Why the Tax Man is My Santa Claus

Why the Tax Man is My Santa Claus

As a high school senior I was lucky enough to enjoy a part time school schedule that allowed me to work a lot of hours. The plan was to save up as much as I could for college. It worked, too. But the biggest shock of my life came in the spring of my freshman year when it came time to do my taxes. I received what to me was a huge sum of money back from the tax man – a little more than $700. Naturally, being young and without the limits of my parents that money was goneRead more

How Social Media is Killing Christmas Tradition

How Social Media is Killing Christmas Tradition

Social media is killing Christmas. There. I said it. What you are about to read is what they call a rant. It is also harsh truth. Brutal reality. You’ve been warned, snowflakes. As far as Christmas traditions go Christmas cards are not the most traditional thing going. Dating back only to the mid-19th century, Christmas cards emerged as a love child of technology and progress. That is the irony of Christmas cards now. The same thing that created Christmas cards is killing it – if you can indeed call technology progress. Christmas cards were possible thanks to advances in printing.Read more

Five Ways to a Meaningful Christmas

Five Ways to a Meaningful Christmas

I lost my husband on September 11th, 2001 – that awful day etched in the memory of millions. He was there. Then he was gone. No goodbye. That first Christmas without him was as dark and empty as could be. There was no cheer, no celebration, no light to speak of for me. It was a dark, sad time. Christmas had always been special before. Each year we would fill our calendar and our home with the brightness of the season. We had music and food and decorations. We did everything that you probably do – except celebrate it right.Read more

Five Things to Consider Before You Build That Mega Christmas Light Display

Five Things to Consider Before You Build That Mega Christmas Light Display

Ron Behringer thinks back to his epic Christmas displays of the late 1990s with great fondness. “It was a new age for Christmas lighting,” he says. “Computer technology was really cutting edge. It was expensive but it was so exciting. It took it all to a new level and I was all in.” Once upon a time Behringer lit up his home – and his neighborhood – with more than half a million lights. His synchronized display drew thousands of people, was featured on television news and was the envy of nearly every other Christmas fanatic in Arizona. Those wereRead more

Lessons from a Christmas with No Money

Lessons from a Christmas with No Money

The best Christmas we ever had was the Christmas when we had nothing. A series of events during a difficult year led to that best Christmas. In early April I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A rush of doctor visits, a surgery, and months of recovery led to an extended period of time away from my work. As Thanksgiving approached I was still too weak and sick to return to work. My husband was unexpectedly laid off from his job in July when the company he worked for was sold and operations were moved out of the country. We hadRead more