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2023 Holiday Guide

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to start thinking about gift-giving and making memories with the ones we love.

Virginia peanuts are large, crunchy, flavorful and nutritious — and they’re one of the most popular peanuts in the world, according to the Virginia Peanut Growers Association. You can enjoy them raw, roasted, toasted, blanched, boiled, salted, seasoned, unsalted or drenched in chocolate. Or you can add them to your favorite holiday recipes for everything from peanut clusters to peanut pie. People with a penchant for peanuts can shop for all different types of Virginia peanuts from various retailers and have them shipped in time for holiday snacking enjoyment. For more information, visit aboutpeanuts.com.

If you or someone you know loves jewelry and/or Virginia gemstones, Elk Run Mining Company is the place to go. Located in Harrisonburg, Va., along the sidewalk at the lower edge of the Water Street parking deck, Elk Run Mining Company specializes in Virginia gemstone jewelry and can make custom pieces that are sure to become family heirlooms. The company and its owner, Stuart Mercer, were featured in the July 2023 issue of Cooperative Living. Mercer mines, cuts and polishes Virginia gems, and then creates settings of silver or gold. These make the perfect holiday gifts for family and friends of all ages. For more information, visit elkrungems.com.

The holidays are also a time for making memories with the ones we love. Belle Grove Plantation will host its fourth annual holiday market — Kris Kringle Market — on Saturday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will feature dozens of local artisans and vendors and is free to the public. There will be warm beverages and food for sale, plus Storytime with Santa, and more! There is a charge to tour the Manor House.

Festive Fridays on Nov. 24, Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22 are the perfect way to usher in weekends during the holiday season. Come enjoy the old-fashioned holiday charm in historic Cape Charles’ Winter Wonderland each Friday from Nov. 24 through Dec. 22. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to greet the young (and young at heart!), and there will be free horse-drawn carriage rides available for children. Visitors will get to watch the Northampton High School marching band perform on parade each week. Shops and restaurants will be open and there is a FREE holiday movie featured each week. For more information, visit capecharlesmainstreet.com.

Come enjoy winter traditions — and make memories while doing so — in the picturesque mountain community of Highland County during Wintertide on Dec. 2. You’re invited to slow your pace while you enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of this very special time. There will be a craft market, a visit from Santa, and tastes of the season. Then come back on Feb. 17, 2024, for Big Fish Cider’s Wassail. Celebrate Virginia maple syrup with the 64th Highland County Maple Festival March 9-10 and March 16-17, 2024. Visitors have been drawn to Highland County since 1959 for its tours of real maple sugar camps that offer a cultural and culinary adventure! For more information, visit highlandcounty.org.