Hank recently recounted his story in Kevin Allison's popular stage show and podcast RISK. He candidly talks about his childhood struggle for acceptance in his family and church, which I found hilarious, sad and surprising. Even if you aren't gay or Asian, there are universal truths about family and the holidays that everyone can relate to.
Joseph, the adoptive father, stood by Jesus in the early parts of his childhood transcending biological distinctions and taking on great social risk.
We did not have to squint or wear spectacles to sight this top-of-the-front-page Chicago Tribune headline on Christmas, "Tithing in Reverse." If something in the world is going the wrong way, putting or viewing it in reverse can be a good option. This story was an instance.
Going away for Christmas with little kids, who wonder how Santa will find them, can be tricky. As a parent, I fret about the logistics of trivial things like: Where will the stockings hang?
With Christmas and Hanukkah finally over, I wanted to take some time to talk about the insanity of our holiday gift-giving traditions. From where I sit, the ritual of exchanging stuff is a total waste of time and money.
Knowing that this is the case allows us to change its course. There are things we can do to lessen the letdown after the holidays have passed. And while January will never have the same cache as December, it can still escape from being a "low."
One thing we probably should do with such an elaborate gift is to break it down to what an apples to apples gift might look like if a similar "boss" or leader wanted to show holiday generosity to his employees out of his or her pocket.
Maybe it's the earnest Mary played by a girl who is twice the height of Joseph her erstwhile husband. Maybe it's the wandering toddler shepherd who keeps walking off the stage in search of his mother in the pews.
What will flow is a greater love and a more profound kindness that finally realizes it is the very same love and kindness awakening within me as a Jew or a Christian, as a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist.
Looking back, the cause of that depression was my inability to let myself take time to process major life events. Coming back from that dark place required months of work in therapy, adjusting my medications and learning how to be more honest about my feelings.
I'm not going to lie: The holiday season in early sobriety was hard. But is this news? I mean, I've heard it said that alcoholism is a three-fold disease: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.
The understanding that they can lose me is very real. Belief is the only thing they have. If they only dealt with "reality," or what they see, imagine how defeating this would be.
I had always promised myself the next time I had to face heartbreak, I would get closure so that moving on would be easier (like it ever is). This time, even though I got my closure, moving on is still difficult as ever.
On an Indian summer day in October I stayed at a sea captain's home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Built in 1804, The Captain Jefferds Inn is an exceptionally and impeccably appointed bed & breakfast.
The art of gift giving was also defined slave owners' displays of Christmas paternalism. During the holiday season, they conferred an assortment of presents to slaves such as blankets', shoes, frocks, pants and hats.
Detroit is so often only represented as empty buildings and desolate areas that I wanted to share some of the beautiful holiday sights here in downtown right now.