Holidays Information


Buy Your Valentine's Day Candy Early


Valentine’s day is coming soon and you better go to the store today if you want a cheap box of candy!

Christmas is God’s Extraordinary Opportunity


Christmas was bleak when I was fourteen years old. My father had fallen off the roof our barn while trying to make a repair. He was severely injured. His hospital and home recovery took months.

Be a Secret Santa for Children in Need


The mission of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to bring hope and joy to children in need through the gift of a new toy, book, or game, at Christmastime and throughout the year.

5 Tips to Take Holiday Gift Wrapping from Stressful to Stress-Free


The holiday season comes with lots of to-dos. From decorating inside and out, to shopping for thoughtful presents and planning the perfect party, there’s a lot to accomplish. Even after those preparations are complete, there’s the task of wrapping the gifts and arranging them neatly under the tree—or shipping them to loved ones who are farther away. If you are gift wrapping this year, follow these tips to add some festive fun to the process.

Our Ever-Changing Christmas Story


Christmas is always changing. The biblical story never changes but your story is always changing. How we celebrate and view the story of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus may change throughout life. We view the story one way as children but then the story matures as we age.

Upgrade Their Kitchen With These Holiday Gift Ideas


The holiday season is the perfect time of year to upgrade the kitchens of home chefs with the latest tech and tools. Here are three cool holiday gift ideas that will elevate the way your loved ones cook, host and clean up.

The Most Significant Part of your Christmas Story


We often reflect on past Christmases. We look back to the past because we have experienced the past. We haven’t experienced the future. We have hopes and dreams for the future but we don’t know what the future will bring.

Dealing with the Challenges of Christmas


Christmas is a joyful season but always has some challenges.

A Turkey Tale


Do you feel stuffed? After all, it is the day after Thanksgiving – a celebration of freedom marked by a special dinner with friends and family. The tradition is said to date back to the days of the British colonists, better known as the Pilgrims.

How to Host the Holidays Affordably


From getting your home ready for guests and finding the perfect gifts to preparing a delicious meal, the holidays can seem overwhelming and expensive – but they don’t have to be. Take the following steps to save time and money on seasonal essentials.

Be a Winner and Give Thanks


Here are some tips for Thanksgiving. Be Thankful. Thanksgiving season is a good time to say thanks but we need to make it a lifestyle.

Father's Day/Mentorship


My father was a big man, seemingly more so when I was young, but also a very gentle and academic person. He came from a large family, 13 children all crowded into their shotgun shack in rural northwestern Ohio, he and his younger brother in a crowd of girls. Other than his mother who was called “GG” and a sweet soul of a sister, we knew little of the rest of his family.

Listening with Love: Father/Daughter Talks Across the Political Divide


This is my first Father' Day without a father. My dad passed away about a month ago and, through tears, I’m reflecting on all he taught me.

Gifts to Elevate Dad’s Morning Routine this Father's Day


A great morning routine makes getting out of bed more pleasant and sets the tone for a successful, happy day. Whether your Dad is a morning lark or a night owl, he will appreciate gifts that help him start his days on the right foot. With that in mind, here are three fun Father’s Day gift ideas to consider, all of which would also make great gifts for the newly-graduated:

Mother's Day and Your Time


You may have lost your mother early in life or never really knew your mother. My two sons were only 17 and 20 when their mother passed at the ae of 49 from multiple sclerosis.

How to Practice Self-Care on Mother’s Day and All Days


While Mother’s Day is an annual opportunity to be pampered by your family, you shouldn’t actually wait for a special occasion to indulge in self-care.

Save Valentine’s Day With These Last-Minute Gift Ideas


Valentine’s Day is an age-old tradition, and it falls on the same day each year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve planned ahead for the occasion.

5 Personalized Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day


Are you ready to celebrate Galentine’s Day on February 13? Originating from a 2010 episode of the popular TV show, “Parks and Recreation,” Galentine's Day celebrates some of the most important relationships in our lives: our girlfriends. Over a decade later, the now-official holiday has skyrocketed in popularity. Here are tips on celebrating your gal pals with personalized touches.

2023 - Love Yourself so You can Love Others


You can lose about one pound a week if you try. If you don’t try you won’t lose any.

Light and Strength for Christmas


When I was a child at Tomahawk Elementary School in Martin County, Kentucky there were many kids who got little to nothing for Christmas. I had classmates who I would never ask if they got anything for Christmas because I already knew the answer.

Spice Up the Holidays With the Gift of Flavor


Selecting thoughtful gifts and preparing delicious, home-cooked meals are two ways we show loved ones we care, and now, it’s easier than ever to infuse more flavor into the holidays when accomplishing both these tasks.

4 Simple Steps to Becoming More Sustainable Over the Holidays


While the holiday season can sometimes feel like it’s all about consumption, keeping sustainable practices alive may be easier than you think. Here are some simple sustainable practices to try over the holidays.

Celine Dion, Kirstie Alley, Christmas, Good News and Bad


Award winning actress Kirstie Alley was diagnosed with cancer shortly before her untimely death at the young age of 71. Grammy award winning Celine Dion has recently been diagnosed with a neurological disease called Stiff Person Syndrome. The disease attacks about one in a million and is a very debilitating disease. She is 54 years old.

Flu and the Holiday Season: What You Need to Know


December through March is typically peak influenza (flu) season, though this season is off to an earlier start, with high activity currently across the country. While common, flu is a potentially serious and highly contagious respiratory illness.

Christmas Rest and Peace


Christmas is a good time to catch up on your pumpkin pie eating. Pecan pie seems readily available so this too is a good option. Try to drink one glass of eggnog during the season of joy. Eggnog does have some calories and fat grams but one glass won’t hurt you too bad. I don’t recommend drinking a gallon.

Why You Should Step Up Your Self-Care Game During the Holiday Season


While the holiday season is full of fun, festivities and meaningful time spent with family and friends, it’s often accompanied by work and school deadlines, tedious to-do lists and shopping stress. Here are a few reasons to step up your self-care routine during this busy period so you can usher in the new year, happily and healthily:

Holiday Tech Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your Shopping List


Holiday shopping season is in full swing and making sure everyone gets the best tech gifts while you snag the best deals is likely top of mind for you.

How to Ensure Your Holiday Gifts Become Treasured Keepsakes


We live in a time when digital communication dominates the way we relate to one another, with many people opting for the speed and convenience of texts and emails over the intention and beauty of handwritten cards, letters or keepsakes.

Annual Christmas Price Index Foreshadows Higher Costs This Season


“True Loves” will spend more this holiday season if they buy all of the gifts from the classic carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

Christmas is In Your Heart


Christmas once started for me when the JC Penny and Sears catalogs came in the mail. They came early in the Fall and I wore them out looking at the toy section. By December the catalogs where in shambles.

What Will Holiday Shopping Look Like This Year?


If it feels like the holiday season is getting longer and more reliant on technology every year, you’re not imagining it.

The Self-Absorbed Nine and the One Who was Grateful


All the turkey-time trappings of the Thanksgiving holiday tend to numb our sincere reflection. But this is a perfect time to consider whether we are thanks-giving or ungrateful people. Being grateful isn’t natural. Gratitude, for all its merit, is not something easily embraced or practiced, especially as we all face life’s challenges.

Have Thanksgiving Every Day


Thanksgiving always comes and goes too fast. We often think, “We need more time to focus on the Thanksgiving holiday.” For many, it seems that Thanksgiving gets sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas.

Why You Should Step Up Your Self-Care Game During the Holiday Season


While the holiday season is full of fun, festivities and meaningful time spent with family and friends, it’s often accompanied by work and school deadlines, tedious to-do lists and shopping stress. Here are a few reasons to step up your self-care routine during this busy period so you can usher in the new year, happily and healthily:

Preventing Scams and Fraud this Holiday Season


Scams and fraud are more deceiving these days, reaching you in more ways than ever before. The FTC reported 2.8 million fraud reports from consumers in 2021 alone, with reported fraud losses increasing 70% from 2020 and more than $5.8 million.

6 Pains of Holiday Shipping - Solved


Unlike Santa, most of us don’t have elves to take care of properly packing up holiday packages. With shipping deadlines coming up quickly, it’s time to start thinking about getting those presents in the mail. If you don’t know where to begin with sending gifts across town or around the world, read on for the most common holiday headaches and solutions to help you “get your ship(ping) together” early!

Steps You Can Take to Care for Yourself During the Holidays


With seasonal stressors like end-of-year work deadlines, gift shopping and hosting potentially weighing on you, plus all those extra sweets and indulgent foods to nibble on, the holiday season may be the happiest time of year, but it’s not always the healthiest. Here’s how to take better care of yourself to feel your best this holiday season.

4 Unique Holiday Gifts The Recipient Will Thank You For Later


The holiday shopping season is here. What do you give a loved one to show them just how much you care? It’s time to think outside the box. Here are four presents you can give to special young people in your life now that they may not appreciate in the moment but will thank you for later.

Happy 4th of July — We Can Figure It Out


America has always been a land of hard work and struggles but always with the hope and dream of success and prosperity.

"Cat's in the Cradle" Father’s Day


The haunting refrains of Harry Chapin’s song “Cat’s in the Cradle,” like "planes to catch and bills to pay … when you coming home, dad?” started to play in my mind recently. A Fortune 500 company recruiter asked to join me in my office after a day of on-campus interviewing. He immediately locked in on, and asked about, the picture of my wife and four kids. With a quavering voice, as if speaking from his soul, he issued an unexpected directive to me: “You go home at five o’clock, Jim, and be a devoted and available husband and father!” He then explained what he called his well-intentioned, but heartbreaking, life story.

A Father and a Child Can Make a Great Family


Father’s Day is coming one more time and you still have a chance at having a great family.

Memorial Day: Take the Time to Honor our Fallen Heroes and Heroines; Take More Time to Teach Our Kids and Grandkids What the Day Means


Memorial Day is of great importance for those of us who lost friends and family members in armed conflicts. But it should also encompass the ranks of those who have even a milligram of remembrance of old friends and relatives who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our country and our way of life. It defines us as loyal citizens of America who love the land of the free and the brave.

Why did Memorial Day Change?


Decoration Day was observed on May 30th from 1868 to 1970 to decorate the graves and honor those dying in military service for our country. In 1971 Congress officially made the last Monday in May Memorial Day.

Mothers Arise!


Roses, dinner out so Mom doesn't have to cook. A nice Hallmark card. And that sentimental gift that oozes romance, a new Hamilton Beach Innovative Alexa Enabled Coffee Maker. Gosh.

Celebrate Mother's Day


Celebrate Mother’s Day anyway you can but don’t miss the opportunity to honor mom. The opportunities pass us by. While mom is alive is the time to do something for her. Too often someone dies and we want to make sure we attend their funeral and buy flowers. We talk about missed opportunities. While your special person is alive is the time to cherish and make a big deal about that person.

A Christmas Message


It’s supposed to be the season of joy and hope. But, yet again, the fates have decided we need a lesson, a very stark lesson, in acceptance, acceptance of yet another year of pandemic solitude. It’s a challenge: do we give in and give up a chance to be happy again? Or do we rise up and say I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore?

Gift Ideas for Christmas


This Christmas give somebody the gift of mercy and forgiveness. Be broad with your giving and generous. We all need a lot of both. For such a joyful holiday of cheer, giving and yuletide merriment there is much to be stressed about.

Somehow, Some Way, May This Be a Christmas worth Remembering


We had difficulties when we were growing up in Martin county, Kentucky but overall, we thought we were doing okay. President Lyndon Johnson came to Inez, Kentucky in 1964 to let us know we weren’t doing very well. He began his campaign in our community and we became the poster child for American poverty. We hadn’t really thought of ourselves as poor until we started hearing about ourselves in the news.

Rethinking COVID-19 for Thanksgiving-21


The pandemic has festered for 20 months and fostered more than 760,000 deaths in the United States. One of them was my mother-in-law. I know many others who have lost loved ones. More than 47,000,000 cases have been documented in the USA. I was one of them. To the extent that these numbers are accurate (and everybody I know has an opinion on this), less than 2% of COVID cases have been fatal. I like those odds; they don’t sound too bad (and everybody I know has an opinion on this), unless that 2% includes someone you knew and loved. We miss you, Mom.

America Needs Thanksgiving


America has been through a tough time. A national election separated friends and family, divided churches and took over our media. We’ve been intoxicated with poisonous rhetoric and toxic street gatherings that led to more division, injuries and even death.

June 14th Is Flag Day — When We Take The Time to Reflect ON and Show Respect for Our Grand Old Flag


It is said that the flag of the United States was designed by Betsy Ross, a seamstress who lived in Philadelphia during the American Revolution. But, according to PBS, “some historians believe it was designed by New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross.”

A Memorial Day Message


What will you be doing on Monday? Will you stop at 3:00 PM to observe the National Moment of Remembrance? Will you say a short prayer or, at least, stop what you are doing for a second to think about the men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives so that we could spend the holiday weekend at ease? It’s not much to ask for in return. And, after all, it is also Memorial Day.

Work On Your Mother's Day Memories


Plan your telephone call to say hello to mom this Sunday. Better yet, if possible, make a visit with a card or even some flowers or maybe some brownies or a special treat. Moms deserve to be treated special. Take her out to lunch or dinner if possible. It doesn’t have to be Sunday, maybe Saturday would work better. Tell mom what she means to you. Let her know that you love her and that you give thanks for all she has done for you. Let her know she was a good mother and that you are grateful for everything. Moms need to hear it and you’ll be glad for everything you do for your mother.

The Holiest Week


For Christians, Holy Week truly is the most holy week of the year. Or at least it should be. The only period of comparable significance is Christmas, which the secular culture celebrates as one day but is really a season of 12 days. Holy Week is actually the consummation of what began with the birth of Christ—a birth only and ultimately fulfilled through Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The life of Jesus Christ starts with Christmas but finds eternal birth (and hope) in the resurrection.

Decisions for 2021


2021 is here, and will it be just another year? If it's just another year then that won't be bad at all because too many will not have another year. The opportunity and privilege to have another year is the gift of life. Being alive and living your life is about as good as it gets. Aim for being alive this time next year.

Our Christmas Spirit


Years ago, our church group was out Christmas caroling. We weren't far from the church and our leader led us out to the back of Mr. Castle's house to sing to he and his wife. His wife came to the door and greeted us with a smile and was gracious. We sang to her when suddenly through the window we saw her husband appear in the family room with a big towel around his body.


More Resources

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Fun Halloween Ideas
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