I have been affirmatively opposed to organized religion since about the age of 14. But I love Christmas. It's magical. As you can imagine, this is often a point of contention in debates: "Christmas wouldn't be here if it weren't for Christ, so how can you say 'religion poisons everything'?" they ask me. if you want to "keep Christ in Christmas," by all means, set up your Nativity scene and go to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It's a free country. I, along with the increasing number of non-Christians, will be by the fire, glass of wine in-hand, listening to some Nat King Cole.
I am of the mind that parenting, when done correctly, involves delicately hopping over the line between imaginative play and outright deception. But man, does this time of year challenge even me. I'm not saying parents shouldn't indulge in the Yuletide traditions, old and new. But at this point, I'm not sure about how to handle the Santa thing once the hard questions come.
The holiday party is a tradition of the season. Thanks to germs, however, some of those memories may be less than pleasant. Infections are best spread in a crowd and the presence of a single person can lead to spread to some or all of the people in attendance. There are however, a few ways to minimize the chances for acquiring an infection and most are fairly easy to follow.
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with the whole concept of "Secret Santa" parties at work. We love getting good swag but hate having to come up with something fabulous to buy. Standing in a store during the busiest time of year and agonizing over our contribution can be distracting, to say the least.
A daunting shopping list, annoying music at full volume, crowds of people walking with their heads down texting...welcome to the fresh hell that is holiday shopping. The stress of shopping can make even the most festive, patient person want to start throwing elbows, but some of the trauma can be curbed with these five tips.
Last Christmas, my best friend's spouse bought her a pair of furry, leopard panties -- size XXL. He's never lived it down. But even that unfortunate purchase is eclipsed by a gift one of my clients received from her mate: a pair of nose-hair clippers, sent, with love, from "The Nose Hair Fairy." For many couples, gift-giving is a minefield of potential conflict.
If you were asked to imagine a place on Earth where you could view incredibly varied wildlife in its natural habitat, likely places which come to mind are Africa or the Amazon Rainforests. However, many people may not be aware that Canada is also home to a wide range of wildlife that is just as diverse and interesting as anywhere else in the world.
Empathy is part of our anatomy. It's just that, like a muscle, it needs to be flexed. What this means is that we are wired for compassion, for caring, for connection. As children scratch out long holiday wish lists, parents have an unparalleled opportunity for empathy training. This time of year provides tremendous teaching moments. Here are a few:
As one of the most consumed ingredients on the planet the potato can be used in an endless amount of dishes and literally enjoyed all year 'round. Sometimes the vast amount of varieties can seem daunting. When faced with hundreds of choices, which to choose? Here's a fool-proof guide to deciphering the qualities of these types so you'll be a potato-pro during your next trip to the supermarket!
I've been using the power of Santa Claus for a few weeks now, and things are looking good. For maximum effectiveness, the use of Santa and his omnipresence is good for the window directly following Halloween until December 25. During this time, I enjoy the increased attentiveness, dearth of meltdowns and general calm that precedes Christmas day.