Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Today is the anniversary of John Lennon’s death.  And as I read commemorative pieces on the internet, I can’t help but think about how meaningful his song Imagine is right now.  Yes, we’re afraid, for ourselves and those we love.  This is the time of year we generally are feeling the love.  But that’s not the case for so many of us.  What seems to be emanating in the world is hate and suspicion.

I’m not advocating for an abandonment of prudence, but we can balance that with compassion.  There are terrorists that we cannot reason with.  But they are in the minority.  Throughout history there have been senseless killings in the name of some religious belief.  But those are distorted beliefs.  I hold on to the belief that we are more alike than we are different.  And in this time of fear and suspicion, we need to find our commonalities and an end to senseless violence and death.

Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer

But [I hope] I’m not the only one

“Merry Christmas!”

“Light the candles and be blessed.
Get a wish and hope that it will be given.
Happy Hanukkah!”

“Habari gani”





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‘Twas the day after Christmas, and I looked all around,

Reminders of yesterday were everywhere to be found.

Wrapping paper, toy pieces, cookie crumbs under foot,

Dirty dishes and empty glasses on the counter were put.


As I lounged in my sweat pants, ‘cause they were all that would fit,

I sipped on my coffee, just wanting to sit.

I’ll clean it up later; I need to just think.

How much food had I eaten and eggnog did I drink?


When I thought about how much, my brain had much chatter,

And I tried to make sense of what really did matter.

So I ate a few cookies, chocolate pie and great snacks,

If I could change my consumption, would I put it all back?


A “No” was the answer, it was only one day.

Eating all of those goodies, my resolve did not slay.

I’ll get back to me eating all the best food,

And not chastise myself or my psyche treat rude.


What happened to change all my usual acts,

Like choosing food thoughtfully, so there’s nothing I lack?

I was caught up with all of that holiday cheer.

And Christmas does happen but once every year.


So those feelings of guilt and remorse in my head,

I can make go away so I’m left with no dread.

It was only one day and that does not make me “bad,”

I’ll make peace with the knowledge of all that I’ve had.


The continuous nature of my choice to eat right,

Does not disappear in one day and one night.

I can make up my mind to get back in the groove,

For it’s only for me I have something to prove.


I will make the decisions that keep me in good health,

And do for my body what fills it with wealth.

I know the right foods that will keep me from pain.

And true to my good intentions I will remain.


So I hope if you suffer the same kind of remorse,

You will take it in stride and resume your true course.

We’re in charge of our bodies; we can give them what’s right.

Happy New Year to all!!  Keep your intentions in sight.

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‘Tis the season to feel empty . . . fa, la, la, la, la. 

What?  No Linda, it’s “to be jolly.” 

Christmas music and decorations start appearing in October.  Everyone is talking about their shopping lists.  We are invited to participate in cookie exchanges, parties and holiday shows and concerts.  So why are so many of us not just unhappy but dreading the holiday season?

There are a variety of reasons for not feeling jolly.  I believe that one of them is something Brené Brown talks about in her book Daring Greatly.  It is Scarcity, the “never enough” problem.

Ms Brown:  Scarcity thrives in a culture where everyone is hyperaware of lack. . .We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want and don’t have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants.

This time of year, more than ever, we are bombarded with advertising and social media telling us just what we need to make us feel good.  And we look around and think that most other people have more money to spend and time to plan then we do.

If you generally operate from a position of “not enough,”  you are already positioned to “opt out” or just plain feel miserable during the holidays. 

In recent blog posts, I offered advice on developing a Brave Heart.  And it takes one to make significant change in your life and how you think and therefore feel.  Developing a Brave Heart is done over time and in increments.  Why not start now?

I suggest adding another action for the letter V in Brave.


The benefits of volunteering are bountiful, both for you and the recipient.  Get out of your head and into your heart and you may experience a shift from “not enough” to “I’m really okay” or even “my cup overflows.”  Learn to give what you need and you may find you have more than enough.


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For the past several years, we’ve sent out our holiday cards for Thanksgiving, as a reminder to us and our family and friends of just how grateful we are for them. 

 One year, I discovered this quote and included it in our letter.  Even though it was written over a hundred years ago, its message transcends time. 

“I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day.  We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year.  As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.  And thus I drift along into the holidays – let them overtake me unexpectedly – waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: “Why, this is Christmas Day!” How the discovery makes one bound out of his bed!  What a new sense of life and adventure it imparts!  Almost anything may happen on a day like this – one thinks.  I may meet friends I have not seen in years.  Who knows?  I may discover that this is a far better and kindlier world than I ever dreamed it could be.”                                                                                                              –          “A Day of Pleasant Bread,” David Grayson, 1910

We are headlong into the holiday season.  And some of us are quite frantic about all the tasks we have to do before it gets here.  I invite you to take a couple of minutes in a peaceful setting and ask yourself some questions.

How do I really want to experience the approaching holiday?

What do I have to do or not do to make that happen?

How would my life change if I took Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever I celebrate a little at a time all through the year? 

It does not matter what religious beliefs you have or don’t, we can all work on making this a kindlier world than we ever dreamed of. 

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George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).

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