From the Editor: December 2021

It’s the time of “city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style.” We’ve filled our December issue with seasonal delights and the usual exciting events throughout Western North Carolina. Holiday sights and sounds include the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra’s Appalachian Christmas, Shelton House’s Appalachian Family Christmas and the beloved Asheville tradition A Swannanoa Solstice. Find joy at American Folk Art & Framing’s Sharing the Joy of the Season, and Asheville Gallery of Art’s Joyful Light. And what could be more joyously festive than an Ugly Sweater Run or a production of Annie Jr.?

Gina Malone, Editor

There are holiday markets at Grovewood and at Madison County Arts, and the River Arts District artists have much planned on Second Saturday and throughout December.

The coziness and comforts of home and good food are in these pages. We visit Walnut Cove Realty and Isa’s Bistro. And in a time of goodwill and generosity, we include ways to give charitably this holiday season, for as that wonderful purveyor of Christmas wisdom and merriment Charles Dickens said, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

I’m among those who still believe, and so we haven’t forgotten Santa. We’ve included a feature on Tom Jerman’s book, Santa Claus Worldwide, a history of gift-givers through the ages.

What a gift it is to be able to celebrate the holidays a little more freely, safely and merrily this year. We at The Laurel wish all of you a season of warmth, love and happiness, and a 2022 filled with good health and prosperity.

Gina Malone can be reached at

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