The excited anticipation of Christmas is always juxtaposed with a bombardment of requests from organizations begging for year-end donations from a hoped-for sense of generosity and a surplus of savings. How do you decide where and how much to donate? Do you have a formula that you follow to give certain percentages? Do you give to at least one organization in each of the categories such as: environment? animal welfare? education? mental health? social/racial justice? hunger?

How do you decide which causes are “good?” Do you look up on the...

I almost forgot to turn it on
6:28 on Christmas Eve and I was busy
washing dishes from dinner
She asked, ‘what about your church service?’
And I started, and wiped my hands on the dish towel
not wanting to be late.

On the screen a room full of boxes
all of my friends and acquaintances
in miniature, just like every Sunday for
what feels like weary years.

children dressed up as Mary and Joseph and
Angels and Wise Men and Women
then dogs and babies dressed up like Sheep.
And footage from...

If you are like me, there are certain buzzwords out there in the world that elicit a visceral response that can ruin your day. If I get invited one more time to “mastermind (used as a verb) about potential innovation that can 10X our vertical growth by leveraging human assets to become influencers and thought leaders within our space,” I’m gonna lose it. One of those terms is “GRATITUDE JOURNAL.”

I love the idea of a gratitude journal, but for whatever reason, those words put together make me cringe. However, I do practice journaling…about gratitude…in my as-yet-unnamed, but...

This year I knit the newest Christmas stocking for our family.  With our son’s engagement to be married to a lovely woman named Ikuko, I set to work to add her personalized stocking to the mantle.  These bright green stockings with each person’s name stitched in red were originally created by my mother, who was great with needlework.  Each of us four kids had our own stocking which stretched to hold one of the best oranges found at Christmas.  As each of us married and had children, she lovingly knit additional personalized stockings for our spouses and children.  By the...

I’m guessing most, all? of us have watched more films this year than past years.  The pandemic came at a time when just about any show ever made can be streamed into our homes.

I love how films can open up whole new worlds to us, but I’m also interested in how they circumscribe the world.  The camera is so powerful not just for what it shows, but for what it doesn’t show.  Rather than flood us with a constant field of peripheral vision, from which we must continually choose where to focus our attention, the camera focuses the attention for us.  Rather than show us the whole crowd,...