I was born less than a month before Christmas, and my brother was born less than a month after Christmas. Growing up I always remember my parents commenting on how it can sometimes be frustrating having children born so close to the biggest holiday of the year. In my case, they were planning Christmas gifts but also had to buy me a birthday gift around the same time. In my brother’s case, they had to buy him a gift right after he already received everything he ever wanted!

As we all prepare for a holiday season like no other, you may be feeling the pressure of making this year’s celebrations extra special for your kids to provide some much needed delight after the challenges of lockdowns, school closures, and cancelled birthday parties. The annual mission of finding the perfect gift for every age—one that is both fun and educational—is coupled with thoughts of a long winter spent at home where kids need to be kept entertained for hours. For some holiday shopping inspiration, look no further!

I may be 40-something, and married with kids, but I still love my rom-coms like I love chocolate, and the holiday flicks the most. In fact, I wrote my first novel to the tune of the holidays, watching my favourite rom-coms and crying into my Kleenex boxes. So, I’m so excited to share my favourite holiday rom-coms with you here. Put on your coziest PJs, grab some Christmas cookies and a blanket and don’t forget that Kleenex box—for the happy tears!

Eventually, the time comes for every parent when their kids start questioning the existence of Santa Claus. It marks the end of a huge era for a lot of families, which is inevitable, but always sad regardless. As a parent, how do you deal with the disappointment of your kids as they start to figure out the truth? My kids are older and mostly non-believers now, though some will never admit it. Having gone through it six times with each of my children, I’ve learned a few things over the years about dealing with the sadness over Santa Claus.

Last month, I snapped.

Like so many people, I was outraged to learn that the parents of more than 500 children separated from their families at the US border in 2017 and 2018 could not be found. That’s more than 500 families torn apart by cruel, “zero tolerance” government policies. I couldn’t stop thinking: who’s comforting these children? Who’s in charge of reuniting these families? What’s being done?