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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

The 2009 Holiday Book is a publication of the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Features: Jade’s gift giving advice column By Jade Cody

Page 4

Holiday decor trends By Rhema Muncy

Page 10

Gift giving etiquette By Jennifer Lehman

Page 18

Indian-Americans celebrate holidays By Rhema Muncy

Page 20

Host a holiday tea By Rhema Muncy

Page 43

Also inside: Ideas for gift wrapping .................pg. 5 Gift a classic board game ...........pg. 7 Local holiday happenings......... pg. 14 Gifts to stay healthy ................... pg. 19 Gift guide for the genders ........ pg. 24 TECH SECTOR, PAGES 28-41

High-def video cameras .......... pg. 28 Gifts for geeks ......................... pg. 31 Project: upgrade ...................... pg. 33 Fitness technology .................. pg. 34 Crazy for Apps.......................... pg. 36 CNET awards best in tech ...... pg. 39 Regifting done right ................. pg. 42 Create a gift basket ................ pg. 49

For advertising information, contact Ad Director Linda Story at 970-635-3614 or lstory@ reporter-herald.com Special Sections Editor Jade Cody 970-635-3656, jcody@reporter-herald.com Special Sections Reporter Rhema Muncy 970-635-3684, rmuncy@ reporter-herald.com Special Sections Reporter Jennifer Lehman 970-669-5050 Ext. 543, jlehman@ reporter-herald.com

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

Really

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Super

Gift Advice

Questions on what to get people for the holidays? Fret no more: The gift giving advice hotline is here JADE CODY SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR

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nce again it is time to obtain magical treasures and cover them in red and green paper with shiny ribbons twisted like the locks of a mystical mermaid. This is what I like to call the time of surprise and delight. I’ve answered a few readers’ questions so that you, too, may be the bearer of maximum surprise and delight. Question: My husband is so hard to buy for. He’s picky when it comes to buying things for himself, and everything I get him ends up being returned. What can I get him that he will truly love. Answer: Two words — Cheesy goodness. If you weren’t aware, cheese is delicious. Its popularity dates back to ancient cavemen, who used it to entice mammoths into giant pots of boiling water. Cheese was actually made from the milk of ground sloths in those days, which, looking back, is kind of yucky. Go ahead and e-mail me for a good cheddar mammoth sandwich recipe though. The key is to thoroughly remove the wool, cause this is one bushy mammal. Anyway, cheese evolved with the rest of the world and is now the base ingredient in all good dishes. And, as if it wasn’t great enough already, it comes in fantastic little wheels. Maybe get four of them and build a cheese truck — slide some beef sticks in there for the smoke stacks — and your husband will gush with a cheesy smile all holiday morning long. Question: My boyfriend and I have been together for about three months. We are both in our early twenties and the relationship is pretty new, so I don’t want to go overboard with something super expensive. But at the same time, I want to let him know that I care. What should I get him?

Answer: A kid. What better to give a new mate than the gift of a joyous child? Kids come in a range of sizes and shapes, and they even have their own mini personalities. Plus, children’s accessories are widely available, so have some fun mixing and matching each child to reflect your own personality. If they’re out of kids, use your imagination and get him something special like tickets to a sporting event, a really great belt buckle/belt combo or maybe a tickets to see a comedian at Comedy Works in Denver coupled with a night at a downtown hotel (I think that’s where they sell kids). Question: My wife and I have two grown sons and a teenage daughter to buy for. We want to get them something they will really enjoy. Answer: Toys. Whether a kid or not, toys are fun. You know who wants to receive a set of pot holders or a nice sweater for Christmas? Not me, we can start there. Pot holders don’t fly around like remote controlled helicopters. We can’t sit around a table and have hours of joy playing a game of sweater, can we? If any of the children have specifically asked for clothes, ignore them. We both know you aren’t hip enough to know what they want anyway. Here are some trendy toy ideas: • A Holga camera — available at places like Urban Outfitters and several places online. They can be had for as little as $30-$80, depending on fanciness and what all is included in the box, such as film, flash and accessories. The camera takes retro-looking unpredictable photos that can be interpreted as being hip — always a crowd pleaser among the young adult crowd. • Remote controlled helicopter — you can buzz your mom’s tower. ‘Nuff said. Available for $30-$50 at Radio Shack and several other

fine stores. • Sequence — a game that has become a favorite at my family’s house. It involves cards and a board, and the object is to get multiple “chips” in a row. If you need to know more read the instructions. For those who enjoy easy-to-learn card games, this one’s a winner. If only I could beat my dad at it. • OK this isn’t a toy, but it’s really fun anyway: I ran across art from Patrick Loehr at the d-Note in Arvada. From what I saw there and what I’ve seen on his Web site, Loehr is creating some truly innovative, absurd and creative pieces. He combines photography and art, skewing my own boundaries as an reedphotoart.com art viewer. My fa“The Plaza” by vorites include Patrick Loehr. “Great Grandfather” and “The Plaza,” both available for sale at www.reedphotoart.com. Giclee prints are available for most pieces for about $200. Loehr’s Web site is patrickloehr.com. Question: I have a huge family and we always get together and give each other gifts for the holidays. This year my budget is thin, but I don’t want to appear thoughtless with cheap gifts. What should I do? Answer: Kisses. If you’re looking to save money on gifts this year, try giving out kisses. A good smooch, as you probably already know, is priceless. Go with cheek pecks for the older folks in your family, maybe a brief forehead kiss for Uncle Ned, and then lay a big juicy one on that special someone. No, I don’t mean your cousin. Gee whiz, reader, what’s wrong with you? Question: I have four-year-old whom I love dearly, and he’s finally beginning to grasp the concept of presents and Christmas. I want to make this year’s holidays more special than ever, what should I get him? Photos special to the RH Answer: Balloons, Boy in a box is almost bubble wrap and better than boy in a cardboard boxes. balloon. You know how toys are expensive these days, and your kid ends up having more fun by playing in a cardboard box anyway? Well, it’s not a ploy — they’re not faking it.


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

5

The

Art of

Gift Wrapping Wrap perfect, wrap eco — and do it all stress-free with these expert tips MELISSA TUSSING CTW FEATURES

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ou’ve spent hours stressing, wracking your brain for ideas and picking out gifts. But now that you’ve walked home with your treasures, your gifts are going to need a little bit of your wrapped attention. THE MATERIALS First, find a good place to wrap your gifts. Don’t sit on the ground, said Lisa Gleeson, owner of Lisa’s Gift Wrappers in Royal Oak, Mich., where you’re likely to strain to neck or hurt your neck. Instead, try the island in your kitchen, or get out your ironing board. Next, pull out your wrapping supplies. Gleeson recommends saving up for good-quality scissors like Fiskars. “Dull scissors make cutting ribbon nearly impossible,” she said. If your scissors are covered in goop or tape from another project, use some Goo Gone to get them back to pristine condition. Gleeson recommends double-sided tape or sewing tape, though single-sided tape will work fine as well. Look for wrapping paper sales around Thanksgiving to stock up on good paper that’s easier to cut and fold. Check out sales for ribbon and bows, too. GOING GREEN The greenest way to wrap a present is to just give it as-is, said Jennifer Basye Sander, co-author of “Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season” (Adams, 2008). “Don’t wrap presents that go in stockings,” Sander said. “Tie small presents to

the tree, and use an empty cereal box or a basket for kids toys or books.” If you want to camouflage your presents in an eco-friendly way, cover your gifts in a reusable material like fabric, brown paper bags, or old newspapers. Look for wrapping paper made from recycled materials from specialty wrapping shops or online at www.greeneventshop.com. WRAP LIKE A PRO Place your box lid down near one of the short edges of your wrapping paper, making sure that the box lies square to the paper. To determine how much paper you’ll need on either short side of the box, use your fingers to measure the width of the box. Measure out that length from the box to either side of the long edge of the paper, adding another finger’s length to give you a little extra. “For instance, if the box width takes three fingers, measure out four fingers worth of paper for each side,” Gleeson said. With the box along one of the short edges of the paper, fold the paper edge nearest to the box up approximately 11/2 to 2 inches over the box. Tape the paper to the box with single-sided tape. Bring the other end of the paper over to the edge of the box. Using the edge, crease the paper so that it folds under itself, forming a perfectly

Jupiter Images

Gift wrapping paper can be made from simple brown paper if you’re interested in a greener method of wrapping gifts. straight edge. Tape the paper into place. Then place several pieces of double-sided adhesive tape along the paper fold. Bring the taped fold to the edge of your box where the other end of the paper has been taped down. Make sure everything is aligned before pressing the fold

“You’ve put all that time into picking a perfect gift,” Gleeson said. “You have to leave enough time to wrap it, too.” — Lisa Gleeson, owner of Lisa’s Gift Wrappers

to the box. For the sides, fold the paper over the end of the box, creasing the paper where it meets the bottom of the box. Cut off the extra length from your top flap. Place a piece of double-sided tape on either flap so that it sticks to itself. Where the bottom flap makes a triangle, fold over the tip of the triangle to form a straight edge. Bring the flap over to the bottom of the box and tape into place. You should be able to run your finger over the edge of your present and feel that it is even I See WRAPPING/Page 6


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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

WRAPPING

Wrapping Q&A

From Page 5

with the box. To make a bow, wrap your ribbon over, under and back over the long end of the present so that there are two parallel lines of ribbon. Turn the box and twist the ribbon before carrying the loose end under the box and around to the top again. Tuck the loose end over and under the crossed ribbon. Then tie a bow like you would to tie your shoes. Fold your ribbon in half, edge to edge. Angle your scissors and cut the ribbon. Do the other side. This will leave a notch end to your ribbon. Just make sure to leave enough time so you can be creative without facing a strict deadline. “You’ve put all that time into picking a perfect gift,” Gleeson said. “You have to leave enough time to wrap it, too.” GREEN FINISHING TOUCHES Add silk flowers or a sprig of holly from outside. Make gift cards out of scraps of wrapping paper. Fold an index card in half and tape or glue wrapping paper over one side. Ask for friends and family to give you bows or ribbon for next year. To keep presents straight without using tags, wrap each child’s presents in a different kind of wrapping paper. Add flowers or sprigs of holly from outside.

That’s a nice way to add some contrast. Question: What do you say about gift bags versus wrapping paper? Answer: People who are trying to make “Even just a plain white piece ... with a real statement will go the extra mile. texture is beautiful for me.” That’s how But a bag may be dressed up as well. Jana Svrzo, manager of Paper Source, Question: What’s the least expensive sees the world of paper. We spoke recentway to make a package look pretty? ly with Svrzo, 28, to get her insights on gift wrapping. Here are edited excerpts: Answer: It’s not about how much money you spend. It’s about the time and efQuestion: What’s new in wrapping? Answer: Glitter is a never-ending trend. fort. You can take something as simple as a piece of solid paper and use a stamp to There are also natural things going on: make your own pattern. Go through old reds, browns and moss green which are natural Christmas colors. There’s a total- papers to see if you can piece them toly different trend, which is paper from In- gether to make a bigger sheet. Take a plain box and, instead of wrapping it dia with bright pinks and purples. Question: Are there any new trends in completely, just do a strip around it. That will make your paper go a lot further. bows? Question: What are your tips for peoAnswer: A square bow is always a good ple who are concerned about being standard. With bright Indian designs, people are looking for an opposite color. green? Answer: Reuse the paper that you have. With the more natural trend, people are tying knots, postal-package style. A lot of Be creative about using the scraps. Make people forgo bows and do a paper sash. gift tags.

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ship for one child; get a few games and let everyone unwrap them. Classic board games are all about bringing family together for interperson play. “A game where people sit around a table to play creates an experience that no other plaything really delivers,” said Chris Byrne, a seasoned toy expert who helped develop Pictionary and is known as the toy guy. “Even if you’re playing a video game with somebody, you’re side by side. With a board game you’re across the table from them, and you have human interaction that can change at every step of the game.” Battling over Boardwalk in Monopoly and correctly guessing

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the candlestick in Clue make memories kids can’t forget because board games offer a level of human interaction no brand-new electronic gadget can give. People will team up and try to beat or outwit an opponent in Monopoly, but a video game doesn’t offer that flexibility. Board games are so adaptable that people often invent their own versions; get teenagers or college students a classic version of Clue and let them design their own murder mystery. The collaboration, creativity and face-to-face interaction board games provide is even more important now, when a 2006 Duke and University of Arizona study found that people have fewer family and friend confidantes than they did two decades ago. “We all lead such fast-paced lives now,” said Mary Couzin, the executive director of the Chicago Toy and Game Group. “Actually sitting down, relaxing and playing a board game is like a mini vacation. You’re

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

BOARD

go Toy and Game Fair, it was instantly applauded for its ease of play and universal appeal. From Page 7 Game sales have boomed so far in 2009, according to Reyne Rice and Mary Couzin. forgetting everything else that’s going on while Recession economics mean people are you’re just relaxing and talking to each other.” staying home. Rice said the popularity of staycations and daycations in recent years And the holidays are one of the only times has caused people to turn to board games. when the whole family is together with time off Monopoly, Scrabble and Clue have to sit down and relax. So how do you choose a portable dice versions that can be classic board game for a gift? “It’s got to be played in about 20 minutes, so easy to learn, fun and different every time you people can squeeze in a game on a play,” Byrne said. He said many Parker Brothers school night. Families need in-home and Hasbro games (Monopoly, Clue, Sorry, Con- entertainment that works for everynect Four, etc.) are tried-and-true favorites. body; video games won’t keep Candy Land hasn’t lost its appeal because grandparents happy, and five peothere’s a winner and a loser, which is important ple on a TV just means fighting to kids. It’s color matching, so it’s easy to play over the remote. Over the holidays at an early age, and it’s been around for so when families come together to many years it’s got the nostalgia factor, accord- spend long hours indoors, board ing to Byrne. Cranium, which came out more games can be a lifesaver. recently, has become a classic for the opposite The economy isn’t the only reason peoreasons, according to Reyne Rice, a consultant ple are picking up the shoe battling for Boardwith the Toy Industry Association. It’s not about walk. Last November, Hasbro launched “Family winning. Instead, it creates an incredible level Game Night,” a campaign to encourage people of interactivity and requires a huge amount of to turn off the TV one night a week and play knowledge and creativity. Plus, there is enough games. Another game manufacturer called game play that everyone is good at something, Patch Products began the “Million Minute Famiunlike Scrabble where you have to have a huge ly Challenge.” They ask family and friends navocabulary and good spelling skills. New games tionwide to visit www.millionminute.com and can become classics too. Mary Couzin said log how many minutes they spent playing when Pictureka!, a picture hunt game played games from September through December. And with picture cards, debuted at the 2007 Chica- people stepped up to the challenge. Last year,

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Patch Products participants (a total of 298 groups, clubs, classrooms, libraries and families) played for more than one million minutes. Classic board games are making a comeback for another reason. Besides teaching vital developmental skills such as how to be a good winner/loser, how to work together, and how to strategize, games can increase IQ and aid literacy, according to Mary Couzin. In 2008, the American Library Association started “Libraries, Literacy, and Gaming,” a program to track the effects of gaming on youth. Now libraries in ten states have begun integrating board games and literacy programs into the library curriculum. Reyne Rice said brain-bending games like Mattel’s Mind Flex are the hottest type to hit the shelves this year. “Teens, college kids, and older generations all love these brain games,” Rice said. Mind Flex requires players to don a headset and use their brainwave activity to control the movement of small balls. “It’s going to encourage people to play together too; everybody is going to want to try it out to see if they can break everyone else’s concentration.” Some modern versions of classic games such as The Game of Life: Rock Star Edition and G.I. Joe Monopoly can appeal to younger audiences and keep the play and rules older players know and love, according to Reyne Rice. But new versions of classic games simply leverage the popularity of the original game. When people shop for the games they want their family to play, they’re more likely to grab the original, according to Chris Byrne. They know it’ll never go out of style.


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

9

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Holiday decorations of 2009 RHEMA MUNCY SPECIAL SECTIONS REPORTER

G

rabbing stacks of Christmas lights from the attic means the holidays are fast approaching. Many people dangle precariously on couch backs to spiral their lights up the tree. Imagine multiplying that tree height by seven times. The 70-foot Blue Spruce in Greenwood Village near Littleton would take Thomas Krafft and Neil Morris of Bright Christmas Inc. eight hours and 900 bulbs to decorate. Most of the outdoor trees they frost with holiday lighting are only 20 feet tall, need 10 50-foot lighting strands with 6-inch spacing to fully decorate and only take oneand-a-half hours to do so. These outdoor greens make the typical living room tree seem like a bowl of Christmas pudding. “There are two ways to do trees,” Krafft said. “There is the external canopy silhouette and then there is the trunk and branches tightly wound. On the evergreens you can scatter around and get two different looks.” Morris and Kraft began their holiday lighting business four years ago after a member of their church in Fort Collins suggested they decorate the church building. A few months later Morris’ garage became a holiday decoration candy land. Now they prep in August, start jobs in late October and then take down through January and Februar y. After four years of experience around the state, Morris and Krafft know a lot about light life, including bulb and wire health, breaker calculations, proper storage and outside lighting design. One important thing to calculate is how much electricity each breaker can offer and how much the wires and bulbs

can handle. “On a 20 amp breaker you can run 391 seven watt bulbs,” Morris said. “So if you calculate each bulb at seven watts with 12-or 15-inch spacing on the line, you have to think of what the cumulative wattage is and the resistance. You may have to break [the cable] up because the lights may all fit on one breaker but not one strand.” “So far I have only once cut a line where it goes, ‘kaboom,’” Krafft said. “You only do that once a season before you remember to check that the current is off before you cut the wire.” After the lighting season, Morris and Krafft store everything as neatly as possible so that a rat’s nest doesn’t form from the strands. The C7 and C9 light wires are rolled around the forearm like an extension cord. The mini lights are rolled into a knitting ball to create tight loops for next year’s tree trunk circling. If the lights are protected from corrosion and not wound too tightly or dropped, they should last RH photos/Rhema Muncy for up to four years if they are a Above, the Woodland Splendor tree at The Spruce House in Estes commercial grade. Many store Park. Below, Neil Morris of Bright Christmas, Inc. decorates a light bought brands or LED lights pole on Fourth Street in Loveland. promise a higher burn time, but the wires aren’t resilient enough to meaningful [this year],” Lampe last that long, Morris said. said. “People are going to reuse and recycle. They will do a lot with INDOOR HOLIDAY DECOR old decorations and get some new Christmas decorations used to ribbon to make it interesting. be just decorated glass balls and When you weave it in and out of homemade ornaments from the the branches you get much more kids in the family. Modern homes depth to the tree.” may still have a designated kid’s orThe most important holiday naments theme tree, but they also decor criteria is finding a theme, have one that is a more adult deco- according to Diane Muno, the ownrative element in the room, Loveer of The Spruce House in Estes land interior designer Pam Lampe Park. said. Lampe’s business Home Mat“I wouldn’t take a box of glass ters spreads holiday cheer around and aluminum multi-colored balls the front range through designing and just fill the tree up to have holiday decorating themes in something on it,” Muno said. “You homes. are better off to go with less until “People are going to be more you gather enough products. Ease


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

11

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your way in and buy good quality rather than buying filler.” Lampe has people start with whatever they have when designing holiday themes. “If they see a theme they can add a few new things,” she said. “You can do your own color theme. To think outside of the box, go with a color that isn’t in style right now.” This year’s offers bold color pairings. Lampe has seen apple green remain strong, especially when paired with purple or silver. Gold is also making a comeback. Muno also carries decorations in many shades of green. And there is always red involved each season. This year red is paired with black and white. Tuscan colors are also in with wines, browns, ambers and deep purples. Another color combination popular is powdered blue, sage green and chocolate brown. And each year purple gets a pairing, with platinum as 2009’s popular choice, Muno said. In addition to the tree, Lampe likes to add long needled pine branches to mantles. She will weave ribbons and lights in and out of them. Muno’s shop creates garland swags to match tree themes with the same colors and ornament looks. Other popular decor elements include animal inspired nativities, such as the bear-tivity found at The Spruce House, village collections, old world glass ornaments and in-

Paul Hummel, ChFC

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Decor

the kids about family stories. • Add some floor lighting that travels up into the branches just From Page 11 like outdoor trees or shrubs. • For an outdoor theme, gather scheme. They also designed the pine cones and tie them onto the Merriment tree, a fake tree that spins on a base with colorful holiday tree with raffia strings. Then cut shaped metal stakes as a topper and out paper snow flakes from highquality craft paper and tie on cinnaglittery ornaments jam-packed on mon sticks. the branch. When decorating, start with the • To make the tree more tactile, lighting. add a simmering scent pot at the “Most trees need to be back-lit bottom of the tree with either pine with just some bright display or cinnamon. lights,” Muno said. “Then we add • Fill a clear glass ball with potthe ambience lighting.” pourri. Or spray paint the inside. Or For the ornaments, Muno nestles roll it in some blue paint and sprinlarge color orbs into the back of the kle on glitter. Or outline stripes and branches to add depth to the tree. polka-dots. Then she groups in odd numbers. • For ornaments, make sugar cookies and punch holes in them to HOLIDAY DECOR IDEAS tie them onto the tree with ribbon. Lampe offered these Christmas • Create fans by folding tissue patree decoration ideas: per and tying it piece in the middle • Hang little photo frames with with a ribbon; add babies breath family tree photos on the limbs to act as a conversation starter with flowers.

Maybe it’s time you found a way to move closer and be home for the holidays every day.

If life has put a lot of miles between you and your family, perhaps it’s time to consider moving a little closer. Somewhere you could be getting more out of life. Somewhere you’re free to do what you want, to make new friends, to be closer to grandkids. And feel a real sense of belonging. Senior living at Good Samaritan Society — Loveland Village opens up a whole new world of possibilities. And right now, you could also be getting something else that doesn’t come along every day; the sixth month free if you move in before Christmas!

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society provides housing and services to qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, or other protected statuses according to applicable federal, state or local laws. All faiths or beliefs are welcome. Copyright © 2009 The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. All rights reserved. 09-G1758

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For more details, call (970) 624-5465 2101 S. Garfield Ave. •Loveland, CO 80537 www.good-sam.com

Ornaments on a versatile white twig tree at The Spruce House in Estes Park. RH photo/Rhema Muncy


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14

HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Holiday Happenings in Northern Colorado CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH MESSIAH SING-ALONG Celebrate the Christmas season through the beautiful music of George Frederic Handel. A Messiah Sing-along will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3800 Mountain Lion Drive, Loveland. Messiah Sing-alongs are unique in that the audience serves as the unrehearsed chorus. For this performance, the audience will sing the chorus numbers from the first section including “And the Glory of the Lord,” “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion,” “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” “Glory to God,” plus the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Selected vocalists will perform solo numbers. Audience members are not required to sing, but are invited to do so. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own music. A limited number of copies will be available. There is no charge for the event, and all voices are welcome. For further information, please call 970-667-9054. THE ICE RINK AT THE PROMENADE SHOPS AT CENTERRA Visit Northern Colorado’s finest outdoor ice skating rink at The Promenade Shops at Centerra this holiday season. Open through the end of January, The Ice Rink provides fun for all ages. Admission prices include skate rental and are $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger. Visit www.The PromenadeShopsAtCenterra.com for more information and a detailed schedule of daily operating hours. Centerra events will include: • Horse Drawn Carriage Rides Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13 & 20

Pampered Chef, tools and more. Business opportunities are also available. For more information, call 970-461-9499 or e-mail jamielynwood@yahoo.com.

GOLDEN SATURDAY CHRISTMAS BAZAAR From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Nov. 28, Noon-4 p.m. leave the hustle and bustle of evStep back in time as we treat ery other year’s Christmas shopyou to an old-fashioned carriage ping behind and join in for a ride down Main Street. Compliunique shopping experience at mentary rides depart from the the Golden Saturday Christmas Main Plaza in front of The Ice Bazaar hosted by the McCreery Rink. Call 970-461-1285 for more House in Loveland. Come enjoy information. the sights and sounds of the historic McCreery House in its holi• Breakfast with Santa day decor as you start Buy Local Dec. 5 & 12 Week off right by shopping from a 8:30-10 a.m. variety of local vendors and artiPurchase your tickets in advance for the entire family to join sans displaying a unique selection us for a Breakfast with Santa. En- of perfect gifts. •Loveland Sunday Markets joy a delicious hot breakfast, free The McCreery House in Lovephoto with Santa, goody bag for land will be hosting the Loveland the children and more. Call Sunday Markets this holiday sea970-461-1285 for more informason. If you’re looking for unique tion. gifts for those on your list this • Santa Cops Toy Drive with the year, shop at the McCreery Colorado State Patrol House from 1-4 p.m. on Dec. 6, 13 Dec. 5 and 20. Sample hors d’oeuvres Noon-4 p.m. and enjoy the sights and sounds Visit the Main Plaza in front of of the historic McCreery House The Ice Rink to donate new, unin its holiday decor as you shop wrapped toys to help those in from a variety of local vendors and need in Larimer County. Call 970- artisans who will be displaying 461-1285 for more information. many handmade items and unique products perfect for gift • Free Gift Wrap giving. Dec. 19 For more information, e-mail 10 a.m.-4 p.m. returntoedencosmetics@gmail Compliments of Good Shepherd .com or nocoevents@gmail.com. Church enjoy free gift wrapping at the Main Plaza in front of The Ice 2009 HOME-BASED BUSINESS EXRink. Call 970-461-1285 for more PO AND CHILI DINNER information. Fourteen local home based business will be showcasing their HOLIDAY MARKET goods and services at the Home Pine Tree Village in Loveland is Based Business Expo and Chili hosting a holiday shopping event Dinner, scheduled for 2-7 p.m. on Dec. 5 (chili starts at 3 p.m.). The from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 5-6. The event will be at Pine Tree Vil- event will be at the Berthoud Community Center located at 248 lage Clubhouse located at 399 Welch Ave. Many items will be for Amethyst Ave. in Loveland. There sale for the holidays along with will be something for everyone — gift certificates. Some of the busiincluding Arbonne, Avon, candles, ness involved are Avon, Mary Kay, Discovery Toys, essential oils, Tomboy Tools, Silpada, Private Homemade Gourmet, jewelry, Quarters, Pampered Chef, Critter

Sitters, Arbonne, Bazi, Nightwinds and several more. Berthoud High School Booster Club will have items available for sale. Pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus and an elf from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The event is sponsored by Berthoud Golden Links. For more information, contact Jenny Foote at 970-532-0247 or e-mail her at cofoote@aol.com. LOVELAND SINGS! CHILDREN’S CHORUS The Loveland Sings! Children’s Chorus concert is Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. at Mountainview High School in the Sue Wall Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for seniors/ students. Children 4 and under are free. For more information, email lovelandsings@msn.com. LOVELAND LIGHTS — A CELEBRATION OF WINTER HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS This year’s Loveland Lights celebration will be from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 5 and from 1-5 p.m. on Dec. 6, free at the Loveland Public Library. There will be displays, craft activities, dancers, gingerbread house creations, stories, model railroad layout, wood carving demos, music, find-the-bells contest, holiday baked goods sale, holiday party food demonstrations, decorated trees, holiday books sale, Chanukah stories, carolers and unique Loveland ornaments for sale. There will be activities for all ages — a full schedule is available at the library. Loveland Lights is sponsored by The Friends of the Loveland Public Library Foundation, Inc. For more information, contact George Franke, President, Friends of the Loveland Library, at 970-203-0904 WINTER WONDERLAND CHRISTMAS TREE AND WREATH AUCTION The B.A.B.Y. Foundation’s Third Annual Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree and Wreath Auction will be held from 5-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at McKee Medical Center, Wellness Center. Artificial


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

Trees and Wreaths with various themes will be sold by silent and/or live auction. The funds raised will provide financial assistance to medically underinsured families in Northern Colorado who have children with various health-related challenges. For more information, visit http://thebabyfoundation.org or call Renae Hupp at 970-2908709.

en of the church for $7. Everyone is invited to attend. For more information, call Janis Davis Lopez at 970-278-9372

function junction, there will be an awards banquet following the last man standing course of fire which will pitch the top shooters from law enforcement and civilian teams shooting a single elimination course of fire to determine the last man standing. Information can be found at www.thefrgc.com or by calling the Front Range Gun Club at 970-622-7156.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

15

at 970-532-2730.

HOUSE OF TREES BENEFIT From 2-5 p.m. on Dec. 5 the House of Trees Benefit will occur LARIMER COUNTY SANTA COPS at 129 E. 4th Street in the HisCHALLENGE toric Bonnell Building in Loveland. On Dec. 13, the Front Range This is a benefit to support the Gun Club will be hosting the first Loveland Housing Authority Givannual Larimer County Santa ing Tree which helps kids and seCops challenge match at 697 N. niors in our various low income Denver Ave. in Loveland. properties and Section eight The challenge match will conCHRISTMAS BAKE SALE AND BERTHOUD COMMUNITY CENTER clients that are in need at Christsist of five-person teams, two-per- EVENTS BAZAAR mas. son teams and individuals from There will be many theme decoAll Saints’ Episcopal Church is city and county law enforcement On Dec. 5 the Berthoud Comrated Christmas trees on display. holding its annual Christmas munity Center on Welch Avenue agencies from across Colorado as You will be able to purchase $1 Bake Sale and Bazaar from 9 a.m.- well as civilian teams and individ- behind the fire station will host drawing tickets during the event 2 p.m. on Dec. 5 at 3448 North holiday events. From 9 a.m.-5 uals to compete for honors, while that can be put in the box of the Taft in Loveland. New and old jew- contributing much needed toys p.m. there will be pictures and tree of your choice. At the end of elry, Christmas decorations, knit for the Santa Cops program. cookies with Santa, Mrs. Claus the evening names will be drawn wear, handcrafted chairs, used There will be five different courses and one of Santa’s favorite Elves. and the name drawn will go home books and tools, silent auction of fire for shooters to participate There will be no charge. Goodies with the tree and packages underitems, jams and jellies, fruit for the kids will be available. in, ranging from active target acneath. There will be wine, coffee, cakes, seasoned oils, cookies and quisition, multiple magazine From 3-7 p.m. the Golden Links tea, appetizers and a dessert bar desserts are featured. changes, shoot and no shoot tar- Chili Dinner will be served. Cost is A lunch of turkey and trimget presentation. Pocket rocket, $6 (Free for children under 6). I See HAPPENINGS/Page 17 mings will be served by the wom- couples curse of fire, and a malFor more information, call Elnora

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

17

HAPPENINGS

Johnstown, (State highway 60 TUBACHRISTMAS NORTHERN west of town) will hold their annu- COLORADO al Quilt and Craft sale from 9 a.m.Come celebrate the holiday seaFrom Page 15 2 p.m. son with a community brass band of TUBA Proportions. The perforduring the event. Admission will HOLIDAY ART SALE JOHNSTOWN SENIOR CENTER mance will be at 2 p.m. on Dec. be $20 a person. Tickets can be CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUE 12. The 4th annual TUBAChristFive of Northern Colorado’s purchased at the Housing mas will be directed by Fort The annual Johnstown Senior finest artists will be offering their Authority of the City of Loveland, Center Christmas Boutique will be original, gallery quality art at holi- Collins’ own Cecil Gutierrez. 375 W 37th Street Suite 200, or at held Saturday, Dec. 5 at the JohnTUBAChristmas will be in Oak day budget prices. The event will the door. Please call 970-635-5944 stown Community Center, located held in the Cherry Blossom Event Street Plaza, located at Oak St & or 970-227-2822 for further at 101 W. Charlotte St. Hours are Center at 315 4th Street, LoveCollege Ave. information. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The boutique feaIf you play a baritone (euphoniland, CO. and will run for two days, tures crafts, a silent auction, home Dec. 4 from 3-9 p.m. and Dec. 5 um) or a tuba please come join in WHITE CHRISTMAS baked goodies and a quilt raffle. the holiday fun. TUBAChristmas is from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. All proceeds go to the Senior Cena fun concert of Holiday Carols to The Rialto Theater presents One of a kind, original art at up ter. warm the spirit. Chairs and venue “White Christmas” at 7 p.m. on to 70 percent off. No item over The event also includes a visit are provided, but you must bring Dec. 2. This classic holiday film $500 and many under $100. your own music stands. Songbooks features the talented cast of Bing with Santa from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Don’t miss this once in a lifehay rides, a coloring contest, cookwill be available for sale at the Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary time chance to own or give gallery event. The brass ensemble will ies and punch for the kids. For a Clooney and Vera-Ellen as per$2 donation, parents can also get art. What better way to say you gather at 10 a.m. for a rehearsal in formers at a Vermont inn after care than to give gallery art to a a picture of their children with downtown then perform at 2 p.m. World War II. loved one or special friend. Santa, sponsored by the Johnin Old Town Square. A complimenA perfect start to the holiday stown-Milliken Rotary Club. tary lunch will be served after reFor information, contact Ron season with your family. No Rating, hearsal. You will get more details Sweetin at 970-776-6355 or Lunch is served from 11 a.m.120 minutes. Tickets are $6 for when you register. 1:30 p.m. Patrick Zoller at 970-631-7518. adults and $5 for seniors/ If you plan on playing, register On the same day Faith Lutheran Ron can also be reached at students. by calling 970-663-6319. Church, 3999 West South First St, wttwphoto@comcast.net

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18

HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Give Good Gifts Strategies for gift-giving stardom on every occasion

said. “If you have shy people or lowtalkers in your family, then you have to have the backbone to say to peoost of us know how to reple look, if you ever get to the point ceive gifts graciously but where you have an idea for a gift, what about when it comes tell me! Tell me straight out what to gift giving? you want. Do you want a new power Leah Ingram, gift and etiquette guru, author of “Gift Anytime!” and tool but you can't justify buying it “The Everyday Etiquette Book,” of- in this economy?” Ingram said this approach may fers advice on quality gifting all year seem forward and awkward at first round: but is freeing for both people be1. Listen to what people want. Turn up the juice on your gift-sug- cause it helps streamline the shopgestion radar during everyday con- ping and allows the recipient to feel free to make suggestions. versations with friends and family, For those low-talkers or the peoIngram said. ple you are just too afraid to ask, Maybe your friend mentions in passing that she would love to read think about gifts for that person the Twilight book series before the that were well received in the past and use that for your gift-giving New Moon movie comes out, Inguide in the future, Ingram said. gram said, you should pick up on Ingram also suggests not stressthis little clue and get her the seing over originality. ries. If your nephew loved the iTunes “Look for those little moments in gift card you gave him last year your everyday interactions with there’s no harm in repeating sucpeople then you can come up with cess. great gift ideas,” Ingram said. “You don't always have to come up The recipient will usually be blown away you remembered or no- with original ideas she said. ticed their suggestion and they You also don’t have to spend a lot won’t have realized they mentioned to show that you care and get a it, Ingram said. great gift. That sounds simple enough, but “I think the biggest mistake that your friends and family really need anybody can make when giving a to meet you half way on this one gift is feeling pressured into spendwhich is where rule No. 2 comes in. ing an amount that doesn't feel 2. Get people to tell you want right to them ... a gift that doesn't they want. cost a lot of money can be as meanThe key is “re-training the people ingful as a gift that makes you not able to pay your rent that month,” in your life to feel comfortable ofIngram said. fering gift suggestions,” Ingram JENNIFER LEHMAN SPECIAL SECTIONS STAFF WRITER

M

“Let's say that you’re dating somebody and she mentions that she loves old fashioned cookie tins,” said Ingram, who herself loves old fashioned cookie tins. A great cookie tin could be found at Goodwill or a garage sale and it wouldn’t make a difference, Ingram said. "I would say, oh totally cool! I can't wait to put this with my collection.” “It shouldn't be about what you spent it should be about how you spent your money,” she said. For people in a time crunch, Ingram suggests gift cards, though it can seem unromantic for someone in a new relationship in which case she recommends making a joke out of the situation. For example, the girl giving the guy a six-pack of beer. The gift is funny and she can acknowledge that she goofed but still wanted to get him something and will make up for it down the road, said Ingram. Another tip for couples in new or young relationships: avoid gifts that could send the wrong signals, Ingram said. “I remember when I was single and I was dating and I happened to start dating someone in January and before you knew it it was Valentine’s Day, the guy bought me all of this clothing that was first of all, not my taste, but also clearly cost a lot of money. “I thought, this guy is completely clueless or this guy thinks this relationship is way more serious than I

do,” said Ingram. “Even if she said I'd really like a balance ball so I can exercise at home, getting her a balance ball could be taken the wrong way,” said Ingram. “Don't buy your new girlfriend lingerie if you haven't been intimate yet because you might freak her out,” said Ingram. When shopping for a new boyfriend, Ingram said, be cautious in getting gifts of tools or machinery or anything that sort of suggests improvement or that his manly skills are lacking. “(Gifts) can very easily and quickly change the atmosphere of a relationship if it’s wildly inappropriate for the age of the relationship or status of the relationship or just so off the mark,” said Ingram. For more seasoned relationships, gifts should not hold as much weight. “I know lots of women who get so mad because their husbands forget an anniversery or he just comes home with a thing of flowers and he thinks that's good enough,” Ingram said. “If that's what's ruining a longterm relationship, you didn't get the diamond ring that you wanted, I'd say there was more wrong with the relationship beyond the gift giving,” Ingram said. “I don’t think that a single giftgiving should define a long-term relationship, define it for the better or define it for the worse,” Ingram said.


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

19

Give loved ones gifts to stay healthy for 2010

Looking cute and feeling comfy are confidence boosters, so a gal with a new gym pass might be more hances are, the folks on your likely to go if she’s outfitted in Champion’s adorable empire worklist already have some New out top ($36). It’s tag- and seamYear’s resolutions in mind, free, and has a built-in bra and figbecause — let’s face it — this time ure-flattering cut. Available in colof year is a test of willpower that ors like Rich Berry and Pink Kiss most of us fail. Extra helpings of (or plain ol’ gray if she wants to mashed potatoes, year-end work “blend in”), the non-chafing fabric projects that cut into family time, wicks sweat away from the body. skipping workouts and blaming the Matching workout pants in two difholiday rush — all these behaviors, ferent styles also are available. not to mention a shift in priorities Can you fit a weight room bedue to the recession, have us thinkneath somebody’s tree? Unless ing about quality of life and self-imyou’re David Copperfield — or the provement. If you know what your tree is a California redwood — loved ones’ goals are, why not you’ll have to give the next best choose gifts to positively reinforce thing. A pair of Bowflex SelectTech them? “Whatever a person resolves dumbbells ($500) takes the place to do, if there’s a feeling of eagerof an entire, space-hogging set. A ness about it, the resolution is turn of a dial adjusts the weight of more likely to stick,” said behaveach dumbbell from 5 pounds on ioral psychologist Dana Lightman, up to 52.5 pounds for a strengthAbington, Pa. building program that works like magic (or close to it). GET FIT While giving someone a Thigh RELIEVE STRESS Master might hurt her feelings (and Make a nice, long soak even more earn you a fat lip), a cool gadget relaxing with Umbra’s Aquala baththat monitors her workouts and tub caddy ($42), an ingenious tray tracks her progress will strike the with a built-in wineglass holder, right chord. fold-away book stand and draining “People are motivated by immedi- soap dish for the ultimate, self-pamate, objective feedback,” said Fitpering experience. Made from susness by Phone coach Tiffany Crate, tainable bamboo, it expands to fit TLC Fitness, Chicago. The Polar F6 most tubs and has places to hang a Diamond women’s heart rate moni- bath puff and other accessories. You tor ($110), worn on the wrist, escan round out this gift with some tablishes her personal target heart- bubble bath, candles, French-milled rate zones, and tracks the number soap ... and maybe a butler for wine of calories and percentage of fat she refills. Ultra Lounge house slippers burns. DAWN KLINGENSMITH CTW FEATURES

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($80) by FitFlop offer an antidote to everyday aches and pains. Plush shearling on the inside and suede on the outside, they feature a shock-absorbing “microwobbleboard” midsole that realigns posture to relieve sore backs and stiff joints in the lower body. And there’s a huge bonus: Padding around in these slippers actually tones the calves, thighs and buns, because the midsole increases leg muscle activity by about 10 percent with each step. MORE FAMILY TIME “Family rituals are important. That’s what memories are made of,” Lightman said. If pizza night is getting harder to convene, put a new spin on it with the Presto Pizzazz revolving pizza oven ($60). There’s no preheating, so this countertop appliance cooks faster for hungry kids, and it also cooks more evenly. Rotating pizzas are mesmerizing to watch; plus, nothing cements a ritual like Canadian bacon. Perfect for family outings to the amphitheater, beach or hiking trail, REI’s rugged picnic backpack ($85) comes with four place settings, including melamine plates, plastic wine glasses (juice for the kiddos) and cutlery. A cutting board and corkscrew also are included. An insulated beverage compartment holds two bottles of wine or water, and there’s a blanket attachment and a bottle opener built into the outside pocket’s cinch strap. The lining of the food compartment is waterproof and removable for cleaning.

EAT HEALTHY A colorful, insulated lunch kit by Subzero ($20) will help a weight watcher maintain healthy eating habits. “Chances are, they’ll not only eat less but will eat more nutritiously if they pack a lunch instead of eating out,” said Elisa Zied, author of “Nutrition at Your Fingertips” (Alpha, 2009). Subzero lunch totes come with stainless steel water bottles and also make great gifts for the “green-minded” — so long, disposable brown bags and plastic water bottles. Another gift that promotes both earth-friendliness and healthy eating is RSVP’s Endurance indoor composter ($39 for the one-gallon model) with odor-absorbing filters. This shiny, stainless steel pail is spiffy enough to leave out on the countertop, and is dishwasher-safe. Also a good pick for the gardener on your list, the pail converts kitchen scraps into compost — a natural, effective fertilizer for growing healthy vegetables. There’s no excuse to skip breakfast — or scarf a Pop Tart on the run — when Hamilton Beach’s Single-serve Blender ($20) with travel lid makes it a cinch to prepare healthy smoothies or protein shakes for the rush-hour commute. The blender jar doubles as a to-go cup and fits in most drink holders. The unit is compact enough to leave on the countertop, so folks are more likely to give it a whirl, verses a big, bulky, hard-to-clean blender.

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Diwali Festival of lights celebrated around the world

A

fter a 14-year exile to earth, Lord Rama, an incarnation of the high God Vishnu, gathered his army to conquer the demon king Ravana and rescue his love from Ravana’s captivity. When Lord Rama arrived home with his wife, the people lit clay lamps along the road to signify the triumph of light over darkness. His successful conquest 10,000 years ago signified hope to the people of his kingdom Ayodhya, an ancient Indian city. This hope carries on today with the celebration of Diwali, a holiday of lights at the end of October or beginning of November each

year. On the same day of Lord Rama’s victory, it is said that the goddess Lakshmi also appeared, bringing with her wealth and prosperity. This Hindu interpretation of the holiday now involves evening prayers to the goddess for bounty, good health and prosperity, according to Acharya Kailash Chandra Upadhyay Ji, a priest at the Hindu Temple and Cultural center in Littleton. At the temple, children light clay lamps, and then the community prays, sings songs and shares sweets and food. Many Hindus have shrines in their own homes to the goddess Lakshmi, and today Diwali is a celebration of friends, family and community support.

RH photo/Rhema Muncy

A traditional dance showcased at Deepanjali, a Northern Colorado wide celebration put on by the India Association of Northern Colorado on Oct. 25 at CSU. Other families may fast either the day of or the day before, Upadhyay said. Sanjay Agarwal, the president of the India Association of Northern Colorado, grew up celebrating Diwali in India and continues the celebration today to pass on Indian traditions to the next generations and to educate the community about Indian culture. “On the day of Diwali, people will clean their houses and draw light to an entrance of the house to make it look clean and decorated,” Agarwal said.

Give the Gift of a Healthy Smile

“There will be lights all over the house just like Christmas here. We wear new clothes that day. In the morning we exchange gifts, mostly sweets. A major part of the festival is to meet people and give gifts.” In India, Agarwal remembers the grand country wide celebrations with a lot of outside activities and fireworks. Here in Colorado, the celebration is more low-key because of weather and city firework ordinances. But the traditional Diwali elements remain, he said.

The Colorado Springs Indian Community founder Jay Patel passes on the celebration of Diwali to the Colorado Springs area through a large community Bollywood-style performance dances from traditional Indian celebrations. “Celebrating Diwali is the same all across the world,” Patel said. “It is celebrated with song and dance. It is a time of giving. It is celebrated as a community, and at that time you remember your philanthropic role.” The annual Diwali celebration show proceeds pro-

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vide thousands of dollars in local charitable donations to the local Colorado Springs community each year, a gesture of the giving season on behalf of the Indian community. The performance is a volunteer community effort of more than 230 people. The India Association of Northern Colorado also showcases local talents and celebrates Diwali in an annual performance. This year’s performance happened at Colorado State University with an afternoon of dancing from local troupes of all ages and a dinner of traditional Indian food. Many of the dances at the event were based on religious stories and they depicted Indian culture. “In modern times, there are lots of western dances, but dancing is also a major part of the Indian culture,” Agarwal said. “That is why we do the dances at Deepanjali.”

The cultural event was designed to bring the Indian community together in Northern Colorado. “A lot of people are interested in what Indian culture looks like,” Agarwal said. “In this global economy it is more important to understand each other’s cultures.” Agarwal’s heart for publicly displaying the holiday of Diwali is to help the second generation Indian immigrants understand their heritage, and to help the first generation immigrants pass on Indian traditions. “It is really difficult for the next generation,” Agarwal said. “They are mixed up in two cultures ... they don’t get to see the real Diwali celebration we have in India. The next generation needs culture.” Throughout the world, Hindus mark all festivals as a time to give and gather with community. I See Diwali/Page 22

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

RH photo/Rhema Muncy

A re-enactment of a religious Hindu story at the Deepanjali celebration.

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Diwali From Page 21

“Festivities make our lives colorful with celebration,” Upadhyay said. “They bring us joy and the great teaching and inspirations.” The message of Diwali is not just to create physical light. “A great poet of the Hindi language once said, ‘You may light candles but make sure this darkness from the earth is dispelled,’” Upadhyay said. “We may light the lamps and have a celebration, but there is a lot of pain and suffering out there. Unless we reach out, lighting the candles won’t make a difference.” Rhema Muncy can be reached at rmuncy@ reporter-herald.com.

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His holiday wants home the big one with the Inflatable Fish ($20) Crack open that holiday brew with the Hammer Bottle Opener ($10), which doubles as ired of ties for the holidays? a real hammer, or The Bottle BunSick of socks? Too many ny ($20), a bottle opener shaped tools? Don’t sweat it, dude. Santa’s got like a rabbit’s head that opens your drink with it’s teeth. a whole new bag. From your own “The items are great for the guy barbecue branding iron to taking a who has everything — they are all ride in a fighter jet, plenty of gifts whimsical, unique alternatives to for guys are cooler than an iced traditional male gifts like clothing mocha from the North Pole. or personal accessories,” said “There are so many gifts a wife, girlfriend, mom or daughter could Christine Olson, a product developer with Decor Craft Inc (DCI), the give their special guy. I’m always Providence, R.I.-based company surprised that people grapple so that makes and distributes these much with what to get their guy,” said Michelle Liberman, who owns gifts to thousands of retail stores nationwide. The Shopping Friend Sure to bring a smile to the face (www.theshoppingfriend.com), a of every man is a useful gadget. personal shopping service in Los Liberman suggested the Tumi elecAngeles, Calif. “Guys would love to get cool items that break the mold. tric adapter (around $50), which You just have to know your guy a lit- she said “has four different plug configurations that fit into electric tle bit to determine what to get wall sockets in 150 countries. them.” So whether you’re into grilling or Works with laptops, cell phones and small electronics.” games, gadgets or outdoor gear, To get a little more out of his tuck this guide into your wife’s running, Rebel Dad (www.rebel purse or your kid’s jacket before dad.com) blogger Brian Reid, they head out for holiday shopping. Champaign, Ill., went out and They’ll be glad you did. bought his own holiday gift GADGETS AND GAGS gadget — a GPS watch. “(It’s) totally silly and overpriced, Late night talk shows open with a but I will not jog without it,” Reid little humor, so why not your holisaid. “It’s just too, well, cool.” day celebration? For that hunter’s lodge feel in your home, without the trouble of taxidermy, get the In- GRILLING If you’re proud of your grilling, flatable Moose ($20) to hang on grab the BBQ Branding Iron ($20) your wall. Fishermen can brag about the big one they brought from DCI and brand any message

HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

25

JEFF SCHNAUFER CTW FEATURES

T

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ters in Universal City, Calif. “In F1 2009, Codemasters gives men the opportunity to do so without the risk of crashing their cars and injuring themselves, all from the safety and comfort of their living room.” Releasing this fall for the Wii game with a price TBA, F1 2009 is the first in a new generation of Formula One video games featuring all the official drivers, teams and

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into your meat with its changeable letters. Or swashbuckle your way to a perfect steak with the BBQ Sword Spatula ($30) from DCI, which looks like a sword and comes with a peel-off musketeer mask for fun. Keep DCI’s Condiment Gun ($24) handy to dispense a little saucy justice (ketchup or mustard) on your burger. Wash it all down with DCI’s XL Beer Glass ($20), which can hold five bottles of a kind beer. For more serious chefs, take the advice of Steve Raichlen, host of PBS “Primal Grill” television show. Available through retail stores like Sur La Table and others, Raichlen suggests the Lumatong ($19.99), with two bright LED bulbs attached to the handle of extra-long tongs to put light right where you need it. Or the Pakkawood Handle Steak Knife set ($39.99), which Raichlen said feature “good looks, razorsharp stainless steel blades and a hefty feel, thanks to sleek pakkawood handles. These knives have it all. Pair with a package of porterhouse steaks for a gift he’ll love.” You can’t go wrong with a good knife set, Reid said. The best Christmas gift he ever received was a set of German knives, Henckels Four Stars, of which he said, “I expect to deed them in my will.”

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

dodge ball for an easy take-out,” said Amar Gavhane, associate brand manager with Hudson Entertainment. GET OUTTA TOWN “Every dad should have a goodquality tent that can house the whole family,” said Reid. “I’m thinking the Kelty Trail Dome 4 (from REI).” Sporting goods stores are a good place to play Santa for guys. With thousands of stores across the U.S., REI (www.rei.com) has several gifts for the outdoor-minded guy at a broad range of prices. The featherweight Black Diamond Orbit Lantern ($29) illuminates your back country adventure without weighing you down, while the Naish 11.6 Classic Stand Up Paddle board ($1,800) makes flat water cruising as exciting as big wave surfing. Or just stuff a stockcircuits from the 2009 FIA Formuing with Sea To Summit Pocket la One World Championship. It’s Shaving Soap ($3.95), featuring also part of the new trend in racthin leaves of soap that dissolve in ing games, including EA Games water, creating liquid soap wherNeed For Speed: Shift (price TBA ever you hike. for Playstation 3, PC, PSP and For the guy on the go — outXBox 360), which Michael Mann, doors or in — consider some fanEA Games executive producer, cy footwear. said “is the first racing game that “Boots, like many thing, depend delivers on what it feels like to on the man,” Liberman said. “Red tear up the track from the driver’s Wing boots for the construcpoint of view, featuring stunningly tion/builder guy, John Varvatos real cockpit views to hyper-realisbrown leather boots for the sotic g-forces simulators” while racphisticated casual, or cowboy ing in some of the world’s most boots for your manly, swaggering sought-after cars, such as Lamguy.” borghini, Reventon and Pagani Zonda. AND NOW FOR SOMETHING If play’s the thing, Liberman COMPLETELY DIFFERENT suggests Rock Band, Madden Still can’t find something you 2010, Ladderball and Tiger Woods like? If your gift giver has the Golf. cash, consider your local airport New for 2009 is Deca Sports 2 for a helicopter, sailplane or hot for the Wii from Hudson Enterair balloon ride. Or the coolest tainment (estimated retail gift Liberman ever acquired for a $29.99), which allows players to client: compete against other DECAth“I had a wife who wanted to get letes from around the country in her husband something really spe10 different sports. Like many cial a couple years ago,” Liberman others, it’s a game that you can said. “He had always wanted to fly play with your kids. But you’ll in a military plane so we set it up, quickly learn what separates the with the help of a company that men from the boys. has those avenues, to have him fly an L-39 fighter jet.” “Everybody can pick up the The cost can range from $3,000 game and figure out the controls, to $15,000, Liberman said. But is but the men will learn how to do it worth it? one-timers in ice hockey, how to draft and pass in road racing or “She told me he talked about it for months,” Liberman said. how to face out the opponent in

Her holiday wants MARY K. FONS CTW FEATURES

A

s the holiday season approaches, some shoppers are feeling overwhelmed, especially those who want to give luxurious gifts to the special women in their life. With the economy flagging and petty cash reserves low, high-quality gift giving seems like it could be tough this year. Or not. Contrary to popular belief, giving a luxurious gift doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. In fact, simplicity is often the most luxurious thing you can buy. “Luxury is not always about price,” said Marian Goodman, vice president of personal shopping for Bloomingdales. To her, serious bling and luxury simply don’t have to go hand in hand; the perfect gift could just be indulging a fantasy. “It may be a item that the receiver may never think of buying for themselves but would love to own.” Maybe your special lady gravitates toward the art section of the bookstore to pour over thick books of photographs but never actually purchases any of them. A brand new copy of one of her favorite photographers could be just right. “Great quality and exceptional design are key elements to look for when giving a luxurious gift,” Goodman said, and she noted that great design can be found at many price levels. “A good gift for a special woman in your life is something just for them, that makes them feel appreciated. A fabulous pair of gloves, like the black fur-lined pair from UGG is a great option that offers a quick and affordable gift. Any cashmere item from sweaters to scarves, available at a great price point are great gifts that offer luxury and affordability.” Such items fulfill the good design requirement, but it’s important to remember that not all

good design is found inside department stores. A tasteful antique pitcher found at an antique store or a personalized piece of jewelry from a local artisan are also options that prove items of luxury simply don’t have to cost a fortune. For Grace Bonney, author of the popular design blog, Design*Sponge, it’s all about personalizing. “It’s tough to put modern women into one category of gifts, but I think a gift that reflects her personal taste is always in style.” Bonney also believes that a gift that allows for some me time can never go wrong. “I usually suggest something that allows her to relax in a way that’s appropriate for her, whether that’s a cooking lesson, a spa visit, or a backpacking trip,” Bonney said. Put your mind to it and observe closely what your special gal likes to do, and you’ll find plenty of gift ideas. “Every woman is different,” Bonney said. “Try to think about what she does when she has free time to herself and consider gifting her a luxurious version of that activity.” I See Wants/Page 27


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

Wants

ing wrong with wrapping up your gift and putting it under the tree. And, if you employ the personal From Page 26 shopping services that many stores offer around the holidays and If your daughter has always want- throughout the year, you might be able to find that gift without waned to try riding horses, finding an dering through stores for hours on affordable package at the nearest end. ranch is sure to be a hit. If money “One of the most affordable luxuallows, take any spa package or ries Bloomingdale’s has to offer is outdoor activity and make it a weekend getaway trip. As Goodman the time, energy and assistance of suggested, the most luxurious (and the personal shopping staff, offered one of the simplest) gifts a person complimentary to the customer,” Goodman said. “Our customers can give is their time and attencan rely on the personal shopping tion. service, giving them the luxury of If time is short and schedules more time in their life to spend don’t allow a retreat, there’s noth- with friends and family.”

Bonney agreed that personal shopping can be the ticket, and maybe even part of the gift itself. “Consider something beyond a single item, perhaps a day with a personal shopper to pick out a great outfit for a day out on the town,” she said. “Or a special guided tour through a museum followed by a gift of affordable artwork from an up and coming artist on [craft site] Etsy.” Indeed, a homemade, handmade gift usually takes top honors, since it takes the luxury of time — your time — to create. To Bonney, that makes a homemade gift the most luxurious of them all. “My first and strongest sugges-

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

27

tion is always to make something yourself,” she said. “Whether it’s a love note, a flower arrangement you pick yourself, or a special meal that reminds you of a time you shared together, something handmade and thoughtful always trumps a store-bought gift in my book. They don’t cost a lot of money and the lasting impact is way greater than a new pair of earrings.” Whether your special lady fancies jewelry (either handmade or storebought), a new tech gadget, free time for herself, or just extra attention from you, gifting luxury this season is easy if you’re paying attention.

Feminine gifts H

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ere’s a gift roundup to get you started shopping for a luxurious present for the special women in your life. • “Big Love” ice cream bowl and spoon. Set, $53 at Bloomingdale’s. This darling ice cream bowl and heartshaped spoon will show your lady the love every time she indulges in her favorite frozen treat. • Glassware from The Green Glass Company. Prices vary, online. Green meets luxury with this Wisconsin-based company that turns reclaimed wine bottles into beautiful new glasses, from wine goblets to tumblers. • Plasteramic Toy Watch. $195 at department stores. Miriam Goodman said this trend-setting watch “has the affordability of plastic, but has the incredibly luxurious look of ceramic. It’s a fun and affordable gift for any woman on your list.” • Organic Nest bedding. Prices vary, Design Within Reach stores nationwide. What’s more luxurious than lounging in a well-outfitted bed? These designer organic cotton sheets feel great and look great, too. Add breakfast in bed for a luxury overload. • Vosges Haut Chocolat’s “La Grande Gift Tower.” $96 at Vosges boutiques or online. Few women will turn down chocolate, especially if it’s high-quality chocolate from beloved Chicago chocolatier Vosges. Truffles, caramels, toffee, and drinking chocolate are cased in an elegant tower. • Pegasus Marquise 29-by-40 inch Silver Mirror. $225 at Home Depot stores nationwide. Giving a mirror to your special lady shows her what you value most: her. This classy wall-mounted mirror fits any home’s decor and reflects your good taste. • Crochet Craft Bag. $178 at Anthropologie stores nationwide. This lovely handbag imparts a crafty vibe but still lays on the glamour. Made of suede and leather, the slouchy style shouts, “Look at me. I’m gorgeous.”


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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

High-def, low bulk Slim and sleek cameras top the techie lists

through a USB arm that slides out from the camera, and internal software allows you to upload videos to e-mail and on your TV. Zoom: 2x Battery: Two rechargeable AA; about 100 minutes Size: 4.25 x 2.2 x 1.2 Editing capability: Yes

Zoom: 2x Battery: Two hours on charge from computer Size: 3.9 x 2.2 x 0.6

KODAK ZX1 — $149 Featuring a stainless steel construction that makes it an all-weather companion, this ideo cameras have come handheld Kodak model takes a long way since the days sharp HD video and still photos. of cumbersome, heavy Also included is ArcSoft Media CREATIVE VADO HD — $149 cameras and jerky, low-quality Impression software, which almovies. Today you can find Reminiscent of an iPod, this lows the user to edit and upload cams with swivel screens and camcorder — ironically — may video or capture quality stills steady high-def that fits in the be best for people who use a PC, from video frames. Unlike other palm of your hand. as its native encoding requires a models, memory is not built-in, plug-in to sync with Apple’s but the ZX1 supports up to FLIP VIDEO ULTRAHD Quicktime. That said, the cam- 32GB media cards. CAMCORDER — $199 corder functions as a USB drive Zoom: 2x This mini-camcorder looks when connected to your comBattery: Two rechargeable like a digital camera turned on puter and stores two hours of AA; about two hours its side, but instead of still shots video on its clear, two-inch Size: 4.2 x 2 x 0.8 it can hold up to two hours of screen. One of the first camDigital still resolution: Three crisp HD video without the use corders to incorporate HDMI megapixels of external memory cards. The technology, the Vado has a comrechargeable battery works fortable silicone skin. I See Cams/Page 30

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Cams From Page 28

SANYO XACTI CG10 — $199 This model lets you shoot video, literally, since it looks like a gun without the barrel. Such a design allows the built-in monitor to rotate up to 285 degrees. The CG10 also possesses multiple modes for video from night and snow to sports and auto, and it's a quick draw, too: you can be recording HD video in less than two seconds from start-up. When you get a good shot, video compression technology means uploads and e-mails to friends and family will take up less of their hard drives. Zoom: 12x Battery life: About 80 minutes Size: 4.40 x 2.8 x 1.5 Image stabilization: Yes PANASONIC SDR-SW21 — $399 A powerful combination of style and substance, the SW21 comes in bright colors like orange and lime green but can also withstand shock up to a four-foot drop and water as deep as 6.5 feet. The camera's quick-start feature means you're recording in 0.6 seconds, and while its two-pound weight is heavier than many of its competitors, it's no lightweight. Movies record in DVD format. Zoom: 10x Battery life: About 70 minutes Size: 4.5 x 1.5 x 2.3 Waterproof/Dustproof

Above, the flip family video series. To the right, the Vado connect video camera that functions as a USB drive when connected to your computer and stores two hours of video on its clear, 2-inch screen. One of the first camcorders to incorporate HDMI technology, the Vado has a comfortable silicone skin.

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

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Best Gadgets for 'Geeks' Even the most jaded high-tech aficionados will appreciate this eclectic assortment of electronic wizardry JIM GORZELANY CTW FEATURES

W

hile the term “geek” originally referred to a carnival freak-show performer whose unfortunate specialty was often biting the heads off of live chickens, today the word is most typically used as a source of pride to describe someone who’s obsessed with technology. Unfortunately, choosing holiday gifts that will truly impress such gadget-lovers can be a certifiably daunting task among those who are technologically challenged. To that end, we’ve scoured the outer reaches of the electronics universe to assemble a wide array of products that are sure to have genuine geekappeal. Most are widely available from major department stores and/or electronics retailers.

own personal-portable and renames it the Zune HD by virtue of a new 3.3-inch widescreen high-definition display. Available in five colors, it also incorporates an HD Radio receiver, Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and HDTV video playback via an optional dock; it retails for $220 with 16GB of memory and $290 with 32GB.

CTW photo

The Beatles Rock Band game is available for all three gaming formats. their history from “Twist and Shout” to “Get Back.” The software alone is $50 for the Wii and $70 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, while a $250 Limited Edition further includes controller replicas of Ringo’s drum set and Paul’s bass and a microphone and stand; controllers that mimic John and George’s guitars are also offered for $100 each.

operate in temperatures as cold as 14 degrees and in water as deep as 16 feet. And while a growing number of digicams (like those noted above) can shoot high-definition video, don’t count out the dedicated camcorder just yet. To that end, Panasonic offers what’s claimed as the world’s lightest full-HD models — weighing in at just a half-pound. The palm-sized $550 HDC-SD10 records to a swappable SD memory card, while the $600 HDC-TM10 further includes 8 GB of built-in memor y.

FOR THE GAMER GEEK ... FOR THE DIGITAL-IMAGING GEEK... Video-game enthusiasts are agog With even the smallest digital over recent platform-hardware up- cameras boasting stellar specs, it’s dates that include a more-streamthe units that include truly novel lined version of Sony’s full-featured features that stand out in a crowdPlayStation3 (with ed market. FOR THE HOME THEATER GEEK a lower $299 price For example, the $300 Samsung tag), along with NinSince watching movies that TL220 makes taking selftendo’s new Motion are stored on a disk can portraits easier by inPlus controller accessoseem relatively archaic corporating a 1.5-inch ry for the Wii that tracks to leading-edge homefront-facing LCD displayers’ movements in finer theater mavens, a few play. Casio’s $200 12 detail and with greater accuflat-panel TV sets, like megapixel EX-Z450 racy (it’s sold separately for LG Electronics’ $1,699 allows users to $20 and comes bundled with the drop out and reThe Samsung TL220 47-inch 47LH50 LCD FOR THE ON-THE-GO GEEK... $60 Wii Sports Resort game). and $1,799 50-inch place the backPortable entertainment devices Meanwhile, portable gam50PS80 Series plasma ground on Wii Motion Plus video footage have long been stocking-stuffer sta- ing fans can be treated to models now include Ethernet conples, with the latest being able to Controller Sony’s new $249 PSP Go, to create what is essen- nectivity so users can stream condo far more than just play music which eschews a disc drive tent directly from the Internet withtially a still photo that through a set of headphones. for 16GB of flash memory and the out having to use a computer or contains a moving subject. For A revamped version of Apple’s ability to access and download other set-top box. those who tend to be rough on diminutive iPod Nano is now the games via a wireless Internet contheir gear, the $300 Pentax Optio Of course video is only half of the proverbial Swiss Army Knife of mp3 nection. Nintendo’s upgraded $170 W80 can surhome theater experience, and a seplayers, adding a built-in microDSi hand-held can likewise convive a fall from ries of new audio receivers from phone and speaker, a pedometer nect to the Web, but also adds a 3.3 feet, and Onkyo, the TX-SR5007, TX-NR3007 that can keep track of steps taken microphone and a digital camand TX-NR1007, raise the roof with and calories burned, an FM tuner era. a full 9.2 channels of surround with a live-pause feature and a video Perhaps the biggest gaming sound for total aural immersion. camera/recorder. It comes in seven news this year is a software reThey pack as many as eight digital colors, in $149 8GB and $179 lease that’s sure to top the charts HDMI inputs for video-source 16GB versions. — “The Beatles Rock Band.” Playswitching, along with a full plate of Not to be outdone by its corpoers can emulate the Fab Four rate rival, Microsoft upgrades its through 45 classic songs that trace I See GEEKS/Page 32 Pentax Optio W80


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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

GEEKS

trols. Coming straight out of science fiction, MatFrom Page 31 tel’s Mindflex is a unique mental acuity game that allows players to move objects sound and image-enhancing gadgetry and the ability to stream Internet radio broadcasts, re- using the power of their minds. A headset controller contains forehead and tailing from $1,599 to $2,699. A more modestly priced gift that can control earlobe sensors that measure brainwave activity. Players focus their conall of a geek’s A/V gear is the $400 Logitech centration on a ball that rides on a Harmony 900 universal remote. Easily programmed via a PC or Mac computer to control stream of air and guide it through a customizable obstacle course. Give up to 15 devices, the rechargeable Harmony 900 operates intuitively via both a touch-screen the kids the power of telekinesis for panel and tactile buttons, and can even control only $80. devices in other rooms and behind closed cabiOr set them up with a play-date of net doors. an electronic nature, thanks to two new kid-friendly robots, the $100 FOR THE YOUNGEST GEEKS Prime-8 and $80 Penbo. The forKids no longer content with toy trucks mer is a mini monkey that mimics and baby dolls can likewise be treated to an as- the manner in which boys play, sortment of high-tech hardware this while the latter is an interactive holiday season. For starters, the Asus Disney penguin for girls that will, among Netpal netbook computer can enable them other things, hatch an egg and to surf the Web and do their homework eleccommunicate with her baby in tronically. Offered in either Magic Blue or “Penguish.” They come from a Princess Pink color schemes, the $350 Netpal company called Bossa Nova includes an 8.9-inch LCD display, 160GB Robotics, which is a spin-off from hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, Carnegie Mellon University’s assorted software and — appropriately — Robotic Institute, and that’s a spill-proof keyboard and myriad parental con- about as geeky as it gets.

The Penbo is a furry, friendly robot that hatches an egg and speaks ‘Penguish.’ CTW photo

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Christmas Begins at


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

Project Upgrade Trying to buy another toy for a tech-savvy person is tough. So surprise them by giving the gift they never knew they needed.

Roomba robot vacuum comes the iRobot Looj ($169). The Looj can be placed into almost any standard sized gutter and propel itself — and it’s high-powered, 500-rpm augur — through twigs, leaves, and any other debris that’s lodged in there. It’s waterproof too, and you can set the direction of the augur so that debris is blasted away from the house — not onto your roof.

FOR THE MUSIC LOVER For the iPod addict, a pair of noise-canceling headphones will help them tune in and turn off the rest of the world. adget fans are known for leaping on the The SE115 Sound Isolating ear buds from latest technology the minute it hits Shure block surrounding noise up to 90 perstore shelves. That makes shopping for cent, according to the company. The $129 something new for them a daunting challenge. headphones ship But while they’ve splurged on the big-ticket with sleeves to both item, you can still serve up some clever comple- block outside noise ments that will help them get more mileage and mold the headfrom their devices without breaking your bank. phones to fit snugly and properly in FOR THE DO-IT-YOURSELFER your ear. And Even if home prices have sunk like a stone, they’re available in Quiet Comfort 15 there’s no better time to recoup some value blue, pink, red and black. with a little old-fashioned sweat equity. Help the If they’re looking for even deeper immersion, handyman with some high-tech gear, such as try the Quiet Comfort 15 ($299) from Bose. Black and Decker’s CrossFire laser level. The These noise-canceling headphones will drown CrossFire ($140) projects perfectly straight out everything from airplane engines to lines — both horizontally and vertically or both screaming kids. They can enjoy up to 35 hours simultaneously — for properly hanging shelving of noise cancellation on a single AAA battery. or pictures. It can be mounted to a wall, hung Its fold-flat ear cups and detachable cable let from a rope or simply planted on the ground. you stow it quickly and easily when not in use. Finally, who doesn’t love robots? Moreover, who doesn’t hate cleaning gutters? So why not FOR THE HOME VIDEO LOVER let a robot tackle one of life’s most thankless For the family archivist who’s sitting on jobs? From the same company that created the stacks of camcorder tapes, help bring them into GREGORY SCOBLETE CTW FEATURES

G

iRobot Looj

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

33

the digital era with Roxio’s Easy VHS-to-DVD. This $59 hardware/software duo lets you connect any video or audio device, be it a tapebased camcorder, VCR, even an audio cassette player, to your PC’s USB port. The included software will capture that video (or audio) and burn it directly to a DVD. FOR THE SHARP SHOOTER Know someone with a digital SLR always strapped around their neck, shutter clicking endlessly? Help them bring their photos into the living room with a digital photo frame. Pandigital’s PanTouch PAN8000 ($130) frame offers a 8-inch, high resolution 800 x 600 display that’s large enough to bring out all the expressive details of their work. It has a touchscreen interface, so you don’t have to claw around the back of the frame looking for the controls. With 1GB of internal memory, you can pack thousands of photos into the frame. Or, pick up a wireless adapter and turn the PanTouch into a Wi-Fi frame that can access online photo services, such as Google’s Web Albums. FOR THE COMPUTER GEEK If you’re looking to outfit the family computer geek, Logitech’s Anywhere Mouse will defy their expectations that mice are boring. Unlike most wireless, laser-tracking mice that can only work on textured surfaces like wood tables, the Anywhere Mouse, true to its name, can be used anywhere — including clear glass and high gloss surfaces that typically confound wireless mice. Thanks to what Logitech somewhat ominously dubs its Darkfield Laser Tracking technology, home or mobile users can set up shop nearly anywhere. Cost: $79. For those cutting-edge computer owners with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, check out Microsoft’s Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000. This superthin keyboard can be paired with notebooks, netbooks and desktops. It will set you back $90. You can also spring for the $45 portable Bluetooth number pad. If you’re looking for a fullsized option, try Microsoft’s $79 Comfort Desktop 5000 wireless keyboard and mouse set. This ergonomically designed pair uses 2.4GHz frequency wireless signals for connecting to a computer up to 30 feet away. FOR THE ROAD WARRIOR Netbooks — lightweight, low-cost laptop computers — are a great option for students, kids and even traveling professionals tired of lugging several pounds on their shoulders. Lenovo’s IdeaPad S12 offers a 12-inch display, a full-sized keyboard and the option to add a NVIDIA ION graphics engine for greater horsepower, including 1080p HD video. The customizable netbook starts at $449 and can offer up to 160GB worth of hard drive storage, 1GB of memory, Wi-Fi connectivity, a fourin-one flash memory card reader and an ExpressCard slot for adding 3G networking.


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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Boost your

Workout Gadgets and gear for the fitness gurus JEFF SCHNAUFER CTW FEATURES

I

f it’s the holiday season, it’s time to get yourself in gear. Fitness gear, that is. Whether you prefer exercising at home or hitting the slopes, skating in the streets or stretching your inner yogi, be sure to save a few spots on your holiday wish list for the latest and greatest in fitness and outdoor recreation equipment and tech.

satellite prediction allows Forerunner to track your movement even near tall buildings or under tree cover. Better yet, it’s waterproof to a depth of 50 meters for those swims in the lake. The GPS-enabled Edge 500 ($249) tracks speed, distance, time, location, elevation, calories burned, climb and descent for the avid cyclist. The Edge 500 also displays temperature readings, changes time zones automatically and alerts riders if they’re moving but the timer is not running. With up to 18 hours of battery life, Edge 500 features a low-profile, quarter-turn mount that fits easily on the stem or handlebars. And there’s no other existing golf device that combines the ease of use, large color touchscreen and preloaded information featured in the Approach G5 ($449). In any situation, a player can get exact yardages with the touchtargeting feature and select the right club with confidence. By simply touching the corner of the screen, you can zoom in on the green to reposition the flag to correspond with that day’s pin placement. The Approach G5 makes it easy to measure the distance of your last shot and keep the scores for your entire foursome using the intuitive touchscreen digital scorecard.

CTW photos

Weider PowerBell

HIGH-TECH GADGET For the performance minded athlete, consider the features offered by Garmin sports watches. The Forerunner 310XT ($349) tracks your posi- YOGA & PILATES tion precisely with GPS satellite data and According to a study conducted between while enhancing mobility and core stability. records distance, pace, heart rate (optional), Spring 2001 to Fall 2008, participation in yoga power data and more. High-sensitivity GPS has increased 181 percent among adults, makAEROBICS AND WEIGHTS ing it the No. 1 trending sport. Overall, 16.5 If jumping rope is more your style, consider million Americans practice yoga at home, at fit- Lululemon’s Pro Spin Jump Rope ($16), with ness centers and specialty shops like Lululemon cork handles providing a superior grip for those Athletica. For the beginning yoga practitioner, sweaty palms. Tension bands, which are good for you’ll keep your asanas in place with the two strengthening and toning, sell for $32 at Luldifferent grip textures of Lululemon’s ulemon. You can find other brands available at lightweight and durable Align Ultra Mat many sporting goods stores. Another welcome ($28). Designed to last a lifetime, the longer, workout addition are ab-strengthening, burstwider and thicker Manduka Yoga Mat ($90) resistant stability balls from companies like Evfeatures a fabric-like finish that is non-sticky, erlast and Altus, starting at $29.99. even with light perspiration. The Weider PowerBell is an adjustable kettleFor Pilates practitioners, consider the Pibell that takes the kettle bell trend and makes lates Express Mat ($32.95) by Stott Piit better — instead of 5 or 6 different lates, 3/8-inch thick and made of kettle bells rolling around your living closed cell foam to protect room, you can get a range of weights the spine. The Stott Piin one compact bell. The handle itlates Mini Stability Ball self is 5 pounds and then each addiPower Pack ($19.99) tional weight plate is 2.5 pounds. features a unique series There’s also a DVD workout that of exercises performed comes with the package. The 20 with a lightweight and pound version is $119 and the portable mini ball de40 pound version is $249. signed to improve posTREADMILLS ture, lengthen and Forerunner 310XT Pilates Express Mat With more than 56 perstrengthen your muscles


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

cent of home fitness sales for 2008, treadmills are the most popular category because they burn the most calories and are the most comfortable to use. And advances in technology are making them easier to use than ever at a price range that won’t bust your holiday budget. Consider the NordicTrack Incline Trainer, a $1,599 revolutionary treadmill that inclines to 40 percent to allow five times the calorie burn just by walking. The Incline Trainer is also equipped for iFit Workout Cards created to give consumers the Jillian Michaels experience at home. Speakers built into the console project “The Biggest Loser” trainer’s voice, offering encouragement, motivation and a little tough love. Each iFit Workout Card, which retails for $29.99, has 24 workouts in four different genres: Lose Weight, Get Fit, Power Walk and Boot Camp. New for this year is the $999 NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 SEL elliptical, this year’s version of the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 that won a Best Buy award from Consumer Reports for the last 2 years. The elliptical is unique in that it has an incline ramp on the front that goes to 30-percent grade. At $599, the NordicTrack T5zi treadmill has the same width belt as club models — 20 inches — an integrated iPod connection, speakers, and the patented Space Saver design that allows the treadmill to fold for storage. BOARD GAMES Whatever your weather, there’s a board for your body. For sunny climes, Street Surfing is introducing the $79.99 Whiplash, a self-propelling, revolutionary new ride that is part scooter, part Wave. Centered around the award-winning design of The Wave’s unique caster design and Torsion technology, Whiplash’ps flexing deck and handlebar fuse together to provide riders with a cool, side-to-side, whip-like ride. For the kid who wants an original Wave, parents can also consider the new Wave LX, a 30 percent lighter caster board available for $79.99 that is perfect for tricks, riding up hills or surfing the streets.

CTW photo

NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 SEL elliptical

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

got apps? Get to know the year’s top app-friendly smartphones TANIESHA ROBINSON CTW FEATURES APPLE IPHONE 3GS Who knew that with your cell phone you’d be able to shoot and edit video, take photos with a 3-megapixel camera and play a song at the command of your voice? Apparently, Apple did when designing its newest iPhone, the 3Gs. If those features don’t sound enticing enough, consider the built-in digital compass or cut, copy, and paste features for Web browsing. Talk Time: 5 hours Price: Starts at $199 Cool Apps: • Midomi — Never wonder the artist or song name again.

A Gi For ft You

With this app, you can hold your iPhone up to any radio or hum any portion of a song to identify it. • Skype — Place free calls over Wi-Fi, check voicemail and send low-cost texts, anytime.

BLACKBERRY CURVE 8900 Along with sleek, sophisticated design, this smartphone features a 3.2-megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities and a 480-by-360-pixel screen to view searches on its full HTML Web browser and discover new applications. Documents to Go Standard Edition application, a calendar and a voice recorder are preloaded. Talk Time: 5.5 hours Price: Starts at 149.99 Cool Apps: • Vlingo — Send a text or email message, call Blackberry Curve a friend, search 8900 the Web and update your social status, at the sound of your voice. • MP3 Ringtone Creator — Choose the starting point of any song stored in your BlackBerry or on a media card to make a customized Ringtone.

Apple iPhone 3GS

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

PALM PRE Get your life in sync with the Pre’s Palm Synergy feature, which brings your Microsoft Outlook, Google, and Facebook calendars together for one logical view of your day. Contacts in different places can be linked so conversations with the same person are grouped together in one chat-style view — start a chat in IM and end it with a text. A slide-out QWERTY keyboard allows easier and faster texting than that of any touchscreen phone. Talk time: 5 hours Price: Starts at 199.99 Cool Apps: •Fandango; Browse movie and theater listings, watch trailers and view fan ratings. Then use GPS to find the closest theaters and purchase tickets. • Connect 4 — Enjoy the classic row-making game with full touchscreen controls and three unique gameplay modes so you can play alone, against your online friends Palm Pre or the friend standing next to you.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

LG enV Touch

LG ENV TOUCH Its clever design offers the largest external keyboard of these top smartphones and the basic popular features: 3.2-megapixel camera and camcorder, Bluetooth and HTML Web browsing. View apps on its 3-inchtouch screen. Talk time: 4.3 hours Price: Recommended $410 Cool Apps: • ESPN MVP — You’ll never miss a play with access to live gamecasts, exclusive commentary and video alerts sent right to your phone. • WikiMobile — Carry 2 million Wikipedia articles in your pocket and give new life to the term “walking encyclopedia.”

T-MOBILE MYTOUCH 3G The latest smartphone venture from T-Mobile and Google features a One-Touch Google Search widget on the home screen and shoots photos and video with a built-in 3.2MP camera. Talk Time: 6.6 hours Price: $199.99 with two-year contract Cool Apps: • Sherpa — Sherpa combines your interests and location to give you recommendations on nearby places, events and activities. • WorldTour — Get images from live webcams around the world on your home screen. T-Mobile myTouch 3G

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

48-304497

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

Tops in Tech The year's top picks from CNET Story by Taniesha Robinson • CTW Features

BEST IN HOME AUDIO Samsung's HT-BD7200: 2.1 Blu-ray home theater This uniquely designed home entertainment system is an Netflix member's dream. Netflix unlimited members can instantly watch more than 17,000 movies and TV episodes. The high-def Blu-ray Disc Player upconverts regular DVDs and lets you enjoy stored music and media via an iPod dock with video, audio and iPhone support. Wirelessly view pictures and listen to music from your PC through the Wi-Fi ready and PC Connected/Streaming features.

BEST IN COMPUTER & HARDWARE Sony P-series Lifestyle PC The world's lightest 8-inch notebook also fits right into your purse or jacket pocket. This PC is perfect for those on the go. The one-button quickboot option grants you fast access to the Web for directions, e-mail and more. Yet, an Internet connection isn't even needed to access turn-by-turn directions to a nearby restaurant with the real-time GPS functionality of its Microsoft Streets & Trips software.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

BEST IN CAR TECHNOLOGY Gracenote & Voxonic's CarStars The next time you turn on your car radio, you could hear your favorite celebrity introduce the next song in any language with this personalized automobile entertainment system. Gracenote MusicID, MediaVOCS and Playlist allow users to enjoy music of their choice at the command of their voice. CarStars also integrates into the car's navigation system and utilizes locations to make music recommendations.

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

BEST IN CELL PHONES & SMARTPHONES Palm Pre A wireless charging dock, slide out keyboard, LED camera flash and Palm Synergy feature that links Microsoft Outlook, Google and Facebook calendars and conversations together in one logical view enabled the Palm Pre to be named best cell phone in 2009.

BEST IN GAMING Nyko Wand Nyko's Wii remote control edges out the original from Nintendo with what it calls Trans-Port technology, which allows designed attachments to pass through key buttons to the Nunchuk port at the base of the remote. This makes attachments more responsive and, in theory, eliminates the need for accessories to have moving plastic parts to press buttons on the Wii remote.

BEST IN MP3 & VIDEO PLAYERS Samsung P3 touch-screen MP3 player This pocket-sized video player emphasizes personalization for navigation through its EmoTure interface. Instead of just one main screen, there are three customizable desk screens. Enjoy easy, fast downloading with the popular DIVX format and spend more time watching movies.

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

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BEST IN TELEVISIONS Panasonic TC-G10 plasma series The visual display is superb in this series with excellent shadow detail; highly-accurate primary colors and grayscale and great color saturation, all while using less power than previous 1080p plasmas. Viera Cast technology provides access to select Internet services, including YouTube and Picasa right on your TV with no extra equipment.

BEST IN DIGITAL PHOTO & VIDEO Sony DSC-G3 Snap a photo and then upload it directly to a photo-sharing site with this sleek, new pocket-sized camera's integrated Wi-Fi and a built-in browser. The features are top-notch, too: 10.1 megapixels, 4X zoom, 4GB of storage and a 3.5-inch touch-screen display.

BEST IN GPS TomTom GO 740 Live Purchase this GPS system and you'll get a complimentary one-year subscription to Live services to stay connected to real-time data like traffic and fuel prices. IQ Routes technology calculates your routes based on speeds normally traveled rather than the speed at which you're not supposed to break. At least, the hands-free calling feature tries to keep you safe.

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

gift being given

The that keeps on Here’s how to re-gift the right way MELANIE WANZEK CTW FEATURES

J

odi Newbern’s introduction to the idea of re-gifting began early when, at six years old, she tried to give her mom a box of gloves that her mom already owned. But for others, the initiation into the re-gifting world comes when they unwrap a present and a hot pad with Elvis’ face smirks back — at the annual white elephant party. Newbern, author of “Regifting Revival!: A Guide to Reusing Gifts Graciously” (Synergy Books, 2009), has grown up re-gifting. Though re-gifting and thus white elephant parties are often thought of as tacky and tasteless, she says the traditional holiday exchange is an opportunity to recycle your gift waste, clear your clutter and use your creativity. “White elephant parties are a great idea,” she said. “Everyone can bring things they don’t want, have an open exchange, bring wrapped gifts to pass around or even make bids on gifts. You end up with something someone else didn’t want so it doesn’t go to waste.” According to Albert Jack, author of “Red Herrings and White Elephants: The Origins of Phrases We Use Everyday” (Harper Collins, 2005), a white elephant is an expression used to describe something valuable that has, or will, become a huge burden to those who possess it. It suggests the cost of possession could ruin a person financially. As the legend goes, in Siam (present day Thailand) white elephants were highly valued and became property of the king upon discovery. The king would then give them as royal gifts to subjects who displeased him, which often caused such a burden that they would ruin the subjects. Jack

writes that the phrase arrived in England when Empire builders brought it home with them, applying it to impressive yet useless structures. The official history of white elephant gifts exchanges is surprisingly elusive; though plenty of theories and a Wikipedia entry exist, few academics claim expertise. Cele Otnes, professor of business administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose personal expertise lies in gift giving, said perhaps it is because the ritual is celebrated only by certain subgroups, rather than as a whole in the culture. “Holiday traditions that are either widely celebrated or that are supported by marketing have origins that are typically better developed and more easily traceable,” she said. Nowadays, a variety of familiar exchanges carry the white elephant label, ranging from the “most ridiculous gift you can find” to more focused parties, such as an “ugly lamp swap.” Other times hosts require attendees to bring nicer things they have but have never used, like glassware, kitchen utensils or wine. Newbern suggests a holiday-themed exchange, where people bring the best and worst of what they have of unused holiday gifts, from Christmas ornaments to gingerbread cookie jars. Usually at the beginning of the party, everyone draws a number. Number one picks first, unwraps the gift and can choose to keep or pass. Otnes says the process continues and the rules of swapping then apply — usually an item can only change hands a certain number of times, such as three — until a gift can no longer be stolen or swapped. For a proper white elephant gift, the first fundamental rule is that almost any gift can be re-gifted but not in any way. “Sometimes people think just change the tag and it’s good,

CTW photo

but there are different things you can do to make it unique and thoughtful,” she said. Newbern suggested embellishing the gift you previously received, a process she has coined as gracious-regifting, by adding personal touches, repackaging or mixing it with other gifts you can’t use to create a theme basket. Otnes says white elephant parties need to be thrown with caution, however, because they carry with them social risk. Event in a poor economy, she thinks people are more likely to turn to practical items like Wal-Mart gift cards, which were popular at Christmas last year. Rather than participating in these kinds of parties, people will just cut back by drawing names instead of giving to everyone on the side of a family. The exchanges can be dangerous because of the potential for hurt feelings, being on the outside of inside jokes or simply because the gift lacks individual meaning. However, Newbern said a white elephant exchanges can be an excellent way to revive the idea of re-gifting, which will save money and stress while dealing with the economy this holiday season. “A family might decide not to do a gift exchange to cut down on expenses, but there are ways to get around that,” she said. “Our family decided we are having a re-gift Christmas this year — when you make it apparent, it takes the pressure off, so people can have fun with it. You can still give great gifts without feeling cheesy or tacky.”


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

43

Host a

Holiday Tea tomato, cream cheese and diagonally sliced baguette bread. For a cucumber sandwich, substitute cucumber for the tomato. Egg salad can be made the day before and then placed on crustless multi-grain bread. For tea cakes, the Daniels RHEMA MUNCY prefer carrot cake, scones and petit SPECIAL SECTIONS REPORTER fours. For the holidays, add in family recipes to the mix. For the Daughters of the British nspired by Irish, Scottish and Empire, an association for English English tea time customs, the women living in the United States, Swan House in Loveland serves thumb-and finger-sized sandwiches, tea time is both a formal and daily affair. The ladies of the Cheltenham delightful scones and pastries. The Victorian era inspired house offers a chapter of Boulder recently hosted a formal tea for the ladies of the step back in time and a place for a woman to feel like a queen for a day. Longmont senior center. The event featured innumerable trays of sandThe uproarious laughter from the wiches, pastries and scones. The tea tables only got louder as ladies sipped black English tea from their celebrated traditional English culture and teas. china cups while wearing their vinThe Cheltenham chapter vice-retage costumes carefully pressed for gent Alex Carpenter started teas at an afternoon of celebrating life. the senior center after she hosted a Owners Madeline and Harold birthday tea for her mother who is a Daniels began the Swan House, a Celtic tea room, as their post-retire- regular at the senior center. The other ladies got wind of the tea and ment project. decided they needed one of their “I didn’t want to sit around in a own. rocking chair,” she said. “She always put on great teas for Now she and her husband prepare all of the food and host the teas. The me when I was a little girl with sandwiches and little cakes so I decided tradition of tea time happens all to do that for my mom,” Carpenter across Europe on a daily basis, and said. the Daniels collected a lot of their And the English simply cannot live recipes from trips to many of the life without tea. countries across the Atlantic ocean. “It is a part of who we are,” regent When having tea at the Ritz-Carlton Viktoria Lawson said. “It is like in London, the event ended with a we’ve got tea in our veins instead of delicious surprise dessert course of blood. In England, if it is a good creme brulee, a dessert they now thing you are celebrating or a disasmake their guests. trous relationship, the thing you say But tea time doesn’t just have to is, ‘put on the kettle. Come in and happen at the tea house. The holisettle down and we will discuss this.’ days are a perfect time to gather friends, make delicious finger foods It gives you five minutes to get the kettle going and make the cup of and brew a proper cup of tea. Harold prepares many of the sand- tea and then sit down to enjoy it.” “The first thing my mum would wiches. His ham sandwich is made say when someone knocked on the with apricot jam, sour cream and ham on a croissant. The tomato I See Tea/Page 44 sandwich is made with a slice of

Pamper friends and relatives with cakes and scones

I

Top photo, RH photo/Rhema Muncy, Above, Special to the RH

Top, a tea cup ornament at The Spruce House in Estes Park. Above, Daughters of the British Empire Cheltenham chapter regent Viktoria Lawson hosts a large formal tea party at the Senior Center in Longmont.


44

HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Tea From Page 24

door is, ‘Come in, I’ll put the kettle on,’” Carpenter said. Teas are also a vehicle of celebration, and the holidays offer a time for English delicacies to delight taste buds. A proper tea has sandwiches, pastries like jam tarts, sugar cubes with tongs and scones with clotted cream and jam, Lawson said. “Here women bake Christmas cookies,” Carpenter said. “We don’t do that in England. We bake Christmas cake, which is like a fruitcake with marzipan and then royal icing on top. My mom would always wrap a ribbon around the icing and put a sprig of holly on top.” Preparing Christmas cake is a long process. Recipes call for making the cake two to three months in advance, and it is kept in an airtight container and treated with brandy periodically, Carpenter and Lawson said.

Above, Christine Bauer of Loveland and West Africa begins her afternoon tea. Far right, a presentation of historical clothing at the DBE tea. Right, each table at the tea had a different theme. Above photo, RH photo/Rhema Muncy, all other photos Special to the RH

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

For Christmas meals and especially holiday tea times, Lawson prepares mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. Carpenter remembers her grandmother’s method of making Christmas pudding; she would prepare it and let it sit on the table until everyone who was going to eat the pudding had a chance to stir the pot. Then she would put silver

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

45

three-penny coins on the bottom. A proper cup of tea should be brewed in a ceramic or china pot, Carpenter and Lawson agreed. Silver seems to add a different flavor. “Start by swishing the inside of the pot with warm water until it is all warm,” Carpenter said. “Then pour the water out. Add more in I See Tea/Page 46

Above photo, RH photo/Rhema Muncy, right photo Special to the RH

Above, Marla Schiebout of Loveland pours tea at the Swan House. Right, a tea table at the Senior Center DBE tea.

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Tea From Page 24

door is, ‘Come in, I’ll put the kettle on,’” Carpenter said. Teas are also a vehicle of celebration, and the holidays offer a time for English delicacies to delight taste buds. A proper tea has sandwiches, pastries like jam tarts, sugar cubes with tongs and scones with clotted cream and jam, Lawson said. “Here women bake Christmas cookies,” Carpenter said. “We don’t do that in England. We bake Christmas cake, which is like a fruitcake with marzipan and then royal icing on top. My mom would always wrap a ribbon around the icing and put a sprig of holly on top.” Preparing Christmas cake is a long process. Recipes call for making the cake two to three months in advance, and it is kept in an airtight container and treated with brandy periodically, Carpenter and Lawson said.

Above, Christine Bauer of Loveland and West Africa begins her afternoon tea. Far right, a presentation of historical clothing at the DBE tea. Right, each table at the tea had a different theme. Above photo, RH photo/Rhema Muncy, all other photos Special to the RH

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

For Christmas meals and especially holiday tea times, Lawson prepares mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. Carpenter remembers her grandmother’s method of making Christmas pudding; she would prepare it and let it sit on the table until everyone who was going to eat the pudding had a chance to stir the pot. Then she would put silver

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

45

three-penny coins on the bottom. A proper cup of tea should be brewed in a ceramic or china pot, Carpenter and Lawson agreed. Silver seems to add a different flavor. “Start by swishing the inside of the pot with warm water until it is all warm,” Carpenter said. “Then pour the water out. Add more in I See Tea/Page 46

Above photo, RH photo/Rhema Muncy, right photo Special to the RH

Above, Marla Schiebout of Loveland pours tea at the Swan House. Right, a tea table at the Senior Center DBE tea.

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

Tea From Page 45

and bring the water to a boil. If it is loose tea, it is one teaspoon of tea per person. If it is bags, one per person.” “And one for the pot,” Lawson said. “Even though I lived in California, Jamaica and Hungry, I just grew up knowing all of these things. My mom drank tea where ever we lived and never switched to iced tea, Putting on a tea is not so much about the food or drink. “Create an environment to entertain, a comfortable setting of welcome, and then make a nice pot of tea with a cozy over it,” Carpenter said.

RH photos/Rhema Muncy

Above, from right to left, Virginia Huppe and Teri Johnson of Berthoud set aside some afternoon tea time at The Swan House. Right, the tea time plates served at The Swan House. The different layers offer mini cakes and sandwiches.

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HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

Holiday Tea recipes: Maid of Honor tarts From the kitchen of Viktoria Lawson of the DBE Ingredients: 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie 1 /4 cup raspberry jam 1 /4 cup butter, softened 1 /4 cup sugar 1 egg 1 /2 cup flour 1 /4 teaspoon baking powder 1 /4 teaspoon almond extract 2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar for frosting

Directions: Move oven rack to bottom and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 12 2-inch tart tins. Roll out pastry and cut 12 2-inch circles. Fit one pastry circle into each tart tin, spread one teaspoon of raspberry jam into the bottom of each tart shell. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together softened butter or margarine and white sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg, add flour, baking powder and almond extract and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour one teaspoon of batter into each tart shell. Bake in preheated over for 20 minutes until risen and firm.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009

addition. Do not rush or mix could curdle. If it does, add in 1 By Elaine Lemm of About.com teaspoon of flour. Carefully fold Ingredients: half of the flour into the fruit 1 pound of currants and egg mixture. When thor8 ounces of golden raisins oughly mixed, add in second 8 ounces of raisins 6 ounces glace cherries, halved half. Then add the brandy. 10 ounces flour Spoon the cake mixture into pinch of salt the prepared cake tin, watching 1 /2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice for air pockets. Smooth the sur1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon face and make a dent in the 21/2 sticks of butter, slightly softcenter. Stand the tin on a douened ble layer of newspaper in the 10 ounces brown sugar Zest of 1/2 lemon lower part of the oven and bake 6 large eggs, lightly beater for four and a half hours. Cover 3 tablespoons brandy, plus extra with a piece of parchment pafor feeding per part way through. During Directions: Line a 9-inch cake cooking time, avoid opening tin with two layers of parchthe oven as the cake may colment paper. Tie a double band lapse. Leave the cake to cool in of brown paper around the out- the tin for an hour then remove side. In a large bowl, mix curand leave to cool completely. rants, raisins and cherries with Once cooled, prick the cake flour, salt and spices. In a differ- and slowly pour over three taent bowl, cream the butter with blespoons of brandy. Repeat this the sugar until light and fluffy, feeding every 2-3 weeks until then stir in the lemon zest. Add Christmas. Make cake 2 months the beaten egg to the mixture ahead. Cover with icings when slowly, beating after each ready to eat.

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Christmas Cake icing 1-2 tablespoons apricot jam, warm 3 egg whites 1 pound icing sugar, sieved 1 tablespoon lemon juice

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009


HOLIDAY BOOK/Reporter-Herald

The case for

George Frazier, a gift basket industry uber-expert and author of “The Gift Basket Design Book” (Globe Pequot, 2004). But they are especially great for friends and family of all ages because the carefully chosen products express close ties between the giver and receiver. That said, according to O’Neill, it is OK to do carbon copy baskets for different people. Not only will you Sometimes the perfect gift can't be save time by making multiples, you also save cash by buying items contained by one piece of wrapping paper can in bulk. ANNA SACHSE layer of thought and that, as we all Themes that most people love inCTW FEATURES know, is what counts,” said Anneclude: soothing toiletries like Marie O’Neill, deputy editor for Re- home-facial supplies for women or al Simple magazine. luxury shaving lotions, potions and his holiday season, shower razors for men; coffee, tea or cockAnd not only will all the people your loved ones with a tail kits; and homey edibles, such on your gift-giving list feel extraplethora of presents-in-one by special, you won’t waste money on as all the dry ingredients and tools making them a personalized gift items that will just be thrown away. for making chocolate chip cookies, basket. No matter what your budor a barbeque-themed basket with get may be, it’s easy to build a DIY Even though the likes of Harry & gourmet sauces, rubs, a bag of David may be lovely, it’s rare to find chest of treasures that’s practical, charcoal and some recipes. luxurious or both. Even better, tak- a pre-assembled gift basket in which every item is ideal. Just be sure the contents are truly ing the time to hand-select items appropriate for each recipient. that specifically speak to the recipiPICKING THE PERFECT PRESENTEE ent’s personality and passions autoTAPPING A MOTIF matically makes the gift more DIY gift baskets are fine for everymemorable. When selecting a theme for a gift one, including coworkers and casu“DIY gift baskets show an extra al acquaintances, said Shirley basket, remember to customize it

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cure/pedicure basket with files, polishes and individual hand and foot creams. From Page 49 • For Men: the hobby basket. For the wine lover, use a champagne sponges, dust cloths and room bucket to hold a bottle of unusual freshening sprays; and a winter wine, a bottle opener, a couple of health basket that includes vitamins, cough drops, a heating pad, a wine glasses and a subscription to thermometer, tissues, warm socks, Wine Spectator. Or, for the golf fan, fill a container with golf balls, a cans of chicken soup and good golf shirt and coupons for chamomile tea. lessons or a tee-time at his favorite If you’re still having trouble deciding on a theme, use some of the course. As for children, try to find out their interests and tailor the following ideas from Sara Toliver, author of “Bountiful Baskets: Cre- gift to their age, Toliver said. A selection of board games, jigsaw puzating Perfect Gifts for Any Occasionâ€? (Sterling, 2005), as a starting zles and word game books might work well for most, as well as an aspoint: • For families: the movie basket. sortment of art supplies, a variety of packaged science projects and a to the theme of the gift and also Fill a popcorn bowl with bags of bucket of beach or pool toys. something the recipient can use popped or microwave popcorn, long after the contents are unpopular movie candy like Junior INVENTIVE VESSELS wrapped. Mints and Red Vines, classic sodas Magnify the wow factor by taking For example, Radio Flyer wagons and a gift certificate to a local movie theater or video rental store. some time to think outside the bas- filled with durable toys for toddlers ket. or pastel-colored bath tubs stuffed • For women: the Spa basket. with terrycloth wash-mitts and or“I very rarely use traditional woStock a container with bath salts, ganic baby shampoo are perfect for ven baskets because they usually bath pillow, loofah, eye mask, a new and expectant moms, Frazier lavender-scented candle and, if you end up in a back closet or just get said. Or if you’re going the food tossed,â€? Toliver said. Instead, she want to make it extra indulgent, a recommended selecting a contain- route, package it up in a picnic bassoft robe and slippers. Another feer that is both uniquely appropriate ket, complete with bug spray, blanmale-friendly idea is the mani-

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