Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve as I type this, and soon in a few hours I’ll be having a nice holiday dinner with my family! Just thought I’d drop by to greet everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope you’re all staying warm and cozy with the company of family, friends, and good food this season! May 2013 bring everyone more blessings! It may be a bitter time for some with the shooting tragedy in Newtown and the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, but I have nothing but high hopes that the next year will be great for everyone!

Anyway, I just thought I’d share with you guys a few pictures of Christmas over here in West Virginia to give you guys an idea of how things look like in my state!

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This picture was taken in Babcock State Park in Glade Creek, WV. I just love how log cabins look so inviting along with snow-capped trees during the winter time!

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The beautiful West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, WV. The decoration is simple, but the Christmas tree sure does look amazing at night!

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The tree used above is West Virginia fir! It’s a popular choice for Christmas trees. I bet you thought for a second that was my living room! Haha, I wish!

Winter can get pretty chilly here in the Eastern Panhandle (44 to 27 F/6 to -3 C), but the snow scenery is great and makes for a lovely, fitting backdrop during Christmastime. What better way to spend the holidays than with chestnuts roasting on an open fire, am I right?

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Season’s greetings to everyone once more! Maligayang pasko! メリークリスマス! Joyeux noel! Feliz navidad! (That’s as far as I go with my languages–Tagalog, Japanese, French, and Spanish respectively!)

Have a Merry Christmas!

Every Christmas Story Ever Told!

Shows such as Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol are staple performances during Christmastime, but if you are looking for something new or different, you might want to try “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” at the Apollo Civic Theatre in Martinsburg, WV.

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From what I hear it’s a pretty hilarious show that has audience members cracking up. Three main characters give us a funny roundup of every Christmas story known to mankind, with extra tidbits on Christmas customs around the world and interesting holiday references in pop culture (fruit cake, the Grinch, and Rudolph, to name a few).

The story (written by award winners Michael Carleton, James Fitzgerald, and John Alvarez) has been performed on Broadway and all across the country for the last ten years. The cast for the Martinsburg show features theatre veterans Tod Williams, Tim Eichelberger, and Diana Jurand.

The show features so many different characters that people can easily relate to. It is a fun, light-hearted show that everyone of all ages will appreciate. It is a must-see and recommended for the entire family.

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In honor of the gift-giving tradition this Yuletide season, the Apollo Civic Theatre continues its outreach program that donates to local food banks. If you’d like to help, bring canned goods to any show hosted by the theatre.

This is just one of the many reasons Martinsburg is such a cool town! I look forward to a repeat performance next year!

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Home for the holidays!

Last weekend in Hagerstown the Maryland Theatre held the annual “Home for the Holidays” concert. I wasn’t able to attend, but the event has been around for the last 25 years, so it’s something that everyone has always looked forward to! It’s just one of the many things that makes Hagerstown a nice place to live in!

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The orchestra plays classic Christmas favorites each year. The stage looked beautiful with Christmas trees, twinkling lights, mistletoe, candy canes and stockings–perfectly setting the yuletide mood for the audience.

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The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is one of the most popular music groups in the state and has been critically-acclaimed for its inspiring performances. The concert showcases local talent of the community’s best musicians, making it a personal and heartfelt performance for everyone. The choral ensemble, Hagerstown Choral Arts, also lent their voices to sing the classic songs. Kids were also eager to take the stage as roughly twenty 7th and 8th graders also performed in the Hagerstown chorus.

This is definitely something to look forward to next year!

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The Nutcracker visits Shepherdstown!

For the sixth year in a row, the Shepherdstown School of Dance performed to a sold-out crowd at Shepherd University last Sunday in their rendition of The Nutcracker. I personally wasn’t able to go, but the performance has received so many raving reviews that it’s become a popular event to look forward to every year in the community.

The school is famous for its ballet, tap, and jazz shows performed by dancers of all ages. Their rendition of The Nutcracker has become a must-see winter highlight in Shepherdstown over the years.  Even if you are not a fan of ballet or classical music, it will be difficult not to appreciate the talent and hard work that these performers dedicate to their craft!

Writing this I regret not having been able to watch this year’s show, but I will strive to see it next year! It’s definitely an event that the entire family will enjoy!

Meanwhile in Maryland, The City Ballet School and the Western Maryland City Ballet Company also performed The Nutcracker on Sunday at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

It’s certainly a Christmastime classic that should not be missed!

Looking to move into Shepherdstown or Hagerstown? Click here to find out more.

Christmas parade run!

So last Sunday my family and I attended the 2012 South Berkeley Community Christmas Parade in Inwood, WVIt’s a popular attraction that has been going on for almost two decades! On Saturday there was a tree-lighting ceremony, and on Sunday my wife and I joined the annual 5k run. It was really fun as we all dressed up in Christmas costumes while running!

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That’s me and my daughters!

There were more than 400 of us who joined the race to help the Berkeley County Humane Society — a group that cares for animals. It felt good to run for such a good cause!

In the evening the parade was spectacular with numerous floats, fire engines, antique cars, horses, the Musselman High School band and Santa Claus himself.

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Looking forward to joining again next year!