Self-Care for the Holidays

You can feel the intensity starting about a week before Thanksgiving. People are beginning to make lists, worry about family gifts, think about how much money to spend, and stress over getting through all of their holiday responsibilities. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanza, the pressure is on! Once we make it through the non-denominational Thanksgiving dinner, it is almost as if the anxiety about the holidays becomes more prominent than the holiday itself. … [Read more...]

How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

As I thought about New Year’s Resolutions, it occurred to me that they often derive from some negative way that we see ourselves. I spend too much money; therefore, my resolution is that I will save more. I am 10 pounds overweight; thus, I will exercise more and eat healthy. I work too much, so I resolve to spend more time with my family.   The problem with these resolutions is not only that they come from some judgmental part of our self-image, but that they are hard to keep. We all have … [Read more...]

The Effortless House Guest

In the next few weeks, many of us will either be guests at the homes of friends or family, or be welcoming guests into our homes.  Some of my best holiday memories involve making my family’s stay with us one of warmth and fun. Being an “effortless” house guest insures that you will always be invited back.  What do I mean by effortless?  I mean being someone who does not require that your host and the household activities revolve around you.  I am reminded of my nephew, a vegetarian, who says … [Read more...]

Love and Loss at the Holidays

As I pass the one year anniversary of my mother’s death, I am sad that my mom will not be with us for the holidays and keenly aware of her absence. For the last 18 months, my mother – when she was alive and when she was not – was my responsibility. I was the one who saw her the most, she lived with me for the last six months of her life and then, as her executor, it was my responsibility to carry out her wishes. My brother and sister helped when they could, but I was the local child and then … [Read more...]

Celebrating Our Matriarchs This Mother’s Day

Last week was Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, a day for remembrance and reflection, a day to listen to testimonials from survivors and heroes, a day to be grateful for the many blessings in our lives. The next day I also spoke at my aunt's funeral where I celebrated the blessing of having had Aunt Bea in my life. Like Steven Spielberg's USC Shoah Foundation, which videotapes and preserves the memories of Holocaust survivors and witnesses, we owe it to ourselves and future generations to … [Read more...]