Category Archives: list

The Holiday Mash-Up I’m Grateful Will NOT Happen This Year

Now that Halloween is over, our carved pumpkins have expired, Target’s Holiday Shop is half stocked, Ritz’s seasonal snowflake-shaped crackers are on the shelves, has sent an email announcing their countdown to Black Friday, and Whole Food’s holiday ordering table is ready to go, I feel like it’s an ideal time to talk about gratitude.

I’m grateful that I had another essay published on Mamalode last week and that the average temperature in South Florida is finally 82 instead of 92 degrees. I’m grateful for Daylight Saving Time, because even though the early sunset is jarring, I really appreciate the light at 6:00am. I’m grateful the boys are doing well in school despite their morning protests. I’m grateful for “The Good Wife” and SkinnyPop (always), and I’m grateful that Thanksgiving, my most favorite holiday of the year, is just around the corner.

I’m especially grateful that Thanksgiving is coming alone this year. Alone as in without Hanukkah. No offense to Hanukkah here. It’s a holiday I enjoy immensely. It’s just that I don’t want to shred potatoes for latkes, brine a turkey, and watch Santa Claus float down Sixth Avenue at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at the same time. It’s confusing!

In fact, let’s take a moment to rejoice in that fact that the once-in-a-lifetime experience of Thanksgivukkah won’t rear its ugly “turkey wearing a yarmulke” head again this year. I’m not saying that the “chistoric chybrid challaday” wasn’t interesting or unique, but like many interesting or unique experiences, such as the luau dinner show at Disney’s Polynesian Resort or a walk on a long pier with a toddler who won’t hold your hand, once is enough. Let’s just say I’m grateful that the next time Thanksgivukkah happens will be in 2070, at which point I’ll most likely be dead.

Here are few other reasons I’m grateful Thanksgivukkah is safely in the rearview mirror:

1. I didn’t have to start my holiday shopping before I finished buying school supplies.

2. Art projects, including but not limited to the turkey with a menorah tail or the menorah shaped like a turkey (i.e. the menurkey) are officially relics of the past.


3. There’s no pressure to replicated homemade, turkey-shaped challah (i.e. the challurkey) as seen on Pinterest or fill a turkey piñata with gelt, because, let’s face it, nothing says Thanksgiving or Hanukkah like a piñata.

4. I’ll never hear “Gobble Tov!” again. What does that even mean? Mazel tov is a Jewish phrase to express congratulations. The only appropriate reason to say “Gobble Tov!” is if you or someone you know actually made a challurkey, and I find that hard to believe.

5. I don’t have to pretend to be excited to cook fusion recipes, like Maneschewitz-brined roast turkey and sweet potato noodle kugel. Who the hell likes Maneschewitz or kugel anyway?

6. Thanksgivukkah is a bitch to spell. Thanksgivvukah? Thanksgivukah? Thanksgivaka? Thanksgivekkah? Thankswhogivesacrap!

There is one holiday mash-up that I really like. As a Mama who celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas with my kids, Chrismukkah, or “Chorus mullah” as my AutoCorrect prefers, causes a fantastic gift-giving overlap.  In other words, when one night of Hanukkah and Christmas share the same day, I can kill two birds with one stone present, which results in another very happy, merry, and cost-effective reason to be grateful.

Did you enjoy Thankgivukkah? Which two holidays would you like to mash up?

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The Runaway Mama’s Solution To Getting Your Kids Excited To Go Back To School


I have a surefire way to get your kids excited to go back to school. It’s so simple that I can hardly believe it myself. Are you ready? Here it is:

Take them on errands.  Several of them.  In a row.  All day.

Here are the basic guidelines for success:

1. Make sure the errand locations are boring. Dull. Mind-numbing. For example, take them to Public Storage to sign a multi-page contract on a 10 X 10 storage unit. Or, go to Fedex Office and wait in a long line to place an order for 500 black & white copies of a PTO flyer. Or, go to Macy’s to buy socks.

2. Do not make it fun. In other words, don’t stop for frozen yogurt, forget the tablets at home (oops!), and listen to talk radio in the car.

3. Make no less than six (but no more than 10 stops) during the day. Be sure the overall length of the journey is at least four hours long, but aim for five to six.

Runaway Mama Tip:

Don’t be a hero. More than ten stops and six hours might result in lunacy (for you AND your children) that can’t be reversed.

4. Do said errands on a day that is hot or rainy or both.

5. If you don’t see results after one full day of errand schlepping, repeat daily as needed. (See below for errand ideas.)

7. Be patient. This totally and completely unauthorized parent hack is guaranteed to work. Eventually, your kids will break. They will be excited to go back to school.


Errand Ideas

Renew your driver’s license.

Bring a prescription to the pharmacy and wait for it to be filled.

Check your tire pressure at the gas station.

Get the car serviced. Wait at the dealership.

Go to your cable company office to exchange equipment.

Apply for a passport.

Wait in line at the post office for a book of stamps.

Exchange shirts for a different size at the school uniform store.

Take the kids for haircuts.

Drop off bags of old clothes at Goodwill.

Register for fall sports. (Forget your proof of residency. Drive back home to get a recent utility bill and then drive back.)

Go to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy silver cleaner and a waterproof mattress pad.

 Do you have any errand ideas to add?



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Filed under list, school