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Happy Holidaze!




Celebrate the best of the holiday season in Southwest Louisiana:

e gift ideas e calendar of events e recipes e much more


Community Calendar Kiwanis Christmas at Jackson Square West November 5 –7

Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles 532-3839 Artisans and crafters display and sell their products to shoppers at the largest art and handicraft fair in Southwest Louisiana. Sponsored by the Kiwanis of South Lake Charles since 1972. For the latest updates, visit www. Admission is $10 on Friday and $5 on Saturday and Sunday.

Toys of our Father’s Father’s Fathers November 5-January 16, 2011

1011 Historic City Hall, 1001 Ryan Street, Lake Charles 491-9159 A century of select boys toys from 1870-1970 will be on display. Admission is free and the exhibit will be open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Mistletoe & Moss November 17-20

436-4025 > he Junior League of Lake Charles Inc. invites everyone to attend its Mistletoe & Moss Holiday Market. This is the largest fundraiser, which benefits community projects. Admission is $7 for with special event prices varying.

Thanksgiving Community Dinner November 25

SPAR Recreation Center, Sulphur The Maplewood/Hollywood Lions Club and Community will hold its annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on November 25. Admission is free.

Prien Lake Park Christmas Lighting November 26-January 2, 2011

Prien Lake Park, Lake Charles Bring the entire family for a leisurely drive through beautifully lit Prien Lake Park beginning each night at dusk.

White Lights Night in Mid-Town December 2

Mid-Town, Lake Charles (South Ryan to the North, College Drive on the South, Hodges on the East and Ernest on the West) The Imperial Calcasieu Museum and surrounding merchants in the Mid-Town district will decorate with white lights from 5-8 p.m. for a magical evening of browsing. At the museum, see one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments created by members of the Porcelain Guild.

Holiday House December 2-4

Henning House, 923 Ruth Street, Sulphur 527-0357 A special “Preview Gala” will precede the Holiday House at Christmas Under the Oaks from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy food, music and shopping. The event is $35 and benefits the Brimstone Historical Society. The Holiday House will be open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and have over 25 shops selling Christmas items. Saturday, December 4, opens with the “Breakfast with Santa” event. Tickets are $5 and include a pancake breakfast courtesy of Pitt Grill in Sulphur, and a photo with Santa. Other festivities include performances by local school choir and dance teams, music and a tea room hosted by the Sulphur High School “ProStart” program.


Delta Down’s Tree of Hope Charity Decorating Contest December 2-17

Christmas at the Railroad Museum December 3-31

Christmas Under the Oaks/Balloons On Parade December 3-4

Very Merry Christmas Party for Seniors December 9

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel (800) 589-7441 Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel invites the public to come and vote on local charities’ unique Christmas tree decorations as they compete for up to $10,000 in cash and prizes. Closing ceremonies are 7 p.m. December 17.

Henning House/Heritage Square, 923 Ruth Street, Sulphur 527-0357 The 9th Annual Christmas Under the Oaks celebration will feature a kaleidoscope of color in the sky with the Sulphur Kiwanis Balloons on Parade on Saturday at 3 p.m. The parade will start at W.W. Lewis Middle School and come down Cypress Street. At 6 p.m., enjoy the 8th Annual Spectacle of Lights, where there is a 100 percent chance of snow in the forecast, along with Sulphur’s biggest fireworks display. For more information visit

Vinton Christmas Parade December 3

Downtown Vinton The town of Vinton has festivities planned for its Christmas parade at 5 p.m. and will be followed by hot chocolate, goodies and a visit from Old St. Nicholas.

DeQuincy Christmas Parade December 3

DeQuincy Railroad Museum, 400 Lake Charles Avenue, DeQuincy 786-2823 Thousands of exterior lights, including a laser show and multiple indoor trees with clear lights come on at dusk each day in December. Visitors may drive through the museum parking lot and walk around the building viewing the indoor trees.

Lake Charles Civic Center 474-2583 The Calcasieu Council on Aging will present their holiday party for Lake Charles seniors from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a continental breakfast with music and dancing, leading up to a Christmas lunch at the Lake Charles Civic Center. After lunch, try for more than $1,500 in Entergy bingo prizes. Admission is free to seniors.

Louisiana Choral Foundation Christmas Treasury Concert December 10

Historical Calcasieu Marine Bank Building, Ryan Street, Lake Charles 491-9348 Highlights of Christmas Treasury concerts and Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, other Christmas carols including “O Holy Night” and selections performed by Les Petites Voix, community children’s chorus and Bayou Bell Choir, a community hand bell ensemble. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for students.

Downtown DeQuincy 786-6451 The parade, sponsored by the DeQuincy Chamber of Commerce, will begin at 5:30 p.m. from Nicholls, with a Christmas program at Pocket Park at 6:30 p.m. in downtown DeQuincy and then a firework display at the ballpark at 8 p.m. On Monday, December 6, the DeQuincy Holiday Train rolls into town.

Jingle Bell Run December 4

Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles 439-2787 The Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana’s First 5K Run/1 Mile Walk for the Arts will take place on the shores of Lake Charles at 8 a.m. Registration is from 6:30-7:30 a.m. Registration fee for pre-registered runners and walkers is $20 and $15 for Lake Area Runners members. Race day registration is $25. Registration forms are available on the Council’s website at and should be sent with payment to P.O. Box 1437, Lake Charles, LA 70602.


Light Up The Lake December 4

Sportsman’s Paradise

Downtown Lake Charles/Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles 436-9588 Enjoy a holiday parade, games and activities, a lighted boat parade, gingerbread house contest, and a glittering fireworks display over Lake Charles. For more information on the above parades and events, visit

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Christmas at the Historical City Hall December 11


Historical City Hall,1001 Ryan Street, Lake Charles 491-9147 Starting at 8 a.m., shop at the Charleston Farmers Market till noon and the Artisans Gallery Christmas Bazaar till 2 p.m. Other festivities are from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with a handmade Christmas Card Workshop. Cards will be sent to the area nursing homes through the Calcasieu Council on Aging. Gather around the stained glass-decorated Christmas tree for story telling, decorating gingerbread cookies and refreshments.

Iowa Christmas in the Park & Parade December 11

Lawrence Toups Memorial Park, Iowa 582-3535 The Iowa Merchants will bring in the 2010 Holiday Season with the 17th Annual Christmas Parade at 2:00p.m. Christmas in the Park will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Moss Bluff Christmas Parade December 11

Highway 378 to Park Road, Moss Bluff 855-7183 Santa and his elves will march into Moss Bluff for the Moss Bluff Christmas Parade at 2 p.m. The parade will begin at Market Basket and will travel down Highway 378 to Park Road, turn down Park Road to Recreation Boulevard and then finish at the Recreation Park.

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Westlake Christmas Parade December 11

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Downtown Westlake The Westlake Christmas Parade will begin at 4 p.m. The parade, sponsored by the West Cal Kiwanis, will roll down Sampson Street. After the parade, a lighting ceremony will be held at City Hall with caroling and hot chocolate with Santa.

Christmas Spectacular, a Celebration of Christmas Traditions and Treats December 12

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W. W. Lewis Middle School Auditorium, Sulphur Help celebrate Christmas with Sulphur’s first annual community Christmas performance from 3-4:30 p.m. Come see Santa, his elves, reindeer, and the many toys that bring joy to girls and boys. A moving tribute to that “Holy Night” and the birth of Christ will also highlight the event.

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DeRidder’s Christmas in the Park November 20

DeRidder’s West Park (337) 396-4717 From 5:30- 9 p.m., see W.D. West Park turn into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights, snow village, Santa’s workshop and nativity scene. There will be sleigh/train rides, holiday vendors, and activities for children.

Moscow Ballet Russian Nutcracker December 27

3101 Ernest St. Suite 1 • Lake Charles, LA (across from JC Penney) M–F 11am–5:30pm; Sat 10–4 • 337-564-5818 Extended holiday hours beginning November 26.

Rosa Hart Theatre – Lake Charles Civic Center The Russian Nutcracker breathes beauty and magic into the holiday season with its talented ballerinas and music. Tickets available at the Civic Center box office and are $26-66.

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Giving from the Vine

Gift Guide

It’s almost that time of year again! Christmas is the biggest shopping season of the year, and gift giving is one of the most anticipated activities. Unfortunately, finding the perfect gift for each person on your shopping list is not an easy task. Here is a list of the top sold gifts of 2010 to get you started on your Christmas preparation, courtesy of





1. Handbag 2. Jewelry 3. Kindle Wireless Reading Device 4. Perfume and Fragrance Sets 5. Wine Accessories 1. Cologne 2. Digital Camera 3. GPS 4. HDTVs 5. Sports Fan Gear


1. Activity Centers 2. Albums and Frames 3. Mobiles 4. Teethers 5. Rattles

1. Crossword Games 2. Documentaries 3. Electric Shavers 4. Travel Guides 5. Weather Instruments 1. Apparel 2. Beds/Carriers 3. Collars/Leashes 4. Toys 5. Treats


1. Calendar 2. Commuter Mugs 3. Entertainment Gift Cards 4. Gags and Practical Jokes 5. Lunch Totes


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1. Children’s Books and DVD’s 2. Construction Blocks 3. Learning Games 4. Puzzles 5. Stuffed Animals 1. Digital Camera 2. MP3 Player 3. Computer 4. Smartphone 5. Videogame Consoles

College Students

1. Coffee 2. College Gear 3. Compact Stereos 4. Notebook Computers 5. Tool Kits


1. Cookbooks 2. Hobby/Craft Books 3. Photo Albums 4. Plants 5. Totes

1. Candles 2. Cookbooks 3. Fresh Flowers 4. Magazine Subscriptions 5. Stationary 1. Board Games 2. Cooking Tools and Gadgets 3. Family DVD’s 4. Home and Garden Books 5. Wine Accessories

The One Who Has Everything

1. Collectible Watches 2. Gift of the Month Club 3. Patio Heaters 4. Personalized Gifts 5. Robotic Vacuum

According to Nielsen Co. sales data, from mid-November to the first week in January, there are about $880 million in wine sales – about 18 percent of total sales for the fiscal year. Obviously, wine is a very popular purchase during the holiday season, with many bottles given as gifts. Michael Parker, Food and Beverage Manager at Gray Plantation, says although wine is easy to find – from specialty wine shops to grocery stores to convenience stores – many people hesitate when it comes to actually making the selection. So many selections – how do you know what to buy?

Parker says if you are really unsure of yourself, ask for advice. “Go to a real wine store. Give the salesperson a firm and definite price range, mention anything you know about your gift recipient’s taste in wine, and let them give you suggestions. It’s in their best interest to help you choose a great gift, so you’ll come back again.”

• Don’t be lured by high prices. There are plenty of delicious, classy wines for $20. Look for California Sauvignon Blanc or Italian Dolcetto, and pick a wine from one of the better producers. • If you aren’t sure what kind of wine your recipient prefers, choose something middle-of-the road or find something that relates to them personally – maybe a bottle from their native region or a favorite vacation spot? • Champagne or sparkling wines make a festive gift for the season, and there are choices in every price range. There are many choices available in a variety of price ranges. And around the holidays, many of these options come in beautiful packaging, making the gift even more impressive. • Consider a sweet wine, such as a late-harvest Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend.


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October 2010

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Please Pass the Family Tradition For many families, holidays aren’t holidays without yearly traditions, whether it’s a roundtable sharing of thanks or the annual exchange of a token Christmas gift. Traditions often date as far back as our grandparents and beyond, so much so that we don’t even realize that they’re traditions at all; they’re simply part of the family. Years down the road, family traditions give us a sense of nostalgia that is hard to find during other parts of the year. For this reason, young families may feel compelled to start an annual ritual of their own, one that their own children can appreciate for years to come. Crafting a tradition out of thin air can seem orchestrated rather than inspired, yet you want to leave some kind of legacy. How? During the holidays there are many opportunities to incorporate family traditions in ways you don’t even realize. Having a tradition doesn’t have to be something ritualistic, like having the head of the house carve the turkey or going around the table giving individual thanks. It can be something as common as preparing dinner or shopping for ingredients. Instead of focusing on keeping kids out of the way during pre-supper preparations, let them help. This can be its own tradition. Assign tasks to each child. Have one crack the eggs for the apple pie. Have another mix the batter for the cornbread. You don’t even have to wait for kitchen prep to get the young ones involved; you can take them with you to the grocery store to help pick ingredients. Dinner isn’t the only hot spot for building lasting memories. You can also have the kids help you with addressing, signing, stamping and sending holiday cards. Who says the address label has to be written in fancy adult calligraphy? Let your seven-year-old have a go. Have your fiveyear-old place the stamps. Get your preschooler to drop the stack in the mailbox. Make it a family affair.

Say o t s y a W

10 y Christmas Merr

by Erin K. Cormier

Chances are you have already reflected on your own childhood memories and how and why they were important to you. Figure out ways to work that nostalgia into your own family. If needed, put a new twist on old traditions. Should you decide to help build the foundation of your family by creating fond memories, remember: the memories actually have to be fond. If things don’t go as planned, don’t get irritated and throw a fit. The logistics aren’t important, it’s the involvement of family and tightening of bonds that you’re after. Don’t get bogged down in little things. If you assign your eight-year-old to batter-stirring and he gets agitated and wants to move on to something else, don’t fuss and holler. Let him move on. If your five-year-old accidentally drops an egg on the kitchen floor or gets eggshells in the dough, don’t throw a fit. You want your children to remember a tradition of togetherness and laughter. You don’t want them to remember you spanking them for being too clumsy with your idea of tradition.


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October 2010

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Solo Jewelry Selection Is Tricky Business Selecting a piece of jewelry to give as a gift to the special woman in your life can be an intimidating experience for many men, but it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Michael Richard, owner of M.B. Rich Jewelry. All you have to do is put some clever strategies to work: • Pay attention to the jewelry she already owns. Be observant. Does she prefer bracelets over earrings? Gold over silver? What gems and stones does she prefer, and what size are they? This will give you many clues as what she likes. • Look in her jewelry box. This will give you even more information about what she likes – and what she might be missing. • Ask family and friends. Mothers, sisters and best friends are a treasure trove of information about such things. • Take a subtle stroll through the jewelry store. Next time you and your female companion are out and about, subtly “pass” by a jewelry store window and see which pieces excite her. Get her talking about the kind of jewelry she likes without giving away the future surprise. For more jewelry-buying tips, including what shapes of diamonds make for ideal engagement pieces, call M.B. Rich at 474-0080.

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Veggie Christmas Tree Appetizer

Pumpkin Trifle

1 bottle (8oz) Light Done Right Ranch salad dressing 4 cups broccoli florets 1 broccoli stem 3-4 cups cauliflowerets 4-5 cherry tomatoes quartered 1 medium carrot sliced 1 yellow bell pepper Cover the bottom of a 13 inch x 9 inch x 2 inch glass dish with dressing. Arrange broccoli in a tress shape, using the stem as the trunk. Place cauliflower around tree. Add tomatoes and carrot slices as ornaments. Cut a star out of the yellow bell pepper for the tree topper. Serves 20.

3 cups cold, fat-free milk 2 (1oz) packages vanilla sugar-free, fat-free pudding mix 1 (15 oz) can solid packed pumpkin ¾ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground nutmeg ¼ tsp ginger 1 2/3 cup ginger snap crumbs, roughly crushed 2 ½ cups fat free whipped topping Place the cold milk in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add pudding mixes while mixer is running. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat for 2 minutes on high speed. Chill pudding in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Add pumpkin and spices to pudding and stir well with a spatula. Set aside. To assemble trifle, sprinkle 2/3 cup of ginger snap crumbs in the bottom of a large clear glass bowl. Gently spread about 2 cups of the pumpkin pudding over the crumbs. Spread 1 ½ cups of whipped topping on top of pudding. You should see nice neat layers through the sides of the bowl. Repeat procedure with another 2/3 cup of crumbs and remaining pudding. Top with 1 cup of whipped topping in a neat decorative circle and sprinkle with 1/3 cup crumbs for a garnish. Chill the trifle until ready to serve. Serves 12. 1/2 cup serving=135 calories, 3 gm protein, 25 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm fat

Carrot Soufflé 2 cups mashed cooked carrots 2 Tbsp low fat margarine 1 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp cinnamon 2 Tbsp flour 1 cup sugar ¾ cup egg beater Melt margarine with carrots in saucepan. Cook until soft and mash. Mix dry ingredients and add into carrots. Beat egg beaters and then pour into baking dish. Cook at 400°F for 15 minutes. Lower to 350°F for 45 minutes. Serves 10. Per serving: 150 calories, 2.5 gm fat, .5 gm saturated fat, 140 mg sodium, 24 gm carbohydrate. (1/2 c sugar and ½ c Splenda = 88 calories, 14 gm carbohydrate)

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Make A List and Check It Twice to Avoid Holiday


Research shows that the average American spends well over $1000 on holiday gifts, even when they know they can’t afford it, which makes the holidays one of the most dangerous times of the year for finances, according to Cameron State Bank. It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season, lose sight of your financials, and convince yourself that you’ll get back on track in January, but unfortunately many people find themselves paying for holiday purchases well into the next year and beyond. To avoid holiday spending, practice pre-planning and discipline. Here are a few tips:


Make a list of gift recipients and decide how much you want and can afford to spend on each person or charitable group. If you’re unable to spend as much on gifts this year, prioritize for whom you really want to buy gifts. Having an itemized list will help you stick to your budget when you are shopping.

Wrap Up For Good Health


Everyone thinks about their own personal struggle to stay healthy by eating right and getting regular exercise; this is something most everyone is worried about on some level, whether they are doing something about it right now or not, says primary care physician Maureen Kaough, MD, with CHRISTUS Medical Group. So why not opt for a healthy gift? She offers these suggestions for your new healthy gift list: • Session with a nutritional counselor (most fitness centers or health food stores offer this service) • A healthy-eating book or cookbook • Gift certificate for a wellness exam and health screenings • A crock pot, rice cooker, steamer or small countertop grill to help prepare food in a healthier way. Throw a few recipes in the package. • A massage gift certificate • Fitness club membership • Lessons or sessions to group exercise programs that may be new to someone: pilates, yoga, spinning, kick boxing, dancing, etc. • Session(s) with a personal trainer • Heart rate monitor • Pedometer • Subscription to health or fitness magazine • Exercise dvds • Blender or juicer • Hand weights or exercise bands for easy, at-home exercise • Gift certificate to health food or exercise equipment store • Healthy foods: a gourmet basket of fruit, an assortment of nuts, bottles of almond or olive oil or balsamic vinegar

Do your homework

Comparison-shopping stretches your holiday funds further. Take some extra time to find the best deal by scouring catalogs, sales advertisements and the internet.

Don’t be swayed by sales

A sale isn’t always a sale or the best price in town. It’s just less than what the suggested retail price is or what the retailer sells it for on non-sale days. Be wary of promotions, such as “buy this, get that” or special weekends that offer discounts. Most of these promotions are designed to lure you into the store to buy items not on your list.

Use cash

People spend up to a third more when paying with a credit card instead of cash.

Plan for other expenses

Remember to include other things besides gifts in you holiday budget: travel costs, cards, decorations, postage, food, gift wrap, etc.

Pay off debts as quickly as possible

Thrive Happy Holidaze!

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Thrive Happy Holidaze!

October 2010

Thrive Holiday Guide - November 2010 Issue  

November 2010 Holiday Guide issue of Thrive Magazine

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