Now that the holidays are upon us, many people dream of taking a tropical vacation or spending time near a popular attraction. If you’re shopping for a getaway, you may have considered a timeshare, an arrangement that generally gives you the right to stay at a certain property for a specified amount of time each year. There are more than 1,500 timeshare resorts in the United States, according to the American Resort Development Association, and the average sales price for a unit is more than $20,000. If you’re thinking of spending your free time at one of them, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers this advice.
I’ve always said producing a newspaper would be easier if I could just make up the news. And every Christmas, I prove myself right.
Last week I sent out this year’s edition of the Bromley Blab. It’s a family Christmas newsletter written in the style of The Onion. For example, one year a story about my son was headlined, “Drew: Penn State or state pen?”
What’s beautiful about the Blab is that I get to make everything up. Sure, all the news stories are based on fact, but as reporter/editor/publisher/circulation manager, I’m allowed to take liberties. This is a fun change from my day job, which frowns on the fabrication of quotes by made-up sources.
As shoppers start making their holiday lists, the Minnesota Department of Commerce reminds families to stay vigilant about toys and product safety.
Shoppers should check recall lists and use common sense, selecting age-appropriate toys, observing manufacturer’s warnings regarding safety hazards, and monitoring use when necessary.
A selection of toy and child product recalls, numbered by date, include:
Christmas morning 1993, Christopher poses with the cheerful chairs hand-painted by his aunt Teresa Alto, pictured, and uncle Jeremy Faden.
When I rummaged through storage boxes labeled “Christmas” last week, I unexpectedly found myself on a journey into the past 22 years.
I had been hoping to quickly locate the glass ornaments painted by my twin sons in early grade school, but instead was pausing to look at drawings of little stick-figure Santa Clauses and reindeer, construction paper ornaments decorated with macaroni and popsicle sticks, and clear plastic balls containing photos of the boys grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t pinpoint what years they made any of these treasures, but each one was a tender reminder of their childhoods.
People sometimes get frustrated with our criminal court system when a person charged with a horrific crime enters a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. There seems to be a common belief that this is a legal loophole that routinely allows guilty people to escape responsibility for their crimes.
They say it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, but quite often it’s the cash that counts, too. According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer spent $730 on gifts, food and decorations for the winter holidays in 2013. With costs expected to rise this year, savvy holiday shoppers are finding smart ways to save while still making the holidays memorable.