Washington column for Dec. 5

’Tis the season for shoppers

With Thanksgiving behind us and the Christmas holiday right around the corner, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday and forget to give thanks for all the gifts each of us has been blessed with. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

And now, so many people are focused on the Christmas holiday — some earlier than others (both my daughters’ trees were up way before Thanksgiving Day). This includes the shops of Washington — all of which have nice selections of gifts for that special person. Stop by R. H. Ballard Art, Rug & Home, or the Inn at Little Washington’s gift shop, Geneva Welch Gallery or Ginger Hill Vintage Finds and Antiques on U.S. 211.

The new R.H. Ballard sign is up in time for the Christmas festivities in Little Washington.
The new R.H. Ballard sign is up in time for the Christmas festivities in Little Washington. Joanie Ballard

A reminder that the season officially begins in Washington this Sunday (Dec. 8) with the Christmas in Little Washington festivities from 10 to 4 p.m., highlighted by the parade at 1. The day before (Saturday, Dec. 7), stop by R.H. Ballard from 2 to 5 p.m., where local author Larry “Bud” Meyer will be signing first-edition copies of his new Rappahannock-based novel, “Mother Fracker” (see The Rapp column on page 1 for more).

And if you haven’t noticed yet, the Ballards have a lovely new sign out front — carved in gold leaf and produced by Virginia’s Quail Run Signs, it was installed Nov. 27.

Stonyman’s Christmas (and beyond)

Hospice of the Rapidan’s annual Tree of Lights celebration is 6 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 6) at the State Theatre (307 S. Main St., Culpeper). The Tree of Lights celebrates the memory of loved ones and honors those we cherish during this holiday season (and is free of charge). This year, Hospice of the Rapidan will erect trees in all five of the counties served by the organization, and for the second year, Stonyman Gourmet Farmer in Washington will host Rappahannock’s tree in their pavilion near the Stonyman Garden’s Gay Street entrance. The tree will be decorated by Hospice volunteers Julie and David Music. Stop by for a silent moment of remembrance of a loved one.

Bring the four-legged kids for photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Rose Hill Veterinary open house this Sunday (Dec. 8).
Bring the four-legged kids for photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Rose Hill Veterinary open house this Sunday (Dec. 8). Courtesy photo

Stonyman also joins the Christmas in Washington festivities this Sunday (Dec. 8) by welcoming Santa Claus himself. Following the parade, children can visit Santa and his trusty elves in the Stonyman Garden. There will be a petting zoo near the garden’s Main Street entrance. Stonyman itself will be brimming with its well-known array of regional farmstead cheeses and fine farm-to-table cuisine throughout the day, with outdoor stations to serve paradegoers.

Contrary to rumors of a move, owners Susan and Alan James plan to stay firmly in place and host a variety of events in early 2014 and beyond.

Susan says she and Alan enjoy being part of the Washington community and look forward to growing their business here, along with their nearby farming pursuits. Their local connection extends back to their 1990 wedding at the Washington Baptist Church — and even longer to the region, with family ties to the Piedmont and Valley regions of Virginia since the early 1700s.

WVFR booth

During Sunday’s Christmas festivities, Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue will be manning its booth on Gay Street to sell hot dogs, fries, hot and cold drinks and baked goods; all proceeds benefit the fire department.

Holiday open studio

Don’t forget to head to Gordonsville on either Saturday (Dec. 7) or Sunday (Dec. 8) to support many artisans from Rappahannock at Merrill Strange’s Holiday Open Studio. The hours are noon to 5 p.m. both days at Annadale Farm (19195 Annadale Farm Drive, Gordonsville).

The artists and artisans joining Merrill include: Out of Hand with Rosa Crocker and Susan McCarthy, Ruth Anna Stolk, Laura Massie, Suzanne Parrish, Becky Parrish, Noel Laing, Kathleen Hutcheson, Main Hutcheson, Ruthie Windsor-Mann, Molly Dodge, Jan Barbano, Chris Russell and Tom Pendleton. More information can be found at the event’s Facebook site (facebook.com/events/165119htt900362930).


Belated birthday wishes go out to a dear friend of mine, Carrol Beard, who celebrated her special day Sunday (Dec. 1).

Open house

The 11th annual Rose Hill Veterinary open house begins at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday (Dec. 8) at the clinic (21 Christmas Tree Lane, Washington). Bring the family (both two- and four-legged) for photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Refreshments provided. For more information, call 540-987-9300.

Christmas banquet

Gid Brown Bible Church, Washington, invites all to its annual Christmas banquet at 5 p.m. next Saturday (Dec. 14) at the Washington fire hall, with Jeremiah Reamer from Harrisonburg as the guest speaker. For more information, call 540-937-4944.

Jingle Bell 5K

Come out and enjoy the holiday season with the Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk through Little Washington on Dec. 21. Registration for the 5K, which is sponsored by the Rappahannock 4-H and benefits the sheriff’s office’s “Shop with a Deputy” program, begins at 7:45 a.m at the Old Washington School (567 Mt. Salem Ave.); the walk starts at 8:45, the run begins at 9. Runners are $30 ($15 for walkers). Awards go to the top male and female finishers, as well as the top three in each of the 10-year age groups. There will also be door prizes and holiday music. For more information, contact Lynne Kritter (540-219-2671 or ekritter@aol.com) or Amy Burnett (540-675-3873 or amy.burnett@L-3com.com).

Have a wonderful week!