So this is Christmas…

What is Christmas?  Seriously, with all the commercialization and hype its understandable why the Grinch’s complaint is “…All the noise, noise, noise, NOISE! They’ll bang on tong-tinglers, blow their foo-flounders, they’ll crash on jang-jinglers, and bounce on boing-bounders!”  The “hustle and bustle” can be exciting and at the same time overwhelming.  What’s it all for?  Who is Santa Claus, and why is he watching me when I sleep?   The history is this: Santa Claus is a derivative of Sinter Klaas, which is the Dutch derivation of St. Nicholas.  So that’s why we can look at Santa and say “Good
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Categories: Holidays.

There’s More Than One Grinch Out There

The Big Grinch of 2020 brought with him several Little Grinches.  These other grinches have always been around, but the Big Grinch has really paved the way for them to infiltrate our homes, relationships, and personal lives in new and devious ways.  These Little Grinches are fear, addiction, loneliness, confusion, apathy and mistrust.   I’ve seen an unprecedented level of fear and anxiety in 2020.  Of course there are more issues that have been worrisome this year; the election, the spread of a serious virus, economic uncertainty and plenty of civil unrest.  Many people have dealt with the anxiety by
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Categories: COVID, Family, Holidays, Mental Health, and Parenting.

A Thanksgiving Thought

Once November starts, the remainder of the year just flies by with all the plans, festivities and the extra work that goes along with them.  The frenzied pace can prevent us from really enjoying the purpose of the special days of thanksgiving and other holidays at the end of the year.   Take some time now to think about Thanksgiving.  The name of this American holiday spells out clearly what the purpose of the day is.  The word “holiday” is an old English word meaning “Holy Day.”  Basically, its a day that is set apart and made more special than
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Categories: Faith issues, Family, and Holidays.

Traits of Healthy Families #10 Valuing Table Time

This post is guest written by Cassidy Ward, currently a sophomore Public Relations major at Harding University Laughter, arguing, crying, rejoicing, complaining, praising, and praying. All these and more I have experienced while gathering around the table with family to eat. One of the things I appreciate most about coming home from college during the holidays is family table time. Spending time together at the table to eat and converse during the holidays is important because it’s a time to reconnect, grow closer, and learn new things about your family and yourself. I grew up in a family where it
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Categories: Family and Holidays.

Resolutions: How about trying to make it a happy (and new) year?

Happy New Year!  Have you made any resolutions for the New Year?  Making New Year’s resolutions is a good idea, despite the bad press it gets sometimes.  This is because they really do work! Research by John C. Norcross has shown that compared to people who don’t make resolutions,  people who make New Year’s resolutions are actually twice as likely to successfully change something in their lives.  Whether you have resolved to get physically fit, quit some bad habit, or chosen not to make a resolution, let me suggest a resolution that will change your life. This is it: work
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Categories: Holidays, Mental Health, Personal Growth, and Stress.

Thank You for Your Time (Without Your Phone)

What happens to us when face-to-face interactions become less important? What happens to our marriages, families, and communities? Sherry Turkle says our smart phone devices “…not only change what we do, they change who we are.” We deny each other of our full attention and we end up hiding from each other. We prefer interaction through technology because it can be more controlled than face-to-face, which is happening in real-time and can’t be edited for better presentation. What is happening is that we are losing confidence in each other and looking more to our technological devices to really “be there” for us.
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Categories: Family, Holidays, Managing Media, and Personal Growth.

Holiday Time: A Focus Exercise

{Insert Awkward Christmas Family Photo Here} Do you remember that Folgers commercial from the 1980s; “Peter comes home for Christmas”?   Peter is the oldest son who just arrives home (because of a delayed flight or something) on Christmas morning and he wakes his family up by making coffee and everyone is so relieved to see he made it home.  It’s touching.  It gets at the longing for everyone in the family to be together on Christmas morning, and the sadness that was narrowly avoided for this close knit family.  But what about that poor sap who drove Peter home? 
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Categories: Faith issues, Family, and Holidays.

Conversation Starters for that Valentine’s Date

Well here it is.  Its that time of year where every couple is expected to go out on a date.  Like it or not, you need to create a situation resembling this: a table for two with candles, maybe some champagne, the ultimate romantic dinner.  Chocolates and certain garments are given as gifts.   It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner date!  While the reader can probably guess what most men are hoping to get from such efforts, can you guess what most women are hoping for?   Is it to be wooed?  For someone to be interested in her?  To be
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Categories: Couples, Dating, Holidays, and Marriage.

Making the Most of Your Holiday Traditions

There once was a young mother we’ll call “Susan” who volunteered to cook the Christmas turkey for the big family dinner. This being her first time to cook a turkey herself, she recalled her careful observations of her mother’s cooking techniques from past Thanksgivings and Christmases. She remembered that her mother cut the turkey into parts and placed them in a large pan. Her husband “Barry” came in and asked “Why are you cutting that turkey up?” Susan replied “because this is what I always saw my mother do. I don’t know why she cut it up. Its just something
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Categories: Faith issues, Family, Holidays, and Personal Growth.

Make Your Valentine’s Day a Success Story

It seems a common belief (especially among men) that Valentine’s Day was invented by the greeting card industry to make some profits during a low income time of year.  While the greeting card industry may have seen an opportunity in Valentine’s Day, they certainly didn’t invent the “valentine.”  According to legend, Valentinus (or St. Valentine) was a Roman priest in the third century.  He is said to have performed marriages of Christians and helped Christians in other ways during a period of Christian persecution in the Roman Empire.  Folklore further suggests that he started the “Valentine” tradition by cutting heart
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Categories: Couples, Holidays, Marriage, and Personal Growth.