What’s in, what’s out: lunch boxes of love, a-ha moments, and this election

Can’t keep up with what’s in fashion? Check out our handy chart of what’s trending and what’s totally passé.

Ina Peters | Stocksy


What’s In:

Choosing your candy by geography. It’s almost Halloween, which means we’re stocking up on treats for little goblins. A new report from the National Retail Association has ranked each state’s favorite candy. Really, South Carolina? Candy corn?



What’s out:

McDonald’s. Not everyone’s a fan of the Golden Arches—cardinals are hard at work trying to tank the Vatican’s plans to rent out a property just shy of St. Peter’s Square to the famous purveyor of fast food. The “princes of the Church” are not, as it were, McLovin’ the idea.



What’s in:

Lunch boxes full of love. When New Mexico mom Josette Duran’s 14-year-old son kept asking for two lunches every day, she at first chalked it up to a growth spurt. And when she learned her son was giving the second lunch to a less fortunate classmate, well, she kept it up for two months until the boy’s mother reached out in gratitude.


What’s out:

Letting others do all the work. Inspired by that New Mexico mother’s generosity, Iowan Jerry Fenton made a $700 donation to his local public school to cover any overdue lunch balances for hungry kids.


Good will

What’s in:

Random acts of kindness. South Australia native Cate Cook is hard at work creating a culture of kindness in her hometown of Adelaide. On her “Yours Kindly” Facebook page, she documents sweet but anonymous gestures, such as leaving bubble wands on park benches and paying parking meters.



What’s out:

Weight limits for worship. An Oregon Pentecostal church has come under fire for issuing a ban against parishioners in leadership positions who are carrying “excessive weight,” sparking a conversation about superficiality in the church. The church has since suggested that the guidelines have been misinterpreted, noting that a lot of their congregants have “weight issues.”



What’s in:

Modesty. NFL player turned minor league baseball player Tim Tebow made his way into the headlines again when a fan he prayed over during a seizure made a quick (and what some are calling miraculous) recovery. But Tebow gave all the glory to God, saying He performs miracles “all the time.”



What’s Out:

Unsportsmanlike behavior. Chicago Cubs player Anthony Rizzo voiced his disagreement with an ump’s call made by the ump in the fifth inning. By the seventh, he’d apologized. If only we could all get over our fits of pique that fast!



The election

What’s in:

A “Twitter ministry.” Sister Miriam James, AKA @onegroovynun on Twitter, commented on the debates and provided much-needed relief from, well, the whole rest of the Internet.

twitterWhat’s out:

This particular election year. Americans are O-V-E-R this election cycle, says best-selling author and megachurch pastor Max Lucado. During an interview with NPR, he lamented that the heated political process has “really sucked the joy out of our people.” That sounds about right, eh?



What’s in:

Perfect eloquence. Jeannie Gaffigan, co-writer of The Jim Gaffigan Show (and wife of the star) received the inaugural “Eloquentia Perfecta” award from Paulist Press and the Fordham University Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. The award recognizes excellence in speaking and writing, as is emphasized in the Jesuit tradition, and Gaffigan credited her Jesuit education with making her a better (and funnier!) writer.


What’s out:

Common core curriculum. At least that’s what a group of scholars have suggested, saying the controversial academic standards are “incompatible” with the Catholic school system of education because it “diminishes children’s intellectual and spiritual horizons.” Yowch.



What’s in:

A-ha moments. Our most creative work can’t be forced—but there are things we can do to create the best conditions for a-ha moments. Step one: take a break already.


What’s out:

Open office plans. Breaking news: these noisy, disruptive workspaces sap energy and spirit and keep people from doing their best and most thoughtful work. A better bet? A door that closes.



What’s in:

Puppy love. A photo of a mother seeing her autistic son lying trustingly on his new autism service dog is going viral, and for good reason—there aren’t enough words in the world to describe the look on that sweet mama’s face seeing her son make a connection with another living being.


What’s out:

Time outs. New research shows that time outs don’t really work to correct kids’ behavior; this doc suggests “time-ins” instead. But … what about when we need a time out?


What’s in:

The season of giving. It isn’t quite Christmas yet, but that isn’t keeping first-grade teacher Katie Blomquist from Charleston, S.C. from making the Christmas wishes of about 650 kids come true. The kind-hearted teacher has collected over $15,000 to date to buy every student in her low income, high poverty school a new bicycle.


What’s out:

Thanksgiving shopping. Black Friday has been creeping backwards to the point where retail workers were missing the Thanksgiving celebration with their families. Major retailers have joined Mall of America in announcing that they’ll be closed on Thanksgiving, giving workers the day to share the holiday with loved ones.


Julie Sprankles
Julie Sprankles
Julie is an entertainment and lifestyle writer living in the coastal mecca of Charleston, SC. When she isn't wordsmithing, she can be found DIY-ing any inanimate object in her reach, watching campy SyFy creature features, and trying to convince the tiny humans residing in her home to clean their rooms.

Leave a comment: