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2011 HILL COUNTRY

HOLIDAY shopping

guide Published by hillcountrytimes.com


Contents

“What I’m Thankful For” Challenge - Pg 3 How-to Roast a Turkey - Pg 5 Top 10 Thanksgiving Turkey Blunders & How-to Fix Them - Pg 6 Holiday Shopping & Entertainment Events in the Hill Country - Pg 8 What’s on Your Holiday Shopping List - Pg 11 Tips for Shopping Smart This Holiday Season - Pg 15 Hill Country Map - Pg 17 Great Holiday Craft Projects for Families - Pg 18 Fun Holiday Activities To Do With Kids - Pg 19 Make Your Holiday Party a Big Success - Pg 23 Holiday Recipes - Pg 24 Hill Country Times ● PO Box 1201 ● Spring Branch, Texas 78070 ● Phone: 210-401-5502 www.hillcountrytimes.com 2

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


"What I'm Thankful For" Challenge

N

ovemmber ushers in colder weather and brings the glorious fall season to life with vibrant colors that dot the landscape in shades of yellow, gold, orange and red. It is also the month most associated with being thankful. As you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season, take time to participate in the "What I'm Thankful For" Challenge. The holidays can be tough time for many of us. Studies show that people who write down just a few things each day can improve their overall level of focus, happiness and wellbeing. The Challenge is to write down at least one thing (or more) you are thankful for each day for the next 30 days. It's easier than going to the gym and will help you take note of the brighter side of life. Performing the act each day is enough to make you think about the things, people, and experiences in your daily life. Nothing is too mundane or profound. It doesn't need to be life-changing or require a lot of thought. The idea is just to be thankful for something, even it that means being thankful for the simplest things that we all take for granted each day.

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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Thanksgiving

4

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


How-to Roast a Turkey From ButterballⓇ

Whether youʼre a novice or a seasoned pro, weʼll help you turn out a tender, juicy roasted turkey every time. Itʼs easy with the Butterball® Open-Pan Roasting Method.

Fresh or Frozen Whole Turkey or Liʼl Butterball Turkey ! !

! !

! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

1.! Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove turkey from bag. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels. 2.! Place turkey lifter across full length of flat rack in a shallow roasting pan, 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep. 3.! Tuck wings back to hold the neck skin in place. Doing so will help stabilize the turkey in the pan and when carving. Place thawed or fresh turkey, breast up, on the turkey lifter. Raise one loop over wings and breast, and the other loop over drumsticks. Rest loops on turkey, not over edge of pan during roasting. 4.! Brush skin lightly with vegetable oil or spray with cooking spray to prevent the skin from drying. 5.! Insert oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh muscle but not touching the bone. When thigh is up to temperature and if turkey is stuffed, move thermometer to center of stuffing. Stuffing should be 165 degrees when done. 6.! Place your turkey in the pre-heated oven at 325 degrees. 7.! When the turkey is about 2/3 done, loosely cover the breast and top of drumsticks with a piece of lightweight foil to prevent overcooking. 8.! Use this roasting schedule as a guide and start checking for doneness about 30 minutes before end of recommended cooking times. 9.! Your turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches the following temperatures: ! 180 degrees deep in the thigh. At this temperature juices should be clear, not reddish pink, when thigh muscle is pierced deeply. ! 165 degrees in the center of the stuffing, if turkey is stuffed. 10.!Lift roasted turkey onto platter with turkey lifter and discard lifter. 11.! Before removing stuffing and carving, let your turkey stand 15 minutes to allow juices to set.

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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Top 10 Thanksgiving 1. I forgot to defrost my turkey. Don't panic! Soak your frozen turkey in a brine solution. Unwrap the packaging, rinse well and place in the sink or a large container, breast side down. For a 16-pounder, dissolve 1ÂŤ cups kosher salt in 2 gallons of cold tap water. Change the brine every 30 minutes. This trick should halve your defrosting time to 15 minutes per pound. 2. My turkey breast always turns out dry. Your bird is being overcooked. Make sure you use a meat thermometer and remove the turkey from the oven when the temperature reaches 155 degrees; once out of the oven, the turkey will continue to cook and the temperature will rise to 165. Remove any stuffing from the cavity immediately, since a stuffed bird retains more heat. 3. Help! My turkey breast is still dry as a bone. One after-the-fact fix is to soak the breast meat in pan juices ASAP. Otherwise, douse it with gravy or save it for your favorite dishes that use turkey-day leftovers. 4. My turkey's skin never comes out crisp. Two of our favorite tricks for crisp skin are to A) rub the skin with softened butter or extra-virgin olive oil and then season well before roasting, or B) generously salt the skin of a thawed turkey and let it air-dry overnight in the refrigerator. 5. All that work and my cooked bird doesn't have a classic, golden-glazed hue. Baste, baste, baste! With a brush or bulb baster, coat the turkey evenly all over with pan juices every 15 minutes for the last hour of roasting. If the top is browning too much before the bird is done, just cover with a piece of foil. 6

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


Turkey Blunders and How-to Fix’em 6. Yikes! I left the giblet bag inside. We've all done it once! Not to worry, the turkey is safe to eat. In the future, if you rinse your turkey thoroughly inside and out, you'll find that bag before you cook it. 7. I cook a beautiful bird and then it gets hacked to pieces because no one knows how to carve. A sharp knife is an absolute necessity. Begin by cutting off each leg: slice the band of skin connecting it to the body, then twist the drumstick to pop out the joint and slice through. Next, wiggle the thighbone to find the joint and slice through. For the breast meat, make a deep horizontal cut above the wing joint, then make perpendicular slices. Slice behind the wing joint to remove. 8. My family gobbles up all the breast meat and sometimes there's not enough to go around. Just cook an extra turkey breast alongside your bird. Then everyone will be happy and full! 9. I prefer the taste of stuffing when it's baked inside the bird, but my friends tell me there's a risk it's not cooking through. To make sure your stuffing is safe to eat, just insert an instant-read thermometer into the stuffing when it comes out of the oven. It should register 160 degrees. And make sure you transfer it to an oven-safe dish (don't serve it from the bird). That way you can pop it back in the oven if necessary. 10. Going to our favorite homecoming game on Thanksgiving and roasting the big bird are not compatible activities. Roast the bird cut into parts, which only takes about an hour for a 12pound bird! Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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Holiday Shopping & Entertainment Events in the Hill Country


Hill Country Community Events BANDERA Dec 2 Annual Shoppers Jubilee 4:30-9pm, Begin the evening in front of the Courthouse with children's choirs and a Living Nativity followed by an evening of strolling luminary lit streets fi l l e d w i t h c a l l e r s , musicians, cowboys and shoppers; 830-796-4447. Dec 3 Holiday Parade - 11am in Downtown Bandera. Cowboy Capital Camp Fire Christmas - 5pm,

Gather on the banks of the Medina River at City Park to enjoy amazing displays of Christmas lights, Cowboy story-tellers and local cowboy singers. At dark the Bandera Riverside Players present a Living Nativity.; 830-796-4447 Dec 10 Singing in the Saddle 3pm; Christmas Caroling Bandera Style! Gather at the Longhorn Saloon for a Christmas Caroling Trail Ride around Bandera. Wagons available for non-

riders. Chuck wagon waiting at the end of the ride for hot chocolate and cookies.

BLANCO Nov 25 Pioneer Museum Open House - Celebrate an old fashioned Christmas; 418 Pecan Street; 830833-5101

BOERNE Nov 25-26 Dickens on Main 5-10pm; Delight in the Continued on pg 16

The Bulverde/Spring Branch Area Chamber of Commerce

Hometown Holiday in the Hills presents

Nov 25-27 ● Dec 3 ● Dec 8-11 ● Dec 20 in Bulverde and Spring Branch communities

Family Fun Festive Activities ~ Food ~ Shopping & More Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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What’s on Your Holiday Shopping List? Holiday shopping lists often contain toys, gift cards and other material items that the recipients can enjoy and put to good use. But your shopping list can go much further to not only benefit the recipients, but also a great cause. Make your holiday gifts go further this holiday season with gifts that give back. One way is to donate to local organizations like Food Pantries, or Firefighters and First Responders entities, who serve your community. You can also donate or purchase gifts through charities. The American Diabetes Association offers a Gift of Hope catalog, where every penny of profit goes directly to diabetes research. Gift of Hope offers an exclusive line of items for everyone on your list:

days," explains Howard. "I began a new life the day I went to the hospital." Since her stroke and diagnosis Howard has lost over 85 pounds and exercises regularly. "You have to keep working towards good health," she says. "Don't wait until something happens." Another way to give back this holiday season is to make a donation in honor or memory of a loved one. Many, if not all the local organizations or national charities accept these types of donations, which are normally tax-deductible. No matter which way you give, buy gifts that support a cause this season. Feel better about successfully checking off your holiday shopping list, while also making a difference in the lives of others. ~ ARA Content

www.bsbems.org

Holiday cards, many of which were created by or dedicated to a person with diabetes Personalized photo gifts, including holiday greeting cards, travel mugs, phone skins and more House wares and seasonal gift items, such as plates, ornaments and hand towels Catalog purchases are a Gift of Hope to the nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S. who have diabetes, including Kathy Howard from St. Louis. In 2008 Howard went to the emergency room thinking she had the flu, only to find out she had a stroke and type 2 diabetes. "I couldn't even put into words the shock and terror I felt those first few Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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Christmas Craft Show & Rummage Sale Saturday December 3rd 9:00AM to 4:00PM Unique Gifts Collectables Wood Crafts Jewelry & more

Holiday Baked Goods: Cakes Pies Cookies Candies

at the Bulverde Senior Center

30280 Cougar Bend in Downtown Bulverde, Texas www.bulverdeseniorcenter.com

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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Saturday, December 3rd 9:00 a.m.

Join us at Tejas Rodeo Co. 401 Obst Rd., Bulverde, Tx.

for the inaugural run of the

Bulverde Food Pantry Holiday Hunger Run 5K! Register today! Call 210.490.9987 Online at www.solerssports.com click on Events/Calendar/December In person at Soler’s Sports 18720 Stone Oak Pkwy, SATX

Race day registration @ 7:30 a.m. Race start @ 9:00 a.m.

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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Holiday Hunger Run 5K A benefit for the Bulverde Food Pantry Sponsor Information Company Name: Contact Person: Mailing Address: Telephone: land line cell 2 Email Address:

cell 1 fax Table @ Expo (circle)

C Check Level of Sponsorship Premier ($2000.00)

Y

N

Name prominently posted at the start/finish line; name/logo on front of race t-shirt; name/logo prominently displayed at the top of sponsor recognition board; name/logo included on miscellaneous printed promotional race materials; table at race expo; live introduction of company representatives in attendance at the race; frequent “shout outs” during the announcements and presentations that occur before, during, and after the race; framed certificate

Diamond ($1000.00)

Y

N

Name/logo on the top of the back of race t-shirt; name/logo displayed on sponsor recognition board; name/logo included on miscellaneous printed promotional race materials; live introduction of company representatives in attendance at the race; table at race expo; frequent “shout outs” during the announcements and presentations that occur before, during, and after the race; framed certificate

Platinum ($500.00)

Y

N

Name the back of race t-shirt; name displayed on sponsor recognition board; table at race expo; “shout outs” during the announcements and presentations that occur before, during, and after the race; framed certificate

Gold ($250.00)

Y

N

Y

N

Y

N

Name the back of race t-shirt; name displayed on sponsor recognition board; table at race expo; framed certificate

Silver ($100.00) Name displayed on sponsor recognition board; table at race expo; framed certificate

Bronze ($50.00) Name displayed on sponsor recognition board; table at race expo; framed certificate

Individual ($25.00)

NA

Framed certificate

Sponsors of $50.00 or more, please indicate in the right column (by circling Y or N) if you would like to have a table at the race expo. Full recognition, company logos, and appropriate donation for $2000 and $1000 sponsor levels must be received by (date to be determined). Please return this form with your sponsorship. Make checks payable to The Bulverde Food Pantry Mail to the attention of Paula Stakes @ Broadway National Bank, 20440 Hwy 46W, Spring Branch, TX. 78070

bfpi@gvtc.com 14

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


Tips for Shopping Smarter this Holiday Season If you're like most Americans, you'll be approaching this year's biggest gift-buying season a bit more cautiously. Holiday sales are expected to increase a modest 3 percent this year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That's a slower pace than the 4.1 percent that was gained in 2010, and for good reason. Between concerns over the persistently high unemployment rate, a vulnerable stock market and high fuel prices, shoppers are expected to take a different approach to holiday shopping this year, preferring gifts that provide long-term real value versus those that provide an immediate, but short-lived "wow" effect. So what types of gifts deliver the most bang for the buck? Homemade gifts,

whether they are baked goods, crafts, artwork or are knitted or embroidered, rank high on the list of favorites. They deliver a TIPS Continued on pg 20

Look Your Best for the Holidays Neighborhood Nail Salon in Spring Branch

TAKE 20% OFF

Any Service for New Customers only OR With purchase of 2 or More Gift Certificates Solar Nail Products Manicures ~ Nail Art ~ Pedicures

Call for Appointment

830-228-5353 210-789-9511 Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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Hill Country Community Events continued from pg. 9 BOERNE continued

Snow every 30 minutes, music, theatre groups, artisans, horse & carriages, and Santa in the gazebo. Downtown Boerne. Dec 2-3 Dickens on Main 5-10pm; Delight in the Snow every 30-minutes, music, theatre groups, artisans, horse & carriages, and Santa in the gazebo. Downtown Boerne. Dec 3 Weihnachts Parade 6-9pm; A twinkling lighted Christmas Parade in downtown Boerne. Dec 10-11 Market Days - 10am-5pm at Main Plaza. Great shopping in an outdoor setting with artists, craftsman and vendors showing their creative talents and wares to the background music of some of Texasʼ best homegrown musicians.

BULVERDE “Hometown Holiday” Nov 25 Annual Village Lighting 5 : 3 0 - 9 p m ; Tr a d i t i o n a l 16

Christmas tree lighting, Santa Parade, Santa Photos, vendors and family activities in downtown Bulverde. Accepting donations for the Bulverde Food Pantry. Christmas Open House @ Bulverde Senior Center - 5:30-9pm; Refreshments and Encore Group performance; 30280 Cougar Bend. Art Gallery Open House @ Bulverde Area Arts Center 5:30-9pm; 2355 Bulverde Road, #9. Nov 25-26 Arts & Crafts Show 10am-6pm at the Bulverde United Methodist Church, 28300 US Hwy 281 N. Dec 3 Holiday Hunger Run 5K 9am-12pm at Tejas Rodeo Company, 401 Obst Road, benefiting the Bulverde Food Pantry. Annual Christmas Craft Show & Rummage Sale 9am-4pm at the Bulverde S e n i o r C e n t e r, 3 0 2 8 0 Cougar Bend. 31st Annual ʻLiving Christmasʼ - 6-10pm at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 29797 US Hwy 281 N; Drive through 12 Live Christmas scenes. Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

Dec 8 Friends of the Library Holiday Tea & Holiday on the Hilltop - 4p-6:30pm at the Bulverde/Spring Branch Library; 131 Bulverde Crossing. Christmas Open House with food and beverages. Vote for your favorite tree, wreath or holiday tabletop decor. Dec 9 1940ʼs Christmas Musical - 7:00pm at the Bulverde United Methodist Church, 28300 US Hwy 281 N. Polar Express Pajama Party - 4-5:30pm at the Bulverde/Spring Branch L i b r a r y, 1 3 1 B u l v e r d e Crossing. Storytime featuring the Polar Express, cookies and cocoa. Wear your PJs! Dec 10 Santa Loves Children & Pets - 10am-12pm at Broadway Bank, 20440 Hwy 46 West. Photos with Santa & Christmas treats. Accepting donation for the Bulverde Food Pantry and the Bulverde Area Humane Society. XBOX 360 Holiday Tournament - 6-8pm for Continued on pg 21


Hill Country Map

SPRING BRANCH

BULVERDE

SAN ANTONIO Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

17


Great Holiday Craft Projects for Families Now is the time to plan and decorate for the holidays. From adorning the Christmas tree, to taking a family photo for greeting cards, it can be a challenge to create a unique experience while staying on a budget. You can, however, meet both these goals by taking a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach. The best part about doing it yourself is the memorable moments you spend with

Jazz Up Your Gift....

Personalize It! $5

OFF

Any Purchase of $15 or More May not be combined with another offer Expires 12/31/11

$10

OFF

Any Purchase of $30 or More May not be combined with another offer Expires 12/31/11

18

Custom Full Color Embroidery Custom Screen Printing Creative Set Up & Design Signs, Banners & More! We stock Shirts, Tees, Caps and more or Bring Your Item

DIGITAL EXPRESSIONS 4476 HWY 281 N 6/10th mi north of 46 in Spring Branch

830-438-2120

your loved ones. This is after all, the reason for the season. Also, as a family, you can create lasting gifts and keepsakes that set you apart from the crowd. Save yourself a stressful, expensive day at the mall buying stocking stuffers and holiday décor, and plan a pre-holiday family get-together instead. By taking advantage of everybodyʼs crafting skills, you can create personalized ornaments and gifts made by the family, for the family. Make sure you have plenty of craft supplies on hand that are appropriate for all ages. Provide glitter, paint, ribbon, fabric, popsicle sticks, crayons and paper -- and get to work! You can either work without direction, creating ideas from scratch, or provide your guests with instructions for specific projects. Decorating with pine cones and creating paper chain garlands from old magazines are a few ideas to get you started. And the terrific thing is these supplies are free! For creative inspiration, there are a number of websites that provide step by step instructions for creating homemade holiday décor.

CRAFTS Continued on pg 22 Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


Fun Holiday Activities To Do With Kids The holidays are a time for family and friends, new traditions and old. And many parents may look forward to the school break as a time to bond with their children. Itʼs also important that children engage in some educational activities over the holidays, especially those that continue to develop reading and math skills. “Take advantage of the break from your regular routines to show your children how learning is an everyday activity,” says Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL). “The days leading up to the holidays are an exciting time, and many children are thrilled to do something new.” Whether youʼre a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, here are some fun holiday activities to do with kids: Read Holiday Stories: In the weeks before the holidays, gather your familyʼs favorite holiday books and read one story or chapter together nightly. Have children participate in following along, turning pages and by asking them questions about the story. Reading the characters in funny voices and acting out the stories can help even the biggest Grinch warm to reading.

trivia questions -- including why people kiss under mistletoe! Make Holiday Cards: Have kids make a list of recipients. Then help them write holiday messages and decorate holiday cards before mailing them. If kids are too little to write a message, have them help you create one and then sign their names or add drawings. Grandparents will appreciate these more than store-bought cards. Volunteer Together: Whether itʼs in your local soup kitchen or hospital, the holidays are a great time to teach kids about the importance of volunteering and spreading joy. If you think it might be FUN Continued on pg 28

Let It

SNOW!

15,000 pounds of Snow Santa & Shopping NOV 27 ● 11am-5pm

Learn Fun Facts: Do you know why all snowflakes are different? Or why we make New Yearʼs resolutions? If you donʼt, finding out the answers can be fun with your child. Educational websites like Wonderopolis.org, created by the NCFL, lets parents and children explore short videos that explain the answers to many Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

9640 US HWY 281 N Spring Branch 19


TIPS continued from pg 15 strong message that you care enough to give of your time and not just your money. Personalized gifts also send a strong message, even though they don't require a lot of money. Simple gifts can easily be made to appear extra special with just a few added touches. For example, why not give a picture frame with a favorite picture inside? Or consider including a DVD of the person's favorite actor, or a big box of candy or even a special book with an added gift of a bookmark. Another highly economical gifting approach is the purchase of a single larger item that can be shared and enjoyed by multiple family members, such as a gaming system, electronics or a rideon vehicle. Smaller, less-expensive items that can be enjoyed by the whole family include board games, candles and flowers. Educational gifts, especially when purchased for children, also provide a real long-term value. With the high cost of books and school supplies, it's sometimes hard to keep up with just the basics for school-aged kids, so the holidays provide an ideal time to purchase those tools that give students an added edge in school. A mark-my-time digital booklight is just one example of an educational gift that provides immediate appeal and continues to benefit the student throughout the school year and even through summer reading programs. A bookmark, timer and booklight in one, it helps kids track their required reading time - day or night - and, in the process, encourages them to build strong reading habits. Available at retail stores or through mark-my-time.com in a number of eye-catching colors, including 20

blue, pink and green camouflage, it actually makes reading fun. It's an affordable stocking stuffer idea that will be appreciated and used long after the holidays are over. Other affordable, but equally attractive educational gifts designed for short- and long-term appeal include books, puzzles and word games. Even traditional school supplies can be jazzed up to create attractive gift ideas when they're purchased in today's hot colors, gel textures and stylish designs. And, since the holidays hit right before the start of the second school semester, it might be an ideal time to replenish supplies in an attractive and fun way. Of course the ultimate in gift frugality is the recycled gift. Regifting, as it has become known, once frowned upon is now viewed as acceptable by many, and there are even websites devoted to discussing proper regifting etiquette. An eBay survey found that 83 percent of adults have received an unwanted gift. Of those, 46 percent say they have resold or regifted items. Beyond the selection of value-oriented gifts, the makers of the mark-my-time digital booklight offer the following tips to help keep holiday shopping budgets manageable. ★ Set a budget in advance. Be realistic but make a commitment to stick with it. Some financial experts recommend a budget of 1 to 2 percent of your annual income to cover all holiday-related expenses, including gifts, entertainment and travel expenses. ★ Make a shopping list before leaving the house. Wandering aimlessly through the TIPS Continued on pg 22

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


Hill Country Community Events continued from pg. 16 BULVERDE continued

kids in second grade & up, at BGESH Inc., 23063 Hwy. 46 West, Suite 2. Dec 20 Night Before Christmas & Holiday on the Hilltop Awards - 2-4pm at the Bulverde/Spring Branch Library, featuring storytime, refreshments, crafts, photos with Santa, and the announcement of Holiday on the Hilltop winners.

BURNET Nov 18-19 Hill Country Christmas Market - Arts & Crafts, Jewelry, delectable treats, catered lunch, live music and more, all inside the spacious Galloway Hammond Recreation Center; 512-756-6180 Nov 19 Holiday Bazaar 9am-4pm at First Methodist Church始s Bluebonnet Country Preschool, 201 E. Graves Street. Dec 2 Main Street Bethlehem 6-9pm; A wildly popular event where the streets of Bethlehem come to life; 108 S. Vandeveer.

Dec 9 Main Street Bethlehem 6-9pm, The streets of Bethlehem come to life at 108 S. Vandeveer. Dec 10 Christmas on the Square 9am-9pm; Arts & Crafts, vendors, music and entertainment, bicycle giveaways & Parade in the Historic Down Square. Christmas at Ft. Croghan Dusk-8pm; Enjoy a Christmas cookie and some hot cider as you stroll along the luminaria line path and see what it might have been like to experience Christmas in the 1800s; 512-756-8281

CANYON LAKE Dec 8-10 North Pole Village - A magical Christmas experience for children, where the CRRC has been transformed into a pint-size Village with plenty of fun activities and a visit from Santa; 125 Mabel Jones Drive in the Sattler area. Dec 10 33rd Annual Christmas Parade - 11am-1pm, along FM 2673 in downtown Sattler. Bring your lawn

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

chairs and come early to get a good spot. Parade will kick-off with a flyover by the CAF. Santa Paws at CLASS Christmas pictures with your pet. 830-899-2527 Parade of Lights - 6pm; A parade of lighted boats on the lake under a full moon by the Hill Country Yacht Club. Dec 15-17 North Pole Village - A magical Christmas experience for children, where the CRRC has been transformed into a pint-size Village with plenty of fun activities and a visit from Santa; 125 Mabel Jones Drive in the Sattler area. Dec 17 Santa Paws at CLASS Christmas pictures with your pet. 830-899-2527. Dec 18 Cookies, Hot Chocolate & Pictures with Santa 10am-2pm at VFW 8800 in Startzville. Dec 31 New Year始s Eve Dance & Breakfast - at VFW 8800 in Startzville; Public is welcome. Continued on pg 26 21


CRAFTS continued from pg 18 Kids, grandparents, uncles, cousins, everybody can participate, no matter what their skill level. This get-together can also double as a perfect photo opportunity. Itʼs easy to get a family portrait when you have everyone gathered in one place. And the holidays are the best time to share family photos with friends. Use these photos to create Christmas cards, ornaments and personalized bookmarks and notebooks. Or create greeting cards and Christmas ornaments that are unique and crafty. There are several websites that can spin a

TIPS continued from pg 20 stores can lead to overspending. ★ Compare prices before making impromptu purchasing decisions. Be Type to enter text

Hill Country Christmas Lighting Trail Nov 19-Jan 1 www.tex-fest.com/regional/index.htm 22

unique twist on your photos so they really stand out in the sea of holiday greetings that adorn your familyʼs and friendsʼ refrigerators or your Christmas tree. For example, www.snapily.com gives your photographs 3D-depth and flip-book style animated effect (i.e., two images flip as you rotate the card back and forth) to convey emotion and humor. So donʼt be afraid to plan something a little goofy for that photo shoot. With a little craftiness, and a little wit, you can really customize the look and feel of your holiday this year. ~ StatePoint

certain to include all related expenses, including shipping and installation expenses, if appropriate. ★ Beware of discounts based on inflated prices. Don't be fooled by sales that promote double-digit discounts on extravagantly priced items. It's the bottomline price that counts. ★ Consider patronizing local merchants instead of buying online this year. Not only will you be doing your part to help support the local economy, but you might actually find some great deals as brick-and-mortar retailers are becoming more aggressive in combating online sales strategies. The current economic climate is causing people to change the way they do a lot of things in life, including the way they celebrate and shop for the holidays. But with some careful planning and creative thinking, it's still possible to find the perfect gift that fits your budget and needs exactly. ~ ARA Content

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


Make Your Holiday Party a Big Success Looking to make a big impression at your holiday party? Think small -- as in small plates that allow you to showcase different colorful dishes and cuisines. With small plates gaining popularity in wine bars and restaurants nationwide, many people are tapping into this trend in home entertaining by getting more creative with their holiday menus and decorations. In short, small details and dishes can make a big impression. Great for the Host A small plate party makes life easier for the host. You don始t have to fret over a sitdown dinner with an appetizer, main

course and dessert, and guests can eat whenever they arrive. When using small plates remember that you shouldn始t only prepare one-to-two bite hors d始oeuvres. Each dish should be thought of as a mini course on a small plate, featuring 4-6 bites of food for eating when sitting or standing. Consider different cuisines and colors, like mozzarella and tomato with basil or Greek stuffed grape leaves and olives, arranged on small plates, such as the Libbey Just Tastings mini dinnerware collection. These days there are even trendy cookbooks devoted solely to PARTY Continue on pg 28

Living Christmas Drive-Thru 12 Scenes

Dec 3rd, 6-9pm St.Paul Lutheran Church 29797 US Hwy 281 N in Bulverde, Texas

Main Street Bethlehem Dec 2nd & 9th 6-9pm

Biblical times 108 S. Vandeveer Street In the Hill Country in Burnet, Texas Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

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Holiday Recipes Chocolate Hazelnut Fruit Bread

Makes 4 small loaves

Bread Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray 2 (7.4 oz.) pkgs. Martha White Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix 1/2 cup sour cream 3/4 cup milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large) 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts Heat oven to 350 degreeF. Coat bottoms only of four 6 x 3 1/2-inch foil loaf pans with no-stick cooking spray. Stir together all bread ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove and cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store in refrigerator. Optional Orange Butter: Beat 1/2 cup softened butter in small bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 tsp grate orange peel and 1 TBS orange juice. Store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 3/4 cup.

Fruit Tart with Pretzel Crust Crust 3 cups finely crushed Snyderʼs of Hanover Pretzels 2/3 cup sugar 1 1/4 cups cold butter or margarine Topping 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk 1/4 cup lime juice 1 TBS lime zest 24

1 1/2 cups whipped topping 7 cups assorted fresh fruit, sliced In a large bowl, mix crushed pretzel and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a 9x9 brownie pan or small casserole dish. Bake at 375〫for 10 minutes or until set. Cool at room temperate and then refrigerate for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, combine milk, lime juice and lime zest. Folk in whipped topping. Spread on cold crust. Top with fruits. Keep refrigerated.

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


Holiday Cranberry Chutney

1 1/4 cups sugar 3/4 cup water 1 large cooking apple, chopped 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 15 min Serves: 12 “A chunky chutney like this one makes a great gift for friends and neighbors I gave them the chutney in a decorated jar with a package of cream cheese and a box of crackers. It makes a lovely snack and is just as good alongside a main disch ~ Cheryl Lottman� INGREDIENTS: 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries

DIRECTIONS: In a saucepan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for 15-20 minutes or until apple is tender and mixture thickens. Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator. Serve over cream cheese with crackers or as a condiment with port, ham or chicken.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies INGREDIENTS: 1 cup butter, softened 1 cup peanut butter 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 eggs 3 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 3/4 cups crushed Snyder's of Hanover Mini Pretzels 1 (11.5 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chunk morsels or chips DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat butter, peanut butter and sugars until creamed. Add vanilla and eggs and mix

well. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix. Finally add crushed pretzel pieces and chocolate chunks, mix until combined. Using a small cookie scoop, place cookie dough on ungreased cookie sheets, making sure they are 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for eight to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

25


Hill Country Community Events continued from pg. 21 COMFORT

FREDERICKSBURG

Nov 26 Christmas in Comfort Comfortʼs Historic District is filled with Arts & Crafts booths, Entertainment, food court, petting zoo, Visit from Santa and a spectacular Night Parade in the evening.

Nov 18-20 2011 Rockbox Theatre Christmas Show - Light up your holiday season with a new Christmas show for kids and grown-ups. Fri-8pm; Sat-4:30pm & 8pm; Sun-1:30pm; Downtown Fredericksburg, 109 N. Llano Street. 830-349-6688.

DRIPPING SPRINGS Nov 16 Holiday Market - 1-6pm; Dripping Springs Womanʼs Club hosts 35 esteemed vendors will have all the gifts you will need for your family and friends at the Terrace Club, 2600 E. Hwy 290. Dec 3 Christmas on Mercer Street - 10am-6pm; Youʼll find an Arts & Crafts festival, live music, childrenʼs activities, food vendors, Clydesdale horse-drawn carriage rides, pictures with Santa. Lighting of the Lionʼs Christmas Tree - 6:15pm at the Triangle.

26

Nov 25 The Peddler Show - A one-of-a-kind shopping experience; 5508 W. Hwy 290, Suite 208; 800-775-2774. Dec 2 Lighted Christmas Parade in Downtown 6:30pm; Bring your hot chocolate and comfortable seating to enjoy this small town Wilkommen to the holiday season. Dec 2-3 St. Nikolausmarkt “A Tr a d i t i o n a l G e r m a n Christmas Market” - Fri 2-9pm, Sat 10am-7pm; 40 plus booths featuring everything Christmas; Traditional German

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

clothing, foods & beverages; Downtown on the Marktplatz.

GRUENE Nov 19-20 Old Gruene Market Days & Photos with Cowboy Kringle - 10am-5pm; Featuring nearly 100 vendors offering uniquely crafted items. Nov 24 -Thanksgiving Day 3rd Annual Gruene Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk and Quarter Mile Kidʼs Turkey Chase - Fun for the whole family starts and ends in front of Gruene H a l l , b e n e fi t i n g l o c a l charities.Register online at: www.comalcopsforkids.org Nov 25-27 Photos with Cowboy Kringle - in the breezeway between Gruene General Store and The Grapevine. Photo packages available. Dec 3 10th Annual Gruene Pony Express Ride - The Gruene Historic District will receive a Pony Express rider from the Heritage Trail Ride Association of


New Braunfels at 10am. Relay riders carry a “Christmas Greeting” message from the Governor of Texas. A temporary post office will be set up next to Gruene Outfitters in Gruene to cancel stamps for mailing. Bring your Christmas cards to have the stamps cancelled with the 2011 commemorative stamp representing Gruene. Annual Gruene Town Lighting - 6pm; Cowboy Kringle rides into town on horseback to light up the town and hands out candy canes to the kids. Dec 3-4 Gruene Christmas Market Days - 10am-5pm; Nearly 100 vendors offer Christmas gifts uniquely crafted items and packaged Texas foods. Perfect for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Photos with Cowboy Kringle - Grueneʼs own brand of Santa will be featured for photos with kids in the breezeway between Gruene General Store and The Grapevine. Photo packages available.

Cowboy Kringleʼs Kids Workshop - Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 12-5pm; Bring the kids out to Gruene to make and wrap one-of-kind handcrafted Christmas presents to give family members; Parents will be able to safely leave their children (5 and older) at the gift center while they shop, eat or enjoy the sights in the district. Benefitting Communities in Schools. Dec 10 19th Annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk - Restration begins at 7:30am, Race starts at 9am; This 5K benefits St. Judges Ranch for Children, sponsored by the New Braunfels Running Club. Dec 10-11 Photos with Cowboy Kringle - In the breezeway between Gruene General Store and The Grapevine. Photo packages available. Cowboy Kringleʼs Kids Workshop - Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm (see details at top) Gruene Outfitters Open House - 10am-6pm; Come enjoy refreshments and

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

holiday atmosphere while browsing this truly unique retail store. Dec 11 Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist at Gruene Hall, Christmas Edition 10:30am-12pm; In a tradition of a New Orleansstyle gospel brunch, serving awe-inspiring gospel music coupled with a mouth-watering buffet by Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar. For tickets visit www.gruenehall.com . Dec 17-18 Photos with Cowboy Kringle - In the breezeway between Gruene General Store and The Grapevine. Photo packages available. Cowboy Kringleʼs Kids Workshop - Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm. Dec 31 New Yearʼs Eve: Cody Canada & The Departed Ring in the New Year at Texasʼ Oldest Dance Hall. For tickets visit www.gruenehall.com . Jan 1, 2012 Hair of the Dog Day Noon-11pm, Free shows at Gruene Hall. Continued on pg 30

27


FUN continued from pg 19 difficult for your family to spend a day with strangers, consider baking cookies or a cake for an elderly neighbor or relative. Have kids read recipes, measure ingredients and keep things organized. This helps develop reading, counting and organizational skills while sharing. Track Santa: Not all traditions have to be traditional. If your children feel more comfortable in front of a computer than in the kitchen, use that to your advantage PARTY continued from pg 23 miniature appetizers and desserts, such as those from author Robert Zollweg. Both the Just Tastings collection and cookbook line are available at Bed Bath & Beyond. Get creative and serve-up Spanish, French or Asian dishes. Or go familiar with lollipop lamb chops or hamburger sliders. You can even use the same 4-inch plates for appetizers and desserts, supplementing them with small dessert bowls for little portions. Mingling and Sampling This type of party literally allows you to go with the flow. Small plates allow guests to mingle and socialize with everyone, compared to sit-down dinners. Small dishes are also great for guests who want to taste everything but donʼt want to appear to be holiday gluttons. Such plates are also perfect for kids who have big eyes but small stomachs.

when considering new family holiday activities. For example, starting each December, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) “tracks” Santaʼs movements at www.noradsanta.org. Children and adults alike are sure to get a kick out of it. For more ideas for fun activities for kids, visit www.wonderopolis.org. Remember, the memories you make now will stay with your children for a lifetime. ~ StatePoint

little tastes can have a big impact with their colors, shapes and designs. Small decorating details also matter. So add a little cranberry or holly to each plate as garnish. Or use wire ribbon throughout your party space on doorknobs, banisters, even to tie napkins. Creating great tables truly welcomes guests. Make sure to coordinate tablecloths, napkins, candleholders and centerpieces. You can find a colorful assortment of each online at www.bedbathandbeyond.com. Donʼt be afraid to think creatively! You can also add flair by using glasses in untraditional ways. A set of Libbey Mini Wine Tasting Glasses can double as décor when filled with candies, nuts and dried fruit. Or use shot glasses for shrimp cocktail. Remember, bigger isnʼt always better for holiday parties.

Great for Presentation When it comes to parties, the visual impact of your food is as important as its taste. This is where small plates shine, as 28

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide


Give the Gift of Safety this Christmas

GUN TRAINING at the Lake CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE SELF DEFENSE HANDGUN CLASS

GIFT CERTIFICATES MAKE GREAT STOCKING STUFFERS!

830-885-2957 www.feelsafeguntraining.com Type to enter text

Drive-ru Christmas Light Park! Now - January 1st, 2012

Santa’s Ranch Over 1.3 Million Lights!!!

Exit 199, Turnaround Go South 1 Mile on I-35 Access Road

www.santasranch.net Sun-Thur 6-10pm ● Fri-Sat 6-11pm ● Info: 830-743-1293 Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

29


Hill Country Community Events continued from pg. 27 JOHNSON CITY Nov 25 Lights Spectacular, Hill Country Style - 6:30pm; The official lighting of the Blanco County Courthouse will begin with Santa始s arrival. The courthouse will glow with 100,000+ lights; Chuck Wagon food court next to Johnson City Bank. Festivities include live bands, hayrides until 11 p m ; C a r r i a g e r i d e s available. Also featured are a one million light display at PEC Headquarters on Avenue F, Christmas in the Park and light displays throughout the community, through Jan 1st. Nov 26 Clickety Cloggers 5 : 3 0 p m ; S t a r t o ff t h e second night of Lights Spectacular with a performance in the street in front of the Courthouse on the Square. Lighted Hooves and Wheels Parade - 6:30pm; Parade and pictures with Santa in Memorial Park on Main Street. Timeless Christmas 6-9pm; In addition to the Christmas celebration in the decked out LBJ 30

boyhood historic home located on Elm Street, one block south of Hwy 290 (Main Street), visitors can board a shuttle bus and ride to the Johnson Settlement for a guided lantern tour going back to the late 1860s Christmas frontier Texas; visit the cabin of Sam Ealy Johnson. Dec 9-10 Living Story of Christmas - 6 pm; A show for all ages by the Johnson City First United Methodist Church. Five shows per evening with the last one starting at 8:30pm; Show length is approx. 10 minutes. Enjoy a large display of nativity scenes, cookies, hot chocolate and coffee inside the church activity center.

KERRVILLE Nov 19 Breakfast with Santa 9am-12pm at the YO Ranch Resort & Conference Center, 2033 Sidney Baker Street; 281-701-6335. Holiday Parade, Festival & Courthouse Lighting Festival from 12-5pm; Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

Parade at 6pm, followed by Courthouse Lighting, 700 Main Street. Nov 25-26 Kerr County Market Days 9am-4pm; An old fashioned market on the square with over 75 vendors selling Texas wares, 700 Main Street Dec 10 Christmas Choral Concert at Old Union Church - 4-7pm; A concert of classical and popular Christmas music in the setting of an historical country church, corner of B r o a d w a y a n d Tr a v i s streets; 830-895-3710 Dec 11 H i l l C o u n t r y Yo u t h Orchestra Christmas Concert - 3pm; Featuring four orchestra ages 5-19 years; Kathleen C. Cailoux Theater, 910 Main Street; 830-896-6116 Dec 17 Kerr County Market Days 10am-1pm; Come share the in the joy of Christmas with fun crafts, refreshments, and a visit from that special elf from up North! At the Salvation Army Ray & Hoan Kroc


Corp Community Center dinning hall, 201 Holdsworth Drive. 830-315-5761

season by lighting thousands of twinkling lights in beautifula downtown New Braunfels.

Dec 19-23 Christmas Like It Used To Be - Monday-Friday 12pm; Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season as presented by local artisans at the Bank of the Hills, 1075 Junction Hwy.

Nov 18-20 Weihnchtsmarkt (Christmas Market) Shopping extravaganza with unique decorations, speciality items, fabulous gifts & antiques by a wide array of retail merchants and artisans. Nov 18-19: 10am-6pm; Nov 20: 11am-5pm; Admission Fee

MARBLE FALLS Nov 18 Christmas Light-Up Parade 5-6:30pm; A parade that is sure to get the entire family in the holiday spirit! Followed by the opening of the Walkway of Lights. www.marblefalls.org Nov 18 - Jan 1 Walkway of Lights 6-10pm nightly (weather permitting);Over 2 million lights transform Lakeside Park into a holiday wonderland; With Santa on the weekends.

NEW BRAUNFELS Nov 18 Downtown Tree Lighting 6pm; Welcome Santa as we kick off the holiday

Dec 1 Wassailfest - 6pm; Sample free Wassail and local merchants compete to win prizes. Live music, beautiful holiday lights and yummy festival foods too!

SPRING BRANCH “Hometown Holiday”

Nov 27 Let It SNOW! - 11am-5pm; 15,000 pounds of Snow, Santa & Shopping at Bliss Bling & Sassy Things, 9640 Hwy 281 N Dec 3 Faithfest - 10am3pm; Santa, food & holiday shopping at Faithville Village on Hwy 46 East. 2nd Annual Denim & Diamonds Fundraiser for Bulverde-Spring Branch

Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide

EMS - 6-10pm at Knibbe Ranch on Spring Branch Road. PurchaseTickets: 830-228-501

WIMBERLEY Nov 25 Town Christmas Lighting 6pm; Santa will come from Fire Station to the Park on Old Kyle Road, lighting the route as he hoes. He will then spend time in the Park for those who want to meet him. Dec 2-3 Late Night Shopping Late night shopping on the Wimberley Square Downtown...Open ʻtil 8pm, some later. Dec 3 Market Day - 7am-4pm; 475 plus booths of everything you canʼt live without. Something for everyone; food and drinks available, music; at Lions Field, 601 FM 2325. Parking Fee. Dec 10 Winters Eve Festival “A Christmas Celebration” 5-10pm; Holiday festivities, Santa, live entertainment & more, on the Square at The Quarter. 31


Merry Christmas and Happy Trails in the New Year

from the

Texas Hill Country

2011 Hill Country Holiday Shopping Guide  

A guide to holiday shopping and entertainment in the Texas Hill Country

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