I miss the good old days of airline tickets.
Trust me, I’m a huge fan of technology. The Internet delivers loads of convenience and general awesomeness to life but, in my view, the demise of paper tickets is hardly one of its crowning achievements.
Getting that sleek packet of tickets all lined up in their colorful folder and stapled to my itinerary was always a highlight of trip planning. In the weeks and months prior to departure, I’d take them out of the drawer and gaze upon them, attempting with my layman’s eye to decipher the mysterious codes and hieroglyphics that marked my coming adventure. It made me feel like I was in the Golden Age of Air Travel…and that excitement lay just around the corner. Somehow, calling up my flight confirmation email on the smart phone just doesn’t deliver that same thrill.
And right about now, I’d clutch them to my chest and tuck them under my pillow at night, if only… (more…)
Around this time of year, I get pretty well acquainted with 3 a.m.
I used to be a fantastic sleeper: I went to bed at 11 and woke alert and refreshed at 7. But somewhere in my thirties, all that changed. As Winter approaches, my internal clock goes cuckoo, and I’m up way before dawn.
When it first happened, I thought my enormous holiday to-do list was keeping me awake. But my early December mornings continued well into February. No matter how late I stayed up, my eyes flew open before four a.m. Finally, my brother-in-law, a physician, suggested I might be suffering from a form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I had read about “winter blues,” but I didn’t feel down…just exhausted. He explained that my sleep was affected by lack of light; my circadian rhythm—which is responsible for the sleep/wake cycle—was knocked out of whack during the short winter days. (more…)
Like any mom, I’ve got a long list of all the (mostly wonderful) ways my kids have changed my life. And one of the biggies is how my husband and I spend New Year’s Eve.
To be fair, we set the bar pretty high: we rung in our first married New Year from our honeymoon on a beach in Antigua. And while neither of us is a Times Square-style reveler, we always enjoyed celebrating with parties, overnight getaways or late dinners with friends.
All that changed, of course, with the arrival of our firstborn. By the time we felt comfortable leaving him past midnight with a sitter, another baby was on the way. And then one more. Fast forward a few years: our children are a little older, and we’re no longer sleep-deprived zombies. We’re ready, willing and up for some New Year’s fun….and there’s not a babysitter to be had at any price. Apparently they’re all out whooping it up like we used to.
And so, we’ve built new, kid-friendly traditions to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Typically we all venture out in the afternoon to catch one of the blockbuster holiday movie releases. Then we challenge one another to a savagely competitive match of laser tag or maybe bowling. The prize: bragging rights for the whole year. (more…)
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a pretty plate of sweet treats—it’s my go-to gift of the season.
And a busy season it’s shaping up to be. So far, we’ve accepted invitations to an open house, a Hanukkah dinner, a cocktail party and a birthday buffet; on each occasion, I’ll be presenting my hosts a platter of homemade holiday goodies. I’ll also be putting together tins for teachers, neighbors and, of course, my family as they descend to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Before my children came along, holiday baking was a simple, if labor-intensive, affair. I just barricaded myself in the kitchen for a weekend, didn’t emerge until I was done. With three kids and their demanding schedules—basketball, band, gymnastics—that’s not always option. Over the years, I’ve enlisted their help, but after the first five batches, even the most dedicated young chefs can lose interest.
That’s why I’ve developed a few kid- and mom-friendly moves that make holiday baking a treat: