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Books for all ages to honor MLK’s legacy

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls on January 17 this year, is an occasion to honor the achievements of an incredible activist. Here are a few books that kids, teens, and adults can read to learn more about King, the civil rights movement, and issues of race in America.

For kids
Enough! 20+ Protesters Who Changed America
By Emily Easton
Striking illustrations are paired with introductions to American activists who took a stand against injustice, including Ruby Bridges, Colin Kaepernick, and Martin Luther King Jr.

The Youngest Marcher
By Cynthia Levinson
In 1963, at the age of nine, Audrey Faye Hendricks was the youngest among thousands of students who marched in protest of segregation and were arrested in Alabama.

For teens
All American Boys
By Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds
Inspired by real events, this novel follows two young men, one Black and one white, as they grapple with the aftermath of an act of police brutality that shakes their community.


March
By Andrew Aydin and John Lewis
This graphic novel trilogy provides a first-hand account of John Lewis’s lifelong struggle for racial justice as well as a broader look at the evolution of the civil rights movement.

For adults
Begin Again
By Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Glaude mixes a biography of novelist and activist James Baldwin with his own memoir and analysis to explore how today’s America can learn from the past and move forward.

Stride Toward Freedom:
The Montgomery Story
By Martin Luther King Jr.
Written two years after the Montgomery bus boycott, a young King provides an intimate account of the first successful large-scale act of nonviolent resistance in America.

To find these and other MLK Day reads, visit your local library or an independent bookstore in your area.

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Interesting Things to Know

10 gift ideas for your Christmas exchange

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Organizing a gift exchange is a great way to kick off the holidays. However, it can be difficult to buy the perfect gift when you don’t know who will receive it. This is especially true if your group has folks of various ages. Here are a few things that will please most people.

1. An insulated water bottle or coffee mug

2. A locally made spirit, beer, or wine

3. A unisex beanie or scarf in a neutral color


4. Nut-free chocolates

5. A recently released board game

6. A warm, cozy blanket

7. A nice set of wine glasses

8. A set of reusable straws that includes a cleaning brush

9. A sturdy apron with several pockets

10. A wrist or cell phone strap

If necessary, ask the gift exchange participants what they like so you can buy an item related to their common interests.

 

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How to throw a hassle-free holiday brunch

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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

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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

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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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Four considerations for an online Christmas party

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If you can’t visit your loved ones during the holiday season, consider getting together with them online. A virtual celebration is an alternative option that simply requires a bit of preparation. Here’s what you’ll need to think about.

1. Time
When picking a date and time for your online event, consider everyone’s availability. Don’t forget to factor in time zone differences, if applicable.

2. Platform
There are several online applications you can use to host your virtual get-together. Select the most appropriate one based on how many people will be attending as well as their computer skills and available internet access. Some platforms also allow guests to join by telephone.

3. Entertainment
Plan a few activities to make the event more fun. For example, arrange for everyone to eat a similar meal or drink the same cocktail. You can also play games that work well remotely, like trivia challenges and bingo.

Front Royal Virginia

4. Trappings
Set up your computer in an appropriate location, and if you need a table or room to move around, prepare accordingly. Then, add some festive decorations to your background. Consider wearing a headset for superior sound quality.

If you’re giving gifts to your loved ones, mail them ahead of time so they can unwrap them online during the celebration.

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De-Grinching Christmas by fighting inflation

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Maybe the Grinch isn’t real, but as inflation continues unabated, it could feel like your Christmas has been stolen.

Happily, there are still ways to save some money.

First, it’s smart to put your holiday gift list together earlier rather than later. This way, you’ll have more time to watch for great deals and won’t make last-minute purchases in a panic. You can also use tools like CamelCamelCamel.com that will track price drops and alert you if items on your list go on sale. You can also use services like Rakuten that provide rewards and cash back when you make purchases.

And who to buy gifts for? With inflation at historic levels, you can’t really blame folks for buying gifts only for immediate family members. The fact is, pretty much everyone is being forced to tighten their belts right now. Inevitably, there are people you feel obligated to purchase for. Try buying small boxes of candy. Or bake holiday cookies or cakes to give away. A half-dozen cookies in a bright wrapper can be very welcome and festive.


Rather than super-sizing your Christmas meal this year, make only what you can eat at one meal (and maybe enough for sandwiches the next day). It’s estimated that roughly 40 percent of food ends up in the trash — and that’s like burning cash. Rather than picking up a 20-pound turkey for a six-person Christmas party, downsize to 13 pounds. Instead of pouring eggnog into a punch bowl, make a small pitcher for the fridge. There will be less waste.

Also, folks typically want brand-new products, but you can often save a ton of cash buying refurbished goods. It’s not uncommon to find refurbished gadgets on eBay and elsewhere that are selling at a steep discount and come with a warranty. And if you’re buying any gifts for yourself, consider waiting until the New Year, as many retailers will hold generous after-holiday sales to clear out stock and holiday returns.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

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

Vetbuilder.com

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

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Dec
4
Sun
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[...]
Dec
7
Wed
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[...]
Dec
10
Sat
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[...]
Dec
14
Wed
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[...]
Dec
21
Wed
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[...]