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Holiday shopping,


& Gifting!


Holiday Gift Guide An Advertising Supplement to the Gwinnett

Daily Post • • Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The origins of some beloved holiday traditions

The Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, as well as country retailers, are encouraging shoppers to stay local with their holiday spending this year. (File Photo)

County, retailers encouraging people to shop local this holiday season From Staff Reports


very year, it seems as if the holiday season creeps up without warning, prompting many to rush out last-minute looking for gifts for their loved ones. To get ahead of the post-Thanksgiving rush, the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce and county retailers are encouraging residents to get out now — and stay local. “We love to support local shops that make our communities strong,” said Vince DeSilva, the Chamber’s senior vice president of membership services. “The Gwinnett Chamber is committed to creating the right business climate to help our small businesses start, sustain and succeed.” While the Mall of Georgia and Sugarloaf Mills offer a number of department stores, as well as nationallyknown retailers, Gwinnett’s cities, especially those with recentlyrevamped downtowns, such as Duluth, also play host to many boutiques, which offer anything from clothing to jewelry to wines and gourmet groceries — something DeSilva called the “essence” of Gwinnett. “Our small businesses are the essence of our community,” he said. “Shopping local during

the holidays, on Small Business Saturday, and throughout the year is a way to help support the small business community not only succeed but thrive.” With more than 25,000 businesses in Gwinnett — of course, not all are retailers — there is something for everyone in the county. For those who prefer boutique-y outdoor shopping malls, Snellville offers The Shoppes at Webb Gin. Located off Scenic Highway, the mall offers everything from men, women and children’s apparel to jewelry and accessories to health, beauty and athletic stores, as well as the Cigar Bar, an upscale bar and cigar lounge that hasn’t yet opened but is nearing completion. The bar will add one more dining option to the mall – though it’s a lounge restaurant, the venue will offer tapas – which already has more than a dozen dining options. While many of The Shoppes at Webb Gin’s restaurants are known chains, one of the added benefits of shopping in cities’ downtowns are the local dining and snack options to satisfy the inevitably hungry shopper, DeSilva said. “We want to ensure our small businesses provide an atmosphere throughout Gwinnett County for a sustain-

able place to work, live and play,” he said. Downtown Duluth embodies that live, work, play atmosphere with its boutique stores, Town Green and Parsons Alley, which uses the city’s historic downtown to create a modern, upscale atmosphere. With the Alley’s restaurants carefully selected, the district is intended to be an “inviting plaza with festive lighting and public art.” For those who want to stay in the Duluth area but prefer indoor shopping, the Gwinnett Place Mall – which hosted filming for Netflix’s “Stranger Things” earlier this year – has a number of retail options, as well as many different restaurants, some chains while others are one-of-your-kind family restaurants. Outside of the physical mall, too, Pleasant Hill Road has a number of restaurants, ranging from Hibachi to Mexican to Creole/Cajun food. For those who want a little more upscale shopping and dining options but want to stay on the west side of Gwinnett, Peachtree Corners’ The Forum on Peachtree Corners offers just that. Similar to The Shoppes at Webb Gin, the Forum is an outdoor mall offering fashion and department stores, though it also offers shoppers a place to relax and beau-

tify, at places such as Eighteen Eight, which is more than just a men’s hair salon. At Eighteen Eight, stylists are trained men’s haircuts and styling, though are also experienced in straight-razor shaves, and grooming services, including coloring, face and scalp treatments, hair removal and nail grooming. For women, Luxury Nails Spa offers manicure/pedicure options as well as waxing and threading services, while Spa Sydell offers the often much-needed massages and facials, as well as fat reduction procedures, hair removal, body contouring, anti-aging and rejuvenation treatments, scar reduction, cellulite improvement and other options. Outdoor malls such as the Forum and The Shoppes at Webb Gin also frequently offer special deals and sales before and during the holidays, as well as holiday-themed events. As the holiday season continues approaching in full force, Historic Downtown Duluth, downtown Lawrenceville, Suwanee’s Town Center Park and Main Street and historic Buford are all embracing the Christmas cheer, too, decorating lampposts, trees and businesses to celebrate the most magical time of the year.

Christmastime is here. The presents are being purchased and wrapped. The stockings will soon be hung on the fireplace mantle. Mistletoe is pinned above the front entryway, and poinsettias add rich color to home decor. Tradition is integral come the holiday season. Throughout the month of December, traditions fill people’s days and comprise the many reasons why individuals decorate, celebrate and dine the way they do this time of year. But few may know the origins of some of the most beloved holiday traditions.

Christmas stockings The Christmas stockings of today may be a byproduct of various traditions. One such tradition dates back to a Dutch custom in which children would leave shoes full of food to feed St. Nicholas’ donkeys, and then St. Nicholas would leave small gifts in return.

homes and decorating them.

Santa Claus Santa Claus’ origin story can be traced to St. Nicholas, a Christian bishop who lived during the fourth century. St. Nicholas was very generous and gave away his fortune to help the needy. He also did various other good deeds. St. Nicholas became infamous and began to be known by various names around the world. The Dutch called him Sinter Klaas, which was eventually transformed to Santa Claus. The jolly persona came later when 20th century advertisers — especially the artists responsible for CocaCola ads — portrayed Santa in a red suit with a big smile.


Mistletoe is hung in doorways, and couples who stand beneath are encouraged to share a kiss. The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. Mistletoe was thought to bring good luck Another origin story of Christmas stockings to a household and ward off evil spirits. can be traced to the The custom of kissing 12th century, when under mistletoe can nuns would leave be traced to England. socks full of nuts, Originally, a berry was fruit and tangerines picked from the sprig for the poor. This is of mistletoe before why some people the person could be still put tangerines in kissed. When all the Christmas stockings. berries had gone, Christmas tree there could be no more kissing. Christmas Trees are everywhere this Christmas bells time of year. The use Church bells ring of evergreen trees for many special predates Christmas services, including and is associated Christmas mass. with the pagan During Christmas festival of Saturnalia, midnight mass in the which celebrated Catholic Church, the the agricultural altar bells may be god Saturn with rung while the priest partying and giftsays the “Gloria.” Bells giving. During the are part of caroling, winter solstice, green and jingling bells are branches served as a associated with sleighs reminder that spring and Santa’s reindeer. would arrive anew. Germans are credited Christmas is rife with with first bringing traditions that date evergreens into their back ages. • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2018 • 1

Celebrate the Season at Fernbank Museum Add a little Jurassic to your jingle bells at Fernbank Museum with a variety of unique experiences, gifts and more. • Explore two floors of twinkling, beautifully-decorated trees showcasing cultural traditions and celebrations from around the world in “Winter Wonderland” (closes Jan. 6). • Grab your ugliest, silliest, tackiest holiday sweater and enjoy a festive evening of family fun at an “Ugly Holiday Sweater Party” (Dec. 16). • Celebrate the New Year well before bedtime at “Noon Year’s Eve,” (Dec. 31), featuring a kids’ DJ, games and a massive balloon drop at noon. (Advance ticket purchase required.) • Find the perfect gift in the Museum Store. • Give a year of adventure with a Gift Membership.




Details at or call 404.929.6300.

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Thanksgiving Day


It is once again time to talk turkey, stuffing and all of the trimmings. Thanksgiving is celebrated in both Canada and the United States with similar parades and fanfare. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the blessings in one’s life and enjoy the company of family and friends during a special meal. Although people celebrate Thanksgiving each and every year, they may not be aware of some of its interesting history. Test your knowledge of gobblers and general trivia with this quiz. 1. Despite competing historical claims, the story most people associate with the first American Thanksgiving took place in a colony in this modern-day state? a. Pennsylvania b. New Jersey c. Massachusetts d. Delaware 2. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on which day of the week in Canada? a. Monday b. Tuesday c. Wednesday d. Thursday 3. Pilgrims from Europe associated with Thanksgiving are purported to have sailed across the Atlantic to reach North American on which ship? a. Daisy b. Mayflower c. Santa Maria d. Roseflower

6. Three different deboned types of poultry go into this Thanksgiving meal alternative? a. Orange duck b. Turducken c. Turkey chowmein d. Chixturck 7. In what year did Congress make Thanksgiving an official national holiday in the United States? a. 1932 b. 1939 c. 1941 d. 1946 8. Twenty precent of the overall consumption of this type of fruit is done on Thanksgiving. a. apples b. cranberries c. cherries d. grapes

9. The first Canadian Thanksgiving was a welcome-home celebration for Sir Martin Frobisher when he returned to which area of the country? a. Albert b. Manitoba c. British Columbia d. Newfoundland 10. Canadians sometimes call the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States by this name to distinguish it from their own Thanksgiving celebration. a. Yanksgiving b. Amerigiving c. Turmerica d. USthanks

5. Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas how long ago? a. 10 million years ago b. 15 million years ago c. 20 million years ago d. 25 million years ago Answers: 1. c 2. a 3. b 4. d 5. a 6. b 7. c 8. b 9. d 10. a


4. Which tribe of Native Americans taught Pilgrims how to cultivate the land, contributing to the first Thanksgiving? a. Algonquin b. Lenape c. Shoshone d. Wampanoag • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2018 • 3

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

4 tips to simplify cooking for a crowd this holiday season Families big and small typically celebrate the holiday season together. For some, celebrating the holidays with family requires traveling, while others stay put and welcome family and friends into their homes. At some point during the holiday season, celebrants who host family and friends will no doubt prepare a homecooked meal for their loved ones. Cooking for a crowd can seem like a daunting task, especially for first-time hosts. However, there are various ways for hosts to simplify cooking for a crowd this holiday season. 1. Prepare a familiar dish. Hosts may agonize over their holiday menus, and some may feel compelled to prepare a family specialty or the same dishes their parents or grandparents prepared for holiday dinners when they were children. But holiday hosts can make things easy on themselves by choosing dishes they’ve made in the past, regardless of their place in family history. Chances are the ingredients for hosts’ own specialties are already in the pantry, saving a potentially timeconsuming trip to the grocery store. And thanks to the

atlanta gladiators food drive november 21

familiarity factor, hosts’ own specialties likely won’t require as much time to prepare. 2. Share some cooking duties. Another way to simplify cooking for a crowd is to invite guests to bring along a side dish or dessert. Guests who live nearby can make something in advance of the big meal, while hosts can hand over their kitchens to overnight guests who express a willingness to contribute their own homecooked dish to the party. Sharing the cooking duties gives hosts more time to connect with friends and family and serves as a great way to plan the menu in advance. 3. Only make what guests are likely to eat. Hosts also should not feel pressured to cook more food than is necessary.

Holiday meals have a tendency to be lavish, but hosts don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen preparing food that will likely end up as leftovers or trash. Get a final headcount in the days before everyone comes over and adjust your recipes accordingly. 4. Start early. If the big is on Christmas Day, that does not mean hosts have to start cooking while everyone unwraps their presents. Hosts who are uncertain about what to cook can look for meals that can be prepared in advance so come the big day all they need to do is turn on the oven and let meals cook while the family spends time together. Hosts can employ various strategies to simplify the process of cooking for a crowd this holiday season.



& 23



2018 Holiday Gift Guide THE MOST DOWNLOADED

Holiday Songs

Music is integral to many celebrations during the holiday season. Whether you’re planning an office party, hosting friends and family at home or simply looking to get in the holiday spirit, you might want to explore this list of the most downloaded Christmas/holiday songs on iTunes.

1. All I Want For Christmas Is You — Mariah Carey 2. Mary, Did You Know? — Pentatonix 3. Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental) — Trans-Siberian Orchestra

4. Mistletoe — Justin Bieber 5. Christmas Canon — Trans-Siberian Orchestra 6. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree — Brenda Lee 7. Believe — Josh Groban 8. Last Christmas (Single Version) — Wham! 9. Jingle Bell Rock — Bobby Helms 10. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — Andy Williams 11. Hallelujah — Pentatonix 12. Wizards in Winter (Instrumental) — Trans-Siberian Orchestra 13. Winter Song — Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson 14. Hallelujah — Lindsey Stirling 15. Last Christmas — Taylor Swift 16. Feliz Navidad — José Feliciano 17. Santa Tell Me — Ariana Grande 18. A Holly Jolly Christmas — Burl Ives 19. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) — Nat “King” Cole


20. Hard Candy Christmas — Dolly Parton • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2018 • 5

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Guide to shopping for tech gifts Gadgets make great gifts come the holiday season. Children may want the latest musthave video games, and many adults scour store advertisements for the newest televisions, tablets, smartphones, and other gadgets to include among their own most wanted lists. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the holiday season is typically a record-setting time for consumer spending on tech gifts. Technology gifts are popular, but these purchases require some research prior to swiping a card at the checkout counter. Consider this advice before gifting any gadgets this holiday season. • Check product reviews. Use resources such as Consumer Reports to read up on the reputations of certain products and brands. Avoid purchasing products that have no established track record. Also try to read reviews from third-party sites rather than those posted on manufacturer websites. Independent reviews may be more forthcoming than customer testimonials. • Speak with an educated retailer. Visit a store before making any purchases to learn more about the inner workings of the product you plan to

appropriate or even permitted.

buy. Discover its attributes, advantages, disadvantages, and what others are saying about it. The salesperson may have his or her own opinion on the item and may calm any nerves you have. Niche retailers tend to have knowledgeable sales staff and can be assets when comparison shopping. • Determine if the gift is age-appropriate. It may be tempting to purchase children the latest and greatest tech gifts because all of their peers may be getting similar items. But first determine if certain items are ageappropriate. Remember, many tech gifts, such as tablets and smartphones, open children up to the world of social media. So if you buy such products, make sure you have turned on the privacy and safety features available before giving the item to your loved one. If you are purchasing a gift for a young person who is not your child, check with his or her parents to see if the gift will be

• Compare prices across various retailers. While popular gifts may be similarly priced because of the level of demand, it is still a worthy effort to comparison shop before making a rash purchase. In addition, consider that new generations of certain tech products come out quite frequently, and the previous generation may become obsolete rather quickly. Know when manufacturers are releasing new products so you can time your purchases accordingly. • Put the product through your own test run. Try a product out for yourself to get a feel for it and its attributes. Hands-on knowledge may be the best type when gifting tech items. Just keep in mind that many retailers have a reboxing or restocking fee on tech products. If the item fails to meet your expectations and you plan to return it, it may cost you a percentage of the price. The popularity of tech gifts makes them one of the most widely exchanged categories of presents during the holiday gift-giving season. With research and knowledge, consumers can find the perfect gifts to light up their loved ones’ faces.


Birthday Party DECEMBER 15, 2018 | 10:00am – 2:00pm Hudgens Center for Art & Learning Presented by :

You’re invited to celebrate Gwinnett’s bicentennial with vibrant birthday traditions from cultures around our county! Activities include birthday fanfare, cultural crafts, performances from around the world, storytelling, an interactive globe where kids can leave their thumbprint, food trucks, and much more!

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To enter and for complete contest rules No internet access? Send in a postcard with your name, address, phone, email address, age and yes you have read the complete sweepstakes rules to GDPFloridaHolidaySurpriseVaca P.O. Box 603 Lawrenceville, GA 30046. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Eligibility restrictions apply. Winner is responsible for all taxes and must claim the value of the trip on their 2018 taxes. For official sweepstakes rules, visit and view the rules for FloridaHolidaySurpriseVaca Contest or stop by the Gwinnett Daily Post.


2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts to keep kids engaged

Store aisles are filled this time of year with every must-have gift retailers can advertise. Children often plead and beg for the hottest toys weeks ahead of the holidays, hoping to find their requests wrapped up come the big day.

But once the gift wrap is torn away and kids have played with their presents for a day, some already grow bored with their new belongings and cast them aside. Certain toys are not engaging enough to warrant extended periods of play — no matter what the advertisements boast.

No gift-giver wants to spend money on a pres-

ent only to have it collecting dust days later. With that said, employing these strategies can help anyone select a gift that will continue to inspire and excite children long after the holiday season has come and gone. • Don’t believe the hype. It’s easy to fall hook, line and sinker for ultra-popular trendy gifts. While such gifts may have popular appeal, that does not mean they’re a perfect fit for your child. When shopping for youngsters come the holiday season, choose a gift because your child will truly enjoy it and not be-

cause it’s the trendy item of the year. • Focus on the play factor. Too often shoppers get caught up in toys’ appearances. Instead, think about how the toys will work with imaginative play. The more a child can envision himself doing with a particular toy, the more likely he or she will exhibit a continued interest in that toy. • Look for minimal bells and whistles. Kids often find toys that leave more room for imagination more interesting than toys that are loaded with gadgets. Children

Black Friday safety tips The unofficial beginning to the holiday shopping season, Black Friday compels many people to get out of bed in the middle of the night in the hopes of landing great deals on gifts for their loved ones. The competition to find deals on Black Friday can sometimes get heated. As a result, some shoppers have found themselves in unsafe situations in the past. Many retailers have taken steps to make the atmosphere in their stores on Black Friday less hectic and more consumerfriendly. Shoppers can follow suit and take the following precautions to ensure this Black Friday is as safe as possible.

• Recognize you might not get everything on your list. Inventory may be limited in regard to sale items on Black Friday. Make a list of the items you hope to buy and where you hope to buy them, ranking each item in terms of importance. Then calmly move from store to store, recognizing that you may not end up with every item on your list. Accepting this ahead of time can make the day seem less hectic and more safe. • Protect and conceal your purchases. Shoppers might not be as sharp when shopping Black Friday

sales in the wee hours of the morning. That could make them more vulnerable to thieves. Protect and conceal purchases at all times. If necessary, bring items to the car after each purchase, making sure to place them in a concealed vehicle trunk where they are not visible to prospective thieves. • Leave small children at home. While horror stories of Black Friday holiday shoppers stampeding through stores are few and far between, malls may not be the safest places for small children to spend the day after Thanksgiving. Over-

prefer to make up their own stories and create modes of play that are more about what they like rather than the “right” way to play or win. • Choose gifts that grow. Shoppers want to select gifts that are age-appropriate for children so they will be safe during play time. But shoppers also should look for toys and activities that can be modified and grow with the child as he or she ages. A game that gets progressively harder through levels or a toy set that can be supplemented as kids grow stressed shoppers running on fumes and long lines at the checkout counters can make things unsafe for small kids and try their patience. Shoppers who plan to shop on Black Friday should leave their small children home with a spouse or relative to avoid accident or injury. • Park in well-lit areas. Parking can be hard to find on Black Friday. But shoppers should not give in and park far away from stores in poorly lit areas of parking lots. Doing so makes shoppers vulnerable to theft or attack.

older may make good gifts. Musical instruments also can grow with a child, as the instruments become easier to master with practice. • Figure out the child’s interests. Toys that cater specifically to a

child’s interests will be the most warmly received. It may take going the extra mile to find a gift that matches a child’s interest rather than picking up the first trendy gift you see, but the results will be well worth it.

Black Friday shoppers should be mindful of motorists in the parking lots. Tired shoppers may be focused on getting home and speed through parking lots. Stay alert to avoid exhausted drivers. Finding deals might be the ultimate goal of Black Friday, but shoppers also must be mindful of safety when shopping during the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season.

• Be attentive in the parking lot. In addition to keeping an eye out for prospective thieves or attackers, • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2018 • 7

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday appetizers perfect for entertaining

Presents may get much of the glory during the holiday season, but there is much to be said about the foods found throughout this time of year as well. During the holiday season, people frequently find that dinner invites, cocktail parties, office happy hour gatherings, and other opportunities for socialization are easy to come by. At the heart of these events are foods and beverages. Whether one is hosting a holiday soiree or plans

to bring something to a potluck party, it’s helpful to have a list of fail-proof recipes at the ready. Tasting menus, bite-sized treats and finger foods are always a hit at holiday functions — and this recipe for “Mini Merry Meatballs,” courtesy of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, is sure to please. Paired with a cranberry barbecue sauce, these savory appetizers are bursting with flavor and holiday appeal.

Mini Merry Meatballs (Serves 24) 1⁄2 1⁄4 1⁄4 1 1 3 1 1⁄4 1⁄8

pound ground beef brisket pound ground beef ribeye steak boneless pound ground beef (80 percent lean) cup seasoned stuffing mix egg, beaten tablespoons water teaspoon minced garlic teaspoon salt teaspoon pepper

Cranberry Barbecue Sauce: 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1⁄2 cup chopped white onion 1 tablespoon minced garlic 21⁄2 cups fresh cranberries 1⁄2 cup orange juice 1⁄2 cup water 1⁄3 cup ketchup 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 2 tablespoons molasses 1⁄2 teaspoon ground red pepper Salt


Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine brisket, ribeye, ground beef, stuffing mix, egg, water, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 24 11⁄2-inch meatballs. Place on a rack in a broiler pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until the internal temperature reads 160 F. Meanwhile, prepare the Cranberry Barbecue Sauce. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender, but not brown. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until cranberries burst and the mixture has been reduced to a thick consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Transfer mixture to blender container. Cover, allowing steam to escape. Process until smooth. Season with salt, as desired. Serve meatballs with barbecue sauce.

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

19 ideas for making holiday memories Counting down to Christmas Day means many different things to people across the globe. Although families likely have several different traditions they anticipate each year, it can be fun to incorporate some new merrymakers into the festivities. Here are some festive ideas to include in the days leading up to Christmas — a special family calendar of fun finds. 1. Annual memento: Have the kids or adults make one new handmade ornament each year. This way the tree is always evolving, and everyone can track milestones.




2. Cookie day: Devote one day to making Christmas cookies. Invite friends or family members over. Distribute some cookies to elderly neighbors. 3. Holiday classic: Spend a night in and watch a classic Christmas flick you’ve never seen before. Stream-


ing movie services often put classics displays. Bring along cookies and hot chocolate. and obscure titles into rotation dur- 8. Trim a tree: Get together with adult friends at a treeing the holiday season. trimming party. Rotate the hosting house each year. Christmas concert: Host a gather9. Play dress-up: A gentleman can dress up as the ing of children where they can sing man in red and pop into a friend’s holiday gatheror perform their favorite tunes for ing. an audience. Take it on the road to a 10. Wilderness walk: Enjoy the crisp air and snow and see a nearby nursing home. local park from a winter perspective. Dine out: Take a break from cooking, shopping and hosting and stop 11. Acts of kindness: Choose any act of kindness and make it happen this Christmas. It can include feeding the hungry or into a restaurant you’ve been meanhelping a disabled person shop for the season. ing to try. Keep it local to support nearby businesses. 12. Kids’ Secret Santa: Spread the joy of giving by having the kids choose a sibling or friend’s name from a hat Adopt a child/family: Volunteer and purchasing or making a gift for that person. with a charitable organization that provides for less fortunate families. 13. Hand out hot chocolate: Make a big thermos of hot Answer the Christmas desires of a chocolate and give it out to shoppers or workers needy child or family by purchasing who have been out in the cold. an item on their wish lists. 14. Read religious stories: Understand the true meaning See the sights: Pack the children of the season by reading Biblical passages. into the family car to tour nearby 15. Camp-in: The first night the tree is decorated, alareas and look at Christmas lights low the kids to sleep beside it under the glow of Christmas lights. 16. Scavenger hunt: Plan holiday-themed trivia questions and hide small trinkets for children to find. 17. Surprise box: Put a gender and age nonspecific gift into a box. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the person who finds a hidden gift tag under their chair at dinner gets to open the box.

born of

noble roots, tradition

18. Family portrait: Wear your holiday finery and pose for a portrait that actually will be printed and framed.

crafted by

19. Attend a holiday event – many families create an annual tradition by attending holiday performances that are provided each year. This section provides many options from Fernbank Museum to Christmas Canteen or other holiday events at the Aurora Theatre. Consider an annual tradition of attending a local event!


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Three great holiday shows at Aurora Theatre provide fun for the entire family!

Tis the season to be jolly at Aurora Theatre! In its 23rd year, the ever-popular Christmas Canteen 2018 will unwrap the magic of Christmas November 15-December 23 with new hosts Jimi Kocina and Cecil Washington, Jr. Brimming with merry melodies, hysterical comedy, trips down memory lane and a sprinkle of Christmas magic, Gwinnett’s longest-running theatrical holiday tradition makes the most wonderful time of the year even more wonderful! Co-directed by Ricardo Aponte and Anthony Rodriguez, Christmas Canteen is an Aurora original with writing by Brandon O’Dell, musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence and choreography by Ricardo Aponte. This jolly variety show will come to life via the talents of new co-hosts Jimi Kocina and Cecil Washington, Jr. who will be joined by Canteen favorites Chani Maisonet and Christian Magby. New this year, the show will feature Galen Crawley, Kristin Markiton and Kenny Tran, as well as Aurora Apprentice Company members Briana Young, Peyton McDaniel and Sarah Grace Valleroy. The classic story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will return to Aurora Theatre stage, November 23-December 22, for a 12th successive year! Audiences can follow the wellknown, heartwarming tale of the curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge as he journeys through the past, present and future of Christmas, ultimately embodying the spirit of the season! In this one-of-a-kind one-man version of A Christmas Carol, audiences will be transported

mst19_GDP_gift guide.indd 1

Anthony Rodriguez in A Christmas Carol, 2016

from Aurora Theatre’s Studio stage to a cold, dark Christmas Eve in London in the late 1880s. There, the troubled and resentful Scrooge - hardened by his bitter heart - is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, each with a specific story and lesson to share. These visits ultimately force Scrooge to make certain choices about his life, including whether or not to embrace the joy of Christmas. Anthony Rodriguez portrays the classic characters of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley and all three ghosts in an impressively personal and uplifting way. Theatergoers of all ages are sure to be impressed by this feel-good holiday favorite, once again featuring the work of multiple Suzi Award-winning set designers Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay and costumes design by Alan Yeong.

audiences of all ages of the fulfilling power of the heart. Steve Murray’s stage adaptation of one of the most popular and heartwarming films ever made follows the story of the iconic George Bailey as he reflects on his life journey with the help of his guardian angel, Clarence. The lessons he learns along the way are both hilarious and heartfelt, revealing that it takes much more than money to be the richest man in town. Atlanta’s own Jeremy Aggers, whom audiences will recognize from Aurora’s productions of Singles in Agriculture and Hands on a Hardbody, will inhabit all of the wellloved characters, including George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy, Mary, Mr. Gower and even Zuzu. Aurora Theatre’s own Justin Anderson will direct this classic tale.

Aurora Theatre will also welcome back its annual Festival of Trees. From the whimsically clever to the breathtakingly spectacular, nearly 30 trees decorated by local businesses will illuminate the theater lobby for visitors to enjoy. Guests are encouraged to cast a vote for this year’s most decorative tree by placing a new, unwrapped toy or nonperishable food item under their favorite tree. All gifts will be donated to the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots, and the food items will be delivered to Gwinnett’s local food banks. Audiences of all ages are invited to make spirits Adding to the festive merriment bright and help ensure that at Aurora Theatre this holiday everyone has a warm holiday season, a hilariously touching season! stage adaptation of a holiday classic, This Wonderful Life For more information or will join the line-up from to purchase tickets for November 24 - December 23. programming, call the Box The one-man show, starring Office at 678.226.6222 or visit Jeremy Aggers, will remind

11/13/18 7:42 AM • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2018 • 9


The 2018 Holiday Gift Guide  
The 2018 Holiday Gift Guide