The True Age of Santa Claus

by Christy Stansell

Christy's Christmas IChristmas used to be so simple.  My girls would compose and illustrate their letters to the North Pole in their very best flowery handwriting and colorful artistry they could muster – giving Santa great ideas of what to look for in the children’s aisles. “Santa” would find a bunch of toys, games and stuffed animals and put them under the tree and the kids were delighted on Christmas morning.  Sigh.  If only it were still as easy.

It all gets more and more complicated every year.  What makes it so tricky?  One sister is 14 – the other is 8 – and the age of Santa Claus is sadly coming to a close.

The teenager has known “the truth” for a few years now – and has been marvelous at playing along for the sake of her younger sibling.  But, just like she had to be coerced into dressing up for Halloween and opted to not have an actual themed birthday party this year, she’s not easily convinced of the necessity to sit down and write that letter to Ol’ Saint Nick with her sister.  [Read More…]

Happy Chanukah to All!


By |December 7th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |1 Comment

Fond Memories and Holiday Traditions

by Melanie Elliott

Chanukah - ChristmasDoesn’t it seem like we celebrate Halloween and then all of a sudden it’s the New Year?! Where does the time go? Trying to stay ahead of the game this year and get most of the holiday shopping, at least for relatives, completed well beforehand…at least that’s the hope.

As we near the Christmas/Hanukkah holiday, I often reminisce about what my Christmas tradition was prior to getting married. I am Jewish, but grew up celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas, Passover and Easter. Mind you, Christmas and Easter were solely celebrated for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. My mother loves Christmas and all the cooking and decorating that goes along with that. My more religious Jewish friends never understood why we celebrated Christmas.

I love decorating the Christmas tree, aligning the ornaments in the correct positions to achieve maximum glow from the colored lights. There is an art to it. Reaching into the tree near the trunk to place ornaments providing depth and greater reflections of light. It’s fun, and I’m excited to carry on this particular tradition with The Littlest E who is now 6 and can be trusted to not topple over the tree. [Read More…]

Mr. Mom’s (Snippets of) Holiday Thoughts…..

by Marc Parsont

Chanukah - ChristmasEarlier this evening, I was dumping old files from my computer and started pulling pictures of the kids out of computer memory. I smiled, but it was one of those half-hearted, oh-my-gosh I’m-getting-old smiles, because I barely even remember those little faces, anymore.

That’s probably one of the only reasons I put up with the holidays: I love my kids, unequivocally, totally and frighteningly so. I’m struggling to hold on to each stage of their growth, each milestone, every tear they shed. Sometimes I feel that I have no idea how to be a parent! Heck, I’m still having trouble being a grown-up.

But, here’s my biggest dilemma: I don’t really care about the gifts. I never know what to buy for the kids, the cousin’s kids, etc. [Read More…]

Our Twelve Year Old On Tour and What Life Lessons He Learned From the Bass Player and Drummer (Part II of Touring With Thorazine)

by Jo-Ann Rogan

Jo-Ann's son on tour IIII knew my son Ryan had formed a bond with our bass player and drummer before we left for the road. We see the band more than we see our biological families. Our band, Thorazine, always lived as a family and it is natural that the second time around we would fall into family roles again.

It started the first day we picked the band up from the airport in Los Angeles. Ryan does not always use his best table manners, although we have worked with him on this for years. Drummer Dallas and I both mentioned to Ryan about how he is going to choke since he eats so fast. He needs to slow down.

Of course, he is twelve, and has been oppositional since birth. Despite all this, we didn’t give up. Then bassist Hoover and my husband joined in. I think Hoover said it best, “One day, Ryan, you are going to want to impress a girl and you are not going to be able to eat like a caveman in front of her and keep her attention.” [Read More…]

Happy Thanksgiving! My VERY Favorite Clips!

By |November 28th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving! The View From Scott’s Corner!


Mothering contributor DeAnna Scott, 48, is the mother of twins, Robert and Phoebe (born via a traditional surrogacy in June 2013). DeAnna is a p/t photographer and full-time mom. Her work is featured on a monthly basis. Copyright Scott Photography

By |November 27th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Awful Task of Finding a Summer Camp…Now

by Marc Parsont

summer camp IIWhen I first began writing for “Mothering in the Middle,” I compared the number and types of camps available for our kids today, versus what we had when we were children. This summer, I added a piece about all the school and camp forms needed to get through the year. But, here I am again: looking for a summer camp, for next year.

Just when I thought I conquered this task, my wife decided that it was time for my eldest, my son, to go to (far) away camp. His sister also decided that he wasn’t going to camp unless she was going to camp. (The truth is that since her camp experience has been limited to a handful of overnights and two nights at a school camp, I’m not convinced she’s ready for three or four weeks of this.)

So, here’s the upshot: unless you’re frantically researching for camp now, you may be left in the bitter cold of a long, hot summer with your children bleating about how lonely they are and that there’s nothing to do. The Summer Doldrums turn into daily shuttle runs to every single camp you can imagine for one week at a time after another. So, it’s worth it, searching for a summer camp in the middle of winter. [Read More…]

A Life After 40….5…..?

by Carmel Harrington

Carmel Harrington Fall 2015I’ve been writing full time for almost five years, starting just after I turned forty. It’s a funny age isn’t it? On one hand we are told, over and over that life is just beginning, on the other, that it’s all downhill from here.

I, being a glass half full kind of gal, chose to believe the former.

Making the decision to change careers was a terrifying one. I was a Sales and Marketing Manager, with a company car, expense account and decent salary. To become a writer meant giving all that up, because there is no fixed salary for this profession. Many authors never earn a minimum wage, never mind a decent living. And taking aside that not insurmountable obstacle, every time I thought about sharing something I’d written, I’d become paralysed with fear.

It was one thing to kick stories around in my head, another to show the world those very words that up until then I’d kept hidden. who I wanted to be, who I really was. [Read More…]

(Seasonal) Grieving and Grateful in November

by Nancy La-Mar Rodgers

thanksgiving cornThe November Dilemma

November has always seemed to me to be like a crossroad month. It is both fall and winter in its weather. But essentially November for most of us means a time for thanks as we gear up for the upcoming holidays and a time for grieving as we officially let go of Autumn’s beauty and move into the more stark landscape.

November begins on the first with an acknowledgment of a religious holiday, All Souls Day, or as the nuns used to say, the cleansing of that horrible day prior, Halloween. But what is it about November that leaves us lingering, in the beginning of the month, lost and fragile? What is it about November that leaves us feeling delicate and brittle? How can we make sense in this preparation month, of our crazy, busy “to do” lists? But more importantly, why can’t we enjoy it for what it is; a kind, gentle introduction to the mayhem to come. [Read More…]

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