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Family Fun

Keep your loved ones close with creative ideas for playing together as a family

7 family fun article submissions by the Mothering community.

A Gift I Have Given & A Gift I Have Received

Can True Gifts Be Wrapped? My parents hosted a large annual Christmas Eve party with music, talking, and the usual festivities for many years until a profound shift occurred. My father was feeling isolated during his own party. He was making a lot of small talk but at the end of the night, he felt disconnected, rather than connected from all the bits of conversation. He was seeking a deeper meaning around the holidays and he couldn’t find it amidst the hoopla. So, he made a change. My parents scaled back the guest list to a few families, and... read more


Christmas without kids is strange. A bunch of adults sitting around a tree opening gifts. Half the boxes are full of things that are unneeded. If I listen closely, I hear an empty sound behind the holiday music on the radio. No pitter-patter of footed pajamas running down the hallway. No excited chatter about leaving cookies for Santa and carrots for reindeer. The nativity scene sits on the table gathering dust (when my brothers and I were little, we loved playing with all the figurines and the straw-roofed stall that served as the manger). Most days I can... read more

When My Husband Saw Santa

  Athena and Hesperus by the tree with its homemade ornaments during the year we lived in West Africa Everyone in my family believes in Santa Claus. When James was about seven he saw Santa. He lived with his mom in an apartment in Buffalo. They had a tree in the corner of the living room. He went to bed very excited and happy on Christmas Eve holding a little elf ornament that he slept with every Christmas Eve on one shoulder, his blue blanket on the other. Jimmy woke in the middle of the night. Everything was dark except the... read more

O Christmas Tree!

So, Thursday night we went to get our Christmas tree. Our son, Reeve, is home from college for the holidays and wanted to share with his girlfriend, Eliza, our family tradition of walking to the tree lot run by Delancey Street Foundation, picking out a tree, and carrying it home on our shoulders, old-school–style. It was snowing—had been snowing all day when we set out, bundled up and feeling festive. But when we got to the lot, it was CLOSED! (How can a tree lot close?) A security guard told us that they had shut down early due to the bad weather so that... read more

Don't Miss CCFC's Guide to Commercial-Free Holidays

- - If there is ever a time when commercialism seems inescapable, it’s during the holidays. Now, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has created a guide to help you find your way through the hectic holiday season. You can download your free copy here. - Frazzled? Cranky?  Anxious?     Overspent?   Looking for respite from commercialized holidays? About Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of... read more

Why We Say Shabbat

Tonight’s Shabbat, and the third night of Hanukkah. James is out of town. The kids are cranky after a long week at school. The baby, newly walking, is finding life precarious. She fell hard on her bottom this morning and she keeps tripping over her feet, wailing with frustration and pain every time she does a face plant. I’m tempted to forgo lighting the menorah, lighting the Shabbos candles, and making latkes. But I won’t. Even though I’m an atheist, I really love celebrating the sabbath. I wrote a version of this essay, which was... read more

Switch Witch and Halloween...

October 31 is fast approaching. For some, it is simply a night of candy; a higher quantity than normal, but no big deal. For others, especially for parents whose children rarely eat sugar, or who only eat organic or natural sweets, the dye, chemicals and other ingredients in the Halloween candy can be a point of major stress. Some parents aren’t thrilled with the candy but they figure it’s only one night a year and it’s fine, but for others, this one night of candy actually lasts for a week or two and reoccurring every year, it starts to add up to a... read more

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