How to Explain Family Christmas Traditions to Kids

The other day, it came to light that a certain elf who sits upon certain shelves had returned to our neighbor’s home. Meanwhile, our elf was presumably still hanging out at the North Pole. The kids were bewildered. Did the neighbor’s elf love them more? Was our elf a huge slacker? This prompted a discussion about how different people have different family Christmas traditions. Things operate a bit differently in every single person’s home.

And some family’s elves are overachievers.

How to Have the Best Disneyland Christmas EVER

We always kick off the festive season with a Disneyland Christmas visit. It’s technically called Disneyland Holidays, but my family calls it Disneyland Christmas so we’re just gonna roll with that here. This is a HUGE tradition for us, and I feel pretty knowledgeable after visiting for years. If any of you are looking to celebrate the season in Disney style, here are my pro tips!

Make a Photo Book to Prove you had a Life Before Kids

Our kids are constantly asking irritating questions like, “When you and Dada met, did roads exist or was there still mud everywhere?” I mean, WHAT? Are they asking if we predated pavement!? Perhaps this is a new version of saying someone’s older than dirt. In any case, I’ve been meaning to create a family album series for AGES, and I decided that the best way to start would be to make a photo book. I can now fend off my children’s barrage of questions by handing over tangible proof that Nate and I had a life before they were even a twinkle in our (tired, glazed-over) eyes.

Small Space, Big Litter Box

A few people have asked how we manage all the rescue cats that I impulsively adopt. The answer? A BIG litter box! We have an auto-feeder and one of those self-changing litter box things, so the cats are pretty self-sufficient. As I said, though, the box is large. And the inside of our one-level farm house is pretty small. Ongoing renovations have shrunk our useable space even more lately, so the only place for our big litter box to go right now is a few feet from our dining room table.

Keeping Kids Safe Online (While Preparing For The Future)

There’s no getting around it anymore. My oldest son is getting old. As much as I try to baby him, he’s seven now and he has OPINIONS! I used to teach third grade, and I loved the banter, the growth, and the personalities that emerged at that age. Even though it’s so exciting to see my dude approaching a familiar threshold, but it also makes me realize that I need to refresh my knowledge on things like keeping kids safe online.

Why I’m Pissed off about your Early Christmas Decor

I was dreading the holidays this year. It’s always a hard time for me, in general. Instead of sugarplums dancing around, my yuletime memories from childhood mostly include liquor-addled altercations. There was the time my stepdad yanked the Christmas tree down on top of me, and a particularly warm recollection of him holding a snowflake ornament up against my neck like a shuriken.

This Messenger for Kids is Our Family’s Pick

Our family travels about half the year, so it can be challenging for our kids to keep up with friends and relatives. Phone calls are tricky, since the baby and preschooler like to interject LOUDLY into our older boys’ conversations. Nate and I used to hand them our phones with Facebook Messenger on – since that’s how we tend to communicate with coworkers and acquaintances – but we’d always have to hope that the kids wouldn’t meander into our personal conversations. Then, we found a messaging app built for kids in our boys’ age group!