’Tis the season for tipping

Holiday tipping

Q. Should I give a holiday tip to the letter carrier who delivers our mail? A.  The United States Postal Service has rules about this that state that carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer, but that cash, checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash,... ...

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Counting down to Christmas with films

Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck.

What a great way to count down to the holidays than with favorite movies available on broadcast and cable television. There’s something for everyone in this weekend’s lineup. Take a look. The “Sing-along” Sound of Music (1965) Back in 2000, at the Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan, this all-time ...

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Inherent Vice explores the hunger for escape

Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice.

Yes, Paul Thomas Anderson has a sense of humor. After creating one absorbing drama after another — from Magnolia to There Will Be Blood to The Master — Anderson reminds us how funny he can be when he chooses to chill. With the irreverent Inherent Vice, this director in search of meaning ...

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Baby Biscotti with Brandied Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Drizzled or dipped, baby biscotti are delicious.

As the holiday quickly approaches, the choice of which cookies to make is overwhelming. There are so many recipes to choose from and every family member has a different request! There are the nut- and fruit-filled cookies, sugar-crusted or a thick-frosted cutout, even boiled cookies! We find ...

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Holiday cards, some guidelines


Q. Is it impolite not to hand-sign holiday cards? A.  No, it is not impolite, although if you are sending the cards yourself, then adding a personal note makes the recipients feel that you are thinking about them, not just sending out a mass mailing. A simple “Thinking of all the Johnsons and ...

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Wild traces emotional and physical journey

Reese Witherspoon in Wild.

Her weathered face suggests she has been outdoors for some time, while her eyes define her purpose. Suddenly, accidentally, her hiking boot slips down a ravine, out of reach. How will she be able to continue her journey through the wild? With anger, candor and resolve, Reese Witherspoon ...

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2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited: Approaching luxury with latest iteration

2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited

It seems every time we test drive a new Subaru, it’s more quiet, composed and refined than the last one was. This invariably sets up cognitive dissonance with our memories of the rough, noisy, cramped Subarus of the 1970s and ’80s. Those qualities, negative yet somehow endearing, were excised ...

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