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December 2019

Features

Operation: Holiday Help for Families!

A string of hardships three years ago left Shante and her family homeless for a year. She and her sons stayed with friends and family as much as possible to avoid being out on the streets. A young mom, Shante didn’t know how she had gotten to this point, but…

Dancing the Night Away – Cotillion Style

As the guests at a party in the opening scene of The Nutcracker, boys and girls dance with one another in formal, synchronized movements, as their parents mingle and watch admiringly from the sidelines.   A similar scene plays out in Richmond every year as two Holly Balls, organized by…

Merry and Right: Amelia Island Time!

Every parent gets it.   One December, out of nowhere, there’s a knocking at the periphery of our thoughts demanding to know Why, oh why? are you racking up so much debt for more stuff? Why not – this voice pesters – blow this popsicle stand and run away with…

Columns

Taste of Christmas

It was my first cookie swap, and I was ready to wow friends and co-workers with my culinary skills and creativity. Of course, I would bake my mother’s semi-famous, wholly delicious pineapple cookies. Of course, this would be a fantastic success! Do you remember your first Christmas away from home?…

Joy to the Family!

I’m not sure about you, but September and October are a blur at our home as we get back into the swing of things for school and sports – and then suddenly, bam! Halloween has come and gone and it’s holiday season before we even know it. From November through…

Heading for the New Year

Hi there, Tanya, it’s Tony. So sorry to wait until the last minute to call and leave a message. And listen, I know you did my wife a big favor by fitting me into your schedule this close to the holidays. She’s convinced that only you can give me the…

Season’s Greetings!

What a fun year it has been! 2019 was filled with milestone birthday celebrations, both for me and for RFM, the launch of a new RFM annual Education Expo, plus a new addition to the Thompson family, in the form of a fluffy little puppy named Charlie. I’m pooped, but…

Departments

When a Famous Author Came to Town

In 1842, a year before the publication of his book, A Christmas Carol, the world-famous British author Charles Dickens came to Richmond during an American tour. For his 3-day visit, he stayed at the new and luxurious Exchange Hotel at 14th and Franklin Streets, visited the state library, attended a legislative…

Crafty Holiday Treasure

Getting the kids together for a holiday party is even more fun when a cool craft is involved. Try a make-your-own ornament or gift tag get-together to brighten a holiday afternoon. What you need: • Shaving cream • Food coloring or liquid watercolor • Cardstock or watercolor paper • Craft…

Parenting Through Gift Overload

Between our families, my wife and I have four sets of grandparents and three siblings on both sides. All of these people will be buying gifts for our two kids (ages six and eight), who are the only grandkids in the extended family so far. How do I teach my…

Kitty in Need at Christmastime

In 2015, 5-year-old Zach Huff heard a story from his mom about a kitten at a shelter named Flash who was terminally ill. Zach understood that little Flash would have about two years to live – nowhere near the kitty average of fifteen years. Despite Flash’s prognosis and diagnosis of…

Bridging RVA

by Tom O’Donnell Seven-year-old Jake sleeps on his aunt’s couch one week and on his grandfather’s floor flanked by two of his cousins the next. Jake and his mom are in between stable housing, although his mother is on several lists for something long-term. For Jake, getting a good night’s…

Last-Minute Tech/STEM Gifts

This holiday season, as you roam the physical and digital aisles of stores, the number of STEM items has increased exponentially. Some toys are fads that have little learning value, but other toys are fun and educational and worth a closer look. For children between the ages of three and…

Holiday Safe-Driving Guide

No matter what holiday you celebrate, ’tis the season! Many of us will travel near and far to celebrate together and make lasting memories. Over the next six weeks, families will spend countless hours in their cars – shopping, running errands, and attending holiday activities. For many, the vehicle will…

Make Now, Bake Later, Enjoy Anytime!

The busy-ness and stress of the holidays are real. If you love a good cookie swap or like to have cookies for co-workers, teachers, and neighbors throughout the season, a little baking now can save the day later.  Many cookies and bars freeze well and thaw, as if they were…

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