No-cookies cookie swap! Plus, GRAND Social No. 284 link party for grandparents

No-cookies cookie swap! Plus, GRAND Social No. 284 link party for grandparents

No-cookies cookie swap!

The holidays were happening at my house yesterday as a chunk of extended family gathered for a no-cookies cookie swap.

No cookies in a cookie swap? Well, our annual family cookie swap โ€” a family tradition with my mom and my siblings for nearly 30 years โ€” has become quite large as more and more kids of the siblings became adults and joined the swapping. Which meant the number of cookies...

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Saturday movie briefs: 5 (possibly forgotten) family faves for Thanksgiving gatherings

Saturday movie briefs: 5 (possibly forgotten) family faves for Thanksgiving gatherings

My favorite Thanksgiving film is the 1995 treat HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. It's funny and sad and sweet and sorta romantic, and it's the one and only film I must see around the Thanksgiving holiday.

I set out to share with you today not only my Thanksgiving film fave but a few other family friendly movies with a Thanksgiving theme because if your family is anything like mine, watching a film or two together during extended family gatherings is a given.

Turns out the selection of quintessential Thanksgiving movies is slim to none. Those I did find are available primarily only on DVD, not streaming, which means families must decide in advance what to watch together โ€” and how likely is that to happen?

There are still grand options for Thanksgiving weekend...

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An evil weevil repeat

Dear readers: Several years ago I shared the following story as part of a paid campaign. Here I share it again (modified) simply because weevils and their evils are on my mind once more as I prepare to host Thanksgiving dinner.

indian corn
photo: stock.xchng

Many years ago I established a tradition of spreading Indian-corn kernels on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Friends and family are invited to place kernels symbolizing their personal blessings in the special "gratitude" dish at any time during the meal.

It’s a kinder, gentler, and less intrusive way of getting all around the table to give thanks without shining an invasive spotlight on folks not used to spotlights or  expressing gratitude out loud, be it to friends or to family.

I could never explain the tradition to newcomers to our Thanksgiving table. Each time I'd begin the explanation, I would get...

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It's what we do

I simply cannot take part in one's death, I told my husband.

"Well... it's your choice," Jim responded. "I'll back you whatever you choose to do."

Ultimately, I chose to do the right thing: I renewed our daily newspaper subscription.

newspaper

I didn't want to. Really, I...

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Holiday highlights... in passages and pics

It was quite indescribable. It was like what happens when you shake a kaleidoscope. The parts of it are the same parts, but they are arranged differently; they are arranged in a new pattern...
~Agatha Christie "The Water Bus"

family at Christmas 

They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters...

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The more things change: 10 ways my Christmas has long remained the same

Now that the nest has emptied, home, family, Christmas and more are far different than they were in the past. The more things change, the more it matters that some things remain the same, things such as the following.

10 ways my Christmas has long remained the same

Christmas treeThe Christmas tree — Regardless of all the ornaments my daughters accumulated through the years then took with them when they moved into their own places, our tree always — somehow — continues to look the same every single year. (And our cats...

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