Advent — O come, O come, Emmanuel


“O come, O come, Emmanuel” is the Advent song. Here’s a little about its history and beauty and two wonderful versions — a video clip of Sugarland and an audio clip of Emily Scott with guidance for song leaders. [Read more...]

Advent — Happy New Year! (liturgically speaking)


The beginning of Advent is also the beginning of the liturgical year in many Christian denominations. Learn more about what that means and when other religions start their year. [Read more...]

Advent reflections and facts ahead


I walk into this holiday season with one hand firmly grasping tradition, the other hanging on for dear life to our crazy consumer culture. Please join me. Over the next month, I’ll be sharing Advent reflections, Advent factoids, favorite music and other holiday-themed posts. [Read more...]

PETA’s misleading propaganda war against Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit


PETA has decided to make an example of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit in a publicity campaign to end all use of animals in films. As best I can tell, their case against The Hobbit is thin at best, more likely intentionally deceptive. [Read more...]

Another “Facebook is out to get you” hoax


Once again, there’s been a flurry of urgent posts from Facebook friends encouraging people to assert their copyright and forbid Facebook from using or selling material they post on Facebook. First of all, this is a hoax. Second, I have news for you all: while the internet is public space, owned by no one, Facebook is not. [Read more...]

Being On Time


Being on time is not just about time management. If you’re a chronically late person, it can carry behind it a lot of other issues. I fall short most days, but while my actions may not be perfect, I no longer think it’s OK to be late. Do you struggle with being on time? [Read more...]

The Salvation Army has lost my dollar in the kettle


Already under criticism for its position on homosexuality both internally and politically, the Salvation Army has crossed another line by celebrating anti-Obama propagandist Dinesh D’Souza, and lost my dollar in the kettle. [Read more...]

A Thanksgiving reflection from the Buddhist tradition

Autumn leaf  (c) 2012 Phil Fox Rose

A great Thanksgiving reflection from the Theravadan Buddhist tradition. Happy Thanksgiving! [Read more...]

4 tips for conscious gift shopping for Black Friday and, even better, Fair Tuesday

Close-up of Christmas card from local craft business Parallel Print Shop in California

Choosing a present specifically for another person, wrapping it playfully and offering it to them involves love, selflessness and hospitality. But how do you buy gifts consciously in our mass consumer culture? Here are some suggestions. [Read more...]

Life of Pi: A 3-D delight that stays on course


Life of Pi is one of those books you imagine will not translate well to film. It’s too fantastical and too abstract, while at the same time being basically a one-person story. I’m delighted to say that Ang Lee has pulled off the near-impossible and made a movie worthy of the beloved book [Read more...]