A YEAR FOR GIVING

Most people when they see the word ‘giving’ think of money. And many people literally have no money to give. Many of us are struggling – not all of us financially. Many times money is not the answer. Giving of yourself can mean so much,  yet it can be so easy as well as self rewarding. Give a smile. Give a hand to hold a door. Give the gift of helping. Help someone to load groceries into their vehicle. Take the empty grocery cart back to the store – use it. Let someone pull out into traffic in front of you. Smile at and talk to children. Be patient with those in line ahead of you. Offer to help your neighbor. A person living alone might not ask for help, but sometimes you can see when they need it. There are so many little ways you can make a big difference in someone’s life.

Another wonderful way of giving is the gift of time. There are so many groups that really need your help to give to the community in which you live. Whatever your interest, you can find a way to help in that area – whether it is cats, dogs, knitting, golf, greeting people, literacy, education, children, culture, art, wildlife and more. Here is a list of some of the groups in Brunswick County, NC that would love to have your help.

Brunswick County Literacy Council, Inc.

Brunswick Family Assistance Agency

Hope Harbor Home

Sheltered Treasures 

Blankets with Love

Communities in Schools of Brunswick County

The First Tee Brunswick County

Providence Home of the Family Emergency Teen Shelter, Inc.

WAVES4K.I.D.S.

Brunswick County Arts Council 

Brunswick County Intercultural Festival

Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity

Friends of the Oak Island Lighthouse

North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport

Smith Island Museum of History

Southport Visitors’ Center

HOLIDAY THIS N THAT

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There is still another week until Christmas. I know some of you are frantically making last minute preparations, but I would like to suggest taking a breather this weekend and enjoying some time with the kids. There is still a chance to see Santa at Horseplay Farms in Bolivia, NC on Saturday. He also will appear in the Bolivia Christmas Parade where you can see horses and llamas as well. The parade will begin at 11 AM with hot dogs and refreshments afterwards at the fire hall.

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On Saturday, in Southport, NC (1 PM – 3 PM) you can spend A Victorian Afternoon at the Maritime Museum making Victorian Christmas ornaments and listening to Christmas stories. At 3 PM you can head over to Oak Island for their Holiday Craft Making at the Oak Island Nature Center. (Pre-registration required at 278-5518)

You can head south to Sunset Beach, NC where you can enjoy ‘Season of Light’ at the Ingram Planetarium. This interesting and informative presentation will be shown at noon and at 6 PM Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Whatever you decide to do – do it with love and joy in the spirit of the season.

FOCUS ON CHRISTMAS

Southport, NC  Winterfest has begun! The sailboat wreaths are lining the streets and the trees are shining with lights. The cookies in the cookie baking contest have been gobbled and judged (winner to be announced). Supper with Santa’s Elves has been enjoyed by all the little kiddies. Tonight from 5 PM until 8 PM you can tote your chairs, snuggle under your blankets and watch the movie, The Polar Express, on the Fort Johnston Garrison Lawn. Friday’s lineup includes a Costumed Holiday History Tour and the NC Maritime Museum at Southport beginning at 3 PM and the Fire Engine Parade with the fire engines loading the kids at the Southport Fire Station at 5:30 PM and the parade beginning at 6:30 PM. (Heads up – Howe Street will be closed for the duration of the parade). After the parade, the kids will visit with Santa and enjoy refreshments.

Saturday will be the big day with events all day and into the night. From 9 AM until 4 PM you can enjoy the handmade and home grown offerings at the Winter Craft Festival on the Fort Johnston Garrison lawn. From 9 AM until noon you can browse the Friends of the Library book sale held at Southport Realty at 727 N. Howe St. Books make great gifts! There will be a Santa’s Workshop for the kids at the Southport Recreation building from 10 AM until 11 AM. From 1 PM until 3 PM, the Southport Community Building will host an Old Timey Gospel Fest, sponsored by the Smithville Township/Southport Black History Committee. The Old Brunswick County Jail will offer tours from 2 PM until 7 PM. The Christmas Tour of Homes will begin at 2 PM and continue until 7 PM. It provides the opportunity for you to see lovely local homes all decorated for Christmas. At 7 PM, be prepared to find a great spot to watch the Christmas Flotilla as the beautifully decorated boats sail past.

You could also head for Leland, NC on Saturday for the North Brunswick Christmas Festival & Parade. The parade will begin at 10 AM, with the festival entertainment beginning at noon. On Sunday from 1 PM until 5:30 PM, you can experience An 18th Century Christmas at Brunswicktown/Fort Anderson State Historic Site in Winnabow, NC. Whatever you choose to do – enjoy!

PARADES & LIGHTS & CONCERTS

December 1 and the kids are getting excited. It’s the beginning of a month full of excitement for all ages. It’s a month that will be packed with interesting, fun and beautiful things to do. And it starts today.

At 6PM this evening,  Holden Beach, NC will celebrate its tree lighting with games, a hayride and even a chili/soup cookoff. Calabash, NC will hold its tree lighting and parade beginning at 6 PM Friday. The towns of Oak Island, NC and Southport, NC will hold tree lightings on Friday, too, both beginning at 5:30 PM. Seasonal music at the Amuzu in Southport, NC will begin on Friday as well and will continue through December 11.

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Saturday, December 3, seems to be the day when you will be able to find Christmas themed things to do just about anywhere in Brunswick County. You can begin with a Pancake Breakfast (8 AM until 10 AM) at the Community Center in Boiling Spring Lakes, NC – then scuttle the kids over to ‘Whoville’ until 11 AM. From 5 PM until 8 PM that same day, kids can ride a fire truck to see Santa and participate in a Christmas Festival. In the Town of Oak Island, NC, you can visit the holiday craft market at the Recreation Center from 9 AM until 2 PM. At 2 PM the Christmas by the Sea Parade will begin. Shallotte, NC will hold its Christmas Parade on Saturday at 10 AM and Sunset Beach, NC will hold a Holiday Market from 10 AM until 4 PM.  Belville, NC will hold a tree lighting on Saturday at dusk followed by the movie, The Polar Express. The Sea Notes Choral Society  will hold its first Christmas Concert at the Odell Williamson Auditorium on Saturday at 3 PM as well. Their second concert will be on Sunday, December 4, at 3 PM at the same location. Also on Sunday, from noon until 4 PM, the Oak Island Beautification Club will hold its Merry Eats and Treats bake sale at the Recreation Center.