Books for December

Reading Suggestions from Decatur’s Better Together Advisory Board

One of December’s gifts to us is the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and begin planning to make the new one more purposeful than the last. And with the ushering in of festive celebrations like Christmas, Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice and several other religious and spiritual holidays, this time of year presents an opportunity to learn about and engage with a myriad of faith-based cultures and traditions that make our multicultural world kind and joyous.

In The Good Heart, the Dalai Lama argues that the primary purpose of all our major religious traditions is to transform our hearts into temples of goodness and compassion. He concludes that there is tremendous value in exploring and honoring other religious traditions because every dominant religion has the potential to create opportunities for genuine compassion and a spirit of harmony.

We hope you will use this December as an opportunity to engage with the spiritual beliefs of others while you find peace and love in a deeper connection with your own culture and traditions.

The Better Together Advisory Board (BTAB), in partnership with Little Shop of Stories, offers a small contribution to that effort with the following recommendations.



Why Religion? A Personal Story
by Elaine Pagels (Adult)

This memoir of a scholar of religion explores the commonalities and differences of various faiths through the lens of her grief at the loss of her husband and son. She extends these thoughts to how spiritual practices and traditions continue to shape our lives as individuals and as a group, whether religious or not.



One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship
by Mary Pope Osborne (8 years and up)

The author presents the many ways children around the world practice faith. Each chapter places a major religion in historical context and includes how practices and beliefs specific to that religion have shaped and influenced laws and customs, the arts, literature, music, and education.



The Three Questions
by Jon J. Muth (Children)

Based on a story by Tolstoy, this book tells the story of a young boy seeking the answers to three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? Under the guidance of a wise old turtle, he learns the precepts shared by all faith traditions – service to others, love, and compassion. The Three Questions is a wonderful way to foster a discussion about embracing all that we share in our spiritual beliefs – that we are more alike than we are different as we strive to be fully present in the world.


You can find these books and many others at Little Shop of Stories, 133 E. Court Square, or online at littleshopofstories.com/shop-online/. Happy Holidays from the Better Together Advisory Board and Little Shop of Stories.

+.* Go local this holiday! Decatur Seasonal Spotlights light the way to shopping and dining deals and ideas in #decaturga. *.+


Slurp this season at Taiyo Ramen (130 Clairemont Ave.) in Decatur. A giant bowl of craft Japanese ramen will warm you up on a dreary day (ahem!) or spice up a night on the town – literally. Pop into Taiyo for steaming servings of rich, from-scratch, 48-hour broth, succulent Sun noodles, local proteins, seasonal veggies, and farm-fresh eggs. Add toppings to your heart’s content, or a Flavor Bomb for a bold boost. Don’t feel like slurping? Their menu boasts billowy bao buns, donburi (rice bowls), yakisoba, gyoza dumplings for sharing (or not, your call…), and more. Double the fun on Mondays, when Taiyo offers a BOGO deal on ramen bowls! And kids eat free on Wednesdays – whaaaat?


Terrific Thursdays at Taiyo Ramen: Sip classic cocktails like Old Fashioned, Negroni, French 75, Sazeracs, and more for $5 each.


Taiyo Ramen
130 Clairemont Ave.
+.* Go local this holiday! Decatur Seasonal Spotlights light the way to shopping and dining deals and ideas in #decaturga. *.+


Mix and mingle blouses and bangles at Boutique Karma (145 Sycamore St.), a long-standing local favorite for women’s fashion on Decatur’s downtown square. Boutique Karma overflows with textured tunics, colorful tops, unexpected dresses, and more in a range of figure-oh-so-flattering cuts and sizes. They love to layer looks with sumptuous natural fibers, dramatic drop-length necklaces, and scores upon scores of silky scarves (not all at one time, silly – Pace yourself!) Shop their artful, international selection with the help of store owners Jay and Raj. They’ve got eyes for design, fit, and fashion. Walk out with a winning ensemble for a holiday soiree or unforgettable gifts for the ladies on your list. Tuck a cuff – or three! – under the tree.

Terrific Thursdays at Boutique Karma: Shop here on Terrific Thursdays for 20% off of all full-price items.

Boutique Karma
145 Sycamore St.

This Weekend in Decatur: 12/1



This weekend in #decaturga: Local Decks N Dogs art event and Grand Menorah Lighting on the square


Decks N Dogs features skateboard deck art by 50+ Decatur/Atlanta artists available for purchase at Dog Towne Franks, 307 E. College Ave., Saturday, Dec. 1, 6-10 p.m. Information at facebook.com/events/329451431173549


The Grand Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Celebration on Decatur’s downtown square kicks off the first night of Chanukah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 4:30-6:30 p.m. RSVP for this FREE event at chabadintown.org. All children who sign up in advance get a Chanukah gift!
+.* Go local this holiday! Decatur Seasonal Spotlights light the way to shopping and dining deals and ideas in #decaturga. *.+


The dogs bite back at Dog Towne Franks (307B College Ave.) – and that’s a good thing. This newly opened hot dog and sausage spot offers quick bites, goooood cold beer, and a skate punk vibe. Try handcrafted hot dogs with inventive flavors like their P.B.R. (that’s pimento cheese, bacon, and pickled red onions, of course), El Jefe (which is sort of taco meets hot dog), and the Banh Mi dog (yes, please). Go beyond the dog with European comfort foods like pierogies, pretzels, kielbasa, and kraut. Bonus: Free onsite parking in the back. Check out their special Decks N Dogs art show THIS SATURDAY, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., with 50+ painted decks by Atlanta/Decatur artists for sale. Looking for unique gifts for the skateboard enthusiasts on your list? Well, ollie ollie oxen free – you found ’em! 


Terrific Thursdays at Dog Towne Franks: Find special menu items like stuffed cabbage and bigos (Polish hunters stew) at Dog Towne Franks on Terrific Thursdays.


Dog Towne Franks
307B College Ave.
+.* Go local this holiday! Decatur Seasonal Spotlights light the way to shopping and dining deals and ideas in #decaturga. *.+


Shop bookoos of bottles at Wahoo! Wine & Provisions (1036 W. College Ave.) – the oenophiles on your list will thank you. Wahoo! Wine & Provisions offers well-made wine from around the world at a range of Santa-friendly price points (check out their 6 for $60 section). Pick bottles that really pop for your next party with help from expert staff. Raise a glass, and round it out with charcuterie, cheeses, local crackers, pickles, jams, or chocolates, and more. Gourmet gift baskets are a classic for a reason. Make yours drinkable.

Terrific Thursdays at Wahoo Wine & Provisions: Mention Terrific Thursdays and save 10% on your entire purchase (excluding sale items). Sample 30+ wines and product demos during their holiday wine tasting this Thursday, Nov. 29, 6:30-8 p.m. Buy tickets ($25 each) in-store or by phone at 404-687-WINE (9463).

Wahoo! Wine & Provisions
1036 W. College Ave.

Seasonal Spotlight: Sq/Ft

+.* Go local this holiday! Decatur Seasonal Spotlights light the way to shopping and dining deals and ideas in #decaturga. *.+


Add humor to Hanukkah with gifts from Sq/Ft (149 Sycamore St.). This charming shop is chock-a-block of gifts with a twist for all of your holidays. Find quirky ornaments, hip home goods, coffee table books, tongue-in-cheek accessories, handmade jewelry, brazen stationery, socks with attitude, and women’s and men’s clothing, too! Forget Cyber Monday – come see this stuff for yourself. Be a real mensch this holiday season – shop local.

Terrific Thursdays at Sq/Ft: Stop in for a legit spread of snacks, rotating discounts on different sections of the store, and maybe even a holiday DJ.

149 Sycamore St.



This Weekend in Decatur: Small Business Saturday + Santa on the Square + FREE Lyft rides around town


Shop local all over Decatur during Small Business Saturday! Enjoy festivities, music, and free gift wrapping at the tent on Decatur’s downtown square during your #shopsmall spree. Visit with Santa, earn local restaurant gift cards, and get a FREE local Lyft. See details below. Saturday, Nov. 24, starting at 10 a.m. 


Free Cookies & Milk with Santa! Take pictures and sip hot cocoa with Santa himself from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register for this free event at www.freshtix.com/events/cookies–milk-with-santa-2


Decatur’s November Shopping Promo: Spend $200 at city of Decatur shops and earn $20 in local restaurant gift cards. Bring your retail receipt(s) to the tent on the square during Small Business Saturday or to the Visitors Center (113 Clairemont Ave.) through 11/30, or to redeem your prize. Restaurant receipts are not accepted. Limited to three gift cards per person.


Get a Lyft on us! We’ve partnered with Lyft to give you free transportation all around town on Small Business Saturday. Download the Lyft app and create an account, then BEFORE you request a ride enter the promo code. SMBUSDEC1 for Downtown Decatur, Old Depot District, and West Ponce. SMBUSDEC2 for Oakhurst and Howard Ave. See specific pick-up/drop-off zones below. Note: You must be in “Personal” mode for the code to apply. You will only need to enter this code one time for the entire event.


Lyft promo code SMBUSDEC1 pick-up/drop-off zones:
  • 330 N McDonough St.
  • Decatur Transit Station, 400 Church St.
  • E Trinity Pl.
  • W Ponce de Leon Ave.
  • E College Ave.
Lyft promo code SMBUSDEC2 pick-up/drop-off zones:
  • 113 Clairemont Ave.
  • 653 East Lake Dr.
  • 1042 W College Ave.
  • 722 W College Ave.
  • N McDonough St.


+.* Go local this holiday! Decatur Seasonal Spotlights light the way to shopping and dining deals and ideas in #decaturga. *.+


Give local – make that hyperlocal – gifts from HomeGrown Decatur (412 Church St.). Find irreverent tea towels, hand-purled plushies, prints, posters, t’s and even a Mr. T shrine at this quirky crafters’ co-op market. From delicate jewelry to mustache wax, you can find gifts for allllll eight nights of Hanukkah here. You might even meet their maker! HomeGrown brings together the metro area’s artist community in their brimming boutique and local artists help staff the shop. All that local love lends primo personality to every item on the shelf – and every gift on your list!

Terrific Thursdays at HomeGrown Decatur: Drop in for shopping, snacks, and yay free beer on Terrific Thursdays. Some artists offer super clearance sales, too.

HomeGrown Decatur
412 Church St.
+.* Go local this holiday! Decatur Seasonal Spotlights light the way to shopping and dining deals and ideas in #decaturga. *.+


Dig in to top-notch treats at Greene’s Fine Foods (141 E. Trinity Pl.). This sweet sweets shop offers locally dipped and drizzled chocolates, handmade fudge, retro candies, next-level nuts, and more (like growlers, ice cream, and oodles of toys). Add oomph to the holiday table and make gifting zippy. How? – Perfectly packed Peach State pecans. Greene’s offers gift tins of all shapes, styles, and sizes. Indulge in chocolate Grand Marnier pecans alongside red velvet cherries, or try classic roasted, salted, huge Georgia pecans for the purist. Place holiday orders now to get them on Santa’s sleigh! Greene’s handles all the packaging and shipping for you – How’s that for ho, ho, ho?

Stop in to Greene’s Fine Foods on Terrific Thursdays to see what specials they have in store for the season.

Greene’s Fine Foods
141 E. Trinity Pl.