Christmas is almost here! Are you guys ready? I just have wrapping left to do... that's more than I can usually say. Well, these animals are ready! They have their special festive hats, trees picked out and are willing and able to help you 'decorate.' Do your animals love to celebrate the holidays? I know my dog has her Christmas jammies picked out. :)
Christianity teaches believers to hold the needs of others above the needs of self. Christmas is the annual expression of that ongoing commitment. Giving to others and sacrificing for others are the lodestars of our planet's largest religion.
With a divorce rate in America hovering around 50%, chances are you, your sister, brother, or friend is either going through or made it through one. Because of that Christmas I'd like to forget, I want to help those of you dysfunctioning families function around the holidays.
How do you keep the spirit up as you celebrate the holidays without your kids half the time, and without the family you were a part of all the time? And how do you refrain from eating an entire half-gallon of ice cream by yourself while watching It's a Wonderful Life -- with a box of tissue nearby? You focus on your blessings, especially those that are so abundant that we don't even notice them.
It's not just that God came, but how God came. It wasn't accidental that the savior of the world was born to a poor peasant woman in an occupied country in an animal stall because they were literally homeless at the time of his birth. And soon Jesus and his family were made refugees and had to flee their country because the most powerful political ruler around the Christ child felt very threatened by his coming.
About the time the vein on my neck was going to explode from the stress of the holidays, I suddenly had a warm, fuzzy feeling. it was because I had to pick up our holiday ham.
To the empty stocking and unlit tree, this year you may look alone up there. But, you are not truly alone for you are filled with my memories of Christmas past and you will hold the memories of our Christmas future.
All my mom sees is that her girls are home. I'm home for a month and my sister, who is an adult and has a real job who deserves to say that she is far more stressed than I am, is home for a week and a half.
It doesn't matter how old you are, who doesn't love getting a stocking filled with little presents? These are sure to please, so don't stop at just one gift -- grab a stocking and fill it up!
I feel that accepting people for the nuanced beings that they are, Chrismukkah and all, will bring us one step closer to creating a kehilah, a sacred community of Jews exploring life's complexities together.
Like the turning of the year, the return to Star Wars brings memories of past rituals (previous screenings; the much-maligned "Star Wars Christmas Special;" that plush Ewok you got that one year). It simultaneously gives us hope that, in each new trip to the theater, the bright light of the opening crawl will renew us again. It can make us what we think we were but have never really been.
I'm tired of shopping. Tired of wrapping. Tired of baking. (Think mother hunched over in front of computer slamming on keys.) I just want things to ...
May you enjoy this story of the beauty, and the strength, and the heart of family. A story about how being together with those you love truly is the present of Christmas. And a reminder that so many young men and women in uniform won't be home this Christmas - as their gift to all to us.
Mom and her question, "Do you love me?" sprinkled throughout the whole evening, as distracting as when it seems time stands still with a snowfall. Somewhere in the pause and a breath, I could feel all these precious parts resonating in me.
photo: Millie Grenough Okay, here's the situation: I'm an ex-Catholic nun married to a Brooklyn Jewish guy. Hanukkah is over....
Is there any doubt about the existence of a war on Christmas? There shouldn't be. It's been going on for years. But I don't mean the one that's been the obsession of guys like Bill O'Reilly.