It's February and according to pagans, spring is upon us

Have we turned the corner of a cold winter?

A fire-cage swinging, Imbolc 2007, Marsden, England. Image source: Steven Earnshaw on Flickr
  • The ancient holiday of Imbolc celebrates the imminent return of the sun in spring.
  • The holiday also commemorates either goddess Bhrigid or St. Brigid, who may or may not be the same person.
  • Good weather on Imbolc means more winter to come.
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Culture & Religion

We’ve been celebrating pagan holidays a long time

Some things have always been worth celebrating.

Photo credit: Flickr user Christof
  • Some lost ancient holidays aren't really so lost after all.
  • All of us celebrate at least some pagan traditions whether we know it or not.
  • There are two things that tend to bring humans together: crises and holidays.
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Culture & Religion

Why giving gifts brings you more happiness than receiving them

New psychology research suggests people get more lasting joy from giving gifts.

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  • Giving gifts results in longer happiness from the act, says new research.
  • We can sustain the pleasure of a new experience every time we give to others.
  • Hedonic adaptation makes it hard to continuously enjoy spending money on ourselves.
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Personal Growth

Conversation tips for surviving the holidays and savoring time with family

This holiday season, ask the questions you don't know the answer to.

Sometimes, you just can't relate to your relatives. Whether it's sports, politics, or past events, gathering around a dinner table during the holiday season can be a daunting prospect. Communication expert Angie McArthur explains some of her cardinal rules for connecting with your family and friends, and she identifies one of the biggest errors people make: asking the wrong questions. The root of the word 'question' is 'quest', as in endeavoring to know something—but how often is that really our motivation? As society reaches a new peak of polarization, in tense moments we may find ourselves asking questions just to prove our own points correct, which Angie McArthur explains are called leading questions. There is a more powerful method you can use: open questions, which are fueled by genuine curiosity, connection, and lead to a meaningful exchange. Chief among her tips, McArthur advises that this holiday season, you ask the questions you *don't* already know the answer to. Keeping these tips in mind, you might not merely survive the holidays—you might actually enjoy them. Angie McArthur is the co-author of Reconcilable Differences: Connecting in a Disconnected World.

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Sex & Relationships

A Finger-Lickin' Good Christmas, and a Well-Examined New Year

There are many strange instances of marketing and holiday traditions coming together. Let's be more alert in 2017.

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Culture & Religion