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There seems to be a shift in recent decades regarding family culture and expectations. According to family researcher William Doherty, the shift has moved toward a, “what’s in it for me?” culture, and children are sponges for it. They watch shows where children are disrespectful to parents and see manipulative advertising showing them it’s okay to expect their parents to provide the latest and greatest toy or piece of equipment. They often see parents as providers of things to consume.

Ask an Expert: 10 tips for holiday spending

The holiday hustle and bustle will soon be upon us. It can be a stressful time, but it’s important to keep it in perspective and remember why we go to all the effort. Author Donald E. Westlake said, “As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.”

Preserving the harvest: Review the basics before filling the canning jars

To those who plan to preserve the harvest this year, it’s good to review the basics so the final products have maximum quality, shelf life and safety. The advantages of home canning are lost when jars fail to seal properly, when food spoils or when flavor, texture, color and nutrients deteriorate during storage. (USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning). Consider these tips to achieve the best results.