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.
My concern for the homeless is not altruistic. I know what feeds my desire to do something, anything, for fellow human beings who have nothing: guilt, responsibility, memories -- knowing that there but for the grace of God go I. My youngest brother, Erik, has been living off and on the streets for 30 years. My family hasn't seen him in 15 years.
I suddenly had a GREAT idea. What if we really pushed the boat out this year? What if we all bought lovely Christmas outfits and went OUT for Christmas dinner. Yeah!!! We could book at one of the gorgeous hotels for their dinner packages. Have a lovely formal family dinner. For one year, we could at least FAKE a Martha Stewart Christmas. For one year, we could ignore our dog and cat stained house and embrace the glitter and magic of Christmas like it is on television.
Food banks in Ontario are experiencing incredibly tough times this holiday season. In many areas across this province, food bank donations are down compared to previous years. With Christmas only a few days away, food banks across the province are hoping for a holiday miracle to help reach their food drive targets.
With just a few days remaining the countdown to Christmas has begun. For those of you who haven't even started shopping (you know who you are) the pressure on. So is the temptation to just give in and become a big spender. Giving has turned into a status statement and it need not become that, especially in our heavily indebted consumer era.
'Tis the season...to hear endless loops of holiday music and feel tempted to strangle someone with red and green garland. While some Christmas carols might actually bring joy to the world, there are a lot of songs that we want to throw out with the decaying holly and the ivy.
NOTHING polarizes parents more than Santa. It is where religion, idealism and perfection of parenting clashes with more debate and bluster. My son Adam told me that a kid in his class is telling everyone that Santa isn't real. This boy happens to be of a culture and religion that does not do Christmas. Adam and I feel that no matter your beliefs, you have to respect other peoples beliefs, cultures and origins so I tend to get a bit upset when other parents don't feel the same way I do.
Surprisingly, I've never hated Christmas music and I've always felt the more the merrier. That said, everyone must understand, there's only one Christmas album that matters. To my ears, all other Christmas albums sound like third-rate Chipmunks knock-offs, and that includes the impervious Bing Crosby!
with Christmas chomping down on my heels, I've been doing quick trips to random stores in an effort to pick up those oh-so-perfect gifts for my family members. Now that I've done some legwork, I'm comfortable in providing you with some tips for holiday shopping when you've left it down to the wire. Here are some dos and don'ts.
As a kid, there is nothing better than opening the coolest new toy, and as a parent, I can only imagine how it feels to put that big smile on a little kid's face. So, here it is parents. I've put together a list of tips to make holiday toy shopping easy. These awesome tips come from a toy expert! Trust me, they are guaranteed to make your holiday shopping fun, quick and easy!
The holidays are a time for many kinds of traditions. Whether it's the lighting of the menorah or the trimming of the tree or reuniting with friends too long unseen. And, of course, this is a time of year for watching movies and singing songs. And while we spend a lot of the rest of the year chasing the next "new thing," around the holidays, most of us revisit our old favourites... watching movies that take us back to our childhood.
It's the holidays! For some of us, getting to a sense of fun and joy at this time of year is easy. For others, rather than "Yipee, what fun!" you might be thinking "Bah, humbug!" Here's a little holiday acronym to help you S.N.A.P. into Holiday Fun!
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.
I spent a month meeting people who were happier than any people I've ever seen, and they have nothing, from a western point of view. They had no shoes but I found them far richer than I.
It feels good to bake for those you love. And it feels even better to give the gift of goodness, and watch as every morsel is savoured with sweet satisfaction. So this year I challenged myself to create one new vegan seasonal recipe. And I went after the big one; I went after gingerbread.