Prepare Ye the Way

Advent: 1. The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important....more

Steps for a Smaller, Saner Holiday Season

It’s that time of year, though, right? When we run around in a fever of to-do lists and cookie exchanges and shopping trips, winding ourselves ever more tightly and feeling ever more Scrooge-like as our blood pressure stages a revolt? It’s hard to enjoy the holidays when you’re stressed about the cookies you forgot to donate for the first-grade Winter Sing and you just realized you’ve got nothing to wear to that “cocktail-chic” holiday party your neighbors are throwing tomorrow night.But wait -- it doesn’t have to be this way. ...more

Grace@Haven, I TOTALLY agree that "stuff leads to stress"! That is a life philosophy of sorts, ...more

Why We Should All Know Bruce

There is a homeless man in our city that is always perched on his bike somewhere on the main road running through our town.  (Yes one, we are in the burbs and he is the only one I have seen.)We see him every time we leave the house, he is either bundled up, hunched over his bags and blankets in the winter or riding up and down the street in the summer, I suspect trying to catch a little breeze in the heat. Whenever I see him I feel bad. I want to bring him a coffee or a water or a blanket or a fan but I never do....more

It's a recession - let's share our gifts.

Nothing brings me greater joy than regifting.  It is matchmaking at its finest.  To find the perfect present for someone else; why not give it to them?  It shouldn't matter if your boss, friend or relative gave it to you first.  Right? Regifting saves money, the environment, shopping time and declutters your home.  To me it is win, win, win.  Of course there are a few guidelines.  1.  The recycled ...more

Well, you have to put the old gifts away in a spot that you won't see them regularly. When the ...more

Traditions of Our Very Own

Dear Delilah,As the holiday season drew near this year, thoughts of creating lasting holiday traditions started swirling around in my mind. I envisioned beginning a ritual around the tree. In my vision, we'd head out to a local tree farm on the day after Thanksgiving to cut our own tree with Christmas carols playing on the radio on the drive there and back. That night, we'd decide amongst the piles and piles of ornaments we've accumulated over the years on this year's "theme" for the tree, and get them all organized and ready to go....more

Gingerbread Tiles: Updated Classic for the Holidays

Many a Christmas I spent all night in a bakery making hundreds and hundreds of gingerbread men...and houses. I think at one point, I over-dosed on red hots and swore them off forever...until next holiday season. After I stopped working in professional kitchens, I still sold trays of Christmas cookies to friends and neighbors during the holidays and wanted to include some traditional flavors but didn't want to scare any one off with a huge gingerbread couple parked in the middle of the trays. ...more

A Green Christmas: Reducing Waste and Making Memories

I remember our first Christmas together. My now-husband proposed on Christmas eve. Prior to that, we were "shacking up," as my grandparents referred to it. Despite their disapproval of the "situation," they gave us their old (fake) Christmas tree. It was too big for our apartment. And old. But we loved it. ...more

the idea of sustainability and Christmas!

Our family always decorates the tree in family ...more

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide

Here are some definitely original and playful finds to fill the stockings of pretty much everyone in the family.We have attempted to classify the gift ideas by the logical recipient type (for lil’ kids, for t(w)eens, for her and for him), but please feel free to cross boundaries!...more

Plus the pocket wrench is from Lee Valley which is right in your neighbourhood!

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Never Too Young to be a Consumer

As we approach the Christmas season, I'm noticing more commercial time in between Dora and Diego.  So are my kids.  They've been able to resist the pull of flashy pink Barbie houses and shiny Big Wheels thus far.  I can only imagine what next Christmas will bring.  Christmas lists filled with glittery junk that they'll never use because those little actors looked so happy playing with their jiggly brain slime.  Is the laboratory and lightning strike included?  How about the spooky music and voice-over laugh? ...more

Happy holidays! (I'm still Jewish, and that's still a huge Christmas tree (and that's okay))

It's that time of year again. Chanukah is ending, Christmas is coming, and the eternal conundrum is still here: just what should be done about the holiday party?...more

Thank you - I love your perspective. It's one I've tried to communicate with my own children, ...more