You Can Have Santa Magic Without Lying to Your Kids

 This post is not about "mental reservation."  This is about how it's entirely possible to have all the wonder and magic of playing at Santa Claus -- I maintain more wonder and magic -- while still being entirely frank with your kids about the fact that it's a game.  A very good game. How We Got Here My husband and I were still fairly new Christians when our first was born.  We took our newly rediscovered faith extremely seriously (as we do still) because we were keenly aware of how ea … [Read more...]

MTF Sale!

FYI I have no connection to Midwest Theological Forum other than that I'm a fangirl and I've done some reviews in the past. (Okay, if see them at a conference, I'm not above trolling their booth and making puppy eyes until they give me a new review book. But that's it.  And lately not even that, because I've been sitting home like a good girl.)But what you want to know is that they are having a 25% off sale on a pile of stuff, including things like their Roman Missal, which is just lovely … [Read more...]

Well Hello, Advent. We Meet Again.

Someone reminded me it was Advent this Sunday.  Yikes.But it doesn't have to be that bad, and indeed it should not be, as Simcha reminds us.  Here are our plans for 2014, thrown out there not as an example to emulate, but so that you can have that sordid Catholic reality-show experience without needing cable. 1. The Great Advent vs. Christmas Debate Left to my own devices, I'd cover my house in a giant purple tarp and not come out until midnight on the 24th/25th.  Which is why I have to be … [Read more...]

What’s a Small Discipleship Group, What Makes One Work, and Why Should We Care?

At New Evangelizers this week I'm chatting about "small groups."  Specifically, small discipleship groups (as opposed to say, small gatherings to play poker, or shoot up stop signs, or whatever it is you think of when you hear the words small group).Gosh I talk about a lot of stuff, I'm not even sure what to excerpt.  The big topics:What makes a discipleship group different from, say, the parish women's club?  How does the one fit in with the other? How about one-on-one or informal dis … [Read more...]

100 Things to Do on Thanksgiving Instead of Shopping

It is not necessary for other people to miss out on Thanksgiving so that you can be adequately amused.  Just because the stores are open does not mean you have to go shopping.  Here's a list of alternate ways to entertain yourself on Thursday.1. Visit with your friends or family.2. Bake a pie.3. Watch a movie.4. Go for a walk.5. Play Scrabble.6. Serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless.7. Build something with Legos.8. Pray for someone you love.9. Pray for s … [Read more...]

Hating the Holidays as the Precursor to Happiness

You're supposed to be happy now, because it's the holidays.  The rest of the year, a civil disposition generally suffices.  But for the next eight weeks, if you aren't madly in love with every gift, every canape, every delightful holiday fete . . . you aren't just an ungrateful wretch, you're a menace to society. There are Good Reasons to Hate the Holidays The thing about the modern holiday season is that it's come unmoored.  We don't celebrate Thanksgiving, we celebrate Thanks-Getting -- he … [Read more...]

In Favor of Incompetent Housewives

 Your must-read column for today is Calah Alexander's essay on what it's like being part of the current generation of incompetents, "Those Pathetic Millenial Moms.". . .  I was raised by a loving, attentive mother who stayed home until I was in high school. But culture is pervasive. Kids learn it through osmosis, and unless you lock them in a fortress, they’re gonna pick up on it. “Stay-at-home-mom” had a negative connotation for me from the time I began hearing “mom” qualified as su … [Read more...]