Tag Archives: holidays

Mama Jabber Takes on the Holidays

Just a quick post to share some holiday-themed pieces I wrote for Families Go and Queens Mamas.

Staying with family over the holidays? You can make it. But read this first.

Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses is my fave holiday song. Gift wrapping is my least fave holiday activity, mostly because it seems like such a waste. Here are 10 ways to wrap without the gift wrap.

Been light on posting here this month because of these other outlets for which I’m writing. I’m thankful for the opportunities to share my words with new readers, and I appreciate your eyeballs, as always.


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I am unprepared for Chanukah. No gifts, can’t find the Velcro candles for our cloth menorah and the impulse purchase of chocolate gelt hasn’t manifested yet.

Sorry kids. We will be celebrating in December when your parents have their sh*t together. No matter what the Jewish calendar tells me, I can’t think about Chanukah until after Thanksgiving.

One of the nice things about marrying a Christmas guy is that you always know when that holiday is. No surprises. Stability, consistency, no dictate on number of gifts (yeah, I’m looking at you, you 8 crazy nights).

Chanukah is postponed til further notice. Because I said so.

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Today’s Post

Today’s post is brought to you by exhaustion. I realize I need a vacation pretty badly. Like the kind where you just sit and aren’t responsible for much. Scott and I have an evening out planned for this weekend which is kind of a big deal for us. Not a vacation but a least some moments where we don’t have to answer to anyone. Except the bartender.

The end on the year craziness is about to begin. Let’s not let it get the better of us!



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First Holiday Complaint of the Season!

This month’s pre-school Scholastic book catalog was a little disappointing. I get that it was thematically built around the holidays in the month of December, but note that I wrote “holidays – plural. As in, more than just Christmas. If you were to thumb through this flyer, you would see that there were books on only that one holiday.

Slim pickin's for holiday reading.

Slim pickin’s for holiday reading.

True – Chanukah is kicking off pretty early this year, overlapping with Thanksgiving, but it does run in to the month of December. And Kwanzaa is December 26 – January 1.

So why no books for kids whose holiday customs might not include a Christmas tree or Santa Claus? I counted 21 titles with the words “Christmas” or “Santa” in them. I gave the books with the word “holiday” in their titles the benefit of the doubt. For, while the cover illustration may depict a strictly Christmas-y scene, there could very well be mention of other holiday traditions. Case in point, Llama Llama Holiday Drama (which name drops “dreidels,” though the cover art capitalizes on a Santa hat and colors most often associated with Christmas).

I know there are books out there on holidays other than Christmas. We have a few. So why didn’t I see any in the flyer?

Guess we’ll be going with the holiday-neutral books about snow. But I suppose that would open a whole other can of worms if we lived in a warmer climate…

What gets YOUR feathers ruffled about the holidays?

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Death by Easter Eggs

Happy Easter!  And now, a candy reality check.

Please don’t give kids these:

Reeses egg

Two great tastes that taste great together. And could cause anaphylaxis.

Some of them may then need one of these.

Campbell (2.5 years) never leaves home without this.

Campbell (2.5 years) never leaves home without this.

A public service announcement from a mom* whose son is deathly allergic to peanuts.


How do YOU handle holidays centered around candy consumption in your nut allergy-riddled household?


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The Convenience of Santa Claus

My stance on Santa has always been “no comment.”  Since Christmas wasn’t my holiday, my parents were pretty straight up with me about the Santa Claus charade.  But they encouraged me to play along with my non-Jewish friends until they outgrew the myth, and it was pretty big of me, I think, that I didn’t then scoff: “Told ya so.”

My Catholic husband has tried to convince me he didn’t feel let down when he learned Santa didn’t exist.  “But your parents lied to you,” I said, convinced that his distrust of politicians and Hollywood executives stemmed from this Santa infraction.  He shrugged.  “It’s just fun,” he explained.

What is fun about deliberately misleading your children?  Aren’t they devastated once they find out?

When we had kids, we wanted them to experience the holiday traditions we experienced ourselves.  Latkes, candy canes, presents.  You know…the good stuff without the beliefs.  Except, according to my partner, for the belief in Santa.

Until this year, it wasn’t really an issue.  The kids were so young, they had no expectations.  Their peers didn’t know any better.  Gifts were exchanged.  Bright and shiny and brief.  That was Christmas and Chanukah all rolled into one.  Even Yo Gabba Gabba’s Christmas episode was devoid of Santa.  And it was fine.

Now that Charlotte is five, and there are 24 other kids in her class, all with holiday truths of their own, she knows that this Santa Claus character is responsible for delivering the gifts.  And she comes home with a list of her “needs” and “wants.”

NEEDS: banana, house, sunshine, boots, shirt, a heart.  Aw.
WANTS: Walkie talkies, a teddy bear, candy and a phone.  Yeah right.

“He’s not real, though,” she tells me as we settle in to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

“Then what is he?”

“He just dresses up for Christmas.  His beard isn’t real.”

So I guess she believes there is a character named Santa Claus.  But he doesn’t walk around the other 364 days of the year, doing mundane things like grocery shopping or gassing up the car in full Christmas regalia.  One day a year he dons his red suit and beard and shuttles around the globe depositing presents.  He’s not real, but on Christmas he is.

No comment.

When “Santa” came to my 2 year old’s daycare holiday party (and scared the sh*t out of my kid, literally), that didn’t really help me avoid the topic of his actual existence.  “Where’d Santa go?”  Campbell asked, after he got over his fear and accepted the little Batman racecar with which St. Nick gifted him.  Did I have the heart to tell him he called a car to take him to his next pre-school party gig and that he probably shoved his beard into a backpack between appearances?

No comment.

Yet on Christmas Eve, after I wrapped a reasonable amount of presents and labeled them FROM MOM & DAD (not from a fictional character with twinkling eyes), I found myself playing the Santa card as the kids embarked on their nightly ritual of turning the apartment upside down in a last ditch effort to procrastinate turning in.

“Are you throwing crayons? I better get Santa on the phone and let him know…”

“I need cooperation in the bath, or I’ll have to tell Santa you can’t get any presents.”

“Bed.  NOW!  Or else Santa will skip.  this.  HOUSE.”

And in the morning, when we had to wait for my husband to get out of the bathroom:
“Can’t open anything until Santa calls us and tells us it’s time.”

TV trumps presents, go figure.

Waiting for Santa’s green light to let ’em rip.

So I get it.  Santa is magical.  He gets kids to bathe, go to bed at a reasonable hour and not give any lip.  I’ll play along again.  For that one night of peace and goodwill among our kids, it’s worth it.

Santa is real, if only to give parents a little part in the magical production of Christmas.

(“Told ya so,” I hear you saying…)

What’s YOUR stance on Santa?


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WTF is that Wednesday?! Prelude to the Holidays

It’s the day before Thanksgiving.  And I give thanks to Aiming Low, who published my humorous (well, if you’re on your second glass of whatever it is that makes you skippy) piece on Navigating the Holidays as a Non-Crafter.

Grab some pipe cleaners…and give them to someone who knows what to do with them this holiday season.

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