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A year-round hub of happiness

It is always a pleasure to introduce something new that I know you will enjoy reading about. This month it is a very unusual destination that truly has a heart for kids of all ages.

Jingle and Jangle is a name that makes you wonder what it is; but one thing for certain, there is a sense of playfulness in the sound. Here's a hint: They are the names of two of Santa's elves and you know how mischievous elves can be.

Located in Pauls Valley, Okla. (a town well known by all of my readers), Jingle and Jangle is "a happy place where it always feels like a holiday." Before you open the door you will feel a sense the magic and be entranced by dancing elves, floating giant lollipops, colors of the rainbow--all the signs of a happy heart.

In the beginning, when owner and Head Elf Marran Ogilvie decided to open a business in the town she grew up in, she knew she wanted to create an atmosphere that would both intrigue and satisfy the child in people of all ages. Though candy, cookies, and gingerbread houses are popular focal points, Jingle and Jangle have a second agenda, one that is kind of like telling kids the cereal they like is healthy for them, which can easily spoil a good thing. Therefore, the "good for ya" part is wrapped in bright shiny paper and tastes good, too.

Open to the public 7 days a week, this sunny shop is not only a super fun place to visit and buy cool stuff; Monday through Friday they also serve lunch--a small, but well-rounded and daily changing menu that keeps locals coming back to sit under the bright umbrellas in the indoor café while catching up on local news, making new friends, finding great gift ideas and noting the variety of events that fill Jingle and Jangle's calendar.

Each month there is a specific time and day set aside for three age groups. Preschoolers have "Munchkin Time" when sometimes messy but always fun and edible projects keep little fingers busy.

On another date is "Kandy Camp," a laughter-filled time for elementary-school-age kids to get downright silly while creatively expressing themselves and subtly learning a tidbit or two about holidays in other countries or how various traditions began.

According to many folk, the best monthly event is the one for seniors. Marran says it is an afternoon of belly laughs and "fish stories" that keep the guests and elves in stitches.

It is hard to put the wonderment of Jingle and Jangle into a few words--think Santa's workshop where the spirit of all holidays is shared in their own unique series of surprises and special events.

In addition, on every Sunday the chocolate fountain comes out, which means, after suffering over what treat you want to have chocolate covered, you head for the fountain and do the dip!

Twice a month there are karaoke parties--one for youngsters and one for those a little more mature--and another excuse to be a kid and not feel too silly doing it because the guy next to you is doing the same thing..

Jingle and Jangle love field trips and birthday parties, all of which you can learn more about by visiting their website at www.jingleandjangle.com or call 405-238-5800. If you are on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma, take Exit 72 and head east toward the Amtrak Depot in Historic Downtown Pauls Valley. Jingle and Jangle live a few doors down from the movie theater on the corner across from Depot Park.

And when you are looking for a place to bring your girlfriends for a getaway visit www.pecancottage.com or call me at 580-622-5408 for reservations.

Editor's note: Susen Foster is the owner of Pecan Cottage Bed & Breakfast in Pauls Valley, Okla. She is the author of numerous travel books. Susen can be reached at www.greatersuccess.com or call 580-622-5408.

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