Away From Home for the Holidays

I looked out at the setting sun, and twisted the ring Pop Pop gave me, the one I always wear on my right hand. I forgot the candles. I cannot believe I forgot the candles. It was the first night of Hanukkah, and I had failed. I was without candles, matches and a menorah. But more importantly, I was without my family and friends. I felt fortunate to be traveling in Thailand, where I’m studying for the year (so very …

A Holiday Surprise: Learning How to Give

There’s a woman in my town who seems to be everywhere. She is of indeterminate age, and whether she’s at the Metro or the farmers market, she asks passersby for money. Sometimes she sells the homeless newspaper. She usually talks in a kind of sad, downbeat monotone. I saw her at the market Sunday, and it was pretty cold. When she said she needed a few bucks for a meal at our local cafe, I said I’d walk down with her …

’Tis the Season to Eat Wisely

Macaroni and cheese, candied yams, salty hams and tons of sugary desserts. These are just a few of the temptations between Thanksgiving and Christmas that could cause us to literally eat ourselves to death! Seriously. But, there is hope for us all. Although November is traditionally observed as National Diabetes Month and even National Family Week at the end, let’s carry wise, life-giving habits into December and throughout the years ahead. >> High-Calorie Foods That Are Good for Your Health Heart …

Yes, Men Are Idiots. And Science Can Prove It

Men are idiots. No, truly, they are, and now all the long-suffering, eye-rolling women of the world have the hard science to prove it. A bunch of British researchers who, may I point out, are all men, have done a study on what they call the male idiot theory (MIT). The research, published in the traditionally quirky Christmas issue of the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), takes a look at sex differences in “idiotic risk-taking behavior” where the payoff …

Are Your Kids Too Old for Gifts?

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s impossible to get away from the message that we should be making a list and checking it twice. We wondered if adult children ever age out of the gift list. Not really, according to a very random survey among boomer women, both online and at a local gym. “You’re never too old for gifts from parents,” said a 25-year-old trainer who overheard the discussion. “At least I hope not!” Most moms surveyed, however, …

Wanted: A Family for Christmas

Christmas is traditionally a time when families gather. Sure, all families are imperfect; we all have disagreements and conflicts. But for most, the love is still there and holidays are special times. For many, however, there are no good memories of Christmas mornings or good-natured squabbles over holiday plans. There is, essentially, no family. CBS News recently aired this story about Jackie Turner, a student at William Jessup University, near Sacramento, Calif. Jackie was facing another Christmas with no family. …