Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone and many of us are beginning to plan for Christmas. We find ourselves digging out recipes for special goodies that we make only once a year – recipes for Cranberry Bread, Gingerbread Cookies, Sugar Cookies – traditional recipes handed down in families. These recipes are filled with good things to eat as well as memories of happy family times. The State Port Pilot, the local newspaper in Southport, NC, gets into the act every year with their Christmas Cookie Contest. The deadline to enter (by sending your cookie recipe to: is Friday, December 4, at 5 PM and the contest is planned for next Wednesday, December 9, at the Southport Community Building.

The Town of Oak island, NC, starts off the Christmas season this Friday, December 4, with their tree lighting ceremony at Middleton Park.

Then on Saturday, December 5, you can grab the kids and the extended family and find your spot on Oak Island Drive to watch the Christmas by the Sea Parade.

At the north end of Brunswick County, NC, you can venture across the Cape Fear River to Wilmington, NC on Saturday, December 5, to take part in the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA fly the flag with Santa. On Friday evening, December 4, and Saturday evening, December 5, you and the kids can get dressed up in your Christmas finery and head to Thalian Hall for The Nutcracker Ballet for Young Audiences.

At the southern end of Brunswick County, NC, you can attend the tree lighting and parade in Calabash, NC, on Friday, December 4.