Advent

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like–Advent?

Dear Anne, I used to think my neighbors were crazy. Each year they would put up their Christmas tree and decorate it on Christmas Eve after their kids (all nine of them!) went to bed. They waited until the 24th for carols and Christmas cookies. I thought they were gluttons for punishment (with nine kids,… Continue reading It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like–Advent?

Happiness · thanksgiving

Everything I Need to Know About Thanksgiving I Learned at the Dog Show

Dear Anne, On Saturday, I found myself in heaven on earth, surrounded by thousands of wagging tails and wet noses; a heaven I can visit every year, right before Thanksgiving. While The National Dog Show is broadcast on Thanksgiving Day, it actually takes place the weekend before, just outside of Philadelphia. Do you think I’d miss… Continue reading Everything I Need to Know About Thanksgiving I Learned at the Dog Show

Disaster recovery · Faith · Volunteering

Look for the Helpers–And Be One, Too

Dear Anne, “Look for the helpers.” Those were the words Fred Rogers’ mother would say to him when he was scared by images of disasters on TV, encouraging him to look beyond the trauma and chaos to those who were stepping in to aid the afflicted. I was reminded of her wisdom these past weeks… Continue reading Look for the Helpers–And Be One, Too

Faith

Come From Away–And Find Our 9/12 Selves

Dear Anne, The contentious, almost soap opera-esque Supreme Court hearings and attendant outrage have made for an anxious and depressing couple of weeks in the news. Between Facebook rantings, incessant negativity from the media and knowing that the public airing of sexual assault allegations is difficult for many people I care for, I felt like… Continue reading Come From Away–And Find Our 9/12 Selves

Catholic · Faith · forgiveness · Happiness

No Pain, No Gain

Dear Anne, The other day I was listening to my guru Dennis Prager’s “happiness hour” on the radio and he was talking about bringing the athletic concept of “no pain no gain” to our personal lives. Specifically, he was talking about how children ultimately lose opportunities for growth (and therefore happiness) when well-intentioned parents shelter… Continue reading No Pain, No Gain