Category: Holidays

A ceramic Christmas tree from Nana taught me I was an adult

A ceramic Christmas tree from Nana taught me I was an adult
Nana was an old-fashioned woman. She was devoutly God-fearing, believed divorce was a sin, and had definite ideas of gender roles. She also had a strong tendency to see her grandchildren as small children no matter how old we got. Birthday cards from Nana were often ones more appropriate for a 7-year-old, but she sent... Read more »

Sammy Gardner: February 24, 2012 - July 4, 2017

Sammy Gardner: February 24, 2012 - July 4, 2017
Sammy Gardner was born in Chicago on February 24, 2012. He was one of three kittens, two boys and a girl, born that day to a mom I’ve never known anything about. When he and his siblings were found by volunteers from the Illinois Animal Rescue within a few days of their birth, their mom... Read more »

My top 10 favorite experiences of 2016

#1 The year began with the Totally Fabulous Jessica party thrown by Tim and <a href="http://www.norpieswalltowall.com">Michael</a>. Yes, it was simply a party to celebrate ME! Joining in on the fun were Christopher, Wendy and Geoff, and <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/organizing-with-erin">Erin</a>. Thank you all for spending an evening honoring me! Y'all have no idea how the memory of this evening carried me through some dark moments this year.
As 2016 quickly draws to a close, I need to stop and reflect upon the joy I felt this year. In fact, especially this year. By just about every measure, 2016 was a difficult year for many people. Generation X lost many of our pop culture idols; a presidential election went wonky at the last... Read more »
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How to create DIY holiday gift tags by recycling holiday cards

All of the 2015 holiday cards I received.
If you’re anything like me, you are lovingly inundated with holiday cards each year. In fact, for me, my very favorite time to check my mailbox is between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day when I receive cards from friends and family around the world sharing photos of their kids and stories of their adventures from... Read more »

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line®: The saving grace for every Thanksgiving chef

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line®: The saving grace for every Thanksgiving chef
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Self, I sure do wish there was a 1-800 number I could call that’s staffed by experts and who could answer all my turkey cooking questions”? The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® is the answer to your prayers. Since 1981, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line®, open only in November and December, has... Read more »

Full Moon Restaurant: Where everyone receives a free Thanksgiving dinner

Full Moon Restaurant: Where everyone receives a free Thanksgiving dinner
Do you dine at the Full Moon Restaurant? I first discovered the Full Moon as a first year student at Lake Forest College in 1989 when an upperclassman friend introduced me to this wonderful 24-hour truck stop just north of campus. Since that time, the Full Moon has been my second favorite restaurant. Second only... Read more »
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Happy birthday Dave!

Nana was so proud of her second grandchild and first grandson, Fall 1974. Pictured: Nana, Dave, and me.
Happy birthday to Dave, the greatest brother in the world! I love being your big sister and having you as my best friend. Please join me wishing Dave a very happy birthday in the comments. Want to know more about Dave? Check out these posts: Dad, can I have herpes?, April 2009 Happy birthday Dave!,... Read more »

Welcome back, Spring!

Welcome back, Spring!
Dear Spring, I have missed you more than you’ll ever know. It’s not that Winter was so awful, well, not in Chicago, anyway; East coasters have a different perspective. It’s just that Winter just seemed to drag on. Winter brought cold, snow, endless grey days, frozen Lake Michigan, and too few hours of light each... Read more »

I hate Valentine's Day, but not for the reason you think

I hate Valentine's Day, but not for the reason you think
I hate Valentine’s Day. There, I said it. I’ve hated it for as long as I can remember. In my opinion, it’s the worst holiday we have and I would prefer to crawl into bed later tonight only to wake up on Sunday. Now before you stomp all over me as a bitter, never married,... Read more »
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31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness: Week 1 Results

31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness: Week 1 Results
Have you been performing 31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness? I’ve had so much fun in the past week being extra kind and seeing the reactions of strangers. I’ve also noticed many people performing random acts of kindness for me. What have I done? I’ve . . . Treated my favorite 1st year Foresters... Read more »
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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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