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All of us at The PRESS would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas!

Our office will be closed from December 22nd through January 1st. We will reopen on January 2nd at 8am. Congratulations to the winners of The PRESS Annual Christmas Coloring Contest! Teara GIlbert, 20, of Easton; Natalie Filchner, 13, of Bath;

Nicholas Kantor, 10, of bangor; and Benjamin Miller, 6, of East Stroudsburg. Thank you to everyone who entered this years coloring contest! We would like to wish Jeremy Nansteel a very Happy Birthday. He will be celebrating on December 20th. Happy Birthday wishes are sent to Julie Noguerol on December 22nd. Have a great day,

Julie! Colleen Nansteel will be celebrating her birthday on December 23rd. Have a wonderful day, Colleen! We would like to wish Connie Stambaugh a very Happy Birthday. Connie will be celebrating on December 25th. Have a fantastic birthday, Connie! Happy Birthday to Jesus! Congratulations to the 2012 Bangor Elks Hoop Shoot Winners: (1st and 2nd place) 8 and 9 Girls- Kaylee Holland, Brynn Holland; 8 and 9 Boys- Brayden Strohe, Chris Parsaud; 10 and 11 Girls- Gabrielle Meyers, Morgan Karasek; 10 and 11 Boys- Aiden Abrahamson, Nathan Owens; 12 and 13 GirlsZoe Berger, Paige Terrette ; 12 and 13 Boys- Ben Holland, Jordan Holmqvist. The winners will advance to Districts on January 26th. On December 23rd, 6pm, there will be A

Christmas Gathering, bringing the Christmas Spirit with so much music you cant believe its free! Musical guests include, The Off-Broadway Barbershop Quartet, Toungues of Fire, Hopes Gospel Quartet, Sister Ruch, the Straw Hat Society and the Chime Choir. The event is part of the Hope's Coffee House at Hope UCC in Wind Gap. Dr. Jeffrey Kasander has extended the Mitten Contest and Drop Off until Thursday, January 3rd. Anyone wishing to donate a new pair of mittens for a child inneed can do so by stopping by Dr. Kasanders office at 419 South 3rd Street, Bangor. For more information, please call 610-588-1571. We love hearing from you! Send your birthdays, anniversaries, and other tidbits of information to us at: The PRESS 1 Broadway, Bangor, PA 18013

Here is a list of the new items added to the collection of the Bangor Public Library during the week December 6 through 12, 2012. Adult fiction: Mathis, Ayana, The twelve tribes of Hattie; Nasaw, Jonathan, When she was bad; Palmer, Michael, Political suicide; Preston, Douglas, Two graves; Young, William Paul, Cross roads. Adult non-fiction: Anderson, Niki, What my cat has taught me about life; Bingham, Emily, Mordecai; Forrest, Alan, Napoleon; Ibrahim, I.A., A brief illustrated guide to understanding Islam; Kahtany, Abdallah, The universality of Islam; Kahtany, Abdallah, Womens rights.

Junior non-fiction: Bodden, Valerie, Ticks; Frisch, Aaron , Ghosts; Frisch, Aaron, Mummies; Frisch, Aaron, Vampires; Frisch, Aaron, Witches. Easy non-fiction: Bodden, Valerie, Jaguars; Bodden, Valerie, Owls. Easy Reader nonfiction: Maidment, Stella, Cowboy puzzles; Maidment, Stella, Princess puzzles; Riggs, Kate, Elephants; Riggs, Kate, Monkeys; Turnbull, Stephanie, Fall; Turnbull, Stephanie, Spring; Turnbull, Stephanie, Summer; Turnbull, Stephanie, Winter. DVDs: Breaking Dawn part 1; Miracle dogs; OSS 117: Lost in Rio; Red Fury.

Bangors Chris Ruggiero To Perform at Shawnee Playhouse

Chris Ruggiero of Bangor will perform his One Man Variety Show at The Shawnee Playhouse, 552 River Road, Shawnee on the Delaware, on December 28th and 29th at 7pm and December 30th at 2pm. The One Man Variety Show is a familyfriendly comedy, juggling and magic show enjoyed by audiences of all ages. While there are plenty of impressive tricks and feats, Ruggiero says the show is more about getting people to laugh and have a good time. Ruggiero strives to recreate the feeling of vaudeville variety shows and encourages audience members to be more than just spectators in the show. Whether its clapping along to the music or actually joining him on stage, the audience is a vital part of the performance. Ruggiero has been performing across the country and overseas for the past four years since graduating from Penn State University. He is a regular performer at colleges and universities and this year, Armed Forces Entertainment brought him on tour to entertain the troops. This is the only local performance Ruggiero currently has scheduled.

Families First Presents 4th Annual Snow-Ball

Families First presents their 4th Annual Winter Snow-Ball Fundraising Dinner Dance on Saturday, January 26, 2013 from 6pm to 12am at the Blue Valley Farm Show building in Bangor. Funds raised will help support the programs that serve children and families in the Pen Argyl School District and enable Families First to continue to offer free programs for children and youth, including mentoring programs at Wind Gap Middle School and Pen Argyl High School and the After-School Tutoring and Homework Assistance program at Wind Gap Middle School. Proceeds will also support the programs assisting sen-ior citizens and families in need in the school district. Come out and enjoy music by Misbehaving, a popular local Slate Belt band, and a buffet dinner by Imperial Catering. There will be door prizes, a basket raffle and tricky tray. This is a BYOB event and dress is casual! For tickets and more information, contact Frank Jones at 610863-3688.

To whom it may concern: Today I learned that my grandmother was the victim of a terrible, thoughtless, and incredibly personal crime: her wedding rings were stolen off her finger. My grandmother is a victim of Alzheimers disease so perhaps the person who stole her rings thinks that this was a victimless crime because she is not of sound mind to recognize that they are gone. However this is not a victimless crime, she still has people who love her, and who cherish the memories of her and my grandfather, her loving husband of over 50 years who recently passed away. To the person who stole the rings, you have stolen the last physical connection that she and we, her family, shared with him, a deeply loved and respected man. While you might think you just stole some gold and a small diamond from an old woman who wont miss it, you have actually deeply, personally, and irrevocably hurt her, her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and at the holidays no less. To the rest of the people at the Slate Belt Medical Center who are as offended and as heartbroken as my family is by this heinous act, I thank you for your support, and your tireless care of my grandmother. And to whomever stole the rings, I beg you to please return them, repair the pain that you have caused, put your own conscience at ease and give us back our last physical connection to these cherished memories. Happy Holidays Courtney Mengel To the town of Bangor, patrons of the Broadway Pub and my employees, I would like to extend my heartfelt apology for letting you down these past few months. I have not only lost the opportunity to have a great business for myself, but more importantly, I have let you and my staff down in so many ways. For this, I cannot apologize enough. I never truly saw the impact that this small, privately owned restaurant has on this town and the people that live here. I now understand what a staple it has become and how important for all of you to have a place to gather, relax and enjoy our food, drinks and atmosphere. I know it may take time to regain the wonderful clientele we once had, but I hope you realize and understand that I am working with my employees every day to make the Broadway Pub

Nick and Randi Kaldrovics are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Kaelynn Marie Kaldrovics. Kaelynn was born on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 at 8:23am at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest. The proud grandparents are Randy and Tammy Boyer and Michael and Elizabeth Kaldrovics.

Faith United Drama Team Plans Christmas Performance

On Sunday, December 30th, the Faith Drama team invites the public to attend their free performance of What Christmas Means to You. tained as members of the audience (maybe even someone sitting next to you) take on an entirely different personality during the show. Reverend Ruth Ann Christopher said I always look forward to these skits because theyre so funny and everyone has such a good time. The Faith Drama Team cast and crew have been busy with production and rehearsals. So, come and join the fun with our latest free community production. Show time is 10am. For directions and more details; please visit the churchs website:

East Bangor UMC Seeking Youth Group Members

The East Bangor United Methodist Community Church is pleased to announce that they are starting a youth group. The ministry is aimed at increasing youth involvement in the church and community while strengthening their personal relationship with God. The group is for those in grades 6-12 and is open to the community. For more information, call 610-588-4453. The church is located at 136 W. Central Ave. (Rt. 512), East Bangor. This is another in a series of free performances that Faith Drama Team stages and invites the community to attend. Keeping with their theme of presenting light-hearted holiday productions, this show is a take-off of the popular TV show, Family Feud, where two teams will answer questions on the topic, What Christmas means to us. This production promises to be fun for the whole family as it will keep everyone enter-

Slate Belt Ministerium Sponsors Second Annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service

The Slate Belt Ministerium sponsored the second annual Ecumenical service on Sunday, Nov. 18th at the First United Methodist Church in Bangor. Well over 100 people attended to listen to the service led by seven churches: First United Methodist Church (host Rev. Navin Satyarata), Mount Bethel Lutheran Brethren (Rev. Dan Christensen), Grace UMC (Eric Ritz), St. Peters Evangelical Lutheran Church (Rev. Frank Terhune), St. Jane de Chantal Roman Catholic Church (Fr. John McGinley), Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran (Rev. Louise Williams), and Ackernmanville UMC (Rev. Monica Guepet). The beautiful multi-church choir of over 35 people, led by director Ellis Williams, also included the song Abundant Grace, composed by the director. The seven person band, led by Jean Pinto of St. Peters ELCA, included a lively rendition of Amazing Grace. The offering and non-perishable food donations were donated for the needy in the Slate Belt Ministerium. Organizer GobindDaryanani described the purpose of such ecumenical gatherings is to foster mutual understandings and to learn from one anothers different faiths. We see this listening and learning aspect of ecumenism as an opportunity for each person to grow in their own faith. Based on inputs from the attendees the Slate Belt Ministry will continue to add additional programs for learning about one another faiths. For more information, contact Slate Belt Ministerium President Rev. Navin Satyavrata, organizer Gobind Daryanani or your pastor.

Belfast Wesley To Host New Years Day Dinner

Belfast Wesley United Methodist Church, 607 School Road in Nazareth, will be hosting a New Years Day Pork and Sauerkraut Dinner from 2:30pm to 6:30pm. For more information or tickets please call Nicole at 610-863-6529.

Golden Agers Win Olympic Gold

(NAPSI)Getting older doesnt have to mean getting out of the game. Consider, for example, the Celadrin Tigerettes Senior Olympics Womens basketball team. Ranging in age from 64 to 74, the team won the Senior Olympic gold medal at the last national games in Houston. In fact, they are seven-time Senior Olympic champions, and are poised to defend their title at the 2013 national games in July. Mavis Albin, Mary Bendsen, Wanda Blailock, Loretta Hill, Nikki Leader and Catherine Kitty Sparacello, united by their love of basketball, have compiled a Michael Jordanesque record of 185 wins against a mere five losses while barnstorming the country to compete against other mature cagers. They have even played the Harlem Globetrotters in a pickup game. In fact, they will be featured in a PBS documentary, The Age of Champions, www.age, scheduled for release this summer. Along the way, theyve become role models- not only for their peers but for younger people who find inspiration in their prowess. Former NBA sharpshooter Dennis Scott, who once held the record for the most three-pointers in one season, volunteers as their coach. These ladies are phenomenal. Theyve got so much energy and are just hilarious with their practical jokes. They really do put their hearts into the game, said Coach Scott. Its incredible that they do what they do at their age. They are in great shape and this gives hope to people who fear the day theyre too old. These grandmas definitely got game. We all started playing basketball when we were young and weve just stuck with it. Training is very important to maintain your stamina and muscle tone but we also have our little secrets that help keep us going, said team captain Albin. As a team, we believe in proper nutrition, daily use of nutritional supplements and an active lifestyle. Diet and exercise are usually sufficient if youre in your 20s, but at our age, a little extra help is needed. The ladies and I do our research on what works for us. Supplements such as fish oil, omega3s and Celadrin help prevent inflammation and stiffness. We also watch our diets and make sure were getting enough whole grains, fruits, vegetables and protein, added Albin. To learn more about the Tigerettes, go to

Spread Cheer, Not the Flu, Throughout the WinterPut Health First this Season by Getting a Flu Shot
President of Healthy Aging, Director of the Self-Management Alliance at NCOA. This is why we are urging families to take steps to help protect themselves from the flu. No matter how healthy or youthful a senior may feel, the bodys immune system, and its ability to fight illness, weakens with age, making them more susceptible to the flu and its complications. In fact, an estimated 60 percent of flu-related hospitalizations each year occur in people 65 years and older. Flu can be especially dangerous for seniors with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or diabetes. Hospitalizations for these chronic conditions typically also increase during flu season. For more information on the flu vaccine or to find a flu vaccine provider near you visit, and for more information on influenza and vaccination specifically for seniors and their caregivers visit

(NAPSI)The winter season with its many holidays is an important time for families to get together and share traditions among generations. Unfortunately, too often it is also a time to share colds and flu. While hygiene measures, such as covering coughs and sneezes, washing and disinfecting hands and frequently touched surfaces, and limiting contact with others when sick, can help reduce the spread of respiratory illness, when it comes to the flu, the best way to avoid infection is to get a flu shot. Influenza viruses spread easily from person to person in droplets created when people with flu cough, sneeze or talkfrom as far as 6 feet away. In addition, when people get the flu, they can pass the virus on to someone else before they even know they are sick. Flu symptoms typically dont appear until one to four days after the virus enters the body. During this time, people may still spread the virus to others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. Since infants younger than 6 months of age cannot receive the flu vaccine, it is especially important for family members and caregivers to get immunized. Adults 65 and older are also especially vulnerable to the complications of influenza, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), whose Flu + You initiative is educating seniors and their families about the risks of influenza and the importance of getting an annual flu shot. The NCOA knows how important the holidays are to older adults and their families, said Rick Birkel, PhD, MPA, Senior Vice

Check Better Water Off Your Winter Prep Checklist Holidays are a Great Time
(NAPSI)As we settle into winter, we look ahead to lower temperatures and spending more time indoors. Whether you live in the North, South, East, West, in the mountains or near the beach, it is important to prepare your home for the winter months. Check out the Winter Prep Checklist below for tips: Cool Climates Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside Insulate any water lines that run along outer walls to protect from freezing Verify that snowremoval equipment is operating Clean and check chimneys and fireplaces Change the filters in your furnace and boiler Clean the gutters Warm Climates Inspect window screens Check ventilation throughout the home Check windows and doors for air leaks Service heating system and inspect airconditioner filters Look for signs of sun damage to the exterior of the home Whether you are preparing for snowfall, the rainy season or simply turning off the air-conditioning and enjoying a reprieve from the summer heat, dont forget about another crucial element of preparing your home for the winter: your household water. Culligan water helps make everything taste better, from your hot cocoa to morning coffee to meals. Culligan water filtration systems provide better-tasting drinking water for your family and guests. When you spend more time inside in the cooler months, water usage tends to go up. You are preparing more meals, hosting parties, entertaining out-of-town guests, and washing extra dishes, linens and laundry. So as you are running down your winter prep checklist, scheduling an appointment with your local water expert to perform a quick maintenance test on your water treatment system is a great idea. Dont have a wholehouse water filter system but would like to take a step toward improving the quality of your household drinking water? Consider a professionally installed undersink water treatment system. It can help improve the taste of your water by reducing chlorine, sediment and other possible contaminants.

to Start a Family Cookbook

A successful family cookbook needs at least one dedicated individual to lead the project as editor. This person gets the project off the ground and invites family members to contribute recipes. Once a labor-intensive task, now families are using the Internet to simplify the project. "A Web site, such as, can provide step-by-step instructions and tools to help the family member serving as cookbook editor to contact others and encourage them to enter their favorite recipes directly into the online system," says Rice. "The editor then simply reviews and edits the recipes, selects printing options, and sends the cookbook to be printed. The finished printed cookbooks are received in a few weeks time and can be enjoyed and preserved forever." Start talking about the project over dinner. Enjoying the food and dishes we love while being asked to contribute recipes will make the value of the project more real and worthwhile. Also invite everyone to participate -don't just invite the family cooks. Everyone has at least one recipe that they can contribute to the cookbook. For more information on how you can make a family cookbook, visit

(NewsUSA) - To most of us, the year-end holidays are a time of family, friends and a lot of food. While these times can be hectic with all of the running around that needs to be done, these are also the best times to start a family cookbook project says one expert. "Many of the family holiday traditions start in the kitchen and center around the meals we serve our family and guests at this time of the year, says William Rice, founder and copublisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, winner of a 2009 WebAward from the Web Marketing Association. "What better way to celebrate our family food traditions than to preserve them for future generations in a family cookbook? There is no better time to start planning a family cookbook than over a wonderful meal during the holidays."

Hello fellow readers, Thanks for writing in Maria about how to take care of the poinsettia that was bestowed upon you. Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are beautiful and truly the hallmark of the season but Ill have to admit I cringe a bit if one comes my way. I fast forward to the after Christmas decline, my halfhearted attempt to nurture it for next year and eventual guilt about tossing the poor thing. Have you ever read about how to care for a poinsettia for it to bloom next year? Its very intense and way too complicated for me to master which is, well, embarrassing. So Maria from Hope, Ill coach you on the care through

the holidays and beyond that its between you and your poinsettia. As much direct sunlight as you can provide for your tropical plant is best but remain on top of watering. Youll be fighting the dryness of your heated home so check the soil daily and if the top is dry water it until it drains out the bottom. No sitting in water though as that will cause wilt so water in a sink or tub. Its important to maintain a consistent temperature of 65-75 by day and dropping to 60 or so at night will not hurt the plant. But major shifts in temperature, cold drafts or leaves touching the window will. Am I showing resistance by describing tricky care for your poinsettia? Not intended as I think they are lovely and marvel at all the new hybrids and colors. But I have an idea for gift givers. Why not Paperwhites? Narcissus tazetta will grow and bloom in nothing more that water and stones and they smell heavenly. Plus there are many nifty kits you can buy. The best part is there is no potential failure over ongoing care as they will not bloom more than once indoors. So after the bloom is spent you can toss them into your compost guilt or embarrassment free. Garden dilemmas? askmarystone@gmail.c om.

orange peel and 1 tablespoon orange juice. Store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 3/4 cup. Chocolate Hazelnut Spread: Grind 1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts and 1/4 teaspoon

salt in food processor until very fine and getting creamy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted. Pulse until blended. Store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

(NewsUSA) - If it's truly better to give than to receive, why not give more than gifts from the store this holiday season? Home-baked treats are the perfect way to warm a heart and satisfy a sweet tooth for the people on your "nice" list. "Take a break from the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, and spend a pleasant day in your cozy kitchen making home-baked gifts, like little loaves of Chocolate Hazelnut Fruit Bread," said Martha White baking expert Linda Carman. "Giving someone a homemade gift is special because it's a priceless gift of your time." To make your gift even more meaningful, consider pairing the mini loaves with a wooden cutting board, a spreader and a small butter crock filled with a homemade spread that's

delicious and easy to make. Chocolate Hazelnut Fruit Bread

Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray 2 (7.4 oz.) pkgs. Martha White Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix 1/2 cup sour cream 3/4 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large) 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts Orange Butter and/or Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, optional. 1. Heat oven to 350 degreeF. Coat bottoms only of four 6 x 3 1/2-inch foil loaf pans with no-stick cooking spray. Stir together all bread ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Divide batter among prepared pans. 2. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove and cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store in refrigerator. Serve with Orange Butter or Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, if desired. Orange Butter: Beat 1/2 cup softened butter in small bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 teaspoon grated

An old and historic bank now becomes a medical center for the Slate Belt and a wound and limb salvage center for the Poconos and the Lehigh Valley. The original Pen Argyl National Bank building has been converted to the Pocono Limb Salvage Center. The center is located at 215

S. Robinson Avenue in Pen Argyl. Our focus is high risk patients with Diabetes, Hypertension, Vein and Arterial problems. Dr. Starinski said that These patients can be prone to the effects of their disease and lower extremity amputations are a common and from my experience, over

used easy way out. Treatment of these patients must include better control of blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol, stated Dr. Gandhi. The screening and treatment of PAD and patients with chronic edema (swelling of the legs) with the centers own cauterization lab and laser center will also bring technology to the area that was only hospital based in the past, said Dr. McGuckin. With a minor surgical suite for podiatry and other surgical procedures, a catheterization lab, a state of the art Hyperbaric Oxygen center monitored by a board certified emergency room physician, non-invasive vascular testing (PADnet) and rotating specialists, this will be a full service facility

providing hospital services in a comfortable outpatient setting and also a center for national clinical trials. Dr. Starinski brings his experience in foot and ankle medicine and surgery as well as complex wound management with limb salvage in mind. Dr. Gandhi brings his experience in internal medicine and treatment of complex metabolic conditions. Dr. McGuckin brings his experience in endovascular work including the angioplasties and placement of stents. Dr. Starinski states Before you agree to an amputation at any level, or if you have a non-healing ulcer, stop by our facility for an assessment. Call 610-881-4025 or visit them on the web at www.poconolimbsalvag

The NORAD Tracks Santa Web site is the form of a public relations program by the North American Aerospace Defense Command

(NORAD). Every year for over fifty years on Christmas Eve NORAD has told stories of how their powerful tracking systems such as the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line) detected Santa Claus leaving the North Pole to deliver his presents. In 1955, a Colorado Springs-based Sears store ran an advertisement encouraging children to call Santa Claus on a special telephone hotline. Due to a printing error, the phone number that was printed was the hotline for the Director of Operations at the Continental Air Defense (CONAD). Colonel Harry Shoup took the first Santa call on Christmas Eve of 1955 from a six-year old boy who began reciting his Christmas list. Shoup

didn't find the call funny, but after asking the mother of the second caller what was happening, then realizing the mistake that occurred, he instructed his staff to give Santa's position to any child who called in. Three years later, the governments of the United States and Canada combined their national domestic air defenses into the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), but the tradition continued. "I have the greatest admiration for Col. Shoup and found delight in his remarkable humor with taking the first-ever call regarding Santas whereabouts back in 1955. His kind and thoughtful gesture will forever be a legacy at NORAD, and with the millions of people around the world who follow the NORAD Tracks Santa program each year. Truly, forever in the minds of millions he will be fondly remembered as the "Santa Colonel" and his legend will live on forever," said Retired General Victor Renaurt, Jr., Former Commander, NORAD. Now major media outlets as well as children call in to inquire on Santa's location. NORAD relies on volunteers to help make Santa tracking possible. Many employees at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base spend

part of their Christmas Eve with their families and friends at NORAD's Santa Tracking Operations Center in order to answer phones and provide Santa updates to thousands of callers. About 800 service members and their families volunteer, and shift run from 2am, December 24 to 2am Christmas morning. You can track Santa on Christmas Eve by logging onto the NORAD website at: While your there, look around The North Pole Village, where you can visit the shops and play games with the elves!

Have you ever wondered what other children around the world call Santa Claus? Here are are few of the many names Santa goes by throughout the world. Armenia - Gaghant Baba Belgium - Pere Noel Brazil - Papai Noel Bulgaria - Diado Coleda Chile - Viejo Pascuero (Old Man Christmas) China - Shengdan Laoren Netherlands - Kerstman Finland - Joulupukki France - Pere Noel Germany - Kris Kringle or Weihnachtsmann Greece - Hagios Nikolaos Hawaii - Kanakaloka Hong Kong - Sing dan lo ian Hungary - Karcsony Ap Italy - Babbo Natale Japan - Hoteiosho (a god or priest who bears gifts) or Santa no ojisan (Uncle Santa) Latvia - Ziemmassve'tku veci'tis Lithuania - Kaledu Senis Mexico - Nino Jesus Morocco - Black Peter Norway - Julenissen (Christmas gnome) Netherlands - Kerstman Peru - Papa Noel Poland - Gwiazdor (Star Man) Russia - Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) Slovenia - Bozicek Sweden - Jultomten (Christmas brownie) United Kingdom - Father Christmas Wales - Sion Corn (Chimney John)

The origin of the candy cane goes back over 350 years, when candymakers both professional and amateur were making hard sugar sticks. The original candy was straight and completely white in color. Around the seventeenth century, European-Christians began to adopt the use of Christmas trees as part of their Christmas celebrations. They made special decorations for their trees from foods like cookies and sugarstick candy. The first historical reference to the familiar cane shape goes back to 1670, when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, bent the sugar-sticks

into canes to represent a shepherd's staff. The all-white candy canes were given out to children during the long-winded nativity services. The clergymen's custom of handing out candy canes during Christmas services spread throughout Europe and later to America. The canes were still white, but sometimes the candy-makers would add sugar-roses to decorate the canes further. The first historical reference to the candy cane being in America goes back to 1847, when a German immigrant called August Imgard decorated the Christmas tree in his Wooster,

Ohio home with candy canes. About fifty years later the first red-and-white striped candy canes appeared. No one knows who exactly invented the stripes, but Christmas cards prior to the year 1900 showed only allwhite candy canes. Christmas cards after 1900 showed illustrations of striped candy canes. Around the same time, candy-makers added peppermint and wintergreen flavors to their candy canes and those flavors then became the traditional favorites.

8 pretzel rods 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted Assorted candies: M&M's miniature baking bits, miniature chocolate chips, small gumdrops, jelly rings, Fruit by the Foot fruit rolls Dip pretzel rods two-thirds of the way into melted white chocolate, or drizzle chocolate over pretzels with a spoon. Attach baking bits for buttons and noses and chocolate chips for eyes. For hats, dip the bottom of a small gumdrop into chocolate and press onto a jelly ring; attach to the top of each pretzel. Carefully stand snowmen by placing them upright in a tall glass or pressing the bottom of the pretzel rods into a 2-in.-thick piece of Styrofoam. For scarves, cut fruit rolls into thin strips; tie around snowmen. Yield: 8 snowmen.

Layers of light custard, fresh berries and angel food cake lend this fruity trifle sophistication. (NewsUSA) - Winter might mean snow and ice, but all it takes is a trip to the grocery store to find the fruits of summer. For an elegant treat that will remind your guests of warmer days, try this recipe from the Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission: Raspberry/Blackberry Trifle Serves 16 Raspberry Layer 1 1/2 cups whole frozen raspberries 3 tablespoons sugar 1-2 tablespoons raspberry or other berry liqueur 1 1/2 cups fresh or whole frozen raspberries Blackberry Layer 1 1/2 cups whole frozen blackberries 3 tablespoons sugar 1-2 tablespoons raspberry or other berry liqueur 1 1/2 cups fresh or whole frozen blackberries Light Custard 4 1/2 cups skim milk 5 eggs 1 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch 4 teaspoons clear vanilla or 2 teaspoons almond extract 1 medium size angel food cake ( 17 oz.) 2 tablespoons raspberry or other berry liqueur Thaw one and one-half cups of raspberries, and process in blender or food processor to make a puree. Strain through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Stir in sugar and berry liqueur. Refrigerate for later use. This may be made several days ahead. Follow same procedure for blackberry puree. Using a double boiler, heat four cups milk until steam rises from the surface. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, remaining one-half cup milk and one cup sugar. Sift in cornstarch and whisk until well blended. Remove scalded milk from heat, and gradually whisk in egg mixture. Return pan to top of double boiler and whisk constantly over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until very thick and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla or almond extract. Transfer to bowl, press plastic wrap onto surface and allow to cool slightly. Cut cake into one-inch to two-inch cubes. Arrange half the cake squares on the bottom of a three-quart straightsided Trifle Bowl, including any irregular shapes. Sprinkle with one tablespoon berry liqueur, and evenly distribute raspberry puree and blackberries over cake layer. Spoon half the custard over berries. Repeat with remaining cake, liqueur, blackberry puree, blackberries and any additional fruit and custard. Cover and chill at least four hours or up to one day ahead. Garnish with additional berries and fruit in the center just before serving.

(NewsUSA) - With winter upon us, tire safety in cold weather is something every car owner should be familiar with. Most drivers concentrate on tire safety in hot weather to avoid blowouts, but the same precautions should be exercised in the winter.

One of the most effective ways to be safe on the road is to use a winter tire specially designed for cold weather. Common all-season tires contain a tread compound that gradually hardens when temperatures dip below 45 degrees, resulting in

a decrease in traction. These tires also tend to collect winter road debris, like snow and ice, which can impact a vehicle's performance on wintry roads. Mark Ballard, spokesman for Discount Tire Company, America's largest independent tire and wheel retailer, advises motorists to replace all four tires with winter tires if they can expect to encounter snow and ice during the

winter months. "It's best to use winter tires, especially if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions where temperatures are below 45 degrees on a consistent basis," he explains. "Relying on an allseason tire to do the work of a winter tire can be dangerous to you and other motorists." In recent years, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (www. developed new standards for winter

traction, which led to technological advancements in the manufacture of winter tires. For example, a newer tread compound featuring a higher sillica content retains tire flexibility even in freezing temperatures, allowing the tread to maintain its grip with the highway. Also, tread block design has been greatly improved with the addition of thousands of "sipes," small cuts in the tread block that provide extra biting edges for more traction. "Every aspect of today's winter tire has been engineered to provide better traction and greater ability to quickly expel water, slush and snow, provide a quieter ride and allow for longer tread life," says Ballard. Winter tires tend to be slightly more expensive than all-season ones. But like all tires, winter tires perform optimally when properly inflated. Remember that a significant drop in temperature can lower air pressure. Typically, a 10-degree drop will cause tires to lose a pound of pressure. To learn more about winter tire safety, visit