15 good and (almost) perfect gifts for high school graduates

For some, gift giving is love language; they always know just what to give.  Their gifts compel Cheshire cat smiles, squeals of delight, or sometimes render the recipient speechless. Gift giving is not my strong suit. I labor over choosing the “right” present for someone; not because I’m trying to impress them, nor out of (read more…)

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9 frugal Valentine’s Day gift ideas

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Some of us loathe the candy-coated day, others of us thrill at the thought of a day devoted to romance, and I suspect most of us fall somewhere right in the middle. The day’s a bit cheesy, but a good excuse to eat chocolate and love on each other? Sounds good to (read more…)

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Merry Christmas!

Friends — merry, merry Christmas to you. May your day be full of good food, companions, and soulful reflection. Remember, as you open gifts bedecked with bows, His whose birth was lowly. It is His we celebrate. (If you’re reading via RSS or email, you may need to click over to watch the video.) “And (read more…)

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What the Grinch and expectations have in common

Christmas is in full swing. A time full of festivity, family, and giving, it’s also a time full of expectations. Family, friends, co-workers, spouses, neighbors, and strangers all have expectations of you. You have expectations of yourself. Expectations change our experiences. But they also set us up for disappointment. So where do our expectations for (read more…)

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How to avoid relationship strain on gift-giving occasions

In cultures around the world, celebrations of special occasions are opportunities for gift giving.  For those of us who want to encourage our children to live simply, these occasions often invite feelings of frustration when well-meaning family and friends bombard our children with gifts that are either excessive in quantity or questionable in quality. Families (read more…)

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