Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Families in the Spotlight This Week

A big shout out to the Humphries Family of Chicago, who made the news this week because all three of whom will be celebrating the same birthday next year. The couple already shared a birthday, but their son came two days early this December to give each parent a special birthday gift. Talk about a great family tradition!

Special prayers for the family and friends of Paul, Lillian, Shawn, 11, and Kitanna, 10, Martin, a Texas family that died together in a plane crash this week. In general, I think it's pointless to read about random trajedies because there's nothing you can do but feel bad. However, in this case, do read about the Martins. They were an amazing family. They seemed to have put their time here to good, loving use. I should have so many great family memories when I die. The picture is from News 8 Austin.

If you're following the story of the missing climbers on Mount Hood, you might want to read the official response of their family members and include them in your prayers/meditations/moments of remembrance this week.

"Try to See Things from Elders' Perspectives This Season," a column published on the Pensacola News Journal's website, reminds us to include seniors in our holiday celebrations. I particularly liked the point he makes about including seniors in holiday preparations, such as trimming the tree and gift shopping. We focus so much on children during Christmas and Hanukkah, that we sometimes forget our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Hubby's grandmother will be spending Christmas in the hospital. We plan to drop by for awhile on Christmas morning, but after reading this, I'm going to encourage him to bring her a small tree now.

In a similar vein, columnist Linda Rhodes of the Patriot News reminds us to create new traditions with parents who have lost a spouse. Tips Can Help Parents Navigate Holidays is full of great suggestions, but my favorite is to remember deceased family members during the holidays. We want holidays to be perfect, so we force ourselves to avoid anything painful - even if those memories are full of love and are our hearts are aching anyway. She suggests you acknowledge the loss and the love that person brought to your life. A beautiful idea.

In South Asia, news that Pakistani mosques will encourage family planning made headlines this week. The story notes that Pakistan families are often large because people don't have social security and feel they need a large family to ensure they'll be cared for as they age. The minister quoted in the story points out that two well-educated children can care for aging parents as well as many uneducated children. Touche!

Ever wonder what Chuck Norris thinks about families, raising children and Christmas break? No, me either. But the man apparently writes a regular column and this week it's on latchkey kids and the dangers of electronic entertainment. I wonder about that stat on latchkey kids. It's kinda frightening. He sources an article on Associated Content, but the article doesn't give a source for the stat and the referenced documents at the end of it don't include the stat. The closest I came was this number from the Oakland Tribute: Approximately one million California kids, 12-17 years old, are unsupervised after school three or more days each week, according to a government poll.

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