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Features

Monday, December 19, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When she recorded “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” in 1953, Gayla Peevey says she had no idea schoolchildren would be singing it 63 years later. Or that people in her hometown of Oklahoma City would really raise the money to buy a 10-year-old girl a hippopotamus. She gave that hippo, named Matilda, to the local zoo on Christmas Eve. It lived to be nearly 50.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Sure, I still believe in Santa Claus, and I don’t care if you have a problem with that.

This Christmas season brings both delight and sadness to our family. Our older son has already given up his faith that the fat man is coming down our chimney. We are in protection mode for our younger daughter, keeping her belief alive not only in Santa, but also in Rudy, the elf who hides himself, wanting to be found from somewhere in our house every night from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 16, 2016

In this, the season of gift giving, I’m thinking about timeless gifts to give and receive.

These gifts can’t be put in a box or gift wrapped. But they can be freely given. Best yet, they cost absolutely nothing.

I was given one of these gifts when I was standing in line at Sam’s Club with a hot chicken burning my hands. Since I was only buying one item, I didn’t bother with a cart.

While I was looking around to see where I could put the chicken while I waited in line, a woman in front of me saw my dilemma. “Here, get in front of me,” she said.

Friday, December 16, 2016
Elda and Ralph Gerber

Elda and Ralph Gerber of New Ringgold are celebrating their 76th wedding anniversary. They were married Dec. 21, 1940, at Zion’s Stone Church in Snyders by the late Rev. W.W. Moyer. They are lifelong members of Zion’s Stone Church.

Mrs. Gerber is the former Elda Shellhamer, daughter of the late Eva and Morris Shellhamer of New Ringgold. Her husband is the son of the late Katie and Mahlon Gerber of New Ringgold.

The Gerbers have two daughters, Janice, wife of Walter Rudy of Bridgeville, Delaware; and Rhea, wife of Gerald Steigerwalt of New Ringgold.

Friday, December 16, 2016
Sadie Monk, third grade “An American Girl doll with red hair. I got it last year and it’s named Sadie after me.”

What is the best Christmas gift you have ever received?

Friday, December 16, 2016

I am sad to say missing an H in my name is not the only difference between Martha Stewart and me.

Along with that “h” comes a sense of style and a creative touch.

Anyone who has ventured into my office knows I am more of a clutter queen than a decorating diva.

My style could be considered yard sale eclectic, because I love old items and they don’t have to be antiques. I can’t bear to throw broken, lonely pieces away if they can be saved.

Friday, December 16, 2016

People have lots of reasons to give back to local charities. It gets rid of unwanted or unused items, it can help with your taxes, and most of all, it feels good.

Luckily, there are a lot of ways to give back this season, and you don’t have to look hard.

Since Black Friday, the Times News has been running a list of donation requests from local nonprofits that work in the area who work to make life better for people and animals who need assistance.

Friday, December 16, 2016

I love winter. Love, love, love, love, love it! Chilly temps, snow, slush, wind chill.

Bring it on!

Fall will always be my favorite season, but winter is a very close second. Winter brings hearty foods like pot roast and chicken noodle soup. A day spent baking is cozy, warm and leaves the house full of delicious scents.

Friday, December 16, 2016
It’s the time of year to say thank you to those who make our lives easier. PHOTO COURTESYMETROGRAPHICS

There’s the mailman and the doorman, the pet sitter and personal trainer, not to forget the housekeeper, home health care worker and many others.

Who do you tip this holiday season and how much?

Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers a simple checklist of which service providers you need to tip this holiday season and how much:

Business (check corporate policy)

Friday, December 16, 2016
“Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener”

It’s almost Christmas. Wow!

Luckily there’s still time to get something nice for the gardener in your life.

These four items are available at your local garden center or on Amazon.com

1. “Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener “by famous plant breeder Joseph Tychonievich. This wonderful little book reads like a novel. Tychonievich is in love with plant breeding, and soon you are too. He reaches into the past before commercial breeders dominated garden centers and box stores.

“Do as your grandmothers did,” he says.