A Time of Feasting, Santa Sightings and a Twinkle or Two

By Michael Lay | Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Let me begin by wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Many of us will be surrounded by family and friends and a world of plenty for the next several days. But some of us - both two-legged folks as well as four-legged folks - will experience loneliness and want during the holiday just as they do during any other time of the year. Please consider sharing a bit of your time and treasure with them this holiday season. A little of each can be an immeasurable comfort to those without.

As we gather to partake in the atmosphere of good fellowship that accompanies the savory flavors of the Thanksgiving feast we must, of course, also cast one eye over our shoulder at the impending arrival of that terrifying consumerist culture creation known as Black Friday, a gnawing, dark and stress-inducing presence that can inflict dread upon even the stoutest of shopping hearts. Hyperbole, you say? Perhaps. But when you find yourself taking the last available parking space so far away from the doors of the local mega-mart that you can actually see the curvature of the earth.... Oh, well. It's the holidays, why go there?

Small Business Saturday

Of course, we don't have to shop like this. We can boycott Black Friday. Relax. Snack. Cast a few sidelong glances at that dusty treadmill. Catch up on our snoring...um, reading. Okay, let's go ahead and nap. We deserve it! And afterward we'll do our shopping local and small at the many affordable, eclectic and friendly establishments that make up our Outer Banks business community. From Corolla to Ocracoke Village we'll find boutiques, galleries and artist studios, locally owned book stores, non-profit gift shops, tackle shops, fine apparel and home decor retailers, and much more. Enough to satisfy every gift-giving need while contributing more to our local economy - meaning the well-being of our friends and neighbors - than twice the amount of purchases at the local outpost of some distant retail conglomerate. Saturday, Nov. 30 is Small Business Saturday. Just saying...

Please, Anything But Turkey

By Saturday morning it's entirely possible that your last four or five meals, not to mention any number of before meal, between meal and after meal snacks, will have consisted of turkey and leftovers. By then you might well be thinking it's about time for something different - even if you have to go catch it. Am I right? Then drag your turkey-laden self over to Jennette's Pier in Nags Head for their Third Annual Redfish Tournament! From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. you'll compete with other anglers for the longest red drum, black drum, bluefish, speckled trout, gray trout, striped bass, croaker or flounder. Plus, there'll be awards, give-a-ways and free chili! Not turkey. Chili. Really. I promise. No turkey.

Santa is...EVERYWHERE!

Anyone doubting the magic of Santa need only take a glimpse of his schedule and the doubts will disappear! Check it out:

On Friday, Nov. 29 Santa arrives at Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station in Rodanthe to hear the Christmas wishes of all the good little boys and girls, and maybe a few not-so-little boys and girls, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free with the donation of one non-perishable food item for the Hatteras Island Food Bank. While you're there, take a self-guided tour of the circa 1911 Life-Saving Station and Cookhouse. Or, take advantage of the big sale in the gift shop to mark some names off your own gift list!

Also, on Friday, Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Santa appears at Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head to visit with children and perhaps fit in a hang gliding session or two courtesy of our famous Outer Banks breezes. And why not? He's relied on the air-worthiness of the same eight reindeer for a couple hundred years, right? Hang gliding should be a piece o' cake! Of course, Santa loves the outdoors, so if it's nice, he'll be outside. But if it's cold he'll move inside the store. And don't worry if you can't get there Friday. Santa returns Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Santa also stops by the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island this Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day for Santa Under the Sea. Tell Santa what you want for Christmas, leave him a letter in his drop box and get your picture taken with Santa while he is...underwater...scuba diving with the sharks! What?... Flying reindeer, hang gliding, scuba diving with sharks?! Who insures this guy?Tickets are available at the Aquarium the days of the event and are $5/individual child photo or $10/family photo (additional photos will be available for purchase).

Even more amazing, both Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting the Pirates & Pixies Toy Store in Nags Head on Saturday, November 30th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a free event featuring time with Santa, goodie bags, Christmas punch and cookies!

Note the times there, folks. I'm tellin' ya, Ol' St. Nick must have a knack for theoretical physics because he has the "wrinkles in time" thing all figured out! The jolly ol' dude is unstoppable! And to think of all the times I moaned and groaned about catching connecting flights to Florida for the holidays.

Get Your Twinkle On

Bright twinkly sparkly colors! Ohhh! Ahhh! If you love holiday lights (and who doesn't, right?) then you must make time during your busy holiday schedule to take in Winter Lights at The Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island. Beginning with the opening Grand Illuminations celebration Saturday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. the Winter Lights festival transforms The Gardens into a holiday wonderland of spectacular lights, sights and music as accompanied by seasonal gift shop and plant sales. Tickets for Saturday's Grand Illuminations event are $14/adults, $8/youth (ages 6-17), $6/children aged 5 and younger. For Members/Friends of The Gardens tickets are $10/adults, $7/youth (ages 6-17), $5/children aged 5 and younger. Following the Grand Illumination, Winter Lights will run Tuesday through Sunday nights, Dec. 4 through Jan. 5 (except for Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1). Tickets for Winter Lights are $10/adults (ages 18 and older), $8/youth (ages 6-17), $5/children aged 5 and younger. For more information call (252) 473-3234 or visit The Gardens' website. If you're a family seeking holiday cheer together, a couple seeking a bit of holiday romance or just someone entranced by the bright and sparkly, Winter Lights really is something to see!

Kitty Hawk Kites' Kites with Lights

Lights on kites? Who knew? If you want to see holiday lights with a slightly different twist - and a little more altitude - come to Jockey's Ridge in Nags Head this Saturday for Kitty Hawk Kites' free Kites with Lights event. From 4 to 6 p.m. huge 19-foot delta kites will take flight and soon be soaring high above the dunes illuminated with lights that become more impressive with each dip of the setting sun! Free hot cider and cookies available in the store will help ward off the cold. Flashlights, glow sticks or other light up toys are recommended for those venturing up on the dunes.

Coming Soon...A Silver Anniversary!

When you flip the calendar page and say goodbye to November, don't forget to make a note in the first week of the December page about the grand dame of Outer Banks holiday events, Outer Banks Hotline's Festival of Trees. Expect even bigger things this year as Festival of Trees celebrates its 25th anniversary! Beginning at noon Thursday, Dec. 5 with its awesome display of trees to be auctioned off and continuing through the Gala Holiday Social and Benefit Auction on Saturday, Dec. 7, Festival of Trees brings together visitors and residents alike to celebrate the holiday season. Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for Outer Banks Hotline, and 100% of the funds raised during Festival of Trees support local services and the shelter for victims of domestic and sexual violence. For more information call (252) 473-5121, visit the Festival of Trees website or check this space next week.


Outer Banks This Week Giveaway








This week you have a chance to win a $35 gift certificate to Alice's Craft Gallery & a $35 gift certificate to Corolla Cantina Bar & Grill!

For more information about Alice's Craft Gallery, check them out on corollaguide.com.

For more information about Corolla Cantina Bar & Grill check them out on website.



Last Week's Winner


Congratulations to Linda Willams!!!

You won a $65 gift certificate to Grace Bodywork Therapy & a $50 gift certificate to Gray's!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner


For more information about Grace Bodywork Therapy, check out their website.

For more information about Gray's Outer Banks check out their website.

About the Author Michael Lay
Michael Lay is a local graphic designer, artist, photographer and writer. He lives in picturesque downtown Manteo, NC, and is the manservant of two beautiful and willful feline princesses, Sophie and Sassy. You can contact Michael at mike.lay@oneboat.com.