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New & Noteworthy News!


Sometimes we lose ourselves amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the meaningful traditions that we older folks remember get lost in the shuffle.
But these traditions need to be shared with today's kids as you relax and have fun TOGETHER.

Whip up holiday cheer by baking and decorating cookies. Share the results with friends and neighbors. Or surprise an elderly neighbor or your child's teacher with your cookie creations.

When our daughter was growing up, we would buy a real tree bundled with roots and all. After Christmas we'd put it in the ground where we had dug a hole before the ground hardened. It was great fun to watch each tree grow. By the time our daughter was a teenager, we had 10 pine trees growing along our driveway.

Frank Lowenstein at The Nature Conservancy says that there are tangible benefits to "encouraging a connection to trees and nature." Research shows that kids who spend time outdoors grow up healthier, happier and smarter than kids who don't.

I have fond memories of reading to my young daughter at Christmas as we snuggled in bed and "climbed" into a book. She would slowly turn the pages, point to words and touch the pictures, enjoying the story that the illustrations brought to life. (The "feel" of the book and size and shape can't be standardized into an electronic format.)

Why not start an annual tradition of reading together on Christmas Eve?.
Get out your favorite holiday stories and take turns passing the book around so everyone can read a page. And, foster a love of reading by giving books as gifts. Remember "a book is a present you can open again and again."

Of course, this time of year music is everywhere -- so gather together as a family and SING!! Spread the joy of holiday songs to others by caroling in the neighborhood or at a local nursing home or hospital.

Give your child "the gift of time"--making memories together that your kids, years later, will remember more than any Barbie or Star Wars game. And the lessons you teach them about giving back will last a lifetime.

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