Author

Jen Millard

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One of my earliest memories is of being in a Thanksgiving play at school. It was first grade, and everyone in my class was assigned parts. Some of us were ‘Indians’, some of us were pilgrims, and some of us (including yours truly), were turkeys. I still remember the brown construction paper hat with the red, orange, and yellow ‘feathers’ that kept falling in my eyes as I gobbled my way across the gym stage. Back then, no one my age questioned the Thanksgiving narrative, which was more giant potluck and trading of essential goods, rather than genocide, colonization, and smallpox. Given that Indigenous peoples are still suffering from the violence white colonizers inflicted on their people, their land, and their way of life, it can be difficult to feel celebratory around Thanksgiving. In fact, Native Americans and their supporters have been gathering in Plymouth on Thanksgiving Day since 1970…

It seems there’s never any shortage of ‘must-have’ holiday items—things marketers bend over backwards trying to convince us are essential. Cedar-scented candles, Santa-themed dishtowels, and endless strings of twinkle lights are lovely to have, I’ll admit, but it’s not illegal to celebrate the holidays without them. What is a must-have in my house, is an advent calendar. Although my kids would disagree, it’s not about the toy or the chocolate; it’s about the daily reminder that the second-most magical season of the year is upon us. (The first being back to school, obviously.) Opening that tiny, perforated square is a chance to pause and appreciate what a special time Christmas and Hanukkah are, and to build excitement not just for stockings and toys, but for time together and (if we’re really lucky), the true meaning of the season. So here are 22 of our favorite advent calendars for kids; from…

My family’s move from Canada to the United States two and a half years ago came with much anxiety and trepidation. I thought about living in Trump’s America, and about guns, school shootings, and the cost of health care. But never in my wildest, most fevered nightmares did I ever imagine I was moving my daughters to a place where they’d grow up having fewer rights than I or their grandmother did. Usually, it’s not that hard to convince ourselves we’re safe. Bad things happen everywhere but statistically, they’re unlikely to happen to us. But all that’s changed with the Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe vs. Wade. Now, the bad thing is at our doorstep. So how do I raise my daughters in a country that doesn’t respect them; a country that punishes them for having a uterus? How do we stomach living in a place that allows for the…

Here’s a riddle: What has two feet, carries a backpack full of documents, and cries constantly? Answer: Me, travelling during a pandemic. For the past two summers, my two kids and I have travelled from our home in Las Vegas back to Ontario, Canada, where we’re from. Each trip ended the same way: with me swearing I will never, EVER, travel during a pandemic again. From cancelled flights and pricey rental cars to the multiple covid tests, grumpy customs officers, and mandatory quarantine, pretty much every step was a nightmare. Oh, and did I mention we were travelling with a dog? Pandemic Gods willing, this will not be our reality this summer because – fingers crossed – there’s no new variant on the horizon and restrictions are easing. But that’s not to say travel will return to its pre-pandemic state anytime soon (when everything was just a major inconvenience and…

Last month when the Sex and the City reboot debuted, actor Sarah Jessica Parker took aim at the “misogynist chatter” surrounding how the show’s characters, herself included, have aged. “I know what I look like”, she told Vogue magazine. “What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?” Amen sister! I mean, considering the alternative to aging is, um, BEING DEAD, shouldn’t we be pleased about those wrinkles and sore backs? SJP also took aim at social media where women are targeted for having too many wrinkles or none at all, and where brands and influencers encourage us to embrace our bodies exactly as they are, and in the next breath suggest expensive creams, scrubs, balms, lotions, and procedures because #selfcare. Surfing Instagram is a lot like shopping at Whole Foods: you’re enticed by the pretty colours and the possibility of living a better life. But in the…

I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. After devouring the first three episodes of And Just Like That, the Sex and the City reboot that premiered last week, the nicest thing I can say is that I’m glad HBO isn’t releasing all the episodes at once because I’m not sure I could stomach more than forty-five minutes in one sitting. I like my bad television the same way I like my children: in small doses. Yes, it’s that bad. One Dimensional To be fair, I was never a die-hard SATC fan; therefore, I’m not inclined to cut the reboot some slack simply because of nostalgia. Nor can I give the awkward dialogue and overall cringy vibe a pass because hey, at least they’re trying. Shows about women in their fifties may not dominate our streaming platforms, but that’s no reason to give AJLT an ‘A’ for effort. The show has missed a golden opportunity to reconnect…

Women are not safe. Anywhere. Not in our homes, our workplaces, our neighborhood streets, clubs, schools, or anywhere else we dare to go. We’re not safe alone, or with strangers; we’re definitely not safe around the men who claim to love us.As the media remains fixated on the story of Gabby Petito women everywhere are rolling their eyes at the wall to wall coverage because NOTHING about this story is new. It’s news but it’s not new news. If you don’t know that women go missing and get murdered all. The. Time. Then you haven’t been paying attention.Gabby’s innocence and zest for life captured our hearts. We mourned the loss of her mega-watt smile and giant dimples. Gabby was both familiar and aspirational – the girl next door, the girl we wished we knew, and the girl we wished we were, all rolled into one; and this is a large…