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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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Home Holidays


Holiday Shakeup

Traditionally, an article on holiday traditions would open with a traditional sentence, something along the lines, “My favorite holiday traditions are (fill in the blank).” But as Bob Dylan so eloquently mumbled many years ago, “The times they are a-changin.” Traditions will necessarily change with them.

Holiday Time is Family Time

The holiday season is one that is festively and notoriously busy. Amidst all the traveling, cooking, entertaining, cleaning, shopping, wrapping and baking – it’s easy to let spending quality time with your kids slip through the very tiny cracks in a full schedule.

Cool Runnings

We welcome the holiday season, eager to share Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family making fond memories. However, preparing for these special days can add stressors as we try to balance our day-to-day lives and already busy schedules with the demands of the holiday season.

How To Have A Spooky, Safe And Sweet Halloween

Halloween is a fun tradition that allows kids to put on a costume and be somebody else for just a few hours. It’s a great way to encourage creativity and imagination. Kids are able to dream and discover who they want to be. But sometimes, October 31 can have so much more pressure than to see who has the best costume or who can collect the most candy from neighbors.

Just Say What You Want

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, which means many of us moms are creating our lists and dropping hints left and right. Similar to Valentine’s Day, there is a lot of pressure to have the perfect day and receive the perfect gift, but what exactly does that mean?

Be a Secret Santa

I was 11 when my mom shared her idea. Friends of ours were struggling financially and although one of their boys was working at a Christmas tree lot, they couldn't afford a tree of their own that year. My mom's idea was to buy a tree for them anonymously so they wouldn't feel obligated to return a gift. My mom's plan went off without a hitch! My heart soared when my friend excitedly told me that her brother's boss told him to pick any tree on the lot and bring it home. It was a “Secret Santa” gift for his family.

A Blended Holiday

The holidays descended upon us quickly after my husband and I married in midOctober and began our new life together. My expectations of a joyous holiday season faded as the reality of combining two households with different traditions settled on us. I wasn't prepared for the chaos and heartache that accompanied our first Christmas together.


Can your family afford $1,200? According to, that’s the average price a family of four would pay to fly from Chicago to Tampa this summer. Tack on the price of a hotel, rental car, and meals during and it could jump to well over $2,500 for a week’s worth of fun in the sun. If you include the cost of visiting area attractions, the bill could easily skyrocket past $3,000.

Checking It Twice

The holidays are upon us, which makes it prime time for toy buying. In fact, more than half of the three billion toys and games sold in the United States each year are purchased at Christmastime. Fortunately, toy makers are more diligent about safety than ever before, which means there are fewer out-and-out dangerous toys on the shelves. Still, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 217,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments nationwide each year for toy-related injuries; nearly half of these children are younger than 5.

On Thanksgiving, It’s All About the Stuffing

My mother Margaret has always been a skilled, if not groundbreaking, Thanksgiving cook. Her stuffing recipe came right off the Pepperidge Farm bag and was embellished only with a little extra celery and pepper.

American History

I am not a big fan of Black History Month. Please don’t get me wrong — as a history teacher, I both love and value the powerful stories and great examples that are often highlighted as part of Black History Month each February. I’m not a fan because I dislike that the highlighting only lasts a month, and because I dislike the limiting practice of calling these important stories, contributions, and examples “Black” history.

Boos Without the Hoos

Halloween is the time of year for tricks, treats, costumes and sweets. But this night of spooky fun for your little ghouls and goblins also can be dangerous.
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