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Star-Studded Birthday Calendar: Do You Share Your Special Day With a Celebrity?



Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?


Chris Pine, 43, actor (Star Trek films), Los Angeles, CA, 1980. Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Ever wondered if you share a birthday with someone famous? The whimsical delight of discovering your birthday twin can be a fascinating conversation starter. Here’s a glimpse into the birthday calendar of celebrities from various walks of life, ranging from Hollywood A-listers to sports icons and renowned personalities.

This star-studded roster teems with noteworthy names for each day of an illustrative month. Starting the month is Tempestt Bledsoe, the beloved actress from ‘The Cosby Show,’ celebrating her 50th birthday. The following days shine the spotlight on talents such as Edward Furlong of ‘Terminator 2’ fame, ‘Star Trek’ actor Chris Pine, ‘The Avengers’ star Chris Hemsworth, and ‘Glee’ actress Lea Michele.

Among the renowned personalities, we find George Soros, the influential financier, who turned 93 this year, and Anthony Anderson, the multifaceted talent who is known for his work as an actor, writer, and producer.

The list of luminaries also features world-class athletes like Roger Federer, the tennis maestro from Basel, Switzerland, celebrating his 42nd birthday, and popular figures from the world of music, such as pop-star Demi Lovato and country singer LeAnn Rimes.

Some celebrate their birthday towards the end of the month, like Michael Chiklis, known for his groundbreaking role in ‘The Shield,’ and Sara Ramirez, the brilliant actor from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

Birthdays are special, and sharing this day with a celebrity can add an extra dash of excitement to the celebrations. So, as you mark your calendars for the year, take a moment to see if you share your birthday with a famous personality. It’s a fun connection that can make your special day feel even more unique.


1 – Tempestt Bledsoe, 50, actress (The Cosby Show), Chicago, IL, 1973.

2 – Edward Furlong, 46, actor (Terminator 2), Glendale, CA, 1977.

3 – Karlie Kloss, 31, model, Chicago, IL, 1992.

4 – Richard Belzer, 79, actor (Law & Order: SVU), Bridgeport, CT, 1944.

5 – Jonathan Silverman, 57, actor (The Single Guy), Los Angeles, CA, 1966.

6 – Michelle Yeoh, 61, actress (Crazy Rich Asians), birth name Yang Zi Chong, Malaysia, 1962.

7 – Michael Shannon, 49, actor (Boardwalk Empire), Lexington, KY, 1974.

8 – Roger Federer, 42, tennis player, Basel, Switzerland,

9 – Sam Elliott, 79, actor (Tombstone), Sacramento, CA, 1944.

10 – Kylie Jenner, 26, television personality, Los Angeles, CA, 1997.

11 – Chris Hemsworth, 40, actor (The Avengers), Melbourne, Australia, 1983.

12 – George Soros, 93, financier, Budapest, Hungary, 1930.

13 – Kathleen Battle, 75, opera singer, Portsmouth, OH, 1948.

14 – Marcia Gay Harden, 64, actress (Pollock), La Jolla, CA, 1959.

15 – Anthony Anderson, 53, actor (Law & Order), writer, producer, Los Angeles, CA, 1970.

16 – Taika Waititi, 48, actor (What We Do in the Shadows), comedian, Wellington, New Zealand, 1975.

17 – Julian Fellowes, 74, producer (Downton Abbey), Cairo, Egypt, 1949.

18 – Elayne Boosler, 71, comedian, Brooklyn, NY, 1952.

19 – Jill St. John, 83, actress (Diamonds Are Forever), birth name Jill Oppenheim, Los Angeles, CA, 1940.

20 – Demi Lovato, 31, singer, actress (Camp Rock), Dallas, TX, 1992.

21 – Hayden Panettiere, 34, actress (Heroes), Palisades, NY, 1989.

22 – Steve Kroft, 78, broadcaster, Kokomo, IN, 1945.

23 – Jay Mohr, 53, actor (Jerry Maguire), comedian, Verona, NJ, 1970.

24 – Rupert Grint, 35, actor (Harry Potter), Hertfordshire, England, 1988.

25 – Blake Lively, 36, actress (Gossip Girl), Tarzana, CA, 1987.

26 – Chris Pine, 43, actor (Star Trek films), Los Angeles, CA, 1980.

27 – Sarah Chalke, 47, actress (Roseanne), Ottawa, ON, Canada, 1976.

28 – LeAnn Rimes, 41, singer, Jackson, MS, 1982.

29 – Lea Michele, 37, actress (Glee), the Bronx, NY, 1986.

30 – Michael Chiklis, 60, actor (The Shield), Lowell, MA, 1963.

31 – Sara Ramirez, 48, actor (Grey’s Anatomy), Mazatlan, Mexico, 1975.


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Stress-Free Holiday Celebrations: Tips for a Relaxing Season



Simple Strategies to Navigate the Holiday Frenzy with Ease.

The holiday season, while filled with joy and festivities, often brings a whirlwind of stress and exhaustion. However, with a few practical tips and mindful approaches, it’s entirely possible to bask in the holiday spirit without feeling overwhelmed. Here’s how you can enjoy a more relaxed and fulfilling holiday season.

Shopping: Begin your holiday shopping early, especially when using online retailers. Avoid the last-minute rush by adhering to a general rule: aim to ship gifts by December 15. For late purchases, overnight shipping is an option, but keep track of each order to ensure timely arrival.

Decorating: Transform your space into a festive haven with just one or two tasteful displays. There’s no need to go overboard with decorations both inside and outside. Aim to complete your decorating by the first week of December for a stress-free holiday ambiance.

Baking: If time is short, let a local bakery handle your holiday treats. This approach saves time and allows you to enjoy a variety of professionally made goodies.

Christmas Dinner: Simplify your holiday meal. Instead of an array of side dishes, focus on a main course like turkey, rib roast, or ham, complemented by classics like baked potatoes, vegetables, and salad. A straightforward menu can be just as festive and far less taxing.

Family Visits: To manage demands for your presence, plan early. If balancing visits between two sets of parents, consider scheduling one for Christmas Day and the other for Christmas Eve. Alternative options include meeting on the Sunday before Christmas or the Saturday after.

Gift Wrapping: Save time with gift bags or boxes, adding just a simple bow for a touch of festivity. This method is efficient and presents your gifts in an attractive and hassle-free manner.

Personal Care: Maintain your normal sleep and exercise routines as much as possible. Embrace quiet moments to rejuvenate amidst the holiday bustle.

Holiday Eating: Approach holiday meals with moderation. Avoid going to dinners on an empty stomach, and try to sample small portions of different dishes. Stopping before you’re completely full can help you enjoy the variety without discomfort.

Dealing with Relatives: Prepare mentally for family gatherings. Resolve to enjoy the occasion despite any challenging dynamics, and remember to take things in stride.

The key to a stress-free holiday season lies in simplification and planning. By streamlining your approach to shopping, decorating, and entertaining, you can create a relaxed atmosphere that allows you to enjoy the essence of the season truly. Remember, the holidays are a time for joy and celebration, not stress and exhaustion.

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December Celebrity Birthdays!



Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?

Ozzy Osbourne, 75, singer (Black Sabbath), Birmingham, England, 1948. F darkbladeus, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

1 – Riz Ahmed, 41, actor (Rogue One), London, England, 1982.

2 – Dan Butler, 69, actor (Frasier), Huntington, IN, 1954.

3 – Ozzy Osbourne, 75, singer (Black Sabbath), Birmingham, England, 1948.

4 – Jin, 31, singer (BTS), born Kim Seok-Jin, Gwacheon, South Korea, 1992.

5 – Margaret Cho, 55, actress (All-American Girl), comedian, San Francisco, CA, 1968.

6 – Thomas Hulce, 70, actor (Amadeus), Plymouth, MI, 1953.

7 – C. Thomas Howell, 57, actor (E.T.), Los Angeles, CA, 1966.

8 – Kim Basinger, 70, actress (Batman), Athens, GA, 1953.

9 – Judi Dench, 89, actress (Shakespeare in Love), York, England, 1934.

10 – Melissa Roxburgh, 31, actress (Manifest), Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1992.

11 – Hailee Steinfeld, 27, actress (Ender’s Game), Thousand Oaks, CA, 1996.

12 – Lucas Hedges, 27, actor (Moonrise Kingdom), New York, NY, 1996.

13 – Emma Corrin, 28, actress (The Crown), Royal Tunbridge Wells, England, 1995.

14 – Vanessa Hudgens, 35, actress (Spring Breakers), Salinas, CA, 1988.

15 – Dave Clark, 81, musician (Dave Clark Five), London, England, 1942.

16 – Theo James, 39, actor (Divergent), born Theo Taptiklis, Oxford, England, 1984.

17 – Shannon Woodward, 39, actress (Raising Hope), Phoenix, AZ, 1984.

18 – Billie Eilish, 22, singer, born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, Los Angeles, CA, 2001.

19 – Jennifer Beals, 60, actress (Flashdance), Chicago, IL, 1963.

20 – Uri Geller, 77, psychic, clairvoyant, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1946.

21 – Kiefer Sutherland, 57, actor (24), London, England, 1966.

22 – Hector Elizondo, 87, actor (Pretty Woman), New York, NY, 1936.

23 – Susan Lucci, 77, actress (All My Children), Westchester, NY, 1949.

24 – Louis Tomlinson, 32, singer (One Direction), born Louis Austin at Doncaster, England, 1991.

25 – Barbara Mandrell, 75, singer, Houston, TX, 1948.

26 – Chris Daughtry, 44, television personality (American Idol), Roanoke Rapids, NC, 1979.

27 – Masi Oka, 49, actor (Heroes), Tokyo, Japan, 1974.

28 – David Archuleta, 33, singer (American Idol), Miami, FL, 1990.

29 – Marianne Faithfull, 77, singer, London, England, 1946.

30 – V, 28, singer (BTS), born Kim Tae-hyung, Daegu, South Korea, 1995.

31 – Sir Anthony Hopkins, 86, actor (Silence of the Lambs), Port Talbot, Wales, 1937.

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Hidden Treasures: The Stories Tucked Between Book Pages



Beyond the Story: The Unexpected Keepsakes Found in Old Books.

Every old book carries a story – not just the one penned by the author, but also the memories and mementos left behind by its readers. As a book travels from one hand to another, it becomes a vessel of memories, bearing both the imprints of time and traces of personal histories.

Wander into any old bookstore, and the tales nestled between pages might surprise you. Bookstore employees, well-acquainted with the phenomenon, have stumbled upon a fascinating array of items long forgotten by previous owners. These inadvertent time capsules tell stories that extend beyond the printed words. From vintage photographs that capture moments frozen in time to ticket stubs hinting at memorable events, each item paints a picture of its past owner’s life. Love letters, rich with emotions and tales of romance, are frequently found, allowing a sneak peek into someone’s personal world. Even a letter from Mrs. Robert E. Lee has been discovered between the pages, offering a tangible link to history.

Yet, not all treasures found in books are accidental. Some are deliberate, cheeky nods from the author themselves. Take the case of novelist David Bowman. In a playful gesture, Bowman inserted publishers’ rejection letters into the first edition of his novel, “Let the Dog Drive” (Penguin USA). This cheeky insert not only adds character to the book but also provides a humorous commentary on the journey of a writer. And guess what? This unique edition fetched him a handsome sum when he decided to part with it.

So, the next time you decide to part with a cherished book, consider the choices at hand. Will you comb through its pages, reclaiming forgotten memories? Or perhaps you might leave a piece of yourself within its covers, letting the next reader embark on a delightful treasure hunt. After all, in the vast universe of literature, these tiny fragments of personal history only add to the magic, ensuring that every book is more than just a collection of words.

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Cinema’s Sweetest Moments: The Ultimate Movie Pie Fights



Step into the world of classic movie pie fights, where laughter and pastry collide in delightful chaos.

Pie-Faced Legends: Stan and Ollie’s Triumph
The timeless appeal of a pie in the face dates back to the early days of cinema, where slapstick humor reigned supreme. Yet, one iconic pie fight, the brainchild of the legendary comic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, stands out as the quintessential pie-tossing extravaganza.

In their silent film masterpiece, “Battle of the Century,” released on December 31, 1927, Laurel and Hardy embarked on a quest to create the ultimate pie fight. At the time, pies in the face had become a staple gag but were in danger of growing stale. Laurel, the creative genius, envisioned something grandiose. “Let’s give them so many pies that there never will be room for any more pie pictures in the history of movies,” he declared to a biographer.

The result? A spectacle of epic proportions, with 3,000 pies hurled in all directions. However, despite the grandeur of their pie fight, the film itself was lost to time, leaving only the memory of the legendary pastry showdown. That is, until 2013, when a collector unearthed a reel containing the historic battle, making it easily accessible on platforms like YouTube for modern audiences.

But as remarkable as Laurel and Hardy’s pie fight was, it wasn’t the grandest in cinematic history.

The Great Race: A Pioneering Pie Extravaganza
For baby boomers, “The Great Race” holds a special place in cinematic nostalgia. Released in 1965, this movie offered a thrilling story and a spectacular pie fight that left an indelible mark on film history.

The plot revolves around an international auto race featuring two daring rivals: Jack Lemmon as the villainous Professor Fate and Tony Curtis as the dashing hero known as The Great Leslie. The pie fight, an unforgettable moment, ignites when Lemmon’s character plunges into a towering two-story cake. Curtis miraculously remains un-pied until his love interest, portrayed by Natalie Wood, delivers a direct hit to cap off the chaos.

This four-minute pie battle required a staggering 4,000 pies flung over five days of intense filming. In today’s currency, it amounted to a sweet $1.5 million in production costs for the year 2023. As if that weren’t enough when director Blake Edwards finally yelled “cut,” the cast promptly reciprocated the pie-pelting by smothering him with several hundred pies.

While “The Great Race” may hold the title for the costliest and most pie-laden cinematic battle, it is worth noting that The Three Stooges, renowned for their slapstick comedy, also left their mark on pie fight history. In the 1941 classic “In The Sweet Pie and Pie,” the Stooges indulged in a messy pie-throwing spree, targeting society’s elite with their pastry projectiles.

In the annals of film history, these legendary pie fights continue to tickle our funny bones, proving that the simple joy of a well-aimed pie to the face transcends time and generations.

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Branching out: The Evolution of Artificial Christmas Trees



Unveiling the fascinating history of the holiday centerpiece.

Peek in the average American’s home during the holidays, and you’re likely to find an artificial Christmas tree. The American Christmas Tree Association reports that 75 percent of Americans display a Christmas tree during the festive season, with roughly 84 percent of them opting for the artificial variety. But have you ever wondered where and when the artificial Christmas tree first laid its roots? Artificial or not, these trees have grown through the years, evolving from humble beginnings to cherished holiday season symbols.

A Feathered Start
The origins of artificial Christmas trees can be traced back to late 19th-century Germany. At that time, the nation was grappling with extensive deforestation, prompting the need for a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional trees. The solution came in the form of early artificial trees made from goose feathers, meticulously dyed green to emulate the appearance of natural branches. These feathered creations may not have offered the lushness of real trees, but they quickly gained popularity as a practical and green alternative.

From Toilet Brushes to Tannenbaums
In the early 1900s, an unexpected player entered the artificial tree game – the Addis Brush Company. Initially known for producing toilet brushes, they had a brilliant idea to repurpose their expertise. The brush company began taking their artificial toilet brushes, giving them a vibrant green dye job, and ingeniously fashioning them into artificial Christmas trees. While unconventional, these early attempts at crafting Christmas trees from brush bristles and similar materials remained in vogue through much of the early 20th century, offering a unique take on the holiday tradition.

The Aluminum Era
The 1950s ushered in a new era for artificial Christmas trees with the introduction of aluminum trees. These futuristic-looking trees ditched the traditional green for silvery leaves, reflecting the spirit of the burgeoning space race. However, despite their contemporary appeal, aluminum trees faced a surprising adversary in the form of Charlie Brown, the beloved protagonist of the famous Peanuts comic strip.

In 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charlie took issue with the over-commercialization of the holiday season, and one of his main targets was the aluminum Christmas tree. In a heartwarming turn of events, Charlie chose a modest, puny green tree over the sleek aluminum alternative, delivering a powerful message to millions of Americans. This poignant moment in pop culture led to a widespread rejection of aluminum trees as people sought to preserve the authenticity and sentimentality of the holiday season.

The PVC Revolution
Artificial trees would make a triumphant comeback in the 1980s with the advent of PVC plastic trees designed to emulate the look of natural evergreens. These lifelike creations quickly gained popularity and became the centerpiece of countless American homes during the holidays. Since then, artificial trees made from PVC plastic have dominated the market, offering an appealing blend of convenience and realism that continues to win over consumers year after year.

The history of the artificial Christmas tree is a captivating journey through time, from the humble beginnings of goose feather creations to today’s sleek and eco-friendly PVC trees. As we adorn our homes with these symbolic holiday staples, we can appreciate the innovation and evolution that have shaped the beloved tradition of the artificial Christmas tree.

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Host with Ease: Five Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Gathering



Making Your Holiday Celebrations Joyful and Relaxed.

The holiday season is synonymous with joy, togetherness, and celebration. However, the responsibility of hosting can often bring its own share of stress. To ensure you enjoy your holiday gathering as much as your guests, here are five tips to host a stress-free and memorable event.

1. Detailed Planning and Checklists: Start by creating a comprehensive checklist covering everything from the guest list to the menu, decorations, and cleaning tasks. Begin your preparations early to avoid last-minute scrambles. Breaking down tasks into smaller steps and setting deadlines for each can help you stay organized and avoid overlooking critical details.

2. Simplify the Menu: While the allure of an extravagant spread is tempting, remember that the essence of the holidays is spending quality time with loved ones. Opt for simpler dishes that can be prepared ahead of time or require minimal last-minute effort. Embrace the spirit of togetherness by making your gathering potluck-style inviting guests to contribute a dish.

3. Self-Serve Beverage Station: Create a beverage station where guests can freely choose from an array of drinks. Ensure it’s well-stocked with glasses, ice, and cocktail napkins. This approach gives guests autonomy and frees them from the constant task of refilling drinks.

4. Delegating Tasks: Hosting doesn’t mean doing everything alone. Involve family members and friends in the preparations or consider hiring temporary help. Assign tasks like setting the table, greeting guests, or managing coats. Sharing responsibilities not only lighten your load but also fosters a collaborative atmosphere.

5. Creating a Cozy Ambiance: A warm and inviting environment significantly enhances the holiday experience. Set the tone with festive lighting, candles, and seasonal décor. Soft background music and comfortable seating areas encourage guests to relax and socialize. A cozy setting not only makes your guests feel at ease but also contributes to the overall enjoyment of the event.

Hosting a holiday gathering doesn’t have to be a source of stress. With careful planning, a simplified approach, and the help of others, you can create a festive and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone, including yourself. Embrace these tips, and you’re well on your way to hosting a delightful holiday celebration that’s as enjoyable for you as it is for your guests.

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Upcoming Events

all-day Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Dec 1 all-day
Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
HOOPIN ON THE HILL Basketball Tournament at Randolph-Macon Academy This weekend, Friday (Dec 1) and Saturday (Dec 2!), come out and cheer some excellent athletes on!!! Call Jennifer Avery at 540-683-0790 with questions. We would[...]
all-day Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Dec 2 all-day
Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
HOOPIN ON THE HILL Basketball Tournament at Randolph-Macon Academy This weekend, Friday (Dec 1) and Saturday (Dec 2!), come out and cheer some excellent athletes on!!! Call Jennifer Avery at 540-683-0790 with questions. We would[...]
10:00 am A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
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A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Explore the rich natural history of trees guided by a Virginia Master Naturalist. Discover the tips and tricks of basic tree identification and the tree-mendous roles that trees play in our environment.[...]
10:00 am Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
The Trinity Lutheran Church Kringle Market will take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The Kringle Market is centrally located in the Newtown–Stephensburg Historic District in the Trinity Lutheran[...]
10:00 am SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
After months of renovations and hard work, the Winchester Area SPCA is thrilled to welcome you back to its thrift store, where every purchase supports the mission of caring for and finding loving homes for[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Dec 2 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
3:00 pm Valley Chorale “Once Upon a Chri... @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Valley Chorale “Once Upon a Chri... @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Dec 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Valley Chorale "Once Upon a Christmas" Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Join The Valley Chorale for a family-friendly concert featuring favorite carols, hymns and songs of the Christmas season!
5:30 pm Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Dec 6 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
If one has read the Surgeon General’s 2023 report on America’s epidemic of loneliness and crisis of disconnection, one can then understand the significance that a Holiday Meal can have on the community at large. [...]