What better way to celebrate a merry Christmas morning than with these festive gingerbread pancakes? The warm, spicy aroma of gingerbread batter cooking in coconut oil on the skillet may actually lure your children away from the tree and into the kitchen… so they can eat up and then go back to playing with all of their new loot.
One evening at dinner, when my children were particularly whiny and ungrateful, as children have a tendency to do sometimes, I decided to have everyone in the family say what was their favorite part of the day. We went around the table, and if anyone slipped into a complaint or a comparison instead of putting forth a positive thought, they had to start over. And the favorite part of the day cannot involve something that could hurt another’s feelings, such as, “My favorite part of the day was when Sarah left,” because siblings are prone to this type of thing.
Birthday parties, field trips and other childhood pleasures can be a minefield of potential health dangers if your child has gluten intolerance. Most parents will pack along a safe-to-consume food alternative…but if the “special” cupcake you packed looks as dry as sawdust compared to the birthday girl’s elaborately frosted birthday confection, you’re bound to encounter some serious sulking after the (off-limits) piñata has been burst and the (also off-limits) goody bags have been dispersed.
One year, my sister and I made salt dough ornaments with our mom. Homemade snowmen, Christmas trees, stars and candy canes adorned our tree that year. Those that survived two small children and a mischievous cat became a part of our tree decor for years to come. It’s one of my best childhood holiday memories.
They teach our children left from right, fractions from percentages, similes from metaphors. They teach them how to speak in an “inside voice” and to raise their hands instead of shouting out the answers. And if you’ve got little ones, they might even be teaching them how to use the potty. So how do you say “thank you, thank you, thank you!!” to your children’s teachers?
In an ideal world, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner would be a warm, festive experience, where everyone remains sober, no one brings up old family feuds, and children sit with their napkins in their laps and chew with their mouths closed. I wish this kind of Normal Rockwell holiday upon everyone and everyone I know…but I am betting that if you’re like most of us, Aunt Jane will drink too much wine, your kids will last all of 10 minutes before someone has a meltdown or breaks heirloom crystal, and your little sister will accuse you of ruining her life. (Again.)
I’ve noticed a trend among my brood on Thanksgiving: the adults will drool over the usual, traditional fare—turkey, gravy, vegetables, potatoes—but the kids pick at their plates and save their appetites and enthusiasm for dessert. Our children haven’t been raised in a typical, “meat and potatoes” type home, so the sight of a slab of poultry with bones and gravy and colorful dollops of side dishes is a little foreign to them.
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