Sunday, December 23, 2018

What I learned by leaving beer out for Santa

Your holidays don't have to look like anyone else's. And what makes them yours is what makes them special.

That's what I learned by leaving beer out for Santa.

Check out my latest on Today Parents:

What I learned by leaving beer out for Santa.

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Thank you for reading. Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 17, 2018

Tale of a fourth-grade letdown

Did your little one ever teach you an important lesson? My fourth-grader recently reminded me about the importance of forgiveness after I messed up.

Read about it in Sammiches and Psych Meds:

Tales of a fourth-grade letdown


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Saturday, December 15, 2018

The tired mom's guide to gift wrapping

Check out my latest in Her View From Home: The tired mom's guide to gift wrapping.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Forget the socks. Good humans are the goal!

Do you ever get caught up in the day-to-day chores and inconveniences of parenthood?

My latest article for Grown & Flown is a great reminder to sit back and remember what's most important:

Raising a good human is more important than nagging my teen.

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

What I learned by leaving beer out for Santa

When I was little, my dad convinced me to leave beer out for Santa. All the other kids would be setting out milk and cookies, he explained, and the big guy in red might like a brewski and buttered popcorn for a change.

Since my father enjoyed that very snack just about every night, I figured he was right, the bearded one might also be partial to a savory nibble.

So that’s what we did in our house.



I chuckle now when I think of my 6-year-old self preparing my dad’s evening treat, completely clueless.

But it also taught me something important:

Your holidays don’t have to be storybook perfect.

They certainly don’t have to look like anyone else’s.

And what makes them yours also makes them special.


When my son was born, I attempted the Hallmark version of the holly jolly business. But I soon concluded there was no merriment in trying to juggle shopping, baking, party after party, gift exchanges, traveling and concocting big, elaborate meals while also caring for a tiny human.

I realized it’s the little things, like leaving out a beer for Santa, that I remember from my childhood Christmases. Or oohing and ahhing over local light displays with my sister. Or stringing popcorn until our fingers bled while watching the old Rudolph and Frosty movies.

With that realization, I pared it way down and focused on my favorites.

These days we get together and exchange gifts with the extended family when it’s most convenient for everyone. Even if that’s Thanksgiving or well into January.

Holiday baking never much jingled my bell, so I dropped all but one favorite, family recipe.

However, I adore making advent calendars and gingerbread houses, so we never skip that.

I’ve embraced the four-present rule to keep the gifting under control.

And on Christmas Eve, just like my younger self, my children will shun the traditional cookies and milk for Santa Clause. In fact, this year I think a gin and tonic would do nicely.

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