Christmas - FamilyEducation

Christmas

November 20, 2012

The lights, the lights, the lights that light the lights... Wait a minute while I get that Kmart jingle out of my head.

Is it me, or are the Black Friday and holiday shopping commercials earlier and more relentless than ever? Scratch "Black Friday." This year, it's officially becoming Black Thursday.

Sure, a couple of stores have been having Thanksgiving Day "Black Friday" sales for years. I remember when this was a new concept back about 10 years ago. I was a newspaper reporter working on…

December 29, 2011

Even though I am, by nature, a positive-minded person (at least I like to think I am), I also go through my days keenly aware of both the sweet and salty sides of life--the joyful and the bitter, the two-sidedness of every experience--especially as a parent. I've often written about how each exciting, monumental milestone along the road of your child's development--that first tooth poking through a pink gum, the first bow-legged tentative steps, the first words, the first of everything (because there is…

December 26, 2011

When the kids tumbled out of the van and into my parents' house, with the usual chaos and excitement and pent-up energy after 6 + hours in the van (I think this was the first roadtrip in many that passed so peacefully--no bickering, no meltdowns from L.!), they converged around the Christmas tree, as they do every year, soaking up the look of it, and lifting the lids of cookie and candy tins, just as they do every year…

December 22, 2011

Who wants name-calling and hair-pulling in the backseat as you head over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house for Christmas? Good old fashioned car games and sing-alongs are great, but these days, mobile apps might be even more of a lifesaver during your long holiday trek.

Let's take a look at some of the best ones out there:

Free educational apps for kids from ages 2 and up -- everything from digital…
December 13, 2011

Raise your hand if you love raw cookie dough!! (I'm raising mine.)

If you're like me, when you start to dip your finger into that bowl or pre-made roll of dough (or allow your kids to do it), you have that little devil on one shoulder saying, "Yum! Yum! Salmonella schmalmonella. Dough was made for eating!" and the little angel on the other saying, "No, no! You're going to puke like there's no tomorrow. Just wait 'til it's baked, silly!" ... And the devil usually prevails. 

While I've never had…

December 12, 2011

Only one full weekend left until Christmas!  I'm trying to make good my promise to myself to make each minute of pre-Christmas preparations, baking, and excitement count for all they are worth. It's been difficult, though. We are still working through the sadness of Scott's grandmother's passing, and her absence this year at our family Christmas gathering next weekend, and I spent Sunday morning in urgent care with T., who had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic she was taking to clear up her sinus…

December 09, 2011

Do you have Christmas traditions? I know for our family our are still evoloving as our 5 year old's memory and expectations grow and our toddler becomes aware of the things and experiences around her. One tradition my son has enjoyed for a few years has been making a gingerbread house with my dad every year. In the 3 years they have done it we have all learned a few lessons.…

November 28, 2011

The Santa in my hometown is a serious Santa -- the likes of the one in the Macy's parade. He has a real, fuzzy white beard and a real belly (to the dismay of his cardiologist and Mrs. Claus, I'm sure).

He has a temporary wooden cottage resembling a gingerbread house on the main street where kids can come and visit (a nice alternative to visiting Santa beside the weird fountains in the mall!).

He drives a red Honda Element (a very Santa-ish car, if you ask me), and the vanity plates say "HOHOHO…

November 28, 2011

The December I was pregnant with T., L. and I headed off together to the store to look at Christmas villages. I don't know where I got the idea that I wanted a Christmas village. We never had one growing up, but I must have seen one, somewhere. I have always liked to look at houses lit from within, and sneak a look, voyeuristically, at other people's worlds. I loved my dollhouse growing up, and my sister and I would peek through the windows when the lights were on and imagine the scene unfolding in the…

December 29, 2010

My brother called on Monday night, to check up on our trip back and on a skating-related injury I sustained on Sunday (more on that later) and we both agreed that it had been particularly relaxing, low-maintenance Christmas holiday this year, as far as keeping all the kids happy and peaceful together. My kids and their two cousins get along very well but, as is the case whenever you put a group of children together in a chaotic environment featuring lots of presents, expectations, and sugary foods,…