Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


November 23, 2012

Making the 'Mad Christmas Dash'

EFFINGHAM — Memories and traditions are woven together to create the fabric that makes each family's holidays special.   

Bring up the topic of holiday traditions in any conversation, and people are usually quick to tell you what is special about their family's celebration of the holidays. These traditions can be anything from a special ritual to a comfort food that simply cannot be left out of a holiday menu.  

 And these memories and traditions are sometimes not something planned and arranged, but come about by accident or circumstance.   

After my husband and I were married, we found ourselves settling down in a town that was almost equal distance from my hometown and his.   

The drive from our new town of residence to each of our parents' homes took about 1 1/2 hours, and the drive between our hometowns also took nearly the same time.  

 Like all newlywed couples, we compromised on where we would spend the holidays ... Christmas Eve at my parents, Christmas Day at his parents. And so began what I came to call the Mad Christmas Dash.   

The trip never seemed difficult until our first son, Brandon, was born. Then the addition of packing all the extra necessities a baby requires, in addition to Christmas presents, suitcases and any goodies I had managed to find time to bake, began to make the trip a lot of work.   

As the years past, and we added son No. 2, Derek, the trip became even harder.   

We attended church on Christmas Eve before leaving on the trip to my parents' home. That put the arrival time at the grandparents late in the evening. After unwrapping presents, visiting and eating a very late dinner, the children were wound up tight and so exhausted they couldn't settle down until late in the evening. Sometimes it was midnight before we could coax them down and tuck them into their sleeping bags for the night.  

Text Only
  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 17, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 14, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston doctors can now prescribe you a bike

    The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that's whimsically known as "Prescribe-a-Bike." Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write "prescriptions" for low-income patients to get yearlong memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-share system, for only $5.

    April 10, 2014

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.16.35 PM.png Are Americans smart to stop drinking diet sodas?

    Recent data from Beverage Digest suggest many are cutting back on diet sodas. Consumption of diet sodas fell more than that of sugary sodas in 2013. This raises two questions: Why is total consumption declining, and is drinking diet soda harmful to health?

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 9, 2014

  • news_twitter.jpg Travelers fly on Air Twitter

    The enlightened age of social media has dawned over the airline industry, casting shadows over telephone call centers and on-site agents. Facebook and Twitter are racking up the friends and followers while the hold music plays on.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.