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Today's Features

  • The holidays can be filled with festivities, food and family, including four-legged visitors. It is a good time to make sure holiday decorations, and home decor, is safe for pets.
    To truly pet-proof your home, start by getting down on the floor to see the world the way your pet sees it. This allows you to spot potential hazards that you might not notice from your vantage point.
    • Treat your pet like you would a child: Active puppies and kittens can easily get into dangerous situations. Use safety gates in areas where dangerous holiday items are to prevent your pet from getting into trouble.
    • Take caution with wires: Pets can easily injure themselves with electrical wires, and outlets. Use caution when hanging up holiday lights on trees and around the house. Secure all electrical cords and outlets and keep your dog in areas of your home where cords cannot be accessed.
    •Avoid holiday plants: Plants can be poisonous for pets, so be cautious when placing holiday wreaths, flowers and plants around the house where your dog can easily access them.
    • Candles: Lit candles pose a serious threat to both your dog and your home. Keep your dog away from candles because they can easily be knocked down creating a fire hazard.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) — For her family’s final Christmas in the White House, Michelle Obama used the holiday decor to highlight her core initiatives as first lady: military service, education and health.
    The familiar crowd-pleasers are still part of the annual show:
    • A towering tree dominates the Blue Room, trimmed as it has been in the past to honor the U.S. military and their families, an issue Mrs. Obama has emphasized.
    • Larger-than-life replicas of family dogs Bo and Sunny will greet tens of thousands of holiday visitors shortly after they enter through the East Wing.
    • And no White House Christmas would feel complete without the annual gingerbread version. This year’s replica on display in the State Dining Room weighed in at more than 300 pounds, including 150 pounds of gingerbread covered in 100 pounds of bread dough to form the white exterior. Models of Bo and Sunny sit out front, and Mrs. Obama’s revamped vegetable garden is represented.
    Downstairs in the library, education is the theme. Ornaments on two trees are written with the word “girls” in 12 languages, honoring the first lady’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative to help countries educate tens of millions of adolescent girls around the world. Other trees in the library are made out of crayons or pencils.

  • By Kelly Dolejsi
    Special to the Monitor

    The more depressing something is, the harder we need to laugh, and “Paper Moon” (1973, rated PG) offers just the right combination of anguish and glee. Check it out at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Mesa Public Library’s upstairs meeting-room theater.

    Director Peter Bogdanovich’s Depression-era comedy begins in a Kansas cemetery. Nine-year-old Addie Loggins (Tatum O’Neal) has just lost her mother. When traveling salesman Moses Pray (Ryan O’Neal) arrives to pay his respects, Addie’s neighbors talk him into driving Addie to the home of her only living relative, an aunt in St. Joseph, Missouri.

    Pray has the parenting skills of a popped balloon, but off they go, and he immediately uses her tragic situation to the profitable tune of $200. It’s the start of a propitious partnership for both Addie and “Moze,” as long as you don’t think for a second about Addie’s future. 

  • The annual Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, with a large contribution from Del Norte Credit Union, will be held this Saturday from 7-11 a.m. at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.
    The breakfast is free. In return, attendees are requested to donate either non-perishable food items or money.
    Food collected will be used by LA Cares to feed local families in need. Money donated will be used for the Kiwanis/CYFD Foster Children Christmas party. Any money left over from the Foster Children’s party will be used to make up food baskets, which will also be distributed to those in need.
    Come out and see Santa and enjoy a good breakfast and a morning of good cheer in the true Christmas spirit.
     

  • THURSDAY
    Nature Yoga at 5:15 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Cost is $15 for non-members, $12 for members.
    FRIDAY
    Join the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra at 7 p.m. for a Holiday Pops Concert at Crossroads Bible Church.

    Feature Film and Talk: “Exploding Universe” at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Voyage through space and discover explosive events that shaped the Universe and hear from astrophysicist Dr. Rick Wallace. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

    Los Alamos Garden Club annual fresh Christmas Wreath Sale, from 9 a.m. until they are sold out, in the lobby of the Los Alamos National Bank. The wreaths are made of fresh green cut in the Jamez Mountains. The proceeds from the sale support a scholarship fund. The club awards a scholarship to a local  graduating senior each year. For more information, contact Sally Warner at 662-9473.

    Ribbon Cutting for Bradbury Association Kiosk at 11:30 a.m. The non-profit Bradbury Science Museum Association, which will operate a kiosk inside the Bradbury Science Museum selling tourist friendly items, is having its ribbon cutting inside the museum.

  • As we have just spent some glorious time celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope that is just the start of your thankfulness.
    As we approach a new calendar year, more than in year’s past, we need to celebrate the little and big things that make life great.
    We need to talk about the good and not let the bad creep into daily life. There are many obstacles as we navigate each day, but we must set the tone for positivity.
    We need to highlight something each day that should be elevated into conversation. It is easy to let someone bring you down, but flip the story and bring someone up instead of down.
    If you can’t think of one, find a few simple phrases that may put someone on the spot to come up with a good story.
    Tell me about your favorite book? Tell me something fun about your grandson? What did you do over the holiday break? What are you looking forward to for the next holiday break?
    Have you thought of any good presents to give or receive this year? What’s the best handmade gift you ever received? What is a good movie you have rented lately? What’s a good idea for dinner tonight?
    It is easy if you think about it, you take something you really want to know, put a positive question around it and there you go.

  • Art exhibits
    “Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography and Time.” Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 710 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe. Photographer Adriel Heisey re-photographed some of southwest’s most significant archeological sites that Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne, photographed in 1929. Exhibit runs through May 2017.

    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art announces form & concept, a nonprofit arts organization founded to push and explore the boundaries of perceived distinctions between art, craft and design. The programming acts as a conversation between these disciplines, supporting contemporary creative practice through exhibitions of regional and international artists. Form & concept serves the community through its educational programming by producing artist residencies, workshops, lectures and other events.

    “Visual Poetry: Bill Barrett Sculpture” at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill. The exhibit will showcase 16 sculptures by the nationally and internationally recognized sculptor Bill Barrett, who is based in Santa Fe and New York City. The show will be on view within the Botanical Garden, 715 Camino Lejo, and is included in the general admission cost. The show will run through May 14, 2017.

  • In what has become a popular seasonal tradition in Los Alamos, the musicians of the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will again present the annual Holiday Concert at 7 p.m. Friday at the Crossroads Bible Church.
    Under the baton of conductor Tjett Gerdom, the full symphony will play popular versions of well known seasonal tunes.  
    The concert will also include excerpts from Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 and from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.
    An appealing feature of this special concert is the free raffle drawing, open to anyone in the audience – young or old.
    The winner will stand on the podium, take the baton from maestro Gerdom and lead the orchestra in “Jingle Bells”
    A sing-along is also included in this concert.
    Doors for the concert open at 6:30 p.m.  
    The concert is a gift from the orchestra to the community.  
    There is no charge although donations will be gratefully appreciated.

  • Join the holiday fun with the BESC Hillstrummers ukulele group playing several December Holiday Singalongs.
    The first was enjoyed by diners attending the two Thanksgiving luncheons at the BESC on Nov. 18.
    The following singalongs are scheduled:  
    • 10 a.m. Friday in the day room at Sombrillo Nursing Home.
    • 10:45 a.m. Saturday in the Pajarito room at Fuller Lodge during the WinterFest Open House.
    • 11 a.m. Dec. 9 in the produce lobby at Smith’s Marketplace.
    • 10 a.m. Dec. 15 at the indoor Farmer’s Market at Fuller Lodge.
    The group’s talented director Kathleen Galbraith has driven over 3,600 miles from the Chama area this year to conduct spring and fall classes for over 45 students.
    Between class sessions, the group practices informally year round at the BESC for fun.
    Come and sing some of your favorite Holiday tunes accompanied by this fantastic little instrument.

  • BY DEBBIE STONE
    Special to the Monitor