In Defense of a Santa-y Christmas

There’s been a lot of talk about Santa and Christmas here at What She Said, and I want to chime in with a semi-outsider’s point of view.  Confession: when I see Christians discussing how to interact with culture and raise children in the midst of it, I often find myself saying, “Thank You God for not making me a Christian until I grew up!” Because even now, as a believer, it seems to me that Christian Culture takes strange stands against things God just might be using, robbing life of joy and mak … [Read more...]

Santa Truthers

If you're teaching your kids about Santa, you're afraid that your children will meet one of those kids in school or on the playground.  You know the kind... the ones who purposefully burst the holiday bubble by telling everyone Santa is a conspiracy theory at worst or a myth at best?On the flip side, if you're not raising kids who believe in the big fat man with the red suit, you fear your kids will be the one to ruin it for the rest of the class.How should we -- as parents -- deal with … [Read more...]

Between Scarcity and Excess

I wore a scratchy red and black plaid dress, uncomfortable white nylon tights and stiff black patent Mary Janes, but my discomfort was no match for my jittery anticipation.  I was six years old, and my family was headed to my father’s company Christmas party.  There was probably music, food, desserts and games, but what I remember most is the brilliantly ornamented tree and the gifts sitting under its branches.  Late in the evening, way too late by my account, the adults called us to the tree in … [Read more...]

My Gift

Conan, a twelve-year-old homeschooled friend of ours, is obsessed with the Revolutionary War.  He spends his days reading about the war, re-enacting the war with figurines he made himself, and playing in the local fife and drum corps.  An eleven-year-old homeschooled friend is a teaching assistant at Harvard.  He spends his days doing problem sets and helping undergrads with their proofs. Another homeschooler we know cooks all day and reads cookbooks late into the night with a headlamp.Like m … [Read more...]

Let There Be Peace on Earth!

‘Tis the season!Once a year our physical mailboxes get more attention than our email inboxes. Here come the Christmas cards!Oh, the dilemmas! Do we send a picture? Should it include us or just the kids? (Really, does everyone need to know about those extra 10 pounds?) Do we look happy enough? Do we look too happy? How much do we say? What about our struggles? Our accomplishments? How do we sum a year in a card?We sent my favorite card ever ten years ago—before the digital era (and the … [Read more...]

Singing the Down on Myself Blues

“I’m feeling sad,” I said to my 13 year old daughter when she asked why I heaved a deep sigh.“Why are you feeling sad?”“Because I feel like a failure as a daughter and a mother.”I had just dropped my parents off at the airport.  Even though I wanted them to come, even though I miss them terribly when they’re in Hawaii and I’m in Boston, even though a good Chinese daughter should selflessly serve her parents and declare there’s always room for family. . .It’s been a tough four week … [Read more...]

Making a (different) list…

I'm in a season of re-reading books that have inspired me.  I blogged about Po Bronson's book over at What She Read.  I'm halfway through this book about Zappos.  And next in line is Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project.One new take-home for me from the Zappos book is a way to discern what I value.  The author,Tony Hsieh, suggests an exercise:Think about the people you admire...and the people you don't. Write down the qualities that stand out in both categories, he says, and this wi … [Read more...]

The Perfect Moment

If you've traveled at all during this holiday season, you've seen it: The perfect moment. In the driveway, by the baggage claim, at the curb, parents eagerly awaiting their grown children, grandchildren bouncing as they strain to catch the first glimpse of grandma through a window, sisters throwing open the front door for their brothers.Then the delighted giggles, the emotional handshakes, the sincere bear hugs. Laughs. Questions about the flight. Offers of favorite food. Little, trivial … [Read more...]