A Thanksgiving Gift Exchange

Written by Sherri Cook, Contributing Writer The day after Thanksgiving when friends jokingly ask me if I’m finished with my Christmas shopping, I can always surprise them with an answer in the affirmative. At my house, not only have we finished the shopping, we’ve also finished the wrapping as well as the unwrapping. How do we do this? It’s certainly not because we’re an ultra-organized family! We have simply chosen to have our gift exchange at Thanksgiving instead of at Christmas. The results?  We find more every […]

Gingerbread Fruitcake: A Holiday Tradition Improved

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If there’s one running joke at any Christmas celebration, it’s fruitcake. I personally happen to love fruitcake, complete with the shiny oddly colored faux-fruits. But once you know what kind of strange alterations those fruits have been through, it tends to take all the joy out of it. Here’s one of my favorite recipes for a delicious alternative to white flour, processed sugar, and fake fruit. The spice from the gingerbread is the perfect complement to the sweet fruit pieces and crunchy nuts. Just a note: this cake […]

Family Traditions that Keep Christ at the Center of Christmas

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Written by Emily McClements, Contributing Writer Singing Christmas carols, lighting the Christmas Tree, putting out the Christmas decorations, lighting the Advent candles, giving and receiving gifts, rejoicing in the birth of our Lord and Savior. Christmas is such a special and magical time of year; filled with family traditions and warm memories.  But, it is also a busy and full time, where we can easily get swept up by all that we “have” to do, and miss out on truly celebrating the Reason that we […]

Celebrate with Joy: Week 1

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Image by ishane What is Christmas? It is not a winter festival. It is not the inevitable annual energy drain. It is not a few holidays to give us a break. It is not a time to fill our children’s heads with “visions of sugar plums.” Christmas is a season of holy days (the original meanings of “holidays”), filled with rich symbolism. It is a many sided object lesson using the Symbols of the Season to give us glimpses of heaven’s glory. It is a […]