Holiday Blues, Christmas Wars, and Finding Peace Within

Battle of the Nutcrackers

Christmas Nutcracker Wars

Every year in our home the advent of the Christmas season begins with a war.  It is an epic battle between our daughter and son.  My husband brings up the holiday decoration boxes from the crawl space and the kids rush to find the box with the nutcrackers.  Over the years “Santa” has brought the children nutcrackers of all sorts–girls and boys alike.  We have ballerinas, angels, warriors, elves, firemen, and bakers to name a few.  Additionally I have little nutcracker ornaments as well.  The kids open all the ornaments and pull out the giant nutcrackers and set up the battlefield with the large nutcrackers as generals in the back and the small ones as their army.  Play by play, nutcrackers lie dead on the floor until the children declare the game over or I get fed up and ask them to clean up the battlefield so we can sweep the floor. Continue reading “Holiday Blues, Christmas Wars, and Finding Peace Within”

“Pain without Suffering: Caring for Parents with Compassion”

As we care for our parents they also care for us.

Compassion is at the heart of Christian and Buddhist teachings, and yet compassion is one of the most challenging spiritual practices to develop.  As we have entered our 40’s the reality of our aging parents is upon us.  For six months of the year my father-in-law travels from India to live here in the United States—three months at our home and three months at his youngest son’s home.  His routine, customs, and eating habits are very different than ours, but normally we coexist fairly well.  This year during his visit he began to experience pain in his mouth.  What would have been perhaps a routine visit for most Americans turned into a summer long project for “Appa’s smile”.

Continue reading ““Pain without Suffering: Caring for Parents with Compassion””