Friday, November 30, 2012
Using the “rule of three” to limit holiday excess.
Between the advent calendar treats, the stocking stuffers, the grandparent booty, the assorted neighborhood and friend gift exchanges and the obscene load of swag Santa has taken to dumping under our tree, Christmas is out of control at our house. That’s why my boys will each receive just three presents from Santa this year. Perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “Just? Three is a lot, you revolting first-world consumer-whore.” And yes: It is a lot, when you consider that there are plenty of children in the world who will get nothing. And when you consider that my children DO NOT NEED ANYTHING. But I’m ashamed to say that my boys are accustomed to receiving two or twelve more gifts than three from the bearded big guy. And I’m sure they’re not …
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Merry Christmas Acton and have a safe and happy New Year.
Last Year's Christmas video/picture slide show.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Is the LeapPad Explorer this year’s Cabbage Patch Kid?
I’m furious with myself. I just paid $175 for a Leap Frog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet. Twenty minutes ago, I hadn’t the foggiest what a Leap Frog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet was. But now I know: It’s the Cabbage Patch Kid of 2011. The Leap Frog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet—which, given its not-exactly-pithy name, will heretofore be referred to as the Shame-Maker—is, apparently, one of the top five toys of the year. Multiple websites and magazines told me so. And as Santa didn’t have any inspired ideas for my 6-year-old, I jumped right on board. Or I tried to. The Shame-Maker was sold out everywhere. LeapFrog.com was cleaned out. Same deal at all the big-box stores. Target, Toys R Us, Best Buy, Walmart, Kmart—out, out, out, …
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
While the Christmas season can be joyous, it is often stressful. As a result, some have changed the way they celebrate the holiday.
When I was a kid, my always loving, usually patient mother told me and my three siblings that she couldn’t understand why our behavior worsened right before Christmas. “Why would you act like this when Santa is watching?” she used to ask us. Now that I’m a mom, I think I know the reason. We were probably reacting to the stress that resulted from receiving less attention while all the holiday preparations took precedence over our normal routines. While the radio is assuring us that It’s the hap-happiest time of the year, many of us are panicking about getting it all done. “It” is different for every family, and has a lot to do with traditions that were established in previous generations. And much of “it” seems to be done by the women in …