My kids love baking Christmas cookies with me. Correction: they think they do. In fact, many traditional Christmas cookies involve dough that needs to be chilled, cut, chilled again before baking. Then there’s the waiting for the cookies to cool before they can do what they really want to do which is make a mess […]

pg advent cal

This is a real last-minute answer to the advent calendar (in fact, this year we are just doing a 12-day because we are so late). My kids made and decorated a pouch out of paper that holds two treats (one for each kid).  They made two compartments by stapling down the middle and we use […]


Every winter, my little corner of the Hudson Valley goes all out for Sinterklaas, a nod to our area’s Dutch heritage. This year the celebration kicks off with Sinterklaas Arrival Day on November 30 in Kingston and culminates with a full day of festivities on December 7 in Rhinebeck. For festival day, think plenty of […]

holiday binder

Despite my chips-stealing incident (posted on Momfilter last week), I feel like I’ve gained a little more mastery of my holiday season due to one simple tool:  my Holiday Binder.  My Binder Full of Christmas, if you will. It’s a 3-ring binder full of folders and page protectors into which I stuff my son’s Christmas […]


Visiting Santa Claus is one of those memories from childhood that never lost any of its magical glow; even as I learned the truth about that fabled man who flew with reindeers. Every year on one lucky December day, my mom would allow my two sisters and me to miss school for our trip to […]


We never get tired of looking at these letters to Santa…and actually, we love looking at other kids’ even more than at our own. One favorite list we heard of this year was a 7 year old’s that had only two things on it: silly putty and blocks of soap to learn how to carve. […]


Our tree is covered with ornaments from my husband’s childhood. I love looking at the various eras and hobbies represented. My mother-in-law went through a big needlepoint stage in the 70s as evidenced by these adorable figures perched in thimbles. I love the idea of any cute little thing–bought or made–in a thimble.


My husband’s family has a long-standing tradition of homemade felt stockings. A couple of years ago, my husband, his brother and my mother-in-law decided to carry on the tradition with our collective offspring. While they actually made the stockings themselves, felt templates (this year’s is particularly chic) and blanks you can buy are readily available. Almost […]

santa video

A couple of years ago Santa sent my daughter a personal video message that blew her mind and erased any doubt she might have had about his existence. If you’re interested, here is the website so you can merely give him your updated email info and he can get in touch with you and your […]


Our friend Erik took this picture of his nephew Owen, and I love it for several reasons–the “where’s Waldo” element in that it takes a while to spot the kid in the picture, and that it marks a period where we allow the kids to leave out all of their toys and just enjoy the […]


December 1:   The Holiday Season Begins.….and it goes surprisingly smoothly. We recently moved across the country so we were a little unsure of how this would go:  we have no family, no social group, and we’re not involved in anything. Which sounds really sad but actually no family no friends no activities equals nothing on […]

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