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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Great gifts that won't break the bank Giving is synonymous with the holiday season. But in a holiday season where people are still dealing with an unpredictable economy, giving in a way that won't break the bank is imperative for many thoughtful holiday shoppers. Some families have set limits on how much family members can spend on holiday gifts. Such budgets are a great idea and can even make holiday shopping more fun as shoppers hunt down the perfect gift without having to worry about how they're going to pay for it. Low-cost holiday gifts come in many shapes and sizes. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Food & Beverage

If you need to find an inexpensive gift for the family foodie, then you're in luck. Plenty of culinary gifts can be had for less than $25. Early risers might appreciate some gourmet coffee beans accompanied by a new coffee mug, while those who prefer tea instead of coffee would no doubt appreciate a variety pack of herbal teas and a new teacup or teapot. Better yet, if you like to bake, prepare several batches of different goodies, and put some of each together in gift baskets, and you’ll have several gifts done at once! If you have someone on your list that likes to experience various styles of cuisine, a cookbook filled with recipes from all over the world or a particular country whose cuisine inspires them would be a wonderful gift.

Photography

The digital age has made photography more popular than ever before. Amateur photographers can now take photos with a digital camera or even their cellular phones and post their pictures to the Internet in a matter of seconds. Though online photo albums are popular, a traditional photo album is a thoughtful and inexpensive gift for a loved one who can't take enough pictures. New parents might also consider giving their children’s grandparents a photo album filled with photos of the family's newest addition.

Film Fans Movie buffs are passionate about their favorite films, and feeding that passion can be easy and inexpensive. Many film fans have a favorite director or actor, so why not give a collection of that director or actor's work? Perhaps thanks to the growing popularity of streaming movies online, DVDs are now more affordable than ever. Many film fanatics are also interested in the history of the film industry, so a book detailing that history might appeal to your loved ones. Of course, all film fans generally appreciate a gift certificate to their local multiplex.

Pet Parents Pet parents are enamored with their furry friends, so a pet-oriented gift is sure to make their holiday season even more special. A new bowl, a flashy new collar or some additional attire aimed at helping their beloved pooch or cat stay warm through the winter months won't cost much, but it's certainly something most pet owners and their pets need. For the pet parent who seemingly has everything, remember that pets can never have enough toys. Pets tend to play rough, so their toys aren't known for their longevity. Some new pet toys can be had on the cheap, and pet parents will appreciate the gesture.

Rest & Relaxation Arguably one of the best holiday gifts is one that won't cost shoppers a penny. Offer to babysit a loved one's kids so the adults can enjoy a worry-free night on the town or simply relax at home without the kids. Another R&R gift is to book a spa trip for you and a loved one. While this won't necessarily qualify as an inexpensive holiday gift, you can often get great deals on spa treatments and other luxurious services when you book for two. And booking such a trip is also a way to reward yourself for surviving another holiday season.


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Be charitable without spending money Many people equate charity to financial donations. But individuals can be charitable with their time as well. According to Charity Navigator, a nonprofit organization that monitors charities, Americans gave more than $290 billion to charity in 2010. Thirty-five percent of all donations went to religious organizations. Much of these contributions can be attributed to people giving to their local place of worship. Donations toward educational services and programs were the second most common types of donations. Although charitable giving through monetary donations are important, men and women can donate more than just money. Here are some ways to do just that:

Donate hair. There are many different charities that collect hair for individuals undergoing cancer treatments that resulted in hair loss. These charities collect hair of lengths between 8 to 12 inches and turn the locks into wigs for the needy. Donate your stuff. Before tossing unused items into the trash, assess these items and determine if they're still useful. There are many places that will accept noncash donations, be it clothing, electronics, children's toys, etc. For example, homes that house abused women and children who have left dangerous situations can typically make good use of noncash donations and accept them willingly. Donate blood. Blood banks are often in short supply.

Blood supplies typically diminish during natural disasters or storms and need donors are needed to help replenish supplies. Type O blood is the universal blood type and can be transferred to anyone. Those with Type O negative blood are really in demand because their blood donations are vital for accident victims and babies needing transfusions. Only about 7 percent of the population has Type O negative blood, according to the American Red Cross. Give your time. Many different organizations are understaffed and can always use the helping hands of volunteers. Check with organizations in your area to see if any need some extra help. Also check with a son or daughter's school. Some

schools can use volunteers in the library or other special curriculum classrooms where staffing has been reduced because of budget cuts. Offer free services. Professionals, such as accountants, attorneys, teachers, and tutors can donate their services to others, especially those who are unable to afford them in an unstable economy. Raise awareness. You can be the mouthpiece for an organization or special agenda. Either spread the word door-todoor, draft letters or make public speeches. There are many benefits to making financial donations. But donating time, services or belongings are additional ways to make a difference.

DONATE TIME OR MONEY LOCALLY • American Red Cross - Carolina Lowcountry Chapter, 843-7642323 • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Carolina Youth Development Center (843) 266-5230 • Dorchester Children's Center - aids abused & neglected children, 843-875-1551 • Dorchester Habitat for Humanity, (843) 871-1159 • Foster Parent Association of Dorchester County, 843-486-6875 • Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina, (843) 566-0072 • Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina - K12 economic success programs, 843-745-7050 • Lowcountry Housing Trust - provides funding for affordable housing in the Tri-County area, 843-973-7285 • Meals on Wheels of Summerville, (843) 873-8224 • My Sister's House - domestic violence shelter, (843) 747-4069 • People Against Rape, 843-745-0144 • The Salvation Army of Charleston - serving Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester counties, 843-747-5271 • South Carolina Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program Dorchester County - voices for children in foster care, (843) 875-9842 • Tricounty Family Ministries - North Charleston - providing vital services to the less fortunate in the Tricounty area, 843-7471788 • Trident Literacy Association, 843-747-2223 • Trident United Way, 843-740-9000


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November 9 - December 31 Holiday Festival of Lights - James Island County Park- Sun.-Thurs. 5:30-10 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 5:30-11 p.m. Discover holiday magic in this 3-mile tour featuring over 500,000 lights. They also offer a marshmallow roast and a 54-passenger train ride through the park. 1-15 guests, $12/vehicle Sun-Thurs, $15/vehicle Fri. & Sat. $2 discount per vehicle Sun-Thurs. with donation of canned food item. (843) 7954386

November 15 Third Thursday - Holiday Open Houses feature twinkling white lights, friendly merchants, new and unique gift ideas, hot cocoa, cookies and caroling performances by local performers. Storyteller Time Lowry will be hosting two walking performances of "A Christmas Carol" at 5:30 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Top off the evening by attending Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig's Warehouse Christmas Ball at Art and Soul, 115 W. 2nd South Street. Tickets-$10 each. Enjoy traditional Christmas Music, Dancing, Parlor games, and a spread of English delights! (843) 821-7260

November 23 & 24 Holiday Market- Middleton Place11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. - The Garden Market & Nursery and Museum Shop kick-off the shopping season with an open air market. Live musicians perform festive carols, complimentary hot cider and treats, local artisan displays and 10% off all purchases with admission or South Carolina ID. (843) 722- 7171

November 23 – December 30 Celebrate the Season - Old Santee Canal Park, Moncks Corner- Driving tours 6 - 9 p.m. Mon-Thurs, 5 - 9:30 p.m. FriSun, closed Dec. 24 and 25. The weekend Holiday Fair begins Dec. 1. Children of all ages

are invited to the Old Santee Canal Park for “Celebrate the Season” festival. The park will be decorated for the holidays, and an assortment of activities and offerings are planned to kick-off the season in style. $5/car (843) 899-5200

November 27 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Summerville Town Hall and Hutchinson Square - Music at 6 p.m. Tree-lighting at 6:30 p.m., hosted by the Flowertown Garden Club. Enjoy music by the Summerville High School Band and Chorus, hot cocoa and cookies from Summerville D.R.E.A.M. (843) 821-7260

November 28-30 Winter Wonderland - Armory Park in North Charleston- 10 a.m. - Noon- This free pre-school event provides young children an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities, including holiday arts & crafts, visit Santa, live performances, and music. Pre-registration is required. (843) 745-1028

start of the Civil War. $17.50 in advance, $22.50 at the door. (843) 722-7171

November 30 Hanahan Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony - City Hall- 6 p.m. - Bring the whole family for this fun-filled event in Hanahan. (843) 554-4221

November 30 - December 2 20th Annual Christmas Made in the South - The Exchange Park- LadsonFriday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Amazing craftspeople, outstanding art, unique gourmet food, and diverse entertainment. What a better way to get ready for the holiday season. One $6 admission is good for all 3 days with hand stamp! Children 12 & under free.

December 1 Breakfast with Santa - 4800 Park Circle, North Charleston- 8-10 a.m. Breakfast with Santa gives the area children the opportunity to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. A

hearty meal is provided. Tickets can be purchased Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Felix C. Davis Community Center for $4/person. (843) 745-1028 Reindeer Run - Starts & ends in Southend Brewery, Downtown Charleston- 9 a.m. - A jolly job or jaunt (5K- 3.1 miles) through the streets of downtown Charleston during the holiday season. This event is for reindeer of all fitness levels and all ages and benefits MUSC Children’s Hospital. (843) 3456906 Holly Days - Historic Downtown Summerville, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. - Avoid the hustle and bustle of the malls and have an enjoyable Holiday shopping experience. Musical entertainment provided throughout the day by local schools and churches to make the day festive. Downtown businesses will be featuring special deals and meals. (843) 821-7260 See HAPPENINGS Page 7

November 29 - December 1 The Living Christmas Story Bethany United MethodistSummerville - 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. - A drive-through re-enactment of the way life was 2,000 years ago on the night Jesus Christ was born. It features locals from the Summerville community who become the people of Bethlehem. (843) 873-1230

November 30, December 7 Christmas 1860 by Candlelight Middleton Place- 6:30-8:30 p.m. Celebrate the holiday season with a special tour at the Edmondston-Alston House. The historic house will be decorated for the holidays much as it would have been in 1860. Living historians in period clothing tell the story of Charleston’s last opulent Christmas before the

File Photo

Downtown Summerville lights up this season.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holly Days Holiday Market - Historic Downtown Summerville- 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. - The 2nd annual Holly Days Holiday Market will be an arts and crafts fair to showcase our local talent and our beautiful downtown area. The event is free to the public. (843)821-7260 Santa Pictures - The Depot, Moncks Corner10 a.m. -2 p.m. - Santa pictures will be held at The Depot. Light Refreshments. (843) 899-4708

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North Charleston Christmas Festival - Park Circle, North Charleston- 4 - 9 p.m. - Christmas Festival includes a Holiday Market with craft vendors and local farmers, food vendors, and live musical performances on two stages. The Christmas Parade begins at the corner of Montague and Mixson Avenues and concludes at Armory Park. Immediately following the Christmas Parade, Mayor R. Keith Summey lights the City’s Christmas tree located outside

the front entrance of the Felix C. Davis Community Center. (843) 745-1028

Yeamans Hall Road and left on Murray Drive back to Hanahan High School.

Charleston Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony- Marion Square, Downtown Charleston- 4:30-6:00 p.m.- Join Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and Santa Claus in lighting the magnificent 60-foot Tree of Lights, the official City of Charleston Christmas Tree at Marion Square. (843) 724-7305

Daniel Island Holiday Festival - Family Circle Stadium, Daniel Island, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. This popular Lowcountry festival, open to all of Charleston and its surrounding communities has evolved into one of Charleston’s most exciting annual holiday events offering fantastic holiday shopping opportunities for everyone in the family! Enjoy music, food, amazing entertainment and more! (843) 971-4401

33rd Annual Charleston Parade of Boats - Mt. Pleasant- 5 p.m.- Get on board with a Lowcountry holiday tradition as this display of lighted and festive boats proceeds through the Charleston Harbor and into the Ashley River, culminating in a brilliant fireworks display over the harbor. Official viewing sites are Waterfront Park, The USS Yorktown and the Battery Area. (843) 724-7305

Paul Zoeller/Journal Scene

The Living Christmas Story at Bethany United Methodist Church is popular event during the holidays. Local residents re-enact the way of life on the night Jesus Christ was born.

Hanahan Christmas Parade - Hanahan High School - 10 a.m.- The annual Christmas Parade will be held in front of Hanahan High School, going down Murray Drive, turning right on Belvedere Drive, then left on Loftis Road, left on

December 1-31 Holiday Magic Entertainment and Visits with Santa - Marion Square at King and Calhoun Streets, Downtown Charleston- Fridays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Children’s Choirs, church choirs, gospel, classical, folk, storytelling and other entertainment are featured in the magically decorated Marion Square. Drop off your wish list at the North Pole mailbox and visit Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves. (843) 7247305 See HAPPENINGS 2 Page 10


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HAPPENINGS 2 from page 7

December 2 Charleston Christmas Parade Downtown Charleston - 2 - 5 p.m.- The holiday tradition is better than ever as bands, floats, marchers and performers parade through downtown Charleston. The parade begins at the intersection of Calhoun and Meeting Streets, proceeds down King Street to Broad Street to Lockwood Blvd. (843) 720-1981 Moncks Corner Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting - Downtown Moncks Corner on Main St.- 3:30 p.m. - the parade will begin at Berkeley High School and end at Main Street Extension. The Tree lighting will begin at 5 p.m. (843) 8994780

December 6-8 & 13-16 Old-Timey Radio Christmas Comedy Show Extravaganza - Summerville Times Vary. Tune your ears back to the day of yesteryear as the Flowertown Players celebrates the Christmas Season with an original radio production. Filled with songs, sketches, sound effects and old-timey holiday cheer. (843) 875-9251

Santee Cooper’s Christmas light festival “Celebrate the Season” at Old Santee Canal Park throughout December. Photo Provided

Lowcountry Singing Christmas Tree Summerville Baptist Church- times vary- A spectacular 30-foot tree filled with lights, drama and a 90-voice choir accompanied by an orchestra. Tickets are available at Summerville Baptist Church. (843) 873-2440

December 8 Family Yuletide - Middleton Place Plantation - 5:30 - 8 p.m. - Families can enjoy storytelling around a warm fire, Christmas caroling, ornament and wreath making, candle dipping, a live nativity scene featuring many of the plantation’s animals, and craftspeople working in their shops. Advance ticket purchase required, $15 adults, $5 children 4-13, (843) 556-6020. Holiday Wreaths - Old Santee Canal ParkMoncks Corner- 10 a.m. -2 p.m. Learn to create a beautiful holiday wreath from natural materials found around the park. Go on a short nature walk to gather and discuss the items to be used in this wreath. Pre-registration required by Nov. 28, $15. (843) 899-5200.

December 13 & 14 Grand Illumination: Christmas 1782Middleton Place Plantation- 6 - 8 p.m.Stroll through gardens illuminated by torchlight, candlelight and starlight. Hear costumed interpreters along the way tell stories of this joyous holiday season when the British evacuated Charleston and the Middleton family was reunited near the end of the Revolutionary War. The event concludes with a Southern buffet dinner in the Pavilion, $45 Adults, $20 Child.(843) 556- 6020

December 14 - 31 (Excluding Christmas) Charleston Sleigh Ride - In December, the Thriller boat slows it down to provide a leisurely tour of the Charleston Harbor at night to view the holiday lights. Get into the holiday spirit with waterproof blankets and hot chocolate in travel mugs provided. Christmas music and stories about Charleston and holiday traditions are shared. One hour tour, $45 adult, $35 child 5-12, under 5 free. (843) 276-4203

December 15 & 16 The Charleston Ballet presents Nutcracker Ballet - North Charleston

Performing Arts Center- Times vary - It’s Charleston circa 1865 and families are filling the streets and the market of downtown in a last minute rush for gifts and decorations. This Charleston holiday tradition celebrates the magic of the holiday spirit and the kid that remains inside us all. (843) 723-7334

December 20 Third Thursday - Holiday Open House - Historic Downtown Summerville- 5-8 p.m. - Take advantage of this evening to find the perfect gifts you are looking for. Carolers and other musical entertainment will be featured along with refreshments for all. Sponsored by the merchants of Summerville and Summerville D.R.E.A.M. (843) 821-7260.

December 23 Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker - North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center- 8 p.m. Featuring over forty superbly trained Russian dancers, gorgeously designed original costumes and breathtaking sets, the “Great Russian Nutcracker” combines all elements it takes to make this Christmas a memorable one. (843) 529-5000

December 8 & 9 Annual Spirituals Concert - Drayton Hall - Times Vary - One of the longestrunning performances of its kind in the Lowcountry, these popular annual concerts have become a Charleston tradition as they offer a rare opportunity for visitors to gather at the oldest unrestored plantation house in America and experience music that could have been here centuries ago in the surrounding fields and praise houses. $35 adults, $30 for Friends of Drayton Hall. (843) 769-2638

December 8 - 22 Charleston Christmas Special Downtown Charleston- Charleston’s longest running holiday show, is a heart-warming two hour musical variety show for the whole family presented live at the Charleston Music Hall downtown. (843) 416-8453

December 9 Mt. Pleasant Christmas Parade - 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.. More than 100 floats will march down Coleman Boulevard as the Mount Pleasant Holiday Parade sets sail to the delight of thousands of residents and visitors. The tree lighting and fireworks display will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Moultrie Middle School, immediately followed by the parade beginning at 5:45 p.m. (843) 884-8517

Pauel Zoeller/Journal Scene

There are many Christmas parades throughout the Lowcountry.


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It’s a GREEN Christmas! How can I reuse or recycle Christmas wrapping paper? • Shred pretty colored wrapping paper to use as colorful but protective packaging around future gifts. • Like newspaper, wrapping paper is great for cleaning windows and leaving them streak-free – use it instead of paper towels or a cloth. (Avoid using the shiny/plastic stuff though.) • One for the kids: thin paper like wrapping paper is great for origami – use it to make Christmas-themed decorations or to give to friends. You can also cut out pictures of penguins, stars or cartoon characters to decorate dull notebooks – or make decorations for next Christmas

• Reuse Gift Bags for other giftgiving purposes

How can I reuse or recycle Christmas cards? • Cut out a square or rectangle from the design to use as a gift tag on presents next year – use pinking shears or cut out a wavy edged template to make them more interesting. Taller strips could be used for bookmarks too. • They can also be use to make spherical Christmas tree decorations/cat toys! • One for the kids: Christmas cards are just the right thickness for loads of craft projects – keep a stash for using throughout the year. Make lit-

tle boxes to keep little things (like erasers or badges) tidy, for the inside “rings” of pom-poms, or use them to make stencils or templates.

Christmas Tree Recycling 1. Curbside pick-up for recycling: Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the 2 weeks following Christmas. There are often requirements for size, removing ornaments, flocking, etc 2. Call for an appointment to have a non-profit in your area pickup your tree. Some boy scout troops are offering a pickup service for a small donation (often $5).

3. Take your tree to a drop off recycling center. Most counties have free drop-off locations throughout the county. Usually, you may take up to two trees to any of the following drop-off locations at no charge. 4. Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container. 5. Fish feeders: Sunk into private fish ponds trees make excellent refuge and feeding area for fish. 6. Bird feeders: Place the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract the birds and they can sit in the branches for shelter. (Make sure all decorations, hooks, garland and tinsel strands are removed). Eventually (within a

year) the branches will become brittle and you can break the tree apart by hand or chip it in a chipper 7. Mulch: A Christmas tree is biodegradable; its branches may be removed, chipped, and used as mulch in the garden.

Ways to Recycle Christmas Ornaments • Make a festive centerpiece. • Make a hanging display or mobile. • Use them to decorate Christmas packages. • Host an ornament exchange party. • Donate them to a thrift store or community center.


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Holiday 2012 Wishes