Making Christmas


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Children, Christmas, Family, Parenting, Traditions | Posted on 05-12-2016

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You know the well-intentioned sentiment from The Nightmare Before Christmas, where Jack Skellington and the Halloween Town folks “make Christmas” as best they can? That’s what it’s like around here during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Full of preparation and excitement and good intentions. It is my job as a parent to make a nice, fun, and memorable Christmas for my family.

Making Christmas
Time to give them something fun
They’ll talk about for years to come
Let’s have a cheer from everyone
It’s time to party

My husband and I have made Christmas for our children over the years. A combination of family traditions: cutting down the tree, baking cookies, Christmas movies and music, setting up the nativity scene, putting up lights, donating presents and time, counting down with an advent calendar, decorating the tree with ornaments from childhood, and visiting the mountain where there’s guaranteed snow.

This year, our Christmas tree was cut down, brought home, and dressed in lights. Then it sat for a week. Nearly naked. With no ornaments. Maybe this will be the year that lights will do. Why bother with ornaments this year?

Then. Guilt hit.

What about the hundreds of sweet ornaments collected over the years and so carefully wrapped in Chipotle napkins? Stuck in a bin for another year? I simply could not let this happen. The ornaments needed to do their part to make Christmas special.

What about the homemade ornaments our children have made over the years? The beaded candy cane. The teddy bear with the googly eyes displaying a photo of my son taken in Kindergarten (he is now 17). The Star of David made with popsicle sticks. The snowman made from a cinnamon stick. The Snoopy with the googly eyes made by my husband when he was in Kindergarten. What??!!

What about the special gifted ornaments? The starfish with pearls, gifted to me by my mother-in-law when we were in San Diego. The little drummer boy gifted to my husband at his birth. The glass icicle gifted to me by my husband. The painted horse my mother gifted my daughter while visiting Phoenix. The coyote “couple” singing hymns we were gifted when we got married. The glass frog ornament with a tutu I gifted my daughter in 2003. The set of three yellow Labradors my daughter made for me from clay. Angels. Owls. Mittens.

What about the prized purchased ornaments? The pea pod with the three smiling pea faces representing each of my children. The dozens of tin ornaments my mother and I bought in Mexico. The pickle my daughter and I bought at the mountain general store. Mermaids. Frogs. Poinsettias. A dolphin. A tomato.

Each ornament has a story. They are filled with memories that reemerge every Christmas season.

On Saturday night around 11:00 p.m., we had an impromptu family celebration. Let’s have a cheer from everyone. It’s time to party. We ate Skittles and hung our ornament–both by the handful.

All the while, making Christmas. Together.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

5 (New) Thanksgiving Memories


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Children, Family, Holidays, Life | Posted on 02-12-2013

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I hope y’all had a nice Thanksgiving.

I did.

Some things went as planned. And some things didn’t. Those were actually the things that we enjoyed (and will remember) the most:

  1. We ate dessert first.
  2. I made a kick-ass carrot cake.
  3. I made ugly pretzels. I have a dog. They looked like his turds.
  4. A day in jammies and sweats. Yes, please.
  5. Twister.

We made memories and added a few new traditions…including pretzel turds.

Sometimes pretzel sticks look like dog turds.

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December is a Patchwork Quilt in our Home


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Children, Christmas, Family, Fun, Global, Love, Memories, Traditions | Posted on 14-12-2011

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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.

We choose to mix it up and the result is a fun-filled, chock-full celebratory December quilt.


How Do You Like Them…Pomegranates?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Fall, Family, Food, Fruit, Health, Kitchen | Posted on 04-11-2011

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Ha ha ha! Pomegranates are in season. Enough said.

But Holy Investment, Batman! These suckers are $3.50 apiece where I live. But how can I say no to antioxidants and Vitamin C?

My kids love them. And we associate them will our family Fall traditions. No fancy cooking here. We just slice them in half and enjoy picking out the ruby-like seeds. Eating half of a pomegranate can last through a whole movie (if you eat it slowly)!

These bad boys have quite a history. Did you know, for example, that:

  • The wild pomegranate dates back 4,000 years?
  • Indian royalty used the pomegranate in rituals and for banquets?
  • Traders in ancient days referred to the pomegranate as the “fruit of paradise?”
  • The Greek myth of Persephone, the goddess of the Underword prominently features the pomegranate? For each seed she ate, she had to stay in Hades for A YEAR.

Enjoy ’em–you are eating a piece of ancient history–and don’t wear your white toga while partaking.