Get ready for an immensely thrilling ride Direct From Triumphant Engagements in London, San Francisco and Orange County CA threesixty° entertainment announces J M Barrie's PETER PAN A Theatrical Adventure performed in The threesixty° Theatre in Pemberton Place®, adjacent to the World of CocaCola®, Downtown Atlanta. Atlanta – threesixty° entertainment presents the spectacular new threesixty° stage production of PETER PAN, J M Barrie’s classic story performed in a state-of-the-art theater tent for a limited engagement in Pemberton Place®, adjacent to the World of Cola-Cola®, in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. Performances start Friday, January 21. Conceived by an award-winning creative team and featuring 23 actors, stunning puppets, epic music, dazzling flying sequences, and the world’s first 360-degree CGI theater set, PETER PAN is an extraordinary experience. This engagement will be the United States East Coast premiere of the threesixty° PETER PAN. Atlanta will be only the fourth location in the world to host this production. One of the most striking elements of this new production is the setting in which it is presented. The threesixty° Theatre, allows for perfor-
mance “in the round” in a 1,300 seat theater-tent, which will stand between the World of Coca- Cola and the Georgia Aquarium in Pemberton Place. The entire interior of the tent is lit with more than 15,000 square feet of Hi-Resolution video -- three times the size of Imax screens -- so that both cast and audience are immersed in a CGI Neverland. When Peter and Wendy fly to Neverland, the audience flies with them over 400 square miles of virtual London and beyond. Tickets, priced from $35 to $75 (previews all seats $50), are on sale now at peterpantheshow.com, and by phone at 1-888-ppantix (1-888-772-6849). For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 12 or more, call 404-8812000. Premium ticket packages are also available, and include admission to the performance, drink voucher, souvenir brochure, and PETER PAN audio book. Special behindthe-scenes “Into Neverland” tours will be available weekly throughout the run. threesixty° entertainment, a theatrical production company based in London with Charlie Burnell, Matthew Churchill, and Robert Butters as principals, commissioned a first class
creative team to develop this production of PETER PAN. The cast of PETER PAN features members of the original London production joined by American actors, making it a truly international company. Following the success in London, PETER PAN came to the United States, premiering in San Francisco on April 27. Robert Hurwitt in the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “As promised, the high- and lowtech special effects in the threesixty° Theatre are spectacular and highly entertaining. I found much of the show beguiling. My grandchildren were delighted.” David Littlejohn in the Wall St. Journal said that PETER PAN is “unforgettable. Visually dazzling. Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy and her two brothers fly against an unbelievably complex computer-generated cyclorama of a zooming, whirling, looming and receding London circa 1904. Once in Neverland, the surrounding computer-generated scenery continues to enrapture, surrounding both the audience and the 23 living actors.” For more information about PETER PAN, please visit peterpantheshow.com or facebook.com/peterpantheshow
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Give the gift of entertainment this holiday season Broadway Across America - Atlanta Holiday Package Announced Help spread some Broadway magic with the gift that keeps giving all season long! The recently announced Broadway Across America – Atlanta Mini Season Package includes classics such as West Side Story and Hair, as well as a Tony Award nominated newcomer, Shrek the Musical, and the high-energy ballroom dancing spectacular, Burn the Floor.
“Our new holiday pack- than ever for Atlantans. age enables theatre fans to Tickets can be purchased gift an experience that will through December 31 resonate throughout the online anytime at year,” said Stephanie www.BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com Parker, vice president of or by phone at 800-278Broadway Across America 4447 (Monday-Friday – Atlanta. “This mini seafrom 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) son line up features some Show dates include: of this season’s most anticWest Side Story ipated shows at prices that January 25 – 30, 2011 can accommodate any Burn the Floor budget.” March 22 – 27, 2011 Shrek the Musical With packages startApril 26 – May 1, 2011 ing as low as $52, Hair reserving seats and May 17 – 22, 2011 spreading the joy to loved ones will be easier
A: Burn The Floor: Mirko Scolian and Nuria Santalucia. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus. B: Hair National Tour. Pictured: The Company. © Joan Marcus 2010. C: West Side Story Broadway company. Photo by Joan Marcus. D: SHREK: DreamWorks Theatricals & Neal Street Productions present SHREK THE MUSICAL. PHOTO CREDIT: ©2010 DreamWorks Theatricals (Joan Marcus) Pictured: Eric Petersen (Shrek), Alan Mingo, Jr. (Donkey), Haven Burton (Princess Fiona). gwinnettdailypost.com •
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 5
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Looking into the heart of an all-new ‘Beauty’ By Brendan Lemon Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, now embarked on a lavish and visually re-imagined new tour presented by NETworks, is one of best-loved of all musicals. It’s easy to understand why. Its classic story -- of a beautiful village girl, Belle, who is first repelled by, then attracted to a gruff yet big-hearted Beast --is indeed, as one of the show’s numbers has it, “a tale as old as time.” The songs (music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice) are almost criminally tuneful. And the musical’s appeal crosses age barriers: truly, “Beauty” is an experience that can be enjoyed by child and adult alike. Many of the songs – the charming “Belle,” the infectious “Something There,” and the spectacular hospitality anthem “Be Our Guest” – were written for the 1991 animated movie, which was the first – and until 2010, the only – animated film ever to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. The movie’s status not just in cinematic history but in critical lore was cemented when the New York Times’ then-theater critic Frank Rich, called Beauty and the Beast the best musical of the year – in any format. Disney took the cue, and soon started things rolling for the live adaptation. Several new songs, as well as the book by Linda Woolverton, were written for the stage version, which opened on Broadway at the Palace Theater on April 18, 1994, and went on to become the seventh-longest running production in Broadway history. Rob Roth, who directed the Broadway premiere and is back at the helm for the new tour, says that the
“story of the show is about seeing past the exterior of a person and into his or her heart.” He says that conveying that feeling is key to any production of “Beauty.” What’s fresh about the tour, he adds, is not just the timeless moral but a new approach to the visuals. Stan Meyer, the scenic designer both for the 1994 Broadway version and for the new production, says that the former staging was, essentially, the 1991 movie made live. The latter is “a departure from that.” He explains: “We did a lot of research that involved eastern-European wood carving and gilded manuscripts. The new version is an illuminated manuscript come to life.” Audiences will delight in the eyepopping storybook shapes and colors that Meyer and the other original-version designers (Ann Hould-Ward: costumes; Natasha Katz: lighting) have reimagined. The production’s look, adds Meyer, “is more evocative of whimsy and very, very romantic.” The new production of “Beauty” is a treat not only for the creative team but also for the cast. For Liz Shivener, who plays Belle, the job is the realization of a dream. Shivener says she got “really obsessed with [‘Beauty’]” at the age of around 8. “Like a lot of little girls,” she says, “that’s the age when I wanted to be a princess.” Shivener says that, as a child in Ohio, she used to dance around the house and sing all the songs from the show. She continues: “As great as it is for kids to see the DVD version at home, it’s an even bigger treat for them to experience it in a theater. The whole world of this story takes on a much bigger scale. Kids don’t forget that.” In addition to Shivener, there are
Nathaniel Hackmann as Gaston and Justin Glaser as the Beast – all part of a large, multi-gifted cast. Hackmann, who grew up in a musical family, in Arizona, has sung with top classical companies like the Virginia Opera. He has done Gaston, the conceited village bully in “Beauty,” twice before, and understands why audiences are drawn to him. “It’s a classic case of the character who you love to hate. There’s so much comedy to him, and he’s been drawn so cleverly by the people who wrote the show.” Glaser, who is from Kentucky, says he not only enjoys performing the songs every night but also is continually inspired by its message. “We live in a world of beautiful celebrities and it seems as if you don’t look exactly like them that you don’t have a chance in love. But that’s just not true. There are many qualities that make people attractive – having brains like Belle, or tenderness like the Beast displays eventually. I’m excited to take this show around the country and remind audiences of these things.” NETworks presents
Photos by Joan Marcus
THE FOX THEATRE
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Chocolate traditions of Peterbrooke Since 1983 Peterbrooke Chocolatier has combined fine European traditions of chocolate making with American tastes to produce some of the most unique and delectable chocolate treats available today. Chocolate covered popcorn, the signature item in the Peterbrooke product assortment, is available in 6, 12, 24, and 54 ounce sizes. Beautifully packaged, for giving to that special someone, or enjoying for yourself!! The freshly popped popcorn, drizzled with a unique combination of custom chocolates will surely please the most discerning of pallets A tasty treat not to be missed ! Other popular items in the store are handmade dark
chocolate truffles, hand dipped pretzels, Oreos, Peanut butter Ritz crackers, and Graham cracker smores. Some new favorites to the assortment of chocolate delicacies are chocolate covered potato chips, chocolate covered fries and cattails; a decedent combination of caramel chocolate, pecans, and even more chocolate! Guests of Peterbrooke Chocolatier find a variety of milk, white and dark chocolates skillfully molded, and hand dipped to create creamy fondant centers, cordial cherries, and truffles among many other varieties of creation. Seasonally, fresh strawberries and other fruits are always available in hand dipped delectable Peterbrooke Chocolate. Beautifully arranged gift
baskets filled with chocolaty treats in many sizes and price ranges are available for Corporate and holiday gift giving. Custom chocolate molds of most any size or shape can be ordered for special occasions or events. Chocolate business cards, thank you cards, announcements, cor-
porate logos, or custom molded pieces, can be filled in dark, milk or white chocolate, limited only by your imagination. Italian handmade ice cream called “Gelato” is also available in the store. Six custom Peterbrooke blended flavors are available by cup, or chocolate dipped and decorated waffle cones. Gelato, Italian ice cream is thicker and richer than con-
ventional ice cream and has a creamy, yummy melt in your mouth flavor. Our four tiered beautiful chocolate fountain is available for party rentals; everything you will need to provide your guests for a memorable occasion is included. In store birthday parities, chocolate making classes, and gourmet wine and chocolate parties can also be scheduled for fantastic choco-
late covered memories at Peterbrooke Chocolatier. Put Peterbrooke Chocolatier at the Forum, 5161 Peachtree Parkway, on your Holiday shopping agenda, and come sample some of the wonderful chocolate treats in store for your holiday gift giving. We welcome you to our shop and will make certain you have a delectable “Chocolate Covered Day”!!
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 7
Give the Gift of Volunteerism for the Holidays Donating is a popular way to show appreciation during the holiday season, but not every household has the funds to donate this year. In lieu of making a financial donation, a gift of time and service is just as valuable. Research indicates that 50 percent of charitable donations are made between Thanksgiving and Christmas. During the season of hospitality and togetherness, making charitable donations is ever-present in many people’s minds. However, financial insecurity due to the sluggish job market and economy will likely result in more
people hoping to volunteer their time instead of their finances this holiday season. Volunteering one’s time is a way to give back without expending funds. Just as charities and other organizations are in need of money to operate their causes, they also need manpower to put plans in action. Busy people may think they don’t have the time to volunteer, but this is not the case. According to Charity Guide, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting flexible volunteerism by inspiring and facilitating acts of kindness, volunteer work can take as little as 15 minutes per week and be based
on a flexible schedule. When considering volunteerism, individuals can pick a cause that is dear to their hearts. Organizations that raise awareness about medical conditions to animal rights groups are all charities that can use assistance. Here are some ways the average person can volunteer service. Business owners who provide a particular product or service can donate such items to the charity. For example, a printing company can offer to print letterhead or envelopes for an organization. A baker can offer food for luncheons or fundraisers. Donation of
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time doesn’t necessarily have to mean manning the phones. Schools are often understaffed and can use the help of parents and other community members. Volunteering beyond the typical call of duty can help school programs flourish. Volunteering time as a coach or as a librarian can ensure children have the resources and programs for a well-rounded education. Consider spending time with the elderly at a nearby assisted-living facility or as part of a home-visitor program. Individuals who don’t have family nearby may appreciate a visit from
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someone, even if it’s just to sit and chat. This is something the entire family can do, even children. Something as simple as carpooling or offering to shop for busy people is another form of volunteer work that doesn’t require being part of a particular
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Page 8 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
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Charter’s “Movies for Food” Supports Community Food Pantries year of the Charter Bundle with HD and many other great prizes.” Customers donating four non-perishable food items will receive an On Demand movie coupon, (cable channel 1 with a Charter digital receiver). Customers donating 8 or more non-perishable food items will receive two On Demand movie coupons. Charter’s partnership with various local food pantries guarantees
that food donations are distributed in the community where the donation was received. Residents and Charter customers may visit any one of Charter’s offices throughout Georgia to drop off the non-perishable food items. Charter’s Movies for Food program is currently underway and is accepting donations through Friday, December 31. More information is available at charter.com/moviesforfood.
The tour of the current smash hit Broadway production of WEST SIDE STORY is coming to Atlanta. WEST SIDE STORY will play at the Fox Theatre from January 25-30, 2011 as part of the Broadway Across America - Atlanta 2010-2011 season. Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents’ Broadway direction will be recreated for the tour by David Saint, the Associate Director on Broadway. The original Jerome Robbins choreography is reproduced by Tony Award-nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life). The new Broadway cast album of WEST SIDE STORY won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album on January 31, 2010. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “Ameri-
ca,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.” The new Broadway production began previews at the Palace Theatre on Broadway Monday, February 23, 2009, opened to critical acclaim breaking box office records at the Palace Theatre on Thursday, March 19, 2009, and recouped its $14 million investment after running only 30 weeks. WEST SIDE STORY had a long journey to Broadway. Six years elapsed between Jerome Robbins’s first idea of a modern musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and its actual Broadway debut in 1957. Originally, the action of the musical was to take place on New York’s Lower East Side with tensions flaring between Jews and Catholics during the Passover and Easter holidays. The original setting left the authors uninspired and the project was put on hold. Years later, when Arthur Laurents proposed changing
the basis of conflict from religion to race, the show gained creative momentum and WEST SIDE STORY was born. Originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, WEST SIDE STORY opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957 and garnered passionate reactions from critics and audiences alike. The piece has often been credited with changing the entire course of the American musical theatre. Applauding the creators’ innovation in dance and musical style, TIME Magazine exclaimed “Robbins’ energetic choreography and Bernstein’s grand score accentuate the satiric, hard-edged lyrics of Sondheim and Laurents’ capture of the angry voice of urban youth.” New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson described the show as “profoundly moving; an incandescent piece of work where theatre people, engrossed in an original project, are all in top form.” All Photos © Joan Marcus, 2010
Customers donating food items receive On Demand movie coupons and a chance to win the ultimate HD package. The sight of empty shelves at local food pantries is an all-to-often occurrence these days. Food banks find themselves serving more families in need than ever before. Over the years, Charter employees and customers across the country have participated in giving programs that benefit their communities, and this year is no exception. Movies for Food is a nationwide donation program created by Charter to help re-stock empty food pantry shelves in our community. Charter employees in Georgia know that local food pantries are wrestling with the same dilemma facing other food banks and pantries across the country. As the economic downturn continues, the need for donations has become critical. “Holiday time is especially difficult for many Georgia families,” said Matt Favre, Vice President and General Manager for Charter in Georgia. “Our Movies for Food program enables us to help families who may experience tough times this winter. This is the impetus for Charter to work alongside various local food pantries in offering Charter On Demand movie coupons for food donations; and giving away an HDTV, a
comes to Atlanta
Ali Ewoldt and Kyle Harris gwinnettdailypost.com •
National Tour of West Side Story
National Tour of West Side Story
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 9
Con Artists Don’t Take a Holiday Vacation While most people are consumed with shopping for holiday presents, con artists are hard at work coming up with new ways to part individuals from a buck. Unsuspecting people could lose their holiday spirit if victimized by a scam. Every year people save money so that they can purchase scores of gifts for their family members and friends. While money is being charged to credit cards or flying out of wallets at check-out counters, con artists are interested in getting their cut of the proceeds. Many scammers prey on the goodwill of people this time of year, fleecing them of their hardearned money. There are a number of scams that are commonplace throughout the year, but seem to escalate come the holiday season. Many of these fake deals are solicited through mail or e-mail. Here are some to avoid. Spam scams: Check anyone’s e-mail inbox and there’s bound to be dozens of unsolicited messages in their offering products and services. While many advertisements are from legitimate companies (many from stores and businesses a consumer may have used in the past), others are from bogus outfits looking to prey on the unaware. These scam emails may promise unbeatable deals on all types of things. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Shoppers can avoid the headaches of losing money to scammers by deleting unsolicited emails and not falling prey to the deals they offer. Name a star, planet, etc.:
Individuals looking for clever gifts for that hard-tobuy-for person may have been tempted to “name a star”in one’s honor. A number of companies charge a fee to register a chosen name for a star at particular coordinates. The trouble is that only the International Astronomical Union (IAU) names stars, and the stars are not for sale. Many stars are actually named with numbers and in abidance to strict regulations by the IAU. Any organization that claims they can name a star is not legitimate. Phony charities: All types of charities spring up around the holidays and do their best to collect money for a particular cause. There are many legitimate charities around the world, even some the average person may not be aware of. It is important for consumers looking to donate money to a charity to carefully research the organization before writing any checks. In the U.S., most charities must file a Form 990, which will indicate how much the groups spent on programs, administration and fundraising activities. A person can request a copy of the Form 990, although some charities charge a fee for this. Houses of worship may not be required to file a Form 990. Beware of charities offering a Tax ID number in place of a Form 990.This ID number can be issued to any business and does not necessarily indicate a legitimate charity. Online auctions: Thousands of nameless people list items for sale on popular auction Web sites. Individuals take leaps of faith
when bidding on and eventually purchasing items at auction. Selecting sellers with high rates of positive feedback is a good idea, as is paying with a form of payment that can be cancelled should the item not be shipped out. Destructive e-mails: ’Tis the season for merriment, and people are anxious to download cute and whimsical ring tones or e-greetings to celebrate the season. What they may not know is that some of these seemingly harmless downloads contain potentially damaging computer viruses. Bad gift cards: A favorite trick of con artists is to swipe and steal the information from gift cards on display in stores and then periodically check to see if they’ve been activated. Once active, the scammers can use the cards to shop online. Another gift card scam is to sell bogus cards online that have no monetary value. Pickpockets: Not all holiday scams need to be hightech. Picking a pocket or stealing a purse is still thriving today -- especially in crowded places like a busy mall. Shoppers should be aware of their belongings at all times while shopping.
Lake Lanier Islands Resort 18th Annual Magical Nights of Lights The concept of millions of animated twinkling holiday lights may not have originated with Virgil Williams – Chairman and CEO of Islands Management Company, LLC – but in the five years since his company’s acquisition of the 1,500-acre lakeside resort destination, he has sought to make The Magical Nights of Lights bigger and better. In fact, “bigger and better” is a recurring theme with the ongoing improvements throughout this Southeastern luxury resort. With Williams’ multimillion dollar renovation of the Resort’s accommodations and amenities in addition to a $30-million investment by the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority to improve the Resort’s infrastructure, streetscapes, and walkways – today’s visitors to Lake Lanier Islands Resort are being treated to an entirely innovative experience. Just last year, the resort unveiled its new and improved Magical Nights of Lights animated holidaythemed light displays and festive Holiday Village. Renowned for its sevenmiles of animated, twinkling holiday light displays, Lake Lanier Islands Resort is certain that the glow from just outside your windows will work its way into the hearts of each inhabitant of your car, igniting that age-old holiday spirit as it has been doing for visitors of the Magical Nights of Lights for nearly two decades. That’s the true “magic” behind Lake Lanier Islands’ Magical Nights of Lights. Follow the
Page 10 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
winding illuminated path all the way to the Holiday Village. In Santa’s Workshop at the heart of the Village, little ones can sit atop Santa’s lap commemorating the momentous occasion with a photo, while shoppers bustle about gathering gifts and ornaments. By the light of large toasty bonfires just outside the Workshop’s doors, countless parents will bestow the art of a perfectly roasted marshmallow to the delight of their children. Warm yourself from the inside out with a cup of hot cocoa as you make your way through the rest of our festive Holiday Village featuring carnival rides, pony rides, petting zoo and games. A favorite annual tradition for many in the Southeast, Lake Lanier Islands Resort invites you to make Magical Night of Lights part of your family’s special holiday memories this year and for many years to come. Magical Nights of Lights
runs nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. November 20 through December 30. Discount coupons are available at participating McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, Publix and QuikTrip locations (while supplies last). Lake Lanier Islands Resort also offers All-Inclusive Packages that include admission to the Magical Nights of Lights, unlimited carnival rides, and can be tailored to incorporate one of the Resort’s most exciting new amenity additions for 2010 – an Express Tour zip line through Lake Lanier Canopy Tours. This 20-to30-minute trip through the treetops includes four thrilling zip lines and one scenic sky bridge – providing one of the most unique views of the Islands imaginable. For a terrific holiday-themed staycation, Magical Nights of Lights Legacy Lodge Accommodation Packages can be scheduled around the one-of-a-kind experience of Breakfast with Santa (on select dates).
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 11
Celebrate the Season at Fernbank Museum’s Winter Wonderland Memberships are those special gifts that give all year long. This holiday season, Fernbank Museum is enhancing the joy of a year-long gift by discounting two of its most popular memberships—the Family Advantage Membership and the IMAX Advantage Membership, which include numerous benefits like free Museum admission, IMAX passes, guest passes and a science kit. Even better, Members can celebrate the holidays with Fernbank Museum’s new exhibition and programming series Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World – for free. Members also receive 20% off all Museum Store purchases to make giving that perfect gift even easier through December 24. On view through January 5, 2011, Winter Wonderland features trees decorated by community partners and Consulate offices that twinkle with lights, glimmer with color,
and shine with cultural seum.org for admission ornaments and emblems prices, tickets and visitor that recognize the diversi- information. ty of celebrations, holidays, traditions and events around the world. You won’t want to miss Fernbank’s festive Winter Wonderland programming as cultural groups and special guests entertain visitors with performances, dancing, music, craft demonstrations, storytelling and more. Additional Programming: In addition to daily opportunities to experience the beautiful trees and other displays, Fernbank presents extended hours to see Winter Wonderland after dark on December 12, 17, 19 and 26. The Museum’s Winter Wonderland Celebration Weekend on December 11-12 features special activities, performances, crafts and games for the whole family. And the Winter Wonderland Cocktail Party on December 8 gives visitors a chance to warm up to the holiday season with Peppermintini cocktails, free hors d’oeuvres from Serpas Restaurant, and the sights of Winter Wonderland after dark with B98.5 FM’s Vicki Lock and the Morning Show team. Fernbank Museum members can see the exhibition and attend many of the programming opportunities for free. To purchase a membership or give a gift membership, call 404.929.6340. Non-members can visit for $13-$15.Visit fernbankmu-
Page 12 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
Oklahoma - an American musical classic comes to Cobb Energy Centre “If ever a show earned its exclamation point, it’s this one!” Wall Street Journal “A masterpiece” New York Post Gas South Broadway Series presents Oklahoma at the Cobb Energy Centre Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, two Academy Awards, a Grammy and a special Tony Award, Oklahoma! is the classic American musical that launched the remarkable songwriting collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Set in turn of the century Oklahoma, against a backdrop of the high-spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys, Oklahoma! is the cherished love story of Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl. Featuring such favorite numbers as “People Will Say We’re In Love”, “Oh What A Beautiful Mornin”, and “Surrey With A Fringe On Top”, this landmark musical is a true treasure of the musical stage. Based on the play, Green Grow The Lilacs
by Lynn Riggs, Oklahoma premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre in 1943. Running a marathon 2212 performances, it became the first real phenomena in Broadway history. Subsequently, the first National tour criss-crossed the USA for over 10 years, playing to an audience in excess of 10 million people. This groundbreaking musical has enjoyed a multitude of revivals and maintains its status as one of the most beloved shows in theatre history. Oklahoma is affordably priced from $20.00 to $59.00 plus ticketing fees and will perform five shows at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA from Thursday, January 6, 2011 through Sunday, January 9, 2011.
The performance schedule is Thursday thru Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00p.m. Tickets are available at the Bank of North Georgia Box Office at the Cobb Energy Centre, all Ticketmaster outlets locations, Ticketmaster.com or via phone at 800-745-3000. The box office, located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339, is open Monday thru Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., closed on Sundays. Group discounts for 10 or more are available by calling 770-509-2301. Mini-season tickets for the remaining three shows of the Gas South Broadway Series, Oklahoma, Wizard of Oz and A Chorus Line are still available beginning at $76.50, plus ticketing fees as well miniseries Producer’s Club tickets are still available beginning at $205.00, plus ticketing fees and may be purchased by phone at 404-916-2852, or in person at the Bank of North Georgia Box Office at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Season ticket information is also available at www.cobbenergy centre.com/broadway Photos: Matt Coddington
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 13
Did You Know? While the most widely known American version of Santa Claus is often credited to the 1823 Clement Clarke Moore poem “The Night Before Christmas,” Santa as we currently know him can be traced back even further, with origins dating as far back as the 4th century. An early Dutch depiction is based on legend of Sinter Klaas, which was brought by Dutch natives when they settled in New York in the 17th century. In “History of New York,” famed author Washington Irving, writing under the pseudonym Diedrick Knickerbocker, provided detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. This Saint Nicholas would arrive on horseback every year on the Eve of St. Nicholas. The Christian-era Santa Claus owes much of its origins to Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna (now Turkey). Rich and gener-
ous, Bishop Nicholas was said bring joy to poor children by throwing gifts in their windows. The legendary Santa Claus has evolved over the years, and it should come as no surprise that he continues to enchant children no matter the era.
Bring your new, unwrapped toy to Atlanta Classic Cars and help fill Santa’s convertible. Enjoy lunch on us at our Classic Cafe as our gift to you!
Wishing you a Safe & Happy holiday! Check our progress on
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Page 14 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
“SPARKLE”: A Celebration of Christmas Magic in Historic Norcross Now through December 22nd, Historic Norcross is celebrating the magic of Christmas. Brick store fronts that have witnessed over 100 years of holiday celebrations, are home to trendy shops and eclectic restaurants. There is art, and history, places to relax and fun things to do. Local shops are filled with “perfect gifts” and savory restaurants with live music. Visit our shops all decked out in holiday splendor, most of which you can buy! Lots of “perfect gifts” and treasures. Come have dinner and stroll through our town.
PHOTOS WITH SANTA Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, through December 22nd. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. 45 South Café. Bring your kids, your family, or sit on Santa’s lap yourself! CARRIAGE RIDES Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, through 22nd 6 pm – 9 pm. White horses and jingling bells make this an especially charming adventure through the historic downtown area. Board the carriage in front of the Taste of Britain shop...bring the kids, or pair with dinner to make it a special “date night”!
ANTIQUE TOY & TRAIN EXHIBIT Norcross Welcome Center, 189 Lawrenceville St. Special Exhibit Opens Dec. 14, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Wonderful vintage toys, including a real toy train that winds its way underneath a live Christmas tree, just like in the “olden days”. Also on exhibit is work by local artists from Kudzu Art Zone. Regular Welcome Center hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. MOVIE IN THE PARK Saturday, December 11 5:30p.m. – 7:30p.m. Cuddle up and watch “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Clayma-
tion Christmas”. Stay year long, visit and sign up for emails, warm with hot chocolate, www.aplacetoimagine.com Facebook and Twitter. roasting chestnuts and marshmallow toasting! CELEBRATION OF LIGHTS & HISTORY TOUR Saturday, December 11, 5:30p.m. Take a fascinating tour through one of the oldest cemetaries in Atlanta. Hear stories about the families who have lived here through the generations, while enjoying a radiant display of luminaries that celebrate their memories For more information on the fabulous things happening in Historic Norcross all
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 15
Mega Light Show Synched to Music Debuts at Fairgrounds Lawrenceville, GA – 94.9 The Bull presents Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, a must-see Christmas light and music spectacular, in Gwinnett County this holiday season. Starting at dusk on November 12th through January 2nd, the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds will convert into a one-of-a-kind, drive-through Christmas music and light show experience never before offered in this area. Guests will drive their vehicles through a maze filled with hundreds of thousands of LED lights performing in perfect synchronization
with the Christmas tunes playing over their radio. Making its Georgia debut at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, located at 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, Christmas Wonderland is sure to become a Holiday tradition for years to come. The cost to experience Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland presented by 94.9 The Bull is $25 per car or family van, $40 for a mini-bus or activity van, $50 for a limousine, and school/tour busses are $125. Each rate is subject to tax. A portion of Christmas Wonderland’s pro-
ceeds benefits Toys for Tots and The American Red Cross. Guests of the light show can stay afterward and meet Santa Claus in 11 Alive Santa’s Village where they can roast marshmallows over an open fire, complete with s’mores, funnel cakes, corn dogs, hot cocoa, cider and coffee. Plus there will be a petting zoo with pony rides and a kid’s carnival with a Sleigh Ride Slide, Reindeer Jump, Play House Bounce and Santa Train. Complete details are listed online at www.shadrackchristmas.com
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A DRIVE-THRU MEGA LIGHT SHOW SYNCHRONIZED TO MUSIC! • Meet Santa • Funnel Cakes • Petting Zoo • Pony Rides
Keep This in Mind When Making Gift Returns Many of the gifts bought this holiday season will end up becoming returns. But not all of those returns or exchanges will be easy. Stores have return policies to protect themselves from fraud and financial loss.The wise consumer knows what to expect. The public is no longer living in the 30-daymoney-back-guarantee world. Stores are tightening their belts on returns and that’s important information to know when the holiday season has ended. Shorter Deadlines Many of the items in stores have finite “expiration” dates. Clothing styles are always evolving and technological advancements can make one product the latest and greatest one day and obsolete the next. That means stores have to be stringent on their return deadlines to ensure they’re not restocking “old” merchandise no one else will buy. Some stores will allow 2 to 3 weeks for returns. Retailers may count purchases made during the holiday season as if they took place
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Page 16 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
on December 24. That means the clock starts ticking from Christmas onward for returns. Restocking Fees Stores may charge a restocking fee of anywhere from 10 to 20 percent to take back items that have been opened. This is particularly true with electronics or appliances. Whenever possible, if the item received will not be used, do not open the packaging. Opened items that are truly inoperable should be returnable without a restocking fee. Exchange or Store Credit Keep those gift receipts in a safe place. Gone are the days when stores will take back just about anything. Today, many retailers want to see the receipt, even if the tags are in place. If a receipt is not available, the item may be exchanged for store credit, and that credit will usually reflect the current “sale” price of the item. Generally this price is lower than the purchaser paid a few weeks earlier. Having the receipt
handy means the greatest dollar value can be given on the returned item. Return Database A consumer’s return history could be tracked at particular stores. Retailers often have a computerized system that tracks returns made, frequency and whether a receipt was used. Individuals who are frequent returners may find more difficulty returning items, especially those without a receipt. If the cashier asks to see a driver’s license or other identification when items are taken back to the store, that’s a likely sign a shopper’s return history is being recorded. Mail-Back Only Some retailers that operate both online and with brick-and-mortar stores will allow items bought via the Internet to be returned at a physical store. Others will not. Be sure to know the return policy of online merchants to facilitates the process. Remember, oftentimes returning items through the mail requires that postage be paid by the person doing the returning.
Holiday Helper: At Home Fix-It Yourself Tips to Save You Holiday Cash! Before you fill your house with holiday cheer or holiday guests this season make sure that everything in your house is working smoothly. Here are some holiday at home fix-it yourself tips from Prettytools.com that can save you from calling the expensive handy man so that you can use that holiday cash for better things! Consider Prettytools.com this December when purchasing fun holiday gifts. Prettytools.com makes using tools fun and fashionable. Fixing Plumbing Problems You may need to remove the trap to open a clogged drain. The trap is the Ushaped pipe under the sink.
Put a bucket under the trap to catch any water or gunk when you remove it. You can use a wrench to loosen the metal slip nuts, or remove the clean-out plug. Clear out any residue in the trap before reattaching it. If you still have plumbing problems after removing the trap you may want to try using a plunger. Make sure you clear any standing water out of the sink before plunging to avoid splashing your eyes. Oven Won’t Work? If your oven is getting power but is not heating up, check the oven and broiler elements. Start with the oven element, which generally gets more use and will fail first.
With the oven on, check to make sure the entire element is glowing uniformly. Repeat the process looking at the broiler element. If either glows unevenly, or has areas of damage where the element appears melted, then it needs to be replaced. After letting the oven cool, cut power to the oven at the breaker board (or by unplugging it for ovens with range tops). Remove any brackets holding the damaged element in place, setting them aside to be used with the new element. Lastly unscrew the bracket at the rear of the oven, which will expose the wiring. If the wires from the oven to the element are the same color, or if you have any
doubts about your ability to remember which wire goes where when you install the new element, use masking tape and a pen to label the oven’s wires. Disconnect the wiring, remove the damaged element, and take it to an appliance store to get a replacement.Install the new element exactly as the old one had been, replacing any brackets you had removed. Once it’s in, restore power to the oven and test the new element. Measuring Tip “Measure twice, cut once” should be every home improver’s mantra. Decorating Always use the correct length of screw, moly bolt, or
other fittings when putting up shelves or other wall-mounted items such as mirrors or cabinets. Otherwise they could fall down and injure someone; break other items such as ornaments, sinks, and windows; and damage the wall. Damage to water pipes Before you start knocking nails or fixing screws into walls or floors, make sure you know where your water pipes are. If you don’t, a job as simple as hanging a new bathroom mirror could see you calling an emergency plumber, removing the wall tiles to repair the pipe, and redecorating the bathroom and adjoining rooms to cover the water marks. A wire and
pipe detector is a relatively cheap piece of equipment that could save you a lot of trouble. Don’t depend entirely on the detector, however-they are not 100 percent reliable. Use your common sense to work out where the water pipes are likely to be and proceed carefully.
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Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 17
The holiday tradition continues at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse December promises to be festive at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse during Holiday on the Square in historic downtown Lawrenceville. Get into the holiday spirit and see why so many families make it a holiday tradition! Beginning December 3 and running weekends through December 21, kids of all ages will enjoy the sights and sounds of the charming Lawrenceville square. Enjoy Trolley Rides with Santa, self guided tours through the lavishly decorated courthouse, crafts in Santa's Elf Workshop, carriage rides, a snow village and train set, and of course a visit with Santa Claus. The North Pole mailbox will be available for letters to Santa throughout the holiday season. New this year will be a walk through Santa's Magical Forest featuring trees on display from local businesses on the beautiful
courthouse grounds. Plus there will be live entertainment outdoors in the gazebo on Saturday nights ! Families will enjoy having breakfast with the jolly old St. Nick himself at Breakfast with Santa on December 11 from 9 a.m. 11 a.m. Don't forget to bring your wish list to share with Santa. Have fun with special holiday activities and a souvenir photo. Call 770-8225450 to make your breakfast reservations. Back by popular demand will be a special kid oriented mystery dinner theater. "Who Broke Christmas?" will have you guessing who
broke all the Christmas toys on the eve of the big delivery. When toys begin falling apart, the elves will need your help to solve the mystery and save Christmas. The event includes a kid friendly buffet dinner, funfilled goody bags and an interactive holiday mystery. Great for ages 3 and up, parents will enjoy the show as much as the kids and must accompany the kids. Check www.gwinnettparks.com for specific dates and times. For a schedule of events for this holiday season at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse and all holiday activities offered by Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, visit www.gwinnettparks.com.
Page 18 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
Don’t miss Winterfest on Dec. 11th Mark your calendars for Winter Fest on Saturday, December 11 from 10 to 2. the Team Store will be running a discount of 50% off full priced merchandise and the Ticket Office will be open. Enjoy ballpark tours, children’s activities including a scavenger hunt, an appearance by Chopper and holiday movies on the video board and more! Visit GwinnettBraves.com for more information. With the holiday season in full swing, let the Gwinnett Braves check a few items off of your to-do list. From hosting your holiday party to finding great gift
ideas, the G-Braves are a one-stop shop when it comes to helping you make it through this crazy time of year. The Gwinnett Braves, Triple A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, have rolled out a variety of ticket packages that make the perfect gift for every type of fan. Anytime Tickets make a great stocking stuffer and are an affordable option for anyone on your list. These vouchers can be purchased in groups of four or more and are valid for any game in the 2011 season. As a holiday bonus, receive a free G-Braves Hat with a pur-
holidays are memberships to our Kids Club. New for 2011- all members of Chopchase of ten or more Any- per’s Clubhouse will receive a free ticket to every Sunday time Tickets home game! Membership b e f o r e in the club also December includes a free kids 22nd! club t-shirt and A l s o membership available card, an autoin time graph session for the
with the players, monthly enewsletter, VIP line for Race the Bases following every Sunday game, and invitations to Kids Club only events and exclusive offers from Gwinnett Braves sponsors! Memberships are $20, with discounts on multiple children per family as well as season ticket holders. In addition to 72 home games throughout the season, Coolray Field also hosts many outside events all year round. If you are looking for a unique and affordable location to host a holiday party, company meeting, or other group outing, consider Coolray Field as an option. Suites make a great setting for both corporate and personal
get-togethers all while offering a view of the ballpark. We can accommodate any size group with indoor space available for upwards of 150 people. Partial and Full Season Ticket Plans with the Gwinnett Braves are an affordable way to catch all of the action at Coolray Field. They also make great gifts! From our weekender plan to half season plan, you can secure your same seat for all of your games while also saving money on the ticket price. Season tickets are more affordable than ever with plans starting at $432 and added value benefits that you can only get as a season ticket holder.
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 19
Devouring Fruitcake Facts The holidays and fruitcake have long been intertwined. Fruitcakes are often mocked, detested and discarded. Few gifted foods create such strong derision. However, fruitcake is tradition. And as most people know, Christmas is all about tradition. Fruitcake is an enduring tradition, most simply because the food, well, endures. Most fruitcakes will last 8 to 12 months if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container. If frozen, their lifespan could be endless. Jokingly, many families have said fruitcake is the only food
durable enough to become an heirloom. While mocked, it may entice a few people to know just how fruitcake has become a holiday treat. The oldest references to fruitcake date back to Roman times. Ancient crusaders and hunters consumed fruitcake made with preserved fruits, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, raisins, and honey. Fruitcake was a durable commodity that could persevere on long trips. Because of its combination of ingredients, fruitcake was also a good source of energy, much the way a trail mix is good for today's hikers.
In the 1700s, Europeans baked a ceremonial fruitcake at the end of the nut harvest. It was saved and eaten the following year at the harvest, with the hopes it would spur another successful harvest. Fruitcake evolved to more of a delicacy in the 1800s, even being served with tea in high society. It is rumored that Queen Victoria waited a year to eat a gifted fruitcake as a show of restraint and moderation. Fruitcake can be an integral part of a holiday celebration, and not because it's being used to fruitcakes as gifts, they addition to the sugar brants can serve slices of block drafts from under a should be served as part cookies and pies on the fruitcake featuring their door. Instead of giving of the holiday feast. In Christmas table, cele- favorite ingredients.
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Page 20 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
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Thoughts for the Christmas Season
The Significance of Christmas is known to men, all over the world. Though it is true that Christmas is celebrated as the day Christ was born into this world, it also symbolizes a very deep significant truth of the spiritual life. He was born at a time when ignorance, superstition, greed, hatred and hypocrisy prevailed upon the land. Purity was forgotten and morality was neglected. He was not born in a grand palace. He was not born to very wealthy or learned parents. Jesus Christ was born in a simple lowly place, a corner of a stable. He was born to humble and poor parents, who had nothing to
boast about, except their own spotless character and holiness. In the midst of these conditions, Christ was born and during his lifetime, He worked a transformation in the lives of people. He gave a new and a spiritual turn to the lives of man. There came a change upon the land. People started upon a new way of life. Thus a new era dawned for the world. This Christmas season as we celebrate with our friends, decorate our homes, shop for that perfect gift, and as we open our presents on Christmas morning, let us remember the Christmas prayer written by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 21
7 Things You May Not Have Known About Christmas The Christmas season is full of traditions, folklore and rich history. However, amid all of the traditions we’ve come to know, there are many bits of trivia of which you may not be familiar. Here are a few littleknown facts about Christmas. 1. The first manufactured Christmas tree ornaments were sold in 1880 by the former Woolworth department store. 2. Christmas trees originally featured actual lighted candles, which
were naturally a fire hazard. So containers filled with water had to be kept near the tree. 3. Construction workers first erected an undecorated tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City in the early 1930s. They have been credited with starting the annual tradition. 4. Although sometimes construed as sacriligious, the shortened form “Xmas” is actually derived from Christ’s name and has been popular in Europe since the 1500s. It is believed to
be derived from the Greek word “Xristos,” which means Christ. 5. The National Confectioners Association reports that for 200 years candy canes were solid white. In the 1950s an automated machine was invented that could put on the red stripes. 6. The idea of Christmas greeting cards started in Britain in the 1830s. 7. Christmas celebrations were banned in Boston between 1659 and 1681. Those caught celebrating would be fined.
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Page 22 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
Hockey night in Gwinnett A great way to catch all the excitement with the Gladiators is by utilizing the Hockey Night in Gwinnett Plan. In what’s become a yearly tradition, after the football season is over we want to get our local communities together for a good time! To make the nights truly great events, we decided that we would create a package that offered great seats to all the best games and we would top it all off with great promotions and giveaways.
PACKAGE BENEFITS • Great seats, best games, promotions and giveaways of the season • 6 games during the 2010-2011 season • Comes with valuable coupons including one for a one time 10% Discount coupon for purchase of Gladiators Merchandise • Free parking • Invitation to special team events throughout the year • Opportunity to renew your package next season before tickets go on sale to the public • First option to purchase Kelly Cup playoff tickets
Catch the Holiday Spirit at Atlanta-Area Simon Malls! Atlanta-area Simon malls will deck the halls this season with plenty of holiday cheer and entertainment. Gwinnett Place Mall, Lenox Square, Mall of Georgia, Northlake Mall, Phipps Plaza and Town Center at Cobb are offering a variety of special holiday treats for the whole family. Here are just a few at Mall of Georgia: Mall of Georgia 3333 Buford Dr. 678.482.8788 • Photos with Santa: Now through December 24. Visit Santa at his holiday home in the lower level Nordstrom Wing. Santa will be available daily, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day; hours and photo package pricing available at www.mallof-
georgia.com. • Pet Photos with Santa: December 5, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Bring out your furry friends to have their holiday photo taken with Santa! Please enter through the mall entrance between Nordstrom and Belk adjacent to Woodward Crossing Boulevard. *No exotic animals permitted. • The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program: November 26 – December 11 (Monday-Saturday), from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Mall of Georgia partners with The Salvation Army on their annual holiday Angel Tree program, which provides new clothing and toys for children of families in need. For more information, visit www.salva-
tionarmytreeusa.org. • Parking on Demand: Looking to take the hassle out of parking when doing your holiday shopping? Visit www.mallofgeorgia.com to sign up for Parking on Demand, a new program allowing shoppers to call-ahead or go online to make parking reservations for some of the best spaces at the center – just in time for the holiday season! Sign up for this program now to take advantage of the free trial period running through January 2. To learn more about Simon malls, including information on Simon Kidgits Club and holiday mall hours, visit www.simon.com.
Gladiators Hockey Night in Gwinnett Schedule (6 Games Total) • Saturday, January 15th - Teddy Bear Toss • Saturday, February 5th - Fleece Blanket Night • Saturday, February 12th - Kids Replica Jersey Night • Saturday, March 5th - Adult Replica Jersey Night • Saturday, March 19th - Pink in the Rink • Saturday, March 20th - Cap Night All giveaways and promotions subject to change.
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Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 23
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Page 24 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
More Winter Holidays To Celebrate While it’s easy to associate winter holidays with Christmas, Chanukah and New Year’s, winter is actually host to numerous holidays across the globe. The aforementioned holidays might get the bulk of the publicity, but these holidays are wintertime traditions far and wide. Chinese New Year: The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, Chinese New Year is determined by the lunisolar Chinese calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, but always between January 21 and February 20. In
2011, the Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 3. Pancha Ganapati: This five-day Hindu festival celebrates the Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture. During each of the five days of Pancha Ganapati, which is celebrated from December 21 through December 25, a different spiritual discipline is focused on by the entire family. Tu Bishvat: A minor Jewish holiday, Tu Bishvat usually occurs in late January or early February and celebrates the “New Year of the Trees.” Customs during Tu Bishvat include
planting trees and eating dried fruits and nuts, in particular figs, dates, raisins, carob, and almonds. The flowering of the almond tree coincides with Tu Bishvat throughout Israel, where the almond tree grows wild. Kwanzaa: Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration of African culture and heritage that begins the day after Christmas and continues to New Year’s Day. Kwanzaa was first celebrated from December 26, 1966 to January 1, 1967 and was initially an effort by professor Ron Karenga to create a specifically African-American holiday.
Photo Card Tips for Seasonal Greetings The trend toward using photo greeing cards for the holidays is one that continues to grow in popularity. Many people want to share pictures of their family or children with friends and relatives and holiday cards make that possible. Photo greeting cards come in two main categories: One is a standard stock card with a window cut out to allow a photo to show through. The other is a design and photograph printed as one on glossy photo paper. The card stock varieties can often be purchased where other greeting cards are sold' then slip in your picture. The glossy photo-style cards are either ordered and printed from an online service, or can be created using the digital photo kiosks at many pharmacies and retail stores. Regardless of the type of card you use, you want to ensure your photograph is the best possible to convey your message of season's greetings. It pays to brush up on some photography techniques and follow a few tips to work toward a good image. Get a new perspective on a shot rather than simply standing and shooting the camera. Try kneeling down or lying on the floor and shooting upward
at your subject. Or stand on a ladder and shoot downward. Pay attention to the background as well as the foreground in your pictures. You don't want to mar a picture by having an unsightly background item steal the thunder of your main subject. Don't limit yourself to a Christmas or winter theme. As long as it’s a great image, feel free to use a vacation shot or another picture. This will allow card recipients to keep and display the image all year long instead of feeling limited to the holiday season. If you’re posing the entire family for a shot, consider having everyone wear the same color or type of outfit so it lends a cohesive look to the picture. While you can visit a photo studio and have a professional photo taken with their backdrop and props, you can create a similar effect at home. For Christmas, pose subjects on wrapping paper, tissue paper, or amid a pile of gifts and snap away. Use a solid colored tablecloth to serve as a backdrop for the image. If you plan on having multiple family members in the photo but through scheduling or geography makes it gwinnettdailypost.com •
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Winter is not only a time to honor past traditions, but also those who left a positive mark on the world. The third Monday of every January, for example, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day honoring the legacy of the famed civil rights leader who was tragically assassinated on April 4, 1968. The day is held in January because King was born on January 15. Candlemas: Observed by Anglicans, Eastern Catholics, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics among others, Candlemas celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the temple. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Candlemas is
considered one of the twelve Great Feasts. The date can vary depending on the celebrants, but is generally celebrated between the last week of January and the first few days of February. St. Brigid’s Day: Though it’s meant to celebrate the first day of spring, St. Brigid’s Day, formerly known as Imbolc,
hard for all to be together, consider using photo editing software. Take a picture of everyone individually and put them together in the single image with the software. Remember, photo greeting cards
actually occurs during the throes of winter. A Gaelic tradition, St. Brigid’s Day has different meanings for different people (and some Christians actually refer to the day as Candlemas). However, for many it remains a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the days growing longer, meaning spring is on the horizon.
should not be limited to Christmas.They can also be used year-round for special events, such as birthdays, invitations and thank-you notes.
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 25
Inspired Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen
If the best gifts come from the heart, certainly the nextbest gifts come from the kitchen. Culinary treats can be perfect presents for your foodie friends or just about anyone on your list. Food gifts are especially perfect for friends, neighbors, teachers, and others for whom more elaborate gifts are neither expected nor required. What’s more, the possibilities are endless and can be adjusted for varying palates, allergies and preferences. Here are several suggestions for serving up delicious holiday gifts this season. Sugar Just about everyone looks forward to seasonal sweets, from Christmas cookies to jelly doughnuts for Chanukah to benne cakes or sweet potato pie for the final feast of Kwanzaa.
Rethink your cookies. When it comes to culinary delights, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the basics. But if you want to put a twist on tradition, consider some alternatives to the holiday cookie sampler, such as decorating greeting-card-sized cookies with personalized messages, filling decorative jars with all of the dry ingredients needed for your favorite cookie recipe or giving the gift of dough -- three different kinds of cookie dough rolled into logs, wrapped in wax paper and tied at the ends with festive ribbons. Take a dip. Dipping store-bought confections such as peppermint sticks, candy canes, candied orange peel, shortbread
cookies, or even fresh figs in goodquality chocolate (a mix of dark, milk and white chocolate is even better!) will transform these everyday items into holidayworthy gifts. Think drinks. Nothing takes the chill out of a cold December morning like hot chocolate -- especially when it’s homemade. Make your own mix with ground chocolate and sugar or package a high-quality store brand in a festively decorated jar, then add some peppermint sticks, chocolate-coated spoons or homemade marshmallows to the mix. Have a jam session. Handmade jams, preserves and fruit compotes are always appreciated. Your creation can be accompanied by the recipe, some scones or great toasting bread, or even a decorative serving jam jar. Bark that’s as good as its bite. Chocolate bark is a delicious no-bake gift that’s so easy to make you’ll wonder why you’ve waited so long to try it. Recipes are everywhere
and you can customize the bark with your recipients’ favorite nuts, dried fruits and other tasty tidbits And spice For people who love to cook, great ingredients make exquisite gifts. Think about giving your favorite foodie the gift of flavor in the form of spices, either from the bulk aisle at your favorite upscale grocery chain or a well-loved specialty retailer. Since spices don’t stay fresh forever, your culinary connoisseur is sure to appreciate a new assortment. For the more adventurous cooks on your list, consider purchasing a few special spices, such as saffron or vanilla -- either the bean or a high-quality extract. Spices can be purchased in small amounts and then presented in decorative airtight jars with handwritten labels.
Page 26 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
Other options include making and giving your own spice blends and purchasing whole spices, such as nutmeg or allspice, and presenting them along with the appropriate tool for grinding or grating them. And everything nice Themed baskets of food will generate big smiles from everyone on your holiday list. Putting together an assortment of items for a particular meal or kind of cooking is as much fun for the giver as it is for the receiver. Here are some ideas that are both simple and special. Breakfast basket. Fill a basket with homemade pancake and waffle mix and a bottle of real maple syrup, or go continental with a
batch of freshly baked scones and a jar of lemon curd. For the caffeine lover, two mugs, one filled with a favorite gourmet coffee or tea and the other packed with some homemade pastries or a jar of jam. Pizza basket. Start with a package of homemade pizza dough, add a jar of pizza sauce or pesto made from the basil in your garden, then decorate the basket with a merry mix of cheeses and popular pizza add-ons, such as pepperoni, olives, olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and small packets of spices, such as oregano or red pepper flakes.
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Though it might seem as though it’s been around forever, the beloved holiday song “Frosty the Snowman” actually wasn't produced until 1950. Written by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson, the song was first recorded by legendary country singer Jack Autry and the Cass County Boys. Once they finished penning the now classic Christmas tune, Rollins and Nelson shipped the lyrics to Autry, who just a year earlier achieved great success with another holiday favorite, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” While Autry’s version remained the most successful, and
Contemporary chart. The television adaptation of “Frosty the Snowman” arguably most recogniz- remains astaple of the teleable, version of “Frosty” for vision schedule each holimany years, its success in day season. terms of charting was actually outdone just a year ago. The peak position for Autry’s original version on the U.S. Pop Singles chart was #7 back in 1950. However, the 2007 rendition by former American Idol participant Kimberly Locke reached #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Adult
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Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 27
Keep Kids Occupied During Winter Break Winter break can be the perfect respite for schoolaged children. Although not quite halfway through the school year, the timing of winter break does come when kids might be preoccupied with the holiday season and all that comes with it. Kids may be distracted about parties and presents, but parents maybe preoccupied with finding ways their kids can spend their time during winter break -a typically two-week hiatus from school that begins shortly before Christmas and ends with kids’ return to school shortly after New Year’s Day. Parents facing
the dilemma of finding something for kids to do should consider the following tips. Take a vacation. Winter break might mark the only time until summer that parents can spend quality time with their kids completely away from the distractions of everyday life. Vacation can mean a trip to warmer climates or simply packing up the car to go spend time with the grandparents. If there’s any vacation time to spare, consider hitting the road. Teach kids some practical lessons. Kids likely won’t miss the classroom during winter break, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t enjoy-
able ways for kids to learn while they’re away from school. Teach kids practical lessons, like how to cook a favorite meal or how to fix things around the house. This gives parents a chance to spend some quality time with their kids while encouraging kids to learn beyond the classroom. And who knows, such lessons at home may uncover a child’s hidden talent. Encourage kids to read for pleasure. Reading improves vocabulary and can stimulate a child’s imagination. During the winter break, encourage kids to read a book or the daily newspaper for pleasure,
assuring them there won’t be any quizzes or tests after each chapter. Get the ball rolling with a few books given as presents during Christmas or Chanukah. Or take a trip to the local library and let kids choose their own books. Kids also will enjoy the excitement of professional sporting events. Atlanta’s own NHL team, The Thrashers, take the ice October through April for some electrifying hockey. For details about the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club, photo galleries, ticket information and game schedules, visit: Thrashers.NHL.com.
Page 28 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
Cirque du Soleil is back in Atlanta Cirque du Soleil is back in Atlanta with its touring production OVO. NOW PLAYING under the blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau at Atlantic Station in Atlanta Tickets On SALE, buy your tickets NOW, at cirquedusoleil.com. Cirque du Soleil raises its big top for its touring show. OVO is a headlong rush into a colourful ecosystem teeming with
life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement. The insects’ home is a world of biodiversity and beauty filled with noisy action and moments of quiet emotion. When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives.
It’s love at first sight when a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye – and the feeling is mutual. OVO is overflowing with contrasts. The hidden, secret world at our feet is revealed as tender and torrid, noisy and quiet, peaceful and chaotic. And as the sun rises on a bright new day the vibrant cycle of insect life begins anew.
Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 29
Americans spend 42 hours each on holiday shopping and partying Ever wonder how much time we devote to celebrating the winter holidays? According to the latest Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll, the average American expects to spend about 42 hours buying, wrapping, and returning gifts, as well as partying and traveling to visit family and friends. Here’s a look at how Americans will be spending their time this holiday season: On Gifts...consumers will spend lots of time gift-shopping, 15 hours on average. Women plan to
spend twice as long as their male counterparts, 20 hours versus 10 hours respectively. Shoppers expect to wait in store check out lines for about three-anda-half hours on average; one in four expect to stand in line 4 hours or more. Once they get home, Americans plan to spend about 3 hours on average wrapping gifts; one in four expect to spend 4 or more hours doing so. Americans anticipate that they will devote about an hour on average
to returning holiday gifts; over half say they won’t spend any time making returns. Entertainment...about 15 hours on average will be spent attending holiday parties, gatherings or events with friends or family; a quarter (24%) of Americans plan to spend twenty hours or more. To and From...Americans estimate that they will spend 7.4 hours on average traveling to or from their holiday destinations; a quarter (24%) said they will spend 10 hours or more.
Page 30 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com
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Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 5, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 31
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