Saturday, November 1, 2014 · 7:06 a.m.
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A piece of mail family and friends would love to find in their mailbox. (Photo: Staff)

There are handmade, heirloom advent calendars and store-bought, paper calendars, red and green calendars and striped calendars and polka dotted calendars.

Regardless of the form, the excitement of opening a package every day to count down the days until Christmas never fails to delight both the young and the old. 

The Chattanooga gift advent calendar offers a daily suggestion for a local purchase to bring a little piece of the Scenic City to the holiday hoard under the tree. 

Day 17
Myth: The holidays represent a black hole in healthy-eating planning, where diets go to die and at the other end of which awaits the annual gilt hangover of January and the requisite resolutions about frequent gym use.

Fact: The average American gains 0.81 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's, according to a 2000 study conducted by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

Caveat: As the study also concluded that those who were overweight or obese gained more than the average, the results should not be an excuse to indulge without a certain amount of conscientious self-control.

With the holiday myth disproved, the gift of a special dinner can be given without fear of contributing to holiday weight gain regret. The Chattanooga restaurant scene is teeming with exciting cuisine and posh locales for lunch, dinner, brunch, drinks, an afternoon snack—the dining possibilities are endless.

A gift certificate from a local restaurant offers the chance to try a new dish, a new menu and a new establishment. Consider one or more of the following:

Easy Bistro & Bar
Hennen’s 
St. John’s 
The Meeting Place
Terra Nostra Tapas and Wine Bar
Chato Brasserie
J. Alexander’s 

Where: North Shore, downtown, Southside, all over
How much: Be sure to check the restaurant's menu to ensure your gift certificate will cover the check for a meal 

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