Clare Coffey lives in the Philadelphia area. She teaches kindergarten at a small Catholic school.

She writes for NCR's Young Voices blog. Sign up for our weekly email so you don't miss any new content.

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From Christmas to Candlemas, let the light last

Young Voices: As bleak midwinter sets in, let's hunker down with our lights and candles, our rum cake and evergreens, from Christmas Eve all the way through February.

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Let the dead have November

Young Voices: Americans are not especially comfortable with death. But let the departed have this somber, chilly month. Say a prayer for them and visit their resting places.

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October may be full of darkness, but it holds a Christian message

Young Voices: In the early days of fall, most tributes to the season are so merrily cozy as to border on the saccharine, but every once in a while, we remember that however snug our lives, they are short.

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Addictions flourish when people are left to manage pain

Young Voices: Dignified participation in and labor for a stable community should be the shared basis of social life, rather than the aspirational perks of a high-powered career. This lack has led to growing substance abuse.