December 2021/January 2022

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Show of hands: Who else feels like 2021 saw the devastation and trauma of 2020 and thought, “Hold my beer”?

Apologies for bringing up tidings of sorrow right off the bat, but this year – which had so much promise – was tough. To get through it all, my recent mantra has been: “Give me strength and grace.” (If you don’t have a mantra yet, both professional organizer Perri Kersh and I are big fans; find more of her advice on page 44.) 

As we enter into 2022, I’m reminded that, with as much that has changed, much has also stayed the same. Thank goodness for things that are familiar and sources of joy, where we can escape to when we’re feeling low. When photographer John Michael Simpson and I showed up to Miel Bon Bons for our dessert photo shoot, owner Bonnie Lau cheerfully brought out her monumental bûche de Noël (pictured), and it immediately reminded me of Christmases past when we’d watch those old stop-motion animation movies like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (my younger brother was terrified of the Abominable Snow Monster) as a family. 

Miel Bon Bons

This is “the season of the heart,” to quote my other favorite holiday movie (snaps for you if you know it!), where we’re meant to take care of one another. 

If you have the means, donate to organizations that mean the most to you. Take a look at our Big Give section, which begins on page 25, to learn more about a few local nonprofits. If you are shopping for family and friends, keep your dollars in Durham and our nearby communities, and glance over our gift guide on page 40. If you’d like to try your hand at a few of the recipes (including Bonnie’s yule log) that start on page 56, visit new package-free grocery Part & Parcel (page 62) to pick up your ingredients for those homemade holiday meals and desserts. And when that seasonal affective disorder inevitably rears its ugly head, warm your soul in the company of a loved one over a cup of cheer (page 50). – Amanda MacLaren


42 New Year, New You
Local businesses and professionals help you achieve 2022 goals

50 Cups of Cheer
These drinks are sure to chase away any shivers

56 Leave Room … 
If ever there was a time of year to indulge in desserts, it’s now. Here are some tasty treats, complete with recipes to make your holidays a touch sweeter this year.

62 Do Your Part
Durham’s first package-free grocery store celebrates strength in neurodiversity

66 Good Fortune & Food
Dim sum done right by the family behind one of Durham’s oldest Chinese restaurants 

80 Winter Reset
A few interior design experts share their tips on how to prepare your nest for the chilly season ahead

98 Come Together
Cozy inns, lush gardens, renovated industrial spaces in the heart of the city – no matter what kind of wedding you’re throwing, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to host your big day in Durham


6 Letter from the Editor

10 Go.See.Do.
Mark your calendars for winter’s coolest events

18 In Her Words
Tianna Spears reflects on her time in Durham and what the future holds

22 Noted
What we’ve heard around our city …

30 Dining Guide

38 What We’re Eating
Plum Southern Kitchen & Bar’s beef stroganoff

70 Come One, Come All
One family’s journey in renovating a home where all would feel welcome 

103 Engagement & Wedding
Tying the knot, Bull City-style


86 The Future of Black Business in Durham
Trends of growth and optimism amid a changing cityscape

90 Biz Briefs

93 Major Commercial Development Projects Underway
Investors bet on life sciences, mixed-use and industrial sites


14 Oktoberfest at The Glass Jug Beer Lab

16 Local Start Dental ribbon-cutting


20 Healthy Durham
A weeklong summer camp program fosters relationships among women mentors and young girls

25 The Big Give

40 Holiday Gift Guide

85 Adopt A Pet
Two dogs are waiting on their forever homes at the Animal Protection Society of Durham

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