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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Friday, December 7, 2012

Local holiday tradition: In pursuit of the best meat pie By Dan Marois Feature Writer

I

had my f irst taste of French Canadian meat pie, known as tourtiere, while growing up in Berlin, New Hampshire. My mother’s meat pie was made mostly of hamburg with poultry seasoning while her mother’s meat pie was a mixture of hamburg and pork with varied spices. Throughout our 34 years of marriage, my wife, Denise, and I have refined our meat pie recipes. “We make different pies with different mixtures. While all of them contain potatoes and onions, the meat mixtures are a combination of hamburg and pork, turkey and pork, and, when available, venison and pork." Our recipe includes a mix of seasonings with the special ones being cinnamon, that gives a touch of sweetness, and sage, that gives an earthy flavor. It is no surprise to have discovered that no two meat pie recipes are alike. Stephanie Goulette Cooper, of West Paris, was raised in an

recommended more t ha n one kind of meat. “Use a mixture of meats, not just one kind. I like to include a bit of ground lamb and some chopped prosciutto or ground beef, pork, and even sausage,” said Bechtel. “This is a great chance to use up any leftover meat in your refrigerator, just chop it up and include it.”

Anglicized area of Vermont where her family had lost many of the French traditions that spanned four generations of Goulettes in America. It wasn’t until she moved to Maine that she embraced her heritage cooking. “A friend of mine shared his meat pie recipe and it is similar to others, but with two parts pork and one of ground sirloin,” said Cooper. “I add a tablespoon of poultry seasoning and a half tablespoon of summer savory.”

Even the Somali community has a wonderful meat pie, c a l le d s a mbu s a , t h at i s mostly eaten in the evening du r i ng Ra mada n, t hei r month-long religious holiday. Rather than prepared as a pie, sambusa is made in eggroll wrappers as finger food.

Cooper noted that summer savory comes from Canada and Europe. She usually buys her supply of the seasoning from a natural food store.

Submitted photo

Mark Griffin, of Lewiston, reca lled grow ing up w it h meat pies.

Kathy Bechtel (front center) is a chef who gives cooking classes in the Sugarloaf area. She recommends a mixture of different meats to make the perfect meat pie. While her specialty is Italian food, she notes that many cultures have their own variation of meat pies.

“I eagerly awaited the approach of the holidays because it marked the return of those succulent meat pies that had gone into hiding for so many months,” Griffin said. “When I was on tour promoting my book, A Hundred or More Hidden Things:

The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli, I was visiting Ohio and a radio host shared that she used 1/2 cup of Burgundy in her (meat pie) mixture which is now something that I have adopted as well.”

Gr i f f i n keeps t he rec ipe simple w ith one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground pork. Lea rning from his past failures, he said that it is important not to overdo the seasoning. “I use a pinch of finely ground allspice and a dash of sage,” said Griffin. “Depending on my mood, I may throw in 3/4

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Kat hy Bechtel, who l ives on t he West Mounta in at Sugarloaf, is a chef who gives cook ing classes in Maine. While her specialty is Italian food, she encounters savory meat pies from all cultures on the table around the holidays. For successful pies, Bechtel

Rosemarie Ducharme Vining cla imed no secret ingredient to her meat pies. “Ma ke it? Never! ” said the Poland resident. “I buy mine from Mailhot’s,” citing one of the area’s most popular meat pie bakers.

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of a teaspoon of paprika or a 1/4 teaspoon of basil.”

“Choosing t he correct ingredient is key ... the ground meat should contain no fat in it,” said Muhidin Libah, spokesperson for a Somaliassista nce associat ion i n L ew iston. “T he recipe is ground meat, usually beef or lamb, with garlic, onion, and beef or chicken curry.”

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012

Red and green: Bringing trends and traditions together By Donna Rousseau Feature Writer

Do

you love the Christmas tradition of red and green but have a wandering eye for trendier holiday decor? If you still love the traditional Christmas combo, there are simple ways to freshen the look.

Don’t forget t he m ist letoe ! Instead of t rad it iona l f i r garland, opt for lace-like cedar swags or loops of twiggy vines intertwined with colored lights to festoon the tops of cupboards or mantelpieces.

Decorate your tree with the ornaments that make your heart grow soft with memories. Glisten it up with gold and silver ornaments. Buy an assortment of trendier decorations you love and work them in amongst the well-loved favorites.

Remember, nobody has a better sense of your home’s feel at the holidays than you. So before you begin decorating, look at your rooms. Rearrange furniture, switch out curtains from one room to another. Pull out tablecloths and runners.

Who says lime green, aqua blue, purple or pink can’t share the stage with grandma’s hand-crocheted angels? Santa still looks jolly hanging on a branch next to a fancy hand-blown glass creation. Remember Charlie Brown looking for the real Christmas tree in a tree lot of pink and metallic counterparts? His tired-looking, old-fashioned tree was something to behold with a little TLC.

Search the house for throws, pillows, vessels, vases –anything that can lay a base for your decorating. A tired couch becomes a cozy Christmas retreat when dressed with a soft, red throw and fluffy festive pillows. A crisp, white tablecloth can become the “blanket of new, fallen snow” setting off a modern monochromatic collection of ornaments in varying shades of red.

For a fresh look this holiday season, use what you have in new ways. Satisfy that wandering eye with some fun, new ideas and suddenly, what’s old becomes new!

Check out craft and department stores for clear marbles or crystal look-alikes, artificial snow and glitter. Layer your materials in a clear vase with a wide opening then top your foundation off with an all-white or red cyclamen and you have a striking, “icy” centerpiece for the dining room table.

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Look for every bit of space you might use to display a little something new, something with “current” Christmas appeal. Fill a corner with a favorite collection of things you love, creating an instant point of interest. It might be a grouping of stuffed Christmas bears, nutcracker figures, or colored glassware filled with candies.

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Don’t be afraid to arrange and rearranged until your display pleases your eye. Line a window sill with an eclectic arrangement of candleholders – silver, ceramic, cut glass. Add red and green tapers of differing heights and sizes.

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If natural is your style, accent garlands with patterned or textured ribbon, pine cones, berries or even fruit. If you’d like to try a trendier look, string the bannister or mantle with red and white paper wedding bells or fashion tissue poinsettia flowers in varying sizes then stagger them along your staircase or around doors.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012

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HOLIDAY

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Senior gifts: What time can buy

Wrap yourself in a bow! The gift of service can be real blessing when you’re too tired to do dishes or shovel the walk and driveways. Chores, big and small, can be worrisome for an elderly person.

By Donna Rousseau Feature Writer

Have a funny picture taken of you engaging in a chore you will undertake then frame and wrap it along with a catchy message. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Christmas is the reason, I’ll shovel you out all season!”

S

lippers and sweaters and bathrobes, oh my! Blankets and powders and nail care, BIG SIGH. What to buy an elderly friend or family member? Some of the best gift ideas require less money and more time. A homemade DVD featuring reminiscent photos of events and family gatherings gone by combined with recent can bring the family into the living room again and again. Set it to music for an added treat. Don’t forget to include footage of grandchildren’s sporting events, pageants, plays, and concerts. Gather together family members and friends to generate a collection of best-loved memories of the giftee. Make a journal with each page numbered days one through 31. Journal the memories, one for each day of the month, and remember to include original dates and details as well as the name of the person who recalled the memory.

Many people enjoy the “slideshow” picture frames available in department and electronic stores but, a photo collage is a work of heart. There’s something nostalgic about looking through pictures and a collage is a conversation starter. Professionally framed, it becomes art. Especia l ly du r ing t he w inter mont hs, t here’s a lways something satisfying about a hearty, homemade meal. Fill your loved one’s freezer with tempting, “comfort” meals that are oven or microwave ready. Bake up muffins, breads, and cookies that can go the distance from oven, to freezer, and back to the table. Family and friends in a nursing communit y can enjoy homemade treats too. Check with staff about storage capacity for items requiring refrigeration. Birdfeeders, homemade or purchased, provide an engaging scene outside a window. Hang one on a shepherd’s hook or choose a model to be attached to a window sill. Don’t concern yourself with thieving squirrels; they’re fun to watch too. Be sure to provide a supply of seed in an air-tight container and someone willing to refill the feeder if the giftee is unable.

Gather a year’s worth of greeting cards sent to your loved one. Hole-punch and have them bound into a book. A year’s worth of special sentiments and messages is at the fingertips. Be sure to include a box of multi-occasion cards, stationery, and stamps to complete the gift. If time and sentiment still don’t fill the stock ing this Christmas, take a tip from Charlie Brown’s little sister who wrote to Santa, “If it all seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself – just send money – how about 10s and 20s?” Let’s face it. In this economy, many would agree with the “Peanuts.” A monetary gift delivers with it a greater gift – freedom to choose. Whatever you decide to give, be it bathrobe, birdfeeder, or bucks, be sure your gift comes with the wrapping of some arms for big holiday hugs.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012

The right age to gift children mobile phones G

adgets often top the list of desired gifts for the holiday season. Adults and children a like fawn over the latest technology, and giving a loved one a new phone, portable video game console, tablet or ereader for the holidays is sure to please. When gifting children with the latest tech gifts, parents typically ask themselves if a child is mature enough to handle the responsibility of having his or her own mobile phone. There is no clea rcut answer to this question, and it is up to the gift-giver to assess the maturity levels of the gift recipient as well as his or her behavior when considering giving the gift of a mobile phone. Today's cellular phones are much different from the ones that f looded the market 10 to 20 years ago. Although the concept of a mobile phone has been in place since the late 1940s, it wasn't until 1983 that mobile phones became commercially available in North America. Phones once did little more than just dial a call, and even then service was spotty. Now phones are mini-computers, able to make and receive calls, take photos, access the Internet, download photos and text, provide GPS

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positioning, give directions, check e-mail, and so much more. Such cell phones can be invaluable, but their accessibility often makes parents and g uardians t hink twice about gifting children with a mobile phone.

Maturity level Some children seem to be born wise beyond their years. Others are eternal Peter Pans. It is unw ise to base a cell phone purchase simply on age alone.

Features

T hose who a re ca ref u l ly considering purchasing a phone as a holiday gift for a tween may want to consider the follow ing.

Pa rent s t y pica l ly have a grasp of their child's maturity level, so it should be easy

From social networking to mapping physical locations,

to deter m i ne i f t hey a re mature enough to handle the responsibility of a cell phone.

Mobile phones, particularly smartphones, offer a bevy of different features.

Reliability How well does the child take care of his or her belongings? Are keys constantly being lost?

Adding insurance to that phone will cost even more. Cell phones may only be for children who have a good track record of caring for and keeping important belongings.

Cell phones make it easier for parents to monitor their children when they are away from home, providing some peace of mind.

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Accessibility A ch i ld does not need a sm a r t phone, s o pa r ent s shou ld buy a phone t hat doesn't offer all of the bells and whistles. Not only will this cut down on the cost, it could help prevent irresponsible behavior as well. Many children want their ow n cel l phone, i n pa r t because t hey see t hei r pa rent s a nd ot hers on the phone. But it's wise to consider the pros and cons of giving children cell phones before telling children they can have one. (Metro)

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du r i n g s c ho ol hou r s or phones may not even be allowed on school property. This is something to keep in mind before purchasing.

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Is it simply for texting, or is it to have emergency contact with home? Knowing the reasons why a child wants the phone may make the decision easier.

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Are you often replacing items that were just purchased? If so, the child may not be ready for a cell phone. A lt houg h ma ny mobi le phone companies offer promotional prices on phones this time of year, buying a phone can still be a considerable expense.

t he s e phone s c a n m a ke children widely accessible f rom a c om mu n ic at ion s standpoint. It can be quite easy for a child to take and share a photo with someone i nappropr iate, a nd v iceversa. Find out the reasons beh i nd w hy you r son or daughter wants the phone.

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012

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Prevent lost children while holiday shopping The

Carry a recent photo.

only thing scarier during the holidays than the tally on a credit card bill come January is the idea of a child getting lost or abducted while out shopping. Safety tips can keep children by your side or help caregivers find kids fast should they wander off.

Take a picture of your children with your mobile phone before leaving the house so that you will know exactly what he or she was wearing and will have the most recent photo available for identification. In addition to taking a head shot, take a photo of the child's shoes, too.

These are a busy few months at the mall, with many people packed into stores in search of the perfect gifts. Confusion and the sheer volume of shoppers can increase the chance that a child will get lost.

In events of child abduction, kidnappers may have a change of clothes ready for children, but rarely will they be able to change kids' shoes because of sizing issues. Those shoes can prove an invaluable method of identification.

A lost child can create panic parents and caregivers. However, keeping a level head is more beneficial than running off to find the child. Although preventing a child from wandering off is the best method of protection, being prepared for what to do should the child go missing is equally important.

Sit children who are old enough down to help them understand and set up a plan of action if they become separated from you. In familiar stores, you can establish a meeting spot to go to, such as near the cash register. Instruct children to seek a security guard or store employee and ask for help.

Dress boldly. Part of the problem when holiday shopping is being swarmed by different people all dressed similarly. Designate brightly

Remember... be safe!

colored clothes that both you and your children can wear to be more visible. Most small children only have the vantage point of seeing from the waist down. Consider wearing flashy shoes or a bandana tied to belt loops to help you stand out. Children can wear a bright shirt or hat so you can see them at all times.

Dress-up strollers, too. Many strollers are identical in appearance. Set yours apart by tying a ribbon or balloon to it. This way you will be able to notice if someone is wandering off with your stroller – and your child!

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Hold hands and stay connected. Keep your children within reach and do not let them stay in one aisle while you shop in another. Holding hands keeps children within reach. Although many parents frown on the use of a child leash, if it means the difference between a child running off or staying put, it might be a good idea.

Reinforce positive behavior. Should a child wander off and follow safety tips, reward that behavior with praise when you are reunited. Wait until another time to talk about why he or she got lost and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. Children tend to wander off out of curiosity or by following the wrong person. During the busy holiday season this can happen more frequently. By heeding tips, children can be kept safe whenever the family is in a crowd. (Metro)

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012

Easy and fun ways to be 'green' for the holidays W

h i le t he hol iday sea son is a t i me of joy, giving and religious ref lection, it also can be a time of excess. Hol iday pa r t ies, mea l s brimming with more food t ha n t he average person c a n c on s u me, w r appi ng paper tossed a side a f ter minimal usage, and shoppers venturing for miles in cars in search of presents can all prove wasteful. For t he env i ron ment a l ly conscious, the holiday season is a great opportunity to put your ideals to use. Although it may seem like a challenging task, goi ng g reen for t he holidays is easier than you might think.

Get a live Christmas tree. Christmas trees are planted expressly for the purpose of being cut down and turned into holiday decor. Responsible tree farms will plant many more trees than is needed for the purpose of Christmas trees. Be a good steward for the env i ron ment a nd rec ycle your tree once the holidays a re over. Some rec ycl i ng centers will pick them up for free or a small fee.

Consider giving food as a gift. Food is consumable, doesn't take up space, and locally grown food does not require shipping or wasteful packaging. It's an ideal gift for those who already have everything.

Cut back on holiday decor. Most people love showcasing their Christmas spirit with d e c or a t i on s . Ho w e v e r, many decorative products a re produced overseas and shipped over to North A mer ica on la rge vessels

t hat require a lot of f uel. Think about reducing your decorat ion s or replaci ng plastic and metal decorations f or a l l-n a t u r a l opt ion s . Branches of holly or twigs tied with ribbon to form a natural wreath are just as decorative a s s t or e -b ou g ht p l a s t i c decorations.

Don't leave lights on for extended periods of time. Homes and businesses bedecked in holiday lights are staples of the season. However, extra lights, inf latable lawn Santas and other accessories consume substantial amounts of energy. Instead of leav ing lights and other decorat ive items r u n n i ng for hours each night, turn them off after a little while to save energy.

Donate money in lieu of gifts. C hoose env i ron ment a l l y responsible cha rit ies a nd donate funds to their efforts in the name of people who do not need another package of pajamas.

Use decomposable shipping peanuts.

products that are made from cornstarch. When they come in contact with water, they dissolve – making for easy clean-up and less trash.

Donate unused gifts. Nea rly ever yone get s a n u nw a nted g i f t come t he holiday season. Instead of putting items in the trash or taking them back to the store, donate gifts you'll never use to a charity or a thrift shop.

Wrap gifts with wrapping paper alternatives. Wrapping paper is a luxury item and one that tends to be wasteful. There are many item s a rou nd t he hou se t hat ca n be recycled into decorative gift wrap. Sew scraps of fabric together for a patchwork bag or use glossy photos from a fashion magazine to papier mache a box. When you think creatively, you're bound to come up with some very usable and eco-friendly ideas. Although many people tend to go overboard for the holidays, getting into the holiday spirit does not have to be unfriendly to the environment.

Shipping peanuts are environmentally friendly packing

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012

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HOLIDAY

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Great spots for holiday dates By Christina LeBlanc Feature Writer / Photographer

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a r t of t he mag ic of t he hol iday sea son is spend i ng ex t ra time with loved ones. Make you r hol iday sea son one to remember by planning specia l dates to enjoy t h roug hout t he w i nter months. There are plenty of restaurants and activ ities nea rby t hat w i l l set t he perfect backdrop for a get-toknow-you date or an I-stilllove-you dinner. Margaritas in Auburn has events each night of the week that can make a great date: “Monday t h roug h Fr iday, we have happy hour specials from 4 to 7 p.m. that are really good deals, and Thursday i s L a d i e s’ N i g h t ,” s a i d Margaritas shift manager, Jared Lapointe. There’s also Trivia Night on Wednesdays from 8 to 10 p.m. You can get to know your date while testing your knowledge of various topics and sampling fresh tortilla chips and salsa. Gritty McDuff’s in Auburn is another hotspot for date n i g ht . G r i t t y ’s s e r v e s a va r iet y of a les a s wel l a s hearty pub food, and there are live music performances

on most weekend n ig ht s. You can get good food and drinks and be entertained, all at once. She Doesn’t Like Guthries in Lewiston also hosts regular live musical performances and serves beer and wine. At Guthries you’ll find local art lining the walls and a menu full of vegetarian and veganfriendly fare. For fine dining, Mac’s Grill i n Aubu r n of fer s a c oz y at mosphere as wel l as sig nat u re specia lt ies l i ke lobster mac a nd cheese, parmesan crusted haddock, a nd of cou rse a ra nge of steaks, from the 10 oz. Mini Mac to t he 8 oz . baconwrapped filet mignon.

hibachi chefs put on a show while preparing your dinner, turning your meal into a fun and exciting event. Check out the video on their website (Sea40ME.com) to get an idea of the dining style. It’s a walk on the wild side and a great way to spice up a date night. After dinner, make dessert a f u n a nd i nterest i ng ex perience by heading to G elato Fia sco (t here a re locations in Brunswick and South Portland). Gelato is a sophisticated and delicious take on dessert, and around the holidays Gelato Fiasco even creates special flavors. “We offer f lavors like Italian Eggnog, Peppermint Stick, and Gingerbread”, said Ge-

lato Fiasco Marketing Director Bobby Guerette. And you don’t have to worr y if t he date goes late. “We’re open u nt i l 11 p.m. ever y day,” Guerette said, “and our rich, f resh Dr in k ing Chocolate is delicious.” It would be a great romantic spot to hit up after dinner or a movie at a nearby theater.

If you want to experience something new and different, t r y t he h ibach i-st yle entertainment and cuisine at the casually upscale Sea 40 in Lew iston. Here you can get your f i x of sushi, sashimi, and sake, as well as sampling the hibachi menu. Enjoy chicken, steak, fish, or veggies grilled right in front of you and paired with salad, soup, a nd f ried rice. The

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Want a great dessert for a quiet night in? Wallingford’s Fr uit House in Auburn is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through December 23rd. In addition to offering some cute photo ops in their backyard area, Wallingford’s sel ls del icious donut s i n holiday-friendly f lavors like pumpkin and apple cider. The donuts are scrumptious w hen wa r m, so at home you ca n pop t hem in t he microwave for a few seconds to get the same effect during an at-home movie night. There are many local options for g re at hol id ay d ate s, whether you prefer a fancy dinner or a night at home. Spending time w ith loved ones can be easy and fun this holiday season.

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Help college students this holiday season C

ollege is a time when many students form friendships and make memories that last a lifetime. College is also a time when students learn to stretch a dollar, and the right gift come the holiday season can have a big impact on a college student's life. The following are a few gift ideas that may help make your favorite student's second semester a success.

Books and supplies: Textbooks and supplies remain one of the biggest expenses for today's college students. According to the College Board, a notfor-profit organization aimed at helping college students be successful, the average cost for books and supplies during the 2011-2012 school year was roughly $1,200. Such an expense can be daunting for college students, and relatives can help them out come the holidays by paying for a portion or all of their second semester textbooks and supplies. Such a gesture might not make the most sentimental holiday gift, but it's a practical present that will go a long way toward helping a financially struggling student pay his or her bills.

Travel: College students who want to study abroad or travel for spring break must bankroll those travels themselves. In addition, some students struggle to pay for their travel back home during the holiday season or during other breaks from class. Adults who want to lend a college student a helping hand this holiday season can offer to help pay those travel costs. Men and women who travel a lot for work might be able to use their airline miles to secure a free or low-cost ticket for the college student in their life.

Computer accessories and programs: Of course, not all gifts need to be financially oriented. Practical gifts like computer accessories can also make a great gift for college students. Nowadays, many colleges and universities require incoming students to have their own desktop or laptop computers. Students with their own laptops might appreciate new laptop bags that make it easier to transport their computers to and from classes and the library. In addition, some majors, such as graphic design, require that students use ever-evolving and expensive computer software. These programs are often installed on computers in the university's labs, but students may perform better in school if they install such programs on their own computers. Upgrading students' computer software can save them money and help them do better in school.

Gaming consoles: Another great gift for college students is the latest video gaming console. Though such a gift might not be as virtuous as new textbooks or computer programs, a gaming console can help students unwind from the stresses of schoolwork. Today's college students grew up with gaming consoles and many are avid gamers, so a new gaming console can also be a great way for them to make new friends who share similar interests. (Metro)

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HOLIDAY

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Holiday giving for special needs kids

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veryone wants to get the perfect gifts for people on their holiday shopping lists. Shopping for a child with special needs can make gift-giving a bit more difficult.

By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

After all, buyers want to ensure the gift is practical as well as thoughtful. However, there are many great gift ideas for special needs children.

Each Christmas, children across America hang up their stockings for Santa to fill with toys and treats. The tradition has been going on for centuries and is practiced in many nations around the world.

Buying gifts for kids with a disability or other special needs make take a little more time, but shoppers who consider a child's developmental readiness as well as personal interests can still find the perfect gift.

Consult with parents and caregivers. Parents often know best when it comes to their own children and will make the most reliable source as to which gifts to buy for special needs children. Parents may have a list of items a therapist or teacher has suggested, and these learning tools could make good gifts, particularly if parents' own budgets are stretched. If you'd like to make the gift a surprise for everyone involved, go directly to a therapist or teacher and ask for suggestions. There may be classroom aides that can be bought to continue the learning experience at home.

When it comes to special needs children, age does not always dictate the proper developmental level. A pre-teen with special

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Assess a child's developmental level to help you select toys that he or she can play with. For example, a nonverbal child with autism who likes marine life may benefit from a colorful picture book where he or she can point to the animals.

Most children gravitate to certain types of toys and have specific interests when it comes to play. A music lover may enjoy a learner's guitar or keyboard. Those who like to build would probably like a Lego(R) or Mega Bloks(R) set that can be transformed into cars, trucks or even space stations. Most children benefit from art sets where they can explore t heir creativ it y and a lso master greater dexterit y and imaginative thinking.

Consider making a financial donation. Some chi ldren w it h specia l needs require t he use of specialized equipment, such as braces or wheelchairs. Such equipment can be expensive, and the child's family might benefit from a financial gift. A monetary gift to be put toward medical supplies, travel, gear, or even a charitable donation to an association would make fine gifts. Special needs children are just like others in that they look forward to the bounty of holiday gifts. Choosing presents that pertain to their interests, needs and developmental readiness can ensure that this holiday season is a happy one. (Metro)

The exact origins of the Christmas stocking tradition are unknown, but many historians point to a 16th-century Dutch tradition in which children would fill their clogs with a treat for Sinterklaas and hay for the donkey he rode from house to house. In turn, Sinterklaas would thank the children by filling their clogs with sweet treats or coal if they had been bad. According to historians, the Dutch tradition may have stemmed from a legend involving a poor man and his marriage-age daughters. Upon the death of his wife, the man had lost much of wealth and could not provide the proper dowries for his daughters. Unable to marry, the daughters were very sad, and so was their father. Upon hearing of the family's plight, St. Nick wanted to help, but he knew better than to offer the poor but proud man charity. Instead, he rode by the family's house one day and tossed purses of gold down the chimney. The gold landed in the daughters' stockings they had hung to dry by the fireplace. The family rejoiced and was very grateful to God and St. Nick. Whatever the origins, the stocking tradition was cemented in print with the publication of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" in the 19th century. In the poem, "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care,/In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there." Recalling that scene, Thomas Nast created stockings hanging from the mantel in his illustrations for George Webster's "Santa Claus and His Works" in 1886, reviving the stocking tradition. Today, children across the world continue to hang stockings for Santa to fill, while others put out their shoes, hearkening back to the Dutch tradition. The children wake up on Christmas morning, eager to see what goodies the jolly old man has left them. Retailers help Santa out by running stocking-stuffer specials throughout the holiday season.

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Gift-giving alternatives

Recipes to spice up the holiday season

By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

Create a three course meal with little preparation, but bursting with flavor this holiday season. Start off with a Roasted Beet Salad combining beets, feta cheese, walnuts and a spicy citrus vinaigrette. Follow with a Pork Roast with Spicy Cranberry Orange Glaze seasoned with Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce. Finally, finish the evening with some sweet and spicy Chocolate Chunk Cookies, oozing with chocolate and spiced with a few dashes of Tabasco Original Red Sauce. To find these recipes – and more – sure to add some zest to your holiday season, visit www.TABASCO.com.

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ift giving is a time-honored tradition, but how do you keep it affordable with a great number of people? If you have a rather large family and buying gifts for each and every person is out of the question, what can you do? You can have a gift exchange, and there are various ways you can go about it. Here are a few of the more common ones.

Be a secret Santa Secret Santa exchanges take place over a series of days. Participants draw names, purchase several small gifts for the person whose name they draw and arrange for a gift to be delivered daily in secret. Gifts may be themed, and the identities of the Secret Santas are revealed on the last day of the exchange.

Pork Roast with Spicy Cranberry-Orange Glaze Makes 6 servings

Draw names Name drawings are fairly straightforward. You set up a time for the drawing to take place, throw the names of everyone participating into a hat and have each person draw a name and tuck it away. This is the person for whom they must purchase a gift. Parents of young kids are responsible for purchasing a gift for the names drawn by the kids. The actual gift exchange takes place later at the date, time and place designated.

Give back Charity exchanges work well for individuals who don?t need anything and would rather give back something to their community. Participants write down the name of their favorite charity and insert it into a hat. They then draw a name of a charity from the hat and pledge to support it with either a monetary donation or volunteer work.

Go the white elephant way White elephant gifts are generally inexpensive, sometimes funny, sometimes used gifts. For your white elephant gift exchange, you may select a theme and price limit, such as gag gifts for under $5 or odd items from home. Participants must then wrap a gift that meets those specifications and bring it to

the exchange. The person first in line selects a gift, unwraps it and holds it up high for everyone to see. The next person selects a gift, unwraps it and either keeps the gift or swaps it for the other person?s gift. The fun continues until everyone has a gift. Exchanges may be limited to a certain number, and participants may be given one final opportunity to swap gifts if they so desire.

Regift Regift exchanges usually take place after the holidays and require participants to bring something they received but do not want or need. Participants then get to swap what they don?t want for something that they do. Any gifts not selected may be donated to charity. None of these ideas appeal to you? No problem. Design your own gift exchange and theme it anyway you want. Themes can run the gamut from board games to cooking gadgets to pet supplies. It?s your choice, and with only one gift required instead of several, participants are sure to have fun whatever is involved.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle pork roast with salt and ground ginger. Place pork roast, fat -side up, in large roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into center of roast, being careful that pointed end of thermometer does not touch bone. Roast 2 to 2 1/2 hours until thermometer reaches 155°F to 160°F. Meanwhile, combine orange marmalade, cranberries, mustard and Tabasco Sauce in medium bowl. Brush pork roast with mixture after 1 hour, brushing occasionally with mixture every 15 minutes. Remove roast to a platter. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 15 minutes. Skim fat off pan juices. Serve roast with pan juices if desired. Garnish roast with rosemary sprigs. Serving suggestion: Serve pork roast with oven-roasted butternut squash chunks and Brussels sprouts. (Family Features)

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HOLIDAY 11

Local holiday entertainment for the family By Dan Marois Feature Writer

tion, call 784-9500 or visit Pathway Vineyard Church online at www.pathwayvineyard.com.

You don’t have to travel far from Lewiston-Auburn to find an array of holiday entertainment offerings suitable for families. Here are a few upcoming events that you won’t want to miss.

Pathway Vineyard Church – “The Nativity” December 6 through December 8 Pathway Vineyard Church, located at 12 Foss Road in Lewiston, will present their sixteenth annual community Christmas event, “The Nativity,” beginning on Thursday, December 6th through Saturday, December 8th. The church will open their Lewiston campus for a presentation of the historical Nativity story. This year’s event, which has become a yearly holiday tradition for thousands of Central Maine residents, is filled with drama, cultural music, dance, and, as always, live animals. Following the unique half hour presentation, guests will be invited into the festively lit foyer decorated in the theme “Through the Eyes of A Child.” There they can enjoy complimentary cider and cookies and caroling. Draft-horse wagon rides around the lighted Lewiston Campus will also be featured along with a live petting zoo and an outdoor Christmas village. The weekend events will be presented Thursday (Dec.6) and Friday (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. and Saturday (Dec. 8) at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. As always this event is open to all ages and is free of charge. Ample parking is available and doors will open one half hour prior to each performance. For more informa-

A Christmas Carol – A Christmas Favorite at The Public Theatre – Dec. 7 & 8 Christopher Schario’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol has been performed as far away as England, the Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, and in many parts of the United States. However, A Christmas Carol first appeared in December 1993 at The Public Theatre in Lewiston where Schario serves as artistic director. “There’s always something new in the production. This season we have a new Scrooge with actor, Joel Leffert,” said Schario. “He’ll be the seventh actor to play Scrooge for us, a highly coveted role in the industry.” The play follows the story of Scrooge, a lonely miser, who, through the help of spirits and visions from his past, present and future, becomes a generous human being just in time for Christmas. Focusing on Dickens' powerful language, humor, and warmth, this charming version of A Christmas Carol simply and directly tells the story as originally written by Charles Dickens. Performances are slated for Friday, December 7 at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $5 for students under 18 at all performances. You may reserve your seats for any show at any time by calling 207-782-3200.

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Dec. 8 & 9 at the Franco-American Heritage Center and Dec. 15 First Congregational Church, 17 East Main Street, South Paris. This year the voices of the Androscoggin Chorale will be joined by those of the Lewiston School Chamber Choir under the direction of Darren Avery. Each choir will perform works of its choosing and then the choirs will combine to celebrate music of this holiday season. Favorites of the season will include Carol of the Bells, Ding Dong Merrily On High, and many more. Aided by the talented Bridget Convey, accompanist, the Chamber Choir and Chorale will conclude the concert with the incredible Hodie! by Z. Randall Stroope. Then to complete the concert the audience will be invited to sing several traditional Christmas carols with the combined choirs. Presented by The Maine Music Society, performances on December 8 in Lewiston and December 15 in South Paris begin at 7:30 p.m. and December 9 in Lewiston at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $9 for students, and free for children 12 and under. (Prices $2 more at the door) To purchase tickets please call L/A Arts at 207-782-7228 or visit online at www.MaineMusicSociety.org

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Games: Guess the names of the hoofed helpers By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer What has hoofs and helps Santa deliver gifts on Christmas Eve night? Reindeer, you say? You're right. Without them, Santa could not make his sleigh ride. How much do you know about Santa's reindeer? Take this quiz and find out.

Q: Rudolph was different from the other reindeer in that he had red eyes. True or false?

Q: The reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh were first named in “Twas the Night Before Christmas” in 1823. True or false?

Q: The other reindeer made fun of Rudolph until he was asked to lead Santa's sleigh in a storm. True or false?

A: True.

A: False, Rudolph was asked to lead the sleigh in the fog.

Q: According to the poem, the original eight were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. True or false?

Q: May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, is responsible for setting his story to music. True or false?

A: False, he had a red nose.

A: True.

A: False, the last two were originally called Dunder and Blixem.

Q: Roy Rogers recorded Marks’ song in 1949. True or false? A: False, Gene Autry recorded it. Q: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is considered one of the best-selling songs of all time. True or false? A: True. Q: In 1999, Fox produced a special about another reindeer named Oliver. True or false? A: False, the reindeer was named Olive. Q: Olive was not really a reindeer. True or false? A: True, Olive was a dog.

Q: Loosely translated from Dutch to English, Dunder and Blixem mean "thunder" and "lightning." True or false?

Q: Olive saves Christmas by filling in for the injured Vixen. True or false?

A: True.

A: False, she fills in for the injured Blitzen.

Q: Some historians believe Dunder and Blixem may be representative of the magical goats pulling Thor's chariot in Norse mythology. True or false?

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HOLIDAY 13

Cooking: Stock up for health and happiness S

taying healthy over the holidays, experts advise, requires at least two simple steps: planning ahead and taking time for yourself.Fortunately, this can be simpler than many suspect because the “cool aisles” of the grocery store have many “secret weapons” to make holiday food preparation and entertaining easier and more enjoyable. Frozen a nd ref r igerated foods prov ide a n excel lent opportunity for planning ahead for the holidays so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time for yourself.

It helps to “stock up” your freezer and fridge with: • Delicious breakfast selections—waff les, pancakes, eggs, cheeses and breakfast sandwiches; combine fruit with yogurts and juices for smoothies to make holiday mornings even more fun. • Super snacks and appetizers—cheeses, dips, egg rolls, shrimp, pizza, wings and meatballs; serve on attractive platters and let the party begin. • Dinner plans—the frozen aisles offer a variety of fully prepared entrées; they can be on the table for your family in minutes on busy nights. • Side-dish pleasures—ready-to-heat-and-eat vegetables, potatoes and breads can make holiday meals less work. • Delightful desserts—fill the freezer and refrigerator with enough delicious pies, cakes, ice cream, puddings, whipped toppings and ready-to-bake cookies to please your family, friends and guests.

Here, from the experts at the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), is a delicious, easy holiday dessert you can serve with a homemade touch:

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Natural Ginger Cheesecake

1 frozen cheesecake 10 ounces sweet or sour pitted cherries (frozen works well) 2 tablespoons lemon juice ¼ cup sugar 1 tablespoon arrowroot ½ cup water Fresh mint Thaw cheesecake according to package directions. To make topping, combine cherries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook it for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Cool completely. Spread on top of cheesecake. Garnish with mint leaves. Serves 4 to 6.

1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (for crust) 5 tablespoons butter, melted 8 ounces cream cheese 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla Pinch of nutmeg ½ cup candied ginger, finely chopped 8 ounces mascarpone cheese 10 ounces truwhip whipped topping Thawed gingersnap crumbs (for garnish) Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and mix well. Press into a 10-inch springform pan evenly. Set aside in the freezer until use. Whip cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and candied ginger into electric mixing bowl until smooth. Add the mascarpone cheese and truwhip and whip again until fully mixed and f luffy. Spoon mixture into the gingersnap crust, f illing to the top. Sprinkle with ground g ingersnap cr u mbs for garnish. Chill in the freezer. Thaw slightly before serving. Serves 8

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012

Blinging in the holidays: Jewelry gift ideas for the entire family

W

ith so many options to consider, selecting a piece of jewelry as a holiday gift can be a daunting task. From peridots to citrines, bracelets to rings, what's the ideal piece to choose?

To personalize the gift further, consider a custom design to create a one-of-a-kind piece of beauty. "Selecting jewelry should be a very intimate and heartfelt experience," said Drake, who specializes in custom designs. "Gift-givers should always have the recipient's personality and style in mind for a unique and special touch."

According to Philadelphia-based jewelry designer Craiger Drake of Craiger Drake Designs, classic jewelry is always in style and flattering.

You may also want to choose a stone based on your loved one’s individual interests. For example, amber, or fossilized tree sap, has an ancient, enduring quality that any history lover will appreciate. A meditative type will enjoy cool stones, such as aquamarine. Amethyst is traditionally used in crown jewels, making it an appropriate gift for the “princess” of the family.

"There are certain must-have pieces that everyone should own in their collection, but even traditional pieces can be tailored to complement their unique style – making the gift personal, yet timeless," said Drake. Don't let your holiday shopping list overwhelm you; shop for jewelry for any member of your family this holiday season, and consider personalizing classic pieces that are sure to last a lifetime.

Bracelets make great gifts this holiday season. There are a wide variety of styles available, however, cuffs and bangles are the two trendiest styles in the bracelet category. They make great gifts for the fashion-conscious woman.

For your mother:

Look for sterling silver and gold varieties that have texture. Bangles make great gifts because they can be worn in multiples, allowing the giver to give one bangle now and another bangle for the next gift-giving occasion.

The ever-elegant strand of pearls is a stylish and sophisticated complement to any outfit. Whether in a necklace or bracelet, pearls exude a timeless grace that every woman desires. To update her collection, select a set of Tahitian pearls that add color and flavor to her look.

Personalization makes jewelry gifts even more sentimental this year. Popular gifts include charms, pendants, rings and bracelets with inscriptions, symbols of hope and freedom, and evil eyes. These personalized pieces serve as wearable personal mantras and amulets of protection.

For your daughter: Diamond stud earrings bring elegance to any ensemble or occasion and can be worn throughout your daughter's lifetime. Another classic accessory, a pendant necklace of her birthstone can add just a touch of personalization.

For the men in your life:

For your grandmother: A brooch is a sophisticated piece of jewelry for any woman's collection. In jewel or pastel gems and various shapes and designs, brooches add instant glamour to a simple sweater or coat.

Cufflinks are the classic jewelry accessory for men. Select a design that represents his style to make it personal.

Everyone knows that the best gifts come in small packages. Giving a gift of jewelry ensures it will be a holiday to remember. Visit your local jeweler for more information about jewelry selections for the people on your gift list. Visit Jewelr y Information Center’s Web site (www.JIC.org), and use the Gift Guide to help you find suggested jewelry gift items for all of the individuals on your shopping list. (NewsUSA)

For your wife: If diamonds really are a girl's best friend, then what woman wouldn't want a diamond bracelet? These simple, classic bracelets emanate a luxurious feel and can be worn day-tonight. For a more contemporary look, your wife can make a statement in a bold gold cuff.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012

HOLIDAY 15

Purchase any fine jewelry or timepiece at Springer’s from November 23rd thru December 15th and if it snows on Christmas Day . . . IT’S FREE!*

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*No purchase necessary. Conditions apply. See stores or visit us on the web for official rules and details. Designers may vary by location.

16 HOLIDAY

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, December 7, 2012


HOLIDAY 12-07-12