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December 2017

Christmas is the day that holds all time together.

-Alexander Smith-


December 2017 Volume 16, Issue 12

8 10 12 16 20 22 24

Afternoon Delight by Cathy C. Hall

28 30 32

Sasee Asks an Expert Making Special Holiday Memories by Teri Cronin

Read It The Tale of Two Trees by Diane DeVaughn Stokes The Countdown Before the Countdown by Diane Stark The Long Way Home for the Holidays by Jeffery Cohen Sasee Reflects… Preparing for a Happy New Year! Sasee Asks an Expert Shopping With a Conscience by Melissa Lee and Mel Healy

Merry Christmas to Me Gifts to buy for you Trees of Silver by Rose Ann Sinay

34 36 38 42 46 50 55 56

N’SYNC Christmas by Beth Pugh Sasee Asks an Expert Shop Local – Shop Smart! By Karen Wilson New Year’s Eve by Erika Hoffman Danielle Walters: Taking Lives in New Directions by Leslie Moore The Offhand Christmas by Terri Elders Sasee Kids Ring in the New Year Sasee December Calendar A Taste of the Past by Susan Yanguas


letter from the editor

Cover Artist All Wrapped Up in You, Red Shoe Series by Jacqui Faye A native Texan, Jacqui Faye works predominantly in acrylics, focusing on figurative works. Recognized for her “Red Shoe” series, Jacqui paints playful, innocent and sometimes provocative compositions using the red shoes to tell the story. Anonymity of her subjects plays an influential role in establishing a strong connection with her audience.

This photo of me and my youngest granddaughter, Ellis, was taken last year on Thanksgiving Day in Baltimore. My daughter, son-inlaw, Ellis, her sister Quinn and I went to a fun restaurant for the holiday meal. The girls were restless, naturally, at two and three years old their attention span is limited. Hoping to distract and entertain them, the girls took turns going with me for fun romps through the city streets. We skipped, ran, window shopped and generally had a good time while their parents enjoyed a little quiet time. I loved it and didn’t give a single thought to how silly a fifty something grandma looked to passersby. Ellis and I were trying really hard to jump over all the cracks in the sidewalk, and our abject failure made both of us laugh until we were doubled over in the street. A young art student and her friend, attracted by our obvious good time, approached me and we started chatting. She was photographing people on the streets as her end of the semester project and wanted to take a few shots of Ellis and me. I agreed, but Ellis was having none of it. She was not interested in modeling, and, as we were posing, I saw she was on her way to a full blown meltdown. I knelt down and pulled her close, forgetting about the young photographer and focusing all my attention on a very upset little girl. Now, every time I look at this photo, I see the love I feel for Ellis and Quinn. This Christmas all I need for a happy holiday is to hear those two precious souls call, “Grandma, Grandma,” and run to give me a hug. As you know, dear reader, love is the greatest gift of all. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays – however you celebrate, I wish you the joy of giving and receiving love.

Christmas is the day that holds all time together. 6

-Alexander Smith-

Rooted in realism, the artist challenges herself to depict true-to-life details in her work. She is fascinated with varying shades of color, most notably red, and the way shadow and light play upon patterns. Jacqui’s longstanding sequence, “The Red Shoe” series, springs from a culmination of visual impressions from the artist’s imagination and life experiences. She is influenced by the nonconformist, the bohemian, that one in a million who walks to a different beat. The red shoes are iconic representations sprinkled with excitement, passion and a dash of rebellion. Currently residing in San Antonio, Jacqui’s works can be found in private collections across the U.S., as well as England, Scotland, Wales, and Canada. Current online exhibits of her work can be viewed at the Daily Painters (www.dailypainters.com), Saatchi Art (www.saatchiart.com), as well as her blog and website. Past exhibits include galleries in Texas, Arizona, and Rhode Island. To see more of this artist’s work, visit www.jacquifaye.com and www.jfaye.com.

who’s who Publisher Delores Blount

Art Director Patrick Sullivan

Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant

Photographer & Graphic Artist Aubrey Glendinning

Editor Leslie Moore

Web Developer Scott Konradt

Senior Account Executive Celia Wester

Accounting Sophia McCallister

Account Executives Stacy Danosky Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse

Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy Suzette Rogers

PO Box 1389, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 fax 843-626-6452 • phone 843-626-8911 • www.sasee.com • info@sasee.com Sasee is published monthly and distributed free along the Grand Strand. Letters to the editor are welcome, but could be edited for length. Submissions of articles and art are welcome. Visit our website for details on submission. Sasee is a Strand Media Group, Inc. publication. Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material, in part or in whole, prepared by Strand Media Group, Inc. and appearing within this publication is strictly prohibited. Title “Sasee” is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.


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Afternoon Delight by Cathy C. Hall

The first Christmas after my husband died was right around the corner, and I was still struggling to get through the everyday routines of my life. How in the world would I face this huge holiday event? Because Christmas at our house had always been…well, a lot: Lots of decorating, lots of cookies, lots of family, lots of music. But mostly, lots of fun. Even with our kids all grown up, we celebrated with games and silliness and crazy traditions. Oh! And laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. I couldn’t imagine a holiday with games and silliness and especially laughter without Dave in the middle of it all. Still, the holiday kept on coming, and one November morning in the midst of moving and arranging all the albums and CDs and tapes in my husband’s office, I got an idea. As the Grinch would say, I got a wonderful, possibly awful idea. My husband and I had met while we worked at the same Top 40 radio station. He was a DJ, and I was a part-time copywriter and traffic coordinator. He had been in radio for nearly ten years before that, and if you counted back to when he was just eight years old and played his 45 records so that the neighborhood could hear, then he’d been playing music for a long time. He’d left radio shortly after we married, but he’d never left his music. That man couldn’t drive down to the corner without fiddling with his car radio to get a good song. Through the years, we’d gone from listening to the radio, then tapes, then CDs, and then Sirius. And his collection? I can’t even think of a word big enough to describe it. I guess it’s easiest to say that it was like my Christmas celebration: a lot. Naturally, his children grew up listening to all this music, but not just in the car. Dave would play his music all the time at home, spinning records for the kids on a Saturday night, making mixed tapes for them of their favorite songs, blasting out In A Gadda Da Vida while he was supposedly working in that office. Our kids may be Millennials, but they have the musical heart of a Baby Boomer.

8

So I decided to give each kid a record player for Christmas. And then I’d let them go through their dad’s music collection – that is, the albums I could bear to part with – and choose their favorites. Like I said, I wasn’t sure if it was a wonderful idea or an awful idea; we’d just have to wait and see, even though the kids knew they were getting the record players, and I’d told them my plan beforehand. I had no way of knowing what would happen on Christmas day. My youngest son crafted wood boxes for the albums, making one for each of the kids, and me, too. One side of the box was a chalkboard, and John drew a personalized picture on each one. That child had mad skills, and I didn’t even know it! So under the tree was a special surprise gift for all of us. And then, after dinner, we dragged out the boxes and boxes of albums. But instead of just picking and choosing, the kids started playing the records, listening to certain songs off the albums. There was a lot of singing and a lot of compromising that lasted all afternoon long. “I’ll trade you this Moody Blues and a Jethro Tull for Purple Rain.” Oh, that Purple Rain discussion got heated! But you know what? It was a lot of fun, too. And there was love and laughter in all that music. It was almost like my husband was still there, enjoying every song that played. And who am I to say that he wasn’t around on Christmas day, for a little afternoon delight?

Cathy C. Hall

is a humor writer and children’s author who lives in the Atlanta area. She spends her summers, thinking up ideas to write about at Tybee Island.


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by Lauren K. Denton Review by Nicole McManus

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The Tale of Two Trees by Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Christmas was always magical when I was a kid. There were six of us living in a two-bedroom apartment – my maternal grandparents, my aunt and her daughter, Elaine, and me and mom. We were cramped, but at the time I did not know any better. This was family, and I thought everyone lived like this. My awesome grandmother loved Christmas as much as she loved the Pope. Decorations adorned everything from the radiator to the light fixtures and the little cardboard houses and mini bottle-brush trees lined the top of the toilet tank. But there were no Christmas decorations to be seen until after Thanksgiving as the cornucopia had to be on the table along with the Hallmark paper fold-out turkey and male and female wax pilgrims that had center stage on the dining room table the entire month of November. No, Nana never missed a holiday. She was obsessed with making sure the holiday décor was always accurate. And she was always spot on, except for the year she decided to get an artificial silver tree. You remember the one with the revolving colored panel that made the tree appear to be changing colors! We were all shocked because we had always had a beautiful large live Fraser fir with glitzy balls and silver icicles that fell from the branches like rain. Nana wouldn’t let us toss the stuff; we had to place each one perfectly on the edge of the limbs. Then there were those bubbly liquid electrical candles and colored bulbs that brought the tree to life, with the Angel Gabriel perched on top. Okay, she was female, but we still called HER Angel Gabriel. However, this silver tree was in vogue – the latest Christmas attraction on the market and Nana could not resist. She decorated it with pink and bluemirrored balls. But my grandfather, who never said much of anything to irritate Nana, gave her heck about it.

“It has no smell,” he said. “It’s fake!” “Santa will hate it, and so will Jesus!” And a line he used that made my aunt and mother snicker, but I did not understand at the time, “Blue Balls is a city in Pennsylvania, and no one wants them!” Well, within a week, my grandfather brought home a real tree and insisted Nana decorate it with all the traditional ornaments we used in the past. He moved the silver tree to the front window so you could see the lights from the outside, and put this new tree in the same location our former trees had been. He said with a laugh, “Ruth, I have spoken. I don’t want Santa to come down that chimney and go back up without leaving any toys because he thinks a crazy person lives here!” Until that time, we had no idea Papa was so sentimental and nostalgic. But it was so special that year having two trees. We were the hit of the neighborhood. And I must admit, Papa was right as Santa did not leave any presents under the silver tree, but only under the real one. When Nana and Papa died, I had stuffed bears made from their pajamas and bathrobes for each of their grandchildren. Each Christmas I display six of Nana’s pink and blue balls, which are now sixty years old, in a crystal bowl on my fireplace hearth, with my Nana and Papa bears on each side reminding me of the year my wonderful grandfather, who was “Daddy” to me in my early years, stood his ground and created a legendary event that will pass through the generations of our family forever, I hope. We call this heartwarming story, “The Tale of Two Trees.”

Diane DeVaughn Stokes

is the President of Stages Video Productions, Host and Producer for TV show “Inside Out” on HTC, and EASY Radio Host weekdays noon to 3pm. Her passions include food, travel and theater. You can reach her at diane@stagesvideo.com


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The Countdown Before the Countdown by Diane Stark

“Mom, look at this Star Wars Lego set,” my eight-year-old son Nathan said. “Can I get it for my birthday?” Before I could answer his first question, he continued, “If you’ve finished shopping for my birthday, can I get it for Christmas instead?”

Wars Advent calendar.”

I smiled. My son had definitely figured out how things work in our house. Nathan is the youngest of five, and all of his siblings are teenagers. Two of them are girls and they are extraordinarily difficult to shop for, so if they find something they like, I will often buy it and set it aside for the next holiday. It does hurt the element of surprise, but at least they are happy on their birthdays and on Christmas morning.

“Yes, I really want it.”

I looked at the Lego set in question. “Nathan, this isn’t just a regular Lego set. It’s an Advent calendar.” At his questioning look, I explained, “An Advent calendar counts down the days until Christmas. Starting on December 1, you would open one box each day. And each box contains one small Lego toy.” He smiled. “That’s a lot of Legos.” “Well, there are 24, so I guess that is a lot.” “I want this really badly, Mom. Can I get it for my birthday?” “Yes, but here’s the problem with that, Bud. It’s August right now, and your birthday is in September. If we bought this for your birthday, you couldn’t start opening the toys until December 1. That’s a long time to wait to play with a new toy.” He shrugged. “Then can I have it for Christmas?” “Well, that’s not going to work either because it’s an Advent calendar. If you get it for Christmas, you won’t be able to count down the days until Christmas.” He thought for a minute. “Okay, then I’ll just choose something else.” After much deliberation, he picked out a different Lego set. “So you can wrap this and give it to me on my birthday, and I’ll pretend to be surprised,” he said with a smile. I nodded. Like I said, he knows how things work in our house. We left the toy department so that I could grab the groceries and other items we needed. We were heading toward the check-out when Nathan said, “Mom, I 16 changed my mind. I really want that Star

“Even though it would be two and a half months before you could start using it?” So we bought the calendar. On Nathan’s birthday in mid-September, he opened his presents, including the Advent calendar. He acted as surprised and pleased with it as he did with the gifts that were actually a surprise. And then he started to open it. “Bud, remember that’s an Advent calendar. That box contains one small toy for every day from December 1 until Christmas Eve. So we can’t open it yet.” His shoulders slumped. “Oh, yeah, that’s right.” We put the box in his closet. I hoped he’d forget about it, but that was wishful thinking. “How many more days until I can start opening the toys in the calendar?” He asked the day after his birthday. “Well, you’ve got the rest of September, plus all of October and all of November.” “Can’t I just open it now?” “Well, it’s yours and if you want to do that, you can,” I said. “But I think it would be really fun to wait and use it to count down the days until Christmas.” “Okay, I’ll wait,” he said. But just a few days later, he asked about the calendar again. “How many more days, Mom?” “Nathan, you’ve got until December 1. That’s two and a half months.” “I don’t think I can wait that long.” Again, I told him that it was up to him and again, he agreed with me that it would be better to wait until December 1. But just days later, he asked yet again. I gave him a pocket calendar and we counted how many days until December 1. “It’s just so long, Mom,” he whined.


At this point, I regretted that I’d ever bought the calendar. “Nathan, every December, we count down the days until Christmas,” I said. “But this year, we’re counting the days until we can count down the days until Christmas.” He smiled. “It’s the countdown before the countdown, Mom.” I looked into his smiling face and realized that he was enjoying this. I found it frustrating, but for Nathan, this was just making the fun of Christmas last even longer. So I joined in. We marked off the days on his pocket calendar and talked about how fun it would be when he finally got to open the first box in his Advent calendar. When the waiting got tough, I reminded him how glad he’d be that he’d waited. “I wonder what the first toy will be,” he wondered aloud, turning the box over in his hands. “I hope it’s R2D2.” “We’ll find out in just 38 days, Bud,” I said. “I can’t wait that long,” he said, even though he’d already decided that he would. The countdown before the countdown became a daily ritual for us. Finally, it was December 1. Nathan’s hands were practically shaking as he opened that first box. It was an R2D2 figure, just as he’d hoped. For the next 23 days, he opened another box and was delighted with each one. “I’m so glad I waited, Mom,” he told me nearly every day. “This is the best countdown to Christmas ever.” People say that Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year. I know these complaints are about the over-commercialization of the holiday, and I see their point. But this year, Christmas came to our house very early, and it was so much fun. It taught my son patience and the power of delayed gratification. Next year, I’m buying three Advent calendars, so we can continue our new countdown tradition.

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19


The Long Way Home for the Holidays by Jeffery Cohen

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays, no matter how far away you roam. I found myself singing the words of that song for weeks during the December of my freshmen year in college. Though I hadn’t really roamed very far, the forty five-minutes that separated me from my family as Christmas approached seemed endless.

Sitting there, touched by the holiday spirit, and remembering my Dad telling me how it was always better to give than receive, I got up and walked over to poor old stranded Walter. “Where do you live, Walt?”

Sugar plums weren’t dancing in my head, but visions of home were. I could see us all piling into Dad’s old Ford and heading out on a frosty night in search of the perfect tree that was just waiting to be decorated in our living room. I could smell the aroma of vanilla and cinnamon that filled the kitchen as my mother, elbow-deep in flour, scurried back and forth to the oven, sliding batches of warm cookies from their pans. Feeling a cold snap in the air reminded me that my father and I, as usual, would be braving that chill as we stapled multi-colored lights around the front of our house. Stores and shops draped in red and green would warmly welcome me. There were presents to buy, gifts to wrap. I couldn’t wait to get home for the holidays.

“Well, my father is going to pick me up any minute. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind dropping you off.”

The last couple of bars of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” drifted off before the PA system crackled then skipped to its end. The lobby of the dormitory, usually teeming with chatter and laughter, was unusually silent as I sat staring at the twinkling lights of the college Christmas tree as the sun went down. The school had emptied out for vacation. I figured that I was the last one still waiting for his folks to pick him up. That’s when I spotted Walter, a guy that I knew well enough to nod a hello to when we passed in the hall.

“Where does he live?” my pop asked.

I don’t believe it,” he moaned as he collapsed in a chair. Noticing me across the room, he said, “I missed my ride home. They must have left early. I don’t know what I’m going to do now.” He sighed, burying his head in his hands.

A pair of sad eyes looked up at me. “I live just down the road a piece.”

“Really?” A grin grew as his face lit up. “If you’re sure it’s okay, I’ll just get my stuff.” As he disappeared through one door, my father appeared through another. “So, are you ready?” my Dad asked as he shooed the cold away. “In just a minute. Is it okay if we drop off a friend of mine? He’s kind of stranded.”

“Oh, just down the road a piece,” I explained as Walter came flying out of the dorm, suitcase in hand. As I tried to make introductions, Walter said, “I’ll be right back.” He returned dragging a steamer trunk, then went back and retrieved a navy sea bag full of dirty laundry, two shopping bags of Christmas presents, and a parrot in a cage! “That does it.” He smiled. “I’ll say that does it,” my father muttered. It took nearly twenty minutes to squeeze everything into the car. “So, where are you going, son?” my father asked as he settled in behind the wheel.


®ROBERTOCOIN

“It’s just down the road a piece.” Walter nodded. “In your dreams,” the parrot squawked. “You make a left at the corner and go three blocks down,” Walter directed. “Now a sharp left. A right, a left, and take the left side of that fork.” Dad patiently followed instructions. “Now go under that bridge, over those railroad tracks, and a right at that light.” Dad continued without a sound. “Stay in the right lane. Turn left and...get on eighty.” “Eighty? Route eighty? Where do you live, son?” Dad asked.

PRINCESS FLOWER COLLEC TION

“Oh, just down the road a piece.” Walter smiled. He must have said that about a dozen times in the next two hours. The highway slowly turned into dirt roads. Further and further we drove into the mountains as the black night swallowed us up. “Are you sure this is the right way?” I whispered to Walter. “It’s just down the road a piece,” he reassured me. After more than two hours of silence, my father finally sighed. “Well, at least it’s not snowing.” Thirty seconds later, snowflakes began to collect on the windshield. It was another hour before we reached Walter’s house. We quickly unloaded his gear and headed into the developing snow storm. I think Walter waved goodbye but the car windows were so glazed with ice, it was hard to tell. “Gee, Pop, I didn’t know he lived way out here.” I tried to apologize. “But like you always say, a good deed is always rewarded.” That’s about the time we had the blow out! I offered to help change the tire. “Just sit in the car,” my father growled through clenched teeth. I don’t think he trusted himself with that tire iron in his hand. As we drove home through a blizzard, I reminded my father that it was better to give then receive. It must have sunk in because the following Christmas, he gave me a bus ticket to get home.

Jeffery Cohen

Freelance writer and newspaper columnist, Jeffery Cohen, has written for Sasee, Lifetime and Read, Learn, Write. He’s won awards in Women-On-Writing Contest, Vocabula’s Well Written Contest, National League of American Pen Women’s’ Keats Competition, Southern California Genealogy Competition, and Writer’s Weekly writing contest.

SHOPS AT OAK LEA 11096 OCEAN HIGHWAY PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC 29585 (843) 237-8080 WWW.ELEANORPITTS.COM

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The Countdown Before the Countdown by Diane Stark

“Mom, look at this Star Wars Lego set,” my eight-year-old son Nathan said. “Can I get it for my birthday?” Before I could answer his first question, he continued, “If you’ve finished shopping for my birthday, can I get it for Christmas instead?” I smiled. My son had definitely figured out how things work in our house. Nathan is the youngest of five, and all of his siblings are teenagers. Two of them are girls and they are extraordinarily difficult to shop for, so if they find something they like, I will often buy it and set it aside for the next holiday. It does hurt the element of surprise, but at least they are happy on their birthdays and on Christmas morning. I looked at the Lego set in question. “Nathan, this isn’t just a regular Lego set. It’s an Advent calendar.” At his questioning look, I explained, “An Advent calendar counts down the days until Christmas. Starting on December 1, you would open one box each day. And each box contains one small Lego toy.”

On Nathan’s birthday in mid-September, he opened his presents, including the Advent calendar. He acted as surprised and pleased with it as he did with the gifts that were actually a surprise. And then he started to open it. “Bud, remember that’s an Advent calendar. That box contains one small toy for every day from December 1 until Christmas Eve. So we can’t open it yet.” His shoulders slumped. “Oh, yeah, that’s right.” We put the box in his closet. I hoped he’d forget about it, but that was wishful thinking. “How many more days until I can start opening the toys in the calendar?” He asked the day after his birthday.

He smiled. “That’s a lot of Legos.”

“Well, you’ve got the rest of September, plus all of October and all of November.”

“Well, there are 24, so I guess that is a lot.”

“Can’t I just open it now?”

“I want this really badly, Mom. Can I get it for my birthday?”

“Well, it’s yours and if you want to do that, you can,” I said. “But I think it would be really fun to wait and use it to count down the days until Christmas.”

“Yes, but here’s the problem with that, Bud. It’s August right now, and your birthday is in September. If we bought this for your birthday, you couldn’t start opening the toys until December 1. That’s a long time to wait to play with a new toy.” He shrugged. “Then can I have it for Christmas?”

“Okay, I’ll wait,” he said. But just a few days later, he asked about the calendar again. “How many more days, Mom?”

“Well, that’s not going to work either because it’s an Advent calendar. If you get it for Christmas, you won’t be able to count down the days until Christmas.”

“Nathan, you’ve got until December 1. That’s two and a half months.”

He thought for a minute. “Okay, then I’ll just choose something else.”

Again, I told him that it was up to him and again, he agreed with me that it would be better to wait until December 1.

After much deliberation, he picked out a different Lego set. “So you can wrap this and give it to me on my birthday, and I’ll pretend to be surprised,” he said with a smile. I nodded. Like I said, he knows how things work in our house. We left the toy department so that I could grab the groceries and other items we needed. We were heading toward the check-out when Nathan said, “Mom, I changed my mind. I really want that Star Wars Advent calendar.” “Even though it would be two and a half months before you could start using it?” “Yes, I really want it.”

? So we bought the calendar.

“I don’t think I can wait that long.”

But just days later, he asked yet again. I gave him a pocket calendar and we counted how many days until December 1. “It’s just so long, Mom,” he whined. At this point, I regretted that I’d ever bought the calendar. “Nathan, every December, we count down the days until Christmas,” I said. “But this year, we’re counting the days until we can count down the days until Christmas.” He smiled. “It’s the countdown before the countdown, Mom.” I looked into his smiling face and realized that he was enjoying this. I found it frustrating, but for Nathan, this was just making the fun of Christmas last even longer.


So I joined in. We marked off the days on his pocket calendar and talked about how fun it would be when he finally got to open the first box in his Advent calendar. When the waiting got tough, I reminded him how glad he’d be that he’d waited.

Welcome to 2018!

“I wonder what the first toy will be,” he wondered aloud, turning the box over in his hands. “I hope it’s R2D2.” The party is over and a good time was had by all. A new day – and New Year – has dawned! New Year’s Day is a wonderful time to plan “We’ll and find reflect out in on justwhat 38 days, said. the upcoming year. YOUBud,” wantI from few suggestions to get you started. Grab adecided pretty journal “I can’tSasee waithas thata long,” he said, even though he’d already that or notebook and your favorite pen, or open your laptop or iPad. he would. Now get comfortable, take a few deep breaths and reflect on the many blessings you experienced in the past year. Maybe write down a few – or abefore lot! After as much timea asdaily you ritual need on now let’s think about the future. The countdown thespending countdown became forgratitude, us. Finally,Ifityou wasare December Nathan’swith hands were practically shaking as love, share a hug and give thanks for the people in your life. doing this1.exercise a partner or as a family, lead with he opened that first box. It was an R2D2 figure, just as he’d hoped. For the next 23 days, he opened another box and was delighted with each one.

Write one financial goal for the year.

Maybe you want to pay off that credit card or maybe your partner wants to save for a special vacation. Kids can have financial goals as “I’m so glad I waited, Mom,” he told me nearly every day. “This is the best well. Saving allowance money or brainstorming ways to make more is a great exercise for children. That special video game or new phone countdown to Christmas ever.” can become a reality with a little planning. Weekly and monthly goals can be posted in a public place to keep everyone accountable. People say that Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year. I know these Choose one goal. complaints are about the over-commercialization of the holiday, andprofessional I Arepoint. you hoping for a promotion at work? Or even a new career? Do this even if you are retired. Maybe you would like to start a new see their volunteer job? How can your skills benefit others in your community? Expand on this one until you feel complete. But this year, Christmas came to our house very early, and it was so much fun. It taught my son patience and the power delayed Howof do yougratification. see family life in the coming year? Is there one area that’s been a little chaotic? Maybe talk about how important it is to eat dinner together at least a couple of times a Next year, three Advent calendars, so we can continue weekI’m or buying spend one evening a week watching a movie togetherour or playing a game. This is another opportunity to really focus on what new countdown tradition. you appreciate in each other. When everyone is finished with these three goals, your notebook should have quite a few pages filled. Now it’s time to focus on you. Go to a clean page or open a new document.

Write down three goals you would like to accomplish in the coming year.

Don’t make these too hard – set yourself up for success! Taking your lunch to work even once a week is a big success if you’ve been used to eating fast food every day. You get the idea. Now, again, reflect on your many blessings, but this time, pretend you are writing this on New Year’s Day in 2019. Make it fun and use your imagination. The sky is the limit. What did you do in 2018? List your successes as if they have already happened. Be specific. Take your time and fill up two or three pages. Smile while you’re writing.

Take these suggestions and make them your own! Enjoy! And remember the sky is the limit!

Happy New Year!

?


Give Well Do Good Shopping With a Conscience by Melissa Lee and Mel Healy

While you’re out enjoying doing your holiday shopping, consider that it’s possible to give back while purchasing some of those gifts – a little change makes big changes. Start by shopping in locations that are giving back for the holidays. There are so many socially conscious business models. For example, we buy from The Giving Keys a company that donates a portion of their profits to those transitioning out of homelessness, giving them their key to a better life – be sure to look for their wonderful items in our store and others. Your dollars will go further with companies like this one. Shop local! More of your dollars stay in the community when you shop at locally owned businesses.

10% of every gift sale is donated to charity! Lee’s Inlet Apothecary • 3579 U.S.17 Business • Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 843.651.7979 • info@GoodDeedGoods.com www.GoodDeedGoods.com

Carolina Car Care “Your Hometown Auto Repair”

Merry Christmas!

When possible, choose items that are made in the USA. There is a lot more transparency in the production process in our country. There are a lot of ethically made options out there if you just start looking. At Good Deed Goods, we partner with a lot of companies that are socially conscious. A customer favorite, Bridgewater Candles, feeds children with every purchase. When we go to market, that’s the first thing we look for – companies that give back as a part of their business model. Of course, not every company meets that criteria, so in order to bridge that gap, every gift purchased from Good Deed Goods gives back – we donate 10% of every gift purchase to a charity that rotates every six months. Our donations are equally distributed to a local, a national and an international charity. At our soda fountain, for every meal you eat we donate a quarter to www.Ricebowls.org – a quarter feeds one child one meal. We even give you a quarter to put in an actual rice bowl we have on the counter! We also encourage people to be aware of the different opportunities to help others during this holiday season. There are so many ways to help those less fortunate during the holidays – one of our favorites it to put a dollar in the basket of a Salvation Army bell ringer every time was see one. [Melissa] One year we gave Mel and our other children money at Thanksgiving and told them to give that money away in whatever way they wished – as long as it blessed others. On Christmas Day, they told us what they did – it was very special.

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Mel and Melissa are the mother/ daughter team at Good Deed Goods in Murrells Inlet. Melissa is the owner, and Mel is the community liaison/buyer – and assists her mother in all aspects of the business. This year, they have many more ethically made, locally made and products that have a mission, plus exciting weekly promotions. Good Deed Goods, located inside Lee’s Inlet Apothecary, is located at 3579 Highway 17 Business in Murrells Inlet. Stop by or give them a call at 843-651-7979.


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Making Special Holiday Memories by Teri Cronin

If someone you love lives in an assisted living facility or in a memory care unit, it can be hard to know how to make the holidays special. While some gifts are always welcome, like new pajamas or a warm sweater, most of our senior residents’ wants are more intangible.

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Decorate your loved one’s room – even if you’re not sure they know or understand. They do feel the holiday spirit and enjoy the lights, the smells and the sounds of the season. An iPod filled with holiday favorites and music from your loved one’s youth is always a hit. We have an iPod here that is used by residents, and they love it. Memory care residents also want companionship. Reminisce about holidays when they were a child or when they were raising their family, watch a favorite holiday movie or just chat. The time spent together is precious. We plan special days to celebrate holidays that won’t interfere with the plans of family members. About a week before Christmas, we’ll have a big dinner and celebration. Most facilities do something similar. Be sure to go enjoy this time with your loved one – it makes them very proud to have family around and show off their home. Some families take their loved one to their home for the holidays, but I always want to make sure they understand the limitations of age and illness. How will your mother feel if she has an accident during Christmas dinner? Can she actively participate? Most of our residents stay here for the holidays, but your visits are the highlight of the season. Most seniors truly appreciate the small things –hand holding, seeing the youngest members of the family, etc. There’s something magical about Christmas for all of us – and our seniors are no exception. All it takes is time, to make this season special.

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Teri Cronin is Executive Director of the Palmettos in Garden City, a residential facility offering a place where residents can live independently in a beautiful, secure and caring environment, free from the daily burdens. When there comes a time when more assistance with general activities of daily living is needed, various levels of care are available. For more information about the Palmettos at Garden City, call 843-668-2500.


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Merry Christmas to Me! Gifts to Buy for YOU!

Sasee has selected a few special items that will make your holiday bright!

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Slip on a cloud of softness and comfort with these bamboo softy socks. Featuring a Herringbone weave and no-slip silicone foot beads for added comfort and traction. The bamboo naturally repels odor, allergens, and skin irritation to keep your feet smelling fresh and clean all day long! (20% Viscose from Bamboo/75% Polyester/5% Spandex) Cariloha Broadway at the Beach 1210 Celebrity Circle Suite AA203, Myrtle Beach 843-444-8221 Barefoot Landing 4814 Hwy 17 S. • North Myrtle Beach 843-249 -1890

Nothing says “I put a lot of thought into your present” better than a personalized gift. This soft monogrammed poncho is perfect for our mild winters and it is one size fits all Ooh La La 6912-B North Kings Hwy Myrtle Beach 843-449-8040 www.oohlalamyrtlebeach.com shoes . invitations . gifts . stationery

Whose the girl that’ll be turning heads this holiday season? The one wearing these breathtaking beauties, that’s who! TAZ Boutique 11270 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island (843) 235-9646


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Trees of Silver by Rose Ann Sinay

I sit down to browse the mountain of Christmas catalogues that have piled up on the table waiting for my attention. I flip through the first one looking for decorating ideas or a special gift to give. I stop when I see a silver tree almost identical to the one my family had when I was a kid. The only difference is the attached LED lights. The branched sculpture is tinted a frosty blue so cool it makes me shiver. In the picture it seems modern and sophisticated. That’s not exactly how I remember it. *** The silver abomination stood in the corner of our temporary housing, pretending to be a Christmas tree. Painted silver poles were covered in loops of shiny aluminum. Each branch billowed out at the ends like alien trumpets standing at attention. Our military family had just been transferred to Japan into an (off-base) “Americanized” bungalow next to a rice paddy. Much of our belongings, including our holiday trim, were packed in cardboard boxes sitting in my aunt’s basement in Texas awaiting our return. There was no need for decorations my parents explained, producing a red, green and blue disk that rotated in front of a light bulb, casting its reflection on the silver foil. Ta-da! They said in unison. Ta-duh! I thought.

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My three-year-old brother, mesmerized by the illumination, jumped up and down as the color wheel turned. My baby sister, only a few months old, didn’t know the difference between a tree and a doorknob. I seemed to be the only one affected by the poor substitute. I wanted a Christmas tree – a real one with green needles that smelled of the outdoors. I thought about the trinkets and decorated glass balls we had collected over the years. I thought about them abandoned in the dark, dank room, their specialness wasted in their boxes. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t want to be in a foreign country. I wanted my old friends; I wanted the excitement of Christmas, with its magic, goodness and miracles, that was everywhere. The military base offered holiday parties and activities. Halls were transformed into winter wonderlands complete with Santas and plastic snow. The churches were somberly beautiful. But, outside the perimeter of the NCO club and the PX, it was just another day. Christmas morning arrived. Mom and Dad rose early to start the coffee and put cinnamon buns in the oven. I woke my brother and we tiptoed into the living room to peek at the presents. We grabbed our stockings filled with fruit and nuts. The stockings were new, too. They couldn’t compare to the old, handmade ones that languished in the Texas basement. My mother handed my brother and me the biggest boxes. I tore through the wrapping and stared at the box. A large doll with emerald eyes stared back. She was dressed in a fancy green chiffon dress. Heels adorned her incredibly arched feet. A doll that didn’t talk, come with a snap on cast, or stick on measles, she just posed on her metal stand. I didn’t like her. Meanwhile, my brother had opened his gift revealing an airplane inside. A flip of a switch and the toy taxied its way around our small living room. Its red headlights flashed and the motor whirred. The noisy, mechanical toy enthralled everyone – even me. I was jealous. I put the doll, still in its sealed box, back under the tree and picked up a few smaller packages with my name on them: underwear and books. Two Nancy Drew books and one entitled Christmas around the World. I took the hardbacks and stocking treats to a chair and began to read about holiday traditions in different countries ( Japan was not one of them). The next four years I endured the return of the fake silver tree. I cut out tiny snowflakes, reindeer and Santa faces and glued them to the colored plastic. With the help of my new Japanese friends, I made garlands of origami birds and flowers and strung them over the aluminum branches. Truth be told, I enjoyed adding cross-culture items to our non-traditional tree. I couldn’t wait to open the books I knew would be waiting for me every Christmas morning. And our last year overseas, I received my very own journal and a tube of pink lipstick. I had never opened the box with


the doll, and I never received another one. Everything around me had changed, and I had changed, too. I was almost fourteen when we moved back to the states to an on-base development in New Jersey. It snowed weeks before Christmas that year. Snowmen appeared in yards, greeting passers-by. Green garland and red bows adorned almost every house. At night, doorways and windows were ablaze with colored lights. I had almost forgotten how special the holidays looked. The Saturday before Christmas, Dad came home dragging a tree – a real one. I couldn’t wait to bury my nose in the pine scent, sticky sap and all. Mom pulled out the boxes of decorations retrieved from Texas. She and I did the trimming. We sang along with a Perry Como album as we worked. When we stepped back and turned on the blinking lights, the magic was complete. I could have burst with happiness. I saw tears in Mom’s eyes as she choked back a sob. She had missed the tradition as much as I had. That first Christmas overseas had been a collision of change and selfdiscovery. It was a test of my ability to make the best of what could not be controlled–something my parents had done all the years of their married lives. The silver tree was my lesson in empathy and metamorphosis–surely, a gift worthy of the Christmas spirit. The mature me finally understood. *** I am still staring at the picture wondering why anyone would actually want to buy my holiday nightmare, when my daughter walks by. “Wow! Cool tree,” she says.

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For the first time on the Grand Strand, The Long Bay Symphony proudly presents...

Strauss on the Strand SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2017 | 2:30 PM TRINITY CHURCH, MYRTLE BEACH

Rose Ann Sinay

is a freelance writer newly relocated to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. She continues to write about moments worth remembering, graciously provided by family and friends.

Ring in the New Year in the classic Viennese musical tradition! The Long Bay Symphony presents Strauss on the Strand, a concert of familiar waltzes, polkas and other dances by the legendary Johann Strauss family, on Sunday afternoon December 31st. From the great Blue Danube Waltzes to the Thunder & Lightening Polka and the Radetsky March, this charming program will have you tapping your toes and humming along, helping in your resolution to enjoy 2018! Tickets are $25 each including a holiday toast at intermission

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N’SYNC Christmas by Beth Pugh

The brown cardboard box was worn at very best. Time had not treated it kindly. It was fraying at the edges with the seams held in place perhaps by sheer prayer alone. The smell of cold air and wet soil wafted through the living room, intensifying every time I moved it to reach the next piece of tape. My husband and I carefully removed the pieces inside. Wayward pine needles spun to the floor as we lifted each piece. We separated the branches from the base and set aside the red skirt that would hide the metal legs from view. With all the pieces freed from storage, we began to put up the hand-me-down tree from my childhood. We assembled the base quickly and moved on to the branches. It was a tedious process to slide each individual branch into the designated notch, but with both of us working, it didn’t take too long for the tree to come together. We stood back and took a good long look before starting the never-ending process of decoration. Before us stood a made-to-be-leafgreen-tree painted white with fake snow from a can, courtesy of the artist known as my mother. My mother, taken too soon, just three years prior. This was the first year I’d put up a tree since her passing, and it was proving to be more difficult than I anticipated. The holidays just hadn’t been the same since she’d slipped from my hands into the arms of the angels just two weeks before Christmas. Despite my grief, I was determined to celebrate this year. Truth be told, I needed to celebrate and push past the depression that wrapped around me like a wet blanket starting near Thanksgiving and carrying through the most wonderful time of the year. I had much to be joyful for this year, as my husband and I had tied the knot over Memorial Day weekend. It was our first Christmas as husband and wife, and I wanted it to be the best Christmas ever, if not for myself then for him. He deserved it. He single-handedly pulled me through the depths of depression into the joy of living. His love rekindled the happiness I had lost and opened my eyes to the sunlight when all I could see was the darkness of sorrow. Because of him, I finally wanted to enjoy the season instead of wishing it away. I looked at the tree. Memories of Mom and me decorating in years past came rushing through my mind, carrying with them a tidal wave of mixed emotions. I sat silently on the floor next to the empty box. My husband sat behind me fiddling with the computer. All at once my thoughts were disrupted as music started to play. Not just any music, but my favorite Christmas music of all time. The familiar notes of N’SYNC fell all around me. Taken by surprise, I turned to face my husband, who hadn’t really been fiddling at all, but purposefully finding the adored album of my adolescent years. The grin he wore equally matched the smile plastered on my face. I had introduced him to the album weeks ago, gushing like a giddy school girl over the 34 ever-popular boy band. At the time, I thought he was only half listening.

Turns out, he was tuning in entirely. Together, with N’SYNC playing in the background, we decorated our first tree. I sang along to “Under My Tree,” “Kiss Me at Midnight,” and “O Holy Night” while my husband laughed at my antics in the background. A new tradition was born that night and we’ve kept it going every year since, a decade now, and it is by far my favorite Christmas tradition to date. We’ve been blessed to add a little blue-eyed boy to the season festivities since that first Christmas together. Though our son was born long after the boy band era had come and gone, one thing’s for certain. He will know the music of N’SYNC. Well, the Christmas album at least. Thanks to his daddy and the Christmas tradition he started all those years ago.

Beth Pugh

is a wife, mother and daughter striving to live a life of contentment, like baby bear soup. I hope telling my stories help others to do the same


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6902 N KINGS HWY | MYRTLE BEACH, SC 29572 | 843.449.7246

Shop Local – Shop Smart!

By Karen Wilson Your local retailers are ready to help you make this the best holiday season ever. The stores are beautifully decorated and full of wonderful items. A little preparation will make a day of shopping easier and much more fun! Before you leave, make sure you have your list – bring sizes and ideas for everyone so you won’t become frustrated walking around the store with no idea what to do. Also, decide on your budget beforehand. Most importantly, make the decision that you will decide on a gift – we say “decide to decide!” As soon as you walk into the store, initiate a conversation with a sales associate. They are there to help you, and they really enjoy it! Ask about special promotions and where the sales racks are located – most stores have signage, but you may miss them. Your sales associate can also help you put together outfits and make suggestions you may not have considered. If this is a store you shop in a lot, building a relationship with a sales associate will benefit you in many ways. Use the camera on your cell phone. If you see something you like, but you’re not sure, take a picture of it – and a photo of the store. Most stores allow this, but please do ask first. Take the photos home and make an album for each person on your list. Get a game plan for your buying. Always ask what services the store offers. Do they gift wrap? Ship? We do both at Sea Island Trading Company and Callahan’s, as do many local stores and boutiques. Gift cards are always a great purchase. But so many people don’t want to just hand someone a gift card. Buy a wallet or a little accessory – these small things make the gift more special. I like to buy multiple gifts cards in smaller denominations and keep them on hand in case I need an unexpected gift. I do the same with small hostess gifts – if I see one I like, I buy multiples. When you decide to purchase, ask about the return policy. And always get a gift receipt. Most stores are happy to exchange Christmas gifts, but it may be a month or more between you purchasing the item, and it being returned. A gift receipt makes the return process quicker and easier. For the social media savvy, check out your favorite shop’s Instagram account before you leave home. You can see what they have and get good ideas before you go into the store. There is something very special about holiday shopping – get out there and enjoy! Karen Wilson is manager and buyer of Sea Island Trading Company and a part of the buying team for Callahan’s of Calabash. She’s also a very savvy shopper! Sea Island Trading Company is located at 720 US-17 in Little River (843-273-0248) and find Callahan’s of Calabash at 9973 Beach Dr SW, in Calabash, N.C. (910-579-2611).


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New Year’s Eve by Erika Hoffman

New Year’s Eve – it’s to twenty-something bachelors and bachelorettes what Christmas is to Santa-loving tots – a time of anticipation, of excitement, of satisfaction, of wild dreams and unbridled passion. So what’s NYE for the rest of us? Usually, I watch the speckled ball drop in Times Square via television. My tradition of whom I watch it with and where I view it varies from year to year. Five years ago, I sipped ginger ale with my aged dad as we sat side by side on my sofa. In his demented state, I’m not sure he understood what was happening on TV, but he enjoyed munching on potato chips and onion dip, crunching honey-roasted peanuts and keeping loneliness at bay with his daughter snuggled beside him, all safe and secure. In 2001, my family watched the ball’s descent in Times Square – not virtually, but actually. Luke Lucas, a foreign exchange student from Melbourne, Australia, who resided with us, wanted to go to the city that never sleeps. So, we packed up the RV with our teens, him and one son’s girlfriend and headed up I-95 through rain, sleet and snow. I recall that NYE. We were corralled in barricades. Everyone spoke a foreign tongue. All these young tourists ordered pizza as they stood waiting and freezing. With no place to relieve oneself, middle-aged me soon wearied of this adventure. I left our Greek Australian exchange student, my 15 year old daughter, a son and his girlfriend shivering in the pen. My husband, another son and I hiked to the Waldorf Astoria where I met up with a pal from home, who was staying there. In her ample warm room, from comfy armchairs we watched the Waterford crystal bedecked ball drop – on the tube. Now our kids are grown, gone and practicing their own NYE celebrations elsewhere. On the eve of 2017, I asked my hubby, “You want to do something tonight?” “Nah,” he replied. The phone rang. A girlfriend asked me if we’d like to dine at a nearby Chinese restaurant with her and her spouse. “How’d you know we didn’t have plans?” I teased. “Took a wild guess!” she answered. Like us, they’re baby boomers, children of the greatest generation.

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We four took our seats at Asian Moon. A thin Asian waiter about our age, with a wry smile, stepped up to our table. “I’m Willie,” he said. “Hello, Willie,” we all chimed. “Willie Wonka,” he explained. “Hello, Willie Wonka,” we said in unison. “You all want some drinks?” Willie Wonka queried. “Sure. And water too.” “Sky Juice?” We smiled. He tried to entertain us. The plum wine with plump plums in the bottom of the bottle, the tempura appetizer of shrimp, the calamari, the egg rolls, the hibachi steak and scallops tasted scrumptious, and Willie Wonka provided prompt, happy service and many napkins. We four gabbed. We reminisced. We hashed out concerns. We commented on future plans. We relaxed, feeling safe and secure. And I understood once more, it’s not pyrotechnics, lip syncing performances by scantily clad starlets, champagne flowing among outrageous antics that make the eve of a New Year successful. It’s Auld Lange Syne. “And there is a hand, my trusty friend, and give us a hand of yours…” Robert Burns accurately wrote two and a quarter centuries ago. Recalling those friends of long ago and reveling in the present company of good buddies, that’s what makes an evening special, fun and worth remembering. Ours was.

Erika Hoffman

writes stories and essays about her life. She also teaches a course on penning non-fiction narratives, hoping others will find the same satisfaction she does in this vocation/avocation.


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Danielle Walters: Taking Lives in New Directions by Leslie Moore

Kathy Jenkins

Danielle Walters

Brenda Ryan

Grace Sandoz

The following story was told by Danielle Walters, Case Manager/Shelter Manager of the New Directions Family Shelter in Myrtle Beach. It is one of hundreds of similar stories and contradicts the traditional face of homelessness. According to Kathy Jenkins, Executive Director of New Directions, “One in three people in the U.S. are within one to three paychecks of being homeless. Homelessness does not discriminate.” Before coming to New Directions Family Shelter, Ms. A was married, a homeowner, a college graduate and healthy. She became ill, and her doctors were unable to give her a diagnosis. After missing a lot of work due to her illness, Ms. A eventually had to cut back her hours. Then Mr. A left her for another woman. Without his support, she had no money and a mortgage she could not afford – Ms. A’s home was soon foreclosed. This young mother and her three small children were now homeless – and hopeless. Ms. A’s family came to New Directions last winter, and worked closely with me to identify their specific needs, set manageable goals, and obtain services such as counseling, medical care, legal aid, employment training and childcare, just to name a few. Most importantly, we were able to give them hope. Ms. A and her children lived in the Family Shelter for five months, and by the time they moved out the children were thriving in school and participating in positive after-school activities, Ms. A finally received a diagnosis and medical treatment that allowed her to function at full capacity again.

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Today, Ms. A’s life is back on track – she works full-time for a local business, utilizing her college degree, and was referred to a housing program that allows the family to live in a condo they can afford. *


New Directions Family Shelter is one of four shelters managed by the non-profit – including a men’s shelter, women’s shelter and a shelter for women and children. Each provides safe housing, food, laundry facilities and access to an array of services designed to help clients become independent. Danielle went on to tell me about life at the Family Shelter. “We do a lot here! Of course, the biggest thing is shelter for families with children under 18 – all types of families – single moms, single dads, married couples with children and even grandparents with custody of grandchildren.” Up to 55 people can be housed in this facility, and Danielle says it is usually full. Based on Federal guidelines, a family can live in the shelter for up to two years. “We want them to stay as long as they need to in order not to end up in the same situation.” When someone finds themselves in the unimaginable situation of being homeless, how do they find people like Danielle to help them? “All they have to do is call,” Danielle said. “And we can help them or direct them toward resources that may be better suited for their particular situation.” People are referred to New Directions from a variety of places, from United Way’s 211 Hotline to the Myrtle Beach Police, who fully support the efforts of this remarkable non-profit. They need identification and birth certificates for the children to gain admission to the Family Shelter. If these documents are lost, Danielle will help out with that as well. To protect the children, a background check is also done to eliminate sex offenders and those with a history of violent crime. After everyone is safely sheltered and fed, each family is assessed to determine their needs. Case Managers are able to expedite programs that offer free childcare and get the kids back in school quickly. “We work closely with the schools. If a child was not attending the local Myrtle Beach School, we work with the Horry County School district to coordinate transportation to the child’s school of origin, giving the child a sense of normalcy in the face of their family’s disaster. This year, I think we put nearly 40 children on the bus on the first day of school.” The help doesn’t end there, however. New Directions assists clients in

finding employment and, most importantly, housing they can afford. Danielle shared another story of a young, single dad, who lost his home in a recent hurricane. After receiving help from the Red Cross and staying in emergency shelters, he came to the Family Shelter and now lives in housing with rent based on his salary – the children have stability and are doing well. Grace Sandoz, Senior Case Manager, added that the Men’s and Women’s Shelter are a little different. “Some of our clients go to hotels in the winter when the rent is cheap. That’s just a band aid because when March comes, they’re out of a home again.” Grace and her co-workers are working hard to change this pattern with the help of a variety of special services, from mental health referrals to treatment for drug abuse. Last year alone, New Directions shelters provided safety and hope for nearly 1,500 homeless men, women and children, with 67,000 bed nights at a cost of $12.17 per night. The family shelter alone housed 74 families in 2016 – 94 parents and 216 children. They operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. With ten full time and two part time employees, there is always someone available at each shelter. “We don’t take Federal funding,” Kathy said. “About 50% of our $800,000 budget comes from local foundation grants and a grant with the City of Myrtle Beach. The rest comes from local businesses, churches, community clubs and individual donors.” I learned more about this caring organization during my tour of the Family Shelter. A well kept laundry room, with two washers and dryers, is available for residents, and a signup sheet on the door keeps everyone organized. Kathy said they typically do around 75 loads daily in all of the shelters. Rooms are assigned according to family size – most have bunk beds and cribs are brought in if needed. Shared bathrooms are the typical family bathroom with a sink, toilet and tub. Everything is clean and well maintained. Continued on page 44

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The day we visited, the large kitchen was a hub of activity with food delivery in progress. A restaurant-sized refrigerator holds all kinds of food from fresh vegetables to yogurt to juices, while the freezer stores mostly meats – all available for families to choose and cook themselves on the large gas range and grill. A large pantry is adjacent to the kitchen. “Families cook and eat together,” Danielle explained. “We provided 55,000 meals in 2016 and overall food cost was a little over $300,” Kathy told me. “220,000 pounds of food was donated through our partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank and by community members.” Annually, it costs New Directions $100,000 to provide heat, air, water, and other utilities and another $100,000 on insurance, repairs and maintenance to operate the shelters. Safety is a priority at The Family Shelter. The facility is always locked and curfew is at 9 pm. After that time, anyone who goes in or out will cause an alarm to sound, bringing the Myrtle Beach Police. Brenda Ryan, Assistant Director of New Directions, works with the shelter volunteers as a part of her long list of duties. “Last year we had over 4,000 hours donated by volunteers. There is no way we could do what we do without them,” she said. Brenda went on to say that the shelter welcomes the public to tour any of the four facilities. All they have to do is call the main number and schedule a time. “We want people in the community to see what we are doing here! It’s amazing.” And it is amazing how much the non-profit is able to do. Christmas could be a time of great sadness for families living in shelters, but Danielle organizes community resources to make this season one of great joy. “Last year, we had so much fun,” she began. “Local churches and businesses helped us make every child’s wish come true.” The parents all receive a gift as well – as do all residents of the four New Directions shelters. “For the kids, December is an entire month of fun activities,” Danielle said excitedly. After our tour, I asked Danielle about her life. Married with one 13 year old son, Danielle and her husband, Michael, are Navy veterans and came to the Myrtle Beach area after completing their service for Michael to attend the Golf Academy of America. Danielle graduated from Coastal Carolina University and interned with New Directions before accepting a full time position in January of 2016. “I love what I do, and I feel like I’m good at it. When people first come in to talk to me there’s a look about them, very hopeless and broken. I love to see the transformation – they walk out of here on the way to success. I go to sleep at night knowing I’m doing something that matters.”

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New Directions provides a wide range of tools for homeless men, women and children in crisis, helping them reach their full potential and live independently. To help change lives and bring hope, contact Brenda Ryan at 843-945-4902 for a tour and/or how you can volunteer or donate.

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The Offhand Christmas by Terri Elders

I’d already addressed and mailed cards, bought the tree and hidden the presents. I still had a week left to select a turkey, pick up cranberries for relish and bake the pecan tassies that Ken loved. Squishing together butter, cream cheese and flour and pressing it into mini-muffin tins was easier than rolling out a perfect pie crust. My stepson, Rick, and wife, Angela, would arrive Christmas Eve. We’d spend the holiday walking the dogs, playing hearts and listening to carols. “For once it’s under control,” I’d congratulated myself, as Ken and I headed for bed. That night, winds whistled around the windows. I’d covered my head with my pillow, but still heard banging. I hadn’t checked earlier if we’d locked all the doors nor had I counted cats. We had three. In winter, we sometimes experienced menacing overnight temperature drops. I jumped up and started down the stairs. The third step down, my foot landed on one of the cats. Before I could grab the railing, I tumbled, head first, throwing out my left arm to break my fall. I landed, stunned, at the foot of the stairs. When I finally struggled to my feet, my left arm dangled limply and my shoulder felt lumpy. I dragged upstairs and woke Ken. “I doubt anything’s broken,” he said. “It’s probably a sprain. Why were you wandering around in the dark?” “I heard the screen door banging. I couldn’t remember if all the cats were inside. Then I stepped on Harpo. He’d blended in with the carpet.” “If you still think something’s wrong when the sun comes up, I’ll drive you to the hospital. Try to get some sleep.” I flopped down and drifted off, ignoring my throbbing arm and the howling winds.

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By dawn my arm had swollen to twice its normal size. X-rays revealed that the ball of my shoulder had been knocked clear of its socket and shattered. I’d need surgery, and could expect my arm to be immobilized in a sling for weeks. If no complications developed, the hospital might release me by Christmas Eve.

I worried about the strain on my husband who’d eight months earlier undergone a quadruple bypass. Could he take care of the cats, dogs… and me? I nattered on about Christmas, gifts to wrap, groceries to buy, tarts to bake, floors to mop and tables to dust. With an immobilized arm, how would I even bathe, dress and feed myself? I’d heard the old jokes about people who broke a hand or wrist just before Christmas to avoid kitchen duty. Not funny. “Calm down,” Ken said. “I’ll take care of everything. I’m perfectly capable.” On Christmas Eve, the hospital discharged me with a list of dos and don’ts, heavy on the latter. Once at home, I again bombarded Ken with my worries. “How will I wrap the presents? What about tinsel? The tassies? Oh, no, we didn’t buy a turkey. If there’s no fresh ones left, it’s too late now to thaw one.” “All taken care of,” Ken said. “We’ve got rib eyes in the freezer, and I’ll barbecue. I’ll stick some potatoes in the oven, along with a frozen apple pie. We’ve got plenty of salad makings. Now stop worrying.” “The tinsel? The presents?” “The tree doesn’t need any tinsel. Stuff the gifts in bags and stick a label on the outside. Nobody needs ribbons and foil.” I grabbed a fistful of grocery sacks and a pad of labels and headed to the closet where I’d stashed the gifts. I’d ordered most of the presents online, since we lived far from any department stores. Luckily, I’d opened the boxes as they’d arrived. I never could have managed now with just one hand. I plopped each gift into a bag. I hoped recipients would forgive their scruffy appearance. I scrawled names on stickers, slapping them on the sacks, grateful I still had my right hand. They sure didn’t look like Christmas presents, I thought, lugging everything to the tree. Christmas morning Ken helped me open the fancy packages that Rick and


Angela had brought. I bragged that at least we’d be environmentally green, recycling my grocery bags, rather than stuffing them in a rubbish bin.

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When we took the dogs for their morning frisk, Ken managed the Akita’s leash. Later we played hearts, even though it took time for me to sort out and arrange my cards. When it was my turn to deal, Rick dealt for me. In the late afternoon, as the sun began its descent, Ken and Rick fired up the barbecue and set the table. Angela tossed a salad, and chopped scallions to top the baked potatoes. Then we took our usual seats as Ken carried in his ribbies from the grill. I picked up my fork and stared at my steak, as everybody dug in. “How am I going to eat this? Do I pick it up and gnaw? Do I lean down like the dogs and nibble around the edges?”

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They laughed, and then after Rick said grace, Ken cut my steak into bitesized chunks. He added a dollop of sour cream to my potato, and filled my salad plate. He all but spoon-fed me my pie. The trio cleared the table and washed dishes as I sat in the living room in front of the tree, reviewing the day and sipping a nightcap of mulled wine. I’d been delighted by it all: the stroll, free from my usual two-handed struggle to restrain a 115-pound Akita; the slower-paced card game which provided more time to chat; the novelty of a Christmas barbecue; and watching my capable Ken take charge. When I retired, still weak from trauma and surgery, I glowed with contentment. Ken was right. Christmas needs neither flashily wrapped gifts nor the shimmer of a tinseled tree…not even the tang of cranberry relish nor the scent of a roasting turkey. Christmas just needed us, willing to share its timeless message of peace.

Coastal Luxe Interiors Terri Elders

is a lifelong writer and editor, is a frequent contributor to anthologies and periodicals. At 80, she’s happy to be back again in sunny California, where she no longer has to worry about shoveling snow. She misses the snow on Christmas day, but delights in having New Year’s brunch at the beach.

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Sasee Kids Ring in the New Year New Year’s Eve is a day of celebration and fun! Make this year’s celebration one the kids will remember with a special activity or two!

GO OUT

The Children’s Museum of South Carolina in Myrtle Beach will host “Noon Year’s Eve” just for kids. From 9 am – noon, the events will include festive crafts, a balloon drop, a juice toast and much more! Go enjoy the fireworks extravaganza at Broadway at the Beach – at a very kid-friendly 8 pm! A Southern Times Square at Market Common is fun for kids and adults with inflatables and games, plus live music, mimes, a glass blower, face painter and much more!

STAY IN

Dress up in your finest and let the kids do the same. Bonus points if you have some dress up clothes like long gloves and hats. Don’t forget pretty nail polish for the girls. Once everyone is properly attired, serve a special mocktail and appetizers. Don’t forget to take lots of photos! Dance like no one is watching! Roll up the rugs and put on the tunes! A dance party is fun for kids and adults. If you get tired,

sit on the couch and watch the kids move and groove. Photos are a must here as well! Make a blanket fort – this can be lots of fun. Google “blanket forts” for lots of creative ideas. Once the fort is complete, everyone puts on their pajamas and gets inside! Play a board game, tell stories or read a good book together – make sure you have special snacks. We’re willing to bet the kids will be sound asleep well before midnight.

REFLECT

Sit down with your kids and talk about what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. This is a good time to think about goals for the family. Do you want to commit to one family night a week featuring board games and conversation? How about the sports lover? Will she commit to an hour of practice three times a week to help her make the team? Maybe everyone just wants to laugh together more – how can this be accomplished? Write down a few family resolutions and put them on the fridge.


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MERRY CHRISTMAS HAPPY HOLIDAYS & HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University presents

Women’s Leadership Conference & Celebration of Inspiring Women

Conference speakers include: Barbara Pierce Bush

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Jenna Hager

Best-selling author; correspondent, NBC’s Today; editor-at-large, Southern Living Magazine

February 5: Celebration of Inspiring Women (evening event) February 6: Women’s Leadership Conference featuring the new Women’s Health Expo sponsored by Tidelands Health

February 5-6, 2018

Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Women’s Leadership Conference and Celebration of Inspiring Women brings together women from all walks of life for two days of education, professional and personal development, and networking.

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For sponsorship or exhibitor information, email agravely@coastal.edu or call 843.349.5033.

Visit WIPLconference.com to see the full list of this year’s speakers.


1-2, 7-9, 14-17

December 2017

Nights of a Thousand Candles, Brookgreen Gardens, 3-10pm. For more info, call 888-718-4253 or visit brookgreen.org.

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A Very Fashionable Christmas, Holiday Tours at the Kaminski House, Georgetown, 11 am-3 pm. For more info, call 843-546-7706 or visit www.kaminskimuseum.org.

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The Great Christmas Light Show, 5:30-9:30pm, North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, 2 million lights. For more info, call 843- 280-5570 or visit http://parks.nmb.us.

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Area Christmas Parades: 2nd - Georgetown, 11 am, Front St.; 2nd – Broadway at the Beach, 11 am; 2nd - North Myrtle Beach, 5:30 pm, Main St.; 3rd- Murrells Inlet, 3 pm, Business 17; 9th - Conway, 10 am, Main St.; 9th - Surfside Beach, 2 pm, Ocean Blvd.

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Scrooge The Musical, Theatre of the Republic, 331 Main St., Conway. For show times and ticket info, call 843-488-0821 or visit www.theatreoftherepublic.com.

8-10

Christmas and All That Jazz III, Carolina Master Chorale, 8th-7pm, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Surfside Beach; 9th-4 pm, Trinity UMC, North Myrtle Beach; 10th-4pm, Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach. For more info, call 843-444-5774 or visit www.CarolinaMasterChorale.com.

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Litchfield Dance Arts Academy presents, Winter Holiday Showcase, holiday dance performances, 3 & 7 pm, 97 Otis Dr., Pawleys Island. For more info, call 843-237-7465 or visit www.litchfielddance.com. 2017 Historic Marion Tour of Homes, 2-6 pm, $20. For tickets or more info, call 843-423-3561. Annual Lighting of the Menorah, sunset each night, Valor Park, Market Common. For more info, visit www.marketcommonmb.com.

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Moveable Feast, Diane Michael Cantor discusses When Nighttime Shadows Fall, 11 am, Carefree Catering, $30. For more info, call 843-235-9600 or visit www.classatpawleys.com.

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Strauss on the Strand, Long Bay Symphony, Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach $25. For more info, call 843-448-8379.

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New Year’s Eve at Celebrity Square, Broadway at the Beach, fireworks at 8 pm, live entertainment and more. For more info, call 843-444-3200, or visit www.broadwayatthebeach.com.


A Taste of the Past by Susan Yanguas

Holiday baking was a strong tradition throughout my childhood. I remember sitting in the kitchen when I was little, watching my mother bake. She’d start around Thanksgiving with the fruitcakes, which had to “ripen” for weeks before being served and progress in a prescribed order up until Christmas Day: sugar cookies, gingerbread men, toffee bars, press cookies, pumpkin bread, date nut bread, cranberry bread, coconut macaroons, and my father’s favorite, the ultra-dense Czechoslovakian bars that contained half a pound of butter and had a layer of jam in the middle. Some recipes involved a multi-step process, where she made the dough one day; rolled it out, cut the cookies and baked them another; and frosted them in a third session. When I was old enough, I helped–first with the frosting, and eventually with the baking itself. My dad was her original “froster,” but he was hopeless at it. He’d slap on multiple colors of icing with the back of a spoon, add a mishmash of colored sugar or sprinkles, and end up with reindeer and Christmas trees that looked like something out of a Kandinsky painting. I took much more pride in the task, drawing buttons and faces on the snowmen and gingerbread people with the tip of a toothpick. Needless to say, my mother set the ones I had frosted out for company and kept my dad’s creations for our immediate family’s consumption. In those days, people who visited our home around the holidays left with an assortment of baked goods. The demand for these goodies grew as everyone who tasted them praised them lavishly and hinted around for more. Those who received a small sampler dish one year graduated to a large plate of cookies and whole mini breads in subsequent years. Consequently, we ended up making multiple batches of each recipe as the years went by.

When I was a teen, my mother cut back on her involvement in the baking, subcontracting much of it out to my sister and me. With the three of us participating, our kitchen became a factory, with every waking hour of the holiday season devoted to cookie production. Over the years, we added new recipes to our repertoire. Thus, what had been an exciting tradition that heralded the arrival of Santa Claus now became an onerous chore, keeping us up until all hours on a school night waiting for the cookies to cool enough to be put away. Our numerous tins of cookies were stored in a seldom used dining room closet, and the breads and fruitcakes were relegated to the bottom drawers of our refrigerator. One day in late February, while searching for a serving platter in the dining room closet, I came across a tin of moldy Czechoslovakian bars that had been overlooked during the holiday season. Another summer we found an untouched fruitcake in the back of the fridge, petrified. It seems we had gone too far in our baking frenzy. The baking at our house greatly decreased after my sister and I graduated from college and moved away. When my mother later became wheelchair bound, my father attempted a few of her recipes (under her careful direction) and managed to burn only the occasional batch. But even this proved too much trouble, and a couple of years later the factory shut down entirely. Nowadays I rarely eat sweets, since I must avoid gluten (flour), dairy (butter), and eggs for health reasons, but last December I experienced a strong longing for Christmas cookies. And not just any cookies: I yearned for the ones made in my family’s “factory.” Of all my family’s Christmas traditions, homemade cookies are what I miss the most. I realize it’s probably not a craving for the actual taste of the cookies but for what they symbolize: a wonderful childhood tradition and an advent-long project that brought my family together to create something special.

Susan Yanguas

is a Baltimore-based writer. She is contemplating publishing a cookbook of gluten free vegan desserts based on her creative experiments in the kitchen.

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Happy Holidays!

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Advertiser Index

58

All Sufficient Insurance.................................................11 Angelo’s Steak & Pasta...................................................18 Aunique Boutique.........................................................18 The B. Graham Interiors Collection..............................18 Banton Media..........................................................26-27 Barbara’s Fine Gifts..........................................................9 Belk...............................................................................17 Bleu...............................................................................14 Bloomingails...................................................................7 Brightwater.....................................................................5 Broadway Grand Prix....................................................29 Brookgreen Gardens......................................................11 Burroughs & Chapin Art Museum..................................9 Callahan’s of Calabash.....................................................3 Carolina Car Care.........................................................24 Carolina Gardens - Garden City....................................15 Carolina Gourmet.........................................................53 Carolina Seafood & Steak.............................................31 Christopher’s Jewelers....................................................48 The Citizens Bank.........................................................13 Coastal Luxe..................................................................47 Coccadotts....................................................................36 Darden Jewelers.............................................................37 Designer Consignments................................................10 Dr. Grabeman.................................................................7 Dr. Sattele’s Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetic Centers.......41 Eleanor Pitts..................................................................21

Flamingo Porch.............................................................18 Fogarty Plumbing..........................................................39 Fowler Life Coaching....................................................13 Frame Factory...............................................................14 Good Deed Goods........................................................24 Grady’s Jewelers.............................................................13 Grand Strand Plastic Surgery.........................................52 Homespun Crafters Mall...............................................28 Hospice Care of SC.......................................................31 Hot Fish Club...............................................................14 The Joggling Board........................................................39 Just Sew U Know..........................................................31 Kaminski House............................................................19 La Fayes Lamp & Lampshade Shop...............................19 The Lakes at Litchfield..................................................35 Legacy Antiques............................................................15 Litchfield Dance Art Academy......................................57 Long Bay Symphony.....................................................33 Marshwalk....................................................................60 Morningside of Georgetown..........................................10 Oreck Vacuums.............................................................37 Palmetto Ace.................................................................48 The Palmettos Assisted Living & Memory Care.............28 Papa John’s Pizza...........................................................40 Paperwhites...................................................................31 Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art.....................45,53 Pawleys Island Wear......................................................49

Pure Compounding.......................................................39 Resourceful Realty.........................................................40 Rose Arbor Fabrics........................................................48 Sago House Furniture....................................................36 Sea Island Trading Co......................................................2 Seven Seas Seafood........................................................45 Shades and Draperies....................................................33 Shoney’s Restaurants.....................................................49 A Silver Shack...............................................................51 South Atlantic Bank......................................................25 Studio 77........................................................................7 Take 2 Resale.................................................................29 Taylors Boutique...........................................................40 Taz................................................................................45 Terry & Don’s Gymnastics............................................59 Thrive at Prince Creek...................................................52 Tidelands Lincoln.........................................................15 Tidelife Vacation Rentals...............................................57 Treasures Jewelers............................................................9 Two Sisters with Southern Charm.................................19 Vandy Jewelers..............................................................57 WEZV..........................................................................58 Wild Wing Café............................................................53 WISH Candle...............................................................51 Young Plantations.........................................................29 Women in Philanthropy................................................54


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Tissthesseason tosbesatsthe

NN. 18th - Jan. 2018

Dec. 3rd, 9th, 16th

Sasee Magazine - December 2017  

"Dazzle & Delight"