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Letter to Santa

No zip code needed for this one!

When I told the kids our plans for the holidays last night, I expected excitement, possibly some cheering, definitely lots of gleeful chatter. I did not expect the solemn looks on their faces as they continued to sit there in a quiet stupor.  Finally, my Little One spoke, in a voice that was almost a whisper.  “But Mama,” she asked, “What about Santa?  If we go away for Christmas, how will he know how to find us?”

Immediately my son – never one to stay out of a conversation for long – and obviously having had some time now to process all this – spoke up. “No – here’s what we need to do,” he said in his authoritative tone, sounding well past his 9 years of age. “You put a box by the front door, and then Santa can just leave the presents there and we get them when

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So Long to Christmas

Well, are you done with the holidays?  When are they officially over for you?  Are you the one on your block that (still) has your outside lights up when it is Super Bowl Sunday?  Or do you have everything packed up and put away before the calendar changes for the New Year?

Previously, I liked to stretch it out as long as I could.  Which for me meant definitely through New Year’s Day.  But by the time the kids went back to school that first week in January, things were back in their boxes in the garage.  By then, it felt like it was time. 

This year, my plans are being dictated by our Christmas tree — the big, beautiful 8-foot tall one we got near the beginning of December.  The one I oohed and aahed over – and emphatically exclaimed was the “most beautiful tree I had ever seen.”   You say that every year, my husband reminded me.  …

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Flashback to December 2000

Ever hear a song and get an instant flashback – to a place or time in your past?  I heard a beautiful version of River the other day sung by Sarah McLachlan and whoosh – instantly it was this time 8 years ago.  We were experiencing life in the Big Apple…living in a huge loft apartment in Brooklyn Heights and expecting our first child.  There were the decorated Macy’s windows at Harold Square, snow flurries to make you believe it could be a White Christmas after all, and Christmas trees being sold on every other street corner.  It was the joyous season of Christmas and I had never been more blue.  

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

River by Joni Mitchell

You walk a lot in NY, especially when you have a big dog …

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5 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Holidays

I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic.  And no, it wasn’t just because I was coughing away due to this lovely cold I have now gotten from my dear family members. (Pass around the hugs and kisses all you want, but keep the germs to yourself!  This is another reason we are all getting flu shots this year).  It wasn’t a fever, however, that caused me to break out in a sweat – it was tidbits of an ongoing conversation my kids have been having lately that are now floating around in my head: what's on their Christmas lists.  My initial reaction had been one of happiness and relief; their lists were short, simple and not at all filled (yet) with the gimmies and holiday wants (or the Wii)!  But last night in my dreamland state, reality hit me like a wake-up call: oh no! the holidays are only 10 weeks away!

Are …

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