The December 2018 Issue

Want to read this issue?

Buy a print edition Buy a digital edition


Back in the Day: A Star is Born

by Victoria Haynes

Winston-Salem’s first and only Moravian star maker Julius Lineback crafted a holiday tradition.

December 2018 Welcome Letter: Season of Light

by Elizabeth Hudson

When Hurricane Michael plunged Greensboro — and our editor in chief’s home — into darkness, Christmas candles and beloved family memories were shining bright.

Our State Quiz: Sacred Spaces

by Alan Hodge

Houses of worship — no matter what kind — offer sanctuaries of peace, love, and hope across North Carolina.


This is North Carolina

We Live Here

Neighborhood: Oakwood

by Katie Schanze

At Christmastime, this historic Raleigh neighborhood proves that there’s truly no place like home for the holidays.

Justice Farms in Jacksonville

by Jennifer Brookland

At this multigenerational family farm, neighbors share home-cooked meals, volunteers line up Christmas trees, and familiar faces greet customers year after year.

The Reeves Theater and Café in Elkin

by Kaia Findlay

Once abandoned, this historic theater in Surry County is thriving again, with musical and culinary offerings for young and old.

BluSail Golitz Studios in Morehead City

by Susan Stafford Kelly

A husband-and-wife team crafts every piece of art by hand at their studio in Carteret County — and they’ll teach you how to do it, too.

Toad & Wee: Return to the Rink

by Drew Perry

It’s Christmastime in the city: Amid the busy bustle, ice-skaters find moments of peace and joy while circling outdoor rinks. Here they come around again, gliding into another holiday season.


Recipes: Cranberries

by Lynn Wells

Ashten’s Restaurant & Pub in Southern Pines

by Susan Stafford Kelly

For two decades, diners have found a warm welcome at Ashten’s Restaurant & Pub.


Ramblin’ Man: Santa’s Accomplice

by T. Edward Nickens

Sometimes St. Nick needs an assistant to help keep his spirit alive for a child — at least for one more year.

Surviving Hurricane Florence: The Approach

by Philip Gerard

Hurricanes are a fact of life along the North Carolina coast. Every summer and fall, seaside residents watch the weather forecasts and hope for the best. Occasionally, they simply hope to survive.

Toy Stories

by Jeremy Markovich

While the staff at the state Museum of History creates a new exhibit about our childhood obsessions, North Carolinians reflect on the kids they were, the adults they’ve become, and the toys that shaped them.

Mr. Smith’s Tree Goes to Washington

by Leigh Ann Henion

This year, one lucky Fraser fir from Avery County is headed to the White House. There are hundreds of contenders on Larry Smith’s tree farm, and he grooms each one to be a star.

Love & Light

by Katie Saintsing

In Winston-Salem, neighbors gather together to celebrate lovefeast the way they have since the first Moravian settlers arrived here centuries ago: with hot coffee, sweet buns, stirring music, and the warm glow of candlelight.

The Devil Dogs Find a Home

by Philip Gerard

As war tensions ratchet up, the Marine Corps needs a training ground on the East Coast, and the military finds what it’s looking for near Jacksonville.

Stories of the Season

A Feast For Many

by Jeremy Markovich

Buns flavored with spice and a hint of orange star in the Moravian tradition of lovefeast. And that keeps one bakery in Winston-Salem very busy at Christmastime.

A Gift That Keeps Giving

by Bridgette A. Lacy

A chef known for his stellar seafood says that the Christmas tradition he treasures most is a decidedly landlocked creation: ham and beans.

Glam Ham

by Emily Wallace

Whether elegantly glazed, pinned with pineapple, or shellacked with Cheerwine, ’tis the season for fancy hams.

Life of the Party

by Emily Wallace

In North Carolina, the holiday season doesn’t really get rolling until the sausage balls arrive. Yet, even here, the origin of the recipe remains a mystery.

The Sweetest Stroll

by Susan Stafford Kelly

Bring on the snickerdoodles. The lemon squares. The thumbprints and pinwheels. A cookie walk in New Bern boxes up Christmas magic.

Finding the Light

by Richard Chess

Hanukkah had become a ho-hum holiday for an Asheville professor, until a gathering of friends — and a batch of crisp latkes — awakened his spirit.

Luck By The Slice

by Victoria Bouloubasis

In Forsyth County’s Greek community, a traditional New Year’s Day cake is a reminder that family is the source of good fortune.

Bundles of Love

by Kathleen Purvis

For a Venezuelan family in Charlotte, Christmas cooking goes on all month, and then some. But one special tamale-making ritual really brings home the holiday.

Merry Elegance

by Sheri Castle

Christmas 1923 was Katharine Reynolds’s last at Reynolda House. The holiday was a private time for this family of public prominence, yet through menu cards and mementos archived at the estate, we glimpse a time of splendid celebration and one woman’s generous spirit.

The Great Punch Comeback

by Kathleen Purvis

A new generation has discovered the festive wonders of Grandma’s punch bowl. And holiday spirits have never been brighter.

A Dainty Cup of Christmas Eve

by Jill McCorkle

Dessert or drink? Hard to say when recipes once called for lime sherbet, cups of sugar, and jars of cherries. But there’s nothing quite like classic punch to quench our thirst for the festive.


Carolina Calendar: December 2018

by Our State Staff

Fill up on gingerbread, sing carols to your heart’s content, and revel in the countless joys of the holidays in North Carolina.

NC Primer: Proof of the Pudding

by Susan Stafford Kelly

During the holiday season, these delightful desserts deserve a special place on our tables.