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How to combat racism in your community

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January 21 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a time to honor the leader who inspired millions during the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation and discrimination.

In 2019, take this national day of service to think about what you can do to combat racism in your community. Although we’ve come a long way since the 1960s, studies show that Americans of color still face job, housing and social discrimination. Here’s what you can do to help promote racial tolerance:

1. Educate yourself. Read about the history of slavery and racial oppression in the U.S. and keep up with news relating to social issues, especially around where you live. Make sure to consult a variety of sources and seek out different viewpoints.

2. Speak up against racist stereotypes. Don’t stay silent if you hear someone make a racist joke or use derogatory language. Gently point out why the remark is offensive — it’s not “just a joke” if it mocks someone because of their race.

3. Spend time with people of different backgrounds. Participate in activities that introduce you to people from different racial and cultural backgrounds living in your area. It helps foster a tolerant and inclusive community.

4. Volunteer for organizations that fight racism. Support organizations that focus on racial inequality or issues that disproportionately affect racial minorities, such as poverty, voter suppression and police brutality.

If you’re a parent, teacher or manager, talk to your children, students or team about MLK Day and what you can do to fight racism in your home, school or workplace. Having open and respectful conversations about race helps keep Dr. King’s legacy alive.

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A green Christmas: eco-friendly decorating

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Holiday decorations can help make Christmas feel like a magical time of the year. Here are a few ways you can make them more eco-friendly.

Invest in eco-friendly lighting
Brighten up the exterior of your home with LED lights and use a timer, so they don’t stay on all night. Alternatively, you can opt for solar-powered lighting. If you want to set the mood with candles, choose natural soy-based products.

Buy locally made items

It’s best to reuse decorations from one year to the next. However, if you want a change, look for second-hand options at a thrift store or stroll through a Christmas market to find unique ornaments made by local artisans. Alternatively, you can organize a decoration swap among friends and family members.

Make your own decorations
Use natural materials like fallen branches, pine cones, and dried leaves to make your own seasonal decor. If you want to get the kids involved in holiday crafts, sort through your recycling bin for useful supplies like toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes, and egg cartons.

Finally, be sure to buy your Christmas tree from a local farm that doesn’t use herbicides or pesticides. For an unconventional alternative, build your own by stacking books or using other common household items.

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9 ways to connect as a family over the holidays

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The holidays are an ideal time to connect with your kids and spouse. Here are nine great ways to spend quality time together.

1. Cook or bake
Whether it’s preparing a big meal or making treats for Santa, cooking is a great way to bond with kids of all ages.

2. Rent a cottage

Spending a few days at a cottage in the wilderness will provide you with an escape from the city and allow you to reconnect with your family. Leaving your usual distractions behind will make it easier to keep everyone together.

3. Have a game night
An evening spent playing games is sure to be filled with laughter and excitement. Make a point to choose games that appeal to everyone.

4. Spend a day outdoors
The winter holiday is an ideal time to go snowshoeing, skating, skiing, tobogganing, hiking, snowmobiling or to simply build a snowman. There’s nothing like a day spent outdoors to help you create lasting family memories and smiling rosy faces.

5. Support a good cause
Working together to make a positive difference in the world is a fantastic way to forge stronger family ties. Spend some time picking a cause that speaks to you and your kids, and research the best way to support it.

6. Watch a movie
Choose a film or series that everyone in the family will enjoy, pop some corn and gather in the living room to share a couple of hours at home.

7. Make a family bucket list
Make a list of the fun activities that you, your spouse, and your kids want to do. Put your list in a spot where it’s visible to all (like on the fridge) and start crossing things off.

8. Plan a cultural or educational trip
There’s no shortage of things to do that are both fun and educational, from going to zoos and planetariums to visiting science and history museums.

9. Create a family survey
Put together a fun questionnaire tailored to the ages of your children to find out more about their likes, dislikes, hobbies, ambitions, and more. Ask about their dream job, which countries they’d like to visit, what they most wish for, and what their most cherished memories are.

However, you decide to spend time with your family over the holidays, the important thing is that you’ll be together.

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Women’s fashion: 5 styles to try for a stand-out holiday look

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The holidays are an ideal time to experiment with bright tones, bold fabrics, and showy trim. Here are a few ideas to inspire a dazzling look.

1. Feathers
Put an ephemeral twist on classic pieces by opting for a dress or shirt with feather trim or a blouse with puffed feather sleeves. For a more moderate take on this bold look, consider a playful feather purse or earrings.

2. Fringe

Holiday fringe in 2020 is sophisticated with a hint of whimsy. Whether you opt for this trim on a shirt, dress, or skirt, the way you move in fringe is sure to mesmerize. To boost your wow factor, opt for a shimmery fabric.

3. Silver
Recreate the shimmer of a starry night sky by wearing a chiffon blouse adorned with silver sequins. Balance the metallic sheen with a sophisticated color like navy or charcoal. Or embrace an all-out silver-inspired look by slipping on a long-sleeved lurex dress in this festive hue.

4. Gold
From subtle gold threading and oversized chain-link jewelry to gorgeous metallic cocktail dresses, there are plenty of stylish ways to incorporate this classic holiday color into your look.

5. Balloon sleeves
These short, wide statement sleeves are a playful nod to the bubbly bottles of Champagne that are sure to make an appearance over the holiday season. The voluminous sleeve design pairs well with chic straight-leg trousers but makes an even bolder statement on a colorful sheath dress.

For glamorous pieces made of quality materials, visit the shops in your area.

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Men’s fashion: 3 stylish trends to celebrate the season

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The holiday season is practically here, and time is running out to find an outfit for your upcoming office party or family gathering. Here are three-runway trends to help you put together a dashing look.

1. Bold prints
If you prefer to remain inconspicuous, this might not be the trend for you. However, a holiday party is a perfect opportunity to experiment with a paisley blazer or pants that have a geometric pattern.

2. Elevated denim

Don’t even think about wearing your worn-out work pants to a fancy dinner. However, there are haute couture jeans that make brilliant use of trim, rips, prints, fading, and stitching to create modern pieces suitable for any occasion.

3. Shades of red
From a sleek burgundy suit to a scarlet cardigan or spotted bow tie, red can be incorporated in a variety of ways to suit almost any style or occasion. Plus, it’s a perfect option at Christmastime.

For advice on how to best pair clothing with the right accessories, speak with a style consultant at a local men’s clothing store.

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Interesting Things to Know

Great gifts for someone living in a retirement home

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Are you wondering what type of gift to get for a relative who lives in a retirement home? If so, here are a few ideas.

• A bestseller. If your loved one likes to read, look for a new release they can add to their collection. Be sure to pick a book in a genre they enjoy such as historical fiction or action-adventure.

• A potted plant. Whether you opt for a lush fern or a flowering species, the greenery is sure to liven up their space. Opt for a modest-size, low-maintenance variety.

• A warm accessory. Keep your loved one comfortable this winter with a plush bathrobe, soft slippers, or wool socks. Alternatively, choose a quilt or blanket for their bed.

• A goodie basket. Purchase a gourmet gift basket or assemble one yourself with treats your relative loves. Make sure to avoid perishable items if their room doesn’t have a fridge.

• A decorative item. Visit local shops and craft fairs to find unique pieces that will add character to their home. Consider pairing a handmade frame with a new family photo.

While all of these presents are sure to be well-received, remember that the best gift you can give a loved one is time spent together.

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Numbers down but enthusiasm high for Turkey Egg Hunt 2020

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It may not have been the 2020 Thanksgiving Day Turkey Egg Hunt originally envisioned to run from the Gazebo-Village Commons area up a closed-to-vehicular-traffic East Main Street involving “hidden” eggs in a variety of downtown business locations and a larger contingent of egg hunting families. But according to organizers Mr. and Mrs. Turkey (aka Willie and Nina Huck of C&C Frozen Treats) and musical backdrop providers Chris and Sue Laurence of White Picket Fence and Key Move Properties, the more localized and properly family group socially distanced gathering of about 25 total participants was a rousing success, nonetheless.

‘Look, there are eggs over there too!’ this happy egg hunter alerts mom and sis. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

The measuring stick – the smiling children’s faces as they ran around gathering candy and surprise-filled turkey eggs dominating the Commons area landscape mid-afternoon this Thanksgiving Day.

We spoke with the “Turkeys” after their official launching of the Turkey Egg Hunt about the trials and tribulations of a pandemic and extended, not-extended walking mall-impacted Turkey Egg Hunt.

“Gobble-gobble-gobble, gobble-gobble-gobble,” Mr. Turkey began before we reminded him his interviewer was not bilingual in Turkeyese, at which point Mrs. Turkey took the helm in human-English speak.

Above, the ‘Turkeys’ in full costume; below, egg hunters spread out, perhaps wondering where to start.

“Considering the environment that we’re in, I think we had a good turnout – we have less than 25 people, so we’re not breaking any rules (regarding gubernatorial COVID-19 Phase 3 pandemic guidelines prohibiting public and business gathering of more than 25 people).

“We have a lot of family groups socially distanced from each other and I think people are going to respect that more than anything,” Mr. Turkey added, regaining his command of human-English speak. “I classify this as a success. This is the community coming out and celebrating a little memory, starting a new tradition, second year running – third is the make it or break it, right?” Mr. Turkey observed the old standard of catching on or not.

Looking a year into the future, hopefully with successful vaccines having been developed, and on the market putting an end to the worldwide 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic that is thus far attributed to taking over 266,000 American lives, and over 1.42-million worldwide, Mr. Turkey forecast a bigger and better 2021 Turkey Day Egg Hunt. – “So, next year all this (pandemic restrictions) will be gone and it’ll be much larger, much bigger, and as much fun.”

While a smaller group than hoped for in year two, as noted above, those present, children and parents alike, were notable for the big grins on their faces as children raced to claim their turkey egg candy and toy stash.

“Seeing the smiles on the family’s faces makes it a hundred percent worth it,” Mr. Turkey observed.

“Absolutely,” Mrs. Turkey, who oversaw much of the egg-laying, agreed.

Above, at least Mr. Turkey got a smile from mom – kids look more baffled; below, Mrs. Turkey does some egg-laying prior to the launch of the hunt.

Royal Examiner asked the Turkeys about the planning involved amidst a constantly shifting pandemic and downtown walking mall landscape.

“Well, I had a conversation with Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, and we hatched this plan last year on a whim – why not do it?” Mr. Turkey replied, as Mrs. Turkey noted, “Last Easter we went to Walmart and bought all their leftover Easter eggs, so we’d have eggs, and asked our customers to bring us some candy after Halloween, so we could stuff the turkey eggs, and here we are after about an hour and a half of putting them out.”

As Mrs. Turkey retreats for supplies at C&C Frozen Treats, Sue Laurence eyes her musical setup in front of her and husband Chris’s Key Move Properties/White Picket Fence complex.

Mr. Turkey estimated that from community donations this year, as many as three thousand eggs and the candy and toys with which to fill them had been gathered. “We had an egg stuffing party at the ice cream shop and winter is upon us,” despite the 68-degree temperatures this November 26th we pointed out – “Despite the 68-degree temperatures – you stuff eggs in your downtime … and you have a bunch of smiling kids faces in the end, and that’s what it’s about.”

Sue Laurence concurred that in the circumstance of 2020, success can’t be measured solely in numbers. “We’re having a great time. There may not be a lot of people here but the weather’s great.

Next year, hopefully, more people will feel comfortable about coming out. But everybody who is here has got a smile.”

And the Turkey Egg Hunt is underway …









So many eggs, so little time … Below, the Hucks, I mean Turkeys celebrate a job well done despite the trying environment of 2020.

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Upcoming Events

Dec
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all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Dec 5 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
7:00 am 64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
Dec 5 @ 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
The Kiwanis Club of Front Royal is celebrating its 75 anniversary this year and are committed to holding the annual Pancake Day fundraising event. This event raises significant funds which are put back directly into[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 5 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
7:00 pm Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Dec 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
It’s that time of year for Rotary Club of Front Royal’s annual Cash Fair, and we are going virtual this year due to COVID. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and[...]
Dec
6
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all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 6 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 6 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
Dec
13
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 13 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 13 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
Dec
19
Sat
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 19 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
Dec
20
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 20 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]