Give Thanks!

by Chris Christopherson

Arlyne and Chris Christopherson

While Corrie Ten Boom was living in a German concentration camp, her entire body became infested with lice, making a bad situation worse. She was complaining about it one day, and her sister reminded her of the Bible verse that says “In everything give thanks,” and she challenged Corrie to give thanks for the lice. Corrie’s response was “How can I give thanks to God for lice?” But she made a choice to offer thanks for the lice anyway. Later, she found out that the lice had actually protected her from the assaults of the German soldiers. Continue reading “Give Thanks!”

A 1… 2… 3… Approach to the Holiday Glow for Bereaved

by Elle Fagan

Grieving? Almost all forms of winter holidays share a message of Life and Light in the midst of dormancy and dark. Focus on that message. That’s YOU this year. And yet, you can find the glow, anyway, almost as easy as 1, 2, 3:

Confront and win – with yourself Think about and understand your own status: where are you on the path to healing? What might work this year to make a holiday? If you are medicated, do not mix with holiday alcohol. Non-alcoholic is just as tasty and safer. Search, online and off, and ask your doctor for his advice.Like a Santa’s bag for health and happiness; knowledge is power. I learned from my own grief recovery, and later counseling, it comes down to the simple message: “Hang in, it gets better – It DOES get better.” Do a few things to help it get better. Know that this year, the very things that use to delight may be acutely painful, without some attention. Continue reading “A 1… 2… 3… Approach to the Holiday Glow for Bereaved”

Illuminate Eight Nights with 8 Big Ideas

by Nancy Gershman

For eight nights in a row this year, Jews will light up for Hanukkah*. Not just literally with the traditional tool kit of 9-branched menorah, candles and lighter – but metaphorically speaking. We will light up our hearts to make room for love, for joy, and for gratitude in the best of all possible worlds: a pitch black space.

*Known as the Festival of Lights, (or facetiously as Christmas without Christ, Santa or tree) Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days to “publicize” the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that miraculously lasted eight days during this revolt. Continue reading “Illuminate Eight Nights with 8 Big Ideas”

Holiday Memories of Brooke

by Jennifer Scalise

The holiday season is an emotionally challenging time for those of us struggling with the loss of a loved one. As a mother who has endured and survived the loss of her daughter I can relate to missing a loved one in the midst of the festivities and celebrations of the season— a time rich in family tradition typically spent with those you love.

In our household, the holidays always started early. Halloween typically marked the kickoff. From then on we excitedly decorated and prepared for Christmas. I loved the magical feeling and could not get enough of it! Holiday tunes played in our cars and throughout our home from the first of November all the way through to New Year’s Day— literally to the point those around me couldn’t tolerate it any longer. I went overboard both inside and out. I decorated the front of the house, the back of the house, and put up four Christmas trees; one that stood two stories tall and took days to decorate! Preparations began early because it literally took us weeks to finish all we needed to do. Continue reading “Holiday Memories of Brooke”