Trudeau needs to honour Easter and his faith

It seems unfathomable he wouldn’t want to address Good Friday and its significance. In fact, he should be relishing the opportunity

Trudeau needs to honour Easter and his faithPrime Minister Justin Trudeau sent out a Twitter thread on April 2 that started off, “It’s the start of a long weekend, and I know that means you’d normally be getting together with your entire family for a few days of fun. But with the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the country, we’re all…

Last-minute gift ideas ideal for an unusual holiday season

Fitness trackers, webcams, tiny batteries, protective cases for your smartphone and cheaper ways to keep your house clean

Last-minute gift ideas ideal for an unusual holiday seasonThis year, celebrations, gift-giving and the whole shopping experience may be a whole lot different. Many of us will be separated from our loved ones this holiday season. So here are a few gadget gift ideas you can easily order online and have sent directly to them: Family-friendly webcam For the first time, you may…

Craving the touchstones of Christmas tradition

The traditions and rituals of the festive season have a part to play in creating a sense of normalcy during this time of pandemic

Craving the touchstones of Christmas traditionI almost lost my Christmas spirit, thanks to COVID-19. The reality of no family dinners, no gathering with friends and no church services to attend threatened to dampen my enthusiasm for the holiday season. Not wanting to be Scrooge, I took action. One grey, dreary day in early December, I tromped through the yard, cutting…

Hunkering down – reluctantly – for the holidays

The longer the pandemic and the necessity of restrictions drags on, the costlier it becomes for our inner selves

Hunkering down – reluctantly – for the holidaysIf mommy kisses Santa Claus this Christmas, hopefully they’ll be in the same household bubble. After all, COVID-19 means this is going to be a holiday like no other we’ve experienced before. Canadians’ plans for the holiday season are a reminder to all of us – but especially to those making decisions about lockdowns and…

Showing gratitude leads to a healthier life

Grateful people sleep better, exercise more frequently, are happier and more altruistic

Showing gratitude leads to a healthier lifeShowing gratitude is good for us, and yet gratitude does not come naturally or easily to most of us. Our brains are “like Velcro for bad experiences, but Teflon for positive ones,” wrote neuropsychologist Rick Hanson and neurologist Richard Mendius. This tendency towards the negative makes it difficult for us to be grateful. Research has…

Celebrating Christmas with Poirot and Marple

If you're looking for some binge-worthy fictional subjects, nothing could be better than Agatha Christie’s signature characters

Celebrating Christmas with Poirot and MarpleAh, Christmas! There are many things I enjoy doing on Christmas, a wonderful holiday. This includes spending time with family, watching Alastair Sim’s version of Scrooge (1951) and animated specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), listening to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and reading Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. With respect to the latter,…

Grab-and-go family gifts for holiday entertainment

Grab-and-go family gifts for holiday entertainmentYou need a last-minute gift? Here are a few ideas you can pick up or order for quick delivery during the holiday week – suitable for all ages. Table fun Jenga by Hasbro requires a little more brainpower than brawn. It’s a classic low-tech game, fun to play with family and friends of all ages. You…

Dressing up your new smartphone

Here are some case, carry and accessory ideas that make your phone just a little bit smarter – and better protected

Dressing up your new smartphoneHoliday shopping and retailer incentives are driving sales of smartphones right now. And plenty of people want to dress up, protect or enhance their new phones. So here are a few ideas from Case-Mate, Smartish, Catalyst and Apple. From camo to colourful If you don’t want boring but still want to keep your case slim…

The ritual and love of Christmas at Skelhp

Whales, glorious sunsets, warming fires, close-knit family, a hand-cut tree, elaborate toasts – and plaid!

The ritual and love of Christmas at SkelhpThe humpback whales were still breaching and blowing as we crossed by ferry from Little River to Powell River on our way back to Skelhp after a week with friends. In mid-December, the big ocean visitors begin their travels south, and once again the local orcas and sea lions become the dominant residents of the…

Last-minute tech-savvy holiday gift ideas

Deep-muscle treatment, foldable phones, audio repair software and an easy-learn mini digital wind instrument

Last-minute tech-savvy holiday gift ideasWith Christmas just around the corner, you may need to make some last-minute purchases or gather ideas about what to do with all those gift cards come Boxing Day. So here are a few very practical selections from Theragun, Accusonus, Roland and Samsung. Gift of pain relief If you’re looking for a gift to help…

The secret to enjoying a Christmas that’s easy on your wallet

Whether tough times force your hand or you just want to start January without a credit card bill, you can still enjoy a glittering, happy holiday season

The secret to enjoying a Christmas that’s easy on your walletWhat if I told you that ‘cutting corners’ can transform Christmas from a hectic, stressful money drain into a joyous, energizing experience? I understand if you are skeptical, but let me show you how it is possible to save money at the same time you enjoy a sumptuous, all the trimmings holiday season. The secret…

Bah, humbug to the war on Christmas

In the interests of diversity and inclusion, society shies away from Christian manifestations of Christmas

Bah, humbug to the war on ChristmasIn the interests of diversity and inclusion, society shies away from Christian manifestations of Christmas. Battles loom over nativity displays, the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting and Christmas trees. Public schools banned carols from school concerts years ago. There is, some argue, a war on Christmas. While some seek to eliminate anything that remotely resembles religious…

Networking tips for the holiday office party

Don’t pass up the opportunity to expand your network and build your personal brand

Networking tips for the holiday office partyThe holiday office party is a wonderful time to mingle with colleagues in a less pressured setting. Which makes it a great time for networking. Never thought of an office party as a networking event? Then you are missing a key opportunity to develop or deepen relationships with co-workers, to personally thank those who have…

The first rock ’n’ roll Christmas

That a guy nicknamed Elvis the Pelvis had tackled sacred songs was offensive and sacrilegious to many. But it was perfect marketing

The first rock ’n’ roll ChristmasTeenagers in the 1950s couldn’t escape the music of their parents. Despite radio’s new-fangled Top 40 and the attendant infiltration of rock ’n’ roll, the sounds of the past were all around. This was particularly the case for Christmas songs. But things began to change in late October 1957, thanks to Elvis Presley announcing the…

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lights

Across traditions and time, there has been a longing for light to brighten the darkness of winter

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lightsI had a striking visual of light in darkness early one morning this week. A bright light, probably the planet Venus, shone with extraordinary clarity and pierced an otherwise black sky. Given my Christian faith and the time of year – less than a month until Christmas – my thoughts turned to the legendary Star of…