Ah, December, the month when the days are getting shorter and shortest as we try to pack in shopping, parties, preparations for hospitality or travel, and tranquil spiritual contemplation along with all our usual activities! It makes a kid who persistently wants attention all the more annoying. The December my son Nicholas turned two, I … Continue reading The Nutcracker: music for the imagination
Back in 2007, I wrote about the little tree Daniel and I, with the help of former housemate Bill, made for our first Christmas together, back in 1996. Made mostly of repurposed materials, this is a great alternative to cutting down a real tree or using a factory-made artificial tree. It's still going strong! I'm finally … Continue reading Our Green Christmas Tree (now with photos!)
My family has a tradition for opening our Christmas gifts that makes the fun last longer, reduces chaos, increases our appreciation of each gift, helps us remember to thank gift-givers who are present, improves our ability to make an accurate list of who got what from whom (as a reference for thanking givers who aren't present), calms down that "Gimme gimme! What's next?" feeling, and helps us share each other's joy. It works wonders, and it's really simple!
Christmas is coming, so now is the time to plan your strategy for setting out less post-Christmas garbage than any other family on your block! (We often achieve that goal, and we're in a mostly Jewish neighborhood.) Reusing things not only saves you money and helps the environment but also creates a treasure trove of … Continue reading Recycling Christmas Cheer
Jeremy Halpern is a friend Daniel has known since grade school, who has some good ideas about food. He gave Daniel this recipe years ago, written on a tiny sheet of paper, which we have carefully kept ever since. These cheese-stuffed pasta shells have been our Christmas dinner every year since 1997. Once we'd tried … Continue reading Jeremy’s Stuffed Shells