day of years her job was in an office working 9-5 like class, she was hooked. most, but after a serious fall that led to a long and For the first few years, Miller used molds painful recovery, she was left unable to work. Her time spent on bedrest gave her a chance to dream to create doll faces, but they were lacking that unique, individual quality she had pictured. up new career ideas. She took to sculpting them by hand and before She was told she would never walk again but she knew it, the face of Santa and many other with a strong will, proved everyone wrong. She found her calling as an artist, sculpting characters characters had come to life. From her newfound Santa sculpting passion, from her imagination, bringing them to life. Miller formed her own company, LKM In 1991, her daughter convinced her to Originals, which specializes in Santas and elves, attend a sculpting workshop and like many

each with its own personality. Every piece of clay molded into a face gives a weathered, aged, and wrinkled appearance to show maximum expression and life like feel with angelic grace. The clothing is just as unique – outfits adorned with antique articles and accessories from various shops and estate sales across Kansas. From fur to flowers, velvet to toys, there’s something for everyone to love and appreciate about Miller’s Santas. The artist’s passion and creativity shines through her work which you can see on display at Santas Around the World this holiday season.

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1 6 Home for the Holidays


Santas on display include: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Africa (Father Christmas America (Santa Claus) Australia (Aussie Santa) Brazil (Vovo Indo) Chine (Dun Che Lao Ren) England (Father Christmas) France (Pere Noel) Germany (St. Nicholas) Iceland (Jola Sveinar) Italy (La Befana) Koea (Sana Haraboji) Latin America (Viejo Pascero)

• • • • • • • • • • •

Lapland Finmark (Joulupukki) Lithuania (Kaledu Senelis) Middle East (Holy Man) Mangolia (Tsai Sen Yeh) Poland (Star Man) Netherlands (Black Pete) Norway (Julesvenn) Russia (Godfather Frost) Scotland (Abbot of Unreason) Switzerland (Samichlaus) United States (Santa Claus)

Those interested in visiting “Santas Around the World” outside of regular hours can contact Michael Dawes, 620-796-2242, The “Santas Around The World” exhibit is brought to you by Rosewood Roots & Wings Foundation. In addition to the Santas exhibit, Santa Claus himself will be available to meet with children during regular hours that the exhibit is open. Santa Claus is a special treat offered by the City of Great Bend.

COURTESY PHOTO Shown is Santa artist Loretta Miller.

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Warm up with a classic holiday cocktail


rapping your freezing fingers around a toasty warm cocktail is the perfect way to ward off winter’s chill. Here are some tips for making a great hot beverage.

Good ingredients, better drink

If you’re looking to impress your guests, now is the time to go with the good stuff. Dump those packets of ready-made hot chocolate. Get out a saucepan, a whisk and a good baking cocoa, and make it rich by using whole milk or real cream. You also can give just about any drink a kick with a good spice. Cayenne pepper, in small doses, plays surprisingly well in a hot cocoa. Or give it a minty blast with creme de menthe. You’ll never go back to the paper packet again.

A wee dram

Whiskey is having a moment, and your trusted local liquor store can offer you a great selection for a round of tasting with friends. Ask lots of questions to learn about the type

of whiskey (Scotch, bourbon, rye), the key flavor notes (vanilla, oak, caramel) and the processes that made those flavors (type of cask, aging, single or blended). Choose three or four bottles of your favorites and gather ’round the fire to talk whiskey with your guests. Serve a sip of each in an elegant clear glass to show off the liquor’s color as you regale them with your whiskey knowledge.

Fruit can get cozy, too

While we usually think of fruity cocktails

as a summertime staple, fruit has its place in warm winter drinks, as well. Remember the carol “Here We Come A-Wassailing”? Wassail is a hot spiced apple cider that becomes spectacular with the addition of bourbon. And don’t forget mulled wines; mulling spices are usually available in easy-to-use packets at your local grocery around the holidays. Drop them in your slow cooker with the wine (following the manufacturer’s directions, of course) for an easy, welcoming drink for your guests.

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Candies great for gifting W

inter, with its cooler temperatures, is a good time for making candy. Homemade candy adds a warm and personal touch to your holiday gifts.


Similar to fudge, brittle recipes also are extraordinarily versatile and can be very easy to make. When choosing ingredients for your brittle, make sure to keep color and texture in mind. Combinations such as white chocolate, dried cranberries and pistachios offer a vivid holiday treat suitable for gifting. For nut brittles, you’ll be cooking a sugar mixture to the hard crack stage, so a thermometer is key.

Don’t be intimidated by the science behind turning sugar into candy; with the right tools, candy-making is a snap.


When you’re making candy, what you’re really doing is cooking the moisture out of a sugary mixture. As the moisture cooks out, the sugar concentration soars and the candy gets harder. The more moisture, the softer the candy. Less moisture means harder, more brittle candy. Candy-making also usually happens quickly. Make sure to measure your ingredients before you cook and have all your tools at hand.


You probably already have most of the tools you need for making candy. A good, heavy pot; cookie sheets; and whisks and cooking spoons that are comfortable to hold (most recipes

Simple Peanut Butter Fudge 1/2 cup butter 2 cups brown sugar 1/2 cup milk 3/4 cup peanut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 cups confectioner’s sugar involve a fair amount of stirring). One tool you might not have that you should consider is a candy thermometer. This is a special thermometer that conveniently clips onto the side of a pot and also usually includes the stages of candy making (soft ball, hard crack, etc.) as well as the temperatures. Find candy thermometers in the kitchen tools section of most grocery stores.

Melt butter in a pot on medium heat. Stir in milk and brown sugar; stir until boiling and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add peanut butter and vanilla and stir. Pour over confectioner’s sugar in a large mixing bowl, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour into an 8x8 pan and chill until hardened.


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Home for the Holidays 19

Turkey alternatives W

minimal work. Ask your local hile the holidays to stock an option from one are a great time for grocer of several companies offering this tradition, spice up delicacy. your holiday meal this year Roast beast with these festive alternatives This isn’t your average pot roast. A prime cut of roast beef is to the usual roasted turkey.


This unusual dish was born on the bayou and is exactly what it sounds like: a boneless chicken stuffed inside a boneless duck inside a boneless turkey, usually with a cornbread or other traditional Southern-style stuffing inside. Rich in flavor and spice, this ready-made dish requires

gaining in popularity as a holiday centerpiece. Ask your butcher for a standing rib roast for maximum wow factor; another great cut to consider is a New York strip roast. Prep work for this dish doesn’t have to be hard. Remember that when you’re cooking top cuts of beef, you really want the flavor of the meat to shine through. Don’t go overboard; keep your seasonings simple.




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Go small

Feeding just a few this year? Get all the flavor in a smaller package with a roasted chicken or even Cornish hens. For a moist, flavorful bird, try a brine. Brines can be either wet or dry, but salt is key to either method. A wet brine requires a vessel that can hold your entire bird (or birds, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going Cornish) and produces a juicier fowl. Dry brines mean more delicious, crispy skin and a shorter prep time. (Once you get a dry brine down pat, it could even be quick enough for a weeknight supper.) Recipe: Easy Holiday Roast Beef 1 5-pound top-cut beef roast, such as New York strip or prime rib 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 cup Montreal steak seasoning 1/4 cup rosemary, or to taste Let the roast come to room temperature, standing on the counter for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rub the roast with garlic, steak seasoning and rosemary. Turn the roast fat-side up (if there is one) in a baking dish. 3. Roast the meat for an hour. Turn the oven off and leave the roast inside, door shut and undisturbed, for about three hours. Turn the oven back to 375 and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a thermometer reaches the temperature for your desired doneness (130-140 degrees for medium rare, 140-150 for medium, 150155 for medium well).


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Home for the Holidays 21

Delightful dips


o holiday party is complete without an assortment of good dips. Everything goes with a dip. Warm toasted bread, crisp vegetables, sweet fruit, crunchy chips â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the skyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the limit.

Here are a few good dips you can personalize for yours and your guestsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; tastes.

Go creamy

Choose a rich and creamy base such as cream cheese cut with mayonnaise or sour cream, then add fresh chopped herbs, chopped peppers or just about any other savory flavor. Let your imagination fly. If you like a stiffer dip, mix in less mayo or sour cream. If you need a creamier dip, go for more of the thinner dairy product. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re especially pressed for time, soften a brick of cream cheese and drizzle a piquant jelly over the top. Pepper jellies, often paired with something deeply sweet

such as mango, are available at most quality grocers. Break out the fancy crackers and voila, a delicious appetizer that took practically no time.

Go cheesy

Nothing pleases a party like a cheese dip. From the simple (yet delicious) Rotel tomatoes and processed cheese to the elegant spinach-and-artichoke dip, these warm classics are sure to be popular. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re making a cheese dip, make sure you or your host have a way to keep it warm; cold cheese dip tends to turn into a rock-hard mess. An exception is the Southern classic pimento cheese; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need a way to keep it cold. Safety first.

Go meaty

Hearty meat dips such as buffalo chicken dip or seafood spreads made from crab or shrimp also are a party-friendly choice. For the buffalo chicken dip, a riff on buffalo chicken wings, the hot sauce and the blue cheese are key. Look for quality hot sauce and a good blue

cheese at your local grocerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. This versatile dip also can be served with veggies such as the classic celery and carrot sticks. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working with crab or shrimp, make sure your seafood is fresh and responsibly sourced. Ask your grocer if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not sure, and avoid any crab or shrimp that smells fishy; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not fresh.

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Home for the Holidays 23

Decorate your community W

hen it comes to starting a new Christmas tradition this year, think about beautifying the area around you with festive decorations. Could your downtown use a bit more red and green? Are there senior citizen centers in the area in need of some Christmas spirit? There are many ways you can get involved and have a hand in decorating your community. The more people you involve, the bigger impact you can have on spreading holiday joy through the use of beautiful decorations.

Start a group

Are you an active member of your church or community nonprofit? Do you run a business or are you a youth sports coach? If so, you likely have the manpower to start a decorations committee focused on transforming various buildings throughout your area. Recruit your organizational members, employers or players to donate their time to the cause. You’ll likely find that with a little direction and incentive, you can convince a large majority of people to help. If you aren’t part of any local groups, check with your local organizations or faith leaders to see if your help is needed. Pitch the idea of

decorating specific buildings or areas around town and see what they think. Your ideas could be the springboard to the most communitycentered Christmas celebration your area has ever seen.

Be efficient, creative

When the time comes to start decorating, have a plan in place to make sure things go smoothly. Coordinate with your other volunteers, giving them specific duties and goals. You should also be in close contact with the organization you’re decorating for to find out if there are certain designs, colors or themes they

would like to see. Creativity is the key to pulling off great decorations. Does your downtown area have light posts along a town square or circle? Talk with your committee or city officials about hanging colorful wreaths on the posts to set the Christmas mood. Ask about setting up a nativity scene in a prominent place on the square to remind people about the true reason for the season. There are many creative ways to showcase Christmas decorations. You just have to have a strong eye for design and the initiative to make your ideas happen.

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Home for the Holidays 25

Visit a tree farm So find a tree farm near you to support local, sustainable business practices. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be disappointed. And neither will the tree farm owner who relies on your support to keep his or her company running. Read on for tips on planning a trip to your local tree farm, many of which feature fun activities for children and families.

What to bring

Check in with your local tree farm to see if saws are provided. They usually are and for a small fee, the tree farm professionals will cut your tree down for you. If you are allowed to cut it down yourself, this can be a great way to start a fun tradition with those in your family old enough to safely handle a saw. Take turns on the saw for a team effort. Other things to bring include: â&#x20AC;˘ Ties & ropes: Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not just cutting down your tree, you have to get it home too! Bring the proper tie-down materials to safely transport it.

â&#x20AC;˘ Plastic wrap or blanket: Trees can scratch your car or truck, so sure to bring some plastic wrap or a blanket to serve as a protective layer between it and the tree. â&#x20AC;˘ Snacks & drinks: Many tree farms feature bouncy houses, hayrides, sleigh rides, Santa visits, petting zoos and other fun activities for the kids. They may or may not have concessions available so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always smart to pack some as Plan B. â&#x20AC;˘ Old clothes: Cutting down your own tree isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exactly clean and tidy. Dress in old clothes and hiking boots if you want to be comfortable without the worry of ruining your outfit with sap and dirt. â&#x20AC;˘ Cash: If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re enlisting the help of a staff member to cut down and carry the tree to your vehicle, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good practice to give them a cash tip. This is difficult work after all. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also need cash for refreshments and any gift shops that may be on the premises.

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Donate your time

ifts and financial donations are certainly welcome this time of year by your local community organizations and charitable non-profits, but nothing may be more valuable than your time. Volunteering is a great Christmas tradition for families to start. Doing so helps set strong examples for young people, teaching them lessons in humanity, good will, compassion and selflessness.

Do you have a few extra hours per month you could give to a local nonprofit organization? If so, start this holiday season by donating your time to the cause. Choose a charity or nonprofit you are passionate about and reach out to see how you can help. Local soup kitchens may need you to round up canned goods and nonperishable food items from your family members and community. Senior citizen centers may request that you simply come spend some quality time with their residents. Foster homes and child advocacy centers may be in need of the same, as well as Christmas presents for the little ones. The contribution of your time and energy could help make this a highly enjoyable

Christmas for those in need, as well as for those running these organizations. Volunteers are always needed, so make the call today.

You are needed

Only about 25 percent of Americans volunteer for an organization, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can help improve that number by joining a group and convincing others to do the same. Grassroots volunteering efforts are the backbone of the country, especially as many human services budgets shrink from state to state.

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Your time is more vital than ever to making sure these organizations have the appropriate resources to make a difference in the community. Think of your local military organizations, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hospitals, nursing homes and largescale holiday event committees. They all need your creative spirit and hands-on approach to make this Christmas a happy one for their target populations. So seek out one of the organizations in your neck of the woods and get started on impacting your community in a positive way. Once you start this tradition, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never go back.

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Reconnect with loved ones A

of miles away. These online tools are perfect for reconnecting often with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while, as well as for keeping relationships strong between grandchildren and grandparents who may be geographically separated.

s families grow, loved ones may become spread across the country due to their career, educational pursuits or general life changes. If you’re lucky enough to be near all of your loved ones this Christmas season, hopefully you have your traditions set and are ready to enjoy them together.

For those hoping to reconnect with loved ones living far away, there are many ways to do so this Christmas. This time of year is perfect for re-establishing relationships with family members and starting new traditions together, and there are many ways to make this happen.


Technology has closed the gap when it comes to communicating with those living on the other

Start a family blog

end of the state, country or world. All you need is a reliable Internet connection and a computer to get started. There are a wide variety of online video chat tools, including Skype, that are both free and effective when it comes to connecting with faraway family members over the

Internet. You will need to fill out a free account online with your email address and a password to get started. Once you have an account, you can invite others in your network to join you on the platform, and you can have live video chats with them from hundreds or thousands

Online websites and family blogs are picking up steam as a way to keep relatives connected throughout the year and especially at Christmastime. It’s easy to start a free online blog to keep people updated or invite others to post what’s going on their lives. Blogs have photo-sharing capabilities and are chock full of various tools that allow you to share your content through social media or email. Look into free blog tools to get started on uploading family-related news, stories and details on upcoming events. This is a great way to strengthen your family as a unit.


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28 Home for the Holidays


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Christmas Eve traditions C the holiday spirit envelop you and yours as you settle into your new comfy PJs on the couch for a marathon Christmas movie night. Find pajamas that are brightly colored and vibrantly designed in holiday themes. The more fun and outrageous your holiday pajamas are the better â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and try to find matching sets for the family and even family pets to really create some family camaraderie.

hristmas Eve is one of the most traditionfilled days on the calendar. From wide-eyed children to full-grown adults, it is a special day that fills our bodies with anticipation and excitement. And sugar. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget the sugar.

Cookies and treats aside, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to start a Christmas Eve tradition. You just need a dash of imagination and a pinch of youthful exuberance to make it happen. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget to include lessons about the true meaning of Christmas if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to involve the kids with your traditions. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to get wrapped up in the presents, decorations and cookies, but teaching children about the meaning of Christmas from a young age can be on of the most important traditions you make for your family.

Santa time

Head to church

Many churches will have special Christmas Eve services to help celebrate the season. Carve out a couple of hours of your day or night to join your church members in doing just that. Teach your children the stories of Christmas and how it has come to be such a big part of our lives. Spend time together as a

family discussing the meaning of Christmas over a nice meal after church. Ask your children questions to pique their interest and test their knowledge. If theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re old enough, encourage them to continue researching the topic on their own time â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not just at Christmastime.

New pajamas

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better than a set of new pajamas on Christmas Eve? Watch

Many families have an elder uncle or grandparent play the role of St. Nick on Christmas Eve. Enlist the help of a willing participant and start the tradition in your family. Make reindeer sounds on the roof to excite the youngsters and have Santa show up with a full sack of toys. Have Santa take a seat near the tree and have each child come up for their chance to sit on his lap and receive their presents. This can create magical memories for children â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and adults â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that last for years to come.


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30 Home for the Holidays


SUNDAY SERVICES 9:15 a.m. - â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grow Groupsâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; For All Ages: Growing in knowledge of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love and of our place in His family. 10:30 a.m. - Worship Service & Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church (Room LL3) (Ages 4 years through 4th Grade) 6:00 p.m. - â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grow Groupsâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Adult and Teen Small Group Bible Study

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Home for the Holidays 31

Local gift cards I

f youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re totally stumped for a gift selection, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing wrong with snagging a gift card and tossing it in a greeting card. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no rule, however, that says you have to buy a card from a chain restaurant or big box store. Think local for an easy gift solution. Check local shops

Most local stores have started offering gift card options for customers, be it a rechargeable card or just a gift certificate signed by the manager. Regardless, it can make for a more personal gift than just a generic gift card. If you find a store you think your loved one would really like but canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find the perfect gift, just get a gift card and let them enjoy shopping and picking out their favorite items on your dime. A gift card to a local store can be a much more personal gift, and it also takes some of the guesswork out of gift-buying. Plus, it supports a local business.

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Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget restaurants

Most local restaurants also offer gift cards, and a free lunch is a great gift. Aim high on this one; pick out a place you really think theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll like, and let them indulge with a nice meal as a gift from you. Be it a great, highly rated local restaurant or a beloved hole in the wall that has the best burgers in town, get creative and choose something that complements the taste of the recipient.

Coffee shops, bakeries

If you want to offer a bit more of a snack, pick up a gift certificate to a local coffee shop or bakery, Just make sure the place is good (maybe test out a few pastries before you pick up the card). A $20 or $30 gift card can stretch a good distance at a coffee house or bakery. Try to think of a place that might be on your friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commute, as well, so theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have a chance to use it and take full advantage of your clever gift.

Christmas Saturday, December 24th St. Patrick - 5:00 PM 7:30 PM 10:30 PM St. Rose - 6:30 PM 9:00 PM Sunday, December 25th St. Patrick â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9:30 AM St. Rose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 10:00 AM Spanish Mass â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12:30 PM Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Holy Day â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Saturday, December 31st St. Patrick â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5:00 PM St. Rose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5:30 PM Sunday, January 1st St. Rose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8:00 AM St. Patrick â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9:30 AM St. Rose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 10:00 AM St. Rose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Spanish â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12:30 PM


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32 Home for the Holidays

Saturday Saturday Sunday

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St. Patrick St. Rose St. Rose

Sunday Sunday Sunday

9:30 am St. Patrick 10 am St. Rose 12:30 pm St. Rose (Spanish)

Remember to use cash


hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one important step to remember before heading into town and hitting all those lovely, local shops to buy Christmas gifts: Hit up the ATM first. Shopping with cash has myriad benefits, but it can really be a huge help for small businesses around the holidays. Save businesses processing fees

Stick to your budget

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so much easier to know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re spending when you can literally look at the cash in your wallet or purse. Pull out what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve budgeted for gift-buying and get to shopping. By setting your limit and not bringing any extra cash with you, it can help you stay focused while shopping and help you stay on budget. Of course, just be cautious of carrying too much cash around with you. Make sure you have it secure and safe when strolling around.

Those little credit and debit card machines arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t free for local businesses to use, and most businesses have to pay a fee with every swipe. That means you can actually help support your local businesses, and keep a few extra dollars in the local economy, just by shopping with green backs. It might not seem like much to you, but with potentially hundreds of purchases flying through each day during the holiday season, those fees can really add up for a small business with tight profit margins.

Score a better deal

It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just work on car dealers. Most vendors prefer cash, and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bushel, as they say. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a guarantee by any means, but especially when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about bigger ticket items, shopping with cash can also help shave a few dollars off the sticker price. Since it saves vendors money and is easier to deal with, some are willing to have a bit of wiggle room on a price when dealing with cash.


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Connect locally

t might seem like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting, but hitting downtown to do some shopping really can help put you in the Christmas spirit and provide a deeper connection with your local surroundings.

Most towns decorate the downtown streets, and many shops do holiday-themed window displays to attract shoppers. Yes, you should spend some money while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re out (it helps the local economy, after all), but just hitting the streets to do some window shopping is a great way to bond with your family and friends during Christmas.

Hit the streets

When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ramping up your Christmas shopping strategy, set aside a Saturday, or afternoon, to park (or walk, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re close enough) into your closest shopping district and start exploring. You might find a store youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never seen, or at least make an effort to visit a store you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t frequent very often. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great chance to look for unique gifts, while also getting to know your own town a little bit better.

Make it a family bonding experience

Even if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t actually pick up any gifts while the kids (or spouse) are with you, hitting the local stores to scout out gift options is a great way to just spend some time with your family. Tell your kids stories about unique finds in the antique store, or let them make a list of gift options while perusing the aisles at a downtown general store.

It just feels like Christmas

Walking the streets in downtown, with a chill in the air in November or December, as the Christmas lights twinkle around the street lights and in the windows, just feels quintessentially Christmas. It evokes the visuals and emotions from classic holiday films like Miracle on 34th Street, and is just a great tradition to add to the Christmas season.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Under Wrapsâ&#x20AC;? In Jesus, God gift-wrapped himself in human flesh and was born in a stable so he could come and live among us and offer us life and salvation that we could never gain on our own.

Join us this Advent as we unwrap Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest gift, our Savior Jesus. November 27: God is expectant

December 4: God is dangerous

December 11: God is jealous

December 18: God is faithful

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Home for the Holidays 37

Sending gifts overseas T

here is power in words, and written letters can encourage and uplift those actively serving in our military this holiday season. For deployed military members overseas, providing our thoughts in written cards, letters or emails can give them great support.

Words can encourage, uplift and validate the efforts of our troops. They need to know we care and are thankful for their sacrifice. A lot of them will be gone during the holiday season and will miss their families while we enjoy ours. Letters can be sent simply in an envelope or in addition to a card. Those cards can be homemade or bought at your local arts and crafts store or gift shop.

Involve the kids

If you are a teacher or Sunday school instructor, there are many ways to involve children in the process of writing and sending letters to deployed troops. Make it a holiday class project that teaches

art, writing, history and humanities all in one. It will allow the children to display their art talents by creating their own cards with markers and stickers and other crafts. They can write their own letters to tuck inside, too. A bit of history could be added, with descriptions of the military and what they do. Invite a local veteran to visit the classroom. Many students may have family members in the military â&#x20AC;&#x201D; maybe even a parent. This project also will teach children to give to others. The development of character is just as important as reading and writing, making this project perfect for the Sunday school class, as well.

Care packages

If you want to give something bigger or specific to a special member of the military, a care package is a great idea. This would be perfect as a holiday gift. Your care package could include packaged non-perishable goodies. Sometimes personal items are needed, so load up your package with toiletries, razors, lotions and toothpaste. Some fun things to include would be card games to help soldiers pass the time. To make

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Followed By Activities and Christmas Tree Lighting in Wolf Park

For MoreFor Information, Call the Chamber at 620-566-7353 More Information, Contact the or visit Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce at 620-566-7353 38 Home for the Holidays

everyone happy, buy a pre-paid phone card for personal phone calls. These types of ideas may sound simple, but the thought behind them will be appreciated by our deployed troops. Many military organizations can walk you through the process of sending gifts overseas, as each branch has different requirements you will need to follow to ensure the timely delivery of your items. Unless it is a surprise, always alert your veteran friend or family member to be on the lookout for a special piece of mail from you and yours.

With Warm Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season!


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Visit Ellinwood for the Holidays December 1 K-2 Vocal Music Concert 7:00 p.m., EHS Auditorium

December 4 The Christkindlmarket and Community Tree Lighting 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. December 4 Ellinwood Hospital Foundation Christmas Gala and Auction 5:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. St. Joseph Parish Center

December 5 Keith Harkin Performs 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Ellinwood Historic Wolf Hotel Purchase tickets from

December 9 Ellinwood Grade School Spelling Bee Ellinwood Grade School

December 6 Middle School Vocal Music Concert 7:00 p.m., EHS Auditorium

December 12 High School Winter Vocal Concert 7:00 p.m., St. Joseph’s Church

December 6 3rd - 6th Grade Vocal Music Concert 7:00 p.m., EHS Auditorium

Ellinwood Countryy Living

Community Bank With warm wishes and heartfelt thanks to our customers and friends this holiday season. It’s been a pleasure serving you this year!

... a home awayy from f home.


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39 Home for the Holidays 39

Visit Claflin for the Holidays December 4 Claflin Area Pride Christmas Market and holiday activities featuring several vendors. Christmas Market craft fair at the Claflin Community Center, A and Park streets. 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Wagon rides featuring two teams of Clydesdales. 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Santa Claus visit at the Claflin Community Center. 3:00 p.m. Chili feed, free-will donation at the Claflin Community Center. 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Christmas tree lighting Main and Albro streets. 7:30 p.m. In addition, the Claflin museum will be open and the Claflin Independent Township Library will hold its annual bake sale fundraiser with baked goods and candy. Clara Barton Hospital will have an informational booth and small health fair. Kids games available at the Community Center For more information, call 620-282-1778 or 620-786-9307. December 5 Central Plains Elementary School Winter Music Program 7:00 p.m., CPES in Holyrood December 12 Central Plains Middle School Winter Music Program 7:00 p.m., CPMS in Bushton

40 Home for the Holidays

December 19 Central Plains High School Winter Music Program 7:00 p.m., CPHS in Claflin

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Gift ideas for parents P arents are some of the most For mom: Mom might like beautiful jewelry or skin care products. Pretty flowers important people in our or trinkets to beautify her home are always a safe bet. A new outfit or piece of clothing is lives. Giving them gifts great for moms of all ages. During the cold during the holidays or any time season, a new warm blanket or throw is a is just a good way to say that we considerate and practical gift. appreciate them. There are many For both: Sometimes a larger gift is gifts tailored toward those who appropriate for the parents in your life. If you want to update their technology, a cell phone, mean so much to us. Some people give individual gifts to their parents, while others prefer a coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gift. Either way is fine, but a combined present might be more challenging if they tend to have opposite tastes.

For dad: A father might enjoy a new watch or wallet. Many of them like to tinker with tools or love to cook outside. A new barbecue grill and accessories might be right on target. If they are active, new golf equipment or fishing lures could thrill them. Even if they are generally inactive, these gifts might encourage some healthy activity.

flat-screen television or computer is the way to go. If you really want to surprise them, pay for plane tickets to an amazing destination, or if possible, pay for the whole vacation.

Gifts of memories & time

Memories become increasingly important as we age. Some nostalgic gifts inspire happy feelings from our parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; glory days and can make for great ideas this holiday season. A traditional but favorite gift for parents is new and updated pictures of the family or grandkids. Those pictures serve as reminders of the family legacy they are building on a daily basis.

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Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget the most priceless gift someone can give their parents and that is the gift of time. That might entail taking them out to dinner or spending the day with them just drinking coffee. Helping with a needed home improvement project or paying for someone to do it is invaluable for parents young and old alike, so be creative with your gifts and spoil your parents a bit this year.

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Home for the Holidays 41

Music lovers M

usic can soothe the soul and put us in our happy places. It is universal in its appeal and inspires many great gift ideas.

Musical tastes vary by person. That is why there are considerable amounts of variety and genres from which to choose. When considering a musical gift, be aware of an individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s musical style, as well any music they already own.

For the listener

A newly released CD of their favorite singer is absolutely a great gift for music lovers. Bands also put out limited-edition albums that your friend or family member may not know about. Search your local music shop for these gems, which can make for thoughtful gifts this holiday season. Giving the gift of a musical experience is always a great idea. Surprise them with tickets to a much-anticipated upcoming live music performance. Digital music players are coveted gifts, especially for the young music lover in your life. Load up a prepaid card for music downloads or give a gift card to your local music retailer.

For the rocker

Some music lovers are actually gifted musically themselves. The young ones might love a gift of piano or guitar lessons or even singing lessons. A spectacular gift would be a new musical instrument. Your downtown music establishment is full of gifts for the rocker in all of us. Drumsticks, guitar picks or a new microphone would make for great stocking-stuffers, while a new acoustic guitar or electric keyboard would look great wrapped and under the tree.

For the music history buff

With the expanse of great artists and bands that have graced the musical charts over the years, there are many museums and institutions devoted to celebrating our countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s musical milestones. A trip to a museum or hall of fame may be in order. Do some research and coordinate all of the details. You can even visit your local music store to buy CDs or digital downloads for music related to the museum you are visiting to make it a themed road trip. For example, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re visiting Dollywood or the Grand Old Opry, stop by your local music shop for some country-themed CDs to make your road trip all the more memorable.

Always Remember Family & Friends

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Come to Hoisington Friday evening, November 25th as we start the Christmas season off right! The Hoisington Annual Christmas Main Street Lighting is scheduled for Friday after Thanksgiving 5:00 P.M. at the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce, 123 N. Main. See downtown Hoisington light up for the ďŹ rst time with all new LED lights and listen to carols ring through the streets! Come at 5 P.M. to do a fun Christmas craft at the Chamber while we wait for Santaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arrival around 5:30 P.M. Each child will receive a gift from Santa, get a chance to tell Santa their secret wish, give him a hug and snap a photo! All children can register for a chance to win Chamber Gift CertiďŹ cates and may bring an outdoor Christmas ornament to help decorate the Chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lighted Christmas tree. In conjunction with Santaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arrival the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce will be offering free hay rack rides, hot cocoa and cookies as children wait for their turn to visit with Santa. The 2016 Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Promotion Committee invites everyone to come down to see Main Street light up.

BRUNCH WITH SANTA! The 2016 Hoisington Chamber Retail Promotions businesses are excited to announce that Santa wants even more time in Hoisington this year! Bring the whole family to the Activity Center on Sunday, December 4th anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a Brunch with Santa! Enjoy pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee and get some extra time to tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Adults - $8, Children 10 and under - $5.

2016 HOISINGTON HOME DECORATING CONTEST The Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Promotion Committee will once again sponsor the Home Decorating Contest. This year there will be three Hoisington Gift CertiďŹ cates given to the Best Decorated Residences for the 2016 Christmas Season. To be eligible for the contest, residents must register with the Chamber of Commerce by Thursday, December 15th. First Place will be awarded a $75 CertiďŹ cate, second place, $50 and $25 for third place. Gift CertiďŹ cates can be redeemed at participating Hoisington Businesses. Residences will be judged between 7 AND 9 P.M. on Friday, December 16th. Call the Chamber ofďŹ ce at 653-4311 to register your entry.

Support your local stores this Holiday Season! Call the Chamber to purchase your Gift CertiďŹ cates at 620-653-4311.

Visit Hoisington for the Holidays November 25 Downtown Christmas Lighting and Santa & Mrs. Claus visit the Chamber. Cookies, hot cocoa, hay rides and childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gift certificate drawings - 5:00 p.m. December 4 Brunch with Santa - 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Hoisington Activity Center. December 6 Band and Vocal Concert 5th & 6th grade - 7:00 p.m. December 13 Music Concert 7th & 8th grade and High School - 7:00 p.m.

For more information about Hoisington events visit the website or contact Hoisington Chamber 620-653-4311

Home for the Holidays 43








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Visit Pawnee County for the Holidays Burdett


December 3 Annual Burdett Christmas Party All Day Parade and games for children and adults. Drawings for turkeys and hams. Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Senior Center. American Legion serving lunch.

December 3 Larned Chamber Ambassadors 96th Christmas Parade, 11:00 a.m. Parade forms at Larned Chamber Office, 502 Broadway. Alternate date Dec. 10. PVCH Auxiliary Holiday Fair 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., LACC Jordaan Room, 502 Broadway. Business Open House, 11:00 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3:00 pm Santa House, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 pm, Downtown Larned


December 10 PVCH Auxiliary Holiday Fair 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., LACC Jordaan Room, 502 Broadway. Santaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House, Downtown Larned, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Kiddie Movie, State Theatre

For more information about Pawnee County events visit the website or contact Larned Chamber 620-285-6916

December 17 PVCH Auxiliary Holiday Fair 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., LACC Jordaan Room, 502 Broadway. Larned Civic Pride Kiddie Shopping Day, 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m., Downtown Larned Santaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Downtown Larned Last-minute shopping, Downtown Larned

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Couples ome gift-givers prefer buying for couples. Doing so allows for a bit of a higher budget per gift. It also can be easier to find a collective gift rather than finding presents for individuals.

Whether it is a young married couple or your adult children and their spouses, a couples gift is a great idea that shows how much you care.

Shared interests

Take note of any shared interests of the couple, because that way, the gift can be geared toward that common ground. This will increase the odds that both of them will be happy with the gift, and that is the overall goal, right? They both might enjoy the same type of music or movies, so the latest CD or movie release would fit the bill. Some couples have a mutual passion for traveling. A gift idea for them might be a new set of luggage or plane tickets to an adventuresome destination. If they both like the outdoors, give them equipment to go camping or hiking. Many couples like to do puzzles or crafts together. There are many budget-friendly gift ideas that would be right up their alley.

Household items

Couples often need household items, and these traditional gifts allow you to knock out two birds with one stone. Some newly married or young couples may need things such as a set of dishes, pots or towels. Bigger items such as a flat-screen TV or a piece of furniture would make for exceptional gifts. If they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really need anything or they are more established, a colorful scented candle or a personalized picture frame can be a fun gift. How about a gift card to your local home improvement store? Every couple has a few home projects in mind.

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Home for the Holidays 47

Donate to military support Read on to learn about a few of the nation’s more prominent military organizations, and don’t forget to check in with your local military organization to see what kind of help is needed.


ur veterans have enabled us to peacefully celebrate the holidays, so it’s important to honor them during the holiday season, as well as throughout the year on a daily basis. One of the easiest and most effective ways to show our local heroes we care is by donating to military support organizations. These entities are committed to providing a better life for veterans, whether they served decades ago in Vietnam or have recently returned home from efforts in the Middle East.

Hope for the Warriors Military wives founded this organization in 2006. The group’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. The organization offers a broad range of services that include career transition and education programs, health and wellness counseling, and community-building initiatives — all designed to help veterans transition back into civilian life. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) This 10-year-old organization serves the 2.4 million veterans of Iraq. It was founded and built by an Iraq veteran to provide new veterans with health, education and employment support. The group also is instrumental in connecting veterans with each other through active networking and relationship-building opportunities.

The United Service Organizations (USO) USO is a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress and, since 1941, has provided care packages, entertainment and recreationtype services to military members and their families. It operates more than 135 centers worldwide, including 10 mobile canteens in the U.S. and overseas. Homes for Our Troops For more than a decade, this group has built more than 150 mortgage-free and specially adapted houses for multiple amputees and veterans with traumatic brain injuries. It also adapts existing homes for handicap accessibility. Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust This organization supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs that provide direct service to ill, injured or wounded veterans. Its suite of services include driver rehabilitation services for veterans with traumatic brain injuries and treatment for post-service mental health.

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here is no better way to show veterans you care this holiday season than by proudly hanging the American flag at your home or business. Following proper flag etiquette is key to pulling off an honorable display of appreciation and reverence. The United States Flag Code establishes advisory rules for display and care of the United States flag. It is Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code, and is a federal law applied within U.S. jurisdiction. The code is extensive with many rules and regulations. Visit for the full list and be sure to share your findings with your friends and family members this holiday season. While we all want to honor the veterans around us, we must ensure the proper flying of the flag in order to do so. Here are a few of the bylaws under the code’s section “Respect for Flag:”

• The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. • The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise. • The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally but always aloft and free. • The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. • The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled or damaged in any way. • The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.




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• The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature. • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything. • The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown. • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin, being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

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Check for special events C

and affordable night out. Be sure to see if thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a schedule available for live music and events, so you can plan accordingly.

hristmas festivals: There may not be one in your town, but if not, it stands to reason thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably one nearby. In November and December, small and mid-size towns across the country host downtown Christmas festivals, with local stores and organizations participating to encourage folks to shop and spend some time outside the big box stores.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget dinner

With shops trying to lure in customers around holiday events, local restaurants often get in on the festivities, as well. Some will have special meals and promotions around the holiday season, so you might even be able to change things up with a Christmas-themed dinner to go along with all the shopping.

Look for deals

Most shops offer deals or coupons as part of a Christmas festival event, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great time to get some shopping done while taking advantage of the sales. With so much foot traffic hitting the area at one time, shops are usually fighting it out for attention â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which is good news for shoppers. Also check with the local Chamber of Commerce to see if there might be a local coupon book for an event.

Remember to explore

Make memories

Along with getting some shopping done, these festivals often also feature caroling, Christmas tree decorating

contests, and sometimes even horse-drawn carriage rides. If the weather cooperates, it can be a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and have a fun

Having everyone out around downtown means local shops are often putting their best foots forward, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great opportunity to try out some stores or restaurants youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never visited â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or perhaps even noticed â&#x20AC;&#x201D; before. Make it a point to visit at least one place youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never been, just to see what you might be missing.

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Home for the Holidays 5 1

Happy no-stress holidays “Stress exists all year at the office, but over the holidays there tend to be more opportunities for conflict,” says Barbara Pachter, a business etiquette, coach and author of “The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat and Tweet Your Way to Success” (McGraw-Hill, 2013). Some examples of added stress: extra work created by absent coworkers away on vacation, the dilemma of gift exchanges, colleagues who don’t celebrate certain holidays and, of course, the infamous holiday parties. Pachter says you can reduce conflict by being polite but powerful in your choice of words or actions. For instance, instead of refusing to celebrate or get into the holiday spirit, make an effort to attend an office gathering or participate in group gift exchanges. People don’t want to be around those who constantly complain about the holidays. Try to put a spin on it: Participating in holiday events gives you a chance to network with people you might not see or interact with at other times of the years. Pachet offers more office tips that will keep you and your coworkers in good spirits after the holidays: • Stay sober. Limit your alcohol intake at office parties. Too many people make bad choices when they’re drunk or even tipsy. Avoid regrets by drinking in moderation. • Resist the temptation to take it viral. If you’re taking pictures at the party, ask the people in them if you can share them online. When in doubt, don’t put the photo out there.

• Give thoughtful presents. Know what is appropriate for your workplace. People who give inappropriate gifts to others — such as items that are too personal for co-workers — may cause conflict. Make sure you show appreciation for any gift you receive by writing thank you notes. • Do unto others. Coworkers that take three-hour lunches to finish holiday shopping, or who call in sick to avoid working the holiday, make the holidays more stressful for their colleagues. The old “golden rule” still applies — treat others as you would want to be treated. • Respond to RSVPs. Always reply to an invitation from co-workers, whether it is to accept or to decline. Failing to respond and later showing up at the event, or saying that you will attend and then not showing up, are both inconsiderate behaviors that cause problems for the host and conflict between people. © CTW Features


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