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Want to untangle Christmas tree lights? Walk a reindeer?

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During the Christmas season, supply and demand rules.

At no other time of the year do so many part-time jobs pop up in so many variations.

A tour of such websites as simplyhired.com and jobmonkey.com, among others, turned up the following Christmas job openings.

In England, the groceries and general merchandise retailing giant Tesco launched the nation’s first-ever Christmas light untangling service. The job description:

Manage the Christmas Lights Untangling Stand, untangle customers’ Christmas lights quickly and efficiently, check for broken lights and bulbs, put a smile on customers’ faces. Tesco also was looking for a hand-holder at an ice skating rink.

Elsewhere in the UK, a person was needed to become a human hot water bottle, requiring a special hygienic sleep-suit. Also, a professional tea taster was needed to consume 300 cups of tea a day, and a garden center was on the lookout for a reindeer walker.

Back in the U.S., Harbor Farm Wreaths in Maine was seeking somebody to move boxed wreaths into shipping containers, fill wreath decorators’ stations with decorating materials, haul in racks of wreaths for decoration, place wired tags on the wreaths, then haul in poles of brush and ask around if anyone needed help.

In Arizona, Christmas at the Princess Hotel and Resort in North Scottsdale was hiring conductors for its train depot cars. The advertisement: Come work where you will choo-choo through the holiday! Join our friendly, festive team of hospitable holiday helpers!

Meanwhile, in California, San Diego Party Lights was looking around for Christmas light installers to join one of the state’s largest lights installation businesses.

Applicants were to have experience with ladders, no fear of heights, possess excellent customer service, and be comfortable taking directions. Anyone who was not reliable, or did not want to work hard was told not to apply.

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How to create a Christmas village

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A miniature Christmas village is the perfect decorative piece to add to your home for the holidays. Here are a few tips to help you create an enchanting display your whole family will love.

The components
Take some time to reflect on the elements that will make up your village before you go out and buy anything. For example, you’ll want to opt for figurines and buildings from the same brand to ensure everything in your village is proportional. Be sure to include:

• Moving parts. Animated features such as a skating rink, cable car, train, windmill, or merry-go-round will bring your village to life and draw the eye to various sections.

• Infrastructure. Streets, bridges, and walls will provide structure to your village and help you organize the buildings logically.

• Accessories. Benches, fire hydrants, street lamps, trees, flag poles, birds, and other details are essential to creating a realistic display.

The assembly
First, you need to choose a spot for your village such as under the Christmas tree or on a fireplace mantel. The location should give you enough room to create depth and varying heights in your display. If certain features need to be plugged in, make sure there’s an electrical outlet nearby.

To maximize your village’s wow factor, test out several configurations (with the lighting turned on) and choose the option that best showcases each element. Use risers, boxes, or books to elevate sections of the village as needed. Once you’ve settled on the layout, add the streets, artificial snow, and accessories. If there are wires, make sure they’re hidden.

Finally, place the figurines near street lamps or illuminated buildings, so they’re visible in the evening too. If some areas of the village are in shadow, add a miniature spotlight or a tiny strand of string lights.

If you keep these tips in mind, your Christmas village is sure to become a holiday essential.

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3 weeks before Christmas: Preparations continue

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Time flies, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Before you curl up in front of the fireplace or put on a holiday movie, there are a few important tasks you should see to.

• Choose holiday party outfits for the whole family, and make a quick run to the store if needed

• Confirm how many guests are coming, and create a seating arrangement to accommodate everyone

• Buy non-perishable food for the party such as chips, nuts, and canned goods, and stock up on alcohol for the adults and drinks for the kids

• Pick up any gifts that still need to be purchased

• Wrap your presents or, to save yourself some time and support a good cause, have an organization take care of your gift wrapping as part of a fundraiser

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Interesting Things to Know

A generous way to wrap up your holiday shopping

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The holidays are an ideal time to be generous in supporting local charitable organizations. Fortunately, gift-wrapping fundraisers present an easy way to contribute to the causes in your community. Simply look for kiosks set up by charities in your local stores and malls. For a small fee or suggested donation, a volunteer will expertly wrap your presents. Here are a few good reasons to support them:

• Your money will go to a good cause, and you’ll benefit from a useful service — it’s a win-win situation.

• You won’t need to purchase and store your own wrapping paper, gifts bags, ribbons, and bows.

• You’ll enjoy greater personal satisfaction knowing you contributed to the well-being of your fellow citizens.

• You won’t have to worry about finding a place to hide unwrapped gifts from your kids and spouse.

• You’ll be able to check an important task off your holiday to-do list so you can focus on preparing for the festivities and spending time with your family.

To further support your community this season, purchase your gifts from independent businesses and artisans in your region.

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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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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 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[...]
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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[...]
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13
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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 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
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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
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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 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[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 20 @ 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
27
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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 27 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[...]