While I cannot imagine returning to a life involving icy windshields, fourteen different types of winter coats, or surprise snowstorms on my birthday (which, mind you, is in MAY), I do love getting to be a tourist in the enormous, exciting, and absolutely beautiful city I once called home. Here are the activities my kids and I have enjoyed during our twice-yearly visits to Chicagoland.
I’m sure I’m not the only one fighting an uphill battle to get a handle on all of the STUFF we’ve accumulated during holidays past, it gives me great joy to introduce you to the gift guide full of items your loved ones will appreciate as much as (or more than!) something they have to store, clean up, or take care of.
All of the “gift” ideas included in this guide are consumable in some way—meaning they are items or experiences the recipient will use, enjoy, and, hopefully, remember fondly. And while a few of them are cheats and include tiny items you might need to hold on to for more than a day or two, most are either edible, recyclable, or completely intangible!
Disneyland is a splurge, no matter how you do it. With daily tickets averaging around $104 (for a Tuesday in May) and $164 (for a summer Saturday), plus a $30 parking fee, and a $60 upgrade if you plan on hopping over to California Adventure as well, you’re bound to make a dent in the piggy bank regardless of how well you prepare. However, once you’re in the park, there are definitely ways to save, or splurge, depending on how much pocket-money you brought along.
While I still adored my B.K. (Before Kids) friends, I suddenly felt like I had nothing in common with them anymore. In the blink of an eye, I was way more concerned about how to get my daughter to stop screaming when she pooped, and way less concerned about… well, literally anything else. And so I found myself feeling a little bit like an outsider with my old friends while simultaneously craving connection with people who understood what I was going through.
Hanukkah is just around the corner! And although a part of me always dreads this holiday, because eight days of celebration feels like a lot, it’s also super important to me to make a big deal out of it. Because while my family identifies as religiously Jewish, we’re also culturally interfaith, and we celebrate many traditional Christian holidays (Christmas included), in addition to all of the Jewish ones.
And as this most festive time of the year fast approaches, I can’t help but reflect on last year’s first pandemic Halloween, and the ways in which it served as a testament to the relentlessly joy-inducing power of spooky season. It also serves as a reminder that light and levity (or a good case of the screamies) can be found even in the darkest of times.