Tag Archives: Holidays

A Short List of Acceptable Christmas Songs

Every year stores seem to start playing Christmas music earlier than they did the year before. My patience for these tunes is all but entirely worn out this season, and we’re still a little over two weeks away from Christmas. Nearly every rule has at least one exception, though, so today I’ll be sharing the short list of… Read More

Thanksgiving Stories

Happy U.S. Thanksgiving! So I won’t be having the big turkey dinner today for two reasons: 1) I already celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving last month, and 2) I’m not actually that big of a fan of most of the foods that are traditionally served for this meal. They’re ok. I’ll eat them with gratitude if someone else wants to… Read More

Christmas Will Follow in the Footsteps of Halloween

 Hark! Hark to the wind! ‘Tis the night, they say,    When all souls come back from the far away –     The dead, forgotten this many a day!    And the dead remembered – ay! long and well –     And the little children whose spirits dwell    In God’s green garden of asphodel.    Have you reached the country of all content,    0 souls we know,… Read More

How Pacifists Celebrate Memorial Day (and Other Patriotic Holidays)

It seems unlikely at first, especially for those of us who grew up with strong Anabaptist influences. My grandparents were and are many things: resourceful, thrifty, hospitable, humble. What they aren’t: loud, flashy, or patriotic. There is a quiet mistrust of the government among my Mennonite ancestors. Digging into this could fill up a post ten this… Read More

Family Day

Happy Family Day to my Canadian readers! Confession:  manufactured holidays like this one are a little silly to me. Most of us don’t choose our families. We’re born, adopted, or married into them. And that’s it. You’re one of the group now for better or worse. I’m very lucky to have a close-knit immediate family, but… Read More

Hiding Through Halloween

Underneath my grandmother’s piano. Behind her couch, right next to the cabinet full of Little Golden books that my mother, aunt, and uncles grew up reading. On the top bunk of the bed my father built for me. Between the bushes at the public library where one of our churches held services for a year… Read More

Every Day is Valentine’s Day

Confession: I’ve never celebrated a traditional Valentine’s Day. Drew and I have been together eight years without once giving or receiving boxes of chocolates or bouquets. If he ever sent me a sappy card I’d wonder what secret code was hidden behind the mushiness. Rather than cooing over the sentimental message I’d see how quickly… Read More

How to Celebrate the Holidays When You Don’t Have an Extended Family

A new reader recently found this blog by searching for this phrase. It’s a great question, one in which is just as applicable for people who live far away from or haven’t formed a close or healthy relationship with  their extended family. My family moved several times when I was growing up. For four years… Read More

Behind Closed Doors

While I was growing up my father often said, “you never really know what’s going on in someone else’s life.” It was eye-opening as a preacher’s kid to glimpse what was really happening in other people’s homes. Some of the happiest families at church assumed those roles by stuffing their darkest secrets so deeply into… Read More