Happy Chanukah!

By |December 17th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Chanukah and The Passing Down Of Traditions

by Cyma Shapiro

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the many reasons I wanted to have children was to pass down traditions and have a lineage (I am the last remaining member of the Shapiro family).

On holidays such as Chanukah, I’m reminded of what these days mean to me – a remembrance of my childhood, a passing on of the torch, a recognition of the wonderment of it all, a celebration of both religious and familial practices.

This photo of my son, taken several years ago, is one of the first remembrances he has of Chanukah. The sheer joy and delight on his face still takes my breath away.

How much do we all remember, relive, and annually embrace our own holidays with that same wide-eyed wonder?

Having children brings long-forgotten images and memories back. During times like these, those memories are sometimes too precious and too yummy to forgo. I often tell my children that they will have this experience or that experience to share with their own children and grandchildren. I hope my son remembers this very moment when he celebrates with his “tooties” (translated: children) and his children’s “tooties.” He will, at least, have this photo to refer to.

In keeping with this joyous holiday season, I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday… and a really special New Year.

My best,

Cyma Shapiro

By |December 16th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 50, Rituals & Spirituality|Tags: |0 Comments

Celebrating Multicultural Holidays In Our Home

by Melanie Elliott

Chanukah - ChristmasFor some reason, being the eldest daughter in a Jewish family, I always thought I should marry a Jewish man. Well, I fell in love with the most wonderful man in the world who happens to be the son of a retired-Episcopal minister.

I grew up celebrating Easter and Passover, Christmas and Hanukkah, even though I’m Jewish. I knew my folks would be fine with me marrying Tom; they knew we loved each other very much and they knew we both had good heads on our shoulders.  Our families welcomed our togetherness.  To culminate our union, we had a beautifully blended dual ceremony with an Episcopal minister and a Jewish friend (ordained minister) performing our service. [Read More…]

Happy Chriskwanzaramadanikah!

by Marc Parsont

Chanukah - Christmas


Happy Chriskwanzaramadanikah!  The holidays are upon us and/or in some cases have passed us by with more threatening in the wings.  Without exaggeration or millions of painful anecdotes, we can start another spending like there’s no tomorrow, fight over parking spaces and eat until we’re gorged baccanale.  Boy, am I ever excited! [Read More…]

By |December 12th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Millennials and the Holiday Spirit

by Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. and Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D.

Chanukah - ChristmasAlthough it may be the holiday season, as far as presents go that doesn’t mean a whole lot to Millennials. Like so many other issues, they have their own ideas about gift giving. Apparently what they want is cash, mostly to pay down college costs and other debt.

So much for the negative stereotype that those born between 1980 and 2000 are lazy and have a sense of entitlement. Millennials are laboring under a collective $1 trillion in debt from student loans and still struggling to find jobs. Yet a survey of 6,500 members of the so-called ‘Me Generation’ indicates that last year well over half of them made donations to charitable causes and volunteered their time. [Read More…]

7 “Digital Detox” Tips for Every Family

Susan Newman, Ph.D.


In many families, smartphones, tablets, television and other “screens” are a normal part of day-to-day life. But, when adults and children are clearly enamored with their devices—constantly checking their email, texting, playing games and searching the Internet, little time remains for parent-child interaction.

It is impossible to do away with technology completely, however, small cut backs can significantly benefit parents and children alike. [Read More…]

By |December 8th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , , |0 Comments

A Mother’s Musings – Snowfall

by Judith Lee Herbert



 Clouds surround us in the mountains

of Estes Park, in August.

I am elated, driving through the blizzard,

Dana, at ten, in the back seat,

Allan at my side.

We follow the dim red glow of tail lights

slowly, through fog’s fluffy whiteness.

Descending mountain curves,

I am soaring through silvery light.


Last night I dreamed that

my mother drove through a snowstorm

to visit me.

I opened the car door.

Cold frosty snow covered

her clothes, face, lashes.

She’d forgotten to close the windows.

Occasionally a glimpse of her

through snowflakes.

Who she once was, covered by

 a layer of frozenness,

 a blanket of whiteness.

Judith Lee Herbert has returned to poetry after a successful career in another field.  She graduated Cum Laude in English Literature from Columbia University.  She has a daughter who is a sophomore in college, and she lives in New York City, with her husband, who writes plays.  She had her daughter while in her 40s.

By |December 6th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , |0 Comments


by Marc Parsont

shoesOur kids keep us running from sports, to birthdays, to holidays and I finally figured out that I’m in the wrong business.  I should have been a shoe salesman. My daughter, “L,” dances ballet, plays soccer and appears to be on a course to pass Imelda Marcos for her shoe collection.

My son, “B,” plays soccer, started wrestling, basketball, baseball and if it’s not bad enough that each of those sports requires different footwear, it appears as if his feet have taken his body hostage. His feet must be screaming, “Feed Me Seymour,” like the plant from “Little Shop of Horrors,” because they’re growing like weeds!  Kid’s shoes have always been good business, but now it has become big fashion as well. [Read More…]

By |December 4th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Enigma of Adoption

by John M. Simmons

older children adoption courtSo… is adoption an institution of saintly parents rescuing abandoned children from orphanages and people who steal Christmas Oranges from orphans?

Is it a multibillion dollar business that exploits young, inexperienced mothers-to-be and pressures them into giving up their babies with tales of how incompetent they are compared to wise and rich parents who have been cursed with infertility but blessed with enough money to buy whatever they want?

Is it a villainous underworld that steals children away from their home countries and cultures? Is adoption a Divine practice? Is it a devil? Is it a sheepskin used to cover wolves? [Read More…]

By |December 2nd, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Balancing Life and Death (In Honor of My Dad)

by Nicholas D'Ambra

Nicholas D'Ambra's dad IIII lost my Dad just over two years ago.  I was there when he passed away.  I watched him.  I told him it was okay to let go; all the while, I was dying inside.

His death was the single most debilitating experience of my life.  It felt as if the ground beneath me had given way.  Nothing made sense or seemed to contain purpose.  The blurry empty feeling followed me through those auto-piloted days of making arrangements.  Everything felt irrelevant. Nothing mattered anymore.  I wondered why we bothered…any of us.  The pain was overwhelmingly immense.  It was so excruciating that I wanted to disappear forever.

For a split second in time,  I reasoned that my husband would be okay and maybe grateful not to have me so sad all the time.  Everyone would be.  Except my son.  I couldn’t allow my own grief to become his. [Read More…]

By |November 30th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Gay Fathers|Tags: , , , |3 Comments
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