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Columns

  • Why stop with Santa's pipe? Let's put him on a treadmill

    I never thought much about Santa smoking a pipe in Clement Moore’s 1823 poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” but now that a new edition of the poem has taken his pipe away, I think I miss it.

    Would somebody please give Santa his pipe back? I don’t want him rummaging through my cabinets, frantically trying to find some tobacco for a post sugar-cookie nicotine fix.

  • BBB tips on returns, exchanges for gifts

    Each year, Better Business Bureau receives calls after the holidays from upset consumers who are stuck with items they cannot return. This holiday season, BBB wants to remind consumers to know their rights before making a purchase. BBB offers this advice on returns/exchanges:

  • No present can be more vital than gift of hope

    “’Twas the night before Christmas … The children were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.” Those firsts words from Clement Moore’s classic poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” gives a lot of us happy memories.

  • Children, child advocates depend on your generosity

    If you ask any one of the abused or neglected kids in the Court Appointed Special Advocate program what they wish for Christmas, he or she wouldn’t skip a beat. Their wish is to be home for Christmas. No matter how badly a child is treated, he or she wants to go home to their family.

    If you ask a CASA child advocate what he or she wishes for their CASA child or children for Christmas he or she would respond they want the children to have a safe, loving, permanent home.

  • Finding the power to confront terror in school

    What concerns occupy the mind of an elementary school student?

    I remember worrying about spelling tests, losing lunch money and heading home again with the knees ripped out of my pants after a tumble on the blacktop playground.

    I never recall worrying about a gunman shooting up the classroom. Yet I do recall complex and confusing thoughts about aged men in black cloaks busting into the building to take our teacher away.

  • It's time to talk seriously about violence

    I used to work with someone who would on rare occasions step into my office and ask, “Can we talk?” I immediately knew something was seriously amiss and therefore needed to be addressed in order to avoid potentially disastrous consequences.

  • Spirit of season is familiar in her Muslim home

    White snow fell gently and quietly on the ground. Lights strewn around the front porch looked like miniscule bright stars which had fallen from the sky. A fully decorated tree stood proudly in the window as wrapped presents lay lazily underneath.

    A scene such as this was more than common in most homes back in the 1970s. But this was no ordinary home: This was a Muslim home, my home. 

  • Take time to consider your life's impact upon others

    With the birth of Jesus Christ, we are reminded of the potential of every human being and then in a few short months we see the sacrifice of his life for the forgiveness of our sins. I believe the Lord intended this short time frame between these monumental events as a reminder of just how short life on earth is for us. 

  • Food marks festive celebrations at holiday and all year

    Have you ever noticed how much food there is around Christmas? Everywhere you look and even in the great classic movies — tables of food and desserts. 

    I probably notice food a little more than most people because of my work, but if you take a minute to look around, it won’t be long before you start noticing how your office, bank and other places turn into a giant cruise ship buffet the next couple days.   

  • Seeking to discover the true joy of good news

    “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’”

    I first heard that Christmas proclamation as a child but remember having serious doubts about the great joy of Christmas by the time I had reached junior high. Even though joy was a dominant theme of the season, it always seemed elusive. I just did not get it because I did not understand the difference between joy and happiness.