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Silver and Gold

Tis the season for traditions. The advent calendar, the elf on the shelf, the family gatherings, cookie exchanges, holiday cards, holiday events, holiday decorations, et cetera et cetera. Except, what happens when the traditions change? In our family, the two houses that always hosted the holidays - my aunt in New Jersey that hosted 30+ for Thanksgiving, and my parents that hosted Christmas - have both moved this year, leaving the rest of us feeling a little holiday homeless. We won’t be seeing a houseful of cousins to play fantasy family with (fantasy family being the game we made up (TM) where you draft a family member and then when they do something noteworthy (fall asleep at the table, d

Wish List

It’s that time of year! Your aunt is asking what the kids want for the holidays, the kids are dropping hints or outright requests every five seconds, and you are looking around at your house filled with junk that goes ignored 80% of the time and wondering why you are thinking about getting a seasonal job to cover everyone’s wish list. It goes without saying that not one person has asked or will ask what Mom wants for Christmas. Three days before Christmas, it will occur to someone in the house that she exists and there will be pandemonium as they all race over to the nearest Walgreens to get mom a gift, but they will literally spend 10 minutes on this outing even though Mom has spend 10,000

Let Them Eat Pie

Tis the season for gratitude - something that can be hard to find and even harder to teach when you live with a gaggle of middle schoolers who are focused on me, me, me. This of course is totally age appropriate (thank you, books like Untangled and Brainstorm, which are great at explaining the adolescent brain and calming the fears of a middle-aged mother). It may be age appropriate, but I find lack of gratitude nearly intolerable in any age and definitely in tweens and teens. One child lobbied a complaint on me and I literally hit the hard reset button and made them play a little game with me over slices of pizza called “find the awesome.” The twins were skeptical. I challenged them to pres

Some Rain Must Fall

When we studied Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in high school (and for English nerds like me, in college), we all read the line “into each life, some rain must fall” and we never ever knew how applicable it would become to every day life until the great rain debacle of Halloween 2019. Do we have technology to blame? In the 80s or 90s, it would it have been some sidebar conversation in the parking lot at the preschool? “Hey, Jen, have you seen the forecast on Channel 6? Ugh, I wish we had some mechanism for finding out what other people think about potentially trick or treating in gale force winds. Oh well. Off to the A&P. Call the house phone later and we’ll catch up about General Hospital.” No

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