The December 2021 Issue


Welcome Home



Forever Frosty

There must have been some magic in that basement workshop in Raleigh: After more than a decade and countless trips to the craft store, a father’s determination brings his handmade gift to life one day.

Signed, Stamped, Delivered

Each year, the post office in the tiny town of Star holds a contest to determine the design of its holiday postmark, which brings visitors from near and far to Montgomery County to add a bit of Christmas cheer to their mail.

The Miracle of the Oil

When cultures collided in one family’s Raleigh kitchen, a new food tradition — part Jewish, part Southern Baptist — was born. Two treats served each year for Hanukkah — latkes and sufganiyot, or jelly doughnuts — got updates. The Jewish husband was mesmerized. The Southern wife had a secret.

The Joys of Christmas

Toys We Treasured

Every generation knows the fizzy anticipation of waiting for Christmas morning — and the lazy warmth of the day that follows. For some North Carolina kids, the joy of finding that Santa brought a hoped-for gift — a model train, a brand-new bicycle, a sled — sparks a lifelong passion.

Freedom on Wheels

A bicycle maker has turned his childhood sense of adventure into a career that lets him share the gift of pedaling through life’s ups and downs.

A Christmas Hymn

Growing up in a chilly 1950s household in Lumberton, a prodigy received the gift of music — a beautiful cherrywood piano. The instrument guided him through hardship, triumph, and, ultimately, redemption.

Home-Field Advantage

Torry and Terrence Holt grew up playing football in Gibsonville. Within a few short years, they were stars in the NFL. Today, they spend the holidays together with family and friends in Raleigh, looking back on lives lived with integrity.

Pieces of Childhood

Adults have rediscovered the enduring joy of jigsaw puzzles — and this Winston-Salem company creates puzzle scenes that bring North Carolina home for the holidays.


The Gift of Light

Christmas shopping can be challenging, but back in the first half of the 20th century, North Carolinians got a helpful hint from a most unlikely source.