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December 05, 2011


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amy sue nathan

And when my son was little he only wanted to be sure Santa would come no where near our house. No stranger coming down the non-existent chimney. No siree. So I told him that Santa only goes to the houses with the lights (we're Jewish, the lights are on the inside). I'm not sure how that would work if we lived in NY. Anyway, times change. My kid is now almost 20 and anyone who wants to come here and leave him gifts (with gift receipts) is more than welcome. He'll text you the address. He'll turn on all the lights, no problem at all. After all, I still pay the electric bill.

A happy, festive season of joy to you and yours, Pierre.

Sara C.

This is why I love you.


I don't know why that comment about Sylvia Plath was so funny. It's hard to find people who make good lit nerdy lit jokes.

I'll have to read "The Marriage Plot" - it sounds good. I'm done with pretentious novels that lack compelling characters, at least until another one is assigned in my classes, boo.

I hope you and Peanut's holiday season is full of all those good things - peace, love, joy, good will, and a large dose of butter and sugar. :)

Alison M.

Thought you might enjoy this rendition of Little Drummer Boy, performed (all the instruments), shot and edited by a high-school kid in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It's pretty cool. (Though he apparently did it as a tribute to Jesus, whereas I, as a mostly-agnostic like you, just sort of think this kid is pretty talented.)


Perfect post all around. :) I look forward to building/maintaining the legend of Santa for Coraline when she's older. At 14 months old, she's just going to know him as the creepy man at the mall Mommy made her take her picture with.

Thanks for the literary recs/warnings. I've been eyeing The Marriage Plot and will now have to pick it up. Merry Christmas!


I also enjoyed Eugenides' "The Marriage Plot" and hated Harbach's "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach. So glad to hear that I wasn't the only one.

P.S. My kid's teacher was in the news this week about telling kids there was no Santa. I wanted to wring her neck!


I can't believe I never thought of asking this before. But I'm not sure how things work with Peanut, but...

Does Peanut read your blog?
And if the question is 'No she doesn't.'
Then I have a follow up question.
When Peanut does grow up, I'm pretty sure either way this site will land in her lap, what do you think she'll think of it?

I for one, think if I found out my dad had a blog like this, I'd be psyched. Especially because of posts like this.


Hubs and I are in the same boat. We're not even remotely religious but we love Christmas and are concerned about the materialistic aspects of it. But in the end, we love the pomp and circumstance. Long live Santa!

Daddy Scratches

My kids believe in Santa, and that they can turn the Christmas lights on and off with magic (a.k.a. the remote control in my pocket) ... and now we've upped the ante by adding the Elf on the Shelf to this annual clusterfuck. I am complicit in so many holiday lies at this point that I can hardly keep track of them all.

Happy Merry to you.

Sabrina G.

It's random posts like this that make you my favorite writer. How's that book coming along?


Calling Santa on the cell phone = brilliant. I'm filing that away for future reference.

Please consider writing a parenting book. Seriously. Yours would be the one I'd actually consider worth buying.


I mostly take on Jesus as a historical figure who had things to teach the world about loving and acceptance, so we celebrate those things on his birthday.

Santa? Well, my family didn't do Santa, so I'm really bad at Santa, but essentially, he does stockings. I'll be relieved when they don't believe any more and I can stop trying to remember what was in stockings and what "I" bought.


Since I have only a nearly 9 YO son and a 2 YO daughter your daughter's Christmas list was similarly confusing to me. However, my son's doesn't seem to be much clearer with various Pokemon sets, Lego crap, and video games and/or systems. No wonder I cut pictures of the things I wanted out of the paper and tacked them to the refrigerator when I was a kid.

Would like to tackle IQ84, but I work full time and have two kids, and it doesn't seem like that's going to work out for awhile. It goes on my ever increasing list of books to read when I have the time to read for more than 15 minutes at a stretch.

the muskrat

My wife has all the Pollan books (she was a paleoethnobotanist before I filled her uterus with babies), and we've seen a few of the films that have featured his work. The horror tends to last a few months, and then I'm back to ordering wings or BBQ ribs.

I was ambivalent about whether to let our children believe in Santa--we had neighbors across the street who have not introduced the figure to their 2 kids--but my bride did it before I made a decision, and now they believe. I suppose it's harmless to believe in something great that doesn't really exist. Like the U.S. Dollar!


My wife is the healthiest and cleanest eater I've ever known. She'll drive 10 miles out of her way to buy an organic apple (ignoring the fact that she used up precious fuel to get there but that's a separate conversation.)

Me, I practically eat out of a dumpster. I like my food processed and filled with tasty chemicals. Arranging meals for our kids is a comedy of contrasts. They never know whether they're going to get vegan mac and cheese or a Domino's pepperoni pizza. Keeps them on their toes.

We have three kids. All of them believe in Santa but have no idea who Jesus is. Parent fail!


Just learned about your blog and have spent the past two days reading all your archives. I love it. This is my new favorite site and I don't even have kids or anything. I just like your style of writing. Funny, kind, thought-provoking, and interesting. Keep it up!


egg nogg. love it.
we love your blogg.


Just wanted to point you towards this site, which has some interesting discussions by agnostic parents on dealing with religious holidays:

Your blog is the best. It always makes me laugh out loud. AND I never find grammar mistakes on it, try as I might.



Oh man, I love me some crock pot dinner. Want my recipe for Taco Meatloaf? You started it.


On the true spirit of Christmas, I can only say "A Christmas Carol" - repeated viewings (Albert Finney? Check. Alastair Sim? Check. Muppets? Check. Barbie? Sadly, check.) have led to my daughter's newest career goal: run an orphanage and take the orphans on field trips every day.

Please note how lucky you are that she is not asking for Dr. Zombie's Brain Barf Lab.


thanks for posting more again!

My parents got a doggy doo last christmas, though I think the game's German name is much funnier! It's called "Kackel Dackel" over here. A "Dackel" is a dachshund, and "Kack" is lingo for "shit".
As this is the only thing this dachshund does, the name is quite appropriate. And the game quite funny


So happy to check my google reader and see that you've written something new. It always makes my day!


Thoughts regarding your confessions:

1. If you have the chance to see Pollan speak, take it. I found him to be a much better speaker than writer. He is incredibly engaging.

2. I'm not sure why you bothered to try this. Just saying.

3. You are not alone in this. Every week I know I am going to win. I even slack off at work a little. The day after is horribly sad.

4. Careful here. I just started using crock pots 2 months ago, and now I have four. Now I freeze healthy soups I make all on one day in my four crock pots to maximize efficiency.

Let peanut have Santa. Before you know it, you turn into a 31 year old female architect with four crockpots, lottery disappontments, quinoa, and musical cynicism.

Linda Vermeulen

Santa is cool. The day my boys stopped believing, I was nearly hysterical. I wanted them to grow up about it, at the same time keeping that little magic and pretend world.

Sweet post. Amazon rocks.


What is the difference between a crock pot and just using a large pot and letting stew/food simmer in it over a low flame? I am fairly new to parenting (and work full-time) and it seems like everyone's #1 advice is to get a crock pot. I think there's a crock pot cult out there somewhere.


Karaoke machine? At least you know she's Korean :)


your posts keep me from taking Zoloft pills i stole from my friend. thanks. truly. will share more one day.


I'll have to shoot you my down-home pulled pork recipe that you can make in your crockpot. Mouthwatering delicious. Maybe you can make it with a kale salad.


You are such a wonderful father. Peanut is a very lucky girl!


John Denver and the Muppets!
The eggs should be pasture-raised. Free range is an industry term for giving the chickens an opening to the outside but cooped chickens rarely take the opportunity to go out. Pasture-raised, on the other hand, means they put outside everyday on grass lands where they can eat grub as well as feed.
And avocados are on the clean 15 list, meaning that it's not necessary to get organic ones, like with apples or strawberries....
just sayin!
Oh and don't let Santa have all the credit! The Peanut should know you get her some goods too!


And I like my pressure cooker way better than my crock pot! But I am into quick cooking, not slow! Pressure Cooker + vegie broth and dried beans + four minutes = best.beans.ever!!


My solution to the Christmas problem is Dickens. There's a Christmas Carol version for every possible age, and it grows with you as you grow.


“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

–Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, st 1 (1843)

Sandra Lee

I couldn't agree more with you about Kings of Leon. Something about their grungy, sex-soaked songs that seem to grate on me.


My oldest was 12 last year when he started doubting the existence of santa. I didn't want him ruining for his younger siblings so I told him that kids that believe in santa get gifts from santa. Kids that don't get nothing. Whether he truly still believes in santa or not, he's smart enough to keep his mouth shut and just pretend, just to get that extra gift.


Your random thoughts on a Monday night are better than anything I've read in awhile. Please write more!!!

Papa Bradstein

I'm nearing the end of 1Q84. It's a fascinating page turner, but not so breezy.


merry christmas and a great year ahead to both of you.

iam off to india to be with my wife and kids...learned a lot about something called Wii..it seems to be some sort of video game where you need to move as if you are really playing the game..makes you wonder why cant they just go out and do it in real life...

i have given up trying to make sense of all this..

but do have a great time...i will raise a toast to you and peanut from the beaches of Goa.


I can feel my brain expanding whenever I read Eugenides, even with a story as "simplistic" as The Marriage Plot. I just got done with Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers. You need to give that one a try.

Karen MEG

The title of your post is perfect - my peanut was born on Dec. 22 so Christmas for (me, anyway) doesn't start until after we have the big birthday party. Merry birthday indeed. Sadly, I totally understood your daughter's Christmas wishlist. Guess 7 year olds do have a common secret language.
I love your writing style - I can't believe I haven't read your blog before. And you're in NYC on top of that. Awesome.
We'll be visiting Manhattan right after New Years and the kids are pumped. Well, they're not the only ones.

Dave Thompson

Great to read a post from you. It's kind of like catching up with one of those friends that you don't hear much from but when you do, it's like you've been in constant contact. I've always thought you'd make a great friend, but I've come to the conclusion that you would make me feel inadequate - what with the great literary allusions and gustatory sophistication. Probably better to keep you as an ersatz "friend" whose occasional posts really brighten my day and give me a glimmer of male bonding sensation (I work pretty much only with women, since I'm in the field of k-12 education). Tbanks for the post.


It has been a great year for metrodad and I hope there will be more fun discussion in the coming year ahead.


Where are ya'tt?? I miss my musings from MetroDad! Ever consider posting a 26-50 list of advice for the peanut?

prozac birth defects

Great post. Thank for sharing this and congratulations for your blog.


I couldn't agree more with you about Kings of Leon. Something about their grungy, sex-soaked songs that seem to grate on me.

Roasting Pan Reviews

I know what you are talking about. Our children grew up knowing about all the above. We did have presents, christmas trees and most important of all is the birth of baby "Jesus". When they got older, the knew the truth about what the holiday was about. There is nothing wrong with letting them make up their own minds up about what they felt about the holiday. They will make the right choice in the end. We have to remember that God in in control of everything, not us.


I wish:1. Lots of Harmony and Peace for me and my family2. Health3. Romance4. Good News all day long5. A fuiflillng job6. That my business progresses constantly7. Piles of Money wisely invested8. A lovely house9. Travelling around the world10. A lovely car


Great photos! I love your hedear! Sorry I am late, but I am making my way through the entire SITSmas list, I want to visit everyone to wish everyone happy holidays! So Merry SITSmas!


the first response is fully coerrct. This is too new of a model year and the type of vehicle you are looking at is a vehicle which won't get a lot of reviews to begin with. The buyers for this type of vehicle are not generally shoppers, these people are what they call in the business lay downs. They come in generally knowing little to no information about the car that they are interested in. They test drive one car after looking at it for five minutes walk into the box with the closer, get pounded like an SOB by the desk jockey and leave so sore and buried from that deal that the next 72 months are just going to be excruciating for them. And the best part is although it is a decent vehicle for the money, they could've had some really really nice cars for the same kind of money.I'm not saying this is you, because let's face it your shopping just by asking this question, you are showing that you are interested in consumer reviews. I will tell you from personal experience, don't trust what other consumers tell you. generally people that leave reviews are one of two things, still in the Honeymoon Stage and are so in love with their new purchase that they cannot see the forest for the trees, or, they are pissed off and full of buyers remorse. Neither of these two reviews are going to be helpful for you because they were both written with angst and with passion for their opinion, so that passion is just going to cloud and clog the information they are trying to portray for you.EDIT: to the guy above me, the hyundai santa fe is actually a great SUV, and I **** hyundai as a general. I can understand them not replacing that lady's transaxle. A ****** flush is a very vital thing, whether or not you would concur, it is the difference between a 180K ****** and a ****** going out.And the Mariner and escape, have consecutively recieved some of the worst reliablility and safety ratings over the span of their productions.The Equinox is a good vehicle four or six cylinder, i preferred the torrent just for the appliques that it came with, poor poor pontiac. The Rogue is a lot smaller than the Sante Fe, the Morano would be it's competitor, and, the morano is a lot more mula.


The house is absolutely brkaahtteing I like the open spaces and looks as if my husband who is a disabledViet Nam Veteran could very easily get around in his wheel chair or with his artifical legs. The views are wonderful, a place to think and a place to live !! I live in South Carolina with plenty of trees but these views can almost make up for the lack of full trees. Love it, a Dream Home !! Thank you, Estban for allowing us to see where you lived and a place that really speaks of you.


Christmas was great! Sebastian really eneoyjd all of the toys that Santa left for him. He called me from his room on Christmas morning and told me that he couldn't come out because Santa wouldn't come if he did. I told him it was ok because Santa had already come while he was sleeping.

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