They say smells take you back to your childhood…
Ah, freshly-cut pine trees, cookies baking, cinnamon candles…Nothing smells like Christmas quite like these comforting smells.
Except the smell of exhaust from a bus. That too reminds me of Christmas.
When I was a kid, my mother and I flew to Missouri to visit my Grandparents for Christmas. We arrived during a blizzard, and it became too icy to land. All inbound planes were detoured to alternate cities. We landed miles and miles away from my Grandparents’ home.
I remember an all-night trip on a Greyhound bus. As we stashed our luggage underneath the bus and boarded, the black fumes mixed with the frigid night air, enveloped me, making my throat sting. The engine was revving, ready for the journey ahead. Nestled on the velveteen chair next to my mother, I was blanketed under my coat, with my forehead pressed against the cold window. I stared into the blue-lit darkness, mesmerized by the snowflakes. The hum of the engine and the blasting heat lulled me to sleep.
We made a stop at 2:00 a.m., at a 24-hour diner, where riders ordered burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, coffee, and pie. Then back on the bus where the journey continued. We chugged down the highway at snail speed.
We arrived at our destination mid-morning. Groggy, my mother led me to into the Greyhound terminal, where we were greeted again by fumes amidst the brisk air. And welcomed by my Grandparents and their big, comforting hugs and smiles. I was so happy to see them! The blizzard had passed, leaving a white winter wonderland. We crunched on the icy, snow roads with chained tires.
Finally arriving at their home, I breathed freshly-cut pine trees, cookies baking, and cinnamon candles.
My Grandparents are now long gone. But the smells–including the bus exhaust–take me back. Back to my childhood.
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Children, Christmas, Emotions, Holidays, News | Posted on 14-12-2012
It seems to me that a child ought to go to school to learn. To play. To socialize. To thrive.
And that a child shouldn’t fear for his life when he is adding, writing about his favorite family Holiday traditions, and playing kickball.
A child shouldn’t have to fear shootings and killings. While at school. Or at the mall, when visiting Santa.
Within one week, there have been two horrific happenings in my lovely U.S.A. A shooting in a mall. And a shooting in an elementary school. Folks, several Kindergartners are now dead.
All I can think is: Their parents sent them off to school to add, write about their favorite family Holiday traditions, and to play kickball. Their parents did not send them to school, only to have them killed and to never return. This is the saddest, most horrific thing.
I can only imagine what the families are going through.
We are amidst Hanukkah and counting down the days before Christmas. This is the time for love and family and kindness and peace.
“Peace must develop from inner peace.
Peace is not just mere absence of violence.
Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.”
– Dalai Lama XIV
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Children, Christmas, Dreams, Encouragement, Travel | Posted on 14-12-2012
My seven-year-old son is learning geography at school. He hums the theme song to Indiana Jones…and wants to be him when he grows up. So that he can travel and study old things.
My young son’s latest interest is India. (Hmmm…I wonder where he got that idea?)
He has added up his dollars–they make quite a pile. He proclaimed that he needs $10 more and he’ll have enough to buy his own passport. With a passport in hand, he thinks that he will instantly start traveling. Like Doc Brown’s time machine. Zap! Calcutta!
May my dreamer–and future world traveler–get lots of stamps in his passport.
And I just may get myself a passport too…so that my son and I can zap off to India.
The gift giving season is upon us. Here are 10 things retailers make you think your man wants.
If I gifted any of the below to my guy, he might just punch me in the nose.
Ya might want to think twice before purchasing any of these things:
- Electric shaver
- Nose and ear hair trimmer
- Christmas sweater
- Anything monogrammed
- Tire gauge*
*Thank you @Keeferdog for the brainstorming!
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Children, Christmas, Family, Friends, Life Lessons, Manners, Mothering, Parenting, Technology | Posted on 26-12-2011
Mama always said, “When you get a present, be sure to write a thank-you note. It’s the right thing to do.”
Times have changed, but manners should not.
In lieu of forcing your children to write thank-you notes to their gift-givers, simply take a picture of your child holding the present (gift card, ugly sweater, Legos, whatever) and email the picture to the gift-giver. Or post it on Facebook.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Whew, no thank-you notes looming.
Manners? Check. Make Mama proud.
Just another helpful tip from Pesky Pippi.
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Christmas | Posted on 24-12-2011
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Christmas, Family, Love, Memories | Posted on 23-12-2011
When it comes to Christmas, my mother-in-law rocks. She cares so much about making a fun family Christmas steeped in traditions and memories. Her heart is in the right place. As are her angel collections, nativity sets, and snowy villages.
I have known my mother-in-law for 24 years. When I first went to meet my boyfriend’s parents at Christmas (my now husband), I was welcomed wholeheartedly. She even bought me my own stocking and hung it alongside the rest of the family’s stockings.
Here are a few of my mother-in-law’s traditions that I have adopted and have passed along to my children:
- Adding Maraschino cherries to fruit salad with chopped apples, oranges, and pineapple. Perfectly yummy and festive for Christmas morning!
- Making “wreath cookies” out of Corn Flakes. They taste like Rice Krispies treats but better. Oh, and add lots of green food coloring.
- Buying each child a new ornament every year and writing the year on it. When they move from home, they’ll have their own start of an ornament collection. It’s a very special tradition.
Making others feel special. Now THAT’S a wonderful Christmas tradition to pass along.
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Christmas, Family, Pop Culture | Posted on 19-12-2011
Tags: celebrations, Christmas Vacation, Clark W. Griswold, crap, family, humor, life, magic, reality
This year, I spread the Christmas cheer…a guest blog sent all the way to Australia to one of my favorite (favourite) bloggers there. Check out my latest post on one of my favorite (favourite) guys: Clark W. Griswold:
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Children, Christmas, Family, Fun, Global, Love, Memories, Traditions | Posted on 14-12-2011
We have family, local, global, and even extra-terrestrial holiday celebrations in our American home.
- Aliens and Legos visiting our Nativity scene? All are welcome.
- Hannukah Harry? We love him.
- Tree ornaments from Mexico and India? Passport not required.
- Mr. Hanky? He is a sure-fire hit in our home. We cackle with laughter over this Christmas poo.
- American classic movies: Christmas Vacation? Elf? A Christmas Story? Check. Check. Check.
- Mexican wedding cookies? Yep, I make ‘em.
- Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker? Going.
- Visiting Santa Claus at the mall? On our list.
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir TV special? Celtic Christmas TV special? Two of my favorites.
- Paper dreidels brought home from school? Game on.
- Gingerbread house toppling over with too many gumdrops? Every year.
- Winter solstice? We celebrate that too.
- Advent calendar counting down the days of Christmas? It’s 11 days until Christmas, y’all.
In a previous post I wrote about Why Can’t We All Get Along (for the Holidays). It’s your choice. Mix it up. Or not.