publisher's note

Life's lessons and points to ponder


Life can sometimes be difficult - especiallyaround the holidays. For most of us, many life lessons are learned through pain, bizarre adventures and embarrassing moments. This is by no means an exhaustive list of my hard-won wisdom and observations although I confess it took more than a few repetitions before I got the message on some of them. Here's what I've learned so far:

• My cat will assume the tree decorations are meant for her.

• Watching my kids (now adults) open Christmas gifts never gets old.

• Don't judge the Scrooges in your world too quickly. People can change when you least expect it.

• Baking Christmas cookies with my daughter and her friends rehabilitated this otherwise unenthusiastic baker.

• Bread stuffing is the perfect food anytime, not just for Thanksgiving.

• A Christmas tree always looks bigger inside the house.

• Without going full Grinch, don't have gifts delivered to your doorstep. People steal.

• For some people, the holidays trigger sad memories.

• Sometimes you get a gift you don't want. Wear it anyway.

• “Don’t run with scissors.” "Don't squeeze your brother's head." "Don't put that in your mouth." These are all things I've said. Don't assume kids (and adults) will make good choices.

• Someone who’s not nice to the waitstaff is not a nice person.

• Don’t say anything in front of a five-year-old you don't want repeated.

• Screw tradition. Do what suits you and your family. Trying to please everyone will only lead to tears and resentment.

• Open the good wine, use the nice tablecloth and bring out Grandma's silver. Don't wait for the perfect moment. Enjoy life now.

Happy holidays, my friends!