The Gift of Rebirth

Because of the cycles of the moon and what some Gregorians a whole long time ago determined, a new year starts tomorrow. It's a time for reflection today, resolution tomorrow. Of all the winter holidays, it's my favorite. I don't believe in waiting for the official new year for resolutions, but I like that the whole world takes a breath and thinks about it at least one day of the year. I also don't believe in the traditional sorts of resolutions: lose weight, quit smoking, read more, whatever....more

The Gift of Innocence

The dinner music of choice this evening was the only Christmas album I will allow in my house: The Reverend Horton Heat's We Three Kings. For the uninitiated, The Reverend delivers up a selection of Christmas favorites in his surf rock, rockabilly style. They are soaked in bourbon and disillusionment and lost innocence and, in my humble opinion, go a long way to capture the actual spirit of the holiday season....more

My Holiday Anomaly

  I have a secret that surfaces around the holidays.  I genuinely don't want anything material for Christmas.  I become uncomfortable when people ask me what I want to get, and  I've never really made any sort of gift wishlists.  I think that this offends people or that people think I'm only trying to be difficult and spoil their gift buying, but I don't want anything that you can buy in a store.  It bothers me when retailers gear up for the holiday buying frenzy in August.  It bothers me when people boast that they've gotten all their holiday shopping fin...more
Time is the perfect gift to have throughout the year. It is by making time we can appreciate the ...more

After Christmas Frugal Tips

Post Christmas shopping is a great way to do some frugal planning.  Here are a few tips to consider before you shop:1.  Wrapping paper.  Try to get wrapping paper in a solid color such as red or gold.  That way, it can be used year round for whatever you need to wrap!2.  Bows.  Instead of just seasonal colors, try to find bags of assorted colors.  Again, you can use them all year!...more

The Gift of Magic

Dear Santa,Rumor has it that you're magic. Being a rather magical person myself, I'll buy it. I'm not going to bring my kids to sit on your lap, though, because I'm going to keep all that lap-sitting to myself and I'm trying to teach them boundaries with strangers. Because seriously, if it were any other time of year, would parents line up for hours and pay for their kids to sit on a random sweaty man's lap? I think the kids who scream demonstrate a remarkable amount of sense for their young years. But I digress. ...more

The Gift of Full Frontal Nudity

My own housein precious preschool hours.Space for silence...for shaving...for solitude. For warm,scented spray,unsullied bysudden movementof tiny bowels. Stepping outForgot my underwearAll aloneNo matter. Picture window.Broad daylight.Merry Christmas,Mr. UPS Man. Originally published on Periphery, December 20, 2011....more
LOL! I may have done to a neighbor once...more

The Gift of Time

It seems there are some of us who never have enough. Begging for extra hours in the day, complaining that we can't cram our plans into the allotted space. We all get the same allotment, but somehow, some have more of it than others. Some people have too much time on their hands. Too many hours to fill with something besides ghosts of things lost, people past. The clocks that some of us glance at in our haste to make it to the next item on our list of things to do, sit and quietly mock them as the moments tick-tick by in a muddy interminable procession. ...more

All I Want for Christmas Is for You to Give My Kid a Decent Gift

Dear Mouthy Housewives,My kids are young and not always so tactful when it comes to receiving gifts. For instance, for his birthday, my four year-old was really disappointed to open a present and find a football instead of something battery operated. He expressed this disappointment in front of the gift-giver, and it was a little embarrassing. I don't expect my four year-old to yet understand the social graces of forced smiles and excitement, but how do I handle these types of situations in the future? Christmas is coming and I'm a little nervous....more
My nephew is TERRIBLE at it, and my mom is notorious for giving less than enjoyable gifts... but ...more

The Anti-Stuff Holiday Gift: My Son Reacts

It was a very risky idea, given how much he wanted Beats headphones ($200 headphones for a kid?) and a Wii.  But this past week I gave my tween-age son his holiday present, choosing to surprise him with the gift of an experience over a thing.Here's what came out of his 5-day art class (and I've got the pictures to prove it!)... ...more

Preparing Holiday Cookies for Gifting

You take special care while preparing the perfect batches of holiday cookies, so why shouldn't you do the same when packaging them to share with friends and family? Here are some tips on creating fun cookie gift presentation. ...more