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Thursday, November 30, 2016

The benefits to buying local this holiday season


oliday shopping dominates many people’s free time between the day after Thanksgiving and the final days before Christmas. While many people may shop ‘til they drop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, those days still account for a relatively small amount of the hundreds of billions of dollars that are spent each holiday season. Shoppers now have a bevy of options at their disposal as they embark on holiday shopping season. Traditional in-store retailers are still around, and online shopping continues to grow in popularity with each holiday season. But many holiday shoppers are looking to buy local this holiday season, and such a decision can pay a host of dividends for both shoppers and the communities they call home.

—Continued on C3—




Country Inn Kennels We’ll take care of your pets during your holiday travels!


Boarding Grooming



4779 US Hwy. 158 Roanoke Rapids, NC 252-519-0519







• Pedal Cars • Fresh Raw Peanuts • Or Give an Oil Change Gift Certificate

Where Unique Outdoor Living Begins Specializing in: Gifts ✿ Outdoor

Furniture ✿ Glazed Pottery Umbrellas ✿ Windchimes Statuaries ✿ Birdhouses

3803 Dortches Blvd. ✿ Rocky Mount, NC


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10-5 and Sat. 9-4


Gift Certificates Available



Dress your Christmas table with

Gardner’s Collards & Country Ham On Sale Till Christmas

107 Smith Church Rd. • Roanoke Rapids, NC



139 Elams Rd. • Littleton, NC (Near Food Lion)


163 Nashville Commons Dr. • Nashville, NC




Pastor Edwin Horsley

Roanoke Salem Missionary Baptist Church 2757 Cornwallis Road • Garysburg, NC 27831


Sunday, December 4, 2016 Roanoke Salem Missionary Baptist Church Installation Service for Pastor Edwin Horsley will be held at 3:00 PM. Guest preacher will be Reverend Douglas Harris, Pastor of Mid Way Unity Fellowship Church, Quincy, Florida. The Combined Choir will render music. Family and Friends are invited to attend.

B & J’s has business delivery available


418 Becker Dr. Roanoke Rapids


Buying Local — Continued fron C1

• Buying local benefits your local economy. Studies from Civic Economics, an economics and strategics planning firm, found that independent, locally-owned retailers return a far greater percentage of their revenue into their local economies than national chain stores. One such study examined the disparity between revenue recirculation among independent, locally-owned businesses in Raleigh, North Carolina, versus four major national chains in the city. The former recirculated 51.1 percent of revenue into the local economy, while the latter recircu-

lated less than 14 percent. Similar results were discovered in many cities, indicating that buying local not only benefits local business owners, but also the communities those owners and their customers call home. • Buying local creates jobs in your community. One of the biggest ways local business owners in Raleigh recirculated their revenue in the local economy was job creation. While national chains also create jobs, such jobs only benefit your community if the chains are located within your community. If your local mall is a

considerable drive away, chances are the chains within that mall are not employing many of your fellow community members. Local businesses in your community are more likely to employ residents of your town. • Shopping local may provide access to more unique gifts. In addition to the economic benefits of buying local, shoppers may find merchandise made by local craftsmen is more unique than massproduced items found on the shelves of national retailers. Recipients may cherish more unique items that they cannot find on their own, and that appreciation may even spur them to visit more local retailers after the holiday season has come and gone, benefiting their own communities in so doing. • Local business may provide a more personal touch. Buying from national chains has its advantages, but customer service is not always one of them. Should your loved ones encounter problems with their gift that requires assistance, they might be forced to wait on the phone for extended periods of time as they and thousands of others wait for customer service representatives to answer their calls. Local businesses do not deal with nearly the volume of customers as national retailers and, therefore, are capable of addressing concerns more quickly and personally than large chains. Buying local not only benefits small business owners, but it also pays dividends for their customers and the communities they call home.






Shop during our sale and make Christmas Dreams a Reality

931 Roanoke Avenue, Roanoke Rapids

252-537-2528 “Proud to be voted Favorite Place to Buy Furniture in the Roanoke Valley”



Holiday gift ideas for the new parent in your life


any parents fondly recall their first holiday season as a mom and dad. While youngsters may not remember much about their first Thanksgiving dinner with family or where their first Christmas present was placed under the tree, parents tend to cherish such memories, making their first holidays with children in tow very memorable. Loved ones of new parents can take steps to make this holiday season even more special. The following are some gift ideas for holiday shoppers who want to make this season even more memorable for the proud new parents in their lives. · Photo album: Today’s new parents have more pictures and video of their bundles of joy than any previous generation of moms and dads, as smartphones, tablets and other devices have made taking pictures much easier than in years past. But family members also have more access to such photos than ever before, making it easy to put together a special photo album of the new parents and their new child. Pull pictures from the parents’ social media accounts or make an album of the numerous photos you have no doubt received since your loved ones became parents. Parents likely don’t have time to make such albums, so your efforts will almost certainly be appreciated. · Camcorder: Many smartphones are capable of taking video, but such devices are not ideal for shooting longer home videos new parents will want to watch for years to come. An HD camcorder with sufficient internal flash memory can allow new parents to take longer, higher quality videos with superior audio to those that are shot on smartphones. Such a camcorder may be costly for those shopping on a strict budget, but it’s a gift new parents are sure to love and utilize for years to come. • Spa treatment: Not every gift you buy for the new parents in your life needs to focus on helping them cherish their first holiday season as parents. New parents tend to experience lots of exhaustion in their first few months on the job, but a spa treatment can be just the relaxing break they need from catering to their bundle of joys’ every need. Moms may prefer the full spa treatment, while dads may simply want a massage and some relaxing time in the steam room. Book a treatment for both mom and dad so they can spend some time relaxing during this hectic time of year. New parents often cherish their first holiday season as moms and dads, and the right holiday gift can make that first holiday season even better.




Revisit lesser-known Christmas traditions


hristmas celebrants participate in many different traditions year after year, but some may not fully understand the meaning behind such activities. A Christian holiday, Christmas did not originate with all activities centralized to the church. In fact, many of the traditions people hold dear have pagan roots, which were adapted as Christmas celebrations evolved. People who hang mistletoe in doorways may be surprised to learn that this tradition dates back to the ancient Druids. The Druids believed mistletoe possessed mystical powers that brought good luck to the household and warded off evil spirits. Evergreen trees are now associated with Christmas trees, but evergreen boughs were once used to decorate homes during the winter solstice to help people envision the spring to come. Christians often look at evergreen trees as a sign of everlasting life and their relationship with God. However, while many Christmas traditions continue to be an integral part of annual celebrations, there are some customs that have fallen out of favor. Although these traditions may no longer be widely practiced, anyone can revive them and make them part of their holiday celebrations. Wassailing is a custom that has ancient origins and is not as popular today as it once was. “Wassail” comes from the Ango-Saxon phrase “waes hael,” which means, “good health.” Wassail is a drink made of mulled ale, spices and other ingredients. To go wassailing meant to travel door-to-door singing and offering a drink from a wassail bowl in exchange for gifts. Wassailing has been mentioned in certain Christmas carols, including “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Largely an English tradition, wassailing was brought to America by British settlers. January 17th, the old Twelfth Night, is the traditional date for wassailing. Although wassailing has largely fallen by the wayside, increased interest in ales and craft brewing may help revitalize this Christmas tradition, which can inspire community spirit. Gifting with fruit cake is another tradition that has been much maligned and does not enjoy the same popularity that it once did. Fruit cake is a cake made with chopped candied fruit, nuts and spices and is occasionally soaked in spirits. Fruit cakes have been enjoyed all over the world, but Americans may never have embraced the Christmas fruit cake tradition as much as those from other countries. However, with the right recipe and an open mind, it may be possible to resurrect the fruit cake tradition once again. Mummers plays are another British tradition that arrived in North America with settlers but has largely fallen by the wayside. Mummers plays involved miming folk dramas, and the plays were commonplace around the holiday season. Celebrants may want to research such dramas and include them in this year’s festivities to liven up celebrations even more. Traditions passed on through the years help make Christmas a favorite time of celebration. People may want to explore the less popular traditions today and once again make them interesting parts of this year’s festivities.



ccording to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 91 percent of long-distance holiday travel is by personal vehicle. And while many people may associate holiday travel with long lines at airport check-in counters and security checkpoints, the BTS notes that just 5 to 6 percent of holiday trips are taken by air. The remaining 2 to 3 percent are taken by bus, train, ship, or another mode of transportation. The average long-distance holiday trip for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday is 275 miles, which is slightly longer than the average long-distance trip during the rest of the year, indicating that many travelers are willing to travel farther for the holiday season than they might be during the rest of the year. In addition, when traveling long distances for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday, travelers spend roughly four nights away from home on average.




How to make gift wrapping easier W

hile holiday shoppers are often enthusiastic about finding great gifts for their loved ones, many are decidedly less excited about wrapping those gifts. Many holiday shoppers spend hours wrapping gifts each year, and as gift lists grow, so does the amount of time needed to get all of those presents wrapped, hidden, packaged and/or shipped. Shoppers can employ the following strategies to make the process go much more smoothly and to reduce gift wrap-related anxiety. • Relearn the basics. Some people may think they know how to wrap gifts, only to realize it’s harder than it looks once the paper, scissors and Scotch tape comes out. Relearn the basics by viewing online tutorials prior to wrapping gifts so the lessons learned remain fresh in your mind. Learn how to wrap standard clothing gift boxes and recognize that such boxes can often be used to house oddly-shaped items. • Wrap as you buy. Instead of getting bogged down with wrapping all in one evening, wrap presents as you purchase them. This ensures that you don’t leave everything for the last minute and reduces the likelihood that curious kids or inquisitive spouses discover gifts before the big day. • Work on a hard surface. It may be tempting to lay everything out on your bed and wrap gifts while you’re binge-watching the latest Netflix series. But hard surfaces make the best places to wrap gifts. This ensures there won’t be any wrinkles in the paper and that you won’t lose supplies in the bedspread. • Rely on double-sided tape. For that professional look, invest in some double-sized tape so you will not have any unsightly tape lines. • Keep all of your supplies together. Store wrapping paper, scissors, tags, tape, ribbons, and whatever else you may need to wrap gifts in one convenient location. This cuts down on time wasted hunting for supplies around the house. • Draw on plain gift boxes. Make your own “wrapped gifts” by drawing or stenciling on plain gift boxes if you’re short on time. • Identify recipients by gift wrap. Designate one gift wrap for each person on your shopping list. This way you can easily distinguish one person’s gifts from another’s. This can keep things more organized when sorting and visiting with friends and relatives later on. • Keep gift bags on hand. Gift bags work in a pinch and make it easy to conceal gifts that are hard to wrap. Curious loved ones can easily peak inside gift bags, so be sure to wrap gifts in tissue

paper before placing them in the bags. • Less is usually more. Do not use too much paper when wrapping; otherwise, you will be left with bulky, sloppy folds. Before trimming the gift wrap from the roll, check that it overlaps the ends of the box by just a couple of inches. A sturdy paper will help you achieve crisper folds and prevent tears when wrapping. For the simplest wrapping design, try kraft paper (brown mailing paper), which can be dressed up with ribbons, cutouts or stamps. The process of wrapping holiday gifts can go more smoothly when applying some time-tested tips and tricks.

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(252)537-8133 1225 Julian R. Allsbrook Hwy., Roanoke Rapids, NC




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