Christmas Without Papa

Papa and Christopher at Fenway Park in 2004

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...]

Bossy Christmas

source: http://gnesiolutheran.com/the-virgin-birth/

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...]

In Defense of a Santa-y Christmas

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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...]

Between Scarcity and Excess

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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...]

Let There Be Peace on Earth!

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‘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...]

The Flawed Theology of Naughty and Nice Lists

06.10.11 christmas stock

A few years ago, my mother gave me a Christmas pillow on which a picture of Santa's naughty and nice lists was embroidered.  She had a strange smile on her face when she gave it to me and once I looked at it closely, I figured out why:  Both my and my sister's names were on the 'naughty' list.Nice, Mom.Or should I say, naughty?For years moms and dads the world over have preached Santa's naughty/nice list theology to their children.  If you're good, you earn your way onto the ni … [Read more...]

Annoying Christmas Presents? I’m All For Them!

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Leave a comment below and you'll be eligible to win a DVD copy of either The Lion King or Dumbo (please state your preference).I love giving presents better than receiving them.Really.There’s a certain delight that comes when I find the perfect gift and I realize, “I’ve nailed it.” Maybe it’s something you’d never get for yourself or didn’t know you desperately needed.  Maybe it’s something that’s purely fun and so whimsical it makes everyone laugh.  Maybe it’s a sentimental photograp … [Read more...]

Nine Life Lessons From Buddy the Elf

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We kicked off the Christmas season last week with our first viewing of Elf, starring Will Ferrell.  I say our first viewing because, being one of our favorite Christmas movies, one viewing is never enough.  We love this movie, not only because it is side-splittingly funny, but because the main character, Buddy the elf, is about the best life coach out there.  Here are some of the things he taught me:1.  Accept RealityEven when he falls 915 items behind in the toy building room and is fin … [Read more...]


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