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2017 •

Inside 6 — Eight Tips for Navigating Holiday Food Tempations 7 — Five Tips for Staying on Budget and Keeping the Holidays Jolly 8 — Five Ways to Take Your Holiday Party to the Next Level 9 — O Mythmas Tree! Debunking the Myths Behind the Real vs. Artificial Tree Debate 10 — Traditions Behind Holiday Gifts 12 — Drones & Robots 13 — Gifts that Stimulate 16 — For the Home, Host or Hostess 18 — Pets 19 — Gifts of Literacy 21 — 2017 Holiday Season Set to be the Year of Personalized Selfie Gift Wrap 22 — For Him or Her 24 — Holiday Havoc? Consider it Handled 26 — Tips to Help Your Pet Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday

From the Editor Happy Holidays Santa Clarita Wow, another year has flown by. Once again, it’s time to decorate for the Holiday season, make out our gift lists, and plan for those family gatherings. This year is special in that it happens to be the 30th Anniversary of the City of Santa Clarita. We are now home to almost 220,000 residents and continue to grow every year. Thirty years later, we now have fabulous neighborhoods, restaurants, parks, schools, theaters, and awesome shopping, from the Westfield Valencia Town Center to the various Mom and Pop shops around town. We have it all! However you celebrate the season, our city is diverse enough that you can find different faith-based holiday celebrations all over town. Remember to help out others by either volunteering or supporting one of our many community organizations that during this time of year they find the need a little greater. Let peace and joy fill your heart this season, and may we all remember to carry it throughout year. Peace to you, Santa Clarita! Eva Piccolo Special Sections Editor

Last-Minute Holiday Guide •


8 Tips for Navigating Holiday Food Temptations (BPT) - The holidays throw in a lot of temptations from every direction if dieting or watching your weight. Holiday parties and get-togethers in particular can be a healthful-eating challenge. Caught up in conversation among friends and family, surrounded by tasty food and drinks, it’s easy to lose track of what and how much is being eaten. Registered Dietitian Sarah Galicki offers tips for staying the course through the holidays. “There are a lot of calories packed into this time of year. You’re doing your holiday baking, people are dropping off candy and treats, and there are parties with all-you-can-eat buffets and creamy drinks like eggnog, so it’s important to

6 • Gift Guide

be prepared. It is possible to navigate the holidays without gaining weight by doing these things.” Eat first. Never go to a party hungry. If you do, chances are you’ll wind up eating too much, too fast. Eat a snack before you go, such as some Greek yogurt, which is loaded with protein and calcium. Add fruit for extra taste and nutrients, and top with pistachios for crunch and good fats. Drink wisely. If you want to indulge a little bit, have some champagne or white wine. A 4-ounce glass has approximately 100 calories. By comparison, a cup of traditional eggnog has 344 calories and 19 grams of fat (11 grams saturated fat). Skip the creamy drinks. The best bet

is to avoid alcohol altogether if possible. Drink a spritzer made with sparkling water, cranberry and a lime instead. It looks festive, tastes great and has hardly any calories. Fill up on finger foods. Small, bite-size appetizers limit the calorie impact. A good option? Pistachios. They’re great to snack on; 49 have exactly 150 calories, and they satisfy that crunchy craving. Plus, they’re full of nutrients and fill you up. The healthy fats will help regulate your blood-sugar level throughout the night, which is really helpful if you’re drinking. Wrap some up decoratively and take along for a hostess gift to be sure there’s a healthy choice on hand. And everyone loves pistachios. Survey your options. Mindful eating is always key in any situation. Once the buffet table opens, take a visual sweep past it before jumping in line and making your selections. This way you’ll avoid piling

one of everything onto your plate needlessly when you eventually pass through. Don’t be first in line. The food in a buffet line looks pretty in the beginning. Once people serve themselves, it’s not as appealing and you’ll eat less. Get a small plate. This trick helps limit portion size. Avoid the white stuff. Given other options, skip the white rice, white pasta and white bread. They’re loaded with calories but no nutrients. Choose items with whole grains instead. They’re full of nutrients and have fiber, which will fill you up so you won’t eat as much. Delight in dessert. Dessert is probably the toughest temptation of all. But there’s no reason to skip. Most of us have a sweet tooth. Satisfy that sweet craving with some fresh fruit. To make sure it’s available, bring some as a hostess gift; it’s always welcome. “Overall, pace yourself,” advises Galicki. “Enjoy the food and festivities.”  The Signal

• 2017

Five Tips for Staying on Budget and Keeping the Holidays Jolly (BPT) - If you’re one of those savvy consumers already strategizing how to best fund gifts and other expenses this holiday season, you’re not alone. Sixty-five percent of U.S. adults who give holiday presents establish a budget for these purchases, according to a recent Coinstar survey. Yet 85 percent admit they still tend to go over budget when it comes to gift buying, entertainment, travel, decorating and other holiday expenses. Fortunately, planning ahead can reduce the risk of overspending. Consider how implementing the following ideas can help you stay on task and on budget when it comes to this year’s holiday expenses. 1. Estimate all of your anticipated holiday expenses, not just gift purchases. Consider costs

for decorations, food/alcohol, travel and special events to gain a realistic idea of your projected cash output. If the total is out of reach, consciously decide where to cut back so you’re less likely to spend impulsively. You may have to acknowledge that you’re not able to host a lavish party or buy generous presents for everyone on your list.

last-minute shoppers. Looking for bargains and unique gift items at stores, at special events and on websites can even be fun when you’re not in a panic. 3. Think of ways to boost your spending power. One method is turning to the spare change you’ve stashed away in a coin jar, in vehicles and around

your home. It’s easy to take your change to one of about 20,000 Coinstar kiosks located at grocery stores throughout the country. For many, that’s found money that can be converted into cash or transformed (at no fee) into e-gift cards from popular vendors such as Amazon, Best Buy, Sephora, Lowe’s and Starbucks.

2. Reduce your stress by starting your shopping early and taking advantage of sales throughout the year. These strategies will help spread your costs so they don’t all hit at once and reduce your overall holiday spending budget. A full one-third of U.S. adults shop throughout the year, according to Coinstar’s survey, and 27 percent buy the majority of their presents on sale. Only 14 percent are

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4. Draw names and set gift spending limits for family gift exchanges. As families grow through marriage or children added to the brood, it’s easy to allow spending and gift giving to get out of control. White elephant exchanges can be great for the kids in the family. Have them gift one of their toys or possessions to another child in the family. That will not only be softer on the wallet, but will teach them the power of gifting and reusing. 5. Consider gifts big on thoughtfulness and small in cost.

Perhaps a handcrafted work of art, homemade baked goods or a meaningful service such as childcare would mean more to some recipients than a storebought knickknack, electronic gadget or sweater. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself if you go over budget despite your best efforts. You can always make up for it by cutting expenses outside the holiday season when you may face less temptation and pressure to buy. For more information on how Coinstar works, visit 

5 Ways to Take Your Holiday Party to the Next Level (BPT) - On the one hand, the holidays are all about traditions. You and your family probably have some favorite recipes you like to cook up, or maybe it’s a trip to the tree farm or pumpkin patch. But just as much as holidays are about tradition, many have an insatiable drive to outdo themselves and try something new, to outdo the festivities of years past and make this holiday season the most memorable yet. How can you outshine yourself this holiday season? The answer is simple: Think big. Don’t be confined to the party supplies you have around your house; stretch out and rent equipment similar to what professional party planners use. RentalHQ can connect you to nearby rental stores and help your party stand out from the usual traditional gatherings. Here are some other great ideas to jump-start your holiday party planning. 1. Serve your food the right way. Preparing a holiday meal is a labor of love, but

8 • Gift Guide

even for small gatherings, it can be a real challenge to make sure that delicious food stays warm and is served at its optimal temperature. Renting chafing dishes for main courses and hors d’oeuvres can ensure that the temperature and flavor of your food stays just right and that those masterpieces you cook up taste better than ever. 2. Add some smoke, snow or bubbles. Whether you want to bring some snow to a Christmas party or some cool smoke and fog effects to ring in the New Year, renting a snow or smoke machine can create a party atmosphere like none other.

illuminated bar, modernist style or a classic stone-top design, renting a portable bar to fit your party is key. 4. Fountains of deliciousness. To really go all out, you need to think bigger. You need to plan as though you were throwing an A-list celebrity party. Renting a champagne or chocolate fountain is a sure way to do this. A perfect blend of luxury and deliciousness, a fountain will leave guests talking about that tumbling tower of liquid chocolate or bubbling champagne for years to come.

5. Focus on the details. For many holiday get-togethers, it’s all about having the right plates and serving ware. For a reasonable price, you can easily rent fine china and exquisite glassware that will wow your guests. Best of all, you won’t have to spend a fortune on items you only use a couple of times a year! Need help finding these items or have other party ideas in mind? Locate virtually everything you need by visiting www.RentalHQ. com and be prepared to set a new standard for holiday parties.

3. Drink in style. To throw a truly stellar holiday party, there are some items you must have. On the top of many people’s list is a fullservice bar. If you don’t have a built-in bar in your home or party venue, you’re in luck. Why? Because you’ll have more options to choose from when you decide to rent one. Whether it’s an The Signal

• 2017

O Mythmas Tree! Debunking the Myths Behind the Real vs. Artificial Tree Debate

Green Thumb Garden Center

(BPT) - Here comes Santa Claus ... and a sleigh full of confusion about Christmas trees. Better to buy real or better to buy artificial? Popular myths are that real trees are bad for the environment, artificial trees make more financial sense and real trees are just a hassle, but read on for some facts that will set the record straight and some thoughts that might turn your head on some of the more subjective sides of the debate.If your No. 1 concern is the environment, your No. 1 choice should be a real tree. Growing, using and recycling real Christmas trees is good for the environment. Research shows that when compared on an annual basis, the artificial tree has three times more impacts on climate change and resource depletion than the natural tree. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable and can even be recycled or reused for mulch, and every year the circle of life continues. Artificial trees are petroleum-based products and most are imported from overseas. Many are thrown away seven to 10 years after they’re purchased, and every year the landfills where they will stay (literally for centuries) get a little bit bigger. Still don’t like the idea of cutting down a tree? Remember that just like the Halloween pumpkin you carve with your kids or the fresh-cut flowers you buy for a loved one on special occasions, real Christmas trees are farmer-planted and hand-harvested specifically for people to enjoy. And, for every real Christmas tree harvested, a new tree is planted. If it’s your wallet that worries you, keep in mind that it’s no surprise that artificial things frequently cost less than real things. True, not everyone agrees “you get what you pay for,” but there’s a second economic case to be made for buying a real Christmas tree: Real Christmas trees provide real business for real farmers. Fully 100 percent of real Christmas trees sold in the U.S. are grown in North America. Every choice is a trade-off. What you gain with the ease of an artificial tree, you lose in the experience of a real tree. To be fair, this is subjective. But years from now, which do you think you’ll remember more warmly: assembling a plastic tree you pulled out of the attic that looks exactly the same year after year, or bringing home and decorating a real tree that you enjoyed hunting for with your friends and family? Selecting a real Christmas tree makes memories. The hunt for a real Christmas tree can create an experience - everything from the scent to the search - that simply can’t be manufactured and that no artificial tree can replace. Ultimately, with all of the myths aside, a real Christmas tree is a choice you can be proud of. Whether you prefer to shop at a neighborhood store, local farm, seasonal lot or even online, there’s a real Christmas tree available for everyone. For more information, visit “Research shows that when compared on an annual basis, the artificial tree has three times more impacts on climate change and resource depletion than the natural tree.” - Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of an Artificial Christmas Tree and a Natural Christmas Tree; Ellipsos, Montreal, Quebec, 2009; page 6..

2017 •

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Traditions Behind Holiday Gifts (MC) The holiday season is a time to celebrate with friends and family. Several holidays are celebrated in this relatively short time period, making this one of the most festive times of the year. Many holiday celebrations focus on the exchange of presents, which may be exchanged with relatives, friends and even coworkers. But are you familiar with the origins of exchanging gifts? Gift exchanges trace their origins to both religious and secular traditions, each of which has helped shape the holidays into what they are today.


Day all over the world. For Christians, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe was a gift from the Creator. From a religious standpoint, gifting others around Christmastime can be traced back to the stories of the Three Kings (also referred to as the Three Wise Men) who visited Jesus after his birth. Frankincense, a fragrance involved in worship; gold; and myrrh, an incense associated with funerals, was presented. These gifts symbolized worship in Christ that He would be the King of Kings, and that suffering and death would come to Him.

People exchange gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas

Another giver of gifts is part of many Christmas

celebrations. St. Nicholas, a fourth century saint, is a beloved figure across the globe who has a reputation for giving gifts in secret and helping the needy. The figure of Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas, and the blending of the two has

evolved as history has mixed with folklore and personal traditions.

Hanukkah Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication

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10 • Gift Guide

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• 2017

of the Temple in Jerusalem. The word Hanukkah actually means Dedication in Hebrew. The Jews, including Judah Maccabee, helped drive the Syrians out of Jerusalem. In one of Judaism’s most central texts, Maccabee and others witnessed a miracle at the temple. Even though there was only enough oil to keep a menorahs candles burning for one day, the flames continued for eight nights. Traditionally, gelt, or money, was given as a Hanukkah gift. Many Hanukkah gift givers aim to give gifts that are thoughtful and sweet. Money is not exchanged as much today, with other gifts taking its place.


to traditions and cultural influences from Africa. The holiday was developed in 1966 by Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga. The focus of Kwanzaa is on family and the harvest as well as certain principles, such as unity and faith. Gifts make up one of the seven symbols of Kwanzaa celebrations. However, gift-sharing is not the central part of this special holiday. Gifts are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by their children. Gifts are exchanged in abundance this time of year. The traditions behind the giving of presents is far-reaching and based in religious, secular and cultural traditions. 

Kwanzaa is an American holiday that pays homage

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2017 •

Last-Minute Holiday Guide •


Drones & Robots

With Drones becoming more and more popular, we just had to include them. Check these out. SwiftStream Z-9 Camera Drone

Auto hovers and flies forward and backward, up and down, turns right and left, strafes right and left, and makes 360 degree flips. Built-in 0.3MP 640x480 pixel WIFI camera with real-time video that records up to 7 minutes of color video that can be streamed live from any smartphone (via app iOS, and Android compatible). Has an auto return component and a low battery indicator with built in LED lights. Flight time is up to 7 minutes, with a distance of up to 200 feet. Charge time up to 90 minutes. Weighs 4.2 oz, measures 15”x4” and is available in white, black or red. MSRP $99.99, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys R Us, Kohl’s, B&H, Buy Buy Baby, JC Penney, Walmart, Overstock, Jet & Kmart.

SwiftStream Z-36CV

Camera Drone

5-channel 360-degree flip aerial stunt. Comes with 2GB memory card. Flight time up to 7 minutes; card reader included. Charge time of up to 2 hours; 2.4GHz remote control with a flight distance up to 200 feet. Record time up to 7 minutes. Features four LED lights for night flights. Available in black or yellow. MSRP $69.99, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys R Us, Kohl’s, B&H, Buy Buy Baby, JC Penney, Walmart, Overstock, Jet & Kmart.

12 • Gift Guide

Robo Buddy Two-way audio communication that allows users to speak and hear as well as infrared vision that allows the user to see in the dark. Functions as a baby monitor, home monitor, delivery vehicle. Live stream hi definition photos and videos from integrated HD 720P video camera (via app iOS, and Android compatible). Travels for up to 50 minutes and then returns to docking station. Weighs 3.9lbs, and measures 10.5”x 8.75”x 7.75.” Works on tile, cement and carpet. Available in white, includes docking station. MSRP $149.99, available at Best Buy, Walmart, B&H, Sears, Groupon and Kohl’s. All information supplied by press releases submitted to The Signal.  The Signal

• 2017

Gifts that Stimulate Little Sun Solar Light

Hold one of nature’s most magical occurrences in your hand. The glow comes from microscopic sea life called dinoflagellates (single-celled plankton). Powered by sunlight, water, and simple nutrients. Includes new Dino Food Blue formulation so your Dino stays blue all day long. No batteries or charging required.

Perfect for home, camping, sleepovers, festivals or the beach, this little light will delight. Weather-and- rain resistant with an integrated dimmer. Includes solar light, lanyard, and story booklet. Five hours of solar charging produces 50+ hours of light. MSRP $25, available at

Krazy Straws Great for adults and kids alike, Krazy Straws brings an element of fun to drinking favorite beverages. Available in up to 7 letters per straw. Personalize with names or humorous acronyms like LOL 7.25orxOMG! 4.67 Great for the grandkids! Priced at $4.99

A gift option is available which comes with a redeemable coupon in place of the living dinoflagellates and Dino Food Blue,

up to 6 letters and $9.99 for up to 7 letters. Available at

The Dino Pet The Dino Pet Blue is a living, interactive solar powered showpiece for one of the world’s most extraordinary phenomena.

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PM Last-Minute Holiday11/9/17 Guide12:45 • 13

Gifts that Stimulate cont. Spinballs LED Poi Balls

Not only is this outdoor kid’s toy a spectacle of light, it’s also a great exercise of your coordination and dexterity. Kit includes 1 pair of LED poi balls, adjustable cord, carrying bag, instructional DVD, mini screwdriver, two batteries, and instructions. Eight light mode settings include flashing, color change, and solid. Takes two CR1632 batteries (included). MSRP $24.95, available at

allowing consumers to place the Dino Pet Blue under the tree until it’s time to open gifts. MSRP $59.95, available at

PowerSpurz Light up Heel Two Pack By 4id Fitness

Great for any activity in the dark. Sleek design that conveniently slides over the heel of your shoe. Won’t bounce around: Sits snuggly on the heel. Two illuminating options: Steady or flash setting. 100 hours of flashing operation. MSRP $24.95, available at

14 • Gift Guide

SproutBrite Seed Kits Non-GMO heirloom seeds and 100% paper packaging. All seeds sourced in the USA and packaged in Westchester, NY. Vegetable, herb and wildflower kits available. MSRP $22.95, available at

yields with minimal garden space required. Allows anyone (including kids) to plant the perfect garden without any prior gardening experience. MSRP $24.95, available at

All information supplied by press releases submitted to The Signal. 

Planting Tool by Seeding Square Includes: seeding square, seeding spoon, seeding wand, planting guide and reusable storage bag. Seeds are properly spaced and planted in perfectly straight grid formations and achieve high

The Signal

• 2017

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For the Home, Host or Hostess Drinkmate – The Beverage Carbonator

First and only at-home carbonation system on the market that carbonates any beverage, from juices, sports drinks, tea, and even flat beer. Healthy alternative to avoid sugar-filled beverages and sodas. Very simpleto-use, features a patented Fizz infuser allowing for controlled carbonation with just the press of a button thanks to its built-in CO2 cylinder. Small footprint - no

need to clutter countertops. No electricity or batteries needed. Available in three contemporary colors: Metallic Red, Swan White and Matte Black. MSRP $98, available online at

Kinkajou Bottle Cutter Allows users to turn their favorite bottles into unique personalized items for the home. Adjusts to fit any size bottle. Additional kits,

projects, and accessories available. Choose from a wide range of colors. MSRP $49.99, available at

Cork Pops Holiday Bottle Stoppers Fun solution to seal the bottle of wine after opening to maintain the full taste of the wine. Made of highquality stainless steel and rubber providing an airtight seal. Available in three holiday designs; Reindeer Antler, Elf and Santa. MSRP $14, available at

bottle of wine (750mi). Fits in most refrigerators, as it just measures 10.5 inches. Available in glass and plastic for outdoor use. MSRP Glass - $59.95, Plastic - $29.95, available at

Cork Pops VinoGo Made of leak free, BPA free plastic, it holds one full bottle (750ml). Bendable and collapsible design makes it very easy to store for its next use. Easy to clean. MSRP $7, available at

Drinkmate Spritzer The only portable carbonation system that will carbonate ANY drink. Removal fizz infuser. Features and refillable CO2 canister. Perfect for on-the-go thanks to its small size. No batteries or electricity needed. Available in Matte Black, Metallic Red and Pewter. MSRP $89.99, available at

Savino Commoisseur – The Wine Savor Carafe Designed to maintain wine fresh for up to a week. Lid with upper seal prevents spills. Features a float that seals the wine, preventing oxidation. Holds a standard

16 • Gift Guide

Cork Pops Legacy Wine Opener Amazing and one of a kid wine opener. Uses a low pressure gas cartridge to quickly and easily remove corks. Simple to use, just insert the needle through the cork and push the button on the top, an inert propellant will lift the cork up and out of the bottle in no time. Does not affect the taste of the wine or harm the environment. Incorporates a The Signal

• 2017

foil cutter, making it a handy 2 in 1 essential accessory. MSRP $28, available at

Brooklyn Butcher Blocks Brickwork End-Grain Cutting Board Made in the USA: Brooklyn, NY of Maple (Maple and Walnut wood) and Walnut (Walnut and Cherry wood). Heirloom quality, sure to last a lifetime. Dimensions are 12” x 18” x 2”; and weighs 13 lbs. MSRP $270+, available to

Barolo 16 Piece Dinnerware Set

slightly irregular shape for an organic, delightfully undone and hand thrown feel. Made of stoneware. Plate base is covered with circular ridges. MSRP $119.99, available at

Cork Pops Holiday Bar Towels

Premium quality 100% cotton bar towels. Very absorbent cleaning and drying towels to soak up and clean any surface. Available in eight holiday drinking jokes designs. MSRP $7, available at All information supplied by press releases submitted to The Signal. 

Set Includes: 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls, and 4 mugs. Dishwasher and microwave safe. Free-form,

Wicall’s Carpets & Flooring Largest Selection of Carpet & Vinyl in stock Ready for Installation for the Holidays

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2017 •

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Last-Minute Holiday Guide •



Here are some fun products for the furry friends in your life. After all, the holidays are for them too! Grooved Pet Grooming Gloves by HandsOn Gloves These gloves catch animal hair for easy brushing and de-shedding. Good for cats, dogs, bunnies and even horses. Comfortable and flexible to use. Outer shell is 100% nylon; Costing is 100% surgical grade nitrile; and the nodules are 100% PVC. Latex-free, hypoallergenic manufacture with non-slip flexible grip and Velcro top closure. MSRP $25, available at

Super Shammy by Soggy Doggy Quick drying and odor free towel. Features convenient hand pockets which absorb 7 times its weight in water. Made of Microfiber Chenille (80% polyester, 20% polyamide). MSRP $19.95, available at

Pet Hair Remover by CarPET Rubber block that features little nubs on the surface to lift, gather and remove pet hair. Removes any type to pet hair from textured surfaces by wiping the surface with the block. Good for home or car interiors, pet bedding, rugs, fleece and more. Made of plastic and rubber.

18 • Gift Guide

MSRP $8.95, available at

Automatic Dog Ball Launcher by iFetch Too An interactive, on demand ball launching toy perfect for any large dog who loves to play catch. Features three launch distance settings: 10, 20 or 30 feet that can be set manually. Specifically designed to work with standard tennis balls (2.5” in diameter). Great option is to train the dog to retrieve balls and drop them back into the iFetch. MSRP $200, available at

Prop for Dog Photos & Selfies by Pooch Selfie

A dog selfie stick but much better! Comes with a squeaky tennis ball that can be replaced with a regular tennis ball. Designed with an easy-to-use clasping mechanism. Works with iPhones and Galaxy smartphones, and compatible with most smartphones and 3rd party cases except Otterbox, Lifeproof and Bodyglove cases. MSRP $12.95, available at All information supplied by press releases submitted to The Signal. 

The Signal

• 2017

Gifts of Literacy Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Timbuktu Labs Delight the little women in your life with 100 stories of some of the most influential women of all time. Read about strong, smart, and brave women throughout history in just about every occupation, including architects, painters, authors, doctors, scientists, astronauts, astronomers, queens, surgeons, and even a rapper! From Hatshepsut, the first female Pharaoh, to star tennis player Serena Williams, these stories are sure to inspire young girls and encourage them to dream big. 224 pages and 100 fully colored illustrations/portraits, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. Reading level for ages 8+; includes satin bookmark ribbon. MSRP $35, available at

Finding Gobi: A Little Dog with a Very Big Heart, by Dion Leonard From the Gobi Desert in China to a forever home in Scotland, Finding Gobi is a heartwarming story of courage, perseverance, miracles and love. While on a 155-mile race in the

Gobi Desert, Dion Leonard crosses paths with a stray little dog. This little dog followed and kept pace with Leonard through the rough terrain of the race, involving the Tian Shan Mountains, sand dunes, yurt villages and the black sands of the Gobi Desert. Ultimately naming her Gobi, Leonard forges a bond with his new friend that did not end once the race was over.


Available in adult Hardcover/ Paperback, Young Readers Book (ages 8-12) and Children’s Picture Book, available for preorder, releases February 6, 2018 (ages 4-8). MSRP $9.99-$14.99, available at amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bam!, Christianbook. com, Indigo and at


2017 •

Last-Minute Holiday Guide •


Gifts of Literacy cont. The Trouble with Bubbles

Whether the book, The Trouble with Bubbles sees parents read to their kids, or finds anyone of any age simply read it for the enjoyment of having it bring a few smiles and giggles, its purpose can be that and more. It all started with a few poems written by a husband to his wife over a number of years. The storybook of poems leads you down the path of thinking one thing and then finding something else. Between the messaging in the poems meant to tell everyone that it is OK to be different, for kids not to stray too far away from home, or the frustration when you feel you are misunderstood, it has something for everyone. The book, with its surprise ending will undoubtedly capture anyone’s imagination. Written by Scot Ranslem and his team, including his sister Pamela Struhs and illustrated by various high school and college students, with the cover artfully illustrated by Rebecca Johnson. You can visit their website at,

20 • Gift Guide

Poppy and the Brass Band, MSRP: Hardcover $29.99, paperback $15.99. A portion of the profit will be donated to schools that support the arts.

The Efil Brothers The Efil Brothers is the story of Felix and Maurice Efil, twin brothers living in Nowhereville. Everybody knew them, but nobody knew how long they’d been around. Felix owned a small watch shop. Maurice owned the mortuary next door. The timeless story follows an unlikely friendship, a mother’s heartbreaking love and a magical watch shop. The story is written by Collin Lee and artfully illustrated by Jiyoung Choi.The Efil Brothers is available as a hardcover and an ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, eBay Books, Google Books, iBooks, Kindle and Kobo. An exclusive autographed hardcover is also available at the book’s website: Hardcover, 68 pages, $19.95

With 16 musical instrument sounds! Go on a musical adventure to the circus with an adorable dog named Poppy. Poppy and the Brass Band offers an opportunity to teach kids about classical music and the instruments in a brass band. Kids will love following along as Poppy meets new friends who introduce her to the sounds of musical instruments. With colorful illustrations and a new sound to discover on each page, both kids and parents will be entertained and engaged for hours. Hardcover, 24 pages. MSRP $14.95 available at Also available is Poppy and the Orchestra. MSRP $14.95 available at 

The Signal

• 2017

2017 Holiday Season Set to be the Year of Personalized Selfie Gift Wrap

The best part? When you gift wrap your face, it doesn’t matter what’s inside the box. With GiftWrapMyFace, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a gift memorable and meaningful. Starting at just $9.95, this may be the best budget gift solution this holiday season. features adorable designs for every holiday and special occasion. Customers have created gift wrap featuring themselves in funny costumes

25574 Rye Canyon Road, Suite A Valencia, CA 91355 661.702.1722


As consumer habits shift toward customization, one digital startup is reinventing gift-giving with a new, modern twist. is an online service that prints hilarious gift wrap created by you. The platform allows gift-givers to upload a picture of themselves or a pet, crop out the background using a proprietary cutting tool, and then choose from dozens of themed patterns. Just a few days later, your one-of-akind gift wrap will arrive on your doorstep.

Home Stereo and Home Theater Systems

For the love of the ART ... For the love of the SCIENCE ... For the love of the MUSIC ...

ENJOY YOUR VINYL RECORDS AGAIN! or as a character with our “Elfie Selfie” and “Santa Selfie” design. Hanukkah designs also available. This is the only gift wrap that nobody crumples out and throws away. Your creation may be preserved in a frame, turned into a holiday ornament or placed in a scrapbook. We guarantee that your GiftWrapMyFace paper will never be another forgotten gift. Grandmas love receiving gifts wrapped in the faces of their grandkids. Moms love getting Mother’s Day and birthday gifts featuring baby photos of their children. Animal lovers have created gift wrap decorated in the faces of their pet dogs, cats, guinea pigs and more. You can even propose to your love with our exclusive engagement design! The possibilities are truly endless.

Rega Planar 1 turntable $475 Rega Planar 2 turntable $675

Okki Nokki record cleaning machine $499


Pro-ject Primary turntable $299 Pro-ject Debut Carbon Turntable $399

NAD D 3020 integrated amp $399 ELAC EA 101 EQ Integrated Amp $649

THE GIFT OF MUSIC FOR THE HOLIDAYS Rega Phono Mini preamp $175

Pro-ject Phono Box phono preamp $99

For more information, please visit giftwrapmyface. com All information supplied by press releases submitted to The Signal. 

2017 •

AFFORDABLE STEREO SYSTEMS FOR ALL BUDGETS! Visit Our Website For Additional Product Lines We Carry Last-Minute Holiday Guide •


For Him or Her Armstrong’s All Natural Leather Care

Brother’s Artisan Oil Body Care for Men

Made in the USA: Brooklyn, NY. Made of all natural oils and waxes, free of petroleum derivatives, synthetics, artificial ingredients and mineral oil. All materials are eco-friendly and responsibly sourced. MSRP $12+, available at

All natural small batch body care for men. Made in the USA with only essential oils and other botanical ingredients. Products include body lotion, body wash, beard oil, can clay mask. No harsh artificial surfactants. MSRP $18-$24, available at

Kruzers Foldable Street Sneakers This fashion-forward pair of sneakers folds neatly into its companion carrying tote for on-the-go show swaps. Ideal for the gym, travel, long commutes, or high heel relief. Faux snakeskin finish makes these sneakers stand out. MSRP $29.99, available at


‘Tis the season to discover Aldik Home, LA’s favorite Winter Wonderland!

7651 Sepulveda Blvd. Van Nuys, CA 91405

22 • Gift Guide

LA ’s B

SA es V tA E rti 4 fic 0 ial % C


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s! (818) 988-5970 The Signal

• 2017

Poke-a-Dot Adjustable Cosmetic Organizer

Includes 8 dividers and carrying case. Dividers create compartment and can be placed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Fits in small bathroom spaces and mostly vanity drawers. Stackable with other Poke-a-Dot organizers. MSRP $44.95, available at

lay-flat binding, Hypergloss filmed pages for easy erasing. Book includes 20 pages (10 leafs total). MSRP $24.95, available at www.

ChargeHub X5 5-Port USB Super Charger PACK Gear Travel Organizer Includes two built-in hooks for hanging, four storage compartments, and secure clasp closures. External mesh windows for easy clothes/accessory viewing. Made with durable nylon material which collapses for storage or transport. Lightweight, compact design makes this great for travel, hotels, hostels, camping, RVs or trains. MSRP $34.95, available at

Ability to charge up to 5 USB devices simultaneously. SmartSpeed Technology provides optimal charge for virtually any USB device. Choose from 8 colors. Single

power supply eliminates excess cables and numerous plugs. Optimum quality, safety and durability. MSRP $49.99 Also available in a smaller size: X3 3-Port Super Charger. MSRP $39.99, both products available at

Pro Shot Waterproof Camera iPhone Case iPhone 6/6s and 7 models include deep dive lid waterproof down to 100 ft. and touch screen lid waterproof down to 6 ft. iPhone 6/6s Plus and 7 Plus cases include touch screen lid waterproof to 50 ft. High

quality wide angle lens. MSRP $99.95, available at

The Stinger Cold Massage Roller by Recoup Fitness A well-rounded way to relieve your post-workout soreness. Combines foam rolling and icing therapy into a single sphere. Stays cold up to 6 hours. Cold roller can be used inside grip or for free-rolling. MSRP $39.95, available at www. All information supplied by press releases submitted to The Signal. 

Wipebook Pro Reusable Whiteboard Notebook Includes Wipebook and one Staedtler 305F-9 nosmudge dry erase pen. Vegan leather cover, features

2017 •

Last-Minute Holiday Guide •


Holiday Havoc? Consider it Handled (BPT) - The holiday season is full of magic and wonder - until your flight gets cancelled, your budget is blown and you fall ill at the worst possible time. Fortunately, staying merry despite common holiday conundrums is easier than you think with the right attitude and a few simple steps. Here are some of the most notorious holiday hurdles, with practical advice for overcoming them and enjoying the best of the season.

Holiday hang-up: Blown budget The holidays can get expensive fast. Buying

something for everyone on your list shouldn’t put you in debt. Instead, think outside the box. Solution: Organize a gift exchange where each person draws one name and buys one gift. Additionally, consider homemade gifts to cut costs, as well as experiences, like taking kids sledding or ice skating.

Holiday hang-up: Sickness From holiday travelers being confined in planes and trains to loved ones gathering under one room for festivities, it’s no surprise that germs are rampant during the holidays. Germs are not a gift anyone wants to

receive and they can quickly strip a joyous occasion of all its fun. In fact, a recent survey by Robitussin found that 68 percent of people have been sick and miserable during holiday gatherings and 24 percent have had a holiday gathering ruined because a family member was sick. Solution: Tis the season of giving, but sharing your germs will get you on Santa’s naughty list. One sick person at Christmas dinner can turn into the whole family ringing in the New Year while sick in bed. If you feel ill, be prepared with a medicine like Robitussin Severe Multi-Symptom Cough Cold + Flu, which provides relief for your worst

symptoms. If you’re still not feeling yourself when festivities are occurring, it’s best to stay home. Try putting on comfy pajamas and binge watching your favorite holiday movies while you rest up. Sure, it stinks to miss the fun, but in the long run you’re protecting others from getting sick and giving yourself the rest you need to get well again.

Holiday hangup: Kids get the “gimmes” Commercialism runs high during the holiday season. Kids’ wish lists seem to grow with each passing day. You want them to focus on the “season of giving” and they want to focus on “the season of getting.”

Schedule 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

The Stevenson Ranch Library will have a table with giveaways for children.

Valencia Marketplace 3nd Annual

Community Tree Lighting Ceremony Please join your neighbors and friends

Thursday, November 30 5:00 PM-8:00 PM

in the Valencia Marketplace Amphitheater Join your neighbors and friends in the Valencia Marketplace Amphitheater for the 3rd Annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony! Celebrate the season, as we light up our 20-foot tree! Santa Claus will be joined by Community Leaders and special guests to light up our tree, and there will be lots of great entertainment and surprises!

The Old Road between McBean Pkwy & Lyons Ave/Pico Cyn Rd Just west of I-5, Valencia

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Radio Remote Broadcast with KHTS Radio. Entertainment by choral groups from local schools. The KHTS Fire Truck will be available for kids to climb abroad Balloon Magic by Magic Castle Magician Dennis Forel. Santa Claus will be available to greet children, and to pose for photos.

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Join us for our 3rd Annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony, with musical entertainment and surprises!

Ongoing Until December 20 -- Santa Clarita Valley Sheriffs Toy Drive

Bring a new unwrapped toy to the Tree Lighting ceremony to donate, or drop off toys at any of these locations at Valencia Marketplace: Chuck E. Cheese’s, Stevenson Ranch Library, Excer More Than Urgent Care, Jamba Juice,

24 • Gift Guide

The Signal

• 2017

Solution: Show kids how good it feels to give back. There are many ways to help those in need, especially around the holidays. Try volunteering at a local nonprofit, donating gifts to a local shelter or assisting an elderly neighbor by shoveling their driveway. Be sure to encourage your kids to participate, too!

Holiday hang-up: Travel problems Whether it’s a missed connection, delayed flight or the weather is too bad to drive, travel is difficult during the holiday season. Solution: If you’re stuck at home, make the best of it with a staycation. Sleep in, make yourself a big breakfast and do all the things you never get to do. Explore the fun that’s available in your hometown, whether that’s a trip to the museum or splurging on tickets to the local theater. Spontaneous adventures can be some of the most memorable!

Holiday hang-up: You burned the food Did you mess up Grandma’s famous apple pie? Do your gingerbread men look a little deranged? Are your kids concerned that Santa will refuse your holiday cookies? Kitchen fails happen to even the most skilled chefs. Solution: Always have a backup. An extra storebought pie or cookies in the cupboard provide peace of mind. Plus, during the holiday crunch, avoid trying new recipes. Best to stick to tried-and-true for the best shot at success.

2017 •

Holiday hang-up: Unexpected party guests

When your cousin RSVP’d for one but ended up bringing his new girlfriend, there’s no need to panic. Unexpected holiday guests can put you in a tailspin, but being flexible is all part of a memorable holiday adventure. Solution: Don’t stress! Now is a good time to remember the old saying, “the more the merrier!” Put out an extra table setting, grab that bottle of wine from the cupboard and slap a bow on the top for a quick gift. Savvy hosts and hostesses will plan ahead by keeping a few extra gifts on hand, so whether there’s an extra child looking for a present under the tree or an adult who needs a bit of holiday magic, you’re always set with the perfect present. 

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy! Great gift for the office worker on your list!

Flip it office product can be found on our website

Last-Minute Holiday Guide •


Tips to Help Your Pet Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday (BPT) - The holidays are upon us, and so is the chillier weather. As you bundle up and get cozy with your cocoa, Dr. Jeff Werber, Emmy award-winning celebrity veterinarian, has some tips and tricks on how to ensure your pet has a healthy and happy holiday season.

Baby, it’s cold outside: Keeping warm is easy for us pet parents, as we can layer up and put on an extra sweater or coat. While battling colder winter temperatures, don’t forget your four-legged family members! It is true that most dogs, and a lot of cats, can adequately thermoregulate in most temperatures, but smaller pets may need some help. Little doggie sweaters or coats, like the Wouapy Outdoor or Bubble Coat, are great solutions for the smaller breeds to keep them warm but still mobile while outside.

Holiday guests ‘Tis the season to party and celebrate by spending quality time with friends and family. This is great for you and your crew, but what about your four-legged kids? After all, they, too, are part of the family and you certainly don’t want to exclude them from the festivities. The fact is, if you’re not careful and don’t plan ahead, they may in fact ruin some of those good times! This time of year brings a revolving door of guests and the sound of the doorbell constantly ringing. As

26 • Gift Guide

exciting as it may be to see long-distance relatives, this can bring some unexpected stress on your pets. Whether you are hosting or traveling to the next get-together, consider outfitting your dog with the Calmz Anxiety Relief System, a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that soothes common anxieties to help naturally combat the stress of traveling, loud noises and strangers. In addition, provide pets with a comfortable space where they can retreat if they are feeling stressed. Dogs are naturally denning animals, so kennels like the Ultra Vari Kennel are great options for them to retreat to a safe haven while still being part of the festivities.

Keep them happy, keep them occupied Decking the halls can be a disaster with curious pets wanting to play with the

newly placed ornaments on that “big green climbable thing” in the corner. What’s more, these decorations can be extremely dangerous for your pet. Cats love to bat at sparkling tinsel and carry it in their mouths. Not only does this lead to a big mess, but it can also obstruct their digestive tract if ingested. Distract your playful kitty with a fun toy like the Jackson Galaxy Butterfly Ball, to mentally stimulate your pet and tap into their natural instincts to observe and track prey, rather than taking interest in a fallen glass ornament. In addition, avoid chewing hazards by giving your dog an interactive treat toy like the JW Ho-lee Gourmet, which will encourage them to play with their food rather than a wire from decorative lights.

boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior. Going on a brisk walk with the K9 Control Retractable Leash, the only retractable leash designed to retract in lock or stop position, is a great way to bond with and mentally stimulate your dog while getting them up and moving. Lastly, even with the best planning and most conscientious care, accidents do happen. Make sure you keep your veterinarian’s number handy as well as your local 24-hour emergency facility just in case. 

Don’t forget to give them plenty of exercise! Providing regular exercise, especially in winter, helps prevent The Signal

• 2017



Ti l e , S t o n e , C a r p e t , Wo o d

Update Your Home this Holiday!

Simply the Best Selection under One Roof

20749 Soledad Cyn. Rd. Canyon Country 91351 661.252.8887 8851 Canoga Avenue Canoga Park 91304 818.678.6999 2017 •

Last-Minute Holiday Guide •





Membership passes available for as low as $8.00 per month each. Available at the park or at


For the first time ever, Six Flags Magic Mountain will be open every day in 2018! That’s 365 days of unlimited visits and thrills-for-all-ages fun with a Six Flags Season Pass...and NO BLACKOUT dates! Be one of the first to ride the world’s tallest pendulum ride, CRAZANITY, at 17 stories and speeds up to 75mph, coming this summer. And on hot summer days, beat the heat on Hurricane Harbor’s dozens of water adventures. Don’t miss out on the best entertainment value around. Offer ends 12/31/17 so buy now!


Opens Summer 2018!

Thrill Capital of the World

'Tis the Season Holiday Guide 2017  
'Tis the Season Holiday Guide 2017