Delaware Public Media

Eileen Smith Dallabrida

Contributor

Eileen Smith Dallabrida has written for Delaware Public Media since 2010.  She's also written for USA Today, National Geographic Traveler, the Christian Science Monitor and many other news outlets. She was national runner-up for the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for her work with the Gannett New Jersey group. She is a trustee of Market Street Music, a group dedicated to celebrating the arts in Wilmington, and a champion of the television quiz show Jeopardy! She lives and writes in Wilmington.

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Delaware Public Media

Over the years, back-to-school shopping has become more than a retail excursion for JoAnn Babbie and her two sons.

Picking out binders and backpacks requires a parent-child conversation. Comparing prices is a teachable moment. And handing over the credit card and car keys to allow the boys to do some shopping on their own is a rite of passage.

Delaware Public Media

This year’s back-to-school fashions have moved beyond plaid, with new colors, cuts and combinations designed to inspire discretionary spending.

While shopping in recent years has focused on purchases kids need rather than want, this season there’s a trend toward indulgence.

Delaware Public Media

In the library, silence is a time-honored tradition.

But at the New Castle County Library's Brandywine Hundred Branch, there’s a soft hum of sewing machines.

At Greenwood Library, culinary enthusiasts whip up chocolate mousse.

In New Castle, the Route 9 Library and Innovation Center is now home to groups of do-it-yourselfers wielding screwdrivers and soldering irons to put together small projects.


Megan Pauly / Delaware Public Media

Each summer morning, a large bin of bagged meals appears just inside the front door at Frankford Public Library, where kids who don’t have enough food at home can readily pick up something to eat.

In this Sussex County community, population 847, the library is filling a gap, ensuring kids who receive free or reduced-cost breakfast and lunch during the school year don’t go hungry after school lets out.

Delaware Public Media

For Dori Schuster, shopping is one part necessity, one part recreation, and one part social opportunity.

With multiple super centers, the Christiana retail hub fills all three requirements. In Delaware, Schuster, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, finds tax-free bargains for her family. She enjoys a break at restaurants. And Christiana is midway between her home and her parents’ house in Maryland, an ideal spot to get together.

Retailers and shoppers are anticipating a flurry of activity for the winter holidays, with sales expected to be the merriest since 2005.

Consumers also are changing the way they shop, with online purchases expected to surpass sales at brick-and-mortar stores for the first time.

By Trogain (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Toys and apparel are traditionally at the top of holiday wish lists. But there’s a big slice of the retail pie beyond retro 1980s Power Rangers and rain gear in high-tech fabrics.

This year, there’s a strong trend toward experiential gifts, as well as treats to be enjoyed at home.

Delaware Public Media

It’s only a few weeks before 8-year-old Kai Smith heads off to third grade at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Wilmington.

His mom plans to spend at least as much as she did last year on uniforms and back-to-school supplies. But she is not in a hurry to shop.

Delaware Public Media

Concord Mall, struggling to attract shoppers and marquee retailers, is getting a complete makeover.

Delaware Public Media

A decade after the housing bubble burst, home sales are buoyant with some parts of the First State experiencing the most exuberant spring in 40 years.


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