Showing posts from December, 2012


What is a resolution? The dictionary defines it as a determination or decision. The new year is a time when people make resolutions because it is symbolic of a fresh start, the marker of a new beginning. But according to research from a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire who interviewed 700 people, 78% fail to stick to their resolutions.
Why is this? Many of the goals that people choose focus on a negative aspect, on giving up something such as alcohol, cigarettes or fattening food, all of which are notoriously difficult habits to kick and rely mainly on willpower. Failure is dispiriting and can make you feel that you have no self-control. What about the 22% of people who are successful in sticking to their resolutions? It would appear that the answer is to set yourself a series of small realistic goals, focus on the positive benefits and reward yourself when you achieve one. Telling family and friends can help to motivate and encourage you. Perhaps the simplest of resolutions…

Most of us are familiar with the Nativity story, the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus, the 3 wise kings bearing gifts following their bright star to the manger in the stable. In Victorian times new ways of celebrating the birth of Christ came into fashion, with the evergreen decorated fir tree, the exchange of gifts and cards, the singing of carols, the snow deep and crisp and even, so different from the little town of Bethlehem in Palestine. Many cultures and faiths mark the dark midwinter with lights and candles, with festivals such as Hannukah, St. Lucia and St. Nicholas, better known as Santa Claus, the father of Christmas in his red furry suit popping down the chimney to fill our stockings.
Today Christmas is celebrated with boozing and flirting at office parties, a shopping frenzy for the latest consumer goods to exchange with our loved ones, and an orgy of cooking and eating with our nearest and dearest. Little wonder family rituals often end in tears. Too mu…