Christmas can be a stressful time for people for various reasons. For the mature woman, fluctuating hormone levels that only a woman experiencing menopause will truly understand compound this stress.
It's a week before Christmas and it's 32°C here in Melbourne. That sentence explains nearly everything to contrast the "holidays" in Oz compared to the Bay Area. Thirty-two degrees Celsius, by the way, is 97°F according to my handy temperature conversion app on my phone.
The Pollination Project makes micro grants every day of the year to social changemakers who have a plan and a project to help create a more kind, compassionate, peaceful and sustainable world.
There are many social norms that dictate gift-giving, including when, how and what to give as gifts. Interestingly, these norms don't seem to be about making sure that recipients get the gifts they want. What makes for a good or bad gift often differs in the eyes of givers and recipients.
So this Christmas, and every Christmas since I first saw her, my eyes will search the city's streets, for she is somewhere out there, she is in every person with a hand held out, and eyes searching, not so much for money, as for hope.
Having to go to a store for gifts drastically reduces the options that the internet provides. This makes you a prime victim of purchasing the Stealthily Lazy Gift.
Picking out and decorating a Christmas tree is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Though I know that everyone's Christmas tree preferences are different, I personally like to set up a real tree with a big, glowing star on top.
While I certainly put myself in this place, and accept full responsibility for my criminal actions, I still can't shake the yearning to simply be home. While the mind of a convict is anything but ideal, I think that we can all benefit from this perspective. This year, let's all take some time to appreciate those who are around us and what they mean to us.
As I help Zoe out of the car, she looks up to me and grinning asks, "Mom, you know what would be the best gift ever?" This is a game we have been playing lately, the girls and I naming both real and imagined items as a best.gift.ever. "What?" I ask pausing, as I picture Zoe's painstakingly prepared Santa list sprinkled with favorites like Barbies and nerf guns.
This holiday season, let us acknowledge our similarities, celebrate our diversity, and encourage each other to look forward to the longer days and the hope of spring to come as well as the hope for a better world.
Let them be incredibly excited about Santa. As the parents, do good that they can see: read them books about the first Christmas, help your friends, and donate your time or toys to the poor. Don't worry so much about the littlest ones in your house "turning out ok." As they grow, they'll see the good you do at the holidays; they'll recognize that you give so much more (all year) than you receive, and they'll pick up on it, I promise.
Just because I visit a prison, I am not a better person than you. I am not holier, I am not more worthy, and I'm not getting an award for this. I remain a broken, sinful man. But for a few hours on a Saturday morning in December, I was reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.
Here are five gift ideas that create new experiences in which we have the opportunity to feel grateful, joyous and awakened.
As a Jewish child growing up on Long Island in the 1980s, I was entranced by Christmas. I loved riding the train into Manhattan and gazing at the shop...
Lucky for everyone, I took notes last night as we Christmas-decorated the house. I put everyone to work and eavesdropped on Laurel and Hardy while they were put in charge of ornamenting the tree. Try not to envy their holiday spirit.