It is the most wonderful time of the year: time to wrap up warmer, eat, drink hot gluhwein, and find great gifts and crafts for your loved ones.

Where better to stock up on festive local cheer than at the Third Annual Sr. Regina Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 17, at 4:00-9:00pm in Simpson Bay (end of old Airport Road).

We’ve got a CHRISTMAS MARKET for you to get into good spirits with great deals and ideas. Come out and enjoy your Christmas with great refreshments, including cakes, second-hand market and Christmas gifts and goodies, crafts, best Sr. Regina’s BBQ and locally brewed guavaberry. For children and people young at heart, there will be jolly face painting, karaoke and Santa movies – and do not forget to have your family Christmas picture taken on the spot!

HO-HO-HO! Vendors, hurry up to rent your table at a cost of $20 – set up time is 2:00pm. You just may win the BEST DECORATED CHRISTMAS TABLE!

Contact info: 1 (721) 527-4972/554-8403 or srreginaPta@outlook.com

Drawing blanks when you are trying to figure out what to get your girlfriend, husband, neighbour, son, aunt or grandfather-in-law? Don’t you worry, take a look at this list and be inspired!

What:Chocolate

Why: Chocolate makes people happy and is a great gift for anyone; also a great item to bring along to a dinner party for the hosts. Chocolate, or another nice sweet-gift-basket, is always a welcome surprise. While you are at the supermarket, you can also check out other items that your friends and family might enjoy. A new plant is always nice for a friend with a garden; or a set of new pots and pans for your mom is a great gift idea as well!

Where: Le Grand Marché, Carrefour.

What:Electronics

Why: Because anyone can use (and loves) a new phone, I seriously cannot really think of a better gift to receive than a new phone. Of course, a new phone might be out of your budget, especially if you need to give everyone in your family something. BUT there are always other items you can get instead. While you are in an electronics store, you can also try to avert your eyes from the shiny phone section and check out great deals on cameras, tablets, eReaders, external memory cards and drives and music players!

Where: Boolchand’s, Blue Point, Music Man or TelCell.

What:Clothing

Why: With Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s and all those dinner and party invites around the corner, you and your loved ones will need many a new outfit! Head out to your favourite clothing stores on Sint Maarten and while you are getting yourself a swanky new outfit, buy your brother a new dressy shirt and your friend a pretty new sweater!

Where: Super Plaza, Shana Clothing, Blue Mall, Looking Good, U.S. Polo Assn.

What: Perfume

Why: Possibly among the most popular gifts to give during the holiday season are delicious perfumes, colognes or body-creams. These are appropriate gifts for just about anyone, and the great thing is that you can also opt for a gift-certificate instead if you don't quite know what scent your giftee will enjoy.

Where: Penha or Lucky Cosmetics.

What: A bottle of booze.

Why: Who does not like to drink or receive a nice bottle of their favourite liquor? Bottles of wine are always good to have in the house in case a guest comes over. Wine is also a good gift for any host who has invited you to a holiday dinner. Men, such as your brother or dad, might be a bit more difficult to please during the holiday season, but almost any man can appreciate a good bottle of rum or whiskey. If you’re planning on having a mean New Year’s party, maybe you can even stock up on bottles of champagne, vodka and your other favourite poison.

Where: Caribbean Liquors & Tabaco, CC1, Antillean Liquors, Kam’s Trading.

What: Jewellery

Why: Because your girlfriend, mistress or wife will thank you in the bedroom later. Seriously, guys, jewellery (especially quality jewellery) is a girl’s best friend. Pick out something that properly expresses how you feel about her. It is also a gift that will last a lifetime! If you’re not sure what to buy, it is always a good idea to bring a good friend along, or just ask the other ladies in the store for some advice!

Where: Pandora.

What:A car

Why: Because you got money! Joking! Okay, you do have to have quite a bit of money; BUT Motorworld, Audi & Caribbean Auto are having Christmas sales, and a new car might just be what you and your family need this Christmas to improve your lifestyle for 2017!

Where: Motorworld, Audi & Caribbean Auto.

~ Rainy Mondays don’t get us down ~

Karen Carpenter might have sung that “Rainy days and Mondays always get her down,” but this week we had a rainy Monday and we weren’t down at all. We had a ladies day of shopping, a bit of pre-Christmas sight-seeing, checking out some of the stores and then stopped off for a lunch at where else – Topper’s – the best place to drop in for a leisurely lunch or just a quick bite to hold you over.

It was pleasant to sit nice and dry, perched on a barstool next to the overhanging eave where normally one seeks shade, but this was a day to watch the raindrops fall and enjoy those cooler temperatures. Blessed relief!

We got right into the mood with a beer and a white wine and ordered some lovely salads to brighten our day with some crisp and fresh flavours. Our waitress was right on the task, taking care of us with perfect service. The regular crowd shuffled in, along with some island visitors that seemed not too disappointed with the grey skies, bless their hearts!

We simply devoured those salads, with their snappy greens and tangy dressings, a perfect accent to our festive mood. Have you tried a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp? This is something very special, light, tart and creamy. It’s just what I was craving! My dining companion, aka my partner in crime, had an Asian Chicken Salad which looked terrific. I managed to taste a bite of hers; it was a surprising melange of flavours, complete with mandarin oranges and sticks of fried egg noodle.

A stroll through the restaurant showed folks enjoying all kinds of sandwiches with big piles of fries, which tempted, but we were happy with our lovely salads. Sometimes it’s nice to eat light – and Topper’s has plenty of items on their very diverse menu, from light and invigorating to comforting and filling. That is a good thing when you have every kind of appetite to satisfy! Topper’s is the place that always lets you find just what you are craving, so make it a habit, not only on rainy days and Mondays, but anytime at all!

Info:

Topper’s

Welfare Road

Simpson Bay

Phone: 520-6760

Hours: All day, every day

Cuisine: international

Price range: $

Ratings:

Staff friendliness: ****

Service speed: ****

Restaurant cleanliness: ****

Food quality: *****

Value for money: ****

Ambience: ****

Would you like to have the opportunity to win fabulous prizes for just US $10?!! You are invited to attend the Annual Lions Wally Havertong Christmas Bingo Spectacular, which will take place on Saturday, December 3, at the Festival Village.

Christmas will be here in just a few weeks and as you know, there are many events organized during the season. Tell everyone you know about this extraordinary Christmas Bingo, and make it a night out filled with fun and laugher while you get the chance to win one or more of many prizes.

There will be about 51 Bingo games called. Amongst the prizes are airline tickets, with participating airlines such as Air France, Insel Air, Winair, KLM and PAWA; various hotel stays; dinner vouchers; overloaded goody baskets; consolation prizes and we can’t forget to mention the final grand prize of the evening – Santa’s Bag! It consists of NAf. 2,000 in cash.

The general public is encouraged to attend this event as all proceeds will be donated to various projects within the St. Maarten community. You’re not only invited to come out and have a good time, but you are also urged to be a part of a celebration which will assist in the betterment and wellbeing of your fellow citizens. These include projects for the elderly, the less fortunate and young adults.

The club’s yearly signature projects are Lion Nelson vd Linde Seniors Party, Christmas Day Feeding Program, Lion Rudy Hoeve Health & Wellness Fair, Students Excellence Awards, Alcohol Awareness Campaign and Eye Sight Awareness.

The Festival Village gates will open at 6:30pm for members of the public to obtain their Bingo cards. The first Bingo game will be called at 8:00pm sharp by Past District Governor Lion Wally Havertong.

In addition to the Bingo, you can enjoy food, drinks and snacks which will be on sale during the event. Tickets cost $10 or NAf. 20 and can be purchased from any Lion member or from Lions Den, Oasis Grill and both Van Dorp Eddine locations.

Buy your tickets and come and have fun with us on Saturday, December 3, you just may win one or more of the lovely prizes; and if you don’t come, you’ll never know if you could have been the one who screams “BINGO!!!”

Bringing back the tradition – community comes into play this season! It’s all about the Christmas tree!

Traditionally, one would head out into the country to cut a tree and then carry it back to the house. The tree would then be placed in the front garden near the fence and decorating would begin. Old timers were able to buy a good selection of Christmas decorations at some amazing stores so that the tree would be up and shining bright by Christmas Eve. Bringing back this tradition means everyone has the opportunity to make new traditions for the young and recap those memories from the days of one’s youth.

There is a wonderful competition in place this season when you proudly set up your tree at the front of your house by the “fence” and “decorate your tree for all to see.”

CRITERIA

  • The tree can be made of any material including driftwood; artificial, scrap or imported fresh, but it must be in the shape of a tree.
  • Minimum height: four feet.
  • The tree must be placed “by the fence” as tradition dictates.
  • Decorating the tree is up to each and every one of you – as elaborately or as simply as you feel led.

TO COMPETE

  • Check out the new Facebook page called “Christmas tree by the fence.”
  • You will need to post a message of your address; a committee will head on over and take photos and judge your tree.
  • The committee will upload a photo of your tree to the Facebook page for all to see.
  • Full details and more information will be on this Facebook page.
  • Prizes are fabulous in the true Christmas spirit.

This revival will be tremendous fun. As long as you enter into the Christmas spirit, the tradition will live on. Remember, this is for everyone to enter: private, personal, local and visitor.

To be eligible to enter, set the tree in your front yard, in front of your business, near your boat on the dock, in front of your house “by the fence” and you will bring joy to many.

The “Christmas Tree by the Fence” committee wishes everyone compliments of the season. Let the spirit be with you all.

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