Christmas reminds me of a sticky ball rolling down a hill, accumulating bits and pieces from everything it passes, until it’s one big adhesive mess and it’s hard to tell what the original ball looked like. We’ve gone from a simple explanation of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth to the huge holiday extravaganza we now experience. This is one holiday that needs to go on a diet.
Some of the traditions we associate with Christmas make sense—at least I can see the connection. Giving gifts is a reflection of the magi’s offering of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Advent calendars and wreaths help us focus on God’s purpose in sending His Son. Decorating with lights reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the world. And of course, there are Christmas carols (which may or may not be relevant or accurate).
You’re going to hate me. I’ve already finished all my Christmas shopping. The gifts are wrapped, and most of them have already been delivered. I can barely believe it myself. Now I’m looking forward to spending December focused on other aspects of Christmas —putting up some decorations, meditating on the birth of Jesus, and perhaps baking our family’s favorite Christmas cookies.
(Okay, I’m bragging. I just happened to be extra motivated this year. We traveled a long distance to spend Thanksgiving with most of the people we exchange gifts with, and I wanted to haul everything in the car with me to save on shipping costs.)
I’m feeling rather random today. Usually I save my “random” posts for the fifth Friday of a month, if there is one. However, I was fairly serious on August 31, exhorting you to do your backups, so I have a random day coming to me. Besides, I don’t want to wait until November. So here you go—three little notes that don’t belong anywhere else. Enjoy. Continue reading
Are you feeling stressed? Anxious, sad, or helpless? Are you suffering from high blood pressure, an elevated pulse, or tensed muscles? You need to go play outside!
A number of studies in the past few years have proven something most of us have intuitively known all along—nature is good for us! It’s why we go to the park, take a nature walk, or climb a mountain. We may get physically tired, but the overall effect is rejuvenating.
“Glad to meet you!” I shook hands with the couple behind me at church, mumbling over and over the names they had just told me—Josh and Laurie, Josh and Laurie. I tried to think of some way to cement their names into my brain, but I knew with certainty that they would be gone from my memory by the time next Sunday rolled around. No matter how hard I try, or which little tricks I employ, I’m simply horrid at remembering peoples’ names.
If only they were flowers—or birds! Continue reading
See a little problem?
There are going to be some mighty disappointed polar bear and walrus viewers on this trip…
but the penguins might surprise them!
We’ve all been there. We raise our hand, ask a question, and everyone laughs. It’s humiliating—as much now that we’re adults as it was back in elementary school. Everyone is capable of asking a stupid question. Perhaps it’s because we aren’t thinking before speaking—or maybe we really are that ignorant. (There’s no shame in ignorance, unless we then forego the opportunity to learn better.)
Thankfully, there’s a solution. Save up all your stupid questions for today—because today is officially “Ask a Stupid Question Day.” Yup. Today we are supposed to ask stupid questions! (Although Ask a Stupid Question Day actually falls on September 28, it’s usually celebrated on the last school day of September.) Continue reading