Connect with us

Interesting Things to Know

Christmas trends: Forget pine, white trees are hot



In the 1960s, if the Christmas tree wasn’t a shimmering silver aluminum, then it was probably flocked. Heavily flocked. A real tree covered with thick, white goopy stuff.

Welcome to the future. Nearly 60 years later, nostalgia in white, silver and flocked trees has come full circle, out of garage sales and back into the living room.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is likely due to Instagram and social media where, if you want to display your favorite colorful ornaments, nothing shows them off as well as a white tree.

In some ways, the white trees are a backlash against the all-natural trend in design, food, clothing and life in general, says the Journal.

Besides, it is exhausting and expensive to head out to the tree farms to find and cut just the right spruce or pine.

If it is a backlash, it got started in 2017, when Wayfair saw white tree sales spike, quadruple the year before and selling out earlier. White trees made up 13 percent of total Christmas tree sales, up from 5 percent the year before.

This year, as in the 1970s, white trees make the perfect backdrop for ornamental themes. One-color ornaments are popular, as are white-on-white flocked trees and lights. It certainly adds a bright spot to a room.

Especially with flocked trees, you can still go native with wooden ornaments, pine cones and toys mixing with lights of a single color.

Share the News:

Interesting Things to Know

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.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Interesting Things to Know

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.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Interesting Things to Know

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.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Interesting Things to Know

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.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Interesting Things to Know

Transform Your Thanksgiving Leftovers into Culinary Delights



Five Creative Ways to Reinvent Your Holiday Feast.

The joy of Thanksgiving doesn’t end with the last bite of turkey. For many, it extends into the following days, thanks to an abundance of leftovers. Instead of reheating the same meal, get creative and transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into new and exciting dishes.

Leftovers are a quintessential part of the Thanksgiving experience, offering a chance to be inventive in the kitchen. Here are five delightful ideas to give your leftovers a delicious makeover:

  1. Turkey and Cranberry Panini: Elevate your turkey with a cranberry twist. Spread cranberry sauce on your choice of bread, add turkey slices and grill it to create a savory-sweet panini that tantalizes your taste buds.
  2. Stuffing-Stuffed Mushrooms: Give your stuffing a second act as a gourmet appetizer. Fill button mushrooms with stuffing and bake until they’re tender, with a golden crust. This dish turns aside into a star.
  3. Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie: This comfort dish is perfect for a chilly day. Layer turkey, vegetables, gravy, and mashed potatoes in a baking dish. Bake it until the top is golden, and enjoy a heartwarming meal.
  4. Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs: Transform your cranberry sauce into a tangy glaze. Mix it with barbecue sauce, coat leftover turkey or ham meatballs, and bake to perfection. This dish offers a delightful combination of Thanksgiving flavors with a twist.
  5. Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: For a sweet treat, blend a slice of pumpkin pie with milk, yogurt, and cinnamon. This creamy smoothie offers the essence of pumpkin spice in a refreshing new format.

Thanksgiving leftovers offer a canvas for culinary creativity, allowing you to enjoy the holiday flavors in new and exciting ways. These five ideas minimize food waste and keep the spirit of the holiday alive. As you enjoy these reinvented dishes, you’ll appreciate the versatility and joy of cooking with leftovers.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Interesting Things to Know

A Glimpse into the First Thanksgiving: A Festival of Abundance and Unity



Celebrating Survival and Prosperity in 1621.

In the aftermath of the challenging times of 1620, the Pilgrims emerged from the shadows of adversity, heralding a brighter chapter in their New World journey. The harvest festival of 1621 wasn’t merely a feast—it was a symbol of perseverance, unity, and gratitude. Today, as we gather around bountiful tables, it’s essential to reflect on the roots of the Thanksgiving tradition and its enduring message.

A Harvest Worth Celebrating

The Pilgrims, who had endured numerous hardships in their pursuit of a better life, had finally experienced a successful harvest season. Edward Winslow, a prominent figure of the Plymouth Colony, penned an evocative account of this celebration to friends across the Atlantic. Through his words, we can paint a vivid picture of joy and camaraderie.

Winslow wrote, “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.” These men, displaying a blend of skill and luck, returned with an impressive bounty of fowl—enough to sustain the colony for almost a week.

However, the feast wasn’t just about the Pilgrims. It was an emblem of unity and friendship. Many Native Americans, led by their esteemed leader, King Massasoit, joined the festivities. Winslow fondly recounted, “many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among them rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men.” These guests not only participated in the merriment but also generously contributed to it. They hunted and brought back five deer, gifts for the colony’s leaders.

Bridging Two Worlds

This 1621 festival was more than a mere celebration of a successful harvest. It was an affirmation of the friendship and mutual respect between the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors. They shared food, tales, skills, and laughter, bringing together two vastly different worlds in a harmonious gathering.

Winslow’s letter serves as a touching testament to this. He remarked, “And although it is not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.” Such words underscore the deep sense of gratitude the Pilgrims felt, not just for the food but for the community they had found.

A Timeless Message of Gratitude and Unity

The legacy of the first Thanksgiving is not just in the feast but in its spirit. As we reminisce about the Pilgrims’ gratitude for their bountiful harvest and the hand of friendship extended by the Native Americans, it’s a timely reminder. In the midst of our modern luxuries, we should cherish the blessings we have and the friendships that enrich our lives.

In the words of Edward Winslow, it’s about wishing others to partake in our joy and plenty, recognizing that true abundance lies not just in material wealth but in shared moments and unity.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


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 Mountain Creative Consulting

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 Jamboree LLC

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 Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

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

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

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

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

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

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal, VA
7:11 am4:51 pm EST
Feels like: 27°F
Wind: 3mph S
Humidity: 62%
Pressure: 30.12"Hg
UV index: 0
50°F / 43°F
64°F / 45°F
59°F / 41°F

Upcoming Events

10:00 am A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
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. [...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 6 @ 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[...]