I can barely recall Christmases from my childhood. I don’t really want to recall a great many things from (at least) the first 25 years or so of my life. Not that it was very bleak but I cannot say that it was a barrel of laughs either. In our house growing up, I was the youngest of four boys; by the time I turned up, it was kind of “every man for himself.” When I left home at age 19, I was relieved.
By my late 20s, I managed to spend a couple of Christmases alone in a one-bedroom apartment, doing whatever I wanted to do. Sometimes it was ultra bluesy, but mostly it was so great. I never cared much for Christmas for myriad reasons. To me it always meant some kind of unwanted pressure. Why all of a sudden do we have to cram all this shit into one bleeding day? Can’t we just spread love and joy it out loosely over 365 days? Read more...
We’re driving along the Queensway to get burgers the other day — I’m in the passenger seat trying to find the radio station that only plays Christmas music because that’s the only station the kids will listen to this time of year — when Colum, our six-year-old, starts trying to do the math. I mean, how would Moms and Dads even know what you wanted, right?” he reasons. “And how would they be able to buy all of it without even knowing?”
What? Something in his voice makes this seem like something to follow up on. Bruce Springsteen is on the radio singing about Santa. “What do you mean, Colum?”
THE THREE RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE KEENAN CHILDREN
“Michael says parents can stay up until after midnight.”
“Well, sometimes parents do. But then they’re very tired and need to sleep in.” Read more...
Recently, a friend on the Facebook was explaining the process of telling his kid that Santa wasn’t real. It was, like many things to do with parenting, quietly hilarious and heartbreaking, in large part because of what a clear and irreversible childhood milestone it was. Our son is 19 months old and this being his second Christmas it occurred to me that maybe it was time to begin teaching him about the Santa I will eventually concede had never been real.
PICTURED: THE SPIRIT of CHRISTMAS, NOT OUR SON
But how does this work? Do we have to explain Christmas to him or does he just absorb it all by being near a bunch of Christmas for a while? He recently met Santa for the first time (a very svelte Montreal Santa, btw) and he clearly visually understands the concept. Even if he did call him “Dada,” despite the fact I look nothing like Santa. Either way, I can’t really see this being the year that he understands why that guy dressed in red at daycare bought him a nicer present that his parents did. Read more...
Holiday habits feeling a little crusty? Check out these cool alternatives
TRADITION #1: Making a wifesaver, the venerable Christmas morning casserole of cheese, bacon, ham, eggs and bread.
HOW TO MAKE IT COOLER: There’s nothing wrong with these breakfast staples, but sometimes even the mention of a casserole will sufficiently repel a child.Switch up your Christmas morning meal without sacrificing nutrition. Cookies for breakfast! (Healthy ones, of course.) After all the presents are opened and your living room is a sea of wrapping paper, get your kids to help make granola bars, which you can cut out with a gingerbread man cookie cutter and decorate like a cookie. This sweet, spicy and cinnamon-y granola bar recipe is just as tasty as a gingergread man, and it can be “iced” with yogurt. Alternately, if you want to save max time for Christmas morning fun, cut gingerbread men shapes out of toast and “decorate” with peanut butter, jam, and sliced fruit. Read more...
4. This headline actually made us laugh out loud: Striving for gift parity among siblings. Ahh! I know right? Heaven forbid you spend $25 more on Grace than Nathan… except that you got such a great deal on Nathan’s big item so it’s actually worth $30 more than Grace’s etc etc. Will someone freak out Christmas morning if they suspect you didn’t get them as many gifts? (We would think not) Read more...
Krista Rao blogs about crafty adventures with her kids
If you are like me, when you dig out your box of christmas ornaments your stomach drops as you notice there are signiﬁcantly less ornaments than you remembered from last year… thanks to a curious dog and a even curiouser little boy who just couldnʼt keep his hands from tree. I used this very quick and easy recipe to make some simple ornaments that SMELL just like Christmas to hang on my tree. Here is just a quick little tutorial to follow if you want to do the same.
How do you show your appreciation for the work your kids’ teachers do?
Keeping a room full of 20 – 30 kids from going off the rails, staying after school to teach extra-curriculars, and even spending their own hard earned cash on art supplies deserves a proper thanks, but rewarding your kid’s teachers heroic efforts during the holidays is not always easy. How much to spend? How personal should your present should be? What does this person do when they’re off the clock?
We asked some of our teacher friends to give us a few pointers, then we hunted down some gift ideas of our own. (If you’re still stumped, check out last December’s gift suggestions plus last summer’s round-up of Etsy treasures for end-of-the-year gifts.) Here’s what they said:
“Gift cards were always my favourite when I was a teacher. Although parents can be thoughtful with those too, so your kids teacher doesn’t end up with $120 work of Starbucks. (Not that I’m complaining).” Read more...
One of the great things about a Christmas tree is all the memories contained within its ornaments: the tissue-paper wreaths and popsicle-stick picture frames made by the kids in school, or the ballet slipper ornament someone acquired after a trip to The Nutcracker. Favourite toys also pack quite the nostalgic punch, so why tuck those old toys away in boxes when you could be admiring them on your tree every year?
What you’ll need: - old toys - embroidery floss - large sewing needle (optional) - craft wire - glue gun - spray paint (optional)
Pick your toys
Have your kids select a few toys they’d like to turn into ornaments. We picked a small plush koala, a mini-skateboard, a mini tea set and a slinky. Action figures, small dolls, toy cars and even board books would also make great ornaments.