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December 6th

So when is it a good time to tell your daughters about the Montreal Massacre? Do you remember where you were when it happened?

I was 18 and in my last year of high school. I must say, I was pretty clued into the fact that things were not quite right and was blossoming into a good little feminist. I remember being overwhelmed with the thought that in 1989 women in Canada can actually be killed for studying to do a ‘man’s’ job.


So my husband’s mother was born in Holland, so the kids have an Oma. We thought it would be cute for them to do Dutch school so they could do some crafts and learn some songs from Oma’s homeland. But what I have just learned is that on December 5th, Sinterklaas comes to the homes of Dutch kids (and apparently to the homes of kids who have Omas) to put little presents in their boots or shoes. OK, that seems a bit funny, but no problem. I chuck a KinderEgg into the five little boots and I’m good to go.

But wait! It gets better…..the kids then proceed to tell me that if children are naughty, Sinterklaas throws them into his bag and hauls them back to his place for two weeks of behaviour boot camp! I’m thinking maybe this Sinterklaas deal might be a good thing….

Then comes time to put them to bed. Sinterklaas backfires…..anxiety, tears, outright meltdowns because they all think they’re going to wake up in some bag! They were out of control. We even had to phone Oma so that she could confirm that the ‘kid in a bag’ part is legend. Oma was not home. Then they insisted I phone their teacher from Dutch School. Sweet Mrs. Templeman

Note to self – know more about cultural traditions than the children do. Consider that lesson learned.

Santa, and elf yourself!

So the holidays are approaching and we all have that daunting task of buying stuff our kids won’t use all in the name of giving them something to unwrap on that insane morning. Being a Mabel momma, I’ve already exhausted all the mabel gifts….they have mabels, they have the Write On! stationery kits, they even have the cute gift tags. This leaves me with the job of finding other stuff that they will use and that I actually want them to have.

Then there is the issue of what they are asking for. I was horrified when my six year old daughter wrote her list to the big red guy. On it: a laptop, an ipod, and a pet dog! I reminded her that in her next life, she may get a nice mother, but as long as she has me, I’ll be advising Santa that none of those are appropriate this year. I suppose an ipod is not so bad, but I just don’t want to go there yet. I’m quite happy not having to hear about High School Musical and Hannah Montana for the moment. I know my days of Treehouse TV and Wiggles CDs are numbered…..

Also, what happens when the bigger kids stop believing and you have to get them to keep it quiet so that the little ones can live the lie for at least a few years? Luckily, mine are still all believers but I have a pretty good sense this is my last year in fantasy land.

Speaking of fantasy land, we have had tremendous fun with this….go to and insert your kids faces on these dancing elves. Fun for the kids to do and fun for your friends who get it in their inboxes!

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