Articles — Christmas(28)

←Back to Holiday Articles

Mary's Story

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family New Articles Pandemic The Fifteenth Year

We have had quite a year!   No one ever could ever have predicted the way that our whole world would change in a matter of just a few months.   Each of us thinks that our circumstances are so unusual and have never happened before. I have been thinking a lot about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and how she experienced so many parallels to us.  She must have felt similar to how we are feeling.   Ponder this: Shock – Imagine the shock when this teenaged girl found out that she was pregnant and yet hadn’t been with a man. We...

Read more →


Merry Christmas - Not Necessarily a Good Greeting!

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Fourteenth Year

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word "merry" as full of gaiety and high spirits. Unfortunately, that does not describe everyone's experience on any day of the year, let alone at Christmas. There are many during the holiday season who are lonely, sad, or sick. Some face circumstances that involve abuse, addiction or poverty. Many think about unfulfilled wishes or broken promises both given and received. Merry does not describe their situation. The word Christmas usually is referred to as a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Christ and is honoured as a legal holiday. Not everyone, however, is...

Read more →


Create Christmas Spirit

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Thirteenth Year

I have learned so much from my family, friends and clients over the years. Many of them have had very good reasons to feel sorry for themselves or bemoan their negative circumstances. Instead, they reached out to others who needed help. Much better than sitting at home, staring at a wall and pouting! We all know the expression "It is better to give than receive" but many either don't practice this or miss out on needs that we have right in our own neighbourhood. One of the things that I have been encouraging people to do this Christmas is to...

Read more →


A Movie Christmas

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Thirteenth Year

With all of the available technology today, it is very easy to binge on watching Christmas movies. In fact, some channels are bragging about how many new Christmas movies that they will air this year. It doesn't take long to realize that the template for each is basically the same. 1. Unhappiness - Most of the movies start with characters who are overworked, lonely or experiencing a need that hasn't been filled. Sometimes children seek a parent who has died or left them. Often a romantic relationship breakup has just occurred. Trauma of the past might be the cause for...

Read more →


Why Christmas?

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Thirteenth Year

So there are only a few sleeps to go until December 25th. Many of us have areas in our homes that are infiltrated with shiny packages holding large-screen televisions, new clothing and books that we will be giving to others. One last grocery shopping trip will secure the ingredients for the extensive menu that could feed twice as many guests as we expect. We are exhausted from all the Christmas parties, concerts and extras. The car is fueled for travel that leads to the second or third Christmas feast of the season. Everywhere we turn there are decorated venues and...

Read more →


O Christmas Tree

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Twelfth Year

I happened to go into a large retail store recently and was absolutely shocked by the extremely long wall that was stocked from floor to ceiling with artificial Christmas trees. Sizes ranged from those suitable for desktops or apartments all the way up to those that were well over nine feet in height. Choices included spruce, pine, fir and even some that appeared to have freshly fallen snow on the branches. Shoppers could choose green, white, silver or even purple. Some trees had lights, fiber optics or optional attachments to hang them upside down from the ceiling. The rows and...

Read more →


Life Is Not A Movie

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Twelfth Year

Younger people are shocked when they find out that I was born in the era of "pre-television". I remember the first day that we got the big box that only showed one black and white event at a time with live commercials. O Canada was played at the end of the broadcasting day followed by a test pattern with a soft but steady squeal that could be observed until the following morning. As technology advanced, we wished that we could sit and watch all the holiday shows instead of travelling to visit relatives but there wasn't any way to record...

Read more →


Holiday Shopping Online

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family

It seems rather strange to go into a store and see end of summer sale items, Halloween costumes, Remembrance Day poppies and Christmas decorations all at the same time. Somehow we have begun blurring the holidays into one big merchandising extravaganza. A lot of things have changed over the years. It is no longer just an orange and some peanuts in a homemade stocking and one gift. Now the theme seems to be "bigger and better". We are bombarded with temptations for buying that is combined with an underlying message that it is our job to make others happy and...

Read more →


Christmas Music - Song or Carol

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Eleventh Year

It's December and we are surrounded with reminders that the Christmas season is before us. Outdoor lights on businesses and houses seem to have magically appeared from nowhere. Christmas tree lots have opened. Mailboxes are filled with flyers with the hopes that shoppers will be tempted to purchase items from their pages. And all around us are the sounds of seasonal music. Television commercials use soundtracks that we recognize from our childhood. We know the words to the tunes played and sung at the numerous concerts and events that we will attend over the next few weeks. We search our...

Read more →


Christmas Experience

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Eleventh Year

We Three Kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar... In 1857 Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr. who was an author, book illustrator, stained glass window designer, clergyman and editor of the New York Church Journal wrote this carol for a pageant. The lyrics tell the story of three magi or wise men named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar who set out on a long journey with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the baby Jesus. Over the years there have been many debates about whether this carol is accurate in its details. Were there only three wise men?...

Read more →


Silent Night and Peace

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Eleventh Year

Silent Night. Holy Night. All is calm. All is bright. The First World War lasted from 1914 to 1919. A very strange situation was witnessed in the early months - one had never occurred before or since. On Christmas Eve British, Belgian and French soldiers as well as enemy German troops were in cold, wet trenches on the western front where they had been fighting each other. Suddenly, someone began to sing! And within minutes the voices multiplied each in their own native language. The singing continued and soon soldiers put down their rifles, came out of the trenches and...

Read more →


Christmas Resolutions - No Regrets This Year

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Tenth Year

After all of the glitter and excitement is over do you ever have regrets? Do you promise yourself that next year will be different? Well, before we get too far into December, let's think about how you can prevent that from happening again: 1. I spent too much - Set up a realistic budget and make a firm commitment to stick with it. Make a list of everyone you will buy gifts for and the amount that you will spend. Keep your emotions at bay. The newborn really doesn't care if you even buy a gift so keep that in...

Read more →


The Christmas Story Is All Around Us

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Tenth Year

Ancient scriptures relay the details of the birth of the baby Jesus. It seems so strange to think about how more than two thousand later we still talk about the humble beginnings that led to continued celebrations on December 25 of each year. Though things have changed over time, many things remain the same. We are all still required to pay taxes. The internet and mail system alleviate the need for us to travel in order to do that, however the government still very much informs us of when to pay and how much we owe. Joseph and Mary were...

Read more →


How Is It Supposed to Be?

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Ninth Year

Dr. Jenn Berman is a psychotherapist who has a radio show that I listen to at times. Recently she put a posting on her Facebook page that states: "What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be." So many live by "should", "have to," and "must" ideas. These, however, form the bars of our own cages and we are trapped by them. As we enter into December it is especially important to consider the above quote. How do you think Christmas "is supposed to be?" Do you think that...

Read more →


Miracles

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Ninth Year

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word "miracle" as: "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs." We use the word miracle in a number of ways. Sometimes individuals who have been extremely ill suddenly get better without any explanation that can be identified or named. The change in their health occurs so rapidly that everyone is pleased but, at the same time, shocked. A miracle! Researchers often invest years of their lives trying to find a cure for diseases or an immunization to prevent plagues. And then, all of a sudden, they figure it out and the discovery seems...

Read more →


Boxing Day and Tradition

Dr. Linda Hancock Boxing Day Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Ninth Year

There isn't any consensus about the origins of the secular holiday that occurs on December 26th. As far back as the Middle Ages, people have been concerned about caring for the poor and the practice then was to place an Alms box inside the church to collect donations for them. Some believe that the name Boxing Day was tied to the idea of the Alms box. In Roman times and at the beginning of the Christian era, metal boxes were placed outside of churches to collect special offerings for the Feast of St. Steven which is also recognized on December...

Read more →


10 Unique Christmas Shopping Ideas

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Eighth Year

It's the time of year when you are likely scrambling to finish your preparations for the Christmas celebrations. Following are some ideas that might help you to finish off the gift-giving list.   Renew a Membership - Ask the person who you are buying for if you can help support their special interest. Perhaps they belong to a club or organization that has yearly membership fees that you could pay as your gift to them. Plan an outing - Most people would enjoy spending time with you rather than receiving a gift. Think about a creative way that you can enjoy the...

Read more →


Making A Difference In the World

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Eighth Year

Every major religion in the world has some form of the Golden Rule or implies that we are responsible for each other. No one seems to demonstrate that better than the new Roman Catholic Pope Francis. Since he was elected to this position, he has broken many of the rules that were observed by his predecessors. For example, he does not live in the papal residence but instead stays in a guest house and eats his meals with staff and guests, visiting freely with them. He rides in elevators with others and rather than using the luxury transportation that is...

Read more →


Twelve Tips For The Twelve Days Of Christmas

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Seventh Year

Every year the PNC Financial Services Group in the United States calculates the cost to purchase all the items in the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas". For 2012, the total cost of these would be $107,000 in US dollars. Well, not everyone could afford this. Most people probably wouldn't want to give or receive the collection of geese, ladies dancing, French hens and other unusual things that are sung about. Gift-giving can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Consider the following twelve tips which should make the whole experience easier for you this year:   If someone suggests that they...

Read more →


Different Perspectives of Christmas

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Seventh Year

The other day I bought a pop-up book of the Christmas story to share with my seven year old granddaughter. She was so surprised when I mentioned that the stable must have been very smelly. I guess she had never thought about the fact that this was the home (and bathroom) for the animals. We talked about the wise men and why they might be called "wise" as well as how they were able to afford nice clothes and expensive gifts. Always wanting to plant ideas that might germinate in the future, I suggested that perhaps they had gone to...

Read more →


The Christmas Touch

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Sixth Year

According to ancient Christmas custom, a man and a woman who meet under a hanging of mistletoe were obliged to kiss. Some think that this practice may have originated in Scandinavian cultures. Regardless of its origin, the idea of healthy intimate touch is a good one. My daughter was recently telling a friend about how my mother used to take her to the nursing home with her. She would tell Kristal to hold the hands of the older people who she didn't even know just because "they are lonely". This made a lasting impression on Kristal and to this day...

Read more →


Census, Taxes, and Health Care

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Fifth Year

I remember a time when the census taker would come to the house and fill out a form to record information about each person who lived in that residence. During the last census I instead received a card on my door asking me to call a lady who gathered the data over the telephone. My taxes are done each year by an accountant who sends everything electronically over the internet to the right computer by the deadline given. Health issues are easily taken care of with a short drive to my physician's office or by asking for direction from my...

Read more →


The Most Expensive Month of the Year

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Fifth Year

Year after year I hear people talk about how much money they spent, how they over-ate and how exhausted they are following their December "celebrations". The glow of the holidays can fade quickly and anxiety might replace it as the January credit card statements arrive if you aren't careful. Right now, we are sitting on the threshold of the month that can be the most demanding - of our time, our money and our energy. This year can be different, however, with a little bit of planning and a commitment to follow through. There are ten things that you can...

Read more →


I Hate My Mother In Law!

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Fourth Year

As the Christmas season approaches each year, I begin hearing clients tell tales of past disappointing holidays, resulting resentments and their fears about the upcoming family gathering. Most of the themes involve poor relationships, differing values or inappropriate behaviours. "I hate my mother-in-law". "Uncle Joe will be drunk and embarrass everyone". "My nephew will spend the whole day staring at his iPod". "This is the first Christmas since Grandma died and everyone will be miserable". "It's crazy that mom expects us all to stay at the farm when there isn't room for us". "I hope the police aren't called to...

Read more →


The Best Christmas Yet!

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Fourth Year

What would have to happen to make this the best Christmas yet for: A hungry child in Africa Someone who just lost a job An adolescent who has run away from home A prisoner on death row Someone who is homeless The family that is in the middle of an ugly divorce A person grieving the recent loss of a partner An addict who desires freedom A friendless soul who feels alone A person who suffers from a debilitating disease Someone who is contemplating suicide A soldier on the battlefield The family that just declared bankruptcy A senior recognizing s/he...

Read more →