My Favorite Christmas Album

Friday, December 23, 2011 9:05 AM Comments (27)

I fell prey to Amazon’s come-on to order just a little bit more, and bought A Medieval Christmas by the Boston Camerata (directed by Joel Cohen, Elektra Entertainment, 1991)

It is delightful.  We had a wobbly LP of this album when I was little, and played it all during Advent and Christmas.  It’s not just childhood nostalgia that makes this music wonderful, though.  If I had to be transported to some other age during Christmas, I’d chose some time and place in the medieval world.  They understood Christmas so well!

Sadly, I haven’t been able to upload the tracks I wanted to use.  You can get just the merest taste of each piece here on Amazon’s page. Here’s why I love this album:


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Eight Ways of Looking at a Baby

Thursday, December 22, 2011 9:07 AM Comments (43)

Hey, I finally had that baby!

And now, rested, relaxed and rejuvenated from maternity leave, I’m ready to be articulate and entertaining once again.  Like this:


Yeh, yeh, yeh.  Oooh!  Heh heh.

That is to say, I couldn’t be happier with our new little girl.  But so far, she hasn’t made me any smarter.

But she has found several others ways to improve the world, despite being only two weeks old.  For instance, she has accomplished:

Instantaneous Rejuvenation of Hope for Modern Yoot:  I’m walking down the aisle in Walmart, and here comes a wave of teenage girls, with hard mouths and stick thin legs, ironed hair, nasty, razor-slashed clothing, eyes blackened with enough eyeliner to...READ MORE

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Martha and Mary and Primitive Screwheads

Tuesday, December 06, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (79)

This year, we were bound and determined not to ruin the last few weeks of Advent with shopping.

This year, no sobbing in the aisles of Target as some undeserving jerk nabs the western hemisphere’s last remaining copy of Godzilla Unleashed for Wii. No tense evenings hunched over the computer as mom and dad show their love for their family by nearly coming to blows over whether or not one can trust the Amazon reviewers of the Li’l Cutie Maggot Farm Starter Kit.

No, this year, we were going to dispense with that foolishness, and keep Advent the way it ought to be: a holy season of quiet anticipation and preparation. We were, for once, going to choose the better part.

We accomplished this by...READ MORE

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Big and Angry Goes for a Drive

Friday, December 02, 2011 8:55 AM Comments (153)

Warning:  the following post is uncharitable, nasty, brutish, and too long.  It’s inappropriate for Advent, and unbecoming of Catholicity in general.

Think of it as a kind of therepeutic literary effleurage:  by indulging in some light grousing, I’m distracting myself from my larger, more serious beef, which is that I’m still here.  Not lying in a hospital bed with heated blankets tucked around my legs, hearing the nurses say, “You know, Mrs. Fisher, all babies are beautiful, but this one is really something special.  Here is some food that you didn’t cook, and when you’re done, you really must take a nap.”

All right, so here we go.

We don’t have any bumper stickers on our vehicle.  I...READ MORE

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Breastfeeding Bullies

Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (212)

At my last prenatal visit, I saw a new midwife.  Her exam room had all the usual distracting mobiles and soothing photos of crocuses and placid water birds.  It also had, right on eye level as I leaned back on the paper-covered table, this photo  (WARNING:  not for sensitive viewers).

I was stunned—first, from the incredible insensitivity of displaying the image.  At 38.5 weeks, I am barely keeping my head above the flood of a thousand anxieties about my baby, myself, my family.  Maybe I’m a pampered American brat, but when I recline to hear my baby’s heartbeat, I don’t expect to be confronted with horrors.  But there was a suffering child, one who was not saved, and the image of her...READ MORE

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Audio Entertainment for the Prevention of Intra-Familial Automotive Mayhem

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (58)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, in theory.  This holds true when you’re having a happy holiday at home, and it’s also lovely to see friends and family who live far away.  But you have to get from one location to the other, the wonderfulness can decrease pretty rapidly, mile by mile, rest stop by rest stop, shriek by shriek.

On our rare road trips, we search around for some audio entertainment that the whole family can enjoy—a tall order for kids aged 13, 12, 10, 9, 7, 5, 4 and 2, not to mention parents who still have some standards. We got through our last long trip with The Hobbit audio book adapted by Bob Lewis (available on cassette).  It was pretty good, but the long, noisy...READ MORE

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No Thanks Giving

Friday, November 25, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (32)

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and you guys are all either breathing your last as the hordes of shoppers trample on your head to reach the last Lalaloopsy Silly Hair doll available in North America, or else you’re weeping into a pan of leftover cornbread stuffing, wondering how you’ll ever face your girlfriend again after that . . . thing you did at her parents’ house.  In any case, I know perfectly well that no one’s reading this.

I, for one, had a lovely Thanksgiving.  The food was great, I didn’t make any of it myself, and there were cousins galore. My husband stuck to his “do not mention” list of interesting factoids about Newt Gingrich, and we’re fairly sure that, in the absence of...READ MORE

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Thanksgiving and Desire

Thursday, November 24, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (15)

My daughter is in kindergarten, and we had the following conversation last night:

Sophia:  In school we were making these leaves, and we had to put things that we were thankful for.  Everyone else was just putting their family.  But I didn’t.
Me:  Oh?  What did you put?
Sophia:  I just put Jesus.  Our family is TOO BIG.
Me (a little taken aback):  It is?  Do you really think our family is too big?
Sophia:  Yeah!  It has alllllll these people in it!
Me (thinking, “Rash words from child number six!”):  Well, which person do you think is extra in our family?
Sophia:  The new baby.  Yeah, the new baby is definitely extra.
Me: (really kind of stunned now, because this kid loves babies): ...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.