The perfect holiday

We all know in our hearts that the holiday season is much more than stuffing ourselves with food and buying expensive presents. Why then do we sometimes think we have to prepare and consume a feast, decorate every room in red and green, spend too much money on gifts and celebrate with an assortment of […]

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A holiday reminder from Garrison Keillor

While browsing in the bookstore, I found Garrison Keillor’s comments about Christmas newsletters. Written in 2006, he quotes one newsletter in which “the writer bursts the bounds on modesty.” This immodest writer reports: “Tara was top scorer on the Lady Cougers soccer team and won the lead role in the college production of Antigone, which […]

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Sometimes people don’t change

My mother was deeply affected by the death of her own mother when she was four years old. Because she never received the love she needed, she was a non-toucher. She never showed her love for me by hugging or kissing me. Finally, when I was in counseling after my divorce, I realized how much […]

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A holiday reminder from Scout Finch

I had forgotten about the Christmas story in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird until recently when I listened to the audio book. Scout is pleased when she and Jim receive air rifles for Christmas, but not very happy about having Christmas dinner with Aunt Alexandra. “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my […]

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You can’t buy happiness or love

Despite all the newspaper advertisements, TV commercials and e-mail messages we receive at this time of the year, we all know that we can’t buy happiness or love. One of the best Christmas presents I receive is an annual love note from my husband Tom.  I once offered to help my son landscape his front […]

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A holiday reminder from Fayteen

I  remember holiday seasons when I was a single mother with two children. They were happy times when we unwrapped presents early in the morning and then ate a big Christmas dinner with my children, my parents, my brothers and their families. But I remember, too, how I spent hours shopping for bargains because I […]

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A holiday reminder from Joy

I had just enough time to stop at the post office to mail a birthday package. After I finished dropping the box in the chute at the self-serve counter, I looked at my watch and then turned around quickly to head for my car. Yikes! I almost knocked over a woman walking with a cane. […]

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Cleopatra wasn’t Elizabeth Taylor

I recently finished reading the book Cleopatra—A Life by Stacy Schiff. I learned that Cleopatra probably spoke nine languages, including Hebrew and Troglodyte, an Ethiopian tongue that Herodotus said was “unlike that of any other people; it sounds like the screeching of bats.” I learned that she was well educated and that she benefited from […]

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Alternatives to “I can’t”

I was reminded of Daniel Pink and his book A Whole New Mind—Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future when I saw a sign posted in the art room at Hamilton Park Elementary School in Dallas. Pink advises us to substitute “and” for “but.” For example, instead of telling yourself, “I would like to learn […]

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What are your personal metaphors?

Daniel Pink emphasizes the importance of metaphors. In his book A Whole New Mind—Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, Pink says that metaphors can help you understand the world and also can help you find meaning in your life. Ask yourself, Pink suggests: What are the metaphors you live by? Do you think of your […]

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