• It’s a cool, rainy Monday at the offices of Faith Presbyterian Church in Indian Land, but there are a lot of warm hearts as volunteers put the finishing touches on gift-filled shoeboxes that will be mailed to children around the world.
    Jan Sellards enjoys giving to nonprofit groups at the holidays. As well as supporting Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, she has adopted two Angel Tree families and shops for them locally.

  • Not everyone is a creative gift giver, and that’s why there are shops like The Southern Nest and Chickadee’s in Indian Land and the Happy Girl Boutique and Anna Laura’s Boutique in Lancaster.
    The stores pride themselves on having what other stores do not.
    “They have all kinds of fun stuff – the Brighton Collection in jewelry, nice hand soap, unique plaques with sayings…I could go on,” said Stephanie Lambert, an Indian Land resident who frequents The Southern Nest at 6280 Carolina Commons Drive.

  • Every year, Gallup asks people how much confidence they have in various institutions.
    The results aren’t surprising. Only 8 percent had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Big business scored 21 percent. That’s no better than TV news.
    Small business, on the other hand, came in second, with 67 percent of respondents considering it trustworthy. Only the U.S. military scored higher.

  • Barbie is back!
    The popular Barbie Keepsake Ornaments are back in stories after a two-year absence due to a licensing disagreement between Hallmark Cards Inc. and Mattel. The 2015 holiday editions are available for $19.95 at Annette’s Hallmark House at 925 N. Main St., Lancaster.
    For many, the Hallmark ornaments are not only keepsakes and collectibles. They are a Christmas tradition. The same goes for the city of Lancaster’s annual historic landmark ornaments.

  • The shops that sparkle and shine are stocked for Christmas.
    Among them are Garris Jewelers and Lancaster Jewelers, long established mom-and-pop retailers in Lancaster, and Vinesett’s Jewelers in Indian Land, who still believe giving a piece of jewelry for a gift means as much now as it did in the past.
    The cases are stocked with jewelry that will make a powerful statement, evoke emotion and make Christmas 2015 unforgettable.

  • The do-it-yourself Christmas basket is easier than ever with the help of two local stores that are in the business of making you smile.
    Reid’s Fine Foods at 9762 Charlotte Highway in Indian Land is a specialty food store with tasty treats that are packaged just right for a gift basket. Choose one from the store’s catalog or build your own to the recipients’ taste.
    The Purple Rooster at 106 E. Gay St. in Lancaster is known for its unique gifts and awesome displays that just tickle your creative spirit.

  • Whether your gift recipient plays, watches or both, there are several local businesses that make sports shopping a win-win.
    Gameday Sports and Awards, located at 953 N. Main St., Lancaster, offers sports uniforms, equipment and gifts, with a big selection of University of South Carolina Gamecock and Clemson University Tiger merchandise. Popular items include T-shirts, coolers and wallets, which are $25. Car tags are $20 and up. Team knit hats start at $12.

  • For that person in your life who does not need any more stuff, try an experiential gift this year.
    Ranging from tickets to a show or sporting event to a trip to the spa or a weekend away, experience gifts usually rate high on the happiness scale because they create good memories.
    Paula Thames, 75, treated her husband at Christmas to 12 rounds of golf at Carolina Lakes Golf Club in Indian Land before the golf-loving couple moved to Sun City  Carolina Lakes and became members.

  • Cherry Doster
    Avant Garde Center for the Arts

    If you are searching for unique gifts for those on your shopping list, the Artisans Holiday Market on Dec. 5 is your one-stop shopping destination.

  • If you are on-target, a gun could be the No. 1 gift for the outdoor-lover in your life.
    A hot spot at the holidays is Van Wyck Sporting Goods, located at 5219 Old Hickory Road in Van Wyck. The store carries a large selection of rifles and handguns as well as the Uncle Henry line of knives.
    “A lot of people want to upgrade their guns and scopes, and it makes for a great Christmas gift,” said Tommy Foster, who manages the store with his brother, Roger.

  • Toys from the movies “Star Wars,” “Frozen,” “Minions” and “Jurassic World” are covering the shelves at local stores and are projected favorites for kids this year.
    It’s the most wonderful time of year for retailers as holiday spending is expected to reach a new average high of $805.65 per person on food items, decorations, gifts and more, up from $802.45 in 2014, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

  • Shopping is a big part of the holiday season, when families and friends gather to reconnect and exchange gifts. The benefits of shopping locally go beyond convenience and the chance to reduce your carbon footprint. Shopping locally this holiday season can directly benefit your community and the people who call it home.

  • Beverly Lane Lorenz
    For The Lancaster News

    It was a day of triumph and celebration as about 300 people – family, friends and members of the Indian Land community – gathered at the nearly completed Lodge, a new amenity center in Sun City Carolina Lakes, to pay a special tribute to the community’s World War II veterans.
    The Oct. 6 ceremony and dedication of the display to honor all Sun City Carolina Lakes veterans was two years in the making.

  • This is a story of an airplane, one of three, in my opinion, of the most used aircraft in the U.S. military. The first two are the B-52, called the BUFF, and the DC-3/C-47, the Gooney Bird or “Puff, the Magic Dragon” as it was known during the Vietnam War.  
    My story is about the C-130 “Hercules” and one mission.  

  • In honor of our veterans today, I am going to share with you a military-style workout so you can get in great shape and get a taste of a soldier's routine.
    This will give you a small idea of how hard they work for us.  I have been around many veterans in my day, and what I notice about most is no matter whether they are active duty, reserve or retired, they have adopted the habit of still being early birds. Many scientific studies have shown that rising early has lots of health and fitness benefits.

  • On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War I came to an end and the Armistice with Germany went into effect. From this day forward, Nov, 11 was known as Armistice Day.

  • Charles M. Blackwelder’s family found the small tin box in his Indian Land home after the World War II Marine veteran died last March.
    It contained a photo of a Japanese soldier, two books printed in Japanese and a small journal. Each item was stamped “EXAMINED IN THE FIELD – PASSED BY JOINT INTELLIGENCE.”
    The journal’s first seven pages were written in Japanese, but the next 13 were in English with the heading “Dear Diary.”

  • KERSHAW – Some military heroes coach youth ball teams, are church ushers and even bag groceries, with few outside their immediate families ever aware of their actions.
    That’s especially true of Vietnam-era veterans who just don’t talk about their service, while their military records remain relatively unknown.
    When it comes to talking about Vietnam, Robert Brasington was like many of his fellow servicemen.

  • There is a change underway in some hospitals around the country where, increasingly, the arts are used as an important healing tool.
    At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, patients receiving art, music or dance therapy have more than tripled since 2010. Nearly 10,000 patients received such treatment in 2014, according to the hospital.
    Nicole Albers, a Children's Hospital art therapist, said it's amazing to work with patients and watch their pain disappear over the course of a therapy session.