December/January 2021

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My friends and I have a secret Santa tradition that we’ve kept up since college. A group of nine of us draw names, and then send along a present in the mail. It’s been a good way to stay in touch around the holidays and something I look forward to every year.

When the topic was brought up for our 2020 exchange, one of my friends immediately responded to our group text: “This year has obviously been very difficult for people. What are everyone’s thoughts on donating to your secret Santa’s favorite charity? Or pooling money to give to a select charity? I personally don’t feel like I really need anything.”

I’m glad she raised the point. So many have suffered this year and continue to face hardship. If you have the means, I strongly encourage you to forego something material this year and donate to organizations that mean the most to you. Take a look at our Big Give section, which begins on pg. 60, to learn more about a few local nonprofits, or read our story on pg. 56 for ways you can give back as a family.

If you are shopping for family and friends, it’s never been more important to keep your dollars in Durham and our nearby communities. Our local shops, galleries and restaurants have hustled and used their creativity to stay in business this year, offering safe shopping experiences by appointment, curbside pickup and local low- or no-cost deliveries. If we want to patronize these beloved institutions this time next year, we need to show up and spend money with them this year. Glance over the gift guide on pg. 40, or check out our “Buy the Book” story on pg. 52 to get some ideas for the bibliophile in your life. And if the recipes for the scrumptious chef-crafted side dishes on pg. 48 tempt you, but you’re not much of a cook, let the experts handle it and order a meal directly from those restaurants.

Holiday traditions this year are going to look different, like the families on pg. 42 share with us. But nothing, not even a pandemic, can take away what this season reminds us every year: love one another, practice kindness, be grateful for what you have and give what you can. – Amanda MacLaren

FEATURES

42 Home for the Holidays
Families rethink their seasonal plans and annual traditions

48 All the Fixin’s
Four side dishes from local restaurants to round out your holiday meal

52 Buy the Book
Support our independent bookshops this holiday season by gifting these good reads recommended by store employees and owners

56 Good Things Come in Small Packages
Ways for kids to give back this holiday season

64 This Old House
Trinity Design/Build teams up with the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties to remodel the historic property that the organization calls home

88 How We Celebrate Now
Heart of NC Weddings magazine publisher shares her perspective on the new world of weddings

DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS

8 Go.See.Do.
Have fun with our winter best bets

19 Noted

26 In Their Words
Tianna Spears shares her ode to Durham 

30 Dining Guide

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

DURHAM INC.

76 Biz Briefs

82 5 Startups That Are ‘Making It’
And the stories behind their success

PEOPLE & PLACES

12 Women of Achievement Luncheon

14 Bull City Squat Challenge

15 Giving Back to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties

16 ‘Happy You Day’ Drive-Thru Celebration

17 Pickleball Ladder hosted by Durham Parks and Recreation

18 WellFest 2020

SPONSORED CONTENT

25 Adopt A Pet
Three pets waiting on their forever homes at the Animal Protection Society of Durham 

28 Healthy Durham
Thoughts on faith and its role in health and well-being

40 Holiday Gift Guide

60 The Big Give 
How you can get involved in our local nonprofits 

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