All posts tagged: Christmas

Why Does Everyone Hate Charlie Brown?

On Christmas night, the screen time my kids chose (for daddies’ down time) was “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.” I was happy to hear the familiar music and dialogue in the background as I sipped bourbon and stared at my phone. Around the fourteenth time Lucy declared, “You blockhead, Charlie Brown,” my older kid asked, “Why does everyone hate Charlie Brown?” And it gave me pause. Why does everyone hate Charlie Brown? In the Christmas special, Charlie’s the Christmas pageant director. Leadership often brings up conflict. But all Charlie’s trying to do is focus collective effort on getting the damn pageant done. But just because Charlie can’t control the cast doesn’t justify the near-universal derision of his peers. It’s not like Charlie’s leading acting exercises that force Lucy to dredge up that time a teacher told her she’ll never amount to anything after which the class bully looked over and said, “you smell like shit and you’ll never find love in life and you’ll end up with warts all over your nose and children will run …

Christmas Misery

I was privileged to be in an exclusive screening of Julia Roberts’ latest movie, Ben is Back, thanks to @themomsnetwork, a network of moms mutually supporting each other in their entrepreneurial endeavors and motherhood. (Nope, not a sponsored post. I’m not influential. Just a shout-out.) The movie was excellent, all about the trials of a mother dealing with an addict son and the many ways he lies and steals and abuses drugs. Julia turns in a star performance, though I admit I’m in awe of her very being. But I’m pretty sure I was able to see through my star-struckness to say it was a powerful performance. But what the movie really made me think about was holidays and sadness. Pivoting in this post, the movie reminded me of a particularly powerful moment of connection I shared with my mom within holiday melancholy. During a visit home post-college, I was exhausted by my own frantic running around and lunching/drinking with old friends. Further, I was feeling down about my frustration with my career, place in …

The Reason for the Season

Though I loathe the culture war centered around “putting the ‘Christ’ back into ‘Christmas’”, I’m definitely one who wants my children to know the reason behind every season, or in most cases…holiday. This applies most especially to holidays as “abstract” as Veteran’s Day. Yesterday my older kid jumped with joy as she celebrated having THREE DAYS OF MORNING TELEVISION this weekend. Uncharacteristically, I held my tongue so as not to deflate her joy. I’ll save the posturing about Veteran’s Day for the actual day. I’m feeling particularly attached to Veteran’s Day, this year, because of the 100th anniversary of the WWI armistice. I’ve always been masochistically fascinated by WWI. It never fails to send a sobering chill down my spine to reflect on the first war in which men were able to massacre acres of men without catching sight of each other. The wide-scale use of machine guns, tanks, airplanes and trench warfare that wasted a generation all because of agreements between insecure, rich white men trying to keep their place in the upper-class mastering the …

A Little Santa, a Little Jesus

During this Santa-obsessed time, I’ve been thinking a lot about how things have changed for our family holiday since last year. Christmas 2014 was the first for my older son to obsess over receiving presents. It made me nervous to think he’d become an unappreciative, acquisitive kid lacking any appreciation for the reason for the season. I fretted about it, but we made little progress beyond, “Why do we celebrate Christmas?” “To get presents!” This year, we’re reading books about Jesus, as well as Santa and Rudolph. As I’ve alluded, I’m a believer in a higher power, a worldly energy, a united human spirit. But I don’t think there’s a grandfatherly figure with a white beard deciding whether or not we get into pearly gates. And Biblical stories?, word-for-word?…not so much. Of course we embrace the spirit of Christmas, spreading joy and good tidings and all that jazz. But (as with appreciating Veterans’ sacrifices on Veteran’s Day – and that it’s not just a day off from school, and that Labor Day celebrates sacrifices made …

2 Ways I Put Christ Back into Christmas. No Kidding.

I’m wrestling with how to put Christ into Christmas for my sons. This is Ellison’s (3yo) first Christmas where he “gets” it. But I’m afraid “getting it” means only, “Santa brings me Rocky and Peter Sam!” (*Friends of Thomas) I’m concerned he’ll be a kid who tears through gifts, ungraciously casting aside Uncle Terry’s educational puzzle, and demands, “Where’s Rocky!?!” (*FOT) At the risk of sounding FOX-like, I’m waging my own war on Christmas. I won’t allow my kids to take part in our seasonal consuming frenzy without understanding