boston globe

You are looking for good gift ideas…here is the best one yet – Christmas in the City

Christmas In The CityChristmas in the City is going on now – Sunday, December 18. You can still make a donation here.

Today I started to read the Globe as I do each morning, and was brought up short. Brian McGrory’s column on Christmas In The City made me fly into action mode (those who know me knows that means to stand back). Here I am, writing about great gifts to buy for your father or father-in-law (admittedly, no small feat) and there is something much more pressing at hand. Go read about it here, I will wait.

You’re back? Good. All money raised goes to the event which is a winter wonderland for homeless children and their families and it is run entirely by volunteers. This is an amazing undertaking that should have huge corporate sponsors. Target? Martha Stewart? Macy’s?

So,Dad/Papa,  you are buying a toy for a homeless child for Christmas. You are welcome. I know you don’t really need a putter or another scarf or something gadget-y. You are all set. So I am taking what I would have spent on your gift  (Mom’s too) and spending it here at Christmas In The City. I’ll make you a certificate.

You want to help, too?

There are several ways to donate toys, online or at one of our drop-off locations.

To purchase toys online, click here to view Christmas in the City’s Wishlist at Amazon.com
Purchases on our Amazon wishlist will automatically be shipped to our headquarters.

Click here to view Christmas in the City’s official Suggested Toy List for 2011

If you would like to personally drop off your gift, please visit one of our drop-off locations:

Headquarters
Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy
45 Franklin Street
Boston
617-542-6611

Seaport Hotel – free valet service
Seaport District

Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy Braintree
25 Braintree Hill Office Park
Braintree
781-848-7300

Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy Needham
150 A Street
Needham
781-444-1644

Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy Watertown
311 Arsenal  Street
Watertown
617-924-5100

Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy Cohasset/Scituate
828 Chief Justice Cushing Highway
Cohasset
781-383-8001

Stevie’s Eatery – Marlborough
222 L. East Main Street
Post Road Plaza
508-460-3352

 

Dogs and Cats – Day 10

Last year Beth Teitell of the Boston Globe wrote this piece about over-indulging pets – dogs in particular. Just so you know, I am nice to my dog but not Leona Helmsley nice (now there is a string of words you don’t often see) and don’t buy outrageous holiday gifts – maybe a bone, a new collar and leash and a box of treats. You can be more creative and give a gift to a local animal shelter either a monetary donation but some are looking for old blankets or towels as well. How about an extra walk? Good for you and the dog.

Our local MSPCA is wonderful and I found a magazine called  The Bark (tagline: Dog is my co-pilot), dedicated to dogs.  Personally, I like L.L. Bean or REI for nice, not over the top, gifts for dogs. There are Crypton fabric great pet beds that are wonderful and easy to clean.

Click on the image to go to the Crypton website – and I have also seen them at crypton bed for dogsB.Y.O.D in Newton Centre (they have other great dog accessories and treats, too) …or get a grooming gift certificate. You can also DIY the process and give your pet a bath in one of the huge stainless steel tubs.

I will be posting The 12 Days of Shopping jointly with Pragmatic Mom. Each day, please visit her blog to see the other half of each post.

The 12 Days of Shopping

I will be posting The 12 Days of Shopping jointly with Pragmatic Mom. Please visit her blog to see the other half of each post.

 Dec 1: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

 Dec 2: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

 Dec 3: Personalized Gifts (Fancy Address Stampers versus Pretty Papers Giveaway)

 Dec 4:  Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

 Dec 5Tutors/Teachers

 Dec 6High Tech/Low Tech

 Dec 7Hostess/Gifts That Give Back

 Dec 8: Sanitation EngineersMail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer, etc. (a.k.a. who else did I forget?)

 Dec 9Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List)Capability:Mom Husband/Wife

 Dec 10:  Dog/Cat

 Dec 11: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

 Dec 12: ’Cause I Am So Together,  Last Minute Home Made Gifts:  Cookies Personalized Holiday Tags

What is new? 50 is new and I am a digital immigrant

You may look at the number of times I post and think – slacker. You would be correct. I have definitely posted less as this blog ages and for good reason. I am aging, too, as in I am having the big birthday (oh -remember when you thought the big b-day was 21?  Nope, me neither). So what am I doing if not writing? Well, I am continuing to learn more about social media and blog universe and dragging some other 40-somethings with me. There is a nice piece in the Globe about technology and aging...The Age of the Digital Dinosaur by Beth Teitell and how to tell how old you are digitally.  Are you a ‘so-called digital immigrant’?  (a person who grew up before computers and devices dominated the culture)? I am.

From the article: But what’s a person to do? As Sherry Turkle, the author of “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other,’’ and an MIT professor, points out, acting too digitally young is also problematic. “But just as 50-year-olds shouldn’t really try to dress like 20-year-olds (although they do), should we all try to text like 20-year-olds[?]’’ she wrote in an e-mail to the Globe. “In our culture, we all wear blue jeans. It has become universal. But ripped jeans at fifty? Perhaps one needs to leave certain styles to the young.’’
Maybe I am too young digitally, is a 50-year old on Twitter the equivalent of a 50-year old wearing ripped jeans? Damn it. I like ripped jeans. So everyone approaches milestones in different ways and with different goals (or, in my case, no goals) and I have a number of friends who are already 50 and plenty who are coming up on it FAST (you know who you are) so I am lucky in that I am surrounded by kind, and similarly aging friends. I do think it is most telling how the media portrays people over 50 – something I am suddenly attuned to – AARP did already send me a card – seriously. I ripped it up. My husband turned 50 already. Sigh, yes it is true, I married a much older man (okay, he is five weeks older) and he is running a triathalon for his fiftieth celebration/mid-life crisis – whatever it is. I am pointedly NOT running a tri (as I now know to call them). I have learned some new terminology – ‘bricks’ are bike ride and a run back to back and I know that short (?) tris are called sprints and that I do not have any desire to do this. I think I will bake from my new cookbook from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery. Yes, that is what I am going to do today, after I walk the dog.

My Staycation was fun…

I started this post on Monday when it was snowing, now it is raining and even though my house is clean, it smells of wet dog.

I don’t know about you, but I am a little tiny bit over winter. It’s snowing – again – today and even though it  will be nice to cover up the black snow – I am pretty tired of the whole procedure. Snow, put on layers of gear, clean off car, shovel, repeat.  Good times.

I just read Brian McGrory’s column Staycation, all I never wanted – loved the title and am even old enough to get the reference, yes that old but a little put off by the tone.

So I started to write about school vacation week, yucky weather, bored kids and a staying here for the break but then I decided it was too self-indulgent (and may I say Hingham-y? No offense to Hingham, but Mr. McGrory has an issue with the town, just sayin’…)  and that I would do something about it.  Now, this is not to say that we have been without downtime or boredom but there are tons of things to do here, it just takes a little initiative and not even that much planning.

Museum of Science – sure the museum is super packed with people, (Yes, Brian, there are others who did not go away) . The newly renovated Planetarium is cool and has a new show narrated by Robert Redford  (something for Mom), buy your tickets online or get a membership to the Museum. According to the nice mom next to me at the show, it’s about the same cost to buy a membership as to just get the Planetarium tickets.  After the show we headed to the North End for lunch. It is a great place to walk around even when it is cold. We stopped in at the Peace Garden at St. Leonard’s and stepped in to the beautiful church,too. There were two men repairing a broken stained glass window and it was freezing so we did not linger. On the way back to the car we walked through the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and my husband and I explained what this area looked like before the Big Dig.

Another friend ventured to the Museum of Fine Arts (my favorite school vacation week place), free admission for kids all week and great vacation programs.

Need a few more ideas? How about…

Skating

MDC Rinks

Charles Hotel

Frog Pond

Skiing

Weston Ski Track (group and individual lessons and ski rentals available for cross country and ski skate)

Wachusett

Blue Hills

Okay, so it’s raining today. Go to the movies – my husband and I went to see The Fighter (loved this movie) while the kids saw Gnomeo and Juilet and another evening they saw Bieber while we saw the overhyped Unknown. If the kids are too young for this, one person can go see the kid’s movie and trade off next time.

Wilson Farms in Lexington is a fun way to get grocery shopping done and they have Kids Vacation Week Worshops – the next one is Saturday from 11 to 3  – Make your own birdfeeder.

We also visited a great camp/vacation week program in Lexington at The Munroe Center for the Arts and then to Lakota Bakery for the best butter cookies on the planet. I tried to sell a stop in at Penzey’s Spice shop but was voted down. I’ll just go by myself when they are back in school.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Brian McGrory’s writing  but even the funny and true parts (yes, some hideous rerun of The Suite Life is on even as I write this) were too whine-y even for me. Sounds like the kids were fine (sounds also like they were sick which is much worse than home for vacation) but he was bored. I am not new to the suburbs or sick kids at home or Disney or challenging long days. Check out a mom blog or two, we do this every day and some of us are really funny, too.

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