Christmas Lasts for Twelve Days, Not One

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As I wrote last year, I mourn the commercialization and hype of Christmas less than I mourn its lopsided timeframe. Our culture treats December 25th as a culmination and grand finale, rather than as the beginning of a 12-day holiday. My heart breaks on the 26th when I see Christmas trees on the curb, can [Read More...]

God with Us, Even When Christmas Stinks

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Many things can get in the way of the happy, sparkling Christmas celebrations to which we aspire. The Dollar family has perfected one such thing—the Christmas stomach bug that tears its way through the family, leading to days of extra laundry, interrupted nights, and general nastiness. (Three years in a row, people—2010, 2011, and 2012. [Read More...]

“We can just love them”: Adoptive Parents on Their Kids with Special Needs

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In honor of National Adoption Month, I’m featuring below an excerpt from Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter by Jennifer Grant. Love You More tells the story of how Jen and her husband David adopted their fourth child, Mia, from Guatemala. The book also does an excellent job of addressing questions, concerns, and myths [Read More...]

Let the Kids Keep Their *@$%#^ Halloween Candy!

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This is an updated version of a piece originally published as an op ed in the Hartford Courant in October 2008. As the voices clamoring for the annual theft of Halloween candy from kids grow louder and more self-righteous, I decided to dust this off and run it again. I was emboldened by the New [Read More...]

Do I Still Think Overscheduled Kids are a Myth? Yes…Sort Of

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A little more than a year ago, I wrote that I believe the prevalent notion of the “overscheduled child” to be a myth. It’s not that children aren’t overscheduled; many of them are (at least in suburban and wealthier urban communities where children have many extracurricular opportunities and parents can afford them). The myth, I [Read More...]

The Radical Hospitality of Learning to Live with All My Kids’ Stuff

I am taking the week off from producing any new writing. Instead, I am doing a top-to-bottom clean up and clean out of our house. As we move into the season of colder weather and lots and lots of celebrations (all three kids have birthdays between now and January), I’m pining for a little more [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] What My Kids and My Garden Have in Common

I don't have to say "Don't pick the daisies!" because no one in their right mind would want these daisies.

I struggled to find a good photo subject for today’s post. Right now, most of my garden is ugly—dried up stalks, yellowing leaves. The brilliant oranges and yellows of fall foliage are still a few weeks away. My garden’s most prominent feature right now are dry, dusty brown remnants of summer blooms. All living things [Read More...]

A Story About the Abundance, and Absence, of Memory and Faith

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Walker has written a story about Alzheimer’s, yes, and about her mother, and about her. But fundamentally, it is a story about memory and faith—about times when they surround and buoy us, and times when they evade our reach. [Read more...]


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