E is for … Eight Ways I’m Rockin’ Hanukkah This Year

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I admit it. Hanukkah isn’t the most glamorous of holidays. Especially when compared to that other holiday we celebrate in our house — you know, the one with the shiny tree and some guy named Santa. Apparently, oil burning in a temple thousands of years ago isn’t as exciting as a man with a giant sleigh and flying reindeer.

That said, I’m determined that this year is going to be different. This year I’m going to make Hanukkah a holiday they’ll remember, even when we’re baking cookies for Santa and hanging stockings with care. Here are eight ways I’m going to rock Hanukkah this year. Continue reading

Join the Manic Mondays Blog Hop #29

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The Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop Is Live!

Link up at the Manic Mondays blog hop! Last week’s hop featured fun and creative posts on everything from the Elf on the Shelf to DIY crafts for the holidays. Thank you to everyone who participated. To see which posts were featured, visit this week’s blog hop!

Now it’s time for this week’s party! Link up your favorite parenting post, recipe, craft – anything you like! As always, one post (or more!) will be featured on Mommy A to Z and on Twitter. So come link up your favorite post, meet some other great bloggers, and have a great time!

Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop
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T is for … Ten Ways We’re Passing the Time This Absurdly Long Holiday Break

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skating 2Something had to be wrong with the school calendar.

Those were my first thoughts upon seeing the big block letters proclaiming “Winter Break” across not one, but TWO, entire weeks of December.

Once the initial Oh-my-God-what-about-my-freelance-work?! panic passed, I had a moment of excitement. Ten whole days with my 2-year-old and my 5-year-old! Just us! In December! Then a second wave of panic set in. Ten whole days with my 2-year-old and my 5-year-old. Just us. In December.

December. No parks, no playgrounds, no happy beach for my kids to splash in until naptime. Just two kids with tons of energy, a tiny apartment, and Mommy to keep everyone entertained (and from strangling each other). What would we do?

Fortunately, this mom is up to the challenge. Since everyone knows failing to plan is planning to fail, I’ve come up with a detailed itinerary to make this winter break the best one yet — or at least to make sure we all survive until New Year’s.

Continue reading

C is for . . . Christmas (And Explaining It to My Mixed-Faith Child)

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photo credit: krosswords via photopin cc

photo credit: krosswords via photopin cc

This weekend I was over at Scary Mommy, discussing Jesus, Santa, and gefilte fish. Or, my thoughts on explaining Christmas to my half-Jewish child. The article has sparked a lively discussion about faith and tolerance (and has made me hungry for plum pudding and latkes). Been in a similar situation? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Here’s a sneak peek at the article:

When it comes to religion, let’s just say my daughter is a little confused. I realized just how confused when we had this conversation:

Daughter: You know that guy who saved the world? Umm…God?
Mommy: Yes?
Daughter: Well, why did Santa—I mean God—put Disney World in Florida? And why can’t Santa—I mean God—make the whole world Florida?

Where do I even start?

Read the full article at Scary Mommy!

And, for more thoughts about mixed-faith families, check out my earlier post, “H is for… High Holidays (What It Means to Raise a Half-Jewish Child).”

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coverBuy the book! For more Mommy madness, check out the new book, Mommy A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the Joys, Wonders, and Absurdities of Motherhood, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple.

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Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Join the Manic Mondays Blog Hop #28

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The Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop Is Live!

The Manic Mondays blog hop is back after a short break for Thanksgiving (during which time I think I ate an entire pie). Thank you to everyone who participated last time. To see which posts were featured, visit this week’s blog hop!

It’s time for this week’s blog hop! Link up your favorite parenting post, recipe, craft – anything you like! As always, one post (or more!) will be featured on Mommy A to Z and on Twitter. So come link up your favorite post, meet some other great bloggers, and have a great time!

Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop
* * *

coverBuy the book! For more Mommy madness, check out the new book, Mommy A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the Joys, Wonders, and Absurdities of Motherhood, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple.

Like this blog? Click below to vote for Mommy A to Z on Top Mommy Blogs!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

P is for … Photo With Santa (And 5 Ways to Get Through It, Without Hitting the Eggnog)

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XmasYou’ve been fantasizing about this moment for weeks. Your toddler is decked out in a brand-new “Santa’s Little Helper” sweater, complete with reindeer pants and a pint-sized Santa hat drooping on his head. You’ve waited two hours on line at your local mall, and now, you’re about to get the money shot – your little angel, smiling blissfully on Santa’s lap. It’s to be the crowning jewel of your family Christmas card, a precious keepsake for years to come. As Elf Number One sets your child on Santa’s lap, you jump into action, ready to direct the scene like Scorsese on the set of Titanic.

And then it happens.

Your child takes one look at Santa and starts wailing like he’s on an episode of Criminal Minds. Despite all your pleas and silly faces, your child is in hysterics, his face redder than Rudolph’s nose the night before Christmas. But have no fear. By following a few simple steps, you can help your child to feel more comfortable with Saint Nick, and save your beloved holiday card from ending up in the roaring fire. Continue reading

O is for … O Christmas Tree (Toddler Version)

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It’Photo Dec 25, 7 48 52 AMs that time of year again. The pumpkin pie is a distant memory (except to my hips), and new, more pressing thoughts are capturing my family’s imagination. Letters to Santa. Strategically placed mistletoe. The perfect scarf for my first cousin once removed.

And then, of course, there’s the tree.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a tall, elegant tree covered in lights, glistening ornaments, and candy canes scattered across its dignified branches. At least, that’s how I envision it looking — before my toddler gets his hands on it.

Normally I spend fall counting down the days until the leftover turkey’s in the fridge and we can hit the Christmas tree lot. However, things are a little different this year with a 2-year-old in our midst. Instead of quiet, reverent moments before our tree’s green branches, I’m envisioning weeks spent shouting things like “Timber!” and “Get that porcelain snowman out of your mouth!”

So vivid are these images, in fact, that I’ve decided to immortalize them in song. For all the toddler parents out there, with a tree in your home and a prayer in your heart, this Christmas carol is for you.

Continue reading