Giving Thanks

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the national holiday of thanksgiving.  Everyone knows it hearkens back to the pilgrims and Native Americans, but it wasn’t officially deemed a holiday until President Lincoln enacted it at a time when many had little to be thankful for.  Lincoln called for this public day of thanksgiving when the civil war was in full swing and wouldn’t end for another year and a half.  It was actually brought to the public by Lincoln after the exhausting and tragic victory over the south at Gettysburg.  Psychologically, it was a brilliant move on Lincoln’s part. 
Read More →

Categories: Faith issues, Holidays, and Personal Growth.

Being Present for the Presents

This picture made me laugh.  This is a clever yet poignant statement about the way we often operate in our everyday family life.  This family isn’t putting on a fake front, even for the ubiquitous happy holidays happy family photo.  This picture made me think about being fully present in the moment.  It is true that we can be so preoccupied and distracted that we miss our own lives.  We can even miss the times that are supposed to be the happiest, most memorable times!  “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why
Read More →

Categories: Family, Holidays, and Transitions / Change.

Putting Some “Thanks” in Your Thanksgiving

There is a special field of research in psychology called “positive psychology” that studies the “science of gratitude.”   Positive psychology has been around for a while, but recently it has gained credibility under the scrutiny of science.  Scientists have made important discoveries about thankfulness.  Research has actually shown that practicing thankfulness decreases depression and anxiety!   Its all explained in a book by Robert Emmons called “Thanks!: How the new science of gratitude can make you happier.” The author defines gratitude as the recognition that one has received a gift or benefit of personal gain.  Gratitude really is an attitude, which
Read More →

Categories: Family, Holidays, Mental Health, Stress, and Transitions / Change.

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!  Nobody loves us like our mothers, right?  The quote “A face only a mother could love” is a testament to the staying power of motherly love.  A mother’s love and nurturing are often taken for granted.  Remembering the significance of mothers in our society is a big reason that mother’s day was first established by Anna Marie Jarvis. She was a West Virginian by the way. Social research has studied the influence of mothers on child development.  Results show that if it weren’t for mothers, there would be no children!  All
Read More →

Categories: Family and Holidays.

Tips for the Holidays

Think about the following questions, and take some time to come up with your answers.  What’s most meaningful to you about the holidays?  What would your Thanksgiving and Christmas be like if they were truly wonderful?  What makes it all worth it? Many say that what makes it wonderful is time to enjoy relationships with family and friends, a time to refocus on what’s really important, celebrating Jesus’ birth, doing good for others, and so on.  On the other hand, what often makes your holiday time take a turn for the worse?  Could it be too much time with family
Read More →

Categories: Family, Holidays, Stress, and Transitions / Change.

Parents Unite! Take Back Christmas!

With the end of Thanksgiving, the “Holiday Season” is in full swing.  In addition to the everyday grind, there is all this extra stuff to do to get ready for the holidays: shopping, baking, planning reunions, planning parties, wrapping, decorating, putting Christmas trees in stands, getting hunters out of tree stands, and numerous other tasks.  Why do we put ourselves through this every year?  The Scrooges and Grinches of the world see it as a waste of time, all this pointless effort for one frenzied day of consumerism.  Those who love Christmastime hold this time as a special time of
Read More →

Categories: Family and Holidays.