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Posts by Catherine McNiel

How to Talk (With Our Kids) About Racial Equality

How to Talk (With Our Kids) About Racial Equality

Note: While Awana is a global ministry serving churches and leaders in over 100 countries around the world, this post is unique to the leaders and families we engage within the United States.   As my kids (finally) headed back to school after Christmas break, I glanced at the calendar to see what’s coming up…

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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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