RIP, Dave Brubeck

Take Five might possibly be my favorite song of all time.

Cousin Christmas Gifts: How Do You Roll?

Here’s what I’m pondering today: how does one manage Christmas gifts for cousins in a family that is ever expanding?

My brother and I had a little chat yesterday and we realize we’re on the brink of needing to change our approach (possibly), which is currently: if you are inclined, buy a gift for your nephews and nieces!

Up until now it hasn’t been a big issue. I think what happens is you start buying that first or second little nephew a gift, because there is just one or two of them. But then, you blink and suddenly there are nine and ten babies or kids (or more!). How do you handle that?

Our neighbors the McBrides actually moved their “Sibling Gift Exchange” to a “Cousin Gift Exchange.” Which works great because they have 30+ cousins. In our families (both sides), we’re at a point that if we did a gift exchange with cousins, it would basically mean I still buy a gift for every other cousin and each of them buys a gift for one of my children. So I’m not really overly motivated to change much because frankly, I come out the same either way.

I enjoy buying little gifts for all the cousins, but here is the key: I don’t try to shoot the moon. I tend to grab a nice little book, or a fun little game. Nothing to try and earn “Present of the Year,” but something that lets them know we love them.

So, what about you? Are you in a place in your family where you’ve had to adjust your approach to gift giving? I’d love some ideas! What is a clever way you can include the kids without getting overwhelmed or breaking the bank?

Augie Asks

My boy Augie is fond of asking questions. Not just questions like “hey, why is the sky blue?” or “how long does Mass take?” but really deeeeeep questions that require me to think. Do you have a boy like that? Isn’t it wonderful?

So I told Augie we would do a little weekly feature here, so he could pose his question to you, dear reader, to see if you’d like to answer as well. Or perhaps your child wants to answer. For all the questions I get asked in a day, I always love slowing down, just a bit, to think about what Augie asks.

And so, for our inaugural question:

If you could see any moment in history, what would it be?

Me: Hmmm, well I feel like I should probably say the Crucifixion, even though I really wouldn’t want to see that (full disclosure: I nearly had a panic attack during “The Passion of the Christ.”). For now I’ll say the First Thanksgiving. And I’ll think about it some more…

Augie’s answer: “I think, probably going to a Beatles’ concert, when they were big.”

For All My Mustachioed Friends and Relatives