December 2022

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It was love at first sight when I spotted an expertly adorned Rameses cookie while scrolling through Instagram. After perusing more examples of themed iced cookies on Keri Efird’s @baker.street.cookies account, I knew a few custom-baked goods would make the perfect cover for our December issue. We’re always thinking a few months ahead at the magazine, so asking photographer John Michael Simpson to take a suitable holiday photo amid the fall foliage can be tough. Seasonal cookies by a UNC alumni would solve that yearly puzzle!

After a long phone call where we connected over her previous life as a graphic designer and our mutual affinity for Halloween, Keri was game. I made a list – and checked it twice – of some of our favorite Chapel Hill holiday things (including the cutest Carolina blue firetruck decked out with tiny twinkling lights!).

I picked up the treats from Keri, and we turned our conference room into a makeshift photo studio. Everyone got in on the action as we worked together like elves in a workshop, with colleagues from different departments popping their heads in to see the magic happen. Digital Editor Kevin Delgado even recorded the whole thing in a time-lapse video! (Visit our Instagram account, @chapelhillmag, to see the behind-the-scenes action.) The final cover is the result of a major team effort, much like the work that goes into creating this magazine all year long.

If you’re looking for more sweets, turn to page 22 for three delectable recipes to savor and share with loved ones. Then flip to page 36 for fun things to do this December as a family, from gingerbread-decorating classes to the 1-mile Running of the Elves in Hillsborough. We wish you happy holidays and hope you have a chance to recharge this season.


22 Visions of Sugarplums
Three local bakers share favorite recipes

34 Holiday Gift Guide

36 Holly Jolly Holidays
Get in the spirit of the season with these festive events

38 Shine Bright
Residents in Lake Forest spread cheer through festive light displays and community donations

40 Spirit of Giving
Chapel Hill Service League’s Christmas House provides gifts for local families


44 A Clean Slate
One local entrepreneur’s skin care journey inspired her to design an allergy-friendly line

46 Get Loose
A boutique fitness franchise gives stretching its ‘due attention’

48 Sense of Purpose
Erika Grace shares her passion for pelvic health


52 Downtown Development
A peek into what’s to come with the Innovation District

60 In Perpetual Motion
East Coast Electric Speed Shop coasts ahead

62 On Display
Three can’t-miss works on display at the Ackland Art Museum

63 Season’s Readings
Kids and teens book recs by Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews owners


72 Homemade Hospitality
A remodeling expert uses her passion for creating beautiful spaces to design her own dream home

86 Come Together
The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro rallies the community through Big Bold Ideas


6 Letter from the Editor

10 About Town
Events not to miss

16 Noted
What we’ve heard around our towns …

64 What We’re Eating
News from our restaurant community, plus a dish we love

66 Dining Guide


88 Bercow & Gualtieri


12 TABLE Capital Campaign Kickoff
14 The Story Showcase
14 ‘The Questioneers’ Exhibit Grand Opening


41 The Big Give

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