Retail Madness

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 3.7 percent increase in holiday sales this year with U.S. spending at more than $630 billion or approximately $800 per person.  This is significantly higher than the 10 year average of 2.5 percent.  Additionally, close to 136 million Americans planned to shop on Thanksgiving weekend.  This year, I got an early start to my holiday shopping so that I could avoid the crowds.   I figured I could accomplish more in a shorter period of time without the mass crowds of shoppers.  Much to my dismay, the retail madness had already started.  There was no parking, plus huge crowds and lines made the experience intolerable. Unfortunately, I was too late to avoid it all.
I grew up in a different era.  Holidays were about spending quality time with family and life was simple.  The holiday season started with watching the Thanksgiving Day parade on television and making a turkey figure using a paper bag stuffed with newspapers for the body, a toilet paper roll for the neck, and balled up newspapers for the head.  Construction paper was cleverly utilized for feathers, wings, and other important turkey parts.  After that, we had a nice family dinner.  There was no television turned on to watch football and there was definitely No Shopping!
I am no opponent of capitalism and I certainly understand the retail industry’s desire to maximize the holiday season.  I also understand the excitement of consumers to get great deals on gifts and household purchases for themselves and their families.  It is important to realize there is a hidden cost to retail madness.  Close, personal family contact and unity can become eroded and replaced by the desire to accumulate material objects.  I am not sure if this is a cost that America can afford.  
I personally support the retailers who refuse to open on Thanksgiving Day – so their employees can have time off with family and friends.  Let’s think about the real meaning of the holidays…the spirit of love and kindness and generosity.  

Dr. DePasquale joins ARIIX Wellness Council

BOUNTIFUL, Utah – ARIIX, an international opportunity company that promotes healthy, toxicfree living, is excited to announce the addition of Kalpana DePasquale, DO, to the ARIIX Wellness Council. The ARIIX Wellness Council is made up of an exclusive group of extraordinary individuals that help shape the decisions and direction of the ARIIX wellness product line.
Based in St. Augustine, Florida, DePasquale is a highly trained and experienced ENT specialist who is board-certified in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery and Facial Plastic Surgery.
“I am honored to accept the invitation to become a part of this amazing group and look forward to being a part of a company that creates clean products,” said DePasquale. “I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 10 years ago and have been on a quest ever since to find products that are good for me, my family, and my patients. ARIIX has everything I’ve been seeking, all in one company.”
“I’ve always wanted to help people, and this is what led me to pursue a career in medicine. I chose to specialize in ear, nose and throat medicine because I was intrigued by the complexity of the head and neck anatomy. In addition, I felt this specialty allowed tremendous opportunities to make an immediate impact on the lives of patients of all ages. There are always advances being made in ENT medicine, and I make a point of staying on top of them through continuing education and membership in many professional medical societies. My patients trust me with their care, so I owe it to them to offer the best products and treatments available.”
DePasquale’s practice, St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat, is located in St. Augustine, where she regularly makes appearances on TV and radio as a guest expert. In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking, world travel, writing and playing the piano.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. DePasquale to the council,” said Deanna Latson, ARIIX Chief Product Officer. “Her passion for providing the best possible care for her patients, family and self is a perfect fit for the Council and we look forward to working with her.”
ARIIX is an international opportunity company that creates superior, exclusively branded products marketed through independent representatives. To promote healthy living, ARIIX develops toxic-free products through collaboration with world-renowned experts in the health, wellness, and fitness industries. With a devotion to helping others unleash their potential for good, ARIIX provides a global vision, outstanding management experience, driven industry leadership, and a valued partnership that protects its representatives. This partnership is underscored by a patent-pending compensation plan created to give the greatest benefit to the representative. The ARIIX opportunity and products are available in Australia, Canada, Greater China including Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan SAR, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States.

Dr. Kalpana DePasquale announces formal affiliation with St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – January 7, 2016 – Dr. Kalpana DePasquale, DO and founder of St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat  and Avanti Medical Spa has formally announced her affiliation to perform surgery at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside, 4201 Belfort Road in Jacksonville, Fla. She is also affiliated to perform surgery at Jacksonville Surgery Center, 7021 A C Skinner Parkway and Baptist Medical Center South, 14550 Old St. Augustine Rd.
Dr. DePasquale has been practicing as a specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) medicine since 2003 and is board certified in Otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery. Dr. DePasquale is focused on the complexities of the head and neck anatomy, medicine and surgery for patients of all ages. Currently, Dr. DePasquale is located at 1301 Plantation Island Drive S., Suite 401 in St. Augustine, Fla.
“We are continuing to expand our patient base in St. Johns County and Jacksonville. The new relationship with St. Vincent’s will better serve our patients by performing highly-specialized ENT surgeries in the Southside area of Jacksonville,” said Dr. DePasquale.
Dr. DePasquale and her team of medical professionals include Matthew Giles, PA-C, who will be a new, key member of the staff and will assist with ear, nose and throat (ENT) patients in office care and surgery. For more information, call 904-461-6060.
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This article originally appeared in The Florida Times Union and can be viewed at