Day 18: Rudolphology

Did you know that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was born in Chicago? Most people know that Santa’s reindeer were originally named in Clement Moore’s 1823 poem, “The Night Before Christmas.” But Rudolph as we’ve come to know him wasn’t born until 1939 when the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward company asked one of its copywriters, Robert May,…

Day 13: Hanukkah helper

Chag Sameach everyone! That means Happy Holidays in Hebrew. I know this because I Googled it in honor of Hanukkah, which started yesterday and ends Dec. 20.  I also Googled the order in which candles on the menorah are lit and what’s appropriate Hanukkah food, because I was sure it wasn’t the pork tenderloin I…

Day 10: Krampus?

Like most families, we have certain traditions we enjoy during the holidays. One of them is heading to the Walnut Room in what used to be Marshall Field’s for a holiday lunch and a day of shopping. When they were young, my kids visited Santa to list out what they wanted him to bring. Nice,…

Day Eight: Handmade

I learned traditional domestic arts at an early age, taught by great aunts and uncles who were our official babysitters while our parents worked. My siblings (both male and female) and I learned the basics: how to sew, cook, bake, and clean. But we also learned  office and warehouse work in the family business and…

Day Four: Love

A few years ago I discovered the perfect balm for holiday stress: The Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas. Turns out I’m not the only one. Last year alone, Hallmark’s Christmas programming drew more than 70 million total viewers — so while some of you might not want to admit it, I know that, like me,…