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Plan, give and spend smart to avoid holiday debt

The holiday season is supposed to be about joy, giving and spending time with our favorite people. But just as you might pack on a few extra pounds over the holidays, you might pack on some extra debt, too. On average, Americans plan to spend more than $550 on gifts for friends and loved ones ...

Sweet gifts for the home baker

Canadian artisan Brenda Watts of Hermitage, Prince Edward Island, makes French rolling pins out of flame birch in her Cattails Woodwork studio. They look like freshly baked baguettes, as decorative as they are useful. (www.etsy.com/shop/CattailsWoodwork ) Lisa Van Riper's The Humble Elephant ...

This Nov. 7, 2017 photo released by Madison Square Garden shows the dress rehearsal for the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular," currently performing through Jan. 1 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (Carl Scheffel/MSG via AP)

Ice baths and M&Ms: Secrets of the Rockettes revealed

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the biggest draws in New York this time of year is the "Christmas Spectacular" featuring the iconic Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Everyone knows about their high kicks but do you know how many calories each burns? What do they snack on? What's the best place to be ...

Craftivism: Melding of crafting, activism is having a moment

Colleen Haraden-Gorski uses her embroidery skills these days to embellish quilts made by students at school and community-center workshops on themes of social justice and working together to make a difference. Recently, she embroidered images of barbed wire and the serial numbers of ...

Dictionary.com chooses ‘complicit’ as its word of the year

NEW YORK (AP) — Russian election influence, the ever-widening sexual harassment scandal, mass shootings and the opioid epidemic helped elevate the word "complicit" as Dictionary.com's word of the year for 2017. Look-ups of the word increased nearly 300 percent over last year as "complicit" ...

AP Photo
A man skis on the snowy slopes of Whiteface Mountain, in Lake Placid, N.Y. The mountain, which has hosted Winter Olympic games in the past, has undergone several upgrades since last season.

Hitting the slopes

(AP) — Are you ready for a roller coaster at a ski resort? New attractions in Colorado this season include mountain coasters at four Colorado ski resorts, along with new terrain and new lifts. Colorado is also hosting events themed on February's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South ...

Utah ski resorts giddy over Olympic bid, worried by DUI law

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah ski officials kick off the new season energized by the growing possibility of another Winter Olympics bid and buoyed by two straight seasons of record visitation. But there's also some concern that publicity surrounding the state's strict new DUI law that goes into ...

A look at what’s in store for the New England ski season

MONTPELIER, Vermont (AP) — The ground may be bare now but there's snow in the hills as New England ski resorts kick off the season with ever more high efficiency snow-making guns blasting onto slopes. From the return of the women's World Cup in Killington to the debut of snowcat skiing for ...

A look at 5 NYC hotels, each with something special to offer

NEW YORK (AP) — New York has hundreds of hotels, located in different neighborhoods, with different styles and amenities. But a hotel is more than just a place to rest your head. Many hotels have something truly special to offer, and often those features can be experienced even if you're ...

NYC launches new tourism campaign: True York City

NEW YORK (AP) — The tourism agency NYC & Company on Monday launched a new campaign called "True York City" designed to promote iconic attractions as well as unique experiences, neighborhoods and local businesses. The $15 million marketing campaign in the U.S. and 16 other countries will ...

This undated image provided by trtl shows the trtl travel pillow. The trtl pillow supports the head and neck with a system of ribs inside a soft fleece, in a design that is very different from traditional U-shaped travel pillows. (Trtl via AP)

A gift guide for travelers: Gadgets, comfort, luggage

NEW YORK (AP) — What's in your bag when you take a trip? What gadgets, tools and comfort items are essential? The Associated Press crowdsourced that question on a Facebook thread as fodder for a holiday gift guide for travelers. We heard from folks around the world, from millennials to ...

A look at travel books to inspire trips or to give as gifts

NEW YORK (AP) — Travel books can get you dreaming. They can provide practical information for your trips. And they can also just tell a good story. Here are a few books out this season to consider buying for your own use and entertainment, or to give as a gift for Christmas, Hanukkah or ...

HOMEGROWN HOLLYWOOD:

Last week my husband and I tried to get pregnant. I’m not talking about the intimacies of our marriage (although I wish I were) but rather about doctor’s visits, needles, blood draws and surgery. In other words, IVF. At the beginning of the year, I froze my eggs (a process that ...

KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS: We can do hard things together

My daughter wants me to run a half-marathon with her. Not just any race, she wants to run the Walt Disney World half marathon. I suppose since she’s 13, she will want me to pay for it too. It all sounds a little goofy to me. (I’m sorry. I just couldn’t resist.) I told her that as a ...

Feed a passion, gift just the right coffee-table book

NEW YORK (AP) — Know a book lover with a coffee table and a passion? Then you're good to go on a gift. Coffee-table books aren't usually high on the self-purchase priority list but they can make great holiday gifts if chosen carefully. Some suggestions: FASHION & STYLE — Russell ...

Holiday tips and gifts for your survivalist

NEW YORK (AP) — There are survivalists ready to keep themselves alive for months with nothing more than a plastic fork (perhaps an exaggeration), then there's a greater universe of preppers who might need some help with bug-out gear come the end of the world. While you may think Uncle ...

Give the gift of life’s building blocks for the holidays

NEW YORK (AP) — Stumped about holiday gifts? Reach for the stuff of life itself. Gifts made of or merely related to DNA have multiplied over the last several years as interest in genealogy has picked up. You've got your basics, like coffee mugs and T-shirts with ye old double helix on them, ...

Consumer safety group unveils its ‘worst toys’ list

BOSTON (AP) — Fidget spinners, a plastic Wonder Woman battle sword and a remote-controlled Spider-Man drone are among the toys topping a consumer safety group's annual list of worst toys for the holidays. World Against Toys Causing Harm, or WATCH, unveiled the top 10 list Tuesday at a ...

Minnesota loses bid for 1st world’s fair in US since 1984

PARIS (AP) — The state of Minnesota lost its bid to host what would have been the first world's fair on U.S. soil in almost 40 years when the organization that oversees the events voted Wednesday to make Argentina's capital the site of one planned for 2022-2023. The Trump administration has ...

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Enigma: Truth and Perspective at the Northwest Art Center

“Enigma: Truth and Perspective,” a senior art exhibition showcasing the work of Minot State University student Cassandra Stauffer, will be on display at the Northwest Art Center’s Hartnett Hall Gallery December 5-29, 2017, with an opening reception with the artist Thursday, Dec. 7, from ...