Get into the Spirit of Christmas Without Spending a Dime

Get into the Spirit of Christmas Without Spending a Dime

Christmas is the season of giving, but it doesn’t have to be the season of spending. If you’re ready to jump into the spirit of Christmas but don’t want to break your bank, try these fun ideas from Lauren Goldberg, founder and principal planner of New York-based Electric Celebrations . Get fancy… Dressing up instantly changes your mood and makes a regular trip out feel like a special occasion. Whether it’s your family shindig or brunch with friends, put on that dress that always sits…

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How To Host A Tree Trimming Party | Tips, Ideas and More

How To Host A Tree Trimming Party | Tips, Ideas and More

This year, kick off the holiday season a little differently by inviting friends and family to help decorate your tree . Tree trimming parties are a great chance to get into the Christmas spirit together, before the whirlwind of shopping, travel, office parties, and kid-related holiday programs takes over. How to Host a Festive Tree Trimming Party Check out these tips from expert party planners on hosting a festive tree trimming party—from a relaxed family-friendly brunch to a more sophisticated evening gathering. Set the scene There’s no need…

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How To Practice Gratitude For Greater Health and Happiness

How To Practice Gratitude For Greater Health and Happiness

‘Tis the season to give thanks , and it turns out counting your blessings is actually good for you. Tina B. Tessina, PhD, a California-based psychotherapist and author of  It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction , tells us,  “Happy people have an easier life, bounce back from problems, and generate love. Research demonstrates we are hard-wired to focus on problems, which creates physically and emotionally damaging stress.” But Dr. Tessina has seen clients improve their well-being by changing their behavior. “Practicing gratitude helps you notice good things, reduce…

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Books to Hook Your Middle Schooler on Reading

Books to Hook Your Middle Schooler on Reading

I’m a life-long reader. I was that kid who couldn’t put a book down. In sixth grade alone, I tore through every book Agatha Christie ever wrote. When I had kids, I just assumed I’d given birth to fellow readers. Imagine my surprise when, as my boys entered elementary school, they preferred (gasp!) playing at the park with friends to being holed up with a book. When my oldest was in third grade, I was so grateful when Harry Potter fever hit…

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How To Beat The End Of Summer Blues

How To Beat The End Of Summer Blues

Sure, summer fun is over, but no need to get down-hearted. September is a month full of possibilities—the start of new school year, the beginning of fall, with our favorite holidays just around the corner, a time when a hint of promise floats in on cool evening breezes. We asked a few experts why they love September and how we can make the most of it. Here’s what they told us: Set a goal. Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at…

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The History of Labor Day

The History of Labor Day

What’s Labor Day really all about? It’s the first Monday in September and the last hurrah of summer. The last BBQ , last camping trip, last pool party before the kids are back to school and work gets busy again. But what is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it? The History of Labor Day Labor Day is rooted in the rise of the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s. Laborers worldwide found steady work in factories and mines—but worker…

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How to Make Back to School More Fun

How to Make Back to School More Fun

It’s hard to think of anything more universally loved by kids than summer vacation. Camp, swimming , long, unscheduled days with friends—and, let’s be honest, parents who are a little bit more relaxed about screen time for a couple of months. As we say goodbye to the lazy days of summer, how can we help make back to school more fun for the whole family? Get Your School-Year Groove Back Amanda Carman, a teacher and owner of Excited2Learn suggests planning fun activities…

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The Art Of Japanese Gift Giving

The Art Of Japanese Gift Giving

I met my husband while teaching English in Japan many years ago. Last summer, we took our sons to Tokyo and Kyoto to see the country we’d fallen in love with. Before we’d even left Shinjuku Station, my boys were fascinated by the world’s greatest vending machines—and the mountains of beautifully wrapped treats and souvenirs on display at every train station and department store. The gorgeous boxes made even simple mochi treats seem like something special. The…

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Unexpected Gifts | The Joy and Power Of Anytime Giving

Unexpected Gifts | The Joy and Power Of Anytime Giving

Flowers picked from a friend’s garden and left on your porch just because. A latte from your favorite coffee shop sitting on your desk when you walk in the office, for no reason at all. A package from your best friend who just couldn’t resist buying you the earrings inside. Nothing fills us with little moments of unexpected joy quite like a gift given for no particular reason, at no particular time. “We enjoy things more when…

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