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Seeing Blue: The show No one knows how to make a more inspired mess than Blue Man Group. Whether they’re beating on drums and generating a kaleidoscopic spray of airborne paint, or catching flying gumballs with their mouths and spewing the paint onto canvases, or feasting on Twinkies, or chomping out a Cap’n Crunch symphony, the bald-and-blue characters approach each messy, noisy enterprise with the expertise and determination of children. At first glance, a mess – but looking closer, it’s far from one. Don’t confuse child’s play with childishness. “Preserving a childlike wonder is definitely one of things behind what we do.” says Phil Stanton, co-founder of Blue Man Group with Matt Goldman and Chris Wink. “We believe that we’re all creative beings, and creativity can look a lot of different ways. We’re trying to get to an ecstatic, euphoric, emotional place.” At a Blue Man Group theatrical show there is, indeed, something on the bill to fascinate and entertain everyone. Instead of an array of comedians and singers and monologists and dog acts and jugglers sharing a bill, the Blue Men – abetted by a few musicians – offer an array of wildly imaginative flights of fancy, ranging from primitive to sophisticated, in a variety show quite unlike any other. The Blue Man uses every facet of his being to engage the audience in situations and ideas and behavior and sights and sounds that intrigue him. And he does so without ever speaking. “Talking is so limiting,” says Goldman. “We talked once,

and it was painful. It was horrible. But we don’t think of the Blue Man as a mute. We think of him as someone whose chosen not to say anything.” The show is not without words. LED screens display a series of messages designed to make the audience laugh and/or think. An authoritative, other-worldly voice wittily explains the intricacies of modern plumbing and choreography and technology. But more often than not, words are unnecessary. When the Blue Men are playing their unique polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipes – instruments of their own making – or fiercely pounding on drums, words would just intrude on the giddiness being felt throughout the theater. Connecting to the audience and creating a community within the walls of the theater is what matters most to Blue Man Group. “The relationship with the audience is everything,” says Goldman. “Because at the end of the day, the Blue Man is really just trying to connect. He knows, whether intellectually or on a gut level, that in order to get to that ecstatic, heightened moment, he’s got to connect with these strangers. That’s why the Blue Man is so respectful of the audience. That’s why he wants to gain their trust. It’s all about the connection.” People sitting in the front rows immediately feel a part of the proceedings, as they are given slickers to protect their clothes from paint and other possible splatterings. The Blue Men also make an enormous amount of eye contact with the audience, both from the stage and by interact-

ing with them. For Goldman, Stanton and Wink, the entire show is a build up to the breathtaking finale, which unites the audience in a magical way. “It’s all about the connection,” says Stanton. “And we also wanted to make a statement about how important the live experience is. Even though technology has made it so that we don’t have to have that live experience, there’s something about our humanity that will always need it.”

Fox Theatre

JAN.18-23 www.blueman.com

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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

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the Floor. than ever for Atlantans. “Our new holiday pack- Tickets can be purchased age enables theatre fans to through December 31 gift an experience that will online anytime at resonate throughout the www.BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com year,” said Stephanie Park- or by phone at 800-278er, vice president of Broad- 4447 (Monday-Friday from way Across America – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) Atlanta. “This mini season Show dates include: line up features some of this West Side Story season’s most anticipated January 25 – 30, 2011 shows at prices that can Burn the Floor accommodate any budget.” March 22 – 27, 2011 With packages starting Shrek the Musical as low as $52, reserving April 26 – May 1, 2011 seats and spreading the joy Hair to loved ones will be easier May 17 – 22, 2011

B

C

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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).

Page 4 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com


Easy Ways to Extend Your Holiday Budget The holiday season can prove an exercise in financial flexibility for many families. While the spirit of the season centers around faith and family, it’s easy for families to overdo it when it comes to holiday shopping. Parents can easily find themselves expanding their budgets to ensure their kids get everything on their wish list, while fellow shoppers may easily get lost in finding the perfect gift for family and friends. While overspending might be a holiday tradition in many families, it’s no doubt the most costly as well. Credit cards often allow shoppers to overspend on holiday shopping, making January a cringe-worthy month for shoppers who put too much on plastic during the holidays and get the bills the next month. It’s always best to avoid overspending, but there are ways shoppers can extend their budget during the holiday seasons. Look for “no interest” deals. “No interest” deals are not necessarily hard to find, but they might be a bit of a misnomer. Larger retailers sometimes offer no interest financing

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for 12 or 18 months on items that cost above a certain dollar amount. But these deals are only “interest free” for the designated time frame. This means no interest will be charged if the balance is paid in full (there’s often a minimum monthly payment) before the 12 or 18 months is up. However, if the balance is not paid in full, shoppers will be responsible for all interest that accrued over that 12or 18-month period. These “no interest” deals are a great way to extend a holiday budget, but shoppers should make certain they pay the balance off before the grace period is up. Comparison shop. As sensible as it seems, many shoppers find little time to comparison shop during the often hectic holiday season. Shoppers looking to extend their budgets, however, should find the time to comparison shop. Significant savings could be had simply by scanning the different

flyers in the Sunday newspaper. Such efforts only take minutes but could save shoppers hundreds of dollars during the holiday season. Shop early. Shopping early not only gives shoppers access to more and sometimes better deals, but it also allows shoppers to spread out their spending over a period of several months instead of a few weeks. For example, instead of spending $500 in the weeks leading up to Chanukah or Christmas, holiday shoppers who start early might be able to afford a holiday budget of $600 to 700. Shopping early gives shoppers the opportunity to spread out their spending, which can also allow for a little more budgetary leeway as a result. Go in on gifts with a friend or relative. When holiday shopping, it’s perfectly reasonable to share the cost of a gift with a friend or relative. The recipient won’t mind if the gift is from one, two, three, or four people, and each gifter will come away satisfied that their loved one got a gift he or she loves and no one’s budget was busted.

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Holidays at The Woodruff The Woodruff Arts Center, one of the premier cultural centers in the nation, is a magical destination during the holidays. Home to the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art and Young Audiences, The Woodruff has been creating family holiday traditions for more than 40 years. The tradition continues with the Alliance Theatre’s annual holiday gift to Atlanta – a Broadwayscale production of A Christmas Carol. Journey with your family through the beloved Dickens tale, and witness Ebenezer Scrooge’s discovery of the true meaning of Christmas over the course of one fateful evening.

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The Alliance also brings its third installment of “giant belly laughs” with the comic genius of Chicago’s The Second City here to skewer Atlanta’s favorite sacred cows and pink pigs. The Second City: Miracle on 1280 Peachtree Street is on the Alliance’s Hertz Stage. Throughout the holidays the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra captures the spirit of the season with its Coca-Cola Holiday Concerts series, including favorites like Christmas with the ASO, Gospel Christmas, Very Merry Holiday Pops, a Kid’s Christmas, A Creole Christmas with the Preservation Jazz Hall Band, and a Viva Italia themed New Year’s Eve POParazzi.

At the High Museum of Art, enjoy Dali: The Late Work or Titian & The Golden Age of Venetian Painting. Children can experience a variety of special craft making activities including Hands on for the Holidays and Second Sunday Funday. The Woodruff also makes it easy to find the perfect holiday gift. The Woodruff Gift Card can be used for tickets, memberships and subscriptions to the Alliance, ASO, and High Museum. It’s also good for shopping, dining, and parking on The Woodruff campus. For a full schedule of holiday events at The Woodruff, visit www.woodruffcenter.org/holidays

Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 7


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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

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).

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Page 8 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com

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Film Classics to Rev Up Holiday Spirit Charter Helps Joanna McAfee girl come to his rescue. Families often have supporting roles. Childhood Cancer Foundation their own unique tradi“A Christmas Story” “A Christmas Carol” tions when it comes to the (1983) --Growing up in (1951) -- Yet another movie holidays. Lately, families 1940s America, young Ral- that has spawned a series of With $11,000 Gift at the Holidays have begun to include phie has his heart set on a more recent remakes. This films in many of those traditions. That’s thanks largely to the array of classic holiday films that have consistently put people in the holiday mood. Families reuniting for the holidays this year have a host of films from which to choose to enjoy a night in and a bucket of popcorn. When heading to visit family and friends, consider bringing one of the following as a gift to make a memorable night with loved ones. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) -- Led by an all-star cast including Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, the Griswold family Christmas should be merry, but naturally turns into a hilarious disaster. Look for appearances by "Seinfeld" veteran Julia Louis-Dreyfus and legendary comedienne Doris Roberts in

Red Rider BB gun for Christmas, but it seems like Mom, teacher and even Santa are certain he’ll “shoot his eye out” with such a gift. Will Ralphie find his heart’s desire under the tree? Watch to find out. “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) -- When distraught George Baily (Jimmy Stewart) meets a compassionate angel, he learns what life would have been like if he’d never existed. Holiday magic wins out in the end. “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) -- Another classic that can’t be missed! When a man claiming to be Santa Claus is deemed insane, a young lawyer and a headstrong young

one stars Alastair Sim as Mr. Scrooge, a bitter, miserly man who doesn’t give a bah humbug about the holiday season. But will a haunting by three ghosts change his mind and ill will? “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965) -Charlie Brown is depressed and can’t find the Christmas spirit. When he is put in charge of the school’s holiday pageant and comes in with a meager Christmas tree, the schoolkids ultimately learn about the true meaning of Christmas.

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Funds will support the fight for a cure for pediatric cancer

Joanna Rae McAfee, 1999-2005

One in every four elementary schools across America has a child with cancer - and each day, 46 children are diagnosed with the disease. However, with the amazing progress that has been made in recent years, close to 75% of children diagnosed with cancer can ultimately be cured. The rate of survival for children with cancer has improved over the years more than for any other age group due to the successes in pediatric oncology research. Aware of the critical need for funds to support this research, Charter is making a donation of $11,000 to Georgia’s Joanna McAfee Childhood Cancer Foundation, Inc., to help in the fight for a

cure to pediatric cancer. “Charter and its employees admire the great work the Joanna McAfee Foundation provides for Georgia, but understands it takes continued funding to make inroads in research to find a cure for this disease,” said Matt Favre, Vice President and General Manager for Charter in Georgia. “In difficult times, it’s even more important for hometown businesses, employees and families to take care of each other. Over the years, Charter has been involved in projects that support the Foundation, and we are proud to continue our support with this donation.” The mission of the Joanna McAfee Childhood Cancer Foundation is to raise awareness, provide support and fund research for childhood cancer. Charter has partnered with the foundation since 2008 and proudly displays “Joanna Tags” on all 335 of its service vehicles as part a Curing Childhood Cancer campaign. The tag which is available to

all Georgia motorists features the silhouette of Joanna McAfee, a 6year-old girl from Warner Robins who lost her life to cancer in 2005. “We value our partnership with Charter and are so proud of the impact of the Curing Childhood Cancer campaign,” said Foundation Founder and President Jeff McAfee. “The increase in tag sales, as well as the awareness throughout the state that comes along with it, has been great. Now, to receive the largest single donation of our 5 year history of $11,000 is just incredible. It warms our hearts to know that many Georgia childhood cancer families will continue to benefit from our continued partnership and commitment with Charter.’’ For more information regarding the Joanna McAfee Foundation, go to www.supportcancerkids.org/. For more information regarding Charter, go to charter.com or call 1-888-GET CHARTER (1-888-438-2427).

Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 9


Catch the Holiday Spirit at Mall of Georgia 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.mallofgeorgia.com. • United Hospice Foundation Tree of Memories. Now though 12/24/2010. The United Hospice Foundation will be set up with their gorgeous Tree of Memories, on the second level across from Coach. Please stop by and purchase one of their beautiful butterflies for your Christmas tree to remember those you have lost and to support this

amazing nonprofit organization. Visit the Foundation website: UnitedHospicefoundation.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 callahead 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.

Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season When it comes to colors, red and green are synonymous with the holiday season. The green of Christmas trees and the red of Santa Claus become more and more prevalent once the holiday season begins. But this holiday season more and more people are involving green in their holiday season in an entirely different way than the norm. That’s because more people are going green this holiday season, choosing to make their holiday as eco-friendly as possible.Those looking to make their holiday greener than ever should consider the following tips. Embrace the e-vite. Holiday parties are a big part of the season. Be it the office holiday party, a gathering with friends or the traditional family gathering during the holidays, social calenders are especially busy this time of year. Unfortunately, many people still mail paper invitations to such gatherings. Those hosting a holiday party this year can positively impact the environment by choosing e-vites, which aren’t put to paper and, instead of traditional invitations, e-mailed out to friends and family . In addition to their environmental benefit, e-vites also make it easier for guests to RSVP, as it’s just a mouse click away instead of mailing the RSVP back to the host. Make e-cards. E-cards are similar to e-vites in that they help reduce the reliance on paper but still convey the same message to family and friends. E-cards can also help families save money (some Web sites even provide free e-cards), and allow them to personalize cards depending on the recipient.

Page 10 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com

Use energy efficient lighting when decorating. Though one of the most eco-friendly ideas around the holidays is to forgo holiday lighting entirely, many families find this tradition too much fun and too enjoyable to abandon completely.That said, for families who want to positively impact the environment while still enjoying holiday lighting this season, energyefficient LED lighting can save substantial amounts of energy while also helping save some money as well. LEDlights can be used both indoors and outdoors, and are just as bright and aesthetically appealing as traditional lighting. Shop locally. Shopping locally when looking for holiday gifts is not only a good way to boost the local economy, but it also helps reduce packaging and transportation, which can prove taxing on the environment. Wrap gifts in old newspapers. Many communities mandate that citizens recycle old newspapers and magazines. But before shipping off newspapers to the nearby recycling center, use those old newspapers to wrap the family gifts. This can help save money on

wrapping paper and the newspaper will still be able to be recycled, even after it’s already served dual purposes. Get crafty. Ornaments to hang on the tree or around the house are a tradition many families enjoy each holiday season. But even Mom would tell you the most valuable ornaments are the ones her children made. Families can still make their own ornaments even if the kids are all grown. Make ornaments out of recycled materials. Making ornaments from such materials helps save on packaging and make the most out of those old materials around the house. Replant the holiday tree. The debate of artificial versus living tree will live on forever. While there’s an argument to be made for both living and artificial Christmas trees, including how each can be ecofriendly, families fond of living trees can help the environment by simply re-planting the tree once the holidays are over. Plant in a pot and place outside the house to ensure everyone still gets their living tree,but that tree can live on to see another day once the holiday season has passed.


Modern technology and family pedigrees enhance ’magic’ in classic story By Jan Anderson...as seen in the Orange County Register The sight of real people (and one fairy by the name of Tinkerbell) literally flying 40 feet above the stage may look like pure magic to audiences at the spectacular 360-degree CGI-embellished threesixtyº entertainment stage production of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan,” opening on January 21, 2011 at Pemberton Place in Downtown Atlanta. Yet as magical as it seems, it’s not makebelieve at all, according to aerial technician Floyd Hughes. Having worked with the show since its 2009 London premiere, Hughes has a decidedly down-toearth understanding of how the mechanism above and behind the stage lifts the actors in the air on their way to Neverland. “Two steel cables that can each carry over a ton of weight are attached to the actors as they fly above the stage,” Hughes said. “Tiny wires on the actors’ hips allow them to turn somersaults and do all kinds of aerial work in the air. There’s a track-way that runs way above the stage. Each track has two motors, one for lifting up and down and another for left to right. All of it interlinks with computers.” Each actor’s movements are controlled by a separate computer, and backstage someone operates them with joysticks, Hughes added. Peter Pan was first presented as a play in 1902 in England’s Duke of York gwinnettdailypost.com •

Theater. A stage carpenter, George Kirby, had invented a flying system with a pendulum to be used in that first production. Actors wore a corsetlike leather garment attached to wires above the stage. More than 50 years later, the character of “the boy who wouldn’t grow up” flew to new heights in a Broadway musical production of “Peter Pan.” Working with a descendent of Kirby, Peter Foy, the production refined the equipment to fly Peter and his friends more smoothly, comfortably, and realistically. “Peter Foy made flying what it is today,” Hughes said. “He designed the equipment that allowed Mary Martin to soar in the 1954 Broadway production of ’Peter Pan.’” “Foy’s great nephew designed the equipment we use now,” said Hughes. The threesixty theater tent, where all of this action happens, takes nearly two weeks to construct. It will be located in Pemberton Place, adjacent to World of Coca-Cola, and it will take 100 crewmembers specializing in tent

setup, wiring and electrical installation, CGI screen setup, flying equipment and stage production to complete constructing it. The theater is held together by four external supports, called king poles, to ensure an unobstructed view for the audience as well as a clear flight path for the show’s airborne actors. Several simple design details were used to maximize the experience for audience members. The inside of the tent is colored an optimum shade of gray to enhance the darkness of the theater and reflect the vibrant colors from the CGI screens. Even the tiered setup, comfort, and quality of the seats was factored in. Tickets for Peter Pan start at $20 for children and $35 for adults, and behind-the-scenes “Into Neverland” tours will be held every Saturday during the run. Order tickets online at peterpantheshow.com or by phone at 1-888-ppantix (1-888772-6849). Group discounts are available by calling 404-881-2000. This article is a special to The Gwinnett Daily Post

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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. During Fernbank’s holiday sale, members also receive 20% off all Museum Store purchases to make giving that perfect gift even easier through December 24. Members Experience Fernbank’s Winter Wonderland for Free! Members can celebrate the holidays with Fernbank Museum’s new exhibition and programming series Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World – for free. On view through January 5, 2011, Winter Wonderland features trees deco-

rated by community partners and Consulate offices that twinkle with lights, glimmer with color, and shine with cultural ornaments and emblems that recognize the diversity of celebrations, holidays, traditions and events around the world. Don’t miss Fernbank’s festive Winter Wonderland programming as cultural groups and special guests entertain visitors with performances, dancing, music, craft demonstrations, storytelling and more. The Museum’s Winter Wonderland Celebration Weekend on December 12 features special activities, performances, crafts and games for the whole family. In addition to daily opportunities to experience the beautiful trees and other displays, Fernbank will present twilight hours to see Winter Wonderland after dark on December 12, 17, 19 and 26. Fernbank Museum members can see the exhibition and attend many of the programming opportunities for free. Member Benefits throughout the Year Members can also see upcoming 2011 exhibitions for free, including Mythic Creatures: Unicorns, Dragons and Mermaids; Darwin; and NatureQuest, Fernbank’s all-new $8 million children’s exhibition. To purchase or give a membership, call 404.929.6340. Visit fernbankmuseum.org for more information.

Page 12 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com


We’re Not In Kansas Anymore… THE WIZARD OF OZ Travels Over the Rainbow to Atlanta! Tickets On Sale Now! The greatest family musical of all time, THE WIZARD OF OZ, is touching down in Atlanta as NETworks Presentations brings this national treasure to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Thursday, February 3, 2011 through Sunday, February 6, 2011. This magical production, based on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s celebration of the 1939 MGM movie, is presented with breathtaking special effects that will sweep audiences away, from the moment the tornado twists its way into Kansas. Director Nigel West, choreographer Leigh Constantine and set and costume designer Tim McQuillen-Wright utilize the glamour and elegance of art deco Hollywood as the visually stunning technicolor backdrop for THE WIZARD OF OZ. Dorothy,

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Toto and their friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow are transported “Over the Rainbow” to adventures in Munchkin Land, the Haunted Forest and the Emerald City. Featuring the classic songs, as composed by Harold Arlen, “Over the Rainbow,” “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” and “If I Only Had A Brain,” along with the beloved characters, THE WIZARD OF OZ will have the entire family captivated as they travel down the yellow brick road for an unforgettable evening at the theater. WIZARD OF OZ is affordably priced from $20.00 to $63.00 plus ticketing fees and will perform five shows at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA from Thursday, February 3, 2011 through Sunday, February 6, 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 20 or more are available by calling 770-5092301. 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, ticket information is available at www.cobbenergycentre.com/broadway. For more information on THE WIZARD OF OZ visit: www.wizardofozontour.com

Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 13


Shop for a Good Cause this Holiday Season Nu 2 U Upscale Thrift store specializes in new and gently used classic, stylish, trendy and professional wear for women of all sizes. They just opened a new store on Grayson Highway and they pride themselves in carrying quality merchandise at affordable prices. Nu 2 U Thrift supports their sister company, Nu 2 U Boutique which is an organization that supports The American Cancer Society and St. Judes Children Hospital. Nu2 U believes that “when you look good, you feel good.” Proceeds from donations made to Nu 2 U Thrift will be donated to

the American Cancer Society and St. Judes Hospital towards cancer research and cure. Nu 2 U offers free makeup and wigs to cancer patients who are in treatment or have just finished treatment. Nu 2 U Thrift is passionate about their service to the community. With your help they will be able to reach many more families this year. They ask that you donate non perishable items throughout the year to help supply the community co-ops to support families who are in need. They also collect school supplies to be donated to different

schools in the area before and during the school year. Go to www.nu2uthrift.com for discount coupons and to join their email list. Shop Nu 2 U Thrift this year for all of your holiday needs and feel good about your holiday money going to a good cause!

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Page 14 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com

PURCHASE OF $10 OR MORE Cannot be combined with other offer. Exp. 12-31-10

1365 Grayson Hwy. #103 Lawrenceville, GA 30045 770-558-8707 CHRISTMAS HOURS: MON 11-7 • TUES & WED 11-6 FRI 11-7 • SAT 11-6 Proceeds from donations made to Nu 2 U Thrift will be donated to the American Cancer Society and St. Judes Hospital towards cancer research and cure.


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

gwinnettdailypost.com •

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 770822- 5450 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.

Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 15


Holiday gift ideas from the Gwinnett Braves With the holiday season in full swing, let the Gwinnett Braves check a few items off of your todo list. From hosting your holiday party to finding great gift ideas, the G-Braves are a onestop 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 purchase of ten or more Anytime Tickets before December 22nd! Also available in time for the holidays are memberships to our Kids Club. New for 2011- all members of Chopper’s Clubhouse will receive a free ticket to every Sunday home game! Membership in the club also includes a free kids club t-shirt and member-

ship card, an autograph following every Sunday game, and invitations to session with the Kids Club only events players, and exclusive offers monthly efrom Gwinnett newsletBraves sponter, VIP sors! Memberline for ships are $20, R a c e with dist h e Bases

Page 16 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com

counts 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. To learn more about these exciting opportunities, call our front offices at 678-277-0340 or log on to GwinnettBraves.com


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Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 17


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow Dreaming of a white Christmas? Many people look forward to new-fallen snow to add to the picture of the holiday season. How many, though, give thought to how snow actually forms? Snowflakes are ice crystals that form in the clouds. Water vapor freezes and clings to the dust particles in the air. As the crystals group together, they form snowflakes. Snowflakes are hexagonal crystals, meaning they always have six sides. Snowflakes can grow in different forms, including columns, needles, plates, dendrites,

columns with plates, and irregular shapes. Complex shapes emerge as the flake moves through different temperatures and humidity levels. When snowflakes melt and refreeze they may come down from the sky in the form of a ball instead of a flake. These are known as graupel. Snowflakes are unique, no two are the same. Because they are ice crystals, they are also clear in color. However, when gathered on the surface of roadways or other items, they collectively reflect the light and give off that white hue.

Although snowflakes are cold, snow can actually act as an insulator. The intricate shapes of snowflakes trap air in between the flakes as they pile up. These tiny pockets of air prevent air from circulating, thus preventing heat from being transferred by convection. A snowflake is often the universal symbol for winter or wintertime conditions. In Russia, people have long made paper snowflakes during the Christmas season and hung them in the windows. A snowflake also was the symbol of the Winter Olympics in 2002.

• Maria Grovner ... a hard working single mom. • Cynthia Morgan ... the sole provider and care taker of her family. • Kathryn Owens ... our third winner.

Congratulations to these deserving ladies! We hope these cleanings will help make your Holiday Season brighter! Page 18 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com

The snow capital of the United States is Stampede Pass in Washington State. Each year, the average snowfall is 430 inches.


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

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 26th - Cap Night All giveaways and promotions subject to change.

Gladiators Hockey Night in Gwinnett Plan Pricing Package Includes 6 Games During the 2010-2011 Season.

From $60 to $114 depending on seat location. Phone: 770-497-5100 Fax: 770-497-5101 E-mail: hockey@gwinnettgladiators.com

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Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 19


Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

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-

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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

Chances are, holiday revelers will find themselves underneath the mistletoe at least once this holiday season. While they might know what to do when that time comes, they might not know the history of that plant above their heads. Especially sacred to Celtic Druids, mistletoe was believed to bestow life and fertility, while also protecting against poison and serving as an aphrodisiac. Mistletoe would later take on a more political meaning, as the ritual of cutting the mistletoe came to symbolize the emasculation of the old king by his successor. Nowadays, mistletoe is typically hung in doorways or entryways from one room to

another. This tradition can also trace itself back several centuries to the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages, branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits. Throughout Europe, mistletoe was placed over doorways in the house as well as the stables as a means to preventing the entrance of witches. The tradition of kissing underneath the mistletoe likely stems from the belief that mistletoe bestows fertility and is often associated with the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a period of merrymaking that pre-dated Christmas. In 18th century England, a young lady standing underneath

the mistletoe could not refuse to be kissed. Once kissed, the kiss would signify deep romance or eternal friendship. History also suggests that mistletoe was a symbol of peace. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace. When standing underneath the mistletoe, enemies could declare a truce and spouses could end any marital turmoil with a kiss.

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Page 20 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com

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Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 21


Diabetics Can Safely Celebrate the Holidays This time of year visions of sugarplums may be dancing in one’s head, as are cakes, cookies and pies. The average person may gain a few pounds around the holidays from eating too many rich and sugary foods. But someone with diabetes could be risking their health by overdoing it. During the holidays people are exposed to more food, more sweets, more alcohol, and more stress. People with diabetes, who have to watch portion sizes and what they are consuming, may find that the holidays are even more stressful thanks to diet restrictions.

Many diabetics have reported that the holidays can be especially challenging because of the abundance of temptation, be it food or alcohol, coupled with the stress of shopping and socializing. Diabetics don’t have to take chances with their health come the holidays, nor do they have to miss out on the enjoyment of the season. Here are some suggestions for enjoying a safe and sound holiday season. Keep track of carbohydrates. Sugar plays a role in diabetes, but carbohydrates can really affect bloodsugar levels when digested. Limit carbohydrates as

much as possible. And remember, just because something is sugar-free doesn’t mean it is carb-free. Plan ahead. Ask the host or hostess what will be served so that decisions can be made about what will be eaten. If there aren’t many healthy options, consider bringing something from home. Let someone know you’re diabetic. The symptoms of being intoxicated and low-blood sugar can be similar, so diabetics should make holiday hosts aware of their condition. Take a walk. After a meal, individuals should take a walk about an hour

Move away from the about catching up. Don’t deprive yourself. food. After having the meal, steer clear of the food table Enjoy the foods that are later. That’s when blood and simply talk with friends eaten in moderation. If eatsugar tends to be the high- and family. Make socializing ing is overdone a bit, get est and exercise can help to less about eating and more back on track the next day. lower blood-sugar levels. Watch alcohol consumption. It’s not just food that can affect a person’s blood-sugar levels, alcoholic beverages can affect it, too. Diabetics should monitor their sugar levels before and after eating and drinking to ensure they are on track. Eat before you arrive. Arriving at a party famished can cause a person to overdo it -- something that can be detrimental to diabetics. Eat a little snack before heading to the party to Cookies and milk are staples of the holiday season. However, for a diabetic, staunch hunger pangs. they may be something that needs to be eaten in moderation.

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Monday - Saturday 10am-8pm • Sunday 1pm-5pm Page 22 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com


Host a Safe and Sound Holiday Party Few times of the year are simultaneously as festive and dangerous as the winter holiday season. With the celebratory nature of the holiday season often comes the increased risk for accidents, particularly on the nation’s roadways, where impaired drivers often take to the streets after over-indulging at holiday parties. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008 (the latest figures available) more than 11,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal blood alcohol content (.08 or higher). In almost all of these cases, the fatalities could have been avoided. For holiday hosts, the safety concerns are two-fold. In addition to protecting guests, hosts must also be sure to protect themselves. The nation’s host laws vary depending on individual states, but hosts can be held liable, both in criminal and civil court, if their impaired guests are allowed to drive home. While everyone has the right to celebrate come the holiday season,it’s important for holiday hosts to be extra cautious and always keep their guests’ safety and security in mind. When planning a holiday party, hosts should consider the following tips to ensure everyone has a fun time, and a safe and sound one as well. Only invite close friends and family. Though the spirit of the season makes it tempting for hosts to invite as many people as possible, it’s best to only invite those closest to you. Hosts should know how each invitee acts and drinks in a social environment and limit the guest list to those friends and family members

who have proven they can Feed the guests. Food handle a drink or two without should not be a replacement going overboard. for drinking responsibly, but Invite guests who know food does slow the absorpone another. Guests who tion of alcohol and helps fill know each other well are less guests up, making it less likelikely to rely on alcohol to ly guests will drink to excess. break the ice. Alcohol lowers Make the party an active people’s inhibitions, making event. Hosts should plan certhem more comfortable in tain activities or games to social situations, particularly entertain their guests. With when they might not know nothing on the docket, everyone at a given event. guests are more likely to But close-knit groups don’t spend idle time drinking.Plan need such devices to loosen a gift exchange for more intitheir inhibitions, and are mate gatherings, or play fun more likely to drink responsi- games that give guests bly as a result. something to look forward to Greet guests and take their besides their next drink. car keys at the door. It’s Have transportation readialways polite for hosts to ly available at the end of the greet guests at the door. But night. For smaller gatherings, it’s even more necessary to hosts might be able to hando so at holiday parties. dle the designated driver When greeting, hosts can duties all by themselves. gauge whether their guests However, for larger gatherhave gotten a head start on ings, have taxi company the festivities and can also phone numbers readily availpolitely ask guests to hand able, and make it known to over their car keys.Everyone’s guests before the party goal is to have a fun and safe begins, whether on the invitime, so guests should be tation or when guests arrive, willing to part with their keys that no one is driving home if at the start of the party as the hosts don’t feel it’s safe. opposed to after the party begins, Asking guests for their car keys when hosting when it might be a holiday party is one way to ensure everymore difficult to one ends up getting home safe and sound. convince guests to hand over their keys. Stay sober. Hosts are responsible for their guests and their guests’ safety. Regardless of local host laws, staying sober is the only way hosts can accurately determine if a guest is capable of driving or needs a ride home. What’s more, hosts must stay sober in the event a guest does need a ride home. gwinnettdailypost.com •

Discover holiday savings at Discover Mills! With more than 180 incredible retailers, Discover Mills is sure to delight holiday shoppers this season with its unique brand of shopping, dining and entertainment. As Atlanta’s largest outlet and value retail shopping destination, Discover Mills continues to provide shoppers with more stores, more brands, more savings and more fun. Discover Mills features an impressive roster of popular stores perfect for finding the ideal gift for everyone on your list this holiday season, including Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, BCBG Maxazria Final Cut, Forever 21,

Kenneth Cole Outlet, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Nike Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, The Disney Store Outlet, The LEGO Store, Toys “R” Us Express and more. Plus, the fun continues with a variety of entertainment venues and dining choices, such as Atlanta’s largest Dave & Buster’s, Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, popular frozen yogurt eatery Tutti Frutti, AMC 18-Screen Theatre, Slingshot Speedway and Lunar Golf. With the holidays quickly approaching, Discover Mills is gearing up for the most important shopping season of the

year. The festivities throughout the season will include pictures with Santa, holiday entertainment, give wrap, giveaways, prizes and more! Discover Mills is located at I-85 and Sugarloaf Parkway, just 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta. Regular hours are 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. For a complete list of special holiday shopping hours and events please call (678) 847-5000, visit www.discovermills.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DiscoverMills.

Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 23


Maintain Employee Productivity During the Holidays The holiday season can be busy. With so many things on a person’s to-do list, it’s relatively easy to become overwhelmed. Often times worker productivity wanes at the end of the year -but it doesn’t have to. Motivating employees when their minds are wandering to shopping lists and party planning can be a challenge. However, it is possible to keep business operations running smoothly and effi-

ciently. Here are some tips to maintain productivity throughout the holidays. Set an example. A supervisor or boss who is late arriving to work, takes long lunch hours or isn’t committed to the business can set a poor example to other employees. Leading by example is one way to inspire others. Be sure the point is made that work hours are for work and not other tasks. Make bonuses performance-related. One way to get those year-end numbers up is to base employee bonuses on figures tallied through the end of the year. This will help motivate workers to keep striving for success regardless of the holiday season. Give employees time to meet outside obligations. Employees who have the time to shop and get ready for the holidays will be less likely to take off from work unexpectedly or spend working hours doing personal things. Give employees the opportunity to take a half day or an extended lunch-

Page 24 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Gwinnett Daily Post • gwinnettdailypost.com

break to attend to personal tasks. Reward work well done. Sometimes all it takes is some verbal praise for employees to stick to the schedule when they’d rather be doing other things. A show of appreciation can also boost employee morale. Set realistic expectations. Being a taskmaster too close to the holidays could stress out employees and leave them less motivated. Try to schedule major projects for after the holiday season. Offer flexible schedules. The holiday season is full of more than just shopping. There are school events to attend, parties, travel, and so much more. Enable employees to build their schedules around their personal life once in a while. For example, allow working four, 10-hour days instead of five, 8-hour days. Schedule the holiday party during business hours. An office party is an office tradition, but it can cut into personal time by taking place after hours. Instead, close company operations early and have the party during the day. Chances are more workers will choose to attend this way, as well.


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Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 25


Keep Kids’ Needs in Mind While Holiday Shopping In a perfect world, holiday shopping would take place free from crowds, with low prices on all items, and with no crabby children in tow. However, reality often means that time-pressed parents have to brave the crowds to get their presents purchased -- and often with children along for the ride. Holiday shopping can be stressful enough when an adult does it alone. With children factored into the mix, it can turn into an adventure. Unable to dart from store to store and squeeze through milling shoppers, parents must pilot the stroller or shopping cart and battle through. Others must attempt to keep an eye on a youngster flitting through a sea of much-taller people in the mall or store. Without having a breakdown or throwing in the towel and skipping shopping all together, what can parents do when they have to shop with children? Be patient and follow a few ideas to minimize the confusion. One of the key things to remember is that children -especially toddlers -- have short windows of time of good behavior and patience. While an infant in a stroller may be content to sleep the entire shopping trip, a boisterous toddler or schoolaged child may become anxious when faced with crowds and long hours strapped into a carriage or car seat. Plan for short bursts of shopping so that children will not become overwhelmed or bored by the experience. Rushing out to shop with a tired or hungry child is another way parents set themselves up for disaster. Hunger pangs and sleepiness can turn a normally amenable child into one prone to tantrums rather quickly. Parents should plan time for shop-

ping jaunts for after naps and meals to eliminate these factors from the things that might trigger poor behavior from children. With the many toys, trinkets and other items on display for sale at area stores, children may beg and plead for certain things, making shopping more challenging. Try to avoid the stores that can be big temptations for children. If a child is allowed to bring a toy, book or other distraction from home, it could

help minimize the number of “I want that” requests made. When possible, talk to older children during the shopping experience. Mention how much things cost and how they are being paid for. Kids can learn valuable life lessons about managing finances by mimicking their parents. Allow children to help with some decision-making processes, such as, “Should we buy grandma the blue or green blouse?” Being involved can

make the shopping trip more tolerable and children will feel proud if they’re involved in the process. While shopping with kids can sometimes be a headache, minor irritations can turn into tragedy quickly if parents do not keep safety in mind. It is very easy to lose track of children in bustling stores. Unfortunately, child predators also can be lurking during the holiday season because they know it’s easier to

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kidnap a child or take advantage when parents are distracted and there are large crowds. Although it may seem inhumane, kiddie harnesses are effective means to keeping young children close by. Most harnesses are equipped with a plush toy backpack and a plush lead with handle. This gives the children some freedom to walk without having to constantly hold mommy or daddy’s hand, but not enough slack to run off into the crowd. Children who will be riding in shopping carts or strollers should be monitored closely and strapped in. Parents should not leave the stroller or wagon in one place to go browse for gifts. It only takes a minute for a fall to occur or for someone else to wander off with the child. It’s a good idea for parents to take a picture of their children before starting the shopping trip so that they’ll know exactly what they are wearing and be able to report it to the authorities should the youngsters wander off. Remember to take a picture of the children’s shoes, as well. Child abductors often change the clothing of a kidnapped child but do not know the size of footwear and leave those shoes in place. Identification may be made by what shoes the kid is wearing. To learn more about keeping children safe, visit the web site of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.missingkids.com). Another thing to keep in mind is meal time. Apart from the hassle of waiting on food court lines for lunch or a snack, dining out with kids can also can be expensive. Save time and money by packing lunch in a small cooler, complete with juice boxes and finger foods that children can munch on. Holiday shopping with children may not be the ideal situation, but innovative and safetyconscious parents can make the best of it this time of year.


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Staying organized during the hectic holiday season can be the ultimate testament to a person’s ability to multitask. Perhaps no time of year presents a bigger challenge than the holiday season. The list of obligations increases but the amount of time in the day unfortunately remains the same. Staying organized can be a great way to save time and some of your sanity this holiday season. To do just that, consider the following tips. 1. Create a holiday calendar. This calendar will be solely devoted to the holidays. Fill it with all your parties, shopping lists and anything else pertaining to the holidays. That way

you’ll have it all in one place. 2. Create a meal plan. Map out what meals and goodies you’ll be making this season. Write a list of ingredients you’ll need to have ready in the pantry and bring the list with you to the market. 3. Write a list of chores. Organize your home by creating a list of what needs to be decorated, what rooms need cleaning, etc. 4. Rely on gift lists. Don’t risk having to visit the toy store more than necessary just because you forgot one or two items. Make a gift list for every person on your list. On each list, write down what the recipient wants, gift ideas, clothing sizes, favorite colors, hobbies or any-

thing else related to that person. 5. Make a holiday binder. Don’t just stuff all those milelong gift lists and other organizational items into a drawer. File them away in a holiday binder. Pack the binder away with the holiday decorations each year so you’ll have it ready come next season.

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The Suite Sound of Luxury Imagine arriving at a sold-out concert and being swept into a secluded area where the parking is in abundance. Immediately when you walk into the building, you are greeted by a familiar face ready to assist and direct you. While the concourse below you seems over crowded with lines spilling into the building, you are instead mingling with friends, family and clients over enticing food and drinks that were waiting upon your arrival. Right as the show begins, your own reserved seats are at the perfect vantage point for you to truly enjoy a world class event. The Arena at Gwinnett Center provides the opportunity to customize your very own package that will suit your every requirement and desire. Each suite offers the ideal place for business or personal entertainment with two seating

areas, a television and full amenities for family, friends and clients to enjoy. Relax and enjoy the benefits of being a prestigious member of Gwinnett Arena’s Suite Holders program where this fairytale becomes your luxurious reality. In addition to the worldclass concerts and familyfriendly events throughout the year, The Arena at Gwinnett Center is home to the Gwinnett Gladiators, an ECHL hockey team as well AFL team, the Georgia Force. A variety of entertainment opportunities can be selected as part of a Premium Seating Package. With day-of-event benefits including access to premium bars and bistro dining and an exclusive parking garage, the Arena has provided every opportunity to indulge you and your guests. Also as a Premium Suite Holder, your experience will be enhanced with the

Arena’s exclusive caterer, Proof of the Pudding with menus that are sure to please every palate. Take advantage of the unparalleled benefits enjoyed by every suite holder and the custom-created dishes everyone can enjoy. From holiday gifts to corporate milestones and everything in between, celebrate any occasion with a luxury suite at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. With the opportunity for you to customize your own to package based on your specifications, you can share the experience with family, clients or employees within a relaxed environment all year long. Give the gift of luxury this holiday season. We invite you to become one of our prestigious Premium Suite Holders and be part of an exclusive membership to one of the most fully-integrated entertainment venues in Atlanta.

DON’T MISS THESE UPCOMING SHOWS! Thursday, 2/10/11 – 7:30 PM Friday, 3/4/11 – 7:30 PM Saturday, 3/12/11 – 7:30 PM Monday, 4/18/11 – 8:00 PM Thursday, 8/4/11 – 7:30 PM

Brad Paisley - featuring Darius Rucker Kid Rock Harlem Globetrotters Monster Ball Tour Starring Lady Gaga Keith Urban

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Now through Dec 22nd, Historic Norcross is celebrating the magic of Christmas. There are gifts, art, history, places to relax and fun things to do in Historic Norcross. Locally owned shops are filled with “perfect gifts” including custom jewelry, antiques, whimsical art and home accessories, and wonderful “musthaves” for every wish list. Relax with a savory meal in our restaurants – enjoy a roaring fire, live music, and a visit with Santa.Come stroll through our town instead of a mall...imagine a place where you can actually enjoy the holidays! 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! For pricing, visit www.aplacetoimagine.com 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. FREE GIFT WRAPPING ... December 18, 11a.m. - 3 p.m. 27 S. Peachtree Street. Bring all your gifts and we'll wrap while you can either shop some more, go for lunch,

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or relax with a latte in the COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES include caroling, a live nativity, and more. Take a romantic walk through the historic district, enjoying the twinkling lights in Thrasher Park and seasonal decorations on the restored Victorian cottages. Then stroll back downtown and drop in the coffee shop for an evening latte, dessert and live music, or treat yourself to a toddy by the fireplace at the pub. It’s all within easy walking distance, with an easy, authentic charm that is pure holiday magic. A CHARMING VIN-

TAGE SETTING…voted “Best Downtown” by Gwinnett Magazine! A complete list of places to go for gifts, find hot cocoa, and create your own holiday magic is available at

www.aplacetoimagine.com For more information on the fabulous things happening in Historic Norcross all year long, visit www.aplacetoimagine.com and sign up for emails.

Gwinnett Daily Post • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE • Page 29


NEED MORE

Don’t Let Dinner Be a Budget-Buster Many people worry about the expenses of the holidays. Individuals who are already pinching pennies and putting as much toward gifts as possible may want to keep holiday entertaining costs low. If finances are tight, a big Christmas dinner can certainly put a strain on the budget. To cut costs, consider these frugal tips. Shop the sales. Plan the menu in advance and comparison shop the non-perishable items. Stock up on the foods needed that can be stored in the pantry until preparation time. Choose lower-priced foods. Consider menu items

that can be bought in bulk (less expensive) and turned into delicious meals. Don’t overdo it. Party hosts often over-buy food ... just scale back and focus on one or two things. Fill guests up with vegetables. Starches, such as potatoes and rice, and many vegetables are inexpensive and filling. Have a holiday pot luck. Hosts can ask guests to bring one food item with them to lessen the financial burden. Friends and family will be more than happy to pitch in. Consider store brands. Many store brand foods are equal in taste and quality to

the brand name items ... but at lower costs. Avoid pre-made foods. Scratch-cooking takes a little more time, but it is often more economical.

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Gwinnett Daily Post Special Section - Gift Guide3 2010  

Gwinnett Daily Post Special Section - Gift Guide3 2010