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WOMANWOMAN
Today’s LANCASTER, SC • WINTER 2015
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WOMANWOMANWWWWWOMANWWWOMANWWOMANOMANOMANWOMANWOMANWOMANWOMANWOMANOMANOMANWOMANWOMANWWWOMANWOMANWOMANWWWOMANWOMANWOMANOMANOMANWOMANOMAN
HOLIDAY
TRADITIONS
Christmas Miracle
Trees & Toys
Caroling
Shopping
Food
Girls
on the
Runway
Can’t
WeAll
JustGet
Along?
Can’t
WeAll
JustGet
Along?SANTA
2 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 3
is a free quarterly publication of The Lancaster News
701 N. White St., Lancaster, SC 29720 • P.O. Box 640, Lancaster, SC 29721
Telephone: (803) 283-1133 or toll-free (800) 844-9344 Fax: (803) 283-8969
Publisher: Susan Rowell • Editor: Jane Alford • Designers: Jane Alford, Athena Redmond
Contributors: Nita Brown, Amanda Harris, Carrie Helms, David Kellin,
Kelly Lessard, Ashley Lowrimore, Chris McGinn, Eric Rowell
Advertising Staff: Rachel Bradley, Michelle Craig, Wanda Linderman, Linda O’Neil, Lori Sistare, Donna Stokes
Graphics Staff: Tim Dawkins, Vicki Jenkins
Landmark Community Newspapers of South Carolina Inc.
WOMANWOMAN
Today’s
4 • TODAY’S WOMAN • WINTER 2015
Contents
Cover photo by Eric Rowell shows Carrie Helms and her baby, Amelia.
Read her story, Christmas Miracle, on page 5.
Brighten the Season for Senior Citizens
11
Ready, Set, SHOP
Local women share their
holiday shopping habits
15
18
Girls on the Runway
Local girls share views
on true beauty at Inside
Out Runway Show
Santa Claus shares his secrets
21
Today’s Man
22
7 Time-Saving Seasonal Tips
Happy Holidays for ALL
Compromise key to making
season bright for blended families
9
Timeless Toys
14
22
Shop Safely during Holidays
20
Spice Up the Holidays
Christmas Miracle
PawPaw lives to see grandbaby
5
Happy Holidays for ALL
12
Holiday TREEditions
Some like them real, some don’t
7
Carolina Carolers
Wandering singers still
spread Christmas cheer
WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 5
Last Christmas, (my husband) Gary
and I announced to our family
that we were expecting a new
addition to our family; I was six weeks
pregnant at the time.
This was a very exciting time for us
all, especially my parents; they have
been waiting for a new grandchild for a
long time, about 10 years. I was excited
about being pregnant and nervous at the
same time. Our due date was Aug. 16.
Those who know me know I am very
close with my parents, Jerry and Marilyn
Williams. They are my world.
STRESSFUL PREGNANCY
In January, my daddy went into the hospi-
tal. He was at the Lancaster hospital and then
was transported by helicopter to Carolinas
Medical Center. Daddy was having congestive
heart failure and his kidneys were shutting down.
It was a very stressful time for me and my fam-
ily.
My daddy ended up having major surgery, which we
knew was a risk and didn’t know if it would work or not.
He had to have a left ventricular assist device (LVAD),
which is a pump that keeps the blood flowing to his heart
to keep him alive. He is one of two people in Lancaster
County who has this.
Here I was, pregnant during my first trimester, trying to
take care of me and Sweet Pea and worried to death about
losing my daddy. Everyone was telling me to try to not be
so stressed because I could lose the baby. That is hard to do
when you are daddy’s little girl.
My mommy would stay at the hospital Monday through
Thursday and my brother, Jimmy, and I would rotate
Friday through Sunday if he didn’t have to work the week-
end shift, so Mommy could come home and get her some
rest and do what she had to do.
I worked all I could during the week and helped my par-
ents Friday through Sunday. I am blessed to be the
Lancaster County treasurer and work with a great staff
that helped and supported me during my daddy’s illness
and my pregnancy. Even through the trial of my daddy’s
sickness, I worked and did my job to the best of my ability.
Daddy was in the hospital until March 15, a long and
stressful two months, and then he was in and out of the
hospital after that.
I was told by so many that God blessed me with a child
to prepare me for my daddy’s death. That was not easy to
hear.
I prayed so hard that God would heal my daddy so he
could at least see his grandchild. I knew it was God’s will,
not mine.
‘MINI ME’
I went to the doctor March 30 to see what we were going
to have, and most have a reveal party, but that was hard
for me to do with Daddy being in the hospital. I wanted
him and my mommy to know as soon as I did, because I
didn’t know what the future held.
I called and told them they were going to have a “mini
me.” I told Daddy that he had to get better so he could see
his Sweet Pea. My mommy didn’t get to go with me to the
doctor to see the ultrasound because she was taking care of
Daddy at the hospital. He was in rehab at CMC.
After Daddy was able to come home, it was a long jour-
ney, but he worked hard with the therapist and he got
stronger every day. Once I knew he was able to get in the
wheelchair and I could get him out, I made an appointment
at 3D Dreams in Fort Mill to have an ultrasound done so
Daddy and Mommy could see their precious angel.
BY CARRIE HELMS • SPECIAL TO TODAY’S WOMAN
PawPaw lives to see grandbaby
Christmas
Miracle
>>>
In January, my daddy went into the hospi-
tal. He was at the Lancaster hospital and then
was transported by helicopter to Carolinas
Medical Center. Daddy was having congestive
heart failure and his kidneys were shutting down.
It was a very stressful time for me and my fam-
My daddy ended up having major surgery, which we
knew was a risk and didn’t know if it would work or not.
He had to have a left ventricular assist device (LVAD),
which is a pump that keeps the blood flowing to his heart
to keep him alive. He is one of two people in Lancaster
mas
Miracle
PHOTO BY
ERIC ROWELL
After a
heart scare
with her father,
Jerry Williams,
Carrie Helms is look-
ing forward to sharing
her baby Amelia’s first
Christmas with her daddy, too.
6 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
I just felt I needed to do this for them. I didn’t know if
this would be Daddy’s only opportunity to see her or not.
I just didn’t know what God’s plans were. This was a very
emotional and special day for us all to see our baby girl
together. Daddy and Mommy both got to see their precious
granddaughter for the first time. There were no dry eyes in
the room.
Daddy continued to do therapy and gained strength
enough to use a walker. God had a plan.
On July 31, I went into the hospital, due to blood pres-
sure complications. My parents were there with Gary and
me the whole time, except for night time because Daddy
would have to recharge for the next day.
Amelia Grace Helms arrived at 11:59 a.m. Sunday, Aug.
2. God blessed us with a healthy baby girl – 7 pounds, 6
ounces, and 20 inches long.
Amelia was surrounded by the ones who love her and
were just excited as us to meet her. We were blessed with
family and friends who were by our side through it all. I
am so thankful for the love and support that we received
during this special time in our life.
I am now back at work, as of Sept. 28 after being out on
maternity leave. Amelia’s babysitters are MawMaw and
PawPaw – how lucky can she be? She is a blessing to us, and
we are blessed that they are able to care for her and love
her each day.
photos courtesy of Carrie Helms
ABOVE: Gary and Carrie Helms welcomed their daughter, Amelia Grace Helms, into the
world at 11:59 a.m. Aug. 2, 2015. LEFT: Jerry Williams plays with his granddaughter,
Amelia, in late October. “It is still emotional to see them together! Two miracles!” Helms
said.
WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 7
While Christmas caroling
may not be as popular as
it once was, a few
Lancaster County groups are ensuring
the time-honored tradition lives on amid
the hustle and bustle of the season.
Forest Hills neighborhood residents
have gone door-to-door singing
Christmas carols on Sherwood Circle for
at least 15 years, said Ann Scott, who
started the tradition with her friend,
Susan DeVenny, when their children
were young. Some years as many as 50
carolers participated, as the children
grew and invited their friends.
The group sings two songs at each
house and always ended with the holiday
favorite, “We Wish You a Merry
Christmas.”
After caroling, the group would meet
back at Scott’s house for a potluck-style
dinner.
“It’s always been, ‘the more the merri-
er,’” Scott said. “Hopefully, the tradition
will go on.”
SINGING FOR THE HOMEBOUND
Patti Steen grew up caroling in the
Forest Hills neighborhood and now coor-
dinates Immanuel Baptist Church’s car-
oling to homebound church members.
“People who have special needs, or
who had a loss in the past year, those are
our priorities,” Steen said.
Steen said she has met homebound
church members through caroling that
she would not have had an opportunity
to meet otherwise.
“I’m a big believer in Christmas carol-
ing,” she said.
One woman, who cares for her home-
BY KELLY LESSARD FOR TODAY’S WOMAN
FILE PHOTO
Members of Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services travel to businesses in Lancaster County singing Christmas carols.
Here, from left, Stacey Chapman, Randall Reynolds, Lisa Doster, Sherri Brady and Sharon Cooper sing at The Lancaster News
offices in December 2013.
‘We Wish You a
Merry Christmas’
TOP 10 CHRISTMAS
SONGS
For many people, the holiday season
has not truly begun until the music
synonymous with this festive time of
year has hit the airwaves. While fami-
lies have their own unique holiday
traditions, over time certain holiday
songs have emerged as favorites.
Billboard, which tracks the music
industry’s most popular songs, com-
piled the following list of the top 10
most popular Christmas songs:
10. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by
John Lennon
9. “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)”
by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
8. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of
the Year” by Andy Williams
6. “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano
5. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl
Ives
4. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts
Roasting on an Open Fire)” by Nat
King Cole
3. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms
2. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas
Tree” by Brenda Lee
1. “All I Want for Christmas is You”
by Mariah Carey>>>
8 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
bound husband, especially looks forward to the carolers
coming each year, Steen said.
“She knew the church was coming caroling that day,
and she said, ‘I was hoping we were going to be on the
list,’” Steen said. “She made cookies for us.”
The sick and homebound could use a little extra cheer
this time of year, she said.
“Homebounds tend to get forgotten a lot,” Steen said.
“Since they can’t get out and go and do Christmas things,
it’s nice to bring a little Christmas (to them).”
Spreading Christmas cheer
Members of the Lancaster County EMS, Lancaster Fire
Department and Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, who
call themselves “The Always Ready Emergency Troupe,”
carol around town at nursing homes, the Lancaster
County Administration Building, The Lancaster News and
more.
“We go around and Christmas carol and spread some
Christmas cheer,” said Sherri Brady, EMS training coordi-
nator. “We have a good time doing it, that’s for sure.”
The group especially enjoys singing at the Lancaster
Convalescent Center, and the residents enjoy them just as
much, carolers say.
“Older people who aren’t able to get out, we like to go
and see those folks,” Brady said. “Usually when EMS goes
there, bad things have happened.”
“It makes them happy and it makes us happy,” said
Janie Denby, EMS quality assurance manager. “They tell
us ‘thank you’ a thousand times before we can get out the
door.”
The residents sing and clap along with the carolers,
Denby said.
“I think every one of us last year walked out of there
crying, but it was great. It was good tears,” she said.
WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 9
by Amanda Harris for Today’s Woman
Compromise key to making season
bright for blended families
Holidays are a time for joy
and celebration, but for
many blended families, the sea-
son can also be a time for chal-
lenges as they try to balance
separate lives.
One of the biggest hurdles
blended families face, especially
those with stepparents and
children, is the parents’ inabili-
ty to look at holidays as the
children’s time versus their
own, said Shannon Crockett,
owner of BALANCE Family
Court Services in Lancaster.
“Blended families struggle
more in my statistical experi-
ence than families that have
just divorced,” she said. “Newly
divorced and single parents do
far better than blended fami-
lies.”
Crockett said adding another
parent into the mix means hav-
ing to balance more traditions
and schedules, which is usually
where the chaos begins.
“The holidays are a balancing
act that forgets the emotional
needs of the children in the face
of scheduling,” she said.
Crockett said many Lancaster
County families will follow the
family court’s typical visitation
schedule of splitting holidays
between odd and even years, a
strategy she said may not be in
the children’s best interest as
they lose out on important tra-
ditions with one of their par-
ents each year.
“Kids lose in that,” Crockett
said. “They have learned,
through divorce, that life is not
fair.”
Teresa Ormand, a licensed
Lancaster therapist who offers
counseling services, agrees that
the standard schedule isn’t the
best option for holidays.
photo courtesy of Shannon Crockett
Shannon Crockett, right, enjoys breakfast with her own blended family, which includes her children, her boyfriend’s ex-wife and their children. Crockett, owner of BALANCE Family Court
Services in Lancaster, says blended families need to focus on the emotional needs of children during the holidays rather than just trying to balance their schedules.
HolidayAdviceforBlendedFamilies
• Communicate and keep holidays equal between the different
households. Don’t use Christmas gift-giving to make up for a per-
ceived deficit for the rest of the year.
• Use mediation services to work out the best schedule for your
family.
• Share the costs associated with holidays as a family. Don’t wait
until the last minute to make major holiday plans, especially those
involving children.
• Keep children out of the middle of the decision-making process
when it comes to holiday schedules.
• Make holidays about the children rather than the parents and do
things together.
• Be honest with children and give them a voice in holiday sched-
ules when possible.
• Actively listen to the children - listen to understand their needs
rather than to respond.
• Don’t ever put the other parent down.
• Make holidays about spending time together rather than sched-
uling too many activities.
• Have children use their creative outlets to make things for their
other parent or to help them cope with emotions during holidays with
their blended family.
• Use local resources, including local ministers, the public library,
the United Way helpline (211) and online databases to become edu-
cated and make holidays more enjoyable for your blended family.
– Compiled with information from Lancaster counselors
Shannon Crockett and Teresa Ormand
Happy Holidays For ALL
>>>
10 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
“It’s OK for parents that aren’t taking the children into
consideration,” she said. “The child is the one that is going
to be hurt the worst.”
Ormand said the best-case scenario is for families to
work out a schedule that allows the children to spend time
with both parents during the holidays.
“When parents can compromise with each other, it
allows the child to share in the happiness with both fami-
lies,” she said. “Communication is the key.”
Blended families may also face the issue of giving a
sense of entitlement to the primary parent, in which case
the child becomes a tool used against the other parent,
causing anger on both sides, Crockett said.
Sharing holiday events like visiting Santa Claus is one of
the ways blended families can ensure children’s needs are
met, she said.
“It’s important for children to see parents be able to do
things for them, even though the marriage didn’t work,”
Crockett said.
Even beyond the holidays, she said blended families
should try to attend events together whenever possible, as
it is a crucial part of helping children develop their own
view of long-term relationships.
“It only takes 10 minutes to stand around that child
together as a new blended family to praise and honor
them,” she said.
Crockett has had her own experience at blending her
family with her children, her boyfriend’s ex-wife and their
children. She said they try to do things together with the
kids as often as possible, a fact that has led to healthy,
emotionally balanced children.
“We just do what’s best for the kids,” Crockett said. “It
can be done; parents just have to want to do it and be
selfless.”
Mediation can help
While Lancaster County is not a mediation county,
those services are still available for families and can be a
great resource, she said.
“There are a lot of really good attorneys in Lancaster
County that suggest going to mediation with their clients,
and it’s helping a lot of children in Lancaster,” Crockett
said.
“Mediation counties greatly benefit and protect children
because it gives the parents the opportunity to preserve
their traditions.”
Overall, blended families must make the holidays about
compromise, Ormand said.
“It comes down to mutual respect, communication and
having a caring attitude for the children involved,” she
said. “The more that children see parents getting along, the
more secure they are going to be.”
s the holiday season approaches, senior citizens who
can’t get around much anymore may feel left out of
many traditional events. It may be difficult or
exhausting to brave the crowds in stores to shop, let alone
go Christmas caroling or host a family get-together. But that
doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t want to be included.
Fortunately, local senior organizations and assisted living
centers look for ways to brighten this time for area seniors.
“I think what they are looking for is time with family and
friends,” said Sally Sherrin, director of the Lancaster County
Council on Aging. The organization serves nearly 170 home-
bound seniors, and many more in their four centers.
The council hosted a Thanksgiving luncheon for seniors
Nov. 18. Walmart associates served lunch to seniors at the
annual event held at the Lancaster location. The centers will
also hold holiday celebrations in December.
The Council on Aging also coordinates a Shoeboxes for
Seniors gift program, similar to Samaritan’s Purse Operation
Christmas Child. Shoeboxes for Seniors has provided gifts for
county seniors for more than a decade.
Sheryl Baker, site manager for the Lancaster center, spear-
heads the initiative, which has grown to provide gifts for all
homebound and center-based seniors in the county.
Each year, local churches, schools, fire departments and
businesses collect items for seniors to be distributed near
Christmas. Items such as lap throws, gloves, scarves,
stamps, candy, lotion, socks and toiletries are favorites.
“The seniors love it,” Baker said.
To take part, call Sheryl Baker at (803) 285-6956, ext. 24,
or deliver items to the Lancaster center by Dec. 14.
Nursing home festivities
Local nursing homes are also planning festivities for
seniors. White Oak Manor activities director Jennifer Barton
said it is planning a number of events to help residents have
a happy holiday.
The residents are helping prepare a float for the Lancaster
Christmas Parade on Dec. 12. The home is also collecting
items for the local homeless initiative, which residents will
package to give back to the community.
Another annual favorite is a Christmas play written and
performed by staff members for residents and their families.
This year’s theme is “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
“It is something we like to do for them,” Barton said. “We
know they can’t get out to go see a show, so we like to bring
it to them.”
White Oak also hosts a Christmas dinner for residents and
their families, with a visit from Santa Claus, who delivers
gifts. The “Secret Santa” gifts are provided by donations
from family and community members who select a stocking
with a resident’s name on it from a wall in the center.
Morningside of Lancaster is also planning Christmas
activities, including visits from volunteers who bring gifts
and participate in group activities. It will host a community
holiday cookie exchange from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9, featuring
recipes from residents. The community is invited to partici-
pate. Call Morningside at (803) 285-8152 for details.
Make time for seniors
If you have a senior family member who can’t get out
much, be sure to include them in your holiday plans. If they
have a favorite holiday event or religious service they enjoy,
take them to it or bring it to them via TV or the Internet.
Take your children to visit older relatives or invite them to
your home for family get-togethers. Sit down and listen to
their stories of the holidays of their youth.
If they want to go shopping, take them early in the sea-
son, before the stores are swamped with shoppers, or help
them find gifts online or using catalogues.
Give them what they really want this season – your time.
by Chris McGinn for Today’s Woman
WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 11
file photo at left; photo below
courtesy of Sally Sherrin
LEFT: Residents of
Morningside of Lancaster
made Christmas ornaments
for their tree and helped
decorate it last year. They
include, from left, Barbara
Bergvist, Betty Vassey,
Louise Roddey, Myrtle
Elliott, Lib Mobley, Mickey
Faile and Mica Jones, pro-
gram director; front row:
Betty Vassey and Mickey
Faile. BELOW: Volunteers
from the Moose Club of
Lancaster help fill
Shoeboxes for Seniors with
the Lancaster County
Council on Aging.
h Christmas tree, oh
Christmas tree, how
lovely are thy branch-
es,” whether they are real or
not.
The jury is still out in the
case of live Christmas trees
versus artificial ones,
though the debate has been
going on for years.
Each has its own virtues,
and proponents on both
sides generally have rea-
sons shared almost uni-
versally.
Traditional live trees
bring that woodsy,
Christmasy smell into
your home, while safe-
ty, allergies, conve-
nience and freedom
from fallen needles are
the primary reasons
for using “fake” trees.
FAKING IT
Your choices may
be narrowed by
local restrictions,
too. Some apart-
ment and public
buildings prohib-
it live trees, so
the only alterna-
tive is artificial trees, which are best
for people who will have them up for
a long time.
Candye Faile had her tree up the
first weekend in November. She start-
ed putting it up early because of her
dad’s love for Christmas, so she
always uses an artificial tree. An early
start helps her get ready for the holi-
days, too.
“It puts me in the holiday spirit and
I don’t feel rushed to decorate,” she
said.
Oddly enough, the first Christmas
trees used in the United States were
artificial – wooden tree-shaped pyra-
mids lit by candles. These “trees” were
developed by the German Moravian
Church in (appropriately enough)
Bethlehem, Pa., in 1747. In the late
1800s, the Germans came up with a
fake tree made of goose feathers dyed
green, and its popularity spread to the
United States. They ranged in size
from a tiny 2 inches to an expensive
tree more than 8 feet tall.
Artificial trees of different kinds
have come and gone. A popular fad in
the 1930s was trees made of brush
bristles. Then, from its introduction in
1958 to about 1965, aluminum trees
were tremendously popular. They
were lit by a rotating color wheel over
a light that sat on the floor.
District 44 State Rep. Mandy
Powers-Norrell has a vintage alumi-
num tree with a color wheel, and still
loves it “for its nostalgia,” though she
and her family actually prefer to gath-
er around a live Christmas tree.
“We used to always get it (a live
tree) from the Boy Scout lot. Teddy
and Emma would pick it out and we
would make it work – even if it was
too big or too small or had a big gap
in the branches. We loved that they
had chosen the tree. Then we would
stop by Sylvia’s across the street for
gingerbread men,” she said.
Today’s artificial trees began their
rise to popularity in the 1970s. They
are primarily made in China from PVC
plastic. Although they are naturally
fire-retardant, they are not fire-proof.
Many say they help with allergies, but
that may not be true for everyone.
Older artificial trees are made with
PVC that used lead as a stabilizer, and
as the tree ages, lead dust leaches out.
Lead stabilizer was outlawed in 2007.
Many trees now use extruded polysty-
rene, a safer product, with pre-lit trees
becoming increasingly popular.
Shirnetha Belk Wilform said her
children’s asthma and fallen needles
made her switch to an artificial tree.
“I have had a fake tree probably
since the 1990s because I had two
12 • TODAY’S WOMAN • WINTER 2015
PHOTOS BY NITA BROWN FOR TODAY’S WOMAN
Cindy Rogers helps assemble the
large tree at Springs House. The
decor there this year is more tra-
ditional, in keeping with current
“Between the Sheets” vintage
Springs Mills exhibit.
BY NITA BROWN FOR TODAY’S WOMAN
h Christmas tree, oh
Christmas tree, how
lovely are thy branch-
es,” whether they are real or
not.
The jury is still out in the
case of live Christmas trees
versus artificial ones,
though the debate has been
going on for years.
Each has its own virtues,
and proponents on both
sides generally have rea-
sons shared almost uni-
versally.
Traditional live trees
bring that woodsy,
Christmasy smell into
your home, while safe-
ty, allergies, conve-
nience and freedom
from fallen needles are
the primary reasons
for using “fake” trees.
FAKING IT
Your choices may
be narrowed by
local restrictions,
too. Some apart-
ment and public
buildings prohib-
it live trees, so
the only alterna-
12 • TODAY’S WOMAN • WINTER 2015
Casey Ballard, owner of At Home by Casey, said decorating trends in color work for both artificial and live trees. Ballard decorated this tree with purple and chartreuse.
BY NITA BROWN FOR TODAY’S WOMAN
WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 13
COURTESY OF CANDY FAILE
Candye Faile put this tree up the first weekend in November. Because she starts her holiday decorating so early, Faile
always uses an artificial tree.
asthmatic children. Also, we kept (the tree) up so
long and the needles were all in the carpets. We
would still find needles in March! So I finally
decided to get a balsam fake tree,” she said.
Some switch to artificial trees for other rea-
sons. Athena Redmond said they switched after
her tree-climbing Siamese cat got covered with
resin from their live Douglas fir.
“It took repeated baths with Dawn dish deter-
gent to get it off,” she said. The cat was not
happy about the baths, she added.
Convenience is another reason for an artificial
tree. Aliene Sparkman says her family stores its
tree in the attic without dismantling it. Covered
with a sheet to keep off the dust, it’s ready to
bring down and decorate the next year.
Casey Ballard, owner of At Home by Casey,
said decorating trends in color work for both
artificial and live trees.
“Red is always good. Lime green or chartreuse
has increased in popularity because it’s highly
visible,” he said.
He added that flocked trees or décor is making
a comeback, this time with a more natural look,
like frost.
KEEPING IT REAL
Live tree enthusiasts share many common
reasons for their loyalty to real trees. Family
tradition and experience top the list. Christian
families honor the tradition because it symboliz-
es the sacrifice of Christ “on a tree.” Others buy
a live tree at a local tree lot or choose their own
tree at a local tree farm to help support the com-
munity and local economy.
John Mangum, owner of Papa John’s
Christmas Tree Farm on Flat Creek Road, said
proper care of a live tree will minimize shedding.
He said Christmas tree farms and growers offer
a good selection. The Leyland cypress is safer for
folks with allergies. Choices also include blue
spruce, Carolina sapphire, blue ice, Eastern red
cedar and Frazier fir. Live trees may also be
balled in burlap for planting after the holidays.
Tree stands, hand-made wreaths and bows are
also available at Papa John’s, which opened the
day after Thanksgiving. He said meeting fami-
lies sharing a tradition together is one of his
greatest pleasures.
THE MORE, THE MERRIER
Whether live or fake, some families even have
multiple trees. Debbie Jaillette, executive director
at the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, said
her family always has two trees, which general-
ly involve an adventure in setting them up.
“We buy a Frazier for the music room and cut
down our tree for the sunroom/dining room
that we call the bird tree. It has all birds, berries
and feather garland on it. We have trauma…
finding tree stands that will hold our trees
upright. It usually results in Kevin (her hus-
band) on the ground under the tree, muttering
words like the dad on ‘A Christmas Story’ uses,
while son Eric and I hold the tree upright and
kill ourselves laughing. It happens every year
and we have a full collection of tree stands
upstairs.”
For more information on live tree selections
and area tree farm locations, visit the S.C.
Christmas Tree Association website, www.
scchristmastrees.org.
A few years ago, I purchased a beautiful tree from a farmers market around
the first week of December. It was an exciting day for my daughter, Jesse, who
was almost 5 at the time. We both couldn’t wait to get home to decorate it.
For hours, she and I placed each ornament in the perfect spot, listened
to Christmas music and got into the Christmas spirit. We then stood back
and admired the beautiful job we had done. We were very pleased with
how beautiful our tree looked and so happy that we had chosen the perfect
tree.
That happiness did not last long…
Within a day or two, I noticed needles from the tree on the floor. It started off as just a few,
but as days went by, it got worse. Every time you walked near the tree, you could hear the nee-
dles hitting the ground. There were more needles on the floor than on the tree. We kept adding
water, but nothing worked. The tree got drier and drier.
My husband, Tony, was afraid it was a fire hazard, so he wouldn’t let us turn on the
Christmas lights. We finally decided that the only thing we could do was to get another tree.
It is funny: Everyone wants to help decorate a tree, but no one wanted to help undecorate it.
I was stuck taking off all the ornaments myself.
My husband picked out the next tree because the excitement for Jesse and me was long
gone. He brought it home and, believe it or not, no one wanted to help decorate it. My daugh-
ter told me she had already decorated one tree, so she would let me do this one. So I decorated
the tree by myself, with no music, no laughter, no fun – bah humbug!
Thank goodness this one made it to Christmas!
It came down the next day. After packing up all the ornaments and vacuuming up needles
that I was still finding from the first tree, I went to the after-Christmas sale at Kmart and bought
an artificial one.
– Lori Sistare
A few years ago, I purchased a beautiful tree from a farmers market around
the first week of December. It was an exciting day for my daughter, Jesse, who
was almost 5 at the time. We both couldn’t wait to get home to decorate it.
For hours, she and I placed each ornament in the perfect spot, listened
to Christmas music and got into the Christmas spirit. We then stood back
and admired the beautiful job we had done. We were very pleased with
how beautiful our tree looked and so happy that we had chosen the perfect
14 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
Classicplaythingsnevergooutofstyle
By Amanda Harris, for Today’s Woman
Some things never go out of style –
like the toys your parents and
grandparents played with,
ones without batteries and
microchips.
Kathy Paquette, who
lives in Indian Land and
has worked at Brilliant
Sky Toys and Books in
Charlotte, N.C., for four
years, said many toys
have been around for
decades without ever fully
losing their popularity. She said the
desire for classic toys such as yo-yos,
marbles and jump ropes rises and
dips.
“They’ve never left the scene,”
Paquette said. “They are still selling
like crazy. There has never been a
week where we haven’t sold marbles,
yo-yos and jump ropes. They are
some of the toys we all remember
playing with as kids.”
Fisher Price toys are also popular
and classic items such as the Eight-
Ball still fly off shelves, Paquette said.
Classic board games like Monopoly,
checkers and chess also remain a sta-
ple in households.
“They will always be a part
of our inventory here,”
Paquette said.
Other items like Golden
Books, Barbie dolls and
sock monkeys also remain
on wish lists, she said.
While children have
more options now, classic
toys tend to stick around,
Paquette said. She said parents
and grandparents enjoy finding toys
they played with as children for their
own family.
“It keeps vintage toys going,”
Paquette said. “It’s something that
will continue on.”
Retro comeback
Lincoln Logs, Legos and Easy-Bake
Ovens filled many childhoods with
wonder and fun. Now those toys,
along with many classic toys, are
making a comeback.
Retro toys such as Cabbage Patch
Kids, Barbie dolls, classic board games
and Tinkertoys are popular again,
according to the Huffington Post.
Other toys making a comeback include
Play-Doh, My Little Pony, Mad Libs
word games, American Girl dolls and
Little People sets.
Children once again want to fight
crime with the Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles, which have been around for
three decades, according to the
Huffington Post. This isn’t really a
surprise, given the movie remake that
came out this year. The big screen
may also be what rekindled the love of
Transformers toys.
Furbies, which were a big hit in the
1990s, showed back up in stores in
2012 with new features and abilities,
according to the Huffington Post.
They now speak English, as well as
“Furbish,” their own language.
Tamagotchis, essentially digital
pets, were a way to teach kids respon-
sibility in the 1990s. They made a
comeback in the United Kingdom a
few years ago and showed up again in
the United States last year, according
to the Huffington Post.
WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 15
ove it or hate it, shopping
for holiday gifts is part of
the season, whether you
start early or wait until Christmas
Eve.
It may come as a surprise to those
who wait until the last minute, when
stores are crowded with desperate
shoppers, that about 80 percent of
people begin their holiday shopping
before December, with about 40 per-
cent beginning before Halloween,
according to the National Retail
Federation’s 2015 Holiday Consumer
Spending Survey.
But that’s no surprise to April
Deese, who likes to get a jump on the
season.
STARTING EARLY
Deese has her decorative Christmas
village on display by the end of the
first week of November and trims her
final Christmas tree on Thanksgiving.
So, of course, she likes to finish her
Christmas shopping as early as possi-
ble.
The Heath Springs resident would
rather focus on the season than shop
with crowds.
“I like to let my mind rest in
Christmas, and the reason that we
have Christmas is because of Jesus’
gift to us,” Deese said. “I’ve waited
before too late and it becomes pressure
shopping at that point. I like to be able
to look around and put thought into
it, knowing it’s something they like
and want.”
Instead of shopping online or flip-
ping through catalogs, Deese prefers
to find merchandise in stores.
“I want to see it, I want to hold it, I
want to feel it,” she said.
When shopping for the perfect gifts
for her husband, Ryan, or their kids,
Marshall, Parker and Neely Kate,
Deese keeps in mind the different
items they have said they liked.
“I take cues from early in the year,
not from the past month or when
those fun commercials start popping
up,” she said.
The day after Thanksgiving, Deese,
her sister, her mother and her aunt
head out on Black Friday, although
Deese is usually finished with her
shopping by then.
“It’s just a tradition for us to shop
and hang out together,” Deese said. “I
might pick up stocking stuffers, but
that’s about it.”
SHOPPING FOR FAR-FLUNG FAMILY
When Christmas comes, Lancaster
resident Erin Kirkley puts a lot of
thought into what she buys for her
out-of-state family.
“We travel up to Michigan to visit
most of my family around Christmas,”
she said. “We can transport Christmas
gifts pretty easily that way, but we
don’t want to buy anything too big.
“My sister lives in California, and
sometimes we have to ship her gifts. I
try to order them online or buy some-
thing that won’t be too costly to
ship.”
While Kirkley likes to shop in stores
for Christmas presents, she might
research an item online or buy specif-
ically requested items from Internet
marketplaces, joining the increasing
number of people turning to online
sources for holiday gifts.
The National Retail Federation sur-
vey found nearly half (46.1 percent)
of holiday shopping will be conducted
online, up from 44.4 percent last year.
“I’ll buy gifts online if the person
has already told me the gift they want
and I can easily order it,” Kirkley said.
Kirkley said she doesn’t care to get
out in the Christmas hustle and bus-
tle, so she begins shopping a month or
two in advance, starting with family
and friends who she says are easier to
buy for.
>>>
ASHLEY LOWRIMORE FOR TODAY’S WOMAN
PHOTO BY AHSLEY LOWRIMORE FOR TODAY’S WOMAN
Lancaster Jewelers sales associate Chelsea Hunt, left, shows Angie Starnes a selection of freeform rings.
The store sees a range from early birds to last-minute Christmas Eve shoppers.
COURTESY OF ERIN KIRKLEY
Ella Kirkley tells Santa what she’d like for Christmas, while
younger brother Corbin waits his turn. Their mother Erin Kirkley
says both of her kids are easy to shop for at Christmas.
16 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
“My husband is extremely hard to
buy for, so he has to tell me exactly
what he wants,” Kirkley said of her
husband, Dustin.
Shopping for their young children,
Ella and Corbin, is easier.
“My kids never really mention any-
thing they want for Christmas, but
they seem to be grateful with anything
we get them,” Kirkley said. “We try to
get gifts that reflect their interests.”
Local retailers
With Christmas ornament previews
in July and October and an open
house in November, Annette’s
Hallmark sees early shoppers for those
one-of-a-kind keepsake ornaments
and more.
“We definitely have a lot who shop
early,” said Amy Glover, manager of
Annette’s Hallmark.
In October, Glover helped a custom-
er who comes in each year at that time
to buy gifts for all of the women in
her family.
“She likes to do her shopping here
and get it wrapped and then she’s fin-
ished,” Glover said. “Also, if we need to
order something for her, then we still
have time to order it.”
Ginny Sistare, owner of Lancaster
Jewelers, sees a variety of holiday
shoppers in her store.
“Basically you’ve got three types of
shoppers – people that buy all year
long, people that just go for that ‘one
sale,’ and last-minute shoppers,”
Sistare said.
She said many of her customers
specifically look for their customer
appreciation sale in November, while
some will come in two days before
Christmas looking for the right gift.
On occasion, Sistare’s staff has called
shoppers if they see an item a custom-
er might like to lay-away or buy for
the holiday season.
“A lot of times, shopping is therapy
for people,” Sistare said. “Jewelry is
always going to be more hands-on;
some want to come in and touch it
and know the quality they’re get-
ting.”
photo by Ashley Lowrimore for Today’s Woman
Sales associate Janna Noland looks over a holiday display at Annette’s Hallmark. Manager Amy Glover says the “Elf on the Shelf” is a
popular, early shopped-for item at the store.
You’ll likely spend more than you planned to while holiday shopping, but don’t let
yourself be an easy target for those out to ruin the thrill of the day and hamper your
search for Christmas bargains.
Thieves also anticipate this busy season as they look to turn unaware shoppers into
victims.
The National Crime Prevention Council provides these safety tips for holiday shoppers:
Shopping in stores
l Don’t buy more than you can carry – Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or
asking a store employee to help you carry packages to the car.
l Save all receipts – Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases.
Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank
statements as they come in.
l Don’t flash the cash – Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such
as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, including at online stores.
l Wait until asked by a cashier before taking out your credit card or checkbook – An
enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.
Walking to and from vehicles
l Be informed about your surroundings – Use free mobile apps, such as AlertID, to
receive alerts about registered sex offenders living and working in the vicinity of shopping
venues.
l Deter pickpockets – Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a
coat or front pants pocket.
l Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle – Check the back seat and
around the car before getting in.
l Alert authorities – Talk to a security guard or store employee if you see an unat-
tended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
l Do not leave packages visible in your car – Lock them in the trunk, or if possible,
take them directly home.
Shopping with small children
l If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each
other.
l Select a central meeting place.
l Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they
need help.
l Have them memorize or keep your cell phone number handy.
l Keep up-to-date photos and accurate descriptions of each child electronically with
AlertID’s My Family Wallet. Should they go missing, this information can be sent quickly
to law enforcement when every moment counts.
Online shopping tips
l Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your
security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-
spam software, as well as a good firewall installed.
l Keep personal information private and passwords secure. Do not respond to
requests to verify passwords or credit card information unless you initiated the contact.
Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner.
l Beware of bargains from companies with whom you are unfamiliar. If it sounds too
good to be true, it probably is.
l Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the
bottom of the screen or “https” in the URL address.
l Shop with known, trusted companies. Check for background information if you plan
to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.
l To avoid purchasing counterfeit items, carefully examine the products you want to
buy for signs of missing information (manufacturing information, warranty, product
codes, etc.), broken or missing safety seals, different or incomplete packaging, and subtle
or obvious changes to a company logo.
For more useful shopping tips and personal safety information, visit the National
Crime Prevention Council’s website, www.ncpc.org.
WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 17
National Crime Prevention Council
Shop safely during holidays
18 • TODAY’S WOMAN • WINTER 2015
hat is “true beauty?”
Six young ladies represent-
ing South and Buford middle
and Indian Land and Harrisburg ele-
mentary schools got to share their
ideas of what true beauty means to
them at the third annual Inside Out
Runway Show, presented by Girls on
the Run Tri County and Carolina Place
mall in Pineville, N.C.
Held Oct. 25, the event featured
girls wearing outfits they felt the most
beautiful in while walking the run-
way at Carolina Place Mall’s Center
Court.
Participants were chosen randomly
from school teams, according to Lindy
Morris, director of Girls on the Run Tri
County SC Council. Once chosen, they
wrote essays about their ideas of true
beauty. Participants walked down the
runway in outfits of their choice,
while their essays were read aloud by
CN2 reporter and emcee Alison Rauch.
Girls on the Run founder and
Charlotte resident Molly Barker spoke
to the crowd during intermission.
Students representing Indian Land
Elementary on the runway were
fourth-grader Gabriela Hernandez and
Kaycee Hunt.
Students Olivia Bennett and Tiana
Teodoro represented Harrisburg
Elementary.
“When thinking with your heart, a
pure soul will always be able to recog-
nize true colors and one’s being,”
third-grader Olivia Bennett wrote in
her essay. Bennett, who planned to
wear a blue floral dress and her favor-
ite cowgirl boots, was nervous but
excited.
“I was really excited for her,” said
Olivia’s mom, Megan Osborne. “We’re
COURTESY OF KARLA TEODORO
Tiana Teodoro, a third-grader at Harrisburg Elementary
School, walks the runway in the Inside Out Runway Show,
presented Oct. 25 by Girls on the Run Tri County and
Carolina Place mall in Pineville, N.C.
‘Real beauty starts inside’
ASHLEY LOWRIMORE FOR TODAY’S WOMAN
“When thinking with
your heart, a pure soul
will always be able to
recognize true colors
and one’s being.”
– OLIVIA BENNETT
COURTESY OF KARLA TEODORO
WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 19
new to the area, so when she got
selected, I thought it was really cool
that she was getting more active with
her after-school program.”
Third-grader Tiana Teodoro told her
mom, Karla Teodoro, that real beauty
started inside of each person.
“We have been created in the image
of God, like flowers in a garden, every
person is unique, no two are the
same,” Tiana wrote in her essay.
“Coming from Latin America, I’ve
learned that beauty comes in different
colors, ages, social settings, and real
beauty is inside of a person,” her
mother said.
Fifth-grader Kaycee Hunt wrote
that true beauty shines through your
actions.
“To me true beauty is the light that
shines inside that leads you to be kind,
show love, help people, and be brave
enough to always do the right thing,”
she wrote. “It’s not how beautiful you
are on the outside, it’s how beautiful
you are inside.”
Girls on the Run is a program for
third- through eighth-grade girls
emphasizing health, self-confidence
and courage, combined with athleti-
cism.
“At Girls on the Run, we envision a
world where every girl knows and
activates her limitless potential and is
free to boldly pursue her dreams,”
Morris said.
For more information about Girls
on the Run Tri County, visit www.
gotrtricountysc.org.
courtesy of Karla Teodoro
Tiana Teodoro, a third-grader at Harrisburg Elementary School,
shows her casual side in this candid shot.
courtesy of Megan Osborne
Harrisburg Elementary School third-grader Olivia Bennett planned
to wear cowgirl boots for her runway walk.
courtesy of Laura Cediel
Indian Land Elementary School fourth-grader Gabriela Hernandez
chose this outfit for the Oct. 25 fashion show.
20 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
Spice up the holidaysFrom Brandpoint
Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, carda-
mom, vanilla - the spices and flavors of
the season are as integral to the holidays
as pumpkins, gift-giving and family
gatherings. It’s hard to imagine ever tir-
ing of seasonal flavors, especially when
they illuminate baked treats and other hol-
iday dishes, but there’s also nothing wrong
with craving new ways to enjoy seasonal
spices.
By all means, give your sugar cookies a
dash of personality with some ginger, and
deck your glazed ham with whole cloves.
And while you’re savoring holiday spices
and seasonings in traditional ways, try
some innovative ideas for incorporating the
flavors of the holidays into other aspects of
your celebrations.
The spice and seasoning experts at
Simply Organic offer some tips to spark
your creativity:
Decorate with spices
Some holiday spices not only smell won-
derful and festive, but they’re pretty, too.
Incorporating whole spices such as star-
shaped anise and cinnamon sticks into your
celebrations will fill the air with holiday
scents, while creating visual interest. Try
presenting star anise in a pretty glass bowl
as a centerpiece. Strew bundles of cinnamon
sticks tied with ribbons in holiday hues on
the fireplace mantel. Add festive interest to a
holiday table with a small potted rosemary
bush.
Spice up holiday cocktails
When you think of holiday cocktails, is
peppermint the only seasonal flavor that
comes to mind? You can make your own
flavored vodkas and liqueurs by learning
to make infusions with virtually any holi-
day spice. Or, use spices to update tradi-
tional holiday beverages like Cardamom
Orange Old Fashioned (see recipe on this page).
Slip savory spices into
traditionally sweet dishes
Holiday spices and seasonings fall into two
categories - sweet and savory. Traditionally,
sweet spices have been the stars of holiday
baked goods, while savory ones added flair to
main courses and side dishes. There’s no rule
that says you can’t incorporate your favorite
savory holiday spice into baked goods. In fact,
some, like allspice, are naturals for adding
interest to baked items. For example, freshly
ground peppercorns pair well with chocolate,
and rosemary complements lemony flavorings.
Sweet spices work outside the oven
Nutmeg is one of those spices associated
with baked holiday goodies like cookies and
cakes, but it works great on stovetop dishes,
too, such as pastas - especially in cream sauce
- soups and greens. It’s a great spice to add
flavor and interest to a variety of side dishes.
Because it goes so well with dairy, nutmeg is a
winner in mac and cheese, and its hint of
musky sweetness means it works well to foil
the bitterness of certain greens.
Pamper yourself with spices
You can cook up a variety of homemade
beauty treatments using holiday spices - and
after all the work you’ll be doing this season,
you deserve it. Rinsing hair with a rosemary
infusion shines and clarifies your tresses.
Cinnamon and clove, when paired with
Bentonite clay powder or honey, make refresh-
ing facial masks. And you can find recipes
online to make your own lip balm with cinna-
mon, cardamom and nutmeg.
For more holiday spice ideas and to find
organic seasonings for all your holiday needs,
visit http://holidays.simplyorganic.com/.
Cardamom Orange Old Fashioned
Ingredients for
cardamom simple syrup:
1
⁄3 cup water
1
⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
Directions:
In a small pot, bring the
water, sugar and cardamom
to a boil, stirring until the
sugar is dissolved. Remove
from heat and cool. The
simple syrup recipe will pro-
vide more syrup than need-
ed to make this drink. Store
extra syrup in the refrigera-
tor for later.
Prep time, 15 minutes. Makes one serving.
Ingredients for the old fashioned:
2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
2 teaspoons cardamom simple syrup
1 orange peel
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
Ice cubes
Directions:
In a glass, combine the bourbon or rye whis-
key, bitters and syrup. Add orange peel. Using a
muddler, crush the orange peel into the drink to
release the orange flavor. Add the cinnamon
stick, then let the drink rest for a few minutes.
For more orange flavor, substitute an orange slice
(with flesh) for the orange peel. Allow drink to
rest for a few minutes, then stir to release flavor.
Today’s Man
Santa
G Full name: St. Nicholas, aka
Santa Claus
G Age: Timeless
G Hometown: The North Pole
G Family: Mrs Claus, the
elves and Dasher, Dancer,
Prancer, Vixen, Comet,
Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and
Rudolph
G Occupation: Toy builder,
wish fulfiller
G Education: University of the
North Pole
G What are your life goals: To
make all of the girls and
boys happy
G What are you most proud of in your
life? Always being on time
G Most influential people in your life:
Mrs. Claus
G Favorite way to spend free time:
Watching TV
G Favorite letter-reading spot: My
den in front of the fire
G Favorite books: “’Twas the
Night Before Christmas”
G Favorite songs: “Santa Claus
Is Coming to Town”
G Favorite cookies: “Gooey
chocolate chip with milk
G Your personality in just one word:
Jolly
G Words that inspire you: “I love
you, Santa” and “Thank you,
Santa”
WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 21
DAVID KELLIN/For Today’s Woman
Don Phipps enjoys his role as Santa Claus and has for the last seven years.
22 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
7 Seasonal Tips
l Care Health Center – Health care and pharmacy, limited labo-
ratory and X-ray services for uninsured county residents, (803) 285-2273
l Christian Services – Basic necessities during times of financial
crisis, (803) 285-4444
l Department of Social Services – Aid to families with depen-
dent children, Medicaid, food stamps, medical assistance, foster care,
investigates and reports abuse, (803) 286-6914
l HOPE in Lancaster – Short-term emergency assistance, (803)
286-4673
l Kershaw Area Resource Exchange (KARE) – Help with
food, shelter, fuel, utilities and prescriptions, (803) 475-4173
l Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault – Helps vic-
tims of sexual assault, (803) 286-5232
l Safe Passage – Counseling, shelter in Rock Hill for battered
women and their children, (803) 285-6533 or (877) 466-4725
l S.C. Legal Services – Free legal services for low-income peo-
ple, (800) 922-3853
l Women’s Enrichment Center – Information and options,
free pregnancy tests, confidential consultations, (803) 286-5900
Here to Help You
SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE TIME
AND ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS
from brandpoint
It may be the most wonderful time of year, but at times, it can also feel like the
most stressful. This holiday season, take a fresh approach to your to-do list to save
time and energy so you can be merry and bright. These seven tips and tricks will help
you relax, unwind and enjoy all the best parts of the holidays.
Wrap while shopping
It’s a given that shopping early avoids the last-minute frenzy, but you can save
even more time and stress by getting gifts wrapped while out and about. Many depart-
ment stores offer gift wrap services. All you need to do is ask.
Streamline holiday cards
Sending cards is a holiday tradition, but it shouldn’t cause unneeded stress. No
need to worry about a dated address book - an easy trick is to cut return address
labels from each card you receive and place in an envelope. Now it’s easy to send
cards to loved ones and update your address book without hassle.
Go tech free
Smartphones ringing, emails beeping, texts buzzing - technology is time-consum-
ing. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by designating tech-free times for your family each
day. Use this time (one-two hours) to relax and focus on each other, perhaps with a hot
cup of cocoa – the emails and messages will still be there later.
Schedule a salon visit
With a long holiday to-do list, it’s hard to find time for you. That’s why treating
yourself to a haircut or manicure can do wonders for your holiday spirit. Plus, you’ll
look and feel fantastic when you attend all those festive get-togethers.
Opt for an open house
Having a holiday gathering adds to the season’s merriment, but where will every-
one fit and how will you feed them? Instead of a formal dinner, opt for an open house
with hors d’oeuvres. You’ll have less work and more time to spend with loved ones as
they come and go.
Use baking hacks
Using premade foods is one of the simplest (yet yummy) ways to create holiday
baked delights. Check out sites such as www.facebook.com/entenmanns for simple rec-
ipes like Entenmann’s Dreamy Chocolate Bars, featuring crumbled doughnuts as the
secret ingredient. While you’re baking, double the batch to have extra on hand for a
hostess gift.
Embrace holiday breakfasts
Start every day off right by enjoying a delicious breakfast with your family. No
need to spend hours in the kitchen cooking; instead include iconic breakfast classics
that you and the kids love. Doughuts paired with fresh fruit make a quick breakfast
delight.
WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 23
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Blended Families

  • 1. WOMANWOMAN Today’s LANCASTER, SC • WINTER 2015 FREE WOMANWOMANWWWWWOMANWWWOMANWWOMANOMANOMANWOMANWOMANWOMANWOMANWOMANOMANOMANWOMANWOMANWWWOMANWOMANWOMANWWWOMANWOMANWOMANOMANOMANWOMANOMAN HOLIDAY TRADITIONS Christmas Miracle Trees & Toys Caroling Shopping Food Girls on the Runway Can’t WeAll JustGet Along? Can’t WeAll JustGet Along?SANTA
  • 2. 2 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015
  • 3. WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 3
  • 4. is a free quarterly publication of The Lancaster News 701 N. White St., Lancaster, SC 29720 • P.O. Box 640, Lancaster, SC 29721 Telephone: (803) 283-1133 or toll-free (800) 844-9344 Fax: (803) 283-8969 Publisher: Susan Rowell • Editor: Jane Alford • Designers: Jane Alford, Athena Redmond Contributors: Nita Brown, Amanda Harris, Carrie Helms, David Kellin, Kelly Lessard, Ashley Lowrimore, Chris McGinn, Eric Rowell Advertising Staff: Rachel Bradley, Michelle Craig, Wanda Linderman, Linda O’Neil, Lori Sistare, Donna Stokes Graphics Staff: Tim Dawkins, Vicki Jenkins Landmark Community Newspapers of South Carolina Inc. WOMANWOMAN Today’s 4 • TODAY’S WOMAN • WINTER 2015 Contents Cover photo by Eric Rowell shows Carrie Helms and her baby, Amelia. Read her story, Christmas Miracle, on page 5. Brighten the Season for Senior Citizens 11 Ready, Set, SHOP Local women share their holiday shopping habits 15 18 Girls on the Runway Local girls share views on true beauty at Inside Out Runway Show Santa Claus shares his secrets 21 Today’s Man 22 7 Time-Saving Seasonal Tips Happy Holidays for ALL Compromise key to making season bright for blended families 9 Timeless Toys 14 22 Shop Safely during Holidays 20 Spice Up the Holidays Christmas Miracle PawPaw lives to see grandbaby 5 Happy Holidays for ALL 12 Holiday TREEditions Some like them real, some don’t 7 Carolina Carolers Wandering singers still spread Christmas cheer
  • 5. WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 5 Last Christmas, (my husband) Gary and I announced to our family that we were expecting a new addition to our family; I was six weeks pregnant at the time. This was a very exciting time for us all, especially my parents; they have been waiting for a new grandchild for a long time, about 10 years. I was excited about being pregnant and nervous at the same time. Our due date was Aug. 16. Those who know me know I am very close with my parents, Jerry and Marilyn Williams. They are my world. STRESSFUL PREGNANCY In January, my daddy went into the hospi- tal. He was at the Lancaster hospital and then was transported by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center. Daddy was having congestive heart failure and his kidneys were shutting down. It was a very stressful time for me and my fam- ily. My daddy ended up having major surgery, which we knew was a risk and didn’t know if it would work or not. He had to have a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which is a pump that keeps the blood flowing to his heart to keep him alive. He is one of two people in Lancaster County who has this. Here I was, pregnant during my first trimester, trying to take care of me and Sweet Pea and worried to death about losing my daddy. Everyone was telling me to try to not be so stressed because I could lose the baby. That is hard to do when you are daddy’s little girl. My mommy would stay at the hospital Monday through Thursday and my brother, Jimmy, and I would rotate Friday through Sunday if he didn’t have to work the week- end shift, so Mommy could come home and get her some rest and do what she had to do. I worked all I could during the week and helped my par- ents Friday through Sunday. I am blessed to be the Lancaster County treasurer and work with a great staff that helped and supported me during my daddy’s illness and my pregnancy. Even through the trial of my daddy’s sickness, I worked and did my job to the best of my ability. Daddy was in the hospital until March 15, a long and stressful two months, and then he was in and out of the hospital after that. I was told by so many that God blessed me with a child to prepare me for my daddy’s death. That was not easy to hear. I prayed so hard that God would heal my daddy so he could at least see his grandchild. I knew it was God’s will, not mine. ‘MINI ME’ I went to the doctor March 30 to see what we were going to have, and most have a reveal party, but that was hard for me to do with Daddy being in the hospital. I wanted him and my mommy to know as soon as I did, because I didn’t know what the future held. I called and told them they were going to have a “mini me.” I told Daddy that he had to get better so he could see his Sweet Pea. My mommy didn’t get to go with me to the doctor to see the ultrasound because she was taking care of Daddy at the hospital. He was in rehab at CMC. After Daddy was able to come home, it was a long jour- ney, but he worked hard with the therapist and he got stronger every day. Once I knew he was able to get in the wheelchair and I could get him out, I made an appointment at 3D Dreams in Fort Mill to have an ultrasound done so Daddy and Mommy could see their precious angel. BY CARRIE HELMS • SPECIAL TO TODAY’S WOMAN PawPaw lives to see grandbaby Christmas Miracle >>> In January, my daddy went into the hospi- tal. He was at the Lancaster hospital and then was transported by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center. Daddy was having congestive heart failure and his kidneys were shutting down. It was a very stressful time for me and my fam- My daddy ended up having major surgery, which we knew was a risk and didn’t know if it would work or not. He had to have a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which is a pump that keeps the blood flowing to his heart to keep him alive. He is one of two people in Lancaster mas Miracle PHOTO BY ERIC ROWELL After a heart scare with her father, Jerry Williams, Carrie Helms is look- ing forward to sharing her baby Amelia’s first Christmas with her daddy, too.
  • 6. 6 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015 I just felt I needed to do this for them. I didn’t know if this would be Daddy’s only opportunity to see her or not. I just didn’t know what God’s plans were. This was a very emotional and special day for us all to see our baby girl together. Daddy and Mommy both got to see their precious granddaughter for the first time. There were no dry eyes in the room. Daddy continued to do therapy and gained strength enough to use a walker. God had a plan. On July 31, I went into the hospital, due to blood pres- sure complications. My parents were there with Gary and me the whole time, except for night time because Daddy would have to recharge for the next day. Amelia Grace Helms arrived at 11:59 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2. God blessed us with a healthy baby girl – 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and 20 inches long. Amelia was surrounded by the ones who love her and were just excited as us to meet her. We were blessed with family and friends who were by our side through it all. I am so thankful for the love and support that we received during this special time in our life. I am now back at work, as of Sept. 28 after being out on maternity leave. Amelia’s babysitters are MawMaw and PawPaw – how lucky can she be? She is a blessing to us, and we are blessed that they are able to care for her and love her each day. photos courtesy of Carrie Helms ABOVE: Gary and Carrie Helms welcomed their daughter, Amelia Grace Helms, into the world at 11:59 a.m. Aug. 2, 2015. LEFT: Jerry Williams plays with his granddaughter, Amelia, in late October. “It is still emotional to see them together! Two miracles!” Helms said.
  • 7. WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 7 While Christmas caroling may not be as popular as it once was, a few Lancaster County groups are ensuring the time-honored tradition lives on amid the hustle and bustle of the season. Forest Hills neighborhood residents have gone door-to-door singing Christmas carols on Sherwood Circle for at least 15 years, said Ann Scott, who started the tradition with her friend, Susan DeVenny, when their children were young. Some years as many as 50 carolers participated, as the children grew and invited their friends. The group sings two songs at each house and always ended with the holiday favorite, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” After caroling, the group would meet back at Scott’s house for a potluck-style dinner. “It’s always been, ‘the more the merri- er,’” Scott said. “Hopefully, the tradition will go on.” SINGING FOR THE HOMEBOUND Patti Steen grew up caroling in the Forest Hills neighborhood and now coor- dinates Immanuel Baptist Church’s car- oling to homebound church members. “People who have special needs, or who had a loss in the past year, those are our priorities,” Steen said. Steen said she has met homebound church members through caroling that she would not have had an opportunity to meet otherwise. “I’m a big believer in Christmas carol- ing,” she said. One woman, who cares for her home- BY KELLY LESSARD FOR TODAY’S WOMAN FILE PHOTO Members of Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services travel to businesses in Lancaster County singing Christmas carols. Here, from left, Stacey Chapman, Randall Reynolds, Lisa Doster, Sherri Brady and Sharon Cooper sing at The Lancaster News offices in December 2013. ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ TOP 10 CHRISTMAS SONGS For many people, the holiday season has not truly begun until the music synonymous with this festive time of year has hit the airwaves. While fami- lies have their own unique holiday traditions, over time certain holiday songs have emerged as favorites. Billboard, which tracks the music industry’s most popular songs, com- piled the following list of the top 10 most popular Christmas songs: 10. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon 9. “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra 8. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby 7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams 6. “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano 5. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives 4. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” by Nat King Cole 3. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms 2. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee 1. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey>>>
  • 8. 8 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015 bound husband, especially looks forward to the carolers coming each year, Steen said. “She knew the church was coming caroling that day, and she said, ‘I was hoping we were going to be on the list,’” Steen said. “She made cookies for us.” The sick and homebound could use a little extra cheer this time of year, she said. “Homebounds tend to get forgotten a lot,” Steen said. “Since they can’t get out and go and do Christmas things, it’s nice to bring a little Christmas (to them).” Spreading Christmas cheer Members of the Lancaster County EMS, Lancaster Fire Department and Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, who call themselves “The Always Ready Emergency Troupe,” carol around town at nursing homes, the Lancaster County Administration Building, The Lancaster News and more. “We go around and Christmas carol and spread some Christmas cheer,” said Sherri Brady, EMS training coordi- nator. “We have a good time doing it, that’s for sure.” The group especially enjoys singing at the Lancaster Convalescent Center, and the residents enjoy them just as much, carolers say. “Older people who aren’t able to get out, we like to go and see those folks,” Brady said. “Usually when EMS goes there, bad things have happened.” “It makes them happy and it makes us happy,” said Janie Denby, EMS quality assurance manager. “They tell us ‘thank you’ a thousand times before we can get out the door.” The residents sing and clap along with the carolers, Denby said. “I think every one of us last year walked out of there crying, but it was great. It was good tears,” she said.
  • 9. WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 9 by Amanda Harris for Today’s Woman Compromise key to making season bright for blended families Holidays are a time for joy and celebration, but for many blended families, the sea- son can also be a time for chal- lenges as they try to balance separate lives. One of the biggest hurdles blended families face, especially those with stepparents and children, is the parents’ inabili- ty to look at holidays as the children’s time versus their own, said Shannon Crockett, owner of BALANCE Family Court Services in Lancaster. “Blended families struggle more in my statistical experi- ence than families that have just divorced,” she said. “Newly divorced and single parents do far better than blended fami- lies.” Crockett said adding another parent into the mix means hav- ing to balance more traditions and schedules, which is usually where the chaos begins. “The holidays are a balancing act that forgets the emotional needs of the children in the face of scheduling,” she said. Crockett said many Lancaster County families will follow the family court’s typical visitation schedule of splitting holidays between odd and even years, a strategy she said may not be in the children’s best interest as they lose out on important tra- ditions with one of their par- ents each year. “Kids lose in that,” Crockett said. “They have learned, through divorce, that life is not fair.” Teresa Ormand, a licensed Lancaster therapist who offers counseling services, agrees that the standard schedule isn’t the best option for holidays. photo courtesy of Shannon Crockett Shannon Crockett, right, enjoys breakfast with her own blended family, which includes her children, her boyfriend’s ex-wife and their children. Crockett, owner of BALANCE Family Court Services in Lancaster, says blended families need to focus on the emotional needs of children during the holidays rather than just trying to balance their schedules. HolidayAdviceforBlendedFamilies • Communicate and keep holidays equal between the different households. Don’t use Christmas gift-giving to make up for a per- ceived deficit for the rest of the year. • Use mediation services to work out the best schedule for your family. • Share the costs associated with holidays as a family. Don’t wait until the last minute to make major holiday plans, especially those involving children. • Keep children out of the middle of the decision-making process when it comes to holiday schedules. • Make holidays about the children rather than the parents and do things together. • Be honest with children and give them a voice in holiday sched- ules when possible. • Actively listen to the children - listen to understand their needs rather than to respond. • Don’t ever put the other parent down. • Make holidays about spending time together rather than sched- uling too many activities. • Have children use their creative outlets to make things for their other parent or to help them cope with emotions during holidays with their blended family. • Use local resources, including local ministers, the public library, the United Way helpline (211) and online databases to become edu- cated and make holidays more enjoyable for your blended family. – Compiled with information from Lancaster counselors Shannon Crockett and Teresa Ormand Happy Holidays For ALL >>>
  • 10. 10 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015 “It’s OK for parents that aren’t taking the children into consideration,” she said. “The child is the one that is going to be hurt the worst.” Ormand said the best-case scenario is for families to work out a schedule that allows the children to spend time with both parents during the holidays. “When parents can compromise with each other, it allows the child to share in the happiness with both fami- lies,” she said. “Communication is the key.” Blended families may also face the issue of giving a sense of entitlement to the primary parent, in which case the child becomes a tool used against the other parent, causing anger on both sides, Crockett said. Sharing holiday events like visiting Santa Claus is one of the ways blended families can ensure children’s needs are met, she said. “It’s important for children to see parents be able to do things for them, even though the marriage didn’t work,” Crockett said. Even beyond the holidays, she said blended families should try to attend events together whenever possible, as it is a crucial part of helping children develop their own view of long-term relationships. “It only takes 10 minutes to stand around that child together as a new blended family to praise and honor them,” she said. Crockett has had her own experience at blending her family with her children, her boyfriend’s ex-wife and their children. She said they try to do things together with the kids as often as possible, a fact that has led to healthy, emotionally balanced children. “We just do what’s best for the kids,” Crockett said. “It can be done; parents just have to want to do it and be selfless.” Mediation can help While Lancaster County is not a mediation county, those services are still available for families and can be a great resource, she said. “There are a lot of really good attorneys in Lancaster County that suggest going to mediation with their clients, and it’s helping a lot of children in Lancaster,” Crockett said. “Mediation counties greatly benefit and protect children because it gives the parents the opportunity to preserve their traditions.” Overall, blended families must make the holidays about compromise, Ormand said. “It comes down to mutual respect, communication and having a caring attitude for the children involved,” she said. “The more that children see parents getting along, the more secure they are going to be.”
  • 11. s the holiday season approaches, senior citizens who can’t get around much anymore may feel left out of many traditional events. It may be difficult or exhausting to brave the crowds in stores to shop, let alone go Christmas caroling or host a family get-together. But that doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t want to be included. Fortunately, local senior organizations and assisted living centers look for ways to brighten this time for area seniors. “I think what they are looking for is time with family and friends,” said Sally Sherrin, director of the Lancaster County Council on Aging. The organization serves nearly 170 home- bound seniors, and many more in their four centers. The council hosted a Thanksgiving luncheon for seniors Nov. 18. Walmart associates served lunch to seniors at the annual event held at the Lancaster location. The centers will also hold holiday celebrations in December. The Council on Aging also coordinates a Shoeboxes for Seniors gift program, similar to Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. Shoeboxes for Seniors has provided gifts for county seniors for more than a decade. Sheryl Baker, site manager for the Lancaster center, spear- heads the initiative, which has grown to provide gifts for all homebound and center-based seniors in the county. Each year, local churches, schools, fire departments and businesses collect items for seniors to be distributed near Christmas. Items such as lap throws, gloves, scarves, stamps, candy, lotion, socks and toiletries are favorites. “The seniors love it,” Baker said. To take part, call Sheryl Baker at (803) 285-6956, ext. 24, or deliver items to the Lancaster center by Dec. 14. Nursing home festivities Local nursing homes are also planning festivities for seniors. White Oak Manor activities director Jennifer Barton said it is planning a number of events to help residents have a happy holiday. The residents are helping prepare a float for the Lancaster Christmas Parade on Dec. 12. The home is also collecting items for the local homeless initiative, which residents will package to give back to the community. Another annual favorite is a Christmas play written and performed by staff members for residents and their families. This year’s theme is “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” “It is something we like to do for them,” Barton said. “We know they can’t get out to go see a show, so we like to bring it to them.” White Oak also hosts a Christmas dinner for residents and their families, with a visit from Santa Claus, who delivers gifts. The “Secret Santa” gifts are provided by donations from family and community members who select a stocking with a resident’s name on it from a wall in the center. Morningside of Lancaster is also planning Christmas activities, including visits from volunteers who bring gifts and participate in group activities. It will host a community holiday cookie exchange from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9, featuring recipes from residents. The community is invited to partici- pate. Call Morningside at (803) 285-8152 for details. Make time for seniors If you have a senior family member who can’t get out much, be sure to include them in your holiday plans. If they have a favorite holiday event or religious service they enjoy, take them to it or bring it to them via TV or the Internet. Take your children to visit older relatives or invite them to your home for family get-togethers. Sit down and listen to their stories of the holidays of their youth. If they want to go shopping, take them early in the sea- son, before the stores are swamped with shoppers, or help them find gifts online or using catalogues. Give them what they really want this season – your time. by Chris McGinn for Today’s Woman WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 11 file photo at left; photo below courtesy of Sally Sherrin LEFT: Residents of Morningside of Lancaster made Christmas ornaments for their tree and helped decorate it last year. They include, from left, Barbara Bergvist, Betty Vassey, Louise Roddey, Myrtle Elliott, Lib Mobley, Mickey Faile and Mica Jones, pro- gram director; front row: Betty Vassey and Mickey Faile. BELOW: Volunteers from the Moose Club of Lancaster help fill Shoeboxes for Seniors with the Lancaster County Council on Aging.
  • 12. h Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branch- es,” whether they are real or not. The jury is still out in the case of live Christmas trees versus artificial ones, though the debate has been going on for years. Each has its own virtues, and proponents on both sides generally have rea- sons shared almost uni- versally. Traditional live trees bring that woodsy, Christmasy smell into your home, while safe- ty, allergies, conve- nience and freedom from fallen needles are the primary reasons for using “fake” trees. FAKING IT Your choices may be narrowed by local restrictions, too. Some apart- ment and public buildings prohib- it live trees, so the only alterna- tive is artificial trees, which are best for people who will have them up for a long time. Candye Faile had her tree up the first weekend in November. She start- ed putting it up early because of her dad’s love for Christmas, so she always uses an artificial tree. An early start helps her get ready for the holi- days, too. “It puts me in the holiday spirit and I don’t feel rushed to decorate,” she said. Oddly enough, the first Christmas trees used in the United States were artificial – wooden tree-shaped pyra- mids lit by candles. These “trees” were developed by the German Moravian Church in (appropriately enough) Bethlehem, Pa., in 1747. In the late 1800s, the Germans came up with a fake tree made of goose feathers dyed green, and its popularity spread to the United States. They ranged in size from a tiny 2 inches to an expensive tree more than 8 feet tall. Artificial trees of different kinds have come and gone. A popular fad in the 1930s was trees made of brush bristles. Then, from its introduction in 1958 to about 1965, aluminum trees were tremendously popular. They were lit by a rotating color wheel over a light that sat on the floor. District 44 State Rep. Mandy Powers-Norrell has a vintage alumi- num tree with a color wheel, and still loves it “for its nostalgia,” though she and her family actually prefer to gath- er around a live Christmas tree. “We used to always get it (a live tree) from the Boy Scout lot. Teddy and Emma would pick it out and we would make it work – even if it was too big or too small or had a big gap in the branches. We loved that they had chosen the tree. Then we would stop by Sylvia’s across the street for gingerbread men,” she said. Today’s artificial trees began their rise to popularity in the 1970s. They are primarily made in China from PVC plastic. Although they are naturally fire-retardant, they are not fire-proof. Many say they help with allergies, but that may not be true for everyone. Older artificial trees are made with PVC that used lead as a stabilizer, and as the tree ages, lead dust leaches out. Lead stabilizer was outlawed in 2007. Many trees now use extruded polysty- rene, a safer product, with pre-lit trees becoming increasingly popular. Shirnetha Belk Wilform said her children’s asthma and fallen needles made her switch to an artificial tree. “I have had a fake tree probably since the 1990s because I had two 12 • TODAY’S WOMAN • WINTER 2015 PHOTOS BY NITA BROWN FOR TODAY’S WOMAN Cindy Rogers helps assemble the large tree at Springs House. The decor there this year is more tra- ditional, in keeping with current “Between the Sheets” vintage Springs Mills exhibit. BY NITA BROWN FOR TODAY’S WOMAN h Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branch- es,” whether they are real or not. The jury is still out in the case of live Christmas trees versus artificial ones, though the debate has been going on for years. Each has its own virtues, and proponents on both sides generally have rea- sons shared almost uni- versally. Traditional live trees bring that woodsy, Christmasy smell into your home, while safe- ty, allergies, conve- nience and freedom from fallen needles are the primary reasons for using “fake” trees. FAKING IT Your choices may be narrowed by local restrictions, too. Some apart- ment and public buildings prohib- it live trees, so the only alterna- 12 • TODAY’S WOMAN • WINTER 2015 Casey Ballard, owner of At Home by Casey, said decorating trends in color work for both artificial and live trees. Ballard decorated this tree with purple and chartreuse. BY NITA BROWN FOR TODAY’S WOMAN
  • 13. WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 13 COURTESY OF CANDY FAILE Candye Faile put this tree up the first weekend in November. Because she starts her holiday decorating so early, Faile always uses an artificial tree. asthmatic children. Also, we kept (the tree) up so long and the needles were all in the carpets. We would still find needles in March! So I finally decided to get a balsam fake tree,” she said. Some switch to artificial trees for other rea- sons. Athena Redmond said they switched after her tree-climbing Siamese cat got covered with resin from their live Douglas fir. “It took repeated baths with Dawn dish deter- gent to get it off,” she said. The cat was not happy about the baths, she added. Convenience is another reason for an artificial tree. Aliene Sparkman says her family stores its tree in the attic without dismantling it. Covered with a sheet to keep off the dust, it’s ready to bring down and decorate the next year. Casey Ballard, owner of At Home by Casey, said decorating trends in color work for both artificial and live trees. “Red is always good. Lime green or chartreuse has increased in popularity because it’s highly visible,” he said. He added that flocked trees or décor is making a comeback, this time with a more natural look, like frost. KEEPING IT REAL Live tree enthusiasts share many common reasons for their loyalty to real trees. Family tradition and experience top the list. Christian families honor the tradition because it symboliz- es the sacrifice of Christ “on a tree.” Others buy a live tree at a local tree lot or choose their own tree at a local tree farm to help support the com- munity and local economy. John Mangum, owner of Papa John’s Christmas Tree Farm on Flat Creek Road, said proper care of a live tree will minimize shedding. He said Christmas tree farms and growers offer a good selection. The Leyland cypress is safer for folks with allergies. Choices also include blue spruce, Carolina sapphire, blue ice, Eastern red cedar and Frazier fir. Live trees may also be balled in burlap for planting after the holidays. Tree stands, hand-made wreaths and bows are also available at Papa John’s, which opened the day after Thanksgiving. He said meeting fami- lies sharing a tradition together is one of his greatest pleasures. THE MORE, THE MERRIER Whether live or fake, some families even have multiple trees. Debbie Jaillette, executive director at the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, said her family always has two trees, which general- ly involve an adventure in setting them up. “We buy a Frazier for the music room and cut down our tree for the sunroom/dining room that we call the bird tree. It has all birds, berries and feather garland on it. We have trauma… finding tree stands that will hold our trees upright. It usually results in Kevin (her hus- band) on the ground under the tree, muttering words like the dad on ‘A Christmas Story’ uses, while son Eric and I hold the tree upright and kill ourselves laughing. It happens every year and we have a full collection of tree stands upstairs.” For more information on live tree selections and area tree farm locations, visit the S.C. Christmas Tree Association website, www. scchristmastrees.org. A few years ago, I purchased a beautiful tree from a farmers market around the first week of December. It was an exciting day for my daughter, Jesse, who was almost 5 at the time. We both couldn’t wait to get home to decorate it. For hours, she and I placed each ornament in the perfect spot, listened to Christmas music and got into the Christmas spirit. We then stood back and admired the beautiful job we had done. We were very pleased with how beautiful our tree looked and so happy that we had chosen the perfect tree. That happiness did not last long… Within a day or two, I noticed needles from the tree on the floor. It started off as just a few, but as days went by, it got worse. Every time you walked near the tree, you could hear the nee- dles hitting the ground. There were more needles on the floor than on the tree. We kept adding water, but nothing worked. The tree got drier and drier. My husband, Tony, was afraid it was a fire hazard, so he wouldn’t let us turn on the Christmas lights. We finally decided that the only thing we could do was to get another tree. It is funny: Everyone wants to help decorate a tree, but no one wanted to help undecorate it. I was stuck taking off all the ornaments myself. My husband picked out the next tree because the excitement for Jesse and me was long gone. He brought it home and, believe it or not, no one wanted to help decorate it. My daugh- ter told me she had already decorated one tree, so she would let me do this one. So I decorated the tree by myself, with no music, no laughter, no fun – bah humbug! Thank goodness this one made it to Christmas! It came down the next day. After packing up all the ornaments and vacuuming up needles that I was still finding from the first tree, I went to the after-Christmas sale at Kmart and bought an artificial one. – Lori Sistare A few years ago, I purchased a beautiful tree from a farmers market around the first week of December. It was an exciting day for my daughter, Jesse, who was almost 5 at the time. We both couldn’t wait to get home to decorate it. For hours, she and I placed each ornament in the perfect spot, listened to Christmas music and got into the Christmas spirit. We then stood back and admired the beautiful job we had done. We were very pleased with how beautiful our tree looked and so happy that we had chosen the perfect
  • 14. 14 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015 Classicplaythingsnevergooutofstyle By Amanda Harris, for Today’s Woman Some things never go out of style – like the toys your parents and grandparents played with, ones without batteries and microchips. Kathy Paquette, who lives in Indian Land and has worked at Brilliant Sky Toys and Books in Charlotte, N.C., for four years, said many toys have been around for decades without ever fully losing their popularity. She said the desire for classic toys such as yo-yos, marbles and jump ropes rises and dips. “They’ve never left the scene,” Paquette said. “They are still selling like crazy. There has never been a week where we haven’t sold marbles, yo-yos and jump ropes. They are some of the toys we all remember playing with as kids.” Fisher Price toys are also popular and classic items such as the Eight- Ball still fly off shelves, Paquette said. Classic board games like Monopoly, checkers and chess also remain a sta- ple in households. “They will always be a part of our inventory here,” Paquette said. Other items like Golden Books, Barbie dolls and sock monkeys also remain on wish lists, she said. While children have more options now, classic toys tend to stick around, Paquette said. She said parents and grandparents enjoy finding toys they played with as children for their own family. “It keeps vintage toys going,” Paquette said. “It’s something that will continue on.” Retro comeback Lincoln Logs, Legos and Easy-Bake Ovens filled many childhoods with wonder and fun. Now those toys, along with many classic toys, are making a comeback. Retro toys such as Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbie dolls, classic board games and Tinkertoys are popular again, according to the Huffington Post. Other toys making a comeback include Play-Doh, My Little Pony, Mad Libs word games, American Girl dolls and Little People sets. Children once again want to fight crime with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which have been around for three decades, according to the Huffington Post. This isn’t really a surprise, given the movie remake that came out this year. The big screen may also be what rekindled the love of Transformers toys. Furbies, which were a big hit in the 1990s, showed back up in stores in 2012 with new features and abilities, according to the Huffington Post. They now speak English, as well as “Furbish,” their own language. Tamagotchis, essentially digital pets, were a way to teach kids respon- sibility in the 1990s. They made a comeback in the United Kingdom a few years ago and showed up again in the United States last year, according to the Huffington Post.
  • 15. WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 15 ove it or hate it, shopping for holiday gifts is part of the season, whether you start early or wait until Christmas Eve. It may come as a surprise to those who wait until the last minute, when stores are crowded with desperate shoppers, that about 80 percent of people begin their holiday shopping before December, with about 40 per- cent beginning before Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey. But that’s no surprise to April Deese, who likes to get a jump on the season. STARTING EARLY Deese has her decorative Christmas village on display by the end of the first week of November and trims her final Christmas tree on Thanksgiving. So, of course, she likes to finish her Christmas shopping as early as possi- ble. The Heath Springs resident would rather focus on the season than shop with crowds. “I like to let my mind rest in Christmas, and the reason that we have Christmas is because of Jesus’ gift to us,” Deese said. “I’ve waited before too late and it becomes pressure shopping at that point. I like to be able to look around and put thought into it, knowing it’s something they like and want.” Instead of shopping online or flip- ping through catalogs, Deese prefers to find merchandise in stores. “I want to see it, I want to hold it, I want to feel it,” she said. When shopping for the perfect gifts for her husband, Ryan, or their kids, Marshall, Parker and Neely Kate, Deese keeps in mind the different items they have said they liked. “I take cues from early in the year, not from the past month or when those fun commercials start popping up,” she said. The day after Thanksgiving, Deese, her sister, her mother and her aunt head out on Black Friday, although Deese is usually finished with her shopping by then. “It’s just a tradition for us to shop and hang out together,” Deese said. “I might pick up stocking stuffers, but that’s about it.” SHOPPING FOR FAR-FLUNG FAMILY When Christmas comes, Lancaster resident Erin Kirkley puts a lot of thought into what she buys for her out-of-state family. “We travel up to Michigan to visit most of my family around Christmas,” she said. “We can transport Christmas gifts pretty easily that way, but we don’t want to buy anything too big. “My sister lives in California, and sometimes we have to ship her gifts. I try to order them online or buy some- thing that won’t be too costly to ship.” While Kirkley likes to shop in stores for Christmas presents, she might research an item online or buy specif- ically requested items from Internet marketplaces, joining the increasing number of people turning to online sources for holiday gifts. The National Retail Federation sur- vey found nearly half (46.1 percent) of holiday shopping will be conducted online, up from 44.4 percent last year. “I’ll buy gifts online if the person has already told me the gift they want and I can easily order it,” Kirkley said. Kirkley said she doesn’t care to get out in the Christmas hustle and bus- tle, so she begins shopping a month or two in advance, starting with family and friends who she says are easier to buy for. >>> ASHLEY LOWRIMORE FOR TODAY’S WOMAN PHOTO BY AHSLEY LOWRIMORE FOR TODAY’S WOMAN Lancaster Jewelers sales associate Chelsea Hunt, left, shows Angie Starnes a selection of freeform rings. The store sees a range from early birds to last-minute Christmas Eve shoppers. COURTESY OF ERIN KIRKLEY Ella Kirkley tells Santa what she’d like for Christmas, while younger brother Corbin waits his turn. Their mother Erin Kirkley says both of her kids are easy to shop for at Christmas.
  • 16. 16 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015 “My husband is extremely hard to buy for, so he has to tell me exactly what he wants,” Kirkley said of her husband, Dustin. Shopping for their young children, Ella and Corbin, is easier. “My kids never really mention any- thing they want for Christmas, but they seem to be grateful with anything we get them,” Kirkley said. “We try to get gifts that reflect their interests.” Local retailers With Christmas ornament previews in July and October and an open house in November, Annette’s Hallmark sees early shoppers for those one-of-a-kind keepsake ornaments and more. “We definitely have a lot who shop early,” said Amy Glover, manager of Annette’s Hallmark. In October, Glover helped a custom- er who comes in each year at that time to buy gifts for all of the women in her family. “She likes to do her shopping here and get it wrapped and then she’s fin- ished,” Glover said. “Also, if we need to order something for her, then we still have time to order it.” Ginny Sistare, owner of Lancaster Jewelers, sees a variety of holiday shoppers in her store. “Basically you’ve got three types of shoppers – people that buy all year long, people that just go for that ‘one sale,’ and last-minute shoppers,” Sistare said. She said many of her customers specifically look for their customer appreciation sale in November, while some will come in two days before Christmas looking for the right gift. On occasion, Sistare’s staff has called shoppers if they see an item a custom- er might like to lay-away or buy for the holiday season. “A lot of times, shopping is therapy for people,” Sistare said. “Jewelry is always going to be more hands-on; some want to come in and touch it and know the quality they’re get- ting.” photo by Ashley Lowrimore for Today’s Woman Sales associate Janna Noland looks over a holiday display at Annette’s Hallmark. Manager Amy Glover says the “Elf on the Shelf” is a popular, early shopped-for item at the store.
  • 17. You’ll likely spend more than you planned to while holiday shopping, but don’t let yourself be an easy target for those out to ruin the thrill of the day and hamper your search for Christmas bargains. Thieves also anticipate this busy season as they look to turn unaware shoppers into victims. The National Crime Prevention Council provides these safety tips for holiday shoppers: Shopping in stores l Don’t buy more than you can carry – Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or asking a store employee to help you carry packages to the car. l Save all receipts – Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in. l Don’t flash the cash – Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, including at online stores. l Wait until asked by a cashier before taking out your credit card or checkbook – An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information. Walking to and from vehicles l Be informed about your surroundings – Use free mobile apps, such as AlertID, to receive alerts about registered sex offenders living and working in the vicinity of shopping venues. l Deter pickpockets – Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front pants pocket. l Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle – Check the back seat and around the car before getting in. l Alert authorities – Talk to a security guard or store employee if you see an unat- tended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit. l Do not leave packages visible in your car – Lock them in the trunk, or if possible, take them directly home. Shopping with small children l If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other. l Select a central meeting place. l Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help. l Have them memorize or keep your cell phone number handy. l Keep up-to-date photos and accurate descriptions of each child electronically with AlertID’s My Family Wallet. Should they go missing, this information can be sent quickly to law enforcement when every moment counts. Online shopping tips l Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti- spam software, as well as a good firewall installed. l Keep personal information private and passwords secure. Do not respond to requests to verify passwords or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner. l Beware of bargains from companies with whom you are unfamiliar. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. l Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or “https” in the URL address. l Shop with known, trusted companies. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company. l To avoid purchasing counterfeit items, carefully examine the products you want to buy for signs of missing information (manufacturing information, warranty, product codes, etc.), broken or missing safety seals, different or incomplete packaging, and subtle or obvious changes to a company logo. For more useful shopping tips and personal safety information, visit the National Crime Prevention Council’s website, www.ncpc.org. WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 17 National Crime Prevention Council Shop safely during holidays
  • 18. 18 • TODAY’S WOMAN • WINTER 2015 hat is “true beauty?” Six young ladies represent- ing South and Buford middle and Indian Land and Harrisburg ele- mentary schools got to share their ideas of what true beauty means to them at the third annual Inside Out Runway Show, presented by Girls on the Run Tri County and Carolina Place mall in Pineville, N.C. Held Oct. 25, the event featured girls wearing outfits they felt the most beautiful in while walking the run- way at Carolina Place Mall’s Center Court. Participants were chosen randomly from school teams, according to Lindy Morris, director of Girls on the Run Tri County SC Council. Once chosen, they wrote essays about their ideas of true beauty. Participants walked down the runway in outfits of their choice, while their essays were read aloud by CN2 reporter and emcee Alison Rauch. Girls on the Run founder and Charlotte resident Molly Barker spoke to the crowd during intermission. Students representing Indian Land Elementary on the runway were fourth-grader Gabriela Hernandez and Kaycee Hunt. Students Olivia Bennett and Tiana Teodoro represented Harrisburg Elementary. “When thinking with your heart, a pure soul will always be able to recog- nize true colors and one’s being,” third-grader Olivia Bennett wrote in her essay. Bennett, who planned to wear a blue floral dress and her favor- ite cowgirl boots, was nervous but excited. “I was really excited for her,” said Olivia’s mom, Megan Osborne. “We’re COURTESY OF KARLA TEODORO Tiana Teodoro, a third-grader at Harrisburg Elementary School, walks the runway in the Inside Out Runway Show, presented Oct. 25 by Girls on the Run Tri County and Carolina Place mall in Pineville, N.C. ‘Real beauty starts inside’ ASHLEY LOWRIMORE FOR TODAY’S WOMAN “When thinking with your heart, a pure soul will always be able to recognize true colors and one’s being.” – OLIVIA BENNETT COURTESY OF KARLA TEODORO
  • 19. WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 19 new to the area, so when she got selected, I thought it was really cool that she was getting more active with her after-school program.” Third-grader Tiana Teodoro told her mom, Karla Teodoro, that real beauty started inside of each person. “We have been created in the image of God, like flowers in a garden, every person is unique, no two are the same,” Tiana wrote in her essay. “Coming from Latin America, I’ve learned that beauty comes in different colors, ages, social settings, and real beauty is inside of a person,” her mother said. Fifth-grader Kaycee Hunt wrote that true beauty shines through your actions. “To me true beauty is the light that shines inside that leads you to be kind, show love, help people, and be brave enough to always do the right thing,” she wrote. “It’s not how beautiful you are on the outside, it’s how beautiful you are inside.” Girls on the Run is a program for third- through eighth-grade girls emphasizing health, self-confidence and courage, combined with athleti- cism. “At Girls on the Run, we envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams,” Morris said. For more information about Girls on the Run Tri County, visit www. gotrtricountysc.org. courtesy of Karla Teodoro Tiana Teodoro, a third-grader at Harrisburg Elementary School, shows her casual side in this candid shot. courtesy of Megan Osborne Harrisburg Elementary School third-grader Olivia Bennett planned to wear cowgirl boots for her runway walk. courtesy of Laura Cediel Indian Land Elementary School fourth-grader Gabriela Hernandez chose this outfit for the Oct. 25 fashion show.
  • 20. 20 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015 Spice up the holidaysFrom Brandpoint Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, carda- mom, vanilla - the spices and flavors of the season are as integral to the holidays as pumpkins, gift-giving and family gatherings. It’s hard to imagine ever tir- ing of seasonal flavors, especially when they illuminate baked treats and other hol- iday dishes, but there’s also nothing wrong with craving new ways to enjoy seasonal spices. By all means, give your sugar cookies a dash of personality with some ginger, and deck your glazed ham with whole cloves. And while you’re savoring holiday spices and seasonings in traditional ways, try some innovative ideas for incorporating the flavors of the holidays into other aspects of your celebrations. The spice and seasoning experts at Simply Organic offer some tips to spark your creativity: Decorate with spices Some holiday spices not only smell won- derful and festive, but they’re pretty, too. Incorporating whole spices such as star- shaped anise and cinnamon sticks into your celebrations will fill the air with holiday scents, while creating visual interest. Try presenting star anise in a pretty glass bowl as a centerpiece. Strew bundles of cinnamon sticks tied with ribbons in holiday hues on the fireplace mantel. Add festive interest to a holiday table with a small potted rosemary bush. Spice up holiday cocktails When you think of holiday cocktails, is peppermint the only seasonal flavor that comes to mind? You can make your own flavored vodkas and liqueurs by learning to make infusions with virtually any holi- day spice. Or, use spices to update tradi- tional holiday beverages like Cardamom Orange Old Fashioned (see recipe on this page). Slip savory spices into traditionally sweet dishes Holiday spices and seasonings fall into two categories - sweet and savory. Traditionally, sweet spices have been the stars of holiday baked goods, while savory ones added flair to main courses and side dishes. There’s no rule that says you can’t incorporate your favorite savory holiday spice into baked goods. In fact, some, like allspice, are naturals for adding interest to baked items. For example, freshly ground peppercorns pair well with chocolate, and rosemary complements lemony flavorings. Sweet spices work outside the oven Nutmeg is one of those spices associated with baked holiday goodies like cookies and cakes, but it works great on stovetop dishes, too, such as pastas - especially in cream sauce - soups and greens. It’s a great spice to add flavor and interest to a variety of side dishes. Because it goes so well with dairy, nutmeg is a winner in mac and cheese, and its hint of musky sweetness means it works well to foil the bitterness of certain greens. Pamper yourself with spices You can cook up a variety of homemade beauty treatments using holiday spices - and after all the work you’ll be doing this season, you deserve it. Rinsing hair with a rosemary infusion shines and clarifies your tresses. Cinnamon and clove, when paired with Bentonite clay powder or honey, make refresh- ing facial masks. And you can find recipes online to make your own lip balm with cinna- mon, cardamom and nutmeg. For more holiday spice ideas and to find organic seasonings for all your holiday needs, visit http://holidays.simplyorganic.com/. Cardamom Orange Old Fashioned Ingredients for cardamom simple syrup: 1 ⁄3 cup water 1 ⁄3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cardamom Directions: In a small pot, bring the water, sugar and cardamom to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. The simple syrup recipe will pro- vide more syrup than need- ed to make this drink. Store extra syrup in the refrigera- tor for later. Prep time, 15 minutes. Makes one serving. Ingredients for the old fashioned: 2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters 2 teaspoons cardamom simple syrup 1 orange peel 1 cinnamon stick (optional) Ice cubes Directions: In a glass, combine the bourbon or rye whis- key, bitters and syrup. Add orange peel. Using a muddler, crush the orange peel into the drink to release the orange flavor. Add the cinnamon stick, then let the drink rest for a few minutes. For more orange flavor, substitute an orange slice (with flesh) for the orange peel. Allow drink to rest for a few minutes, then stir to release flavor.
  • 21. Today’s Man Santa G Full name: St. Nicholas, aka Santa Claus G Age: Timeless G Hometown: The North Pole G Family: Mrs Claus, the elves and Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph G Occupation: Toy builder, wish fulfiller G Education: University of the North Pole G What are your life goals: To make all of the girls and boys happy G What are you most proud of in your life? Always being on time G Most influential people in your life: Mrs. Claus G Favorite way to spend free time: Watching TV G Favorite letter-reading spot: My den in front of the fire G Favorite books: “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” G Favorite songs: “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” G Favorite cookies: “Gooey chocolate chip with milk G Your personality in just one word: Jolly G Words that inspire you: “I love you, Santa” and “Thank you, Santa” WINTER 2015 • TODAY’S WOMAN • 21 DAVID KELLIN/For Today’s Woman Don Phipps enjoys his role as Santa Claus and has for the last seven years.
  • 22. 22 • Today’s Woman • WInter 2015 7 Seasonal Tips l Care Health Center – Health care and pharmacy, limited labo- ratory and X-ray services for uninsured county residents, (803) 285-2273 l Christian Services – Basic necessities during times of financial crisis, (803) 285-4444 l Department of Social Services – Aid to families with depen- dent children, Medicaid, food stamps, medical assistance, foster care, investigates and reports abuse, (803) 286-6914 l HOPE in Lancaster – Short-term emergency assistance, (803) 286-4673 l Kershaw Area Resource Exchange (KARE) – Help with food, shelter, fuel, utilities and prescriptions, (803) 475-4173 l Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault – Helps vic- tims of sexual assault, (803) 286-5232 l Safe Passage – Counseling, shelter in Rock Hill for battered women and their children, (803) 285-6533 or (877) 466-4725 l S.C. Legal Services – Free legal services for low-income peo- ple, (800) 922-3853 l Women’s Enrichment Center – Information and options, free pregnancy tests, confidential consultations, (803) 286-5900 Here to Help You SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE TIME AND ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS from brandpoint It may be the most wonderful time of year, but at times, it can also feel like the most stressful. This holiday season, take a fresh approach to your to-do list to save time and energy so you can be merry and bright. These seven tips and tricks will help you relax, unwind and enjoy all the best parts of the holidays. Wrap while shopping It’s a given that shopping early avoids the last-minute frenzy, but you can save even more time and stress by getting gifts wrapped while out and about. Many depart- ment stores offer gift wrap services. All you need to do is ask. Streamline holiday cards Sending cards is a holiday tradition, but it shouldn’t cause unneeded stress. No need to worry about a dated address book - an easy trick is to cut return address labels from each card you receive and place in an envelope. Now it’s easy to send cards to loved ones and update your address book without hassle. Go tech free Smartphones ringing, emails beeping, texts buzzing - technology is time-consum- ing. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by designating tech-free times for your family each day. Use this time (one-two hours) to relax and focus on each other, perhaps with a hot cup of cocoa – the emails and messages will still be there later. Schedule a salon visit With a long holiday to-do list, it’s hard to find time for you. That’s why treating yourself to a haircut or manicure can do wonders for your holiday spirit. Plus, you’ll look and feel fantastic when you attend all those festive get-togethers. Opt for an open house Having a holiday gathering adds to the season’s merriment, but where will every- one fit and how will you feed them? Instead of a formal dinner, opt for an open house with hors d’oeuvres. You’ll have less work and more time to spend with loved ones as they come and go. Use baking hacks Using premade foods is one of the simplest (yet yummy) ways to create holiday baked delights. Check out sites such as www.facebook.com/entenmanns for simple rec- ipes like Entenmann’s Dreamy Chocolate Bars, featuring crumbled doughnuts as the secret ingredient. While you’re baking, double the batch to have extra on hand for a hostess gift. Embrace holiday breakfasts Start every day off right by enjoying a delicious breakfast with your family. No need to spend hours in the kitchen cooking; instead include iconic breakfast classics that you and the kids love. Doughuts paired with fresh fruit make a quick breakfast delight.
  • 23. WInter 2015 • Today’s Woman • 23