Archives for December 2011

The Fight Before Christmas

‘Twas was the night before Christmas, And the house was a dump. The kids were feeling Christmassy, But I was a grump.   The laundry piled up, the table was crummy No gifts had been wrapped, nothing made that was yummy. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of a happy mama danced in their heads.   But I was working so hard to make them a Christmas, I didn’t have time for all this merriment business. For only that morning I had heard such a ruckus I … [Read more...]

Growing Men (and Women) of Grit

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen becoming the first person to reach the South Pole.Arriving on December 14, 1911, he beat British explorer, Robert Falcon Scott, by a month, but the value of his accomplishment is, to this day, hotly disputed.  Sure, Amundsen got to the pole first, say the Brits, but Scott was slowed down because he was gathering scientific data along the way.  But Scott wasn't a real polar expert and was merely following Shackleton's earlier routes, say the … [Read more...]

The Flawed Theology of Naughty and Nice Lists

A few years ago, my mother gave me a Christmas pillow on which a picture of Santa's naughty and nice lists was embroidered.  She had a strange smile on her face when she gave it to me and once I looked at it closely, I figured out why:  Both my and my sister's names were on the 'naughty' list. Nice, Mom. Or should I say, naughty? For years moms and dads the world over have preached Santa's naughty/nice list theology to their children.  If you're good, you earn your way onto the nice list and a … [Read more...]

No More Side Checking

Why does it seem like nobody knows who they are anymore?Books like Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life, Max Lucado's Cure For the Common Life:  Living in Your Sweet Spot, and the Strength's Finder series are but a few of the litany of books that line bookstore shelves, promising to help us figure ourselves out.  We take personality tests to find out if we're ESTJ's or INFP's.  We go to conferences to determine if we are otters or lions.  We hire career or life coaches to mine our psyches fo … [Read more...]

Nine Life Lessons From Buddy the Elf

We kicked off the Christmas season last week with our first viewing of Elf, starring Will Farrell.  I say our first viewing because, being one of our favorite Christmas movies, one viewing is never enough.  We love this movie, not only because it is side-splittingly funny, but because the main character, Buddy the elf, is about the best life coach out there.  Here are some of the things he taught me:1.  Accept RealityEven when he falls 915 items behind in the toy building room and is fin … [Read more...]

Lessons from the Pumpkin Bread Incident

Being the matriarch of a large family, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the lot of us can descend into the 'blame game' when something goes wrong.   The pumpkin bread incident is a perfect example because, truly (for once!) NO ONE was to blame.  It was that most elusive of events:  The Simple Mistake.  Somehow, in all the finger pointing, the one solution to The Case of the Missing Pumpkin Bread none of us entertained was that none of us had a flawless recollection of what had ha … [Read more...]