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An Idea for Giving This Season (With Kids)

An Idea for Giving This Season (With Kids)

December is always busy with extra fun (and "fun"), and we are inundated with both shopping prompts, and our own various, runaround errands. Our family celebrates Advent as a time of waiting and anticipation, as we near the day of Christmas. We try to do something every day — sometimes a simple candle lighting, other times more elaborate with activity or treats. One of the traditions that we never miss is to "give" each of our kids $100 on St. Nicholas Day (December 6th). The story of St. Nicholas is about generosity, and we use this opportunity to invite our kids to participate in giving financially to others.

Shopping Mindfully This Holiday Season

Shopping Mindfully This Holiday Season

This year, I have seen more hoopla around Black Friday & other holiday promotions than I ever have before. Small businesses are a mixed bag: Black Friday is killing little guys! Black Friday is the only way little guys survive! Here’s why we are not doing Black Friday. Here’s why you should shop Black Friday. etc. Established brands that never discount seem to be trying out sales on their coveted items. Frequent discounters are giving offers at new levels. Everyone seems to be flapping their arms and looking for attention. What is going on?!

How To Start a Book Club That Lasts

How To Start a Book Club That Lasts

There is no “correct” way to run a book club, and there are dozens of permutations that work for different people & different lifestyles. Learn from these 12- and 43-year old book clubs to make yours a success!

A Meaningful Wedding Gift

A Meaningful Wedding Gift

It all started with a wedding.  Did you know that the first blanket we ever bought was for a wedding gift?  We knew about Basha, and I loved the blankets. But, we were living the student-life at the time; I wasn’t spending $4 on a coffee, much less $100 on a blanket — no matter how much I loved it! 

Dignity for All

Dignity for All

“Do you even know what a big problem human trafficking is?”  This is a question I was posed by someone I love, someone who knows me and what I do. But this was a rant borne, I think, of the powerlessness and overwhelm of learning more about the world; of being faced with the cruelty & despair of suffering; of coming to see — and really feel — the frustration that some people with money, power, & influence, continually wield it unjustly with no end or recourse in sight. Do I know what a big problem human trafficking is?Yes, it is a big problem. Yes, I am aware of it.

Summer Nostalgic Reads

Summer Nostalgic Reads

I love summer, and I think at least partly it’s because as a rebel (who resists expectations) I am nostalgic for the glory days of few obligations or responsibilities. I wrote about this last week… it’s a theme! And what is more leisurely than strolling the stacks at the library, then lazily reading on the hammock, couch, in a treehouse, on a blanket spread in the grass or on the sand. I seemed to have the luxury of endless hours of reading in my youth, though now that pleasure is mostly saved for holidays and Sunday afternoons.

Summer Boredom

Summer Boredom

We have 3 school-aged kids who are on summer holidays. I love summertime, and I’m feeling the tension of wanting to soak up every minute and maximize these fleeting times with my kids, with the day-to-day, continued needs of life. I want to play, adventure, create memories; I want to be with my kids to craft, explore, linger over board games, walk to get a cold treat.  I also have responsibilities to work, to function, to plan, to keep the life-wheels in motion.  Is this the lie, the false pressure of modern motherhood? That nagging insecurity — when I’m doing this, maybe I should be doing that; and visa versa?

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