Christmas is on December 27th this Year

In case you haven’t heard, there has been a change in the calendar for Christmas Day. No longer celebrated on December 25th, as it has been traditionally. This year, Christmas falls on December 27th. News Year Eve will be celebrated on December 30th or on January 3rd. Is this for real? Yes. That is, it is for real for many people who decide to save money, into the hundreds of dollars by celebrating Christmas and New Years on days that most of us don’t. Celebrating the major holidays on off-days is a trend that has been embraced by more and … Continue reading

Toddler-Friendly Fourth of July

Not all toddlers embrace Independence Day events as enthusiastically as their older siblings.  Late nights, thunderous fireworks displays and way too many sugary snacks can lead to epic meltdowns. In order to celebrate the holiday without sending your tot over the edge, consider these low-key, yet festive Fourth of July activities: Fireworks in a Glass    Fill a tall glass with warm water.  Next, add a little cooking oil to the water.  Depending on the size of your container, one to two tablespoons should suffice.  Then, add a few drops of food coloring to the oil and water.  Gently stir the … Continue reading

Irish Fun

Easter candy has been on sale at my local Target, Wal-Mart and Walgreens since the day after Valentine’s.  Who the heck is going to want to eat those treats by the time March 31st rolls around? Nothing like blaming the Easter Bunny for giving your kid stale candy. And what about Lucky the Leprechaun? He’ll be fortunate if he gets a Peppermint Pattie or some other mint-flavored goodie before St. Patrick’s Day rolls around. Unless it’s egg or bunny-shaped, he’s probably out of luck. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer the same fate.  You don’t have to hail from the … Continue reading

Is America Still Racially Divided?

Today is the day we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.  King was known as the leader of the Civil Rights movement in the ‘60s and you could say, he gave his life for his convictions.  At the young age of 39, he was gunned down on April 4, 1968 in my hometown of Memphis by James Earl Ray.  He had come here to support the African American city sanitation workers who were on strike for higher wages. It’s also the day that our first African American President is being inaugurated for his second term in office. But, have things … Continue reading

The Treasures That Fill Your Home

You’re such a “Bah Humbug,” my daughter said to me with a chuckle.  Here it was the day after Christmas and she had woken up to a house put back together. That’s right.  The lights were taken down from the windows.  The Christmas tree was packed up and there was no sign that decorations had ever filled the rooms. I’m really not a Scrooge.  I love Christmas.  I treasure this time of year.  And I enjoy decorating my home. But I am so much more comfortable when everything is normal.  My normal means the many picture frames that decorate the … Continue reading

What’s Sweeter than Giving?

The holidays are known to be a season of giving.  It’s a time when you extend a hand to help out others or you dig deep into your pocketbook to spare some change. We teach our children the importance of giving unto others and how the holidays aren’t just about receiving.  These lessons are sometimes taught through physical acts of service, such as helping out in a soup kitchen or delivering presents to a needy family. There is so much value in teaching our children these things.  But I think what’s even more important is that they don’t see this … Continue reading

End the Year With Family Time

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to take stock of your life and focus on how you can make the most of 2013.  A new year means a fresh start.  Out with bad habits and in with better ones. For busy parents, evaluating the year gone by is a chance to reprioritize; for many that means figuring out ways to spend more time with their children. Of course, there’s no time like the present to get a jumpstart on that resolution.  To illustrate your newfound commitment, consider spending the last days of 2012 bonding with your kids.  Remember, it’s … Continue reading

Bonding With the In-Laws: The Youngest Sibling

One of the weirdest things about marrying into a large family was that I’ve been around for almost the entire life of my littlest brother-in-law.  When Jon and I first started dating, and I met the family for the first time, his youngest brother was only a bit over a year old.  While he knows most of Jon’s other siblings very well, because they all lived at home with him for years (and some still do), Jon wasn’t around much when he was growing up.  So Jon, his own brother, isn’t really that much more of a presence in his … Continue reading

Gifts for the Other Parent

Christmas time is all about the gift of giving, but when it comes to presents for the ex, things get a little tricky. It has always been important to me for Logan to have the opportunity to give his dad something for Christmas, birthdays, and other such holidays. The first year his dad seemed to feel the same way. Though neither of us had much money, we both made an effort to take Logan to pick something out for the other. It meant a lot to Logan to be able to give us something, since he couldn’t do much on … Continue reading

Charlie and the Christmas Kitty

  If your children asked for, but didn’t receive the puppy or kitten they placed on their wish list to Santa, this book might work as a consolation present. Maybe. Sure, Charlie and the Christmas Kitty may be a far cry from an adorable tail-wagging, face-licking bundle of fluff that would follow your child around the house and potentially run for help should he fall down a well, but, hey, Santa’s not perfect. Still, you can’t deny the cuteness contained in this festive holiday read, even though the story’s clueless main character doesn’t realize it’s Christmas: “Why is there a … Continue reading