Month: December 2015

Looking for Peace?

It’s New Year’s Eve, a day of bidding farewell to 2015 and preparing for 2016, the anticipated year ahead. So what you are hoping to resolve next year?

One acquaintance is going to do bit of saving and another a bit of exercising. As for me, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions as such but I will take this opportunity  as I did around my birthday in September, to reflect and project.

And in doing so, I  have hope to resolve a few things. One thing I am I am hoping for is a bit more peace in 2016, not only on a personal note but on a public one, too.

Peace, the topic of my last 2015 Huff Post blog, is one of those concepts that seems elusive. Still we strive for it and hope for it, but sometimes perhaps we look in the wrong place. Perhaps it is time to look in what is likely the only place that peace can be found: within. Read more in the Huff Post.

In the meantime, wishing you a Peaceful and Happy New Year.


Taking a Stand for Christmas

The excitement of Christmas is still on for most of us. At least for me it is, as I prepare to celebrate with family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, three days now. Okay, so we don’t have chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping at our nose in London, due to unseasonable temperatures for December, but we have laid on a gorgeous spread, from spectacular carol services to fantastic decorations throughout the city to sought after Christmas gifts to delicious food, all on offer right up to Christmas Eve.

You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But yesterday as I was doing some last minute shopping at a major retailer in Sloane Square, I was shocked to hear at least one of their Christmas trees was being taken down.

There I was in customer collections, a wonderful way to shop, online and then collect it (yeah, it’s that easy) when a young man walked in and said he was sent down from Christmas to take down their Christmas tree. Was it okay?

Christmas, I thought. How contrary, but I guess that it is the name of a department at this time of year. Anyhow, the first sales assistant hunched her shoulders and said you’ll have to ask her, pointing to a lady who might have been the manager.

Nonchalantly, she said, of course.

Honestly! Was I the only one bothered by this, the dismantling of a tree four days before Christmas, with as many shopping days left, too?

Still I kept quiet and thanked my lucky stars that it was there when I walked in, keeping me in the Christmas spirit. I hurried off, unable to bear the tree’s premature departure.

Since then, it has occurred to me that while the rest us might like to take this thing to the last mile, the retailers have decided to wrap it up, rather earlier, evident in lack of stock for the last minute shoppers, and the preparation for the next big thing, the January sales.

Sure there are deals to be had but most of them were done last week when most of the big boys had a 30% off pre-sale because this week, the January sales start–precisely Christmas Eve, even if it is online. What does this mean?

On the news this morning, one expert suggested that maybe they’ve called it too early this time around, participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday and so on and bringing the January sales into December, disappointing their shoppers.

She went on to say it means that some people are finding the last minute bargains already snapped up, out of stock.

You know, I ran into a bit of that, too. But the real point is this: the shopping frenzy has become a part of the holiday festivity, but it was never meant to overshadow and disrespect the celebration, was it?

I always think of gift giving, likely originating from the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus, some time after his birth, as an important part of Christmas as long as it is kept in perspective.

I know I know, I got a little out of hand, but I get the point of Christmas. And as I have years before, I’m keeping it sacred. Hoping that the majority will join in, too. And if they don’t, never mind. Everyone has to take a stand sometimes, if even the stand is alone. On that note, Merry Christmas to all!

Is It Time To Redefine A Relationship?

We all need relationships, whether they are familiar or romantic. Without them, we feel unhappy and unhealthy. But even with them, specifically when they go wrong, we can feel deprived of a basic need, not to mention when a relationship breaks down altogether.

In my most recent Huff Post blog, I explore the question: Why Relationships Break Down, looking more at familiar relations. Of course, there are a number of reasons that parents and children stop speaking and so on. But could there be something at the crux of such fall outs, something as simple or as complicated as definition or lack thereof?

Read more in the Huffington Post.