Christmas Help Needed: Toys for Kids in New Jersey

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Over at The Anchoress, fellow blogger Elizabeth Scalia highlights a last-minute need that you can be a part of helping meet! She writes: Folks, I know things are tight all over and it’s late in the season, and you probably have already made your charitable gifts for Christmas, but I wonder if I can tug at your sleeve for a little help.There is an agency in Paterson, New Jersey, connected to Catholic Charities, and doing outreach and counseling for troubled families — in some cases Dad is jai … [Read more...]

Gifts of the Season: Advent Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank

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Advent (meaning “arrival” or “coming”) is a spiritual season of preparation leading up to Christmas, as Christians get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. This season is characterized by personal prayer and repentance along with corporate expressions of anticipation, hope and joy.Of course, another hallmark of this holiday season is the focus on giving.  According to the American Research Group, this year it is estimated that shoppers will spend an average of $854 for gifts, up $200 from l … [Read more...]

So, How’d We Do?

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In a private moment some distance from a room delightfully "trashed" with discarded Sally Foster, couches askew, small piles of treasures left untended... we ask the same question every year."So how'd we do?"We're not measuring personal wealth, family status, or how well we made out under the tree compared to last Christmas. And for us, it's not an awkward question which leads to an uncomfortable dialogue filled with either self gratification or loathing. We are a family who feels we've … [Read more...]

Capture Their World

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Child psychologists are in agreement there’s a time when youngsters differentiate themselves from their surroundings, recognizing that their actions are theirs alone as they toddle into the first steps of empowered responsibility. Taking advantage of digital photography’s tech advancements, not to mention the diminishing costs associated with these ever-smaller image makers during the holiday season, my wife have put cameras under the Christmas tree for each of our kids as they step into this ne … [Read more...]


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