Warming up to Christmas

Count me among those who need a little bit of time after Thanksgiving to get into the spirit of the Yule season (the only time I've ever typed those words, btw). I react badly to the sound of Christmas music and the sight of gaudy store displays before I've had a chance to finish my turkey and stuffing, so much so that the other member of this household refers to me as "grinchy." But give me some time and I can get into the spirit, too....more

Make 'Em Laugh: Gifts of Comedy

What is funny to one person may not be funny to another, but laughter is the healthiest involuntary response (second maybe only to sleep) that your body can experience. Humor identifies common ground, breaks tension and brings people together. So why not spread it around this holiday season?...more
Wrong place for a general comment but, maybe someone will send me the right way . The font, ...more

Happiest Time of the Year…Or Is It?

We've all heard the Christmas song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. Being that the holidays are in full swing, I'm sure it's one of many you'll hear over and over again, whether on the radio while you're driving or in the shopping mall looking for last-minute gifts. The song sticks with you, and you can't get it out of your head—even when you seem to be overstressed and in a bah humbug mood....more

white chocolate and peppermint meringues

I have to bring a sweet treat to my daughter's little OnStage production tonight and of course I can't just do some simple sugar cookies or basic cupcakes (of course!)So I started plowing through my stack of magazines here in the kitchen and decided something with peppermint would be very fun and festive as well as delicious. These are wonderful!...more

Holidays and Business: Striking a Balance

I have a theory about why there is so much stress around the holiday season...and it holds no judgment or specific-holiday-tradition-centric connotations. Do you know what it is? ...more
Your post is spot on. I gave up my notion of "perfect" a long time ago, and that applies to ...more

Through the Eyes of a Child

Young children have all the answers. They simplify the problem and their solutions are often immediate and...impossible. We've decided on a last-minute trip to see my family before Christmas (we can't make it for the holiday this year.) This is the conversation I had with the girls about it. Dulce: Mama, I want to go see Nana. Me: Well, first I have to buy the tickets. Lilly: Okay! I get you coins! (Runs to the coin box and grabs me a quarter.) Here you go. Let's go see Nana. Me: Well, I'll need more than that....more

Prelude to the Best Christmas Eve Ever

It was a Christmas Eve in the 80s, my first one after college.  My roommate had headed home for the holidays at noon—his home beingMoundsville,West Virginia.  My boyfriend would celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes with his family that night, then he'd get up early the next morning and drive three hours, probably way too fast, so we could be together before noon on Christmas Day.               Around six that evening, I wiggled into my winter coat.  Slipped my feet into duck boots whic...more

Tool for Making the Most of Family Vacation Time

As families across the country face a week (or more!) with kids out of school, parents who may or may not have days off themselves, and competing demands for who wants to do what with their time, I thought I'd share a facilitation tool I've adapted for our family when we have extended family or vacation time....more

Holiday Spirit and Your Stress

There is not a more stressful time than the holidays. And, well, I can't name one person who actually enjoys the stress associated with holidays. The stress of dealing with family, the politics that comes with buying the right gift—or worse, making the decision not to buy the gift at all!...more

Wishing for the Gift of Delusion

I don't consider my request strange, but year after year my husband scoffs at it, and I've yet to receive it. My simple request, the gift of delusion. Not to the degree I firmly believe I've been abducted by aliens and parts of my brain have been altered. No, just a mild case of delusion. The unshakable belief that I can do anything I set my mind to would suffice.This gift would also benefit my writing. We ask readers to suspend disbelief for our tales, so what a gift it would be if I could better embrace "false belief(s) held with absolute conviction despite superior evidence."...more