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We don't go to synagogue, we observe the major two holidays, but then only barely. They've worn a kippa a handful of times. Perhaps a very small baby handful. In a few years they'll have a bar mitzvah and won't know what it is. They'll grow up, get married and won't care whether they stand under a chuppah. They'll have kids who will grow up to know even less about their heritage. And that would be a shame.
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Growing up in Toronto, there were many things to do as a family but one of my ultimate favourite places to go to was Centre Island, or more specifically Centreville. I remember loving the ferry ride to get to the island and then spending the day on all the fun rides. Those are the moments that I remember and cherish to this day.
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A visit to my sister's cottage prompted us to reminisce about cottage traditions. All those things you do, the glue that holds a place together and keeps you coming back year after year. It all started with the tradition of visiting her place, something I have been doing for 50 years.
It is a simple notebook I picked up from the local dollarstore-slash-bakery that our small town relies on for local crafting supplies. And donuts....baked fresh each Wednesday. The first year I brought the empty book to the Thanksgiving table it was met with a little hesitation.
I've been using the power of Santa Claus for a few weeks now, and things are looking good. For maximum effectiveness, the use of Santa and his omnipresence is good for the window directly following Halloween until December 25. During this time, I enjoy the increased attentiveness, dearth of meltdowns and general calm that precedes Christmas day.