Articles — Holidays

What Makes Canada Unique?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

What Makes Canada Unique?

It doesn't seem to matter where you go in the world, Canadians are welcomed. We somehow have developed a reputation as being kind, safe, friendly and helpful. But, unfortunately, not many people even in Canada understand how truly blessed we are to live in this unique country. Canada is:   Large - There are over 3.85 million square miles to visit. We have ten provinces and three territories with three sides that are bordered by water. Beautiful - It doesn't matter whether you like forests, lakes, plains or ice - we've got it all! From the large cities to the...

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Happy Everything!

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Happy Everything!

Shortly after my son moved to Medicine Hat and began working in my private practice, he encouraged me to do some downsizing at the office. I will never forget how shocked he was when he found an envelope in one of the boxes. On the front of it, I had written "Mark's First Haircut". His response was "It can't be. You didn't really save my hair for more than four decades!" Of course, I had! Within minutes we had a pile of "treasures" from his youth including notes he had written in a grade five sex education class and miscellaneous...

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Merry Christmas - Not Necessarily a Good Greeting!

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Merry Christmas - Not Necessarily a Good Greeting!

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...

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A New Year With New Goals

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

A New Year With New Goals

January is usually a time for setting goals and unfortunately by February many people find that some of them have been abandoned. The gyms are not as full. The musical instrument may not be practiced as much as planned and the cute little Christmas puppy may not seem as cute when there are puddles on the floor to clean up! There are ways to accomplish the goals though:   Make sure that you really want to accomplish it. Your own passion will drive you whereas another person's idea likely won't have the same effect. Keep it manageable - You will...

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The Month of October

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

The Month of October

Have you ever wondered about the origin of certain words? This weekend I was thinking about the word "October" and decided to look it up. The Roman calendar only had ten months as January and February were not included at that time. Winter had cycles that were divided into eight-day weeks but not into months until later. At that time, the last four months of the year all ended in "ember" which doesn't seem to have a significant meaning. The prefix for the last four months of September, October, November and December, however, were derived from the Old French words...

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Giving Back Because of Thanks

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Giving Back Because of Thanks

When my mom died I "inherited" boxes and boxes of black and white photos. Many of them showed soldiers in uniform with their arms around her. I really don't know who these men were but remember the powerful stories that she told about how many of her friends went off to war and never returned. They were committed to serving our country and seeing other lands but, at the same time, like most youth were naïve about the price they would pay. In fact, many small Saskatchewan towns lost great numbers and cenotaphs with their engraved names were erected in...

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How to Succeed In Life and the New Year

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How to Succeed In Life and the New Year

I have seen more than 8,000 clients over the years that I have been in Medicine Hat. The other day I was thinking about what I would tell every single one of them if I was only allowed one nugget of wisdom to share. After a few minutes of deep thought, I decided that the best advice that I could give anyone is for them to focus on the right things. It is very easy to become distracted by world events and disasters, relationship drama, financial stress, career challenges or addictions. There are also some very simple practices that, if...

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Create Christmas Spirit

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Create Christmas Spirit

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...

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A Movie Christmas

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

A Movie Christmas

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...

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Why Christmas?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Why Christmas?

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...

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Are You Truly Free?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Are You Truly Free?

The Oxford Living Dictionary defines freedom as: "The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved". As we near Remembrance Day we often think about military members who risked their own lives with threats of being imprisoned, enslaved or worse so that we could experience freedom from foreign domination or despotic governments. Most return from their tour of duty with haunting memories of what they saw and did. Many have physical problems that are service-related. All of them realize that they have precious missed time with family and friends as well as the "normalcy" of life at home. It is sad...

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O Canada

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

O Canada

This year I will be celebrating Canada Day in the Maritimes. Air Canada had a wonderful Mother's Day Seat Sale and I just couldn't resist! Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island is known as the birthplace of Canada. From September 1 to September 9, 1864 meetings were held to discuss the possibility of Confederation. Originally the only ones who were to participate were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. These three were hoping to have more political and economic independence from England as well as military power considering the American Civil War. Newfoundland and the Province of Canada which consisted...

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Easter Blessings

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Easter Blessings

We are all standing on the threshold of one of the most recognized Christian celebrations of the year. For some people, Easter is merely a long weekend. Schools, on the other hand, usually plan a week-long break for the children. For still others Easter observance spans for several weeks with specific parts including Lent, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Pentecost. Devoted Christians view Easter as one part of a life-long faith walk. Not everyone who attends church is a Christian and many who are Christian do not attend organized religious services. Reginald Bibby, who is known for research he did...

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Life Is Choices - Choose Thanksgiving

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Life Is Choices - Choose Thanksgiving

It is so easy to focus on all the things that go wrong in a day or in life. Fall is a season that reminds us to focus on the things that are going right - and to give thanks. The snow comes and with it we may experience dangerous driving, frozen locks, inability to find winter clothing, even flooding when the temperatures vary. But, at the same time, most of us enjoy warm houses, reliable transportation choices, and the promise of spring! Technology is supposed to make life easier but it's rapidly changing advances can leave us with feelings...

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How to Remember - November 11th

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How to Remember - November 11th

Memory is an interesting faculty of human life. Often I hear clients express concern about not being able to remember everything or recognizing that their memory isn't working as well as it had in the past. My response is to remind them that we are in an age of information and it is not even possible to remember everything. The Internet allows us to access facts within seconds so learning how to search is a wonderful skill that replaces the need to remember. I don't want to remember everything! For example, I have seen over 7,000 clients and I certainly...

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O Christmas Tree

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

O Christmas Tree

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...

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Life Is Not A Movie

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Life Is Not A Movie

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...

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A New Year

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

A New Year

I had a lot of company over the Christmas holidays. Some were here just to open gifts. Some came to share a meal and others were here for a few days. People were coming and going while I was the one constant in the celebrations. Because I live alone, the whole experience was very different from my everyday life. There were menus to plan, groceries to buy, gifts to buy and wrap. And I worked throughout the entire preparation stage. We had so much fun - laughing and playing games and sharing stories. By Tuesday morning everyone was gone and...

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Labour Day Thoughts

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Labour Day Thoughts

My mother had limited options when it came to choosing a career. She could be a nurse, a nun or a teacher. She wasn't Catholic and didn't think she could handle the duties in nursing. The requirement at the time as preparation for holding a teaching position was to complete a one-year "Normal School" program which she did. Mom taught in small Saskatchewan towns but when my maternal grandmother had both breasts and part of her throat removed because of cancer, she went before the school board to make a proposal. Family was a priority for her. She told her...

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Heritage Day - Celebrate!

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Heritage Day - Celebrate!

The first Monday in August offers a long weekend to many Canadians. Each province, however, has adopted a different name for the civic holiday. We hear it called Saskatchewan Day, British Columbia Day, Natal Day (Nova Scotia), and Terry Fox Day (Manitoba). Cites in Ontario have each chosen to name the holiday after a former leader or pioneer such as Alexander McKenzie (Sarnia), Simcoe (Toronto), George Hamilton (Hamilton), of Peter Robinson (Peterborough). Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island recognize the first Monday of August as a statutory holiday. Quebec, Yukon Newfoundland and Labrador do not celebrate on that date...

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Mother's Day: Different Types of Mothers

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Mother's Day: Different Types of Mothers

When I was a child we would wear an artificial carnation to church on Mother's Day. Red or pink meant that one's mother was alive whereas white indicated that the person's mother had passed. Since then, I have been thinking about how many different kinds of mothers we recognize in society:1. Birth mother - The woman who conceived and gave birth to you.2. Adoptive mother - The person who legally or formally took on the caregiving responsibilities for you.3. Social mother - A woman who informally took on the role of a parent by your choice, by hers or by...

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Royalty: Victoria Day and Queen Elizabeth II

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Royalty: Victoria Day and Queen Elizabeth II

This year Victoria Day is scheduled for May 22. Although the holiday was named for Queen Victoria, it is her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth who is now honoured on that date. Queen Elizabeth was 91 years old on April 21. Despite this, she moves forward in her reign with a schedule and energy that many who are decades longer could not match. She had 294 engagements in 2016! Movies and documentaries outline the sixty years that she has been on the throne. I believe that none of these, however, describe the importance that she has placed on separation of her personal...

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Fads and Fashion

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Fads and Fashion

Do any of you remember party lines or eight-tracks or home milk delivery by a horse and wagon? All those things were part of everyday life forty or fifty years ago. Times change. Even in the past five or ten years we have experienced significant changes in technology, travel and communication methods. Today I went to have my hair styled and some of the patrons were talking about the fact that perms are coming back into vogue. Some things disappear and then reappear again. Life is very different from the time when Canada became a nation one hundred and fifty...

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A New Month

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

A New Month

I always like starting a new month. Each offers four weeks of interesting opportunities that are just waiting for your involvement. April is even more exciting than most months for a number of reasons: 1. Weather - After months of cold and snow, we finally can wear a lighter jacket to go outdoors. Birds are singing and buds in the trees are opening. The sound of gentle rain that encourages growth can be so relaxing. There are more hours of warm sunshine and a fresh smell in the air that signals a transition in the seasons. 2. Accomplishments - College...

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Thanksgiving Weekend

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Thanksgiving Weekend

The last four months have not been very typical for me. In June I saw all six of my grandchildren even though they live in three different provinces and are each busy with jobs, school and activities. We celebrated the birthdays of each just because we were together despite the date on the calendar at the time. We had fun! In July, five of my first cousins got together in Regina for a family wedding. There are so few of us and there aren't that many weddings in society anymore so it was really special! While in the Queen City...

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