holidays

How I Plan to Have a Cracking Christmas With MS

As an adult, it hasn’t been easy for me to get into the Christmas spirit. Planning festivities and buying gifts don’t come naturally to me. Perhaps it’s because adult life never ends, whereas as a student, I had holiday breaks that signified the beginning of the season, allowing me to…

It’s No Puzzle: Play Is Good for Your Brain

I don’t know why, but for some reason, two people in my family decided to get me puzzles for Christmas this year. Granted, one is a rad picture of 30 or so classic book covers, and the other is covered in cats. But still, it’s weird. When I returned home…

Feeling Overwhelmed? Wander Under the Stars

If you read my last column, you know that my Thanksgiving was eventful, to say the least. Well, it looks like Christmas is shaping up to be another banger. My father-in-law is back in the hospital, still trying to kick the infections that have knocked him flat recently. We…

I’m Climbing the Hills of Adversity, Just Not in Heels

“Shoes are the quickest way for women to achieve instant metamorphosis.” — Manolo Blahnik As the holidays approach, I’m reminded to be thankful for what I have. I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) at 26 years old, and when I became paralyzed, I thought I’d never…

Here’s My ‘Veganuary’ Report

I’m well aware that new converts can be bores. I started an increasingly trendy vegan lifestyle back in December. It’s only been two months, but it seems like a year! That’s because I love meat, fish, cheese, and eggs. Especially eggs. Yes, veganism is better for the planet, your…

Living with Intention This Christmas

Ever since I can remember, my family has had a real Christmas tree. Finding the perfect tree became a magical adventure. We often cut our own, but as I grew older, we would choose one from a local lot. My mom would play traditional Christmas songs while…

Ho-Ho-No

Even when a major holiday isn’t scheduled in a calendar month, I’m a pretty busy lady. I work a full-time job that requires me to be present and “on” most of every day. I also have to deal with Atlanta traffic, which is physically and mentally exhausting. I’m a…

Santa and His Helpers

The trouble with being a mythological supernatural being is that you begin to doubt your own existence. It was all “Marvel this” and “DC that” over kids’ toy choices these past few years. Dads tried to be above that sort of thing, but He knew how thrillingly pleased…

My Holiday Gift Wish

It’s that time of year when everyone is asking: What would you like for Christmas? Shopping for the perfect gift for me is a challenge because I’ve been around long enough to have most of the things I want or need. In fact, we have so much that at…

The Greatest Gifts

Christmas is just around the corner, and that’s why many people are on the fruitless quest for Fingerlings or hocking an organ to buy the new iPhone. Both might be the “hot” presents of the season, but neither of them holds a candle to the great gifts we…

Poetic Justice to be a Party Pooper

In my angst-ridden teen years, I wrote poetry. It was truly dreadful and should have disappeared in the wash of personal history. Luckily, it was the mid-’70s, and in those pre-internet days, it was committed only in pen to scrappy paper rather than as a confessional to the…

Finding Peace During the Holidays

The Christmas season is upon us — decorations, shopping, and get-togethers dominate the month of December. If you tune into the Hallmark channel you will see this season as synonymous with love, laughter, and an abundance of cheer. With joy the prevailing theme it can be difficult to experience…

Don’t Be a Turkey

Because I come from a retail family — one that, for decades, put in long hours behind cash registers and in stock rooms — Christmas is not a holiday we particularly look forward to arriving. We enjoyed it, when the day came. But often in my youth, we were…

Hope Lights the Way to a Cure for MS

“This first candle in the advent wreath,” I told my kids as I clicked the lighter and set its flame atop the wick, “represents hope. What does that word mean to you guys?” In the warm glow of the purple taper, we talked about everything from wishes and…

Tips for Managing Multiple Sclerosis During the Holidays

The holidays can be stressful on everyone, and especially on those with multiple sclerosis (MS). A health specialist is offering these eight suggestions to MS patients and their families as a way to enjoy this season, and to keep it as free as possible of disease flares or symptom worsening. Increased demands on daily routines, travel,…