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Port Orchard Independent

Tis the Season


Tis the Season


Port Orchard Independent

Take home a local artist for the holidays

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16th Annual



For the Independent

is the Season”: The season for searching out the special and the unique. You are looking for that perfect something for a gift. In Port Orchard, we have an abundance of local artists — jewelry makers, painters, potters, authors and more from which to choose. Some highlights include: At the Sidney Art Gallery and Museum, 202 Sidney Ave., you can find fun and unique bottle openers, candlesticks, jacket pulls and wall hooks crafted in iron by John Phillips. Also at the Sidney you will find wonderful fused glass work by Winifred Andrew, whose work is always fun and who has re-purposed wash boards as wall hangings with glass laundry. Check out the nuno scarves (a wet felted process using silk and wool roving to produce exquisite one-of-a-kind pieces) by Patti Ellis. Elissa Whittleton produces wonderful small watercolors and pen and ink drawings. Port Orchard has a number of local authors like Dianne Gardner, a local writer of young adult fantasy and dystopias, who is also an artist, producer and director. Other authors worth reading: April Shelton, Gwen Whiting, Gwen Selix, Emma Lynn, Joanne Jaytanie Duncan, Sharon Kleve, Jennifer Conner, Lori Lyn, Rachel Grant, DV Berkom, Chris Karlsen, Larry Fowler, Jack Gallagher, Fran Rossiter, Bella Rossiter, and Deborah McLain. You can order their books through Paperbacks Plus, 1618 Bay St., where there is a wide selection of new and used books for everyone. Check out the air plants by Fred Chang at Custom Picture Framing and Fat Cat Gallery, 839 Bay St. You won’t find these anywhere else in town. Also, cards by Kate Larsen and Heidi Sanger’s gourds. Local artist Kimberly Van Rossim’s paintings of mermaids and fairies are bright and colorful and fit in with the rest of the works at eclectic Lallie Mae’s Chalet Boutique, 713 Bay St. Rudy Swensen and the staff at Rings and Things, 710 Bay St., specialize in making unique, custom, handcrafted jewelry pieces — from diamond engagement rings to pendants and diamond necklaces. Any design is possible, and you can be the creator of your own one-ofa-kind jewelry piece. You will find many local treasures at the

“Sleigh Bells Ring Port Orchard Glistening”

Chris Stansbery photo

Fun and unique items await at the Sidney Art Gallery and Museum. Crazy Lady on Bay Street Gifts and Gallery, 724 Bay St., including the wonderful whimsical cats by Jeff Haynie, made from cat food cans, Seahawk cards by Margot Wallen, and crystal wands and charms by Samantha McMahon. Shellie Wilkerson, the owner and an artist in her own right, also has Zombie Games on sale right now. I don’t know where else in Port Orchard you could go for those. Owner Karen Johnson chalk-paints desks and tables, and hand paints designs on dressers and chairs, at Shabulous, 585 Bethel Ave., Suite 105. She also offers classes if you want to paint your own presents. Looking for an artistic depiction of a heron? A Northwest Coast Native-style salmon? Garden stakes? New to the Port Orchard Public Market is Blackwaters Metal Art and Design, with handcrafted garden art and decor. This local husband and wife team create delightful metal art. You will also find plenty of handcrafted items at local gift shows as the holidays approach. Keep an eye on the event calendar for listings.

Chris Stansbery photo

Chris Stansbery photo

Artwork by Kimberly Van Rossim can be found at Lallie Mae’s Chalet Boutique.

Whimsical cats by Jeff Haynie are on display at Crazy Lady on Bay Street.

Saturday, December 6, 2014 11:00 am - 7:30 pm Featuring the 4th Annual 5K Jingle Bell Run/Walk

City Hall & Downtown Port Orchard Celebrate the season! Please join us for FREE, family-fun events: A Christmas Story Movie @ Dragonfly Theater Bushwick Book Club Musical Group perform music inspired by A Christmas Carol at the Library Pooch & Purr on Parade Costume Contest Kitsap Community Chorale performs East Port Orchard Elementary EPOpians perform Christmas Lane Decorated Boat Contest Christmas Tree Lighting & Clock Tower Chimes Arrival of Santa Claus on Fire Truck South Kitsap High School Marching Band Free Hayrides, Crafts & Refreshments Presented by the City of Port Orchard and these generous sponsors: Kitsap Bank, our presenting sponsor. Arthritis Foundation - Pacific NW Chapter, Brad Paige - Caseco, Calvary Church, Dance Gallery, Del’s Feed & Farm Supply, Dennis Simpson as Santa, Dragonfly Cinema, Fathoms O’ Fun, Heritage Foursquare Church, Jones Tree Farm, Knights of Pythias, Olympic Peninsula Antique Tractor Club, Port of Bremerton - Port Orchard Marina, POBSA, Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, Port Orchard Independent, Port Orchard Library, Sidney Museum, Sinclair Inlet Yacht Club & Wave Broadband

Tis the Season

Port Orchard Independent

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That’s Beautiful offers an array of one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry, along with scarves.

National & State Historic Site

Holiday Show

November 29th - December 24th • Original Art • Handmade Holiday Gifts Holiday Cards Available Image Art Studio “Snowman” by Elissa Whittleton

• Food Donations for Helpline accepted here.

202 Sidney Avenue • Port Orchard

(360) 876-3693

Dannie Oliveaux / Staff photo

Local businesses offer unique, one-of-kind gifts for the holidays By DANNIE OLIVEAUX

• Affordable Prices

Gallery Hours: Tues. - Sat. 10am - 4pm Sunday 1pm - 4pm

Pictures With Santa at the Log Cabin December 6th & 7th and th 13 & 14th 11am to 3pm Bring Your Own Camera 416 Sidney Avenue • Port Orchard




owntown Port Orchard merchants, along with other small businesses in the area, offer an array of unique and oneof-kind gifts for that special or hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list. You will find an eclectic mix of high-quality antique shops, art galleries, jewelry, candy and even toys. There is the Port Orchard Public Market and plenty of restaurants, coffee houses and taverns to visit while shopping. Olde Central Antique Mall, located at the corner of Sidney Avenue and Bay Street, has two floors filled with thousands of antiques, along with vintage items and collectables. You will find furniture, glassware, books, clothing, vintage jewelry, pottery, art and more. Customers can listen to the old 1920 player piano — The Empress Player with mandolin and orchestra bells — for just 25 cents. Wisteria Lane also carries antiques, new items, vintage, and retro, from small items all the way to large furniture. They have multiple vendors — each with their own space — so merchandise is always changing. Buddy’s Good Eye, located at 745 Bay St., next to Olympic Bike and Skate Shop, has a variety of items including furniture, artwork, pottery, dishes, knick-knacks, unique and oneof-a-kind items, and other miscellanous items. Crazy Lady of Bay Street Gallery and Gifts, 724 Bay St., offers traditional and whimsical art and sculpture, terrific gifts and fascinating characters. Good Buys General Store, 804 Bay St., has items from a variety of vendors who sell lavender products, collectables, furniture and more. A memory box — with a family heirloom or personal keepsake — from Custom Picture Framing, 839 Bay St., is a great gift idea for the holidays. The store offers matting and mounting with alternatives to traditional framing — oval, circular and arched cathedral frames are available in a wide variety of sizes and finishes, along with convex glass. Fred Karakas, owner of Olympic Bike and Skate Shop, can help you find or fix up a bike for the holidays. Rings and Things, Inc., has a wide assortment of jewelry, from diamond rings to pre-

cious gems for him or her this holiday season. They also can restore pearls or beaded jewelry to their original glory. New in downtown is The Oatman Girls, a store that specializes in refurbished furniture and repurposed items. The store, located at 1960 Bay St., also carries a line of one-of-a-kind birdhouses and yard art. Also new is Vintage Artisan and Co., 818 Bay St., has a variety of vintage furniture, decor and local artwork by local artisans. For men or women who enjoy working around the yard, a new riding lawn mower or chain saw from Peninsula Feed and Power Equipment may be the perfect gift. The perfect stocking stuffer or gift for a co-worker is a gift certificate from many of the area’s restaurants, coffee shops, beauty and nail salons, and massage and spa centers throughout the area. And a perfect and unexpected gift might be a night or so at the Cedar Cove Inn, Mrs. Howe’s Bed and Breakfast, Little Clam Bay or Wye Not Getaway.

Just for her For the special women in your life, That’s Beautiful Jewelry and Accessory, 140 Harrison St., has an array of handcrafted jewelry and a large variety of scarves. The store offers hand-crafted jewelry by Mercedes Baudrand. They also have Seahawk earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Sparkles and unique gifts abound here, all for less than $35. Lallie Mae’s Chalet Boutique, 713 Bay St., has many beautiful and unique gift ideas including products from Margot Elena, Peacock Park home decor, Sweet Romance and Ollipop designer jewelry, Ella E. designer jewelry and Tocca perfumes. The store also carries a variety of local artists from wall to glass art to handmade and hand-beaded jewelry. Keelee’s Kloset, 821 Bay St., is a small boutique that offers unique gifts, hair accessories and clothing for girls of all ages. They also do custom sewing and embroidery.


Tis the Season


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Port Orchard Independent


Sweet tooth The Candy Shoppe sells a wide and diverse selection of candy, from jawbreakers and taffy to specialty-brand chocolates and homemade fudge. Gift certificates, toys, and treats for pets are also available. For the holiday, Carter’s Chocolates — located in the Port Orchard Public Market, offers holiday gifts of truffle boxes, jars of caramel sauce, hot chocolate mix, exquisite single-origin chocolate bars, gift sets of drinking chocolate, mugs or T-shirts. If you can’t decide, gift cards are available in any amount at Carter’s. Mile Hill Drive On Mile Hill Drive, New 2 You, next to Towne Square, has more than 26,000 square feet of “everything and anything you may need.” It’s a variety mall with close to 200 vendors inside that are selling antiques, china, tools, used furniture and even Seahawk football jerseys. Great Prospect Variety Mall, which features second-hand and used items, offers a large variety of one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find items. South Park Pharmacy, 1743 Village Lane SE, is more than a place to pickup medicine — they also have specialty gift items. They currently have Seahawk and Mariner OYO mini-figures, which are great stocking stuffers. Along Bethel For a gift with a personal touch, at Shabulous, you can take a class and design your own unique blackboard gifts. Earlier this

Book lovers There are several small book stores in the Port Orchard area. Paperbacks Plus, 1618 Bay St., offers good quality paperbacks at 50 percent of the publisher’s price and include hardbacks, trade paperbacks, new books and collectibles. Book’em, 2289 Bethel Road SE, also has a large variety and selection of used book. Jacobs Treasures, 1700 SE Mile Hill Drive, Suite 132 in Towne Square, offers new Hebrew and Christian religious books and bibles.

202 Sidney Avenue ~ Port Orchard

Nov. 29—Dec. 24

Original Art Handcrafted Gifts

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Start Your

Holiday Shopping with the

Best of South Kitsap Great deals from Local Businesses you trust

Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat: 10am—4pm ~ Sun: 1pm-4pm

Holiday Show

National and State Historic Site

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year, Shabulous moved from a small downtown storefront into a larger location at 585 Bethel Ave, Suite 105. The store offers “shabby chic” furniture and home decor, along with vintage, new and repurposed items. The store also carries a full line of brushes, waxes, cleaners and other items needed to paint furniture. Debbie Macomber’s A Good Yarn Shop and Springhouse Dolls and Gifts, located on Bethel, offers a variety of gifts for the women in

Dannie Oliveaux / Staff Photo

The Sidney Art Gallery & Museum

nchester • Su nn Ma ys

South Kitsap

With more than 200 vendors, New 2 You has a variety of collectibles, antiques, china, tools and more.

your life. The yarn shop has hundreds of colors of yarn, in-house designer kits, books and patterns. Springhouse Dolls and Gifts is filled with such cute stuff, but at Christmas it’s really bursting with shiny holiday items. You can take a break or have lunch at the Victorian Rose Tea Room and Gifts.

Affordable Prices Food donations for Helpline accepted

Music lovers At Mainline Music, 702 Bay St. is a full-service music store with an assortment of musical instrument and accessories sales, rentals and repairs. They also do lessons in the store on most instruments and stock school band instrument rentals and supplies, and more. Stop in and try out some cool acoustic guitars in the remodeled “Wood Shed” or browse a great selection of method and personality music books. The store carries a wide variety of accessories, including Cool Picks. Pet lovers For pet lovers, visit Cookies Pet Grooming and Wash on Bethel Avenue or Phase II Pets and Grooming in Towne Square. If you know a bird lover, then Port Orchard Parrots may be the place for you. — Bek Ashby contributed to the story.


Pictures with Santa at the Log Cabin Museum Dec. 6-7 and 13-14 ~ 11am to 3pm 416 Sidney Ave. ~ Port Orchard



Over 200 Vendors over 200 vendors

over 200 vendor

Over 200 Vendors


• Fast & Convenient • Little Money Down • Easy Monthly Terms


MON-SAT. 9AM-7PM • 360-871-1020



Dannie Oliveaux / Staff Photo

For 25 cents, listen to the old 1920 player piano at the Olde Antique Mall.

That’s Beautiful! Handcrafted Jewelry

Free 8oz. Espresso Jewelry, Accessories, Gifts Please present coupon at time of purchase. Limit 1 per customer per visit.

360-876-0857 • Mon-Sat 10am-7:30pm • Sun 10am-5pm 1696 S.E. Mile Hill Drive, Suite 110 • Port Orchard WA. 98366 360-876-0857 • Mon-Sat 10am-7pm • 1696 S.E. Mile Hill Drive, suite 110 • Port Orchard Wa Your dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. 140 Harrison Ave. • Port Orchard • Hours 10am-8pm

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Tis the Season

Port Orchard Independent

Events of the Holidays

WEEKENDS ONLY BEFORE CHRISTMAS The Western Washington Center for the Arts (WWCA), 521 Bay St., will perform “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Nov. 21 to Dec. 21. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m. It will close Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available online (, at the box office or call 360-769-7469.

SATURDAY, NOV. 29 BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Visit with Santa and enjoy a breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, and juice, coffee, and tea at the Port Orchard Eagles Club, 4001 Jackson Ave., from 8 a.m. to noon. Cost is $6 adults, $4 children ages 5-12, Free for ages younger than 5. Funds support the Fathoms O’ Fun Scholarship Program. Prepurchase tickets at the South Kitsap Helpline or Eagles Club, or buy them at the door. Pictures and raffle additional. For more info, go online to

FREE PANCAKE BREAKFAST: The Port Orchard Bay Street Association will sponsor a kickoff breakfast for Small Business Saturday.” The event is 8-11 a.m. at the Port Orchard Public Market, 715 Bay St. Join POBSA in celebrating and promoting small business in downtown Port Orchard. The breakfast will feature pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice and milk by the Port Orchard Lions Club.

FRIDAY, DEC. 5 WINTER BAZAAR: St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 1150 Mitchell Road, will host the event 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All proceeds go to help community needs. There will be hand-crafted and paper-crafted items, along with others. More than 150 local merchants will be participating. Admission is free. NATIVITY SCENE: The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, 3877 Mullenix Road, is the site for “Christ is Born” — an annual Port Orchard Nativity exhibit. It is a family friendly display with more than 500 nativities gathered from around the world. Sacred Art Gallery will feature framed art from the life of Christ. There is also a children’s nativity craft, story time and nativity dress up room, scavenger hunt and Christmas caroling sing-along. A live reenactment and reading of the Christmas story will take place every 30 minutes starting at 5 p.m. There will also be live musical performances by local schools, choirs and musicians. Admission is free and hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.



Saturday, December 6th 2014 Downtown Port Orchard

Part of Festival of Chimes & Lights • Register under the Kitsap Bank drive-thru between 4 - 4:30 p.m. • Registration “cost” is a non-perishable pet food item for the Kitsap Humane Society. • Be prepared, if they poop to scoop! • At 4:30 - 5 pm the pet parade, (with your decked out pets) starts.

Winners will be announced at 5:15 p.m. at City Hall. • Prizes to be awarded

traditional carols such as The First Noel/Pachelbel’s Canon and holiday favorites such as the Christmas Pops Trio and Various Themes on Fa-la-la will be performed. The concert will also feature selections from “Magnificat” by Alan Hovhannes. To learn more about the Peninsula Community Chorus, go online to or visit PeninsulaCommunityChorus.


BURLEY BAZAAR: “A Community Celebration of the Holiday Season” offering food and gifts from many of the South Sound’s finest local artisans from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Burley Community Hall, 14853 Burley Ave., Port Orchard. Events include visits and take-your-own pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Burley Glenwood Elementary School Choir at 10 a.m., and crafts from local youth group vendors. Park and take free shuttle from Purdy Park and Ride. Admission is free. For more details, go online to WINTER BAZAAR: St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 1150 Mitchell Road, will host the event 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All proceeds go to help community needs. More than 150 local merchants will be participating. Admission is free. NATIVITY SCENE: The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, 3877 Mullenix Road, is the site for “Christ is Born” — an annual Port Orchard Nativity Exhibit. Live re-enactment and reading of the Christmas story every 30 minutes (starting at 5 p.m.). Live musical performances by local schools, choirs and musicians. Admission is free and hours are 9 a.m. to 9.p.m. PICTURES WITH SANTA: The Sidney Museum and Art Association will host the annual event at the Log Cabin Museum, 416 Sidney Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your camera, family, friends and pets. We provide Santa, a tree and candy canes.



File photo

Santa will make an appearance again at this year’s Festival of Chimes and Lights on Dec. 6 in downtown Port Orchard. FESTIVAL OF CHIMES & LIGHTS: The annual event is 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Port Orchard. Be dazzled with all the lights including the giant Christmas tree in front of City Hall, the decorated boats in the harbor and all the shops lit up along the way. The tree lighting is at 6 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on a fire truck, hay rides run throughout, choirs sing, pets compete in the Pooch ’n’ Purr Parade and families are entertained with activities including crafts and stories in the library. Included is the fourth annual Jingle Bell Run/ Walk, a benefit for the Arthritis Foundation, with costumed participants ranging from the serious runner to friends chatting as they stroll the 5K route. TREE LIGHTING: The annual lighting of the Gig Harbor tree will take place on Dec, 6 at Skansie Brothers Park. The annual event will begin with holiday carols sung by The Dickens Carolers at 5 p.m. and includes a visit from Rhubarb, the Tacoma Rainiers mascot reindeer. CenturyLink will hand out Santa hats to all the children and the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance will offer free coffee, hot chocolate, cider and cookies inside the Skansie Net Shed. At 5:30 p.m., Santa will arrive via the Gig Harbor Fire Department ladder truck and, with Mayor Jill Guernsey, will

light the tree. This year’s holiday tree is donated once again by Joint Base Lewis McChord and stands 45 feet tall. Santa will be available at the park following the tree lighting to meet with each child regarding their holiday wishes. Details on this event and all holiday events can be found by visiting

SUNDAY, DEC. 7 WINTER BAZAAR: St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 1150 Mitchell Road, will host the event 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from noon to 4 p.m. All proceeds go to help community needs. More than 150 local merchants will be participating. Admission is free. PICTURES WITH SANTA: The Sidney Museum and Art Association will host the annual event at the Log Cabin Museum, 416 Sidney Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your camera, family, friends and pets. We provide Santa, a tree and candy canes. FREE HOLIDAY CONCERT: The Peninsula Community Chorus will present a free holiday concert at 2 p.m. at the Fox Island United Church of Christ, 726 Sixth Ave, Fox Island. Light refreshments will be served, and everyone is invited to join in this celebration of the season. Artistic arrangements of several

HOLIDAY BENEFIT: The Hometown Holiday Benefit is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Port Orchard Pavilion, 701 Bay St. There will be local independent businesses at the event. There will be free pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, more than 30 vendors, a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. All proceeds from the event will benefit local families in need. Donation of non-perishable food item for South Kitsap Helpline is suggested. For more information, email hometownholidaybenefit@ ARTS & CRAFT SHOW: The 31st annual Collage Arts & Craft Show is slated at the Kitsap Golf & Country Club, 3885 NW Golf Club Hill Road, Bremerton. Enjoy more than 40 local artists with their handcrafted items. The country club will be serving breakfast and lunch through the show. You can get all your holiday shopping done in one place. There is something for everyone. Grab your friends and family and enjoy the show. PICTURES WITH SANTA: The Sidney Museum and Art Association will host the annual event at the Log Cabin Museum, 416 Sidney Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your camera, family, friends and pets. We provide Santa, a tree and candy canes. CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: The Port Orchard Eagles will host the event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Eagles Hall, 4001 Jackson Ave. SE. LIGHTED BOAT PARADE: The Port Orchard Yacht Club will host the annual event which features lighted and decorated boats sailing in the waters around South Kitsap. Boats start about 5 p.m. in Southworth and travel toward South Colby, Manchester and around the tip and south to Port Orchard Yacht Club about 8:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, DEC. 14 CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: The Port Orchard Eagles will host the event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Eagles Hall, 4001 Jackson Ave. SE. PICTURES WITH SANTA: The Sidney Museum and Art Association will host the annual event at the Log Cabin Museum, 416 Sidney Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your camera, family, friends and pets. The museum provides Santa, a tree and candy canes.

• Leashes Required

Free movies at Dragonfly Cinema, Jingle Bell Boutique at Port Orchard Pavilion, Jingle Bell Run, Wagon Hay Rides, Tree lighting, Music, Santa and more!

Sponsored by: To register go to or call (360) 876-3505

The annual Lighted Boat Parade is set for Dec. 13. The event is hosted by the Port Orchard Yacht Club. File Photo

Tis the Season


The worst 15 Christmas gifts


t’s the thought that counts, but sometimes a gift is so terrible you really want to know what the person who gave it to you was thinking. Just give cash instead. According to, the official results for the 15 worst Christmas gifts are: Calendar: Giving presents at Christmas isn’t only about the usability of the gift, but what you’re saying on a personal level to the recipient, and calendars fail miserably on both these fronts. The point of calendars hasn’t existed for the past few years, and what you’re saying with one pretty much amounts to “I know the internet exists, but please enjoy these 12 pictures of cute animals/ babes in bikinis anyway.” A Christmas Tree Ornament: Really, what? The tree’s been up for a week already and you have the gall to waltz in here, take one look at my decoration effort and donate to me a gift that’s about as subtle as a piece of paper saying, “I can do better?” Novelty Anything: Don’t get me wrong, a rubber-something stocking-filler here and there is just fine, but what goes through the mind of someone whose sole gift of the season is something that might as well be a dog toy? Games for the Wrong Game System or DVDs for a BluRay Player: It’s called “RESEARCH.” A Star Named After You: What this present lacks in any enjoyment, happiness, or gratitude on behalf of the recipient , it makes up for in the opportunity to make fun of the moron who spent $20 on a certificate which means absolutely nothing. And, in the end, isn’t that what any one of us truly wants? Picture Frame: I can’t imagine where the tradition of




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Port Orchard Independent

gifting picture frames came from. It’s so inexplicable it could have been anything. There are alternate universes where people, the day before their office’s Secret Santa party, not knowing what else to do, go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and buy a cafetiere, or a shower mat, or a child-size antique ottoman. A special holiday shout-out to those people that also put a picture of their own choosing in the frame before giving it, which is the second most obnoxious thing. The first being making a list of terrible christmas gifts as a job. Clothing That Doesn’t Fit: It’s common practice to leave the tags and receipt with any clothing you buy anyone. The reasoning behind this is that, if it doesn’t fit, they’ll be able to take it back and get something more appropriate. The reality behind this is who has time for that in the week between Christmas and New Year? A Pet Bird, Rodent or Reptile: What’s worse than thrusting the responsibility of caring for another living creature at someone without warning? Choosing a gross kind of living creature. That’s what. A Donation in Your Name: It’s hard to complain about a gift of charity that will undoubtedly improve lives around the world. But let’s try anyway. First off, it’s kind of presumptuous to decide any of your friends have fallen short on the “helping others” quota over the year. Second off, it’s not a cool robot toy or cash or anything. Non-Best Selling Book About Something You Were Interested in As a Child: This one feels oddly specific, but from the votes it received it looks like a lot of you have been burned in the past by this kind of thing. A couple of years ago a relative gave me a Boy Scouts handbook, which is weird for a num-


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ber of reasons including the fact I was never in the Boy Scouts. A Subscription to a Daily Newspaper: If the inconvenience of smiling at and hugging the person who gave you this for Christmas seems bad enough, you’re going to be receiving half a pound of paper every morning for the rest of your life. Homemade Coupons: Only acceptable if the coupon reads: “Good for one expensive, thoughtful gift from me wrapped nicely and not how dads do it.” Homemade Wreath: I feel like I’ve already detailed the problems with gifting a christmas decoration/ something homemade enough already, so let’s go ahead and use our collective common sense to gather that combining the two is an even worse idea, as if that were possible. Swag from the Gift-Givers Place of Employment: If I had a nickel for every time I didn’t have a stapler or a pen lying around, I’d have enough money to buy those things myself like everybody should and does. Don’t do it. Trial Membership: The bad gifts that have preceded the summit of this countdown have been uniquely awful and terrible ideas, but have been at least united by one common virtue: they’re actual things. The same can’t be said for Trial Memberships, the worst Christmas gift anyone could ever give. They’re “part” things, as much a gift as telling someone a pretty neat place to hang out on Sundays. To those people who recycle something that dropped through the letterbox as a present in a blind Christmas Eve panic: you’re a terrible person and are banned from Christmas henceforth. Everyone else: stick to money. Money’s awesome.


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Budgeting for the holiday season


t’s the time of year for giving gifts, entertaining, hosting holiday parties — and for many, overspending and financial stress. Setting a realistic holiday budget and making sure to stick to it are the first steps to a more affordable and less stressful season, according to Use the tips and tools below to enjoy the season without letting holiday spending get the better of you.

1. Set Your Budget The best way to start making a holiday budget is to look at your spending during last year’s holiday season. In what areas did you spend more than planned? Next, make a list of the holiday purchases and events you plan to spend money on this year. Consider all of your major spending categories like gifts, entertaining, meals, and travel and then estimate how much you can afford to spend in each category. Have a “micro budget” – a specific spending limit – for each person on your gift list. Many financial planners recommend spending no more than 1.5 percent of annual income on holiday expenses. Knowing your spending goals long beforehand will help you stay on track financially as the season heats up.

3. Join Together Instead of excessively spending money on each other this year, join together with family members to help those who may be less fortunate. Online opportunities are easy to find, and there are several in this article, “Helping others when money is tight.” Other opportunities for online giving can be found at the websites for Oxfam International and ACCION. 4. Travel Wisely If you plan on traveling, take some time to determine how much it will cost you and don’t forget these holiday travel planning tips. 5. Entertain for Less Holidays are a wonderful time to entertain, but a little planning and budgeting can help you avoid financial headaches. Ensure a fun event that won’t tax you financially. Also check out these holiday entertainment tips to help you keep your holiday budget in shape.


2. Get Creative One great way to save money and impress friends and family is to get creative. Storebought gifts are great, but homemade gifts are often more meaningful and most recipients truly appreciate your time and effort. Ideas for creative gift projects are plentiful online. Sites like this one should give you a few ideas to start with. If you like the idea of a personal touch and affordability but don’t have the time or skill to make gifts yourself, the ultimate marketplace for homemade gifts is Etsy, where you can find crafty items from more than 200,000 sellers.


Protect your identity this holiday season from getting ‘scrooged’


Staff report

uring the holidays, in addition to spending more money, we tend to be busier, more stressed out, and less careful than other times of the year. Identity thieves can and will take advantage of this to make sure you’re holidays aren’t very merry or bright. “We’d all like to believe that the people we know wouldn’t steal from us,” said Barry Doll, American Family insurance agent “Unfortunately, statistics prove that identity theft is committed by someone the victim knows approximately 30 to 50 percent of the time. I recommend that you shred every document you don’t need and buy a fire-safe to lock up your valuable identity documents. These safes make great gifts for people you care about!” But in the spirit of Charles Dickens, here are some holiday tips to help protect your identity and make sure you don’t get Scrooged: • Protect your home. Your greatest risk during the holidays is all of the extra people that come into your home. It makes it very easy to pocket a checkbook that’s on your desk or a brokerage statement in your filing cabinet. • Use your credit card. When you use checks or a debit card, the money is drawn directly

from your bank account. If fraud occurs, it’s harder to get the money reimbursed and in the meantime, you don’t have the money to spend. Credit cards generally give you a longer period (ninety days) to catch the fraud before you are held liable. Debit cards generally give you 30 days. • Leave your purse at home. Forty percent of all identity theft happens when a purse is stolen. So take a wallet that fits in your coat pocket or take your driver’s license and one or two credit cards and store them in your front pocket. If you must have a purse, use one that zips and hangs in front of you. • Watch your statements. Most forms of holiday identity theft can be caught simply by monitoring your checking, debit, and credit card accounts frequently. By monitoring your financial statements, you will catch credit card and check theft immediately. Most financial institutions allow you to monitor your accounts online, which are fast, convenient, and smart. Many financial institutions will also allow you to sign up for automatic account alerts when any transaction occurs on your account. So treat your private information with care and you’ll be sure to have a safe and happy holiday.

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Port Orchard Independent

Tis the Season


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Holiday Guide - Tis The Season - 2014  


Holiday Guide - Tis The Season - 2014