Christmas Without Papa

This was our second Christmas without Papa.  He died on December 22, 2010.He was a Santa Claus-like grandpa with a  jolly laugh, rotund belly, twinkle in his eye and great appreciation for his “perfect” grandchildren.  Our four kids adored him and he adored them back.  They could feel it the instant he carefully held them as newborns, caressing their perfect fingers and toes and from every moment thereafter.  Through the years he gave them big embracing hugs and his undivided time, encour … [Read more...]

How to Have a Sane Family Christmas

Before you gripe at your mom, or resent the expensive presents your rich brother-in-law buys, read this. … [Read more...]

Herry Chrismukkah?

I wasn’t going to say anything about Chrismukkuh.  The Catholic Bishops and Jewish Rabbis recently put out a joint statement condemning the term as offensive to both Christianity and Judaism.  And I get it.  I know that you can't just make up holidays, and that people have died over the differences between the two religions, and that Jews are concerned about intermarriage finishing the job taken up again and again by one anti-Semitic group after the other.  I don't take any of that lightly.  Any … [Read more...]

Bossy Christmas

I have been really silent here at What She Said. I get really quiet when I’m wrestling.Major indicator you need an attitude adjustment: Your six-year-old son asks, “Mama, why don’t you like Christmas?” Oh, my. Is it that obvious? I suppose if you are short with answers, too busy to play, and constantly asking, “Now, where did I put my coffee?” a sharp boy will notice.Having children has forced my Christmas wrestling to a new level. And this year my schedule doesn’t permit time for Chr … [Read more...]

Why Santa Comes to our Home and Brings my Kids Crap

Back in 2004, my first-grade daughter had to write a “book” on famous people for homework.  She threw the papers on the kitchen floor and wailed, “I can’t do this!  I don’t know any famous people.”The 2004 election was just weeks away so I said, “There’s John Kerry or George Bush.”“I don’t WANT to do George Bush!”  She stomped out of the room.Awhile later, she came back happy.  “I figured it out.  I can do Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy, and Mickey Mouse."“Do the famous peop … [Read more...]

Missing Christmas

When I told my friends and colleagues in Atlanta that I would be visiting India until December 28th, the reaction I received was almost unanimous:  “You’re going to miss Christmas?!” they would say in a tone that sounded as shocked as it did sympathetic.  “I’m so sorry,” they would continue, or, “That’s too bad.”  I heard this over and over again from everyone from people at church to the lady at the airport ticket counter when I checked in for my flight.I’m sure these people meant well, … [Read more...]

The Fight Before Christmas

‘Twas was the night before Christmas, And the house was a dump. The kids were feeling Christmassy, But I was a grump.   The laundry piled up, the table was crummy No gifts had been wrapped, nothing made that was yummy. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of a happy mama danced in their heads.   But I was working so hard to make them a Christmas, I didn’t have time for all this merriment business. For only that morning I had heard such a ruckus I … [Read more...]

The Question

A cardinal flew into our picture window after we cleaned it, breaking its little neck. (Moral: Housework is deadly and should be avoided.)My son, the animal lover, was greatly affected. In horror he ran to inspect the creature. He bent over the exquisite bird, fantastically red but with surprising blue underfeathers. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes and stick in his hand and asked:"Can I poke it?"It figures. This is the quintessential little boy question, applicable in a s … [Read more...]