Studio Tour with Harkers Island’s Walter Gaskill

The coots, loons, and surf scoters in this Harkers Island studio don’t fly. But they land in collections and competitions from coast to coast, as rows of blue ribbons attest.


Family Tradition: Home for the Holidays

Adventures across the state can wait. At Christmas, there’s nothing like the warmth and comfort of your own house.


A Story Behind Every Christmas Tree Ornament

Handmade from Popsicle sticks and macaroni, or preserved from generations past: An ornament represents a story, a memory, a treasured entry on the timeline of our lives.


December Welcome Letter: Wish List

Editor in Chief Elizabeth Hudson considers what her Christmas wish list might look like today, compared to the ones she used to write as a child.

Arts & Culture

Cherokee Stories Tell of Water’s Wisdom

The river knows best: It nourishes and guides, warns and welcomes. In Cherokee culture, river rituals and lore protect the mind, body, and spirit.


Honoring the Waters that Provide Our Bounty

Surely the first feast came from the water. By net or line, hook or gig, the promise of a fresh catch lures us still, and sustains us always.

Arts & Culture

The Unlikely Ornament King of Gastonia

The true story of how a Jewish man from Gastonia became the world’s largest maker of Christmas ornaments, and so much more.


Photo Essay: In Pursuit of the Perfect Pine

The best family traditions don’t come ready-made. They’re hard-won, full of promise, but messy — just like the holidays. A Christmas tree hunt in the North Carolina mountains is no exception.