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  • Gilberts woman’s warmth ‘lights up’ children’s faces Nov 27, 2014 1:01 AM
    Laura Factly loves seeing the faces of young children “light up” when she walks into the room. It’s motivated her to volunteer for the past eight years at Lakewood Elementary School in Carpentersville, where she herself studied. Factly, 31, of Gilberts, recently received Carpentersville's 2014 Community Service Award for her efforts.

     
  • A ‘religious’ Thanksgiving in Sin City Nov 27, 2014 12:00 AM
    For what I do, there are few places on the planet that truly define my world the way this “Entertainment Capital of the World” does.

     
  • Oy vey, holidays! Does Hanukkah wannabe Christmas? Nov 27, 2014 6:15 AM
    Christmas has Elf on the Shelf. Now Hanukkah has Mensch on a Bench — not to mention Maccabee on the Mantel. Christmas has gingerbread houses; Manischewitz sells Chanukah House kits, using cookie dough with blue-and-white icing. These are just a few of the Hanukkah-themed products inspired by Christmas traditions and toys.

     
  • Sharing music: a personal gift made easy by tech Nov 27, 2014 6:15 AM
    Sharing music is a great way to connect with friends, and technology has made it easier than ever. Music lovers can create and share playlists in a variety of ways using today's tech.

     
  • Holiday cards: to share or not to share Nov 27, 2014 6:15 AM
    For many people, the rules for posting personal news on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media are clear: Put a Good Face on Everything. But that rule doesn’t always extend to holiday cards.

     
  • Why millennials prefer electronic gift cards Nov 27, 2014 6:00 AM
    With the holiday glut fast-approaching, you may want to think about avoiding plastic — gift cards that is. Just as giving actual bricks-and-mortar gifts gave way to gift cards, those cards are now giving way to their virtual versions.

     
  • What, where to eat in suburbs on Black Friday Nov 27, 2014 6:01 AM
    Everyone knows you can't focus when your tummy is rumbling. Don't let hunger pangs sideline your shopping marathon. We tell you where to refuel so you can get the most out of your day.

     
  • St. Charles community defined by a family’s contributions Nov 27, 2014 1:01 AM
    There is, perhaps, no family that's placed a larger stamp on St. Charles as a community than the Norris-Collins-Baker brood.

     
  • ‘Smash Bros.’ makes brutality adorable Nov 27, 2014 6:30 AM
    Every few years, Nintendo rounds up its most popular characters, like Mario, Donkey Kong and Pikachu, and has them beat the daylights out of each other. Only Nintendo could make bare-knuckle brawling cute. “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” (Nintendo, $59.99) continues that bizarre balancing act between adorable and brutal. Like most fighting games, it’s a snooze to play alone but a delight to play with friends.

     
  • Beer and wine tasting benefit: Nov 27, 2014 4:40 PM
    The Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic & Center Foundation presents its annual wine and beer tasting on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the civic center, on Hook Drive just west of Route 83 in Round Lake Beach.

     
  • Dist. 220 seeks donations for Barrington-area family who lost house in fire Nov 27, 2014 4:20 PM
    Barrington Area Unit School District 220 is seeking clothing donations for a district family who lost most of their belongings in a house fire last week, according to the district’s Facebook page. The family is living in temporary housing and will be able to move back into their home in five to six months, according to the district.

     
  • Palatine Jaycees hold 57th annual tree sale Nov 27, 2014 4:08 PM
    The Palatine Jaycees will be hosting their 57th annual Christmas Tree Sale in the Palatine Park District Aquatic Center parking lot this holiday season to raise funds to help individuals and civic groups throughout the area. Shoppers can choose from a selection of Scotch pine, Blue Spruce, Balsam Fir, Douglas fir and Fraser Fir in a variety of sizes.

     
  • Gift guide: New holiday books for kids Nov 27, 2014 6:15 AM
    Looking to keep the kids entertained during long holiday car rides or dinners? Tell all your gift-buying elves to wrap up a book. Here is a look at this year's selection.

     
  • Kids test new toys for the holiday season Nov 27, 2014 6:15 AM
    Which toys do kids like? That's a question toymakers ask every year when coming up with new products. We think the best way to find the answer is to ask kids themselves. So we sent more than 100 of this year's top new toys to 10 Washington-area schools. Pens in hand, thinking caps — er, toy-testing caps — on, those kids tried them out and wrote down what they thought.

     
  • Gift Guide: Dragons, aliens, heroes for the gamer Nov 27, 2014 6:15 AM
    Here are the hottest video games this holiday season to feed your gamer's machine. Be sure to find out which console your loved one owns, or there’s bound to be disappointment.

     
  • Holiday albums from the Dukes of Hazard boys to ‘Downton Abbey’ Nov 27, 2014 6:00 AM
    Whether you’re prepping a hearty, warm Thanksgiving meal or getting ready to shop until you drop on Black Friday, here’s a list of holidays albums reviews set to get you in the right mood, including first-ever full recording by John Schneider and Tom Wopat.

     
  • Teen gifts: Ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids Nov 27, 2014 5:00 AM
    They are finicky and fickle, and might be updating their wish lists as often as their Instagram accounts. Do you have any idea what to buy the teenagers on your holiday shopping list this year? The best bets, according to the experts: electronics — notably the smartphone, video game systems and “athleisure.” Don’t forget the standbys of cash and gift cards.

     
  • Thanksgiving Day is becoming the better day for shopping deals Nov 27, 2014 5:55 AM
    Brace yourself for the Black Friday shopping bonanza. While experts say Thanksgiving weekend still lives up to the hype of serving up the largest breadth of the season’s bargains from TVs to clothing, others say Thanksgiving Day is becoming the better day for deals.

     
  • Round Lake Beach cops help to brighten Thanksgiving Day for needy Nov 27, 2014 4:45 PM
    Round Lake Beach police and other volunteers made Thanksgiving brighter for families in need by bringing fully cooked meals to their homes. Thursday’s turkeys, side dishes and desserts were prepared in the kitchen of former Round Lake Beach community service officer Kris Schoenberger’s BBQ’d Productions restaurant on Route 45 in Third Lake.

     
  • Rolling Meadows preschool grateful for volunteer ‘Grandma Pat’ Nov 27, 2014 6:21 AM
    Pat Hollerbach wears silly costumes, plays with toys and easily slides into the world of preschoolers. But its her nurturing that has students -- and the principal of a Rolling Meadows school-- calling the 85-year-old volunteer, "Grandma Pat." “She’s kind of the one that if they’re having a bad day or crying, they go and sit on Grandma Pat’s lap,” Peg Lasiewicki says.“She is the one that makes them feel all better.”

     
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