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5 great reasons to go camping



Planning a holiday? Here are five great reasons to swap the hotel room for a tent.

1. You’ll reconnect with nature. When was the last time you explored the woods or saw the night sky filled with stars? Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and rediscover the serene beauty of the natural world.

2. You’ll spend quality time with loved ones. Camping presents the perfect opportunity for you and your fellow campers to unplug. Leave smartphones, computers and other devices at home, and make new memories with your loved ones instead.

3. You’ll be able to bring your dog(s). Fido is part of the family too, so why not include him in this year’s vacation plans? Most campgrounds welcome dogs, and your pup is sure to enjoy the fresh air and exercise.

4. You’ll share invaluable life lessons. Teach your kids essential skills such as how to pitch a tent, start a fire and generally not perish without Wi-Fi. Camping is also an ideal time to teach them how to catch and cook a fish, be safe around wildlife and use a compass.

5. You’ll get plenty of exercise. Hiking, biking, swimming and canoeing are just a few types of exercise you can enjoy when camping. That said, if you’re envisaging sitting back and relaxing, there’s nothing stopping you from getting some well-deserved rest.

Camping is an affordable and low-key way to spend your summer holiday. You don’t need to venture far to have an awesome experience, and you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.

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Useful gifts for practical people



If you’re not sure what to buy your loved ones for Christmas, you may want to consider giving them something practical. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

• A gas station gift card
• A firewood sling
• Reusable containers, food wrap, or sandwich bags
• A set of quality bed sheets
• A portable cell phone charger
• A bathtub tray
• A gardening tote
• Heated gloves
• A bike repair kit
• Car storage accessories like a trunk or seat organizer
• Compact camping dishes such as a pot with a folding handle
• Warm socks

Visit your local retailers to find a host of gifts that will make your loved ones’ lives easier.

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12 advantages buying local for the holidays



1. To help protect the planet

Buying local is the eco-friendly way to shop for the holidays. When you opt for items produced and sold nearby, you help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions created when goods are shipped. The need for excess packaging is also eliminated. This Christmas, help protect the environment by buying locally crafted presents, decorations, food, and more.

2. To get superb service

If you want personalized recommendations, information about specific items, or gift ideas for someone with unusual interests, your local merchants can help. These people typically have a passion for the goods and services they offer. Consequently, they’re committed to providing exceptional customer service. Plus, you can count on them for streamlined after-sale service.

3. To enjoy delicious food

When it comes to making a great meal, nothing beats local foods. Keep it close to home by choosing bread, cheeses, wines, meats, and vegetables produced in your region. Whether you’re making an elaborate feast or preparing a simple dish, put fresh, local ingredients on the menu. Your holiday guests will thank you, and so will your tastebuds.

4. To find unique gifts

Are you looking for the perfect present? Whether you’re searching for a practical, decorative, or gourmet gift, you can’t go wrong if you select goods and services provided by the artists, artisans, and small businesses in your area. Find original art pieces, handcrafted items, and unique experiences to pamper the people you love most.

5. To reduce stress

The drama-free way to gather everything you need for the holidays is to shop locally. You’re sure to find the clothes, toys, games, ornaments, cooking supplies, and greeting cards on your list in record time. Plus, making your Christmas purchases locally will eliminate the hassle of delivery delays.

6. To stimulate the economy

A booming local economy helps create a thriving community. You can do your part to sustain your region simply by buying locally. If you do, you’ll contribute to the success of established businesses, enabling them to grow and create more jobs. In turn, this will attract new merchants and entrepreneurs to your area. When you shop locally, everyone wins.

7. To make pleasant discoveries

How well do you know your region? If you explore what your community has to offer, you’ll likely stumble on treasures you never knew were there. Imagine discovering handcrafted jewelry, artisanal chocolates, or a pleasant eatery to spend the afternoon in your backyard! Who knows, you may even find a great park, gallery, gym, or other new venues to haunt.

8. To energize your community

Over the holidays, many communities host an assortment of Christmas events and activities. You’ll likely be able to enjoy attending a tree lighting, nativity play, holiday market, or Christmas concert. Participating in these types of events is a great way to support your local organizations
and businesses. It’s how you help create a vibrant local culture.

9. To free up more time

If you visit the shops, restaurants, concert halls, and museums that are close to home rather than heading out of town, you can save time in your busy schedule. With the extra minutes or hours you gain, you may be able to fit in another activity or simply find more time to relax and unwind.

10. To save money

Frequenting the businesses in your area is a great way to save on gas and other driving-related expenses. This is especially the case if you can walk to your destination. You won’t even have to pay for parking. You could see significant savings depending on how often you tend to make these outings.

11. To procure quality products

Locally crafted goods tend to be better made than mass-produced items manufactured overseas. Consequently, they’re likely to be more durable. If you keep these items for a long time, you’ll save in the long term. Plus, the working conditions for the people producing the goods are more likely to be fair.

12. To create a sense of belonging

If you want to call your region home, simply living there is not enough. You must get to know your area, find spots you love to frequent, and establish a routine. To engage with your community and feel connected to your corner of the world, participate in local events, and support your region’s businesses.

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How to throw a hassle-free holiday brunch



Are you planning to host Christmas brunch this year? If so, here are a few ways to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.

Start prepping the day before
Avoid making everything you need the morning of your brunch by doing some setup the night before. You could wash, cut, and plate fresh fruit and prepare whipped cream and custards ahead of time. If you want to serve an easy dish that can be portioned out the day before, consider putting together small bowls of yogurt and berries with granola.

Opt for fresh-baked goods
Visit your local bakery for bread, croissants, muffins, and bagels to accompany your meal. Purchase a batch made the morning of your event, or ask about frozen, ready-to-bake products. If the business has a tempting specialty, don’t hesitate to add it to your menu.

Offer a variety of beverages
Spice up your brunch by serving mimosas, Bellinis, sparkling cider, or white wine. You can also offer your guests coffee flavored with a variety of liqueurs. For kids, hot chocolate and fresh fruit juice are great choices.

Finally, be sure to decorate your table with festive accessories the day before your event.

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Six ways to prioritize buying local during the holidays



The holiday season is an ideal time to support the businesses in your region. Here are six ways to make buying local a part of your Christmas celebrations.

1. Gift giving
If you plan to participate in a holiday gift exchange with your friends or family members, take this opportunity to introduce them to local merchants. For example, regionally made body care products, handcrafted jewelry, and artisanal foods make great gifts.

2. Alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic beverages and the holiday season go hand in hand. This year, serve beers brewed in your region, wines made at a local vineyard, and spirits distilled nearby. To add to the fun and sample an assortment of products, consider organizing a tasting event at your next holiday party.

3. Personal wellness products
Entice your guests to buy local products themselves by placing a handmade bar of soap in the bathroom, lighting locally crafted candles, or providing an all-natural hand cream to relieve dry hands.

4. Food
If you’re whipping up a homemade meal for your holiday guests, plan your menu around seasonal and local products. If you’d rather take a break from cooking, hire a caterer who uses regional goods. Don’t forget to purchase dessert from a nearby pastry shop or bakery.

5. Clothing
Create head-turning holiday ensembles by shopping at local clothing stores. Shirts, dresses, pants, and accessories come in many stylish and comfortable options.

6. Decorations
Spruce up your holiday decor with unique, locally crafted items. Wreaths, vases, sculptures, and other handmade treasures are sure to infuse your home or office with the Christmas spirit.

This holiday season, be sure to boost your community’s economy by supporting your local businesses.

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How to decorate the outside of your home for Christmas



If you want to decorate the outside of your home for the holiday season but aren’t sure where to begin, here are some ways to get started.

Decorate your trees
Whether you have lush evergreens or bare deciduous trees in your yard, you can dress them up for the Christmas season with ornaments or outdoor string lights.

Put up a Christmas wreath
Make a wreath or buy one from a local artisan. Hang it on your front door or lean it against a nearby wall to create a welcoming entranceway.

Embellish your stairway
If you have sufficient space, place one or more ornate flowerpots, lanterns, nutcrackers, or other decorative elements at the top or bottom of your stairway. Wrap your railing in a garland for a festive flair.

Fill vacant spaces
You can set up decorative structures if you have a large front yard. Inflatable figures and lighted characters will help bring holiday cheer to your home.

For more inspiration and to find great decorations, visit your local retailers.

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How to care for bathroom plants



If your bathroom has a lot of natural light, giving it a touch of green with plants suited to a damp environment can be fun. Here are some tips to ensure they thrive.

Account for ventilation
Since bathrooms are humid, you need to consider air circulation as you decide on plant placement. If the room isn’t well-ventilated, some species may add to the humidity and cause mold and mildew to grow.

Opt for plants that dehumidify the air, such as ivy or orchids. Tillandsia is also a lovely choice. Commonly known as air plants, these beauties don’t require soil and can be displayed as a hanging arrangement or in a glass jar.

Evaluate your available space
If your bathroom is relatively large, you have a lot of freedom to choose your plants and can mix things up with a variety of species and sizes. If your space is limited, however, you should choose small plants that can be suspended or placed on a windowsill. Consider buying a spider plant, dwarf fig tree, or pothos.

The secret to keeping a plant healthy is to provide it with the correct doses of sunlight, water, and warmth. When you visit your local garden center, determine the needs of the species you like before bringing it home.


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Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

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White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

3:00 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 4 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
4:00 pm Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Dec 4 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Kickoff for tree sales — Boy Scout Troop 52 is ready to help you find that perfect tree. We are located at the Royal Plaza in front of Rural King. We will be selling trees[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 7 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
10:00 am 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 10 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment during the holidays. Interact with the 10th VA Infantry, also known as the Valley Guards,[...]
4:00 pm Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
Dec 10 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
The Living Water Christian Church is hosting a paint night on December 10, 2022, from 4pm-6:30pm. The cost is $40.00 per painting with award winning artist Kelly Walker. This is open to the public but[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 14 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 21 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]