Christmas is coming! Do you understand the unwritten rules of gift-giving?
Each of us carries within ourselves a set of rules about gift-giving. Seldom acknowledged and rarely discussed, these rules determine what we give, how much we give, and to whom we give. Despite living only in our minds and expectations, the unwritten rules of gift-giving govern everything from the office Secret Santa exchange to the family's morning under the Christmas tree. Read More >>
Gift. Say the word and many levels of meaning go through our minds! When preparing for the Christmas holidays, "gift" can be a loaded term, one that provokes equal parts of anxiety and joy.
In our consumer society, the idea of "gift" is no longer simple, no longer free. The forces of consumption have taken the pure and simple concept of "gift" and layered that concept with staggering traps. Read More >>
Welcome to Gifts and Giving Week! It's the time we focus on gift lists, gift buying and gift wrapping.
A recent poll at our site shows that gift-buying wins out as the "biggest holiday organization challenge". During Gifts and Giving Week, we'll give you the tools to get on top of the gift list. Hint: more lists! Read More >>
They're here! Surrounding supermarket check stands, elbowing aside House Beautiful at the bookstore, popping up in fabric stores--even lurking quietly in your mailbox: Christmas magazines!
Now, don't get me wrong. I love Christmas magazines. I buy Christmas magazines. I read Christmas magazines!
As a source for recipes, ideas, decorating schemes, gifts, crafts and all-round Christmas cheer, there's nothing like a good Christmas magazine. Don't even think of trying to pry my collection of Better Homes and Gardens' "Holiday Cookies" out of my clutches! Read More >>
We don't know where we get it, we don't know where it comes from, but lots of us will stumble over this holiday illusion: "There is one right way to celebrate the holiday season!"
This one's sneaky. It comes to us through images, songs and Christmas cards. It rears up between newly married couples, as they try to blend his way and her way and make their own way in the face of competing in-laws.
You'll see it working in tear-in-eye TV commercials: a happy multi-generational family (all in attractive, color-coordinated sweaters) gathers round a flickering fire. Read More >>