Gift ideas

Favorite books for school-aged kids

19 December 2018
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The books that kids read in grade school – when they are discovering reading and the faraway worlds that books open up for them – are the books that become cherished, comforting childhood friends. It was from my squishy beanbag reading spot as a child that I first experienced Victorian England, the American frontier, Prince […]

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Favorite books for tweens and teens

18 December 2018
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Starting around 6th grade age, it becomes hard to find books for kids. It’s hard to strike the right balance between the rosy childhood world of imagination and the colder light of reality. As children grow up, they become more aware of themselves and the world around them, and books can help give insight to […]

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Favorite picture books for kids

14 December 2018
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There’s something so special about writer-illustrators of children’s books. They create a world and then personally lead you through it, the way a singer-songwriter does with music. Well-paired writers and illustrators can make a great team effort too. But the product of multiple people calls for compromise, whereas the vision of one mind can remain […]

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Gift ideas 2018

8 December 2018
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I don’t have separate kids and adults gifts this year – my kids are all officially old, and their Christmas requests span the spectrum from I-like-surprises (not helpful) to detailed lists with hyperlinks to specific items, size and color noted (easy). It’s not like the old days, when I’d be sifting through the toy world […]

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Holiday gift ideas 2017 – adult edition

13 December 2017
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When it comes to gifting, adults are often a weary afterthought tacked on after the kids on the list. It’s okay – adults more often than not have much of what they need already. But Santa Claus doesn’t come for grown-ups, so we have to look out for one another. I really love giving gifts, […]

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Holiday gift guide 2017 – kids edition

6 December 2017
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My annual gift guide is in two parts this year. Kids first! Hope you find it useful. Note that my kids are growing up – I’m now in the 3rd to 10th grade window – so if you’re looking for littler ones, please check out my gift ideas from previous years, which have tons of […]

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Holiday gift guide 2016

7 December 2016
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For all the online fun kids have these days – musical.ly videos, Snapchat filters, YouTube channels, online gaming – it’s amusing to note that the hottest toy this year was the half-empty disposable water bottle. Water bottle flipping, a YouTube-inspired sensation, became such an obsessive craze it was covered in the New York Times. For […]

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Holiday gift guide 2015

18 November 2015
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Supersoft beanies and disco lights, teepees, the world’s best almonds, jewelry and my usual assortment of silly stocking stuffers, this year’s collection is more eclectic than in the past, as the kids in the extended family are growing up. In five years, this is the earliest I’ve ever gotten out a holiday gift guide. Woohoo! […]

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Holiday gift ideas 2014

5 December 2014
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Eleven months of the year, I’m grateful for my large family. But when I’m trying to outrun the December avalanche, I can’t help but wonder how I thought four kids was such a fantastic idea, or why I didn’t marry a nice orphan. Daily life is busy enough, but when you pile on the tree, […]

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Holiday stocking stuffers

26 November 2013
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Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukah have only fallen on the same day once before, in 1888, and the two dates may not coincide again until the year 79811. Since Hanukah has been around for some 2200 years, and Thanksgiving only 150, safe to say this is the only time Jewish families in America will […]

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