We wish you a Merry Whatever Doesn't Offend You!

When I was a kid, you couldn't walk out of a store without at least three people stopping to wish you a Merry Christmas... "Merry Christmas!" they'd cheer with their retail Perma-grin, while flipping you the bird from underneath the counter), "And have a Happy New Year!" *Ting* *Tooth glimmer* It wasn't even a request, it was a flat-out demand to enjoy your holiday, and enjoy it–you did!...more

The quiet of Christmas...

I'm not sure if my son sees only what he wants to see or if he truly doesn't notice the sticks accumulating around our wooded lawn. As the youngest and only Dagen child remaining at home, he has the dubious honor of being needed for chores -- one of which is picking up sticks and carrying them to the burn pile in the back yard. No sharing of tasks, no other child to cover his slack. His chores are "all Adam all the time" -- or so it seems to him....more

The Greatest Gift

  Carla Real Into...more

The Big Elf Debate

So we're driving home the other day after picking up Isla's best friend at her grandmother's house. At some point, the girls start talking about their elves and some of the goofy things that they do at night while they're sleeping. After a few minutes, I interrupt to tell Ava about Jinxy and how she is able to give the other two TOY elves magical powers when she visits. "So when Jinxy's in town," I advise, "those other two elves are off limits!"...more

For Me The Holidays Are All About Traditions

Bellonheels.com It is Christmas Eve. Arguable the best day of the year.Today is full of promise for what COULD be tomorrow. Anything is still possible....more

Merry (Jewish) Christmas

So.  Christmas Eve already, huh?Having grown up Jewish, I harbored mixed feelings about Christmas for many years.  Even now, after fifteen years of marriage to a Christian woman whose mother pastors an evangelical church, Christmas doesn’t come naturally to me.As a child, my family did its best to ignore Christmas even though it was, of course, happening all around us.  We had candle-lighting and latkes on Hanukkah, but we kept it very low key.  None of this eight nights of gifts stuff that is so popular now....more
Karen Ballum Thanks so much!more

Christmas: Memory vs. photographs

You oughta be in pictures,You're wonderful to see,You oughta be in pictures,Oh what a hit you would be! *Al Bowlly should have sung these lyrics directly to my parents. As the youngest of five children, I was not in pictures often, and my scrapbook is proof. Not a single photo of my childhood Christmas graces the pages of my scrapbook. All that visually remains is what I picture inside my head.And yet, my memories of my childhood Christmas are vivid:...more

Family Christmas

Christmas traditions. A behind-the-scenes glimpse.

I don’t know about you but every year at this time I tell myself: “next year I’m starting my shopping in September.”I never do.In fact the only thing I buy in September that’s “Christmassy” is a turkey because that’s when they go on sale. My mother and I have an unwritten contract: I buy the turkey; she cooks it. This is a win for the whole family.So I buy a turkey – or two if I’m hungry while shopping – and into my freezer it goes with the intention of taking it out about a week before the big turkey day. Or until my mom reminds me....more
lol - Welcome to my world!more