Blog Posts by Redbook

  • Christmas Gifts on a Budget: Want, Need, Wear, Read

    By Carmen Staicer, REDBOOK

    Quite simply, my children have too much stuff. Which means that they are exactly like the vast majority of American children today-and in fact, most all of us.

    I've been working very diligently throughout the year to teach my family that they don't need so many things, but it doesn't seem to be settling into their brains. I wondered if I could pinpoint where much of the "stuff" came from-thinking back through the last gift-giving occasions-and landing on Christmas. It was then that I realized that most of the consumerism came from me.

    In purchasing gifts, I wanted to be fair. No one wants to play, "Who does Mom love best?," and absolutely no one wants any of their children to feel left out-so, I tried to balance it, as best I could. In this endeavor, though, I realized I'd gone overboard, buying items that were extraneous and often virtually ignored. I wondered: What could I do to change this?

    Related: 7 Ways to Improve Your Fashion

    Read More »from Christmas Gifts on a Budget: Want, Need, Wear, Read
  • By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    Earlier today Michelle Duggar had to make the difficult announcement that she had miscarried their 20th baby that was due in April. No matter how you feel about the number of kids she has, having to announce your loss to your kids, your family, and the entire country has to be immensely difficult. While I haven't had 20 kids-not even close!-I have had a couple of miscarriages and a stillbirth. I don't intend to speak for all women who have suffered a prenatal loss, but in the midst of all the beautiful, supportive things people said to me, there were a few things that really bothered me. And the worst part was that the speaker usually meant them in a kind way. So in the effort to save another mom a little pain, here are my 10 things not to say to a woman who has just miscarried a baby:

    1. "It's God's will." I'm religious but even I found this a bit pretentious. Who are you to know what God's will is? And if the woman is not religious

    Read More »from Michelle Duggar Miscarries #20: What Not to Say to a Woman Who's Had a Miscarriage
  • Dear Whys Guy: “How Can I Help My Husband Quit His Pot Habit?”

    By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK

    DEAR WHYS GUY:

    "I'm 22 and have been married for three years. My husband's and my relationship is usually good, except for one issue: He smokes pot. I would be fine if it was a weekend wind-down activity, but he smokes every day, twice a day, and claims that it's for spiritual reasons. He's been to rehab seven times for this, and has had a couple of mental breakdowns from his usage, which leads to him promising to never use it again, and then relapsing six months later. How do I handle somebody who believes that his behavior is untouchable, and that it's 'his life', and therefore I get no say?"

    Related: What Your Man Really Thinks in Bed

    DEAR REDBOOK READER:

    Oh dear. First of all, I'm not a professional therapist, and it sounds like you really want to talk to someone about this, and from the sound of it, that person should be a professional therapist. Secondly, I'm not a theology expert or very knowledgeable about spirituality,

    Read More »from Dear Whys Guy: “How Can I Help My Husband Quit His Pot Habit?”
  • Surviving Holiday Travel with Kids

    By Tracey Black, REDBOOK

    gettyimagesgettyimages

    Soon my kids will be out of school on holiday break, and like many other families, we'll be traveling to see our extended family. Unlike other families; however, we'll be traveling to Hawaii, where both my husband and I are from. I wouldn't normally be intimidated about traveling with my kids-especially to Hawaii, since we've made the trek several times before-but this time it's different.

    First of all, it'll be our first time traveling with our newborn son and our 4- and 7-year-old boys. It'll be a challenge to bounce from kid to kid to ensure they get ample mom and dad time. They'll especially need it on the 6-hour flight to Hawaii, and then back home to San Diego. I'm thinking this is where candy (normally forbidden for my kids unless they're at a birthday party, or it's Halloween) will help to fill some of the void-that along with a portable DVD player.

    Related: 100+ Gifts Under $50

    Second, we're traveling just a few days after

    Read More »from Surviving Holiday Travel with Kids
  • Embracing Holiday Traditions as a Family of Two

    By Alicia Harper, REDBOOK

    'Tis the season for embracing family traditions! This marks the second year that my son and I will celebrate the holidays as a little family of two. Last year, I was really worried he'd be missing out on something because his other parent was not around. Not only was I afraid of how others would judge my situation as a single mom, but I was also particularly afraid of how Aiden would judge our situation.

    I was nervous he would think that his holiday was not measuring up to other family's holidays; that he would wonder why his pictures with Santa were only of the two of us and not with his other parent as well; that he would ask about his father's whereabouts when he saw families with mommies and daddies. It really stressed me out for a long time, but, at some point I began to realize that Aiden will judge our situation based on how he saw me dealing with it. Then, something marvelous happened. We made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New

    Read More »from Embracing Holiday Traditions as a Family of Two
  • Christmas List Ideas: Want, Need, Wear, Read

    By Carmen Staicer, REDBOOK

    Quite simply, my children have too much stuff. Which means that they are exactly like the vast majority of American children today-and in fact, most all of us.

    I've been working very diligently throughout the year to teach my family that they don't need so many things, but it doesn't seem to be settling into their brains. I wondered if I could pinpoint where much of the "stuff" came from-thinking back through the last gift-giving occasions-and landing on Christmas. It was then that I realized that most of the consumerism came from me.

    In purchasing gifts, I wanted to be fair. No one wants to play, "Who does Mom love best?," and absolutely no one wants any of their children to feel left out-so, I tried to balance it, as best I could. In this endeavor, though, I realized I'd gone overboard, buying items that were extraneous and often virtually ignored. I wondered: What could I do to change this?

    Related: 3 Women Who Learned to Live on Less

    Read More »from Christmas List Ideas: Want, Need, Wear, Read
  • By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    happy meal toy
    Raise your hand if you consider the McDonald's Happy Meal to be health food. I thought not. I don't know any mom who buys their kid a HamburgerFries concoction because she thinks that the enriched wheat flour is just what her baby needs to be a rocket scientist. Which is why I've been confused from the beginning about San Francisco's ban on the Happy Meal toy. Ostensibly the new law prohibiting restaurants from giving away a toy as an incentive to buy crappy meals is supposed to encourage health but just like I don't know anyone who buys Happy Meals for health food, I also don't know anyone who buys Happy Meals simply for the toys either. And even though I have my own health-nut tendencies, I did get a little giggle when I read about McDonalds' new plan to "charge" customers 10 cents a toy to side-step the law.

    As a mom who has bought the occasional Happy Meal for my four kids over the years I can tell you there are many reasons to buy one: Read More »from Evil or Evil Genius? McDonald's Fights Happy Meal Toy Ban - by Charging 10 Cents
  • I Love Christmas; So Why Does My Daughter Love Hanukkah?

    By Amy Shearn, REDBOOK

    I've embarrassed my parents before by writing about how much I love Christmas. I mean, I love love it, in the way that only a Jew can. I love the trees and the lights, the creepy claymation specials and corny Christmas movies-especially "It's a Wonderful Life." Growing up Jewish, I had a big holiday chip on my shoulder. I felt disenfranchised from such secular wonders as eggnog and "Jingle Bell Rock," alienated from the world of elves and department store Santas and crooners crooning "White Christmas" way too early in the season in every store.

    So I was pretty excited for my kids that they, thanks to my gentile husband, would legitimately get to celebrate the seasonal splendor of gingerbread-flavored-everything and songs about reindeer. During Christmas, I go all out making decorations and treats, finding presents, and planning fun Christmassy events.

    Related: 100+ Gifts Under $50

    Which is why it's so funny that my daughter is in love with

    Read More »from I Love Christmas; So Why Does My Daughter Love Hanukkah?
  • The Real Nightmare Before Christmas: The Holiday Card Photo

    By Joslyn Gray, REDBOOK

    gettyimagesgettyimagesDecember is here, and with it comes the annual horror that is The Holiday Card Photo. Before we had kids, I just picked out whatever boxed cards were funny and on clearance. Now, I follow the unwritten holiday law that compels me to send out an adorable photo of my four fresh-faced, smiling cherubs. Normally, I'm all about being a slacker with this kind of thing: I failed to keep Baby Books for my kids, have photos taken for their birthdays, or create charming scrapbooks for each year of school. But I must have The Holiday Card, and it must have the requisite Photo. Failure to do so will make the Baby New Year cry, or something like that.

    Here's the thing: Getting four kids to look angelic in the same photo is nearly impossible. We definitely can't get a good shot of all six of us together, because making the rest of the family look good results in my hair being plastered to my face with sweat. Therefore, we just focus on the children. I've tried

    Read More »from The Real Nightmare Before Christmas: The Holiday Card Photo
  • Settle an Argument: Help This Couple Avoid Holiday Office Party Drama

    By Perri O. Blumberg, REDBOOK

    Kelly, 24, and her boyfriend, Nathan, 27, have been dating for three years, and in the past, they've invited each other to their office holiday parties. But Nathan recently started a new job and feels it would be awkward to bring Kelly along this year-he wants to use the time to bond with his new colleagues. Kelly's upset because she wants to go. Who's right?

    Related: 17 5-Minute Marriage Makeovers

    He says: "I love Kelly, but I just started this job three months ago and I think it'll be weird if I brought her. I don't know my co-workers that well, and I don't think it'd be professional. It's not that I don't want her there, I just don't feel like this is the right time. It's the equivalent of introducing your significant other to meet the 'rents after two weeks. It's just too soon! Plus, I could use the time to establish a closer rapport with some of my office mates."

    She says: "I'm hurt that Nathan won't bring me. Holiday parties are a

    Read More »from Settle an Argument: Help This Couple Avoid Holiday Office Party Drama

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