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Twelve Days of Christmas: Eighth Day

My mother’s brother and his family lived in Germany. Every Christmas we waited for a big wooden crate to arrive from Europe packed with beautiful gifts and German treats. One year, he sent [...]

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Family Reunion Memories

The upcoming holiday season provides numerous opportunities for family gatherings. When nostalgia becomes an accelerant, we can fall victim to unrealistic expectations. So stay alert and keep it [...]

Lessons from a Small Town: Church

  Church. My family and I regularly walked there on Sunday mornings in Ames, New York, no matter the weather. Marching in a line, the six of us navigated the irregular slabs of the village’s [...]

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Lessons from a Small Town: Santa

Dear Santa, I need to know if you are real. My friend Joanie said of course you are real. She asked me, “Where else would all of the presents come from? Nobody has that much money!” She is the [...]

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Lesson from a Small Town: A Christmas Tree

The frayed collar on my wool snow suit irritated my neck. My little fingers scraped the raw skin under my curls. There was no relief. The itching only made my neck bumpy and hot so I opened my [...]

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Past and Future Whispers

  Towards the end of December, humanity turns up the volume and whispers can be hard to detect.  It becomes a challenge to tune in the frequency of our inner voice. Households fill up with [...]

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Whispers from the Ghost of Christmas Past

You know those familiar whispers from The Ghost of Christmas Past: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” “I’ll be home for Christmas…” [...]

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Thankful for What?

      November Whisper: Thankful for What? Thanksgiving is a good start to the holiday season. It is not a gift giving event so we don’t have to stress about the shopping count-down. All [...]

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The Blue Ornament

David, I know you are watching. Please be with me during my surgery and help me not to be scared. My half-opened eyes nervously squinted back in the mirror. That morning in the pre-dawn chill of [...]

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A Holiday Wish

Two years ago my four-year-old grandson took his turn sitting on Santa’s lap during his pre-school’s holiday breakfast. It was his chance to have a one-on-one discussion about [...]