Each December a series of tiny treasures arrive in my mailbox. A Cat Lovers Against the Bomb calendar. A refrigerator magnet from my favorite cinema. Return address labels with snowflakes. Gifts from good causes all hoping to receive a return gift from me. I love making lists, so the penguin and reindeer notepad was about…

My father died on Christmas day. This Christmas, like the one thirty years ago, I will host my family in my cozy home with candles burning and my tree gloriously trimmed. Unlike that year, my nursing newborn is now the 30 year old flying home from New York before he heads off to India. My…

Growing up the fifth of eight children, I never fully appreciated the notion of wanting to add extra people to your family.  Why would you want another brother if you already had five? After law school, I returned from Boston to Omaha where all of my family, save one brother, still lived. I never lacked…