Articles — Home and Family_Holidays(103)

Get Your House in Order

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_New Years iStock New Articles

Have you ever heard the expression “get your house in order” and wondered what that means?  Well, there are several things that are involved in achieving this.  Firstly, it means that you make sure that your affairs are arranged properly.  It also means that you have dealt with problems appropriately. The third part is to ensure that these things are completed before you even consider thinking about or criticizing others. So, as you know, I believe in breaking tasks down into small steps and watching goals being achieved over time.  Because of this, I have laid out twelve areas in...

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A New Beginning

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_New Years iStock New Articles

Bryan Stevenson graduated from Harvard, and, despite his mother’s concerns, he decided to work in Arkansas with prisoners on death row. His story is chronicled in the book “Just Mercy” which he authored and the movie by the same name. The movie states: “For every 9 people who have been executed in the U.S.one person who has been on death row has been proven innocent and released – a shocking rate of error”. As we stand on the threshold of a new year, many of us hope for new beginnings.   Some are burdened by mistakes made in the past.   You...

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Gifts

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Christmas iStock New Articles

Is there a particular gift that you have secretly been wanting This year, more than ever, I have been hearing people talk about how difficult it is to buy gifts for loved ones.   Some say that they don’t know what the other person might want or need.  The size, colour or style is usually a matter of personal preference and often we don’t know these details.  Also, we might not know what the person already has or will be receiving from others. Over the years I have given gifts that were met with comments such as “I just bought myself...

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Christmas Choices

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Christmas iStock New Articles

I have fond memories of Christmas when I was a child.  Besides the concerts and thoughts of school break we had the expectations of what would happen in the upcoming days. On Christmas Eve, my mom, dad, sister and I would stay home and have a nice meal followed by opening of the gifts.  I don’t know if this was primarily because of our maternal Scandinavian roots, lack of patience, or anticipation of a very busy Christmas day but we always loved to not have to wait until the twenty-fifth for the presents.  Then we would go across the street...

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What Price?

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Remembrance Day iStock New Articles

November is a special time for me as it focusses my thoughts on remembrance and the price of freedom that was paid for me.   Even though I was born after World War II, I was strongly impacted by the stories that my mother told me about sacrifices everyone made during the war years.  We sometimes forget that the fighting lasted for almost six years! Young men joined ranks and left their homes for unknown locations and secrecy.  Their training involved doing things that would help them in battle but haunt them afterwards.  They were conditioned to sleep lightly, respond with...

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Grief and Loss

Justin Walter Home and Family Home and Family_Death Dying Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Thanksgiving iStock New Articles

Throughout life we experience many losses which cause mental suffering.  Some involve death while others involve significant losses such as relationships, jobs or even material things.  Many believe that the most difficult to face is the loss of a dream.  When a child dies, for example, the parents lose their dream of seeing that child graduate, marry and grow. Because of the drastic changes that have accompanied the pandemic I thought it would be important to review the stages of grief and loss.   These were outlined in a book written by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross who watched people and their...

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One Country

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Canada Day iStock New Articles

I have learned that no matter where we go in the world, Canadians are welcomed.   We have a good reputation of being kind, honest, and peace-loving.   In fact, there is a silly joke about how Canadians are so nice that we apologize even when it isn’t our fault! Unfortunately, I have noticed that the pandemic has created fear and confusion which frequently threatens our unity.  Family members are upset with each other when they don’t share the same opinions.   People out in the public are being stared at or shouted down by complete strangers.  Even our leaders and health officials...

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May Long Weekend

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Victoria Day New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

Well, we are in pandemic lockdown again but that doesn’t change the dates on the calendar.   No matter what happens, one of the favourite holidays, May long weekend with soon be here. Many people look forward to this date for a number of reasons.   Which one would apply to you?” CAMPING – When the weather is nice it is fun to head for a vacation spot with family and gear.   Perhaps a boat, kayak or bikes will add fun to the few days away from home.   And of course, there will be barbecue foods and marshmallows to roast. ROYAL FAMILY...

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Mother's Day

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Mothers Day iStock New Articles

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: Birth mother – The woman who conceived and gave birth to you. Adoptive mother – The person who legally or formally took on the caregiving responsibilities for you. Social mother – A woman who informally took on the role of a parent by your choice, by hers or by...

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Honouring Mothers

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Mothers Day iStock New Articles

The first time that Mother’s Day was officially celebrated was on May 10, 1908 at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virgina, USA.   The originator who established it was Anna Jarvis who had admired the work of her own mother and, after her death wanted to make a special tribute to her.  During the service she distributed 500 carnations to women in the church as this had been the favourite flower of her mother.  In 1912 Anna trademarked the phrases “Second Sunday in May” “Mother’s Day”.   That year she also created the Mother’s Day International Association. President Woodrow Wilson...

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Finally Spring

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Easter iStock New Articles

The past few weeks I have taken great joy in the fact that I can open my bedroom window and patio door!  There’s nothing like the wonderful breeze that floats into my condo bringing with it the change of seasons.   I hear the chirping of baby birds and the sound of boats attempting their first journey on the river.  The soft voices and laughter of individuals who are out for a walk float into the room. Someone is creating an amazing smell on their barbecue and I try to guess who the chef is and what is the menu....

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What do you Believe?

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Easter iStock New Articles

Well, we are entering Easter week – a time when Christians throughout the world celebrate!   But there are many different perspectives and practices for those who claim to be Christian. Here are some of versions that I have heard when individuals were asked if there is a God in their life: Absolutely not! Some people believe that all we have is today and there is no afterlife.   Responsibility for one’s success and failures therefore lie within each person who makes choices and then, when it is time to die, they just go to sleep. I have the denomination of my...

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Spring Fling

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Easter iStock New Articles

  In 1933 Irving Berlin wrote and published the song “Easter Parade”.   Fifteen years later Judy Garland starred in a movie of the same name.   The themes of these involved dressing up in a fancy frilled bonnet and being part of a procession in the streets to celebrate!   I remember in my childhood how spring, Easter and bonnets were all tied together.   Church was a very important part of every week as this is where we had rummage sales, CGIT, choir practice, cooking lessons and a number of other community activities in addition to Sunday School and church services....

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Loving During a Pandemic

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Valentines Day iStock News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

  It is almost impossible to stage a traditional Valentine’s Day outing when everyone is locked up or wearing masks and distancing at least six feet apart.   The days of fancy dinners in exotic locations are out of reach.   But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy and show love if you are willing to be creative and wise.    Let’s examine the three psychological aspects of love: Thoughts – So many times I have been touched by individuals who tell me that they have been thinking about me.   What a compliment!   Someone who invests time and energy into reviewing...

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Putting Things in Order

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_New Years iStock

December is usually a very busy month for me, but this year was probably the craziest yet!  The fact that I have been working from home for nine months meant a lot of changes.   My dining room table has become my office center and each chair has specific filing bins with forms that I use.  Yes, I am from the days of yore when everything has been and still takes a paper format.  New software allows me to see my clients on a secure platform that has expanded the “reach” for all of us.  No more driving, parking or waiting...

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Mary's Story

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Christmas News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

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...

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Honouring Our Veterans

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Remembrance Day iStock

Over the years I have had the privilege of working with many Veterans and they have taught me so much about the sacrifices they made for our freedom.   I used to be in awe of the courage that our military displayed in very traumatic situations that I frankly would not have attempted.  More recently, however, I have come to realize that one of the most significant impacts on their lives was the need to adjust several times in order to fulfill their roles. We have likely all heard or seen military recruitment materials that offer an opportunity for those who...

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Noticing Daily Gifts

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Thanksgiving iStock

  Last Saturday I had a long list of things that needed to be done so got an early start.  I headed to my office to drop off and pick up items that would sum up my week’s work with clients.  There wasn’t anyone in the professional building which offered an interesting silence.    For a couple of hours, I just soaked up the comfort and beauty of the space I had decorated for clients and staff while autographing books and doing some paperwork. Next, I picked up a grocery order that I had placed online and then headed to...

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What Makes Canada Unique?

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Canada Day

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!

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_And More iStock

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!

Dr. Linda Hancock 14. The Fourteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Christmas

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

Dr. Linda Hancock 14. The Fourteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_New Years iStock

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

Dr. Linda Hancock 14. The Fourteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_And More iStock

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

Dr. Linda Hancock 14. The Fourteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Thanksgiving iStock

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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Our Heritage

Dr. Linda Hancock 14. The Fourteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Heritage Day iStock

Even though there are a variety of names in Canada for the first Monday of August, most areas of the country observe it as a public holiday. In Alberta we call it "Heritage Day". There are different ways that people celebrate as well as different ideas about what heritage even means. I like to think of heritage as the investments or gains that we have received because of our past including the following:   Roots - Today I went for blood work and referred to Saskatchewan as "the old country". The lab tech, who is an immigrant, was surprised and...

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