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For years, I’ve watched friends and acquaintances take family trips during the holiday season to exciting locations like Disney World, Hawaii, Colorado and Cracker Barrel. more
I’m filled with a renewed sense of hope all of the sudden. more
As I write this year-end essay about 2022 trends in food and dining, I must confess that I’m playing catch-up. more
One of my fondest childhood memories of Christmas in the 1970s was riding around in the family station wagon, “Bessie,” to look at Christmas lights while I whined to my parents about needing a snack—again. There was something magical about a familiar evening landscape transformed to a radiant wonderland at the expense of someone’s lumbar spine. more
I read a great piece in the Tribune-Review about the nostalgia many Pittsburghers hold for their favorite old suburban shopping malls—especially around the holidays. more
I grew up believing that you judge a man by the size of his Christmas tree. more
My dog Thurber has been lying to me. more
It has been years since my family last dealt with the “pictures with Santa” pageantry, but Saint Nick impersonators remain an integral part of Christmas for Americans. more
Please pardon me, but I am always overcome by mawkish sentimentality at this time of year. more
When it comes to sappy holiday movies, you either scorn them as you would another pair of reindeer-themed socks, or you eagerly binge on offerings such as “My Southern Family Christmas,” produced by Hallmark and described thusly: more
Is the glass half empty or half full? more
The whole concept of a bed and breakfast is pretty ingenious and fits almost perfectly with my lifestyle. more
This week half the country will be upset by the midterm election results and half will be elated. more
Thanksgiving is much more than a big meal with family and friends. It’s a time to reflect on, and be thankful for, all of the good things you have. more
Murphy’s Law being what it is, whether you’re talking about a surprise party, a romantic getaway or visiting an acquaintance in the hospital, good intentions don’t always pan out. more
When I was growing up in 1970’s East Texas, my experiences with international cuisine were pretty much limited to pizza, spaghetti and an occasional tamale. more
Since the Reagan era of the 1980s, we have heard arguments from various quarters lamenting the supposed “fact” that studying liberal arts or the humanities in general was a colossal waste of time. As a Generation X teenager, this message was routinely fed to me and my peers. more
It’s a question worth asking in these nutty times: how old is too old to trick-or-treat? On the question-and-answer website Quora, some people ask if the age of 12 is a good time to hang … more
Perhaps it’s partly because my mother owns a huge antique desk from Milky Way Farm (the former estate of Franklin C. Mars, founder of Mars Candies), but I pay keen attention to the annual flurry of “filler” news items about Halloween candy. more
I’ve experienced a lifelong identity crisis, of sorts, because of my name (or names), and I’ve actually kind of enjoyed it—most of the time. more
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