Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lights

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lightsAcross traditions and time, there is a longing for light to brighten the darkness of winter I had a striking visual of light in darkness early one morning this month. A bright light, probably the planet Venus, shone with extraordinary clarity and pierced an otherwise black sky. Given my Christian faith and the time of…

How to make this Christmas a merry and memorable one!

How to make this Christmas a merry and memorable one!Follow these simple steps and you’re sure to have a joyous Christmas every year There are many ways to make Christmas merry and memorable. Unfortunately, nowadays, it is sometimes difficult to feel the joy through the cluttered maze that has become Christmas. Through the years, Christmas has strayed too far from its original purpose and…

Five reasons leaders like you need a summer vacation

Not taking a vacation is harmful to your health and your business

Five reasons leaders like you need a summer vacationI was about to take a six-month vacation from my business and my team leaders Rachael and Carmel were a little surprised – and perhaps a little nervous – when I told them they would be in charge. The business had been open for five years, but the truth was I was making more money…

Hippity hoppity: following the trail of the Easter bunny’s origins

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with the religious celebration of Easter?

Hippity hoppity: following the trail of the Easter bunny’s originsThe community Easter egg hunt was fun until the Easter bunny showed up. My granddaughter took one look at the hairy hare, and the bliss of savouring a chocolate egg turned to terror. My grandson carried on happily eating his treat until the Easter bunny approached him, at which point he too began to cry.…

Five little tips for surviving the Christmas holidays

Accept your limitations and honour those activities that make you feel good when you do them

If you’re struggling with the holiday season, know that you are not alone: many of us scramble with all the responsibility and the desire to get things done. The perfect gift, the perfect wrapping, the cookies, sending out cards, attending school plays, paying the bills: the list goes on and on. With all this perceived…

In search of the perfect Christmas? Good luck

How to avoid a Clark Griswold meltdown and having a SWAT team invade our home

In search of the perfect Christmas? Good luckNational Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has become a holiday season staple in many homes. The film, released in 1989, portrays the misadventures of the Griswold family as the main character Clark tries to create the perfect family Christmas. While the film is genuinely funny, there’s something more profound that appeals to us. Perhaps it’s the fact…

Why Santa Claus matters, regardless of your faith

If we share peace and goodwill with others, we find them growing within us

Why Santa Claus matters, regardless of your faithThough it’s technically the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ for Christians, many traditions merge to form what we call Christmas. Some traditions are indeed Christian but others aren’t. Some date from eras before Jesus was born and some are more recent. One of the most endearing today is that of Santa Claus, the…

Blue Christmas: How Elvis turned it into a seasonal classic

How something quite ordinary can be transformed by a specific performance

In late 1965, coming to Canada from Ireland had its revelations. My Dublin hometown may have been more architecturally distinguished, but it couldn’t match Toronto’s relative abundance of decently paying jobs. There were also things like diners – which I’d only seen in American movies – and the language esoterica pertaining to “double-double” coffees. Top…

O Tannenbaum symbolizes the entire celebration of Christmas

The Christmas tree is a universal symbol that delivers a message of endurance and light during the dark winter months

The traditional German song O Tannenbaum is often translated as O Christmas Tree. This translation is only partly accurate, however. The English version is quite different from the German: the essence of the German song is far more universal. One of the beauties of learning languages is discovering what words and poetry mean to those…
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