By Michael Rielly
Early Christmas display causes Monroe resident to call the city
October 5, 2019
Christmas in September ... It’s not a holiday you hear celebrated often in the fall, but the Schmitt family Christmas celebration took place in Monroe in mid-September this year.
“Every year we get together for Christmas and we’ve done this for as long as I’ve known,” Monroe resident David Schmitt said.
Schmitt is a native of Wisconsin and most of his family still lives there. At 54 years old, Schmitt is the youngest of nine siblings who still try to get together to celebrate the Christmas holiday each year.
“The drive to Wisconsin, where my family is from, it’s kind of hard to do in December,” Schmitt said. “So this year we said, ‘How about Christmas in Ohio?’ September, good driving weather ... nice weather ... I thought, ‘Perfect, everybody could come here for Christmas.’”
“As everybody gets older we don’t get to see each other as often and living so far away from each other. It was really wonderful to just be able to have everyone together,” Donna Schmitt said.
To celebrate the early holiday family gathering, Schmitt decorated his house with lights and ornaments three months ahead of the actual Christmas holiday. The early appearance of Christmas décor had at least one resident concerned enough to call the city of Monroe.
“All you had to do was pull in the driveway and ask us and we would have told you... probably offered you a beverage,” Donna said.
The city asked the Schmitt’s to remove some decorations that were too close to the road. No citations were issued and the family was given 60 days to remove any other decorations that were not in compliance with the city code.
By Michael Rielly
Mariah Carey will celebrate 25 years of her Christmas album in Atlantic City
The Philadelphia Inquirer
by Nick Vadala
September 30, 2019
It’s been 25 years since Mariah Carey dropped her popular holiday album, Merry Christmas, and now, the singer is celebrating the release with a yuletide tour that comes to Atlantic City this December.
Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” tour hits AC’s Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena on Dec. 7. The stop is one of five planned shows from Carey on the East Coast this coming holiday season, with additional concerts scheduled to take place in cities including New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
By Michael Rielly
Children prefer simple objects over toys because they’re “not limited” to being a single thing
For kids, versatility might be the way to go — as far as toys are concerned, anyway.
May 2, 2019
by Alexandru Micu
I have it on reasonable authority that kids are very likely to ignore a particular toy and make a starry-eyed beeline for the box it came in. I haven’t got any of my own, so I can’t attest to the accuracy of that, but I do have a cat — so I can relate to how confusing such an experience might be.
But fret not, parents around the world, for science comes to the rescue. A new study from the University of Alabama reports that children, particularly those at preschool age, are probably attracted to generic objects because they make for more versatile toys.
“The inclusion of generic objects like sticks and boxes may allow children to extend their play because the generic objects can be used as multiple things,” said lead author Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader, UA assistant professor of human development and family studies.
“Pretend play such as object substitution has so many benefits, such as increased socialization and problem solving.”
A cardboard box can become virtually anything in the mind of a child, the researchers say. In contrast, a spaceship or unicorn toy — despite being much more visually appealing — is doomed to remain a spaceship or unicorn for as long as you play with it. And therein lies the reason why children, especially younger ones, would generally prefer to play with the box.
Children often substitute one object for another during play. A stick can become a sword, a rifle, or a pen. But such substitutions aren’t made lightly — the object has to have a passable resemblance to the one it’s being substituted for. As such, an object’s features such as shape or markings can disqualify it completely for a certain play-task.