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of the Foothills



The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read

Issue 5 - Week of December 9, 2012

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• A famous old poem written on December 25, 1864 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow became one of our best loved Christmas Carols. “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” was actually a poem that Wadsworth wrote concerning the sadness of America’s Civil War and the hope for its end. Two stanzas were removed when the poem was set to music by John Baptiste Calkin in 1872. The words, “Peace on earth, good will toward men,” included in the song, come from Luke 2:14 in the Bible. • Ringing of bells and other noisemakers may have originated with pagans, people who have “little or no religion.” They used the bells to scare away evil spirits.

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• Bells are rung at many major life events and occasions, including weddings and funerals in some religions. In earlier centuries bells were also rung to make announcements at community squares. Many churches ring bells at Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

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This Tidbits will ring some bells of history! Bells have been around for many centuries, including references in the Bible. Long before telephone ringers, ambulance sirens, internet, emails and “tweets,” bells summoned the masses for news, happy and sad.

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BELLS AND WHISTLES (continued): • Traditionally in Anglican and Catholic churches, the church day starts at sunset. So, for many churches the first service of Christmas Day will have bells ringing. These signify the start of Christmas services in many areas. In the United Kingdom (U.K.) it is traditional for the largest bell to be rung four times in the hour prior to midnight; then at midnight all of the bells ring to celebrate Christmas. Many old churches in the U.K. and other European countries have historic bells that have been ringing for centuries. • One of those old churches, St. Lawrence Church in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, has what is thought to be the oldest set of bells in the world. Dating from about 1450, the set of five bells had not been used for two decades because of the poor condition of the tower that housed them. They were in a tower that was built in 1883, that was very flimsy. In a restoration project funded by donations to the Ipswich Historic Churches Trust, the bells were moved to an older, sturdier part of the building that was built in the 15th century. In September, 2009, the bells rang again, much to the delight of the town. Now when the bells are rung, they are in a part of the church where they can be seen through a glass screen. The building is no longer a church but is part of the Ipswich Town Centre. • In the Ipswich project, the bells were cleaned at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in East London. Whitechapel is Britain’s oldest manufacturing company, established during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in 1570. In 1970 the Foundry celebrated 400 years, a quatercentenary! (It is now in its 442nd year.) • Famous bells from Whitechapel include the Liberty

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Bell, the Great Bell of Montreal and the largest bell it has ever cast, Big Ben. • Big Ben at Westminster Abbey deserves its name; weighing 13 tons (11.79 tonnes). It was cast (or made) in 1858. While most of the work of the company is with large bells, including all of the equipment needed and installation in church towers, Whitechapel also makes handbells and other small bells. • While bell ringing, called “change ringing,” is most popular in England where it started centuries ago, there are bell ringers all over the world. Most English church bell towers have at least six to eight, but sometimes as many as sixteen bells in a the bell chamber or belfry. There are more than 5000 churches with bells for change ringing in their bell towers in England, while there are fewer than 300 in the rest of the world. • Change ringing is a performing art, similar to a team sport, in that the team must work together in harmony to ring the bells. It is similar to being a part of an orchestra. Each ringer must learn to do his or her part. There are many change ringing organizations in England. The oldest association is the “Companie of Ringers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln” which was started in 1612. • The first true “peal” was believed to have occurred on May 2, 1715 at St. Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich, England. A peal is “a true touch of at least 5000 changes.” This magical ringing typically takes around three hours to ring! • A strange ban that occurred during World War II was the ringing of bells. Ringing was quickly reinstated when peace returned. • On January 1, 2000, in celebration of the start of the new millennium, bells were rung all over the world.

• There has been change ringing in North America since 1744 with groups of ringers active in Quebec, British Columbia, South Carolina, Illinois and more at various times. By the middle of the 20th century, change ringing in bell towers had almost completely died out on the continent. Change ringing was occurring some with handbells but the history is slim on that. In the early 1960s there were only seven active bell towers in North America: four in Canada and three in the U.S. • The installation of change ringing bells at the new National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. in 1963 stoked the energy for new ringers in North America. Today The North American Change Ringers Guild, officially chartered in 1972, has more than 560 members with about 50 active bell towers in North America. • The London-based “Ancient Society of College Youths” is one of the oldest ringing societies, started in 1637. They have members all over the world. • While bell-ringing is an old and refined form of music, it is also popular in Christmas stories and songs that have nothing to do with classic bell tower tunes. Christmas bells are in many classic Christmas songs: “Jingle Bells,” “Silver Bells,” and “Christmas Bells are Ringing,” are three wellknown Christmas carols that have been passed down for generations. • Santa Claus and his reindeer jingle bells as they fly through the sky. Bells are attached to the reindeer harnesses and Santa’s sleigh. • You have probably heard the saying “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings”. Most remember this saying from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but over a hundred years ago this was a very common saying.

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Should You Prepare for “Fiscal Cliff ”?

As an investor, you can sometimes feel you’re at the mercy of forces beyond your control. This may be especially true today, when the entire country appears to be on edge about the approaching “fiscal cliff.” What can you do in the face of such a dire prediction? First of all, you’ll need to understand what initially led the Federal Reserve to issue the fiscal cliff warning. Here’s the story: Some $1.2 trillion in spending cuts are scheduled to begin in 2013, while, simultaneously, the Bush-era tax cuts —including the reduction in capital gains and dividend taxes — are set to expire. This combination of spending cuts and higher taxes could take some $600 billion out of the economy, leading to a possible recession — and maybe something much worse, at least in the eyes of the Fed.

For advertising, call Aimee (303.842.8250) better positioned to withstand the tempests of volatile financial markets. Consequently, when investing in stocks, look for companies with solid track records, strong management and competitive products. And when purchasing bonds, seek those that earn the highest grades from the independent rating agencies.

Now, let’s turn to taxes. Even if taxes on income, capital gains and dividends do rise, they will still, in all likelihood, be much lower than they’ve been at various points in the past. Nonetheless, you may want to consider a variety of steps, including the following: •Take advantage of tax deferred vehicles. Contribute as much as possible to your traditional IRA, your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, and any education savings accounts you may have, such as a 529 plan. •Convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA provides tax-free earnings, provided you don’t start taking withdrawals until you’re 59-1/2 and you’ve had your account for at least five years. (Be aware, though, that this conversion is taxable, and may not be appropriate if you don’t have money readily available in other accounts to pay the taxes.) •Consider municipal bonds. If you’re in one of the upper tax brackets, you could benefit from investing in “munis,” which pay interest that’s free of federal taxes, and possibly state and local taxes as well.

Still, there’s no need for panic. Despite its political infighting, Congress is likely to reduce the “cliff ” to a smaller bump. But as an investor, you may need to be prepared for two significant Above all else, don’t abandon your long-term events: market volatility, at least in the short plans due to short-term uncertainty — and term, and higher taxes, probably for the avoid making unwarranted and extreme changes foreseeable future. to your portfolio. By staying focused on your goals, and by making well-thought-out moves To combat market volatility, you may want to at the right time, you can help prevent your take these steps: financial goals from going “over a cliff.” •Rebalance — You may need to rebalance your portfolio to ensure it still reflects your This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your target mix of investments, based on your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. long-term goals and your risk tolerance. •Diversify — A broadly diversified portfolio Keep a level head in an can help you navigate “bumps,” “cliffs” and up-and-down market other rugged investment terrain. (Keep in mind, though, that while diversification can Dustin Friend reduce the impact of market volatility, it can’t Financial Advisor guarantee profits or protect against all losses.) •Upgrade investment quality — Generally 10184 W Belleview Ave, Ste 120 speaking, higher-quality investments are Littleton, CO 80127 720.922.3433

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By Samantha Mazzotta

Pesky Relatives Mess Up Workshop


: My wife’s relatives are coming in next week to stay with us through the holidays. They tend to sit around the house, run up the electric bill and mess around with the tools in my workshop. Any tips for handling them? -- Bill in Kissimmee, Fla.


: Unfortunately, I’m not Dear Abby, so I don’t want to step into personal territory by suggesting how to handle relatives. I might be able to provide some suggestions on cutting the electric bill a bit and preserving some of your sanity. You probably won’t be able to change their sitting-around habits (presumably watching television or tapping away on their laptops, if you say they’re running up the electric bill). Talk with your wife about getting away together for an evening or two during their visit, or schedule a get-together with your friends one night. To save electricity turn the heat a few degrees


cooler (or turn the air conditioning a few degrees warmer, since Florida weather can be tricky in December). Not out of your comfort zone, but just a little less intense. Running the central air or heat less can knock a little bit off of that electric bill. Shut off any unused rooms by closing the registers and then shutting the doors. If you have Christmas lights indoors or out, light them for only a few hours each evening. As far as your workshop goes, that’s pretty easy. Set limits. Politely ask, or have your wife ask, your in-laws to stay away from the shop area. You don’t need to give an excuse. As added insurance, lock the door to the shop -as long as it doesn’t impede safe exit from the house in an emergency. HOME TIP: The home workshop can be a welcome escape from a hectic holiday schedule. Make some time to work on a project or just organize your workspace this season. Send your questions or tips to ask@, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Playing Fetch Is Fun Training DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I’ve heard that playing fetch with your dog teaches him bad habits and isn’t effective training. What do you say? -- T.J., via email DEAR T.J.: I heard something like that several years ago, but not from a professional trainer -- from an acquaintance who likely misheard a trainer or misread something. Fetch is both a fun game and a method of dog training. Of course, one original use for the game of fetch was to teach dogs to retrieve small game. Certain breeds, like retrievers, were bred for this purpose. But most dogs have the instinct to run after a thrown object, though not all like to bring it back. The greatest benefit of fetch is that it’s a game you and your dog can play together. It can be part of your daily walks or additional playtime. Here are the basics of fetch: Show your dog the ball or stick. Bounce the ball or wave the stick to get him excited about it. Throw the ball or stick a few feet away -- not too far at first. Let the dog run after it. When he picks it up, call him back, giving him copious praise when he brings back the ball or stick. Keep in mind you’ll probably have to walk out and pick up the ball or stick for awhile until your dog “gets” it. Consider it extra exercise for you. Once your dog understands that he should pick up the ball and bring it back, extend your throwing distance. Keep the game light, and only play it for as long as your dog is interested. Send your questions or comments to ask@, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


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What Year Is It? The front page featured headlines about America’s two theaters of war and the suffering of the Eastern European nations. Korea was a looming threat. A Democrat was re-elected president. The sports pages heralded the upcoming championship game in college football -- No. 1-ranked Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama. “Honey ...” I began to ask my wife, lowering the paper enough to peer across the table at my pretty wife, who was sitting there in a nice dress leafing through a catalog. (I start most of my requests with “honey.” It’s my cue to her to pay attention because I am clearly in need of something ... like the time we were running late for a function and I stood at the top of our stairs in my T-shirt and boxers, clearly in need. “Honey! What should I wear to this thing tonight?” Her reply: “Put on a pair of khakis and a polo shirt.” I nodded, went back to my closet and realized that all of the clothes I own are khakis and polo shirts. But I digress.) “Honey,” I asked again, “what year is this?” Forget the wars, Korea and the election thing for a moment. Those things didn’t seem out of place to me. But really? Notre Dame vs. Alabama? For the championship? And my

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wife is Donna Reed? What is this? 1950? I think I may have shared the fact before that I’m a lucid dreamer. That is, I have the ability to know when I’m in a dream. Typically, a surreally preposterous event occurs in my dream ... like the person I’m talking to suddenly morphs into my dad or something. Alarmed, I will seek out a newspaper in my dream. I can’t read in my dreams, and since I write for a living, I know that can’t be true. (I have poor grammar usage both in my dreams and real life, however.) But there it was, in black and white and not some weird kanji script. Notre Dame and Alabama. There is not column space enough to share the rich histories of these two fabled football programs. I suppose that in the days to come, plenty will be written about Grantland Rice, Rudy, Knute Rockne, the “Four Horsemen” and winning one for “the Gipper.” Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings and colorful hat selections, stock footage of Heisman winners from over the years and lots of other bronze ornamental artifacts will be displayed. I’ll just focus on the surreally preposterous for now (the 12-point line for Alabama being one of them ... bet on the Irish). Alabama has an elephant for a mascot. Notre Dame has a fighting Irish leprechaun and plays under the watchful eye of Jesus Christ signaling for a touchdown. I put down the newspaper and spread a little marmalade on my English muffin. I don’t care what year it is, I think to myself ... Rudy was still offsides. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter who lives in Kansas City.(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

SPORTS QUIZ By Chris Richcreek

1. When was the last time the Chicago White Sox finished last in their division? 2. True or false: In his only season as manager of the Minnesota Twins, Billy Martin led the team to the playoffs. 3. Who led the NFL in rushing the one year that Cleveland’s Jim Brown didn’t during his nineyear NFL career? 4. How many times has Brigham Young’s men’s basketball team made the NCAA Tournament without ever reaching the Final Four? 5. Name the first eighth-seeded NHL team to eliminate a No. 1 and a No. 2 seed in the same season. 6. In 2012, Kamron Doyle (14 years, 218 days old) became the youngest bowler to finish in the top three in a PBA event. Who had been the youngest? 7. Who was the youngest U.S. boxer to win an Olympic gold medal? Answers 1. It was 1989, when they were 69-92. 2. True. The Twins won the A.L. West in 1969. 3. Green Bay’s Jim Taylor rushed for 1,474 yards in 1962. 4. The Cougars have been to 27 NCAA Tournaments. 5. The Los Angeles Kings, in 2012. 6. Wesley Low, at 14 years, 344 days old, finished third in a PBA event earlier in 2012. 7. Jackie Fields was 16 when won a gold medal in the featherweight division in 1924. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Uncertain Times It’s possible that the next NASCAR season will be similar to the one just completed, but it’s not as likely as in the past for 2013 to link seamlessly with 2012. Brad Keselowski is the Sprint Cup champion, and his first probably will not be his last. Keselowski is just 28, with a future as bright as the noonday sun. He drove a Dodge Charger to his title. Next year he’ll be in a Ford Fusion, which, at the very least, requires some adaptation, and at the very most, a bit of uncertainty that wasn’t in place a year ago. Keselowski’s gamble isn’t as great as Clint Bowyer’s a year ago. Bowyer switched teams, moving from Richard Childress’s Chevy into Michael Waltrip’s Toyota. Bowyer finished as runner-up to Keselowski. Really, though, all the cars are going to be different. NASCAR is implementing a design change, the most noticeable development being that the cars will look less like one another and more like cars that actually sit in showrooms and roll around streets. Teams will shake down their cars and pore over

data from tests sanctioned by NASCAR, but the in short run, the balance of power almost surely will shift. Some teams will adapt better than others at the outset. In time, it will even out. Early on, one manufacturer might appear to have a slight advantage. That, too, will pass, but in a sense, the change might make the early part of next season more crucial than last. NASCAR officials also have made changes in the qualifying process, reducing the number of automatic spots in the starting fields. In fairness, it should be added that 2012 was hardly a carbon copy of 2011. The championship changed hands. Keselowski surprised the experts, most of whom expected him to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup but gave him little chance of winning it. A driver who almost won the 2011 championship, Carl Edwards, didn’t even make the Chase. Neither did Kyle Busch, who is almost unanimously considered one of the sport’s great talents. Stay tuned. February is going to be very interesting. *** Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at nascarthisweek@ (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Turn Last Year’s Cards Into Holiday Gift Boxes Turn your saved 2011 holiday cards and this year’s all-occasion greeting cards into nifty gift boxes. These little, easy-to-make boxes are ideal for wrapping flat items such as a gift card, photo frame, jewelry, collector’s baseball, football or basketball cards, a DVD, a CD or a ticket to a movie, concert or play. It’s especially fun for kids to choose cards to suit the personality of the person receiving the gift. For the romantic, pick a card illustrated with roses or a beautiful country scene. Or, if there is a December birthday coming up, look through your old cards to fit the occasion, such as “Happy Birthday to a Special Aunt.” The illustration also might provide a clue for guessing the contents of the box. A snowy, wintry scene of the mountains would be a perfect choice if the gift is a lift ticket for a day of skiing. Here’s how to make a box that is 3/4-inch deep: 1. Cut a standard-style greeting card along its center fold. The front of the card will be the lid of the box. The back of the card will become the bottom of the box; trim this piece 1/8 inch on all four sides, since you will want the bottom of the box to be smaller than the lid. If you wish to cover the verse or message

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on the inside of the card, glue a piece of construction paper on top. 2. Start with the lid. On the back side of the front of the card, measure and draw (with a pencil) four lines the length and width of the card, 3/4 of an inch from the edges. Follow one of the lines at each corner and use scissors to cut a single 3/4-inch slit using the line as a guide -- one cut at each of the four corners. You will have four slits. 3. Fold the card along the four lines, bending the corners and tucking in the flap where you have made the slits. Add a drop of household glue to the corner flaps to hold them in place. 4. Measure, clip, fold and glue or tape the bottom of the box in the same manner. Let glue dry. 5. Trim a piece of tissue paper and place in the box with the gift. Tie with a ribbon, and your gift is ready to give.

(c) 2012 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.


Christmas Fruit Drops The perfect holiday sweets for an old-fashioned swap with friends. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 large eggs 2 cups toasted rice cereal 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped 1/2 cup red candied cherries, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup green candied cherries, coarsely chopped 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease large cookie sheet. 2. On waxed paper, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and sugars until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in vanilla, then eggs, one at a time. At low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl. With spoon, stir in cereal, walnuts, cherries and 1 cup chocolate chips. 3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons, 1 inch apart, onto cookie sheet. Bake cookies 10-11 minutes or until golden. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. 4. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl; heat in microwave on Medium (50 percent power) about 2 minutes or until chocolate melts, stirring once. Stir until smooth. Place cookies on waxed paper; drizzle with melted chocolate. When chocolate is set, store cookies, with waxed paper between layers, in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week, or in freezer up to 3 months. Makes 6 dozen cookies. ¥ Each serving: About 100 calories, 6g total fat (2g saturated), 17mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 12g total carbs, 1g protein. (c) 2011 Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

Tapenade on Toasts A smooth spread of Kalamata olives, anchovy fillets and garlic tops golden toasts in this appetizer recipe.


Pea and Pasta Salad During the hectic days leading up to the holidays, it’s nice to have side salads waiting in the refrigerator for last-minute meals. This great pasta salad is perfect alongside grilled burgers or baked chicken breasts. 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish 1 (2-ounce) jar chopped pimiento, drained 1 1/2 cups cold cooked rotini pasta, rinsed and drained 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, pickle relish and pimiento. Add rotini pasta and peas. Mix well to combine. Fold in Cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Gently stir again just before serving. Makes 6 (2/3 cup) servings. „ Each serving equals: 164 calories, 4g fat, 9g protein, 23g carb., 153mg sodium, 3g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 1 Meat. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

2 teaspoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic, 1 crushed with press 1 11- to 12-inch thin pizza crust 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted 2 anchovy fillets 2 tablespoons olive oil, for tapenade 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1. Preheat oven to 475 F. 2. In small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons olive oil with 1 clove crushed garlic. 3. Brush mixture over crust; cut crust into 12 wedges. Bake on cookie sheet 10 minutes or until golden brown. 4. In food processor, pulse olives, anchovy fillets, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil and pepper until very finely chopped. Serve on toasts. Serves 6. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our website at (c) 2012 Hearst Communications, Inc.All rights reserved


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CHRISTMAS CARDS The first Christmas cards were issued to raise awareness of people in need. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole, in England, wanted to help those living in desolate conditions. • Sir Henry was a writer of children’s books, handbooks for art and design and many more ventures. He was involved in public service for more than 50 years, including assisting with the postal service. • Being a man with many personal and business friends and acquaintances, and considering that people would hand write their Christmas greetings, he felt that he didn’t have time to write them. In 1843, he commissioned artist John Calcott Horsley to design a card that would depict the poor living

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conditions under which many lived. His idea was to raise awareness and encourage help for the poor. • Ironically, the card that Horsley made for Sir Henry Cole caused quite a stir of criticism. The happy family on the front of the card included a child sipping wine! As in today’s society, this was not acceptable behavior. In spite of the inappropriateness, the Christmas card was a hit. • Neither Cole nor Horsley had any idea of the impact their Christmas cards would have on Britain, later America and even the world over. By 1880 the design and development of cards would become big business and open up opportunities for writers, artists, printers and engravers. • The first Christmas cards were not religious in nature. They usually were quite plain with depictions of animals, winter scenes, girls, dolls and more. A few had drawings of angels. • The first appearance of Christmas cards in the United States was in 1874. Bavarianborn lithographer, Louis Prang, is often referred to as the “Father of the American Christmas card.” • Prang ran a successful printing company in Boston during the late nineteenth century, producing high quality reproductions of famous art work and greeting cards, using a technique called chromolithography. Prior to his cards, Christmas cards were rarely exchanged in America. His cards were among the first to depict religious scenes. • U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official Christmas card from the White House in 1953. Now, a common practice, the official White House cards are usually designed by prominent American artists and depict White House scenes. In 1961 there were just 2000 recipients of the official cards; by 2005 there were 1.4

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million! • One of the largest greeting card companies in the world, Hallmark, has done remarkably well with Christmas cards, wrapping paper, ornaments and more. All kinds of cards are made by the company started by two brothers in 1910 in Norfolk, Nebraska. They moved to Kansas City, Missouri shortly after to be near a bigger market of customers. The slogan, “when you care enough to give the very best,” was adopted in 1944. • The international headquarters for Hallmark are located at Crown Center in Kansas City. The Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the tallest in the nation, is erected at Crown Center Square every year. The Hallmark Visitor Center is fun any time of year, with free admission. There are many great exhibits, including one where you can press a button to create a bow that you can keep as a souvenir. • Another free Christmas goody happened a few years ago in Germany. In 2004, the German post office gave away 20 million scented stickers for Christmas cards with smells like fir trees, cinnamon, gingerbread, and more. What a “scent-sational” idea!

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For advertising, call Aimee (303.842.8250) THE RICH LOWRY COLUMN By Rich Lowry

America’s First Christmas Gen. George Washington’s army retreated from New York in ignominy in November 1776. As it moved through New Jersey, Lt. James Monroe, the future president, stood by the road and counted the troops: 3,000 left from an original force of 30,000. In December 1776, the future of America hung on the fate of a bedraggled army barely a step ahead of annihilation. The Americans confronted about two-thirds of the strength of the British army, and half its navy, not to mention thousands of German mercenaries. The defense of New York was barely worthy of the name. When British troops crossed into Manhattan at Kips Bay, the Americans ran. Washington reportedly exclaimed in despair, “Are these the men with which I am to defend America?” Later, from the New Jersey Palisades, he watched as the British took Fort Washington across the Hudson, held by 3,000 American troops, and put surrendering Americans to the sword. According to one account, Washington turned away and wept “with the tenderness of a child.” British strategy depended on shattering American faith in the Continental Army and reconciling the rebellious colonies to the Crown. As the Americans fled to the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River, the British occupied New Jersey and offered an amnesty to anyone declaring his loyalty. They had thousands of takers, including one signer of the Declaration of Independence. With expiring enlistments about to reduce


his army further, Washington decided on a scheme to cross the Delaware on Christmas and surprise the Hessian garrison in Trenton. “If the raid backfired,” Washington biographer Ron Chernow writes, “the war was likely over and he would be captured and killed.” Behind schedule, Washington’s main force of 2,400 started crossing the river that night. Yes, most of them were standing up in flat-bottomed boats. Yes, there were ice floes. It wasn’t until 4 a.m. that all the men were across the river. They had 9 miles still to march to Trenton in a driving storm and no chance of making it before daybreak. Washington considered calling it off, but he had already come too far. Arriving at Trenton at 8 a.m., his spirited troops seemed “to vie with the other in pressing forward,” he wrote afterward. They surprised the Hessians, who didn’t expect an attack in such weather. The battle ended quickly -- 22 Hessians killed, 83 seriously wounded and 900 captured, to two American combat deaths. “It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater and more lasting effects upon the history of the world,” British historian George Trevelyan wrote. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer sees in the American resurgence after our fortunes were at their lowest a reassuring aspect of our national character in this season of discontent: We respond when pressed. Dr. Benjamin Rush, a great supporter of the American cause, wrote: “Our republics cannot exist long in prosperity. We require adversity and appear to possess most of the republican spirit when most depressed.” May it still be so. Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review. (c) 2012 by King Features Synd., Inc.

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seeds for a change of taste. Melt chocolate chips and dip one side in it, then let dry on waxed paper. Endless possibilities!

¥ “Digital picture books are very easy to make these days, and they make great gifts. But here’s a way we use our digital photos to keep the kids engaged at family gatherings. Each family prints out a selection of photos. We let the kids make their own books using half sheets of paper, glue and markers. They design frames, etc. After they have several pages done, we tie them together and make a cover of heavy cardstock. It’s a great take-home craft, a special souvenir for visitors and it gets them talking about family moments.” -- R.E. in Alabama ¥ Want to mix it up a bit with your traditional chocolate chip cookies? Try rolling them in different types of chopped nuts or sprinkles. Even crushed pretzels are really good. Or change the flavor of the chip. Add minced dried fruit, quick oats or other

¥ At a loss for what to do with Christmas cards from years past? Why not make a wreath? Cut out a large ring from a cardboard box or other sturdy material. Arrange cards at different angles around the circle. Add decorative holiday picks or sprays, and ribbon or bow for depth. ¥ Having a holiday party? Put food and drinks in separate areas, as these are places that guests tend to linger. With different stops for each, guests will not bunch up in one place trying to do both, and it actually encourages mingling! ¥ Looking for a great cause for gifting this year? Go to to find out more about how your prospective charities rank in areas like CEO pay, money spent on fundraising, etc. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 328536475 or e-mail JoAnn at

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. PSYCHOLOGY: If you had choreophobia, what would you be afraid of? 2. COMICS: What comic hero has a nemesis named Ming the Merciless? 3. TELEVISION: Where were the characters of “Laverne and Shirley” employed in Milwaukee? 4. ARCHITECTURE: Who invented the geodesic dome? 5. LITERATURE: What were the names of “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas? 6. MOVIES: What male actor starred in the 1981 film “Arthur,” and who was his leading lady? 7. GEOGRAPHY: Where is the island country of Sri Lanka located? 8. CHEMISTRY: What is the Periodic Table symbol for zinc? 9. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What nickname did author Tom Wolfe give the 1970s? 10. LANGUAGE: What are corsairs? Answers 1. Dancing, 2. Flash Gordon, 3. Shotz Brewery, 4. Richard Buckminster Fuller, 5. Aramis, Athos and Porthos, 6. Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli, 7. Off the coast of India, 8. Zn, 9. The “Me” Decade, 10. Privately owned warships (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Issue 5  

Issue 5 - Tidbits of the Foothills