“I decorate a LOT and I decorate early,” says Sandy Hutchens. Sandy Hutchens and husband, Chris Hutchens, moved into their custom-built three-story home overlooking Landfall’s Nicklaus golf course the Christmas of 2008 when their three children were 8, 6 and 1. Throughout the years, Sandy has often surprised the kids by decorating the house while…

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On Christmas Eve 1928, a centuries-old live oak tree was adorned with colored lights in Hilton Park, north of downtown Wilmington. The festive event launched a tradition lasting over 80 years in which the city boasted of having “The World’s Largest Living Community Christmas Tree.” Interest in the lighting event, which featured church choirs, Bible…

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The Port of Wilmington has a long history of being lit by luminarias, a series of lights similar to those that, according to legend, lit the way for Joseph and Mary in their search for lodging in Bethlehem at that first Christmas so long ago. In the Southwestern United States, luminarias are paper lanterns, traditionally…

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It began as all chance encounters do, with no warning, just two men passing in a tight church passageway. “Oh hi,” this divine appointment began, followed by, “Remember me, we met at the tent in Moravian Falls?” Fifteen years had passed since Wilmington storyteller Buckley Hubbard and businessman Neil Blake had spoken. Blake was in…

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In December, family and friends gather in homes to celebrate another year, and of course, the holidays. While some hosts effortlessly dance around the kitchen carrying on conversations while preparing a fabulous meal, others feel out of tune with their guests, lost in the choreography of cooking. With careful curation of dishes that are impressive…

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In November 2020, the world was well into peak pandemic fatigue. Paired with shorter days, cold weather, and dying greenery, it was hard to find color in such bleak settings. The month perfectly encapsulated the feeling of walking into winter during a time that already held innate darkness. For artist Angela Rowe, a late-blooming persimmon…

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When I was a boy, nothing was as exciting as planning a trip to Greenfield Lake, and then gathering what little gear was mine to use. It was very little indeed! First there was the rod, which was nothing more than a cane pole trimmed in braided line, as there was no monofilament at that…

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Five years ago, New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) recognized a need to provide tools for students being educated at home. The board decided that home-schoolers should have access to the same curricula as public-school students, and NHCS developed the e-Academy — an entirely virtual learning program that is available to students at no cost. The…

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December 25th approaches supernaturally fast each year, or so it seems. One can make it through the annual checklist — buying gifts, decorating the house, preparing family recipes, attending festive parties — and still utter the phrase, “It just doesn’t feel like Christmas.”  Peace, love and joy are the feelings that should be abundant during…

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Mark your calendar!  December 18th & 19th The Great Wilmington Nutcracker Presented by US International Ballet For those who think there is simply no substitute for seeing a live performance in person, the excitement surrounding the return of The Great Wilmington Nutcracker may be even stronger than a visit from jolly old St. Nick. The…

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