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Posts by Catherine McNiel

Christmas Around the World

Christmas Around the World

Ahhh Christmas. The traditions, the emotions, the music. Christmas means gathering in a candle-lit room before a brightly decorated tree surrounded by presents, sampling cookies, and singing carols about snow and baby Jesus…right?   Christmas seems so obvious, so iconic, so right. Of course we bring a tree into our house, hang lights and baubles…

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Santa Claus, Jesus, St. Nicholas, and Me: A Tale of Two Christmases

Tale Of Two Christmases

If someone from another planet landed in Downtown, USA in mid-December, he or she might suspect that two very different holidays—both called Christmas—were being celebrated.   One Christmas is a frenzy of shopping, toys, and sugar-highs. The central character is a jolly old man named Santa Claus who magically gives children whatever they want. As…

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Keeping ‘Holy’ in ‘Halloween?’

Keeping Holy In Halloween

If you step into Walgreens or Target in October, one thing becomes crystal clear: we are about to be swept away in a storm of holiday decorations and candy. From Halloween to Christmas, and everything in between, it can all be a bit overwhelming. What do we really honor and celebrate? Are these truly “holy…

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Does My Child Need a Cell Phone?

Cell Phone Blog

My eldest started middle school this month, and it’s a brave new world for us all. How is twelve years long enough to turn a burrito-sized nugget of precious new life into a tween with a locker combination and algebra textbooks?   Along with the learning curves of changing classrooms, complex social interactions, and harder…

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