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December 2011

Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996




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Voted Best Parenting Publication in North America 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010



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our special guest Skylar Davis, age 9, Hopkinton


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Twenty three months have passed and the Budd family of Acton is still waiting for the adoption of 13-year-old Roselande to be finalized. Unfortunately, 2012 has more waiting in store for them. Read Part 10 in baystateparent’s Haiti to Home series as they share Christmas wishes for Roselande.




Would you ever put gently-used gifts under your tree? Consignors say it’s a great year to honor the environment and your pocketbook. Shops carry a wide selection of toys but also name-brand gifts such as designer handbags and sterling silver jewelry for tweens and teens.


It’s hard to make time for friends when you are a mom, but it can be done. Meet four women, who despite having competing interests with family, kids and work obligations, get together every year. What started out as simple dinners has turned into all-out adventures.

the of the home


in every issue 8 9


12 FINALLY, FOREVER: Haiti to Home 13 13 14 22 46

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS DECEMBER’S CHILD OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO TAKE GOOD CARE: Why You Should Never Pressure a Couple to Have a Child JUNKDRAWERS Many of our regular features are in our Happy Holidays section this month.

happy holidays 24 25 26 28 30 32 34 36


advertising directories 38 44 56 56 57 62


MOMS ROCK: CherylAnn Walsh, Hopkinton LETTERS TO SANTA


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e m o c l We Not two weeks after the birth of my sister Jodie’s second son and her second C-section, she was at Fenway Park with 30 friends. My other sister and I screeched, “You’re going to pump in the bathroom at Fenway?” “Yes. Why not?” We marveled at the ease with which she could leave behind a newborn and 3-year-old. What had taken her weeks to do had taken us years after giving birth to our children. Jodie explains, “I hated being pregnant. I felt like I was in prison. I need to be around people, and I am very social. After the birth of my sons, I felt like I had a ‘Get out of jail free’ card. Mother or

not, I need to get out with friends.” While I had scooted, crept, crawled, toddled and then walked back into my friends’ lives after having children, Jodie had done a full-out sprint. I went into a cocoon when my children were babies and toddlers. There were times when I felt suffocated, but mostly it was warm, cozy and fascinating to bring something more beautiful into the world. Wrapping myself completely in my children was like being in a little fantasy world, a break from life. Yes, motherhood was a break of sorts. The early days with my children were the most real and honest days of my life. I always knew they were temporary, which was a blessing on a hard day and a curse on a good one. But mothers can be the ultimate judges especially during the intense early years of motherhood. My sister looked at me as stuck. I looked at her as careless. Of course, neither is true. How we approach our friendships after we become mothers is different for each of us. The one constant is that real friends wait, whether it’s two weeks or two years. Period. They pick up the phone and answer your calls without giving you a guilt trip. They continue to send you Evites even though you’ve opted out of every invitation thus far. And they wait for you in the bathroom as you pump your breastmilk into the toilet at Fenway Park. Lori Belton, a Worcester mom of two, spent years focusing on family and work, hesitating to invite friends over until everything was “right” around her house. That all changed this past

year after reading an Erma Bombeck quote that changed her life and fueled a New Year’s resolution to spend more time with friends (page 43). What I like best about Lori’s message is that once she accepted the imperfection of her home and chaotic family life, she was able to reconnect with women her own age. Lori’s piece complements a story this month that bsp just loves! It’s the story of four longtime friends who made the commitment to get together once a year, no matter what (page 52). A date was picked, an email sent out, and friends showed up. Simple as that. Now that their children are older, the girls have stepped it up, graduating from yearly dinners to annual adventures. (Wait until you see what they’ve done!). It’s just the kind of thing moms need to read as we reflect on the past year and begin anew. One of my favorite all-time quotes is, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” Perhaps the same can be said for moms: the most important thing a mother can do for her children is to enjoy her own life whether through exercise, work, travel, friendships and beyond. So whether you get right out there like Jodie or take baby steps like me, may 2012 include some time spent with good friends. Happy Holidays!

Carrie Wattu

publisher GARETH CHARTER 508-749-3166 x153 editor CARRIE WATTU 508-865-7070

creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070

promotions JENNIFER ANTKOWIAK 508-269-1728

graphic designer STEPHANIE MALLARD 508-865-7070

sales & business development manager STEPHANIE PEARL 774-364-0296 account executive STACI LaTURNO BISSET 774-364-5073 account executive EMILY RETTIG 774-364-4178 account executive DAWN HINES 413-626-2789 contributing writers


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508-865-7070 baystateparent Inc. is published monthly with a main office at 117 Elm Street, Millbury, 01527 508-865-7070 Fax 508-865-7979 It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts. •

Meet Our Cover Model

Skylar Davis,

Distribution Agency: Insight Distribution Management 978-728-7785/603-661-8370 •

age 9, Hopkinton

Please share a favorite Christmas memory. I was in second grade and I was opening my present from Mom and Dad. The present turned out to be an American Girl doll! I have been collecting them ever since and now I have nine! What’s one of your Christmas wishes this year? An IPod or an IPod Touch What Christmas song gets stuck in your head? “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth” 8 DECEMBER2011

Have you ever stayed up until midnight on New Year’s Eve? Tell us about it! Yes. I was about 7 or 8. We were at my cousin’s house and I ended up going to bed at around 2 a.m.! For a New Year’s activity, if you could place five things in a time capsule to represent your family in 2011, what five things would you tuck away? A picture of our dog, Kuba, a picture of our hamster, Moose, a picture of my family, a box stitch and an origami fortune cookie box with $5 in it

Massachusetts' premier magazine for families has earned more than 130 national and regional awards since 2004, including 30 in 2010: 17 Parenting Publications of America Awards

paula swift photography

8 New England Newspaper Press Association Awards 5 Suburban Newspapers of America Awards Including Best Parenting Publication in North America 2010

GUESTBOOK Candy Construction: Benny Marchetti, age 2, of Leominster with his homemade gingerbread house. To find a gingerbread house event this month, take a stroll through the dates in this month's calendar (page 14).

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he November baystateparent magazine [special needs] is terrific! Thanks so much for the opportunity to be included in such an important issue. This will inspire and help a lot of families. Well done! Love the cover! Nannette Ohman, Executive Director Autism Alliance of MetroWest, A Program of Advocates, Inc. We appreciate the inclusion of Zoinkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fun Factory within your October issue; however, there were two errors. We are located in North Oxford, not Charlton, and our website is Jordan Hoy, Zoinkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fun Factory Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note: Zoinkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fun Factory is a new indoor entertainment center and birthday party venue in Central Massachusetts.

drove home, grabbed the mail and there was a package from bsp. We opened it up and saw the Spooky Buddies DVD inside! Both my daughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and my jaw dropped. It totally shocked us. Talk about timing, huh?! Thanks bsp for a wonderful surprise! My girls are loving the movie. Tina Wildfeuer, Worcester Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note: Lisa had forgotten that she has entered one of our DVD drawings. We give away several new-release movies each month at It is quick and easy to enter! Correction: The correct address to send tax-deductible donations to SMILE MASS, Lotte Diomedeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s charity (featured in our November â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moms Rockâ&#x20AC;? story) is SMILEMASS, 66 Dutton Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776. For more information on helping children with special needs get special beach wheelchairs, visit

WINNERS! baystateparent giveaways are announced at under â&#x20AC;&#x153;Contests/ Fast Pass to Giveawaysâ&#x20AC;? as well as on our Facebook page (Join our page today by searching â&#x20AC;&#x153;baystateparent Magazine.â&#x20AC;?) A sampling of our recent prizes and winners include:

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This fall, we won a four-pack of tickets to see The King and I at the North Shore Music Theater from your magazine. Jillian, who is 5, and I had such an amazing time at the show, and were able to bring her best friend from preschool and her mom along with us. It was easily one of the best days weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever had! The show was fantastic, the seats unbelievable, and it was just so great to be able to introduce my girlie girl to the theater at such a great performance! Thank you so much for putting out such a great magazine, and especially for the tickets for such a great day! Jennifer and Jillian Comeau, Rutland My oldest daughter and I were at Walmart when she saw the Spooky Buddies DVD for sale and begged me to buy it. I said no. We

Family Four-Packs to PlayTown Express, Hopkinton Amanda Liso, Millbury; Dawn Duplessis, Upton; Lauren Cohen, Whitinsville; Ana Gould, Upton Family Four-Packs to CoCo Key Water Resort, Fitchburg Liz Watson, Mendon Christine Lafond, Winchendon MinkseezTM by Bel Scriba Stacy Lyons, Ashland Brett DiGiovanni, Leominster Email your thoughts on our December issue to All letters will be edited for clarity and length. Please include your full name and town for publication



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baystateparent has followed the Budd familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adoption journey since February 2011. In 2012, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find updates on this page as baystateparent waits with the Budds for 13-year-old Roselande to join her new parents, Sue and Fred, and siblings, Richard, Clarissa and Griffin, in Acton. FINALLYFOREVER

Haiti to Home: photo courtesy of the budd family

Christmas Wishes for Roselande Part 10 BY

bonnie j. toomey



eople ask Sue Budd all of the time if waiting for Roselande to come home for almost two years now seems hopeless. Sue replies, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not in the slightest hopeless!â&#x20AC;? In fact, she says she has a heightened sense of realistic anticipation knowing in her heart that her phone will ring any day with their court date and final interview. Then, and only then, can they apply for

Roselande to have her own passport. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hurry up and waitâ&#x20AC;? is what her husband Fred calls it. He worries that Pastor Rigaud, who runs The Kids Kingdom Orphanage in Haiti, stays healthy and in charge. He also worries that the three judges working on adoption cases in Haiti will avoid taking lengthy vacations and commit themselves fully to waiting adoptions. Nonetheless, things are looking up. The Budds recently got news that an American family flew to New York to meet and take their 15-year-old Haitian daughter home on November 14, 2011. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a big deal,â&#x20AC;? explains Sue, who says that the teenager was one of the first orphans to go home without having special humanitarian parole as so many children were given after the January 2010 earthquake. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whenever thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s progress, even if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not yours, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exciting!â&#x20AC;? says Sue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Almost two years ago, I told Roselande

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weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d tie a red ribbon around our tree until she came home when we can all snip it together. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure she understands the significance of it yet, but soon she will,â&#x20AC;? says Sue. Sueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 18-year-old daughter, Clarissa, canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait for Roselandeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Christmas in the United States. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be a special memory for the whole family,â&#x20AC;? says Clarissa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never experienced a Christmas morning like we have. My Christmas wishes for her are that she stays joyful and has fun with her friends and that she knows God has blessed her.â&#x20AC;? If 13-year-old Griffin Budd could snap his fingers and wish for anything, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have a plane ticket for Roselande so she could be there to celebrate Christmas with them. Instead the Budds rely on Skyping with Roselande, but only when parents visiting their waiting children bring a laptop to Haiti, which is sporadic at best. The last time the Budds were able to see Roselandeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bright smile and hear her sweet voice via Skype was in October, and Sue missed it because she was working. Nineteen-year-old Richard is the only member of the family who has not traveled to Haiti to meet his sister, Roselande. Until they meet, Roselande sleeps with his picture under her pillow.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know sometimes you make a decision in your life and you think, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ooh, should I have done that?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always known this was the right decision for our family, no matter how long it takes. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a glass-ishalf-full type of person and when God decides it is the right time, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be here,â&#x20AC;? says Sue, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not that I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Come on already -- but we just have to wait it out!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? If the Budds have learned anything in the past 23 months itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how to be patient, even if Griffin admits to being annoyed at how slow the Haitian judicial system seems, especially when he sees all of the work his parents have done up until this point. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have come to know the system in Haiti and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned to accept that it just takes time, â&#x20AC;&#x153;says Sue. Sueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christmas wish for Roselande is that she has a happy day and that there will be hope in her heart. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sending Roselande some personal toiletries and undergarments which Roselande has asked for and needs as parents are asked not to spend more than ten dollars on Christmas gifts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sometimes I daydream,â&#x20AC;? says Sue wistfully. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it be great if Roselande were here for Christmas? I dream what it will be like when she is with us. Whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s she going to sit? And I think, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll add

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in another chair; all six of us just talking, eating and laughing. Love keeps the Budd family going. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I hope that I have my family together for next Christmas 2012; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been quite a journey, but well worth it.â&#x20AC;? Columnist and writer, Bonnie J. Toomey is mom to four interesting children and grandmother to two more. She lives with her child-groom of 30 years, and their dog, Molly, in New England. For more information, visit Bonnieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blog at

CIRCLEOFFRIENDS Highlights of Decemberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Adoption-Related Events

Big Wishes for Little Wanderers Gift Drive. December 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 22. The Home for Little Wanderers is collecting new, unwrapped gifts for children in need (including children waiting to be adopted) throughout Greater Boston. Gifts are due on Dec. 19th. Their greatest need is gifts for teenagers. For all the details on how you can help, visit The DCF Kids Fund. Your contributions of gifts and funds will ensure that every single child in DCF

care has a special and memorable holiday season. The DCF Kids Fund is a 501c3 entity; 98 percent of your donation goes to helping the children. Please make checks payable to the DCF Kids Fund, Inc., and send to: Ms. Saf Caruso, Executive Director, DCF Kids Fund, Inc., 24 Farnsworth St., Boston, MA 02210. If you have any questions, please contact Saf Caruso at 617-748-2368 or Saf.Lerman-Caruso@state. Information Night for Families of Color. Thurs., Dec., 8, 7 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9 p.m. The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, 650 Dudley St., Boston. Listen to informative panels of adoptees, adoptive parents and professionals who

will share their experiences and knowledge about the adoption process in Massachusetts. The goal to provide information about the need forfamilies of color, to adopt â&#x20AC;&#x153;waitingâ&#x20AC;? children of all ages. Adoption Information Meetings. Mon., Dec. 12, 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 7:30 p.m. DCF Worcester, 121 Providence St., 3rd Floor Worcester. Registration is not required. Free and open to all. Questions? 508-9292136 or Please submit Januaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adoption-related events by Monday, Dec. 5th at (Click Calendar/Submit an Event).



Tabby Tabetha or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tabbyâ&#x20AC;? just turned 15 and is passionate about horses. Legally free for adoption, she hopes for adoptive parents who can share her love of horses. Tabby currently volunteers at a horse rescue farm and would love to be able to take riding lessons. She also likes outdoor activities, jewelry making and arts and crafts. She really is a girl who will try anything. In the 8th grade, Tabby attends public school and is a bright, capable student who can achieve excellent grades when she applies herself. She makes friends and gets along well with her peers. She does attend therapy to help manage anxieties regarding her belief that no one wants her and will need supportive counseling to help her heal from traumatic life experiences. Tabbyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recruiter reports that she would do well with an experienced family who can provide consistent structure, rules and boundaries but is somewhat laid back. A family who can choose their battles and not engage in power struggles would help Tabby flourish. If there were children in the home, they should be older children who could serve as role models. Tabby currently lives in a group home in a neighboring state but would qualify for services in Massachusetts if a permanent home was found here. Tabby says she would like a family â&#x20AC;&#x153;that is very forgiving when I make a mistake. I make a lot of mistakes and I need patient people around me.â&#x20AC;? Are you that family who can show Tabby what unconditional love is? If you would like more information about Tabby or the adoption process in general, please contact Wendyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wonderful Kids recruiter Cathy Brown at 603-801-6348.

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Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - dr. seuss

photo courtesy of reagle music theatre


GO BAVARIAN: Travel to a Bavarian Christmas Village, Santa’s Workshop, a Nutcracker Castle and more all at Yankee Candle, South Deerfield. 14 DECEMBER2011

photo courtesy of vaillancourt folk art

photo © michael malyszko

photo courtesy of yankee candle

GO SPECTACULAR: The Reagle Music Theatre presents Christmas Time Spectacular, Dec. 3 - 11, in Waltham.

GO FISH: It’s cold outside so go virtual fishing, just one of hundreds of things to do at the Museum of Science, Boston.

GO BACK: Step back in time and experience a Christmas Tea at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton.

OH,THEPLACESYOU’LLGO MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the mini-van, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to assure accuracy at press time, things can and do change… A Adult C Child Y Youth M Member NM Non-Member PP Per Person

1THURSDAY The 68th Annual Boston Common Tree Lighting. 6 p.m. Join Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Province of Nova Scotia, WCVB-TV Channel 5 and MAGIC 106.7 FM for the lighting of Boston Common, the Public Garden and the City of Boston’s Official Christmas Tree. Acts to be announced! Visit for updates.

– 9 p.m. Santa’s workshop, Candyland, crafters, Santa, animated displays from Edaville USA Railway, beautiful trees to be raffled off and more! A$7, C (5-12) $4, C under 5 FREE with adult. Also Dec. 3, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Dec. 4, 1 – 6 p.m. The Christmas Stroll Weekend, Nantucket. Dec. 2 – 4. Santa and Mrs. Claus, carolers in Victorian costumes, student choirs and other musicians stroll through town performing. Christmas with Dickens. Downtown Salem. Dec. 2 & 3. Two-day event with Dickens and Victorian-inspired events for adults and children. Gerald Dickens, the great, great-grandson of Charles Dickens, performs “Nancy and Sikes” and “Dr. Marigold.” A full family day of marionettes, Santa, toy theatre, parlor performances, carriages rides,

ONGOING The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Highfield Theater, Falmouth. Dec. 2 – 11. The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant. $16pp, Sr./St. $14. Kids’ Holiday Pops. Lexington Symphony, Cary Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington. Kids’ Pops, 4 p.m. and an evening all ages show, 8 p.m. Holiday favorites, a rousing singalong and appearance by Santa! Kids’ Pops: A$15, C$5. Evening: A$25, C$15. 781-523-9009. Festival of Trees. Hellenic Hall at St. Anargyroi Greek Church, 9 Cashman St., Marlborough. 5

Celebration of Living Gifts. Heifer Learning Center at Overlook Farm, 216 Wachusett St., Rutland. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sponsor an animal that can provide food and income for hungry families. Take pictures with the animals and purchase gifts from around the world. Enjoy hot soup and rolls, cocoa and cider, decorate gingerbread animal cookies and warm yourself by a bonfire after a hayride. Admission: Canned goods which will be donated to a local food bank. 508-886-2221, overlookevents. Also Dec. 4.

ONGOING The Velveteen Rabbit. Boston Children’s Theatre (BCT) at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 3 – 18. All performances at 2 p.m. $25pp. FREE Visit with Santa. Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Rd., Concord. 3 – 5 p.m. Bring a wish list to visit Santa in the heated farmstand greenhouse. Live holiday music, holiday decorations and complimentary refreshments. 978-369-4494,

Christmas with Dickens. Salem. See Dec. 2 listing for details. The 22nd Annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. The town of Stockbridge, made famous by Norman Rockwell’s painting of the village during the holidays, offers holiday house tours, caroling, holiday concert, horse drawn rides, a visit from Santa, Roger the Jester, lunch at the Christmas Food Booth and much more. Tickets: christmas.html. Also Dec. 4.

photo courtesy of the worcester sharks

Children’s Day at The 14th Annual Festival of (Giving) Trees. Southbridge. See Dec. 2 listing for details.

ONGOING 2011 Mass Hort Festival of Trees. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Elm Bank, 900 Washington St., Wellesley. Ends Dec. 10th. Hours vary but generally 3 – 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. weekends. Tree themes appeal to all ages. All trees are raffled off, with proceeds going to help maintain the gardens at Elm Bank. Holiday train rides offered! A$8, C Under 12 FREE.

FREE SMART Gals Family Night: Wonder about Weather! with FOX25 Meteorologist Cindy Fitzgibbon and the Mount Washington Observatory. The Discovery Museums, Acton. 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. Free admission on the first Friday of every month. Tonite learn all about weather.

Festival of Trees. Marlborough. See Dec. 2 listing for details.

Craft Fair. Robbins Library, Arlington. 2 – 4 p.m. Features crafts made by local youth ages 8 to 18. Prices: $1 - $5. Find wonderful gifts at affordable prices. 781-316-3200.

The 14th Annual Festival of (Giving) Trees. LaSalle Reception Center at Notre Dame Church, 444 Main St., Southbridge. Dec. 1 – 4. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Take a walk through an enchanting forest of 100 uniquely decorated (artificial) Christmas trees. Take chances to win one! Visit Santa’s Toy Shoppe. Enjoy live entertainment daily. Meet Santa on Children’s Day, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Enjoy a Choral Premiere on Thursday night at 7 p.m. with a “Living Nativity.” Admission is $5 and includes entrance to the tree festival following the concert. All proceeds fight breast cancer and support cancer research. Tree admission: $3pp, C (under 12) Free. sparklingtrees. com.


The Gingerbread Fair. 2 Main St., Hubbardston. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 978-928-5822 or email cwdoane@


Worcester becomes Shark territory all winter. Don’t miss fireworks and $2 snacks on Fri., Dec. 30th.

story time craft and family German Cotillion. 978-979-0574, The 14th Annual Festival of (Giving) Trees. Southbridge. Dec. 1 – 4. See Dec. 1 listing for details. ONGOING Christmas By Candlelight Celebrations. Old Sturbridge Village. Fri. - Sun., 5 – 9 p.m. Held on nine evenings. Experience the magic of a candlelit New England village while historic interpreters in costume explain the origins of Father Christmas, sugarplums, Yule logs, Christmas trees, mistletoe and more. Ride in a horse-drawn sleigh (snow permitting) or a horse-drawn wagon, sip hot cider, hear stories, see chestnuts roasting by an open fire and enjoy period music, carols and holiday songs. Admission applies. 800-733-1830, Honk. The Children’s Theatre Workshop presents a musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story The Ugly Duckling. Wilmington Middle School, 25 Carter Lane, Wilmington. Dec. 2 & 3. $8pp. 978-988-5858,

Meet Little Nutbrown Hare. Concord Museum, Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Rd., Concord. 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. The tender picture book, Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram, and featuring sweet Little Nutbrown Hare, has become a modern classic. Included free with Family Trees Admission (see listing below). 978-369-9763, Also Dec. 4. ONGOING Family Trees. Concord Museum, Concord. Ends Jan. 1. The Museum’s history galleries and period rooms are filled with over 30 trees fancifully dressed for the occasion. Their original ornaments are inspired by a stellar selection of cherished storybooks, contemporary children’s favorites and beloved holiday tales. All ages. A$15, Sr. $10, C (4-18) $6, C (under 4) FREE. The Nutcracker. Montachusett Regional Vocational Tehcnical High School, Fitchburg. 2 p.m. A$15, C & Sr. $12. 978-422-6989, Also Dec. 4.

Sutton Chain of Lights. Trolleys connect each business from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Business include: Vaillancourt Folk Art, Whittier Farms, Keown Orchards, Eaton Confectioners, Sleighbell Christmas Tree Farm and many more. The day’s festivities conclude at the Sutton Town Common where the Sutton High School band performs to welcome Santa and light the trees on the Sutton Common. ONGOING Christmas Time Spectacular. Reagle Music Theatre, Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington St., Waltham. Dec. 3 – 11. Heartwarming choral and dance numbers, beautiful costumes and breathtaking custom scenery. Perennial favorites include the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and the inspirational Living Nativity. A choir of 40 adult carolers presents a Victorian Christmas, and the City Sidewalks come alive with popular classics accompanied by a hand bell choir. A$35 - $57, C (ages 5-18), $25. 781-8942330 ,781-891-5600 or Holiday Family Day. Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, Regis College, 235 Wellesley St., Weston. 12 – 4 p.m. Make holiday gifts using postage stamps. Also view exhibit of holiday USA and worldwide stamps. Make your own holiday stamp collection. Do stamp hunts for prizes. Create holiday envelopes to send greetings to friends - the Museum pays the postage. Write a letter to Santa and mail in the special North Pole mailbox - Santa has promised to answer. Have your photo made into a stamp. Free stamps for the kids. Refreshments. Gift shop and post office open. A$8, St. & Sr. $5, C (5-16) $3. 781-7688367, Holiday Haul. First Congregational Church, Route 12, West Boylston. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Shop Usborne Books, Scholastic Books, American Girl, pottery, Aimee Klee jewlery, crafts, wreaths, photography, Christmas ornaments, bake sale, quilts, baskets and much more. Yuletide at Storrowton. Storrowton Village Museum, West Springfield. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tour Storrowton’s 19th century antique buildings, seasonally decorated by area garden clubs and florists. Musical and storytelling performances, BAYSTATEPARENT 15

OH,THEPLACESYOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LLGO kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; crafts, ice sculpting, Early American craft demonstrations, an old-fashioned Santa, fresh baked goods, petting zoo, and caroling. Christmas shop and gift shop open. Also Dec. 4. Teddy Bear Holiday Tea. Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Bring your favorite teddy bear and join other teddy bear lovers for this festive party featuring magic by Cindy, a teddy bear clinic, teddy bear tea room with holiday treats and seasonal music, crafts and a surprise visit from Santa Claus. A$12, C$10 NM. Reservations are required: 508-753-8278,

photo courtesy of the solomon pond mall

4SUNDAY Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting. Concord Center, from Sudbury at Thoreau St., down Sudbury to Main to Monument Square. Begins at 4:45 p.m. See Santa arrive by fire truck, joined by Frosty, Mrs. Claus, the Gingerbread Man, antique cars and marchers. Bring an unwrapped gift for the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest. Music under the tree by the Sounds of Concord. 978-369-3120. Meet Little Nutbrown Hare. Concord Museum.. See Dec. 3 listing for details. Family Concert: Pinocchio. 51 Walden St., Concord. 2 and 4 p.m. $15 - $5 tickets. 978-369-4567. Gingerbread House Workshops. Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Rd., Concord. 9:30 & 11:30 a,m. and 1:30 p.m. An assembled, undecorated gingerbread house, frosting & candy are supplied. Farm stand chefs are available with tips. $35pp. Reservations required. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Adult comes at no extra charge.978-369-4494, Also Dec. 10. Sol Y Canto Family Concert. Barefoot Books, Concord. 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. This Pan-Latin ensemble helped bring to life Barefoot Booksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; audio narrations found in The Parrot Tico Tango and their new award-winning title, Lolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fandango. All ages. $5pp/$15 family max. Reservations: 978-369-1770, The Nutcracker. Montachusett Regional Vocational Tehcnical High School, Fitchburg. 2 p.m. A$15, C & Sr. $12. 978-422-6989, FREE Drop Into Art. Danforth Museum of Art, 123 Union Ave., Framingham. 2 - 4 p.m. Families are invited to visit the Museum and then create works of art together on the First Sunday of the

Visit Santa at Jordanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Furnitureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s FREE Enchanted Village in Avon, open seven days a week. month. Enjoy gallery activities and tours of special exhibitions lead by teen docents and make 2D and 3D creations inspired by the art in the Museum in workshops taught by School of Art teachers. Perfect for children ages 5-10 with adult. Register in the Museum Lobby on the day of the program. FREE! 508-620-0937,

family event combines a Christmas Concert with an afternoon of festive activities, photos with Santa, a Musical Petting Zoo, make your own holiday decoration and more. Meet and hear Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians. C (4 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 17) are half price, C (under 4) are not allowed in the Hall.

FREE Historical Society Holiday Open House. Grafton Historical Society, One Grafton Common, Grafton. 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4 p.m. Refreshment served. The Christmas tree lighting ceremonies are at 4:30 p.m. 508-839-0000,

The 22nd Annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. See Dec. 3 listing for details.

Festival of Trees. Marlborough. See Dec. 2 listing for details. Celebration of Living Gifts. Heifer Learning Center, Rutland. See Dec. 3 listing for details. St. Mary School Annual Holly Fair! 16 Summer St., Shrewsbury. Gifts, crafts, pottery, jewelry, raffles, photos with Santa. Holiday Family Festival. Springfield Symphony Hall. Begins at 1:30 p.m. This great



Brookline/Larz Anderson Brookline/Cleveland Circle Cambridge Hyde Park/Dedham Medford Newton/Brighton Quincy Somerville South Boston Waltham West Roxbury Weymouth

The 14th Annual Festival of (Giving) Trees. LaSalle Reception Center at Notre Dame Church, Southbridge. See Dec. 1 listing for details. Yuletide at Storrowton. West Springfield. See Dec. 3 listing for details. Santa Visits an Annual Christmas Open House. Harveyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Farm and Country Store, 120 South St., Westborough. 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4 p.m. Seasonal music, homemade hot mulled cider and gourmet treat sampling. Gift ideas, exclusive specials and raffles. Many photo opportunities. 508-366-1545,

5MONDAY ONGOING The Polar Express. Edaville Railroad, Carver. Trains will leave at 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, 12, 13, 24 and 31. The Polar Expressâ&#x201E;˘ will transport pajama-clad passengers to the North Pole. There Santa will board the train and greet the children, each receiving their own jingle bell just as in the story. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served by costumed staff while guests enjoy a live reading and carols. Plus, enjoy all over 7 million Christmas lights. $30pp, Under 2 free. FREE Preschool Storytime. The Blue Bunny, 577 High St., Dedham. 10:30 a.m. Every Monday. Just drop in but please call ahead to confirm. 781-4936568. ONGOING Under the Big Top: Festival of Trees 2011. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. Ends Jan. 2. Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sun., 12 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5 p.m. More than 100 holiday trees decked in circus colors, as well as miniature decorated trees, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trees, an exhibition of vintage circus memorabilia and

www.gymboreFDMBTTFTDPNr Visit our UPDATED Westboro locatioO0UJT4USFFU 3U&BTUCPVOE 8FTUCPSP

OH,THEPLACESYOU’LLGO St., Worcester. 10 a.m. - Noon. An opportunity for adults and infants (ages birth to 1 year old) to get together to share experiences, discuss the joys and challenges of parenting and have fun. 508-4214500. All About Me Time with Mommy. Claytime, 124 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. Create a special holiday-themed item with your toddler. Fees apply. 508-798-9950,

photo courtesy of the solomon pond mall


The Solomon Pond Mall just got even better. The UMass Memorial Medical Center Play Area opens Dec. 10th!

a selection of mid-century circus photographs. A$15, C$7. ONGOING ZooLights. Stone Zoo, Stoneham. 5 – 9 p.m. Ends Jan. 1. Thousands of twinkling lights, Santa Claus and more! Prices posted at FREE Drop-In Playgroup. Wayland Children’s & Parents Association (WCPA), Wayland Town Building Gym or local playground, Wayland. 10 – 11:15 a.m. For children 5 and under. Open to the public. 508-358-7076.

6TUESDAY The Polar Express. Edaville Railroad, Carver. See Dec. 5 listing for details. Also on Dec. 12, 13, 24 and 31. FREE Infant Story Time. Barefoot Books, 87 Thoreau St., Concord. 9:45 – 10:15 a.m. Ends Dec. 27th. Young “readers” (0 to 1 year) and their caretakers are welcome: finger plays, songs and puppets as well as some great stories! (Older siblings welcome to play in the Studio.)

Tim Seston Songs & Stories. The Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden St., Concord Center. Every Tues. and Wed. from 10:45 – 11:30 a.m. The children, age 0 - 4, and their caregivers, come to listen, sing, meet up with friends and enjoy the entertainment. Newcomers are always welcome. $3 donation requested. Space is limited and schedule is subject to change. Please check Tim’s website: Santa Claus at Claytime! Shrewsbury. 3 – 7 p.m. Storytime, sit on Santa’s lap, paint an ornament or platter. Starting at $40pp plus tax. ONGOING Festival of Trees. Leominster City Hall. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Ends Dec. 11. Silent auction to bid on your favorite trees, wreaths and holiday displays until Dec.11, 5 p.m. Or show holiday spirit by voting for the display you like (.25). All proceeds go to Mayor’s Fuel Assistance Program and City Pride Programs. Email:

7WEDNESDAY ONGOING Christmas Festival of Lights. Edaville USA, Carver. Ends Jan. 1. Weekdays, 4 – 9 p.m.

and weekends, 2 – 9 p.m. Vintage amusement rides, visits with Santa, indoor play areas and over 7 million Christmas lights and a 2-mile heated train ride. A$18, C (2+) $16, Under 2 free. 877-EDAVILLE, FREE Wee Care Infant Oral Health Program, 223 Walnut St., Ste 22, Framingham. 10 a.m. Children under 3 are invited to register for this free seminar with examination designed to help parents assure a cavity-free child. The informal format assures that all parents’ questions will be answered by this pediatric dental specialist. Space is limited. Call Dr. Mel at 508-875-KIDS, Yuletide by Lantern Light. Storrowton Village Museum, West Springfield. 6 – 8 p.m. Experience the magic of an old-fashioned winter evening as you take a self-guided tour of Storrowton’s cozy, seasonally decorated 19th century antique buildings - illuminated by lanterns and candlelight. $5pp. 413- 737-2443, Calendar.asp. FREE & ONGOING Baby and Me: Loving and Learning Together. St. Peter’s Church, 929 Main

A Magical Morning with Santa. The Discovery Museums, Acton. 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. at the Children’s Discovery. Pose for photos and receive a small gift from Santa. Plus cookie decorating and ornament creation. Limit 15 children (with 1 adult per child).$25pp. Pre-registration and payment required: 978-264-4200 x 28. ONGOING & FREE Illuminations. La Salette Shrine, Attleboro. Ends Jan. 1. 5 – 9 p.m. daily. With over 300,000 lights illuminating over 10 acres, this spectacular, inspiring event is free to everyone. Visit Clopper the Donkey by the outdoor manger. Christmas trolley and hayride (weekends only), Christmas carousel (Tues. - Sun.). View the complete schedule: ONGOING Little Explorers. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 9 – 10 a.m. on Thursdays. Little Explorers is similar to preschool classroom circle time experience. Stories, music, and crafts are offered around a weekly theme. Fees apply. 978-456-3924, The Gingerbread Man. Drumlin Farm Staff, Lincoln. 3:30 – 5 p.m. Design and decorate your very own gingerbread man. While he’s baking, hear about his exciting adventures escaping from cows and pigs. Then pay a visit to his “friend,” the fox. $15pp. 781-259-2206, Bay Colony Dog Show and Canine Pet Expo. RI Convention Center, Downtown Providence, RI. Dec. 8 – 11, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Four days of tail-wagging fun! Dog lovers of all ages are invited to an all-breed AKC dog show sponsored by Purina, complete with “Meet the Breed” and agility, flyball, nosework and frisbee demonstrations on the weekend.You can’t bring your dog to this dog show, but you can bring him home a treat at one of dozens of holiday shopping and breed rescue booths!. A$10, C under 12 FREE.


OH,THEPLACESYOU’LLGO MOPS Meeting (Mother of Preschoolers). Heritage Bible Chapel, Princeton. 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Refreshments, conversation, a presentation relevant to motherhood and some type of creative activity. Meets the second Thursday of each month; children (ages 0-5) are welcome to an exciting Moppets program or to stay with you. Vienna Boys Choir. The Hanover Theatre, Worcester. $46.75 - $56.77. 877-571-SHOW,


Arlington. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. A$10, C$8. 781646-4849, FREE Community Day. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Celebrate ICA’s 75th anniversary as well as five years in their new waterfront location with performances, films, artmaking, tours and more. Free admission for all. ONGOING The Velveteen Rabbit. Boston Children’s Theatre (BCT) at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 3 – 18. All performances at 2 p.m. $25pp.

Meet Classic Picture Book Characters: Pig. Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Rd., Concord. 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Meet the charming pig from If You Give a Pig a Pancake, one of the classic series by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond. Included free with Family Trees Admission. 978-3699763, Also Dec. 11th.

Bay Colony Dog Show and Canine Pet Expo. Downtown Providence, RI. See Dec. 8 listing for details.

10SATURDAY Ben Rudnick and Friends Tenth Annual Holiday Extravaganza! Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St,


The Nutcracker. Littleton Performing Arts Center, Littleton. 2:30 p.m. 978-371-1038, 4th Annual Holiday Festival. Martha’s Vineyard. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Start off the holiday season at the historic Grange Hall, with gifts galore from the Island’s finest artists and craftsmen: fine jewelry, glass, ceramics, fine art, clothing, book arts and much more. Free admission & parking.

photo courtesy of heifer learning center, overlook farm, rutland

Concord Band Holiday Pops. The Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden St., Concord. 8 – 10:30 p.m. Holiday favorites, hymn songs, folk music and carols from here and abroad. Table seating: $20pp, C under 12 $15 (includes beverage and snacks). 978-8979969, Also Dec. 10. Snow date: Sun., Dec. 11, 2 p.m.

ONGOING Christmas at the Newport Mansions. Rhode Island. Through Jan. 2. Step back into a Christmas of the Gilded Age by visiting The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, all decked out for the holidays with thousands of poinsettia plants, spectacular evergreens, trees, wreaths and fresh flowers and 19th century style ornaments. Prices vary but special evening tours at the Breakers on select days are: A$28, C (6-10) $10. For all the details, visit

Holiday Ornaments From Around The World. Fitchburg Art Museum, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Create simple, easy-to-make holiday ornaments from cultures near and far using raffia, sequins, felt and more. Space limited. $18ppNM. Pre-register:

Concord Band Holiday Pops. See Dec. 9 listing for details.

Craftboston Holiday 2011. Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston. Dec. 9 – 11, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Features 90 innovative craft artists.. It’s an amazing opportunity for creative shoppers, collectors and those who are looking for the perfect gift to complete their holiday shopping. 617266-1810,

Make a Gingerbread House. American Girl, Natick. 5 p.m. Design and decorate your own gingerbread house with frosting and lots of candy decorations. Also enjoy a delicious meal. Reservations required. For girls ages 8+. $40pp. Also Dec. 20, 4:30 p.m.

Advance reservations strongly suggested. 978-3694118, Also Dec. 11th.

Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Adult comes at no extra charge. 978-369-4494,

Buy him a goat! Get her a pig! Sponsor an animal in a loved one’s name, an animal that can provide food and income for hungry families. Craftboston Holiday 2011. Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston. See Dec. 9 listing for details. Children’s Irish Christmas. 200 New Boston Dr., Canton. 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Breakfast is served at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. featuring Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus telling stories, photos with Santa, full Irish breakfast with chocolate chip pancakes, treats, Irish dancing, Christmas caroling. $12pp, C under 3 FREE. 781-8218291, Gingerbread House Workshops. Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Rd., Concord. 9:30 & 11:30 a,m. and 1:30 p.m. An assembled, undecorated gingerbread house, frosting & candy are supplied. Farm stand chefs are available with tips. $35pp. Reservations required.

Morning with Santa. Concord Museum. 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Enjoy a delightful visit and photo with Santa as well as a number of engaging seasonal crafts and activities, and of course, a tour of 36 decorated trees in Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature. A$10, C$25. Reserve early as space is limited: 978-369-9763, The Annual Holiday Program at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, 399 Lexington Rd., Concord. 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Orchard House will be decorated for the holidays with the tasteful, festive simplicity that the Alcotts were noted for, and come alive with costumed “Living History” characters, activities for children and families, and take-home mementos! A $12; Sr. St., $10; Y (6 - 17), $8; C (2 – 6) $4; Under age 2, free. Family rate available;

Christmas at the Farm. Peter Rice Homestead, 377 Elm St., Marlborough. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m Enter a magical, decorative setting in a 1688 center chimney colonial. Featuring evergreens, holly, roaring fireplaces, hot gingerbread & drinks, baked goods, music and more. UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center Play Area . Solomon Pond Mall, Marlborough. Grand opening includes a ribbon cutting, music and surprise that UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center will unwrap at the mall 10 a.m. Bring your children and explore the brand new playhouse complete with a 7’ helicopter, Band-Aid bridge, 5’ ambulance and cotton ball jar to have hours of fun climbing in and out of Snow Date: Sat., Dec. 17, 10 a.m. Jam Time Holiday Party. 86 Powder Hill Rd., Maynard. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Visit with Santa, holiday arts & crafts, music with Mister Vic and lots of cheer. $10 per child. Adults free. 978-897-2917, jamtime. com. FREE Arts & Crafts Open House. 249 North Main St., Natick. Noon – 2 p.m. A fun day of music, arts & crafts and dance with your children. No registration is required. 508-720-0033, Full Moon Owl Prowl for All Ages. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Natick. 4:30 – 6 p.m. Come with the whole family under the moon to learn about owl calls, behavior and habitat and search for frequent evening owl visitors, the screech owl and great horned owl. Fees apply. Pre-register: broadmoorprograms@ Oranments Made Easy. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton. 10 a.m.- Noon. Children ages 8+. Create 2 wool covered ornaments

using dry felting techniques and a felting needle. (The needle is for in-class use only.) $14pp plus materials fee. Register: 978-464-2712.

Craftboston Holiday 2011. Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston. See Dec. 9 listing for details.

Bay Colony Dog Show and Canine Pet Expo. Downtown Providence, RI. See Dec. 8 listing for details.

The 238th Boston Tea Party Annual Reenactment. Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston. 4 p.m. Take on the role of Patriot or Loyalist in this spirited reenactment of the Boston Tea Party. Hear from John Hancock, Francis Rotch, Joseph Warren and Samuel Adams. Then, witness firsthand the event that John Adams said “is so bold, so daring, so intrepid and so inflexible … that I can’t but consider it an epoch in history.” 617482-6439,

Living Nativity at Mesa Farm. 67 Muschopauge Rd., Rutland. 4:30 - 7 p.m. The hour-long shows include carol singing and a narration and re-enactment of the nativity story in a barn with live animals. There will be no charge although attendees are requested to bring a plate of cookies to share. Hot chocolate and coffee will be provided. The Sunday performances will have sign language interpretation.508-886-6898, Also Dec. 11. Santa’s Tea. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 10:30 a.m. - Noon. Enjoy a special menu children’s tea in the beautiful Governor Gore Mansion. Then, join in an activity, followed by a visit from Santa! Tickets required at least one week in advance. $35pp. 781-894-2798, Also Dec. 11 and 17. Westborough Ski Swap. Hastings School, Route 30, Westborough. 9 a.m. Equipment will include new and used downhill skis, boots and clothing, skates and some cross country equipment. Boar’s Head Festival. Wesley United Methodist Church, 114 Main St., Worcester. 4 – 6 p.m. Celebrate the winter solstice and welcome the yuletide, with this Renaissance-styled pageant. $25 general admission, St. Sr. $20, C (16 and under) will be charged a special rate at the door. Snow Date: Dec. 11. A Christmas Journey. The EcoTarium, Worcester. 12:30,1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Begin with a storytime, featuring Chris Van Allsburg’s classic winter tale The Polar Express. The holiday tale then comes alive as the EcoTarium’s “elves” help families to the train station to board the Explorer Express Train for a trip around the EcoTarium’s grounds as children ring their bells. Hot cocoa, cookies and a visit with Santa follows. $7 plus museum admission. Reservations required: 508-929-2703. Also Dec. 11 and 17.

11SUNDAY Meet Santa. The Discovery Museums, Acton. 1 – 2 p.m. at the Children’s Discovery. Santa will be on hand to greet children and deliver a small present to each girl and boy. $10.50pp, C under 1 FREE.


The Annual Holiday Program at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, 399 Lexington Rd., Concord. See Dec. 10 listing for details. Storytime. Danforth Museum School of Art, 123 Union Ave., Framingham. 1:30 p.m. Every second Sunday. Free with admission: A$11, C under 17 FREE. 508-620-937, Clay Family Workshop: Slab Vessels. Danforth Museum School of Art, 123 Union Ave., Framingham. 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.Learn basic handbuilding techniques in clay as you create imaginative and functional clay pieces. Workshop is limited to 10 adult/child pairs and works best for children age 5 and above. Register. Fees apply. 508-620-0937, Animal Footprints and Signs. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Natick. 1 – 2:30 p.m.Wonder what animal made those tracks? Who is traveling on the trails or through your yard? Come find out how to solve these mysteries! Fees apply. Pre-registration required: 508655-2296, FREE Christmas Tree Pull by the Newfoundland Dog Club. Smolak Farms, 315 South Bradford St., North Andover. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. The Newfoundland dogs, often termed the “Gentle Giants” will be at Smolak Farms to pull Christmas Trees, assist families by taking the trees to the vehicles, pose for pictures, and they will even be offering rides for the little ones. 978682-6332, Bay Colony Dog Show and Canine Pet Expo. Downtown Providence, RI. See Dec. 8 listing for details. Sunday Brunch with Santa. The Oliver Wight Tavern, Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Reservations are recommended. A$19.95, C under 10 $8, C under 3 FREE. Also Dec. 18. Living Nativity at Mesa Farm. 67 Muschopauge Rd., Rutland. See Dec. 10 listing for details.


Santa’s Tea. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 10:30 a.m. - Noon. See Dec. 10 listing for details. Also Dec. 17. A Christmas Journey. The EcoTarium, Worcester. See Dec. 10 listing for details.

12MONDAY The Polar Express. Edaville Railroad, Carver. See Dec. 5 listing for details. Also on Dec. 13, 24 and 31. FREE & ONGOING St. Brendan’s Playgroup. 29 Rita Rd., Dorchester. 10 a.m – Noon. For infants, toddlers and kids. Free play, circle time, snack and coffee and pastry for adults. All welcome. 617-2823388. FREE & ONGOING Finagle Bagel Tour. 77 Rowe St., Newton. Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs. Hours vary. For all ages. Tour the facility and see the bagel dough being made fresh. Learn the history of the bagel. Call for an appointment: 617-213-8428. ONGOING Ice Skating. Bank of America City Center. Greater Kennedy Plaza, Providence, RI. Nov. 19 – March 18. The 14,000-square-foot skating rink is twice the size of Rockefeller Plaza’s ice rink in New York City! Skate rentals available. May close pending weather conditions – call first. Mon. - Fri., 10 a.m. 10 p.m. and Sat. and Sun., 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. A$6, C (12 and under) $3. Skate rental $4. 401-331-5544.

13TUESDAY FREE & ONGOING Mr. Ed Story Hour. Barnes & Noble, Burlington. Every Tues., 10:30 a.m. For tots under 5. Please call to confirm: 781-273-3871. FREE & ONGOING Drop-In Playgroup. East End House, 105 Spring St., Cambridge. 10 – 11:30 a.m. For caregivers with children ages 0 – 5. Held the second and fourth Thursday of every month. Just drop by! 617-876-4444 or email dan@ FREE & ONGOING Children’s Storytime. Harvard Coop, 1400 Mass Ave., Cambridge. 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Children ages 1 – 6 and their caregivers can come for stories and snacks. 617-499-2000, The Polar Express. Edaville Railroad, Carver. See Dec. 5 listing for details. Also on Dec. 24 and 31.

Watercolors in Nature. Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St. (Rt.16), Natick. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Let the beauty of nature inspire your painting. Explore the use of textures, lines, colors and more. Bring your own painting wish list! All levels welcome! Relax, enjoy and create! Preregistration required. Fees apply. 508-655-2296

14WEDNESDAY ONGOING Montachusett Mothers of Multiples. Our Lady of the Lake Church, 1400 Main St., Leominster, 7 – 9 p.m. Meets the second Wednesday of each month. FOR PARENTS Beyond Bossing, Begging and Bribing with Jeanine Fitzgerald. Parent Talk, Needham High School Auditorium, Needham. 7 – 9 p.m. $20 NM (advance registration); $25 at the door. Register: ONGOING Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield. Ends Jan. 1. See more than 600,000 lights along a three-mile route that winds through the historic park. Hours vary. Admission varies depending on time: $18 - $21 per car. 413-733-3800, ONGOING MOMS Club of Worcester South. First Unitarian Church of Worcester, Landers Room, 90 Main St., Worcester. 9:30 – 11 a.m. Interested-in-MOMS-Club-of-Worcester-South/ FREE Baby and Me: Loving and Learning Together. St. Peter’s Church, 929 Main St., Worcester. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. An opportunity for adults and their infants (ages birth to 1 year old) to get together to share experiences, discuss the joys and challenges of parenting and have fun. 508-421-4500.

15THURSDAY Bring your Baby to the Danforth Museum of Art. Framingham. 10 a.m. For parents with babies, 0 – 12 months. Learn about art, chat with other parents and play with your baby in a beautiful, welcoming environment. The museum is closed to the public during this program. Light refreshments provided. $12 per family. Just drop in! Registration is encouraged. Fireside Fables. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Lincoln. 3:30 – 5 p.m. Relax by a crackling fire as Continued on page 48

Part time t Full time t Occasional t Frequent t

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Cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol. Cannot be used with any other coupon, discount or promotion. One coupon per table, per visit. Expires 1/31/12 BSP

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For Information & Tours 105 Crawford Street, Dorchester, MA 02121 Ph (617) 445-1420 Licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

Visit any of our 9 convenient locations; Auburn, Foxboro, Marlboro, No. Attleboro, No. Reading, Sturbridge. West Springfield, Westboro and Worcester 20 DECEMBER2011

Play for the Day

Day Passes are still available for Holiday Vacation! Don’t miss out on the fun, purchase your tickets today!

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Kids Eat FREE* in AppleWoods Restaurant with all Overnight Water Park Packages. *Kids 12 and under, must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Gift Certificates now available online

55,000 sq ft of indoor water park fun for kids of all ages…and adults too! 150 Royal Plaza Drive, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978.342.7100

From Ho! Ho! Ho! to Oh! Oh! Oh! Solomon Pond Mall Opens The UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center Play Area

Grand Opening Saturday, December 10* 10 a.m. Bring your children and explore the playhouse complete with a 7' helicopter, Band-Aid bridge, 5' ambulance and cotton ball jar and have hours of climbing fun! * Snow date is Saturday, December 17 at 10 a.m.

Solomon Pond Mall Exit 25B off I-495 or I-290 Shopping Line® 508.303.6255.






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So much more than piano lessons! Our complete MUSIC program (ages 4 1/2 to 8) includes: Piano Singing Harmony Rhythm


Guitar Note Reading Ear Training Composition

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CANDI, the Child & Adolescent NeuroDevelopment IniƟaƟve, research program is at the University of MassachuseƩs Medical School. UMMS IRB Docket #13692; #13715; #13821; #13058 22 DECEMBER2011

brett blumenthal

Family is an important part of the holidays. Not only do we spend a lot of time with our own family and relatives, we are reminded of others with mounds of holiday cards, often with a picture-perfect family portrait front and center. Although this should be a joyous time of year, it can be a very challenging time for couples who are childless. As a 37-year-old woman, married for over six years, I have had my fair share of pressure to have a baby. And although I’ve come to a point in my life when I can deal with that pressure in a healthy and hopefully graceful way, it still bothers me that people feel that pressuring an individual or couple to have a baby is acceptable. Putting pressure on friends or loved ones to have a child is the most inappropriate and selfish thing one can do. If you’ve ever been a victim to this pressure, you know of what I’m speaking. If, however, you have been the one to apply pressure to someone in your life to have a baby, you might want to stop and reevaluate your actions. Chances are you have no idea as to why someone is or isn’t having a baby, and your pressure could be creating unnecessary stress and anxiety for a mom-to-be or a couple. Timing: When I’ve been pressured to have a baby and have responded that the timing isn’t right, I’ve had countless people tell me that “there is never a good time” to have a baby. Having a baby absolutely changes a person’s life. And, although there may not always be a perfect time, there are definitely better times and worse times. The only people who know if they are truly ready to have a baby are the parentsto-be themselves. The “right” timing can involve many factors, and it is extremely presumptuous for someone to assume when another person’s timeline is right. Timelines can be impacted by financial situations, job situations, emotional readiness, and even, dare I say, couple readiness. Only the couple knows when the timing is right. The people who have the child are inevitably the people raising the child. As a result, they are the ones who know whether or not they are ready to take on the responsibility. Age: Yep, as a 37-year-old woman who is fast approaching 38, I’ve been privy to many unprofessional and professional opinions that I need to get on the baby wagon. Although I agree having a child when you are younger is more ideal physically, I would never argue that it is always better mentally, financially or personally. I recently learned that my grandmother had my mother at the age of 39. And this was in the 1940s. If she could

do it, I can do it. And you know what, a lot of other women can, and do, do it. If a woman waits, it is her prerogative. If she finds that she waited too long, it is for her to deal with, not the rest of the world. Biology: A friend of mine, at the age of 26, confided that her in-laws pressured her relentlessly to pop out a grandchild. Unbeknownst to them, she had three miscarriages during this time. She was devastated. Their constant pressure only made the situation more stressful. Complications with having a baby isn’t always tied to age. I know 22-year-olds, 28-year-olds, 33-year-olds and 40-year-olds who have either had trouble conceiving or had miscarriages. Putting pressure on couples who have difficulty conceiving or difficulty coming to term is insensitive and hurtful. Chances are if a couple has lost a child, they are not spreading the word for public consumption. Further, if a couple physically can’t have a child, pointing it out to them over and over again is unnecessarily painful. Choice: Although I have no doubt that there are individuals who would be appalled to read this, having a child is not for everyone. If a couple decides that they don’t want children, then it is their choice. I applaud couples who make the conscious decision to abstain from having a child instead of bringing an unwanted child into the world. The world is overpopulated as it is, do we need to make it worse by expecting people to have children when they don’t want them? No matter a couple’s reason for not having a child, or for having children, it is important to remember that it is their life and their decision, and to be respectful of their personal timeline and choices. If my husband and I choose to have a child, it will be on our timeline, when we feel the time is right. At this time, however, Diablo (aka Monkey) – our beautiful orange Tabby - is our pride and joy, and we couldn’t be more happy or blessed to have him as part of our family! Brett Blumenthal is the bestselling Boston author of Get Real and Stop Dieting! and the author of 52 Small Changes, to be released late December 2011. She is founder of and CEO of Be Healthy Boston. Be Healthy Boston is a two-day urban wellness retreat at the Westin Boston Waterfront, being held January 28th and 29th, 2012. baystateparent Magazine is a proud sponsor. Find out more at:

y p p a H ays d i l o H



















Winter on the Farm December School Vacation Snowman Special, 1/6-1/8 Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, 1/13-1/16 Sled Dog Weekend, 1/20-1/22 Step Back in Time, 1/27-1/29 Ice fishing on Perkins Pond during Step Back in Time Weekend

Egg Collecting, Cow Milking, Children’s Activities, Indoor Pool, Farm Animals, Ice Skating, Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Butter & Cheese Making, and more!

Located less than two hours from Boston! Your year-round farm family vacation resort.

❆ ❄ SATURDAYS 12:00p - 1:00p ❅ ❆ inter ends mily Fun W



North Star also offers: Figure Skating ★ Hockey Advanced Group Lessons

New Session Begins November 3rd

Group Lessons Tue & Thurs 6:10-7:10p Sat. 11:30a - 12:00p & Public Skating For more information: Go to or Call 508-366-1562 15 Bridle Lane, Westborough, MA BAYSTATEPARENT 23



r u O fts i G t s e B

Best Gift Ever: Ava Duclos of Douglas on her first Christmas 2010

A Santa Surprise: Emmerson Fitts of Upton gets a surprise visitor.

dory chauvin photography

HAVING A BALL: Joshua Tangorra from Amesbury gets into the holiday hype.

What a Doll!: Three-year-old Gretchen from Quincy gets dolled up for her Christmas photo.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: Brianna and Mikey Rotondo get cozy with Nana in their Rutland home.

Silly Sugarplum: Westborough sweetie Emmy Summers at 8 months old

We’ve Been Good: Catherine, Colin and Madeline Spinney after seeing Santa at the Natick Collection last year.

CAPTURED: bsp is looking for photos of children in winter hats for our January issue. Email photos to by December 8th. 24 DECEMBER2011

michelle carr


DIRTYLAUNDRY with Stephen Rich Nothing says Christmas like a phone call from American Express. They called to ask if my card had been stolen. I thought it was weird, but when I walked outside to load my Toyota Sequoia with Christmas presents for our annual drive to Jersey, it dawned on me: “Holy Bleep! My wife stole the credit card! My stomach turned as I tried to guess how much each wrapped box must have cost. I looked at the tags to see who the gifts were addressed to, only to see names like “Skeeter.” Skeeter! Are you kidding me? Skeeter is my wife’s friend’s cat or something. My underwear have holes in them, and I’m buying a present for a cat? Out came my four kids, and in true Rich parenting fashion, they were in charge of packing their own stuff. My wife and I have had enough. (Oops, I mean we’re teaching them responsibility.) So out they came, marching back and forth from their rooms to the truck making multiple trips. I must say it was actually one of the rare occasions where everyone was simultaneously happy, and it was only because they were all fired up to see their cousins in Jersey. It was rather

nice watching them all helping each other bring stuff to the car. I sat there, shaking my head because the neighbors must have thought our house was being foreclosed and that we were moving. Kids walked by with Lightsabers, gymnastics trophies, an oscillating fan, guinea pig, cat, Transformers lunch box, gecko, hockey stick. I was like a grumpy third base coach waving everyone in. I even had the windmill arm thing working. “Let’s go…let’s go…I don’t care. Seven hour trip. Just get in.” The best part of the drive is always when I get to check out Big Mamma. My wife is hot, and I can still appreciate that, but I am about to demonstrate to you how I’m not the smartest parent in the world. I have a child who is a “fruit fly,” same size and just as annoying. So there we were driving to Jersey, and Fruit Fly started kissing people and hugging them, not because he loves them, but because he wanted to annoy them. Our genius kicked in, and we moved him away from the people he was kissing in “first class” and put him back in “coach” (the third row) with the 5-year-old girl

who gets crazy mad like Miss Piggy at the slightest thing he does. So we were going along and Fruit Fly had Miss Piggy at a code red, like she was going to kill someone. And my wife turned around and in one fluid motion put her foot on the center console, pushed off and dove through the truck to the third row like she was crowd surfing. She cleared the cat, the gecko, the guinea pig, the 10-yearold “know-it-all” and the “good-as-gold” 11-year-old. Unfortunately, it was at the exact same time that Miss Piggy launched a strawberry milkshake. There was pink milkshake everywhere, even over the windows and dashboard. It was awkward, but not in the traditional sense. It was awkward because I had to put my eyes on the road, but I was looking in the rear-view mirror (yeah it’s a pun) to get a cheap stare at my wife as she was lying across the top seats dripping with milk shake and throttling Fruit Fly. The seven-hour trip felt like fourteen, but we made it in time to go to Christmas Eve church services. Of course the kids had no church clothes because we let them pack themselves. So it was quite a sight when we arrived to church late and in single file with the kids wearing their soccer uniforms. But it was not the soccer uniforms that were a surprise to me, I’m numb to that stuff now. It was the next morning, Christmas morning, that was a surprise. We all woke up to see what Santa left, and in keeping with tradition, we sat down to read Santa’s note. It’s my job to read it, and as I was about a quarter of the way into it, I realized that this note

from Santa was more like a venomous sixmonth review for a bunch of employees who were about to be fired. People were getting called out for a chronic biting problem, for poisoning and killing the fish, for cutting someone’s hair, using permanent marker on the couch, crank calling people including two calls to 911 (When it’s all compiled in a list like Santa had it, jail time seems appropriate). Then Santa told them that they were so naughty that they all had to take six gifts each and give them back. It was at that moment that I began to tear up because there I was, the guy trying to figure out how to pay off the American Express bill and how to jam all the presents in the truck to lug down to Jersey. All for what? So they can give it back! Stephen Rich is a Plymouth father of four. He alternates the Dirty Laundry humor column with comedian Christine Hurley, a Plymouth mom of five. To book comedians Stephen Rich or Christine Hurley, contact Dawn Christensen at Loretta LaRoche Productions: or 508-746-3998 x 15. Dirty Laundry is a monthly humor column about day-to-day life raising kids. Basically it’s about not being afraid to air out the “dirty laundry” and say it like it is, making the rest of us not feel so alone.

Haven’t You Always Wanted to Tell Somebody Where to Go?

We Do Every Thursday. bsp emails a weekend fun planner every Thursday with 5+ ideas for local family fun. Sign up at BAYSTATEPARENT 25


unimportant PLEASURES with

10 for $10

or less

We W are gift givers. Whether it’s shopping for a gift or mak making something by hand, we enjoy the simple pleasure of b bringing someone a little joy,, a little smile, a little “knowing” that they were in our thoughts that day. This “kno season, we present 10 gifts that cost $10 or less. What’s seas even more wonderful than the price of our finds is that many of th these gifts are made locally by New England artists and entrepreneurs. entre


Little Lad Card Carrier $10


Cat Collars $9.99

3 1

Milk Chocolate Caramel $8 manufactured in Natick

Graphic Silly Pins $1 each Silver Circle Gallery, 75 Main St., Putnam, CT 06260


Fabric Baby Rattle $10 Sweet Bug Studio at

4 5

Screw Key Chain $10

Earrings $10 lack Sheep Designs at

8 9

Magnetic Clothespins $5.75 Funky Chicken Design at

Tokyomilk Bon Bon Lip Balm $10 (search under “other goodies”)


Little Art Flat Pocket Mirrors $9 (search under “other goodies.” Click “Tokyomilk”

About Christine and Faye Christine Guanipa and Faye Hurley are a mother-daughter team from the suburbs of Massachusetts schooled in the fine arts and with an insatiable love for DIY (do-it-yourself) design, fine arts, unnecessary shopping, 26 DECEMBER2011

flea market finds, accessories, and of course coffee and chocolate! Together, they bring a monthly taste of simple pleasures that are often overlooked, mostly unnecessary, but always inspiring.



A F MI LY TRE E S 16th Annual

Celebration of Children’s Literature

November 23 ~ January 1 36 whimsical trees decorated with inspiration from classic & contemporary children’s books Lead Sponsor

~Meet a picture book costumed character on weekend afternoons ~Meet authors Brian Lies, Melissa Stewart and Rose Lee on December 15, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

On Cambridge Turnpike, Concord, MA 978.369.9763 •

SureShot Portraits is located at the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley in Millbury. SureShot Portraits offers on site portrait printing so you can take home your portraits the same day! SureShot Portraits has professional photographers who are passionate and creative about photography. Our photographers have years of experience and are sure to capture your memories. Come see what clients are raving about! We offer complimentary beverages and snacks for all clients!

Get your Ho liday Cards here f or as little as 7 5¢

Mention this ad and we will waive our sitting fee. A $25.00 value! 508.690.0771 | SureShot Portraits is located next to Stride Rite, AT&T and near STAPLES.

Monday - Saturday | 10am-8pm Sunday | 12pm-6pm BAYSTATEPARENT 27


Make a visit to the Concord Museum part of your holiday tradition!




Christmas BY



they get into your home. I am a huge lover of Christmas and all of the decorations, insisting on getting the tree the day after Thanksgiving and keeping it until after New Year’s. When we cut our own, the tree lasts the entire time hardly losing any needles. The smell is fresh and amazing. • A real tree (pre-cut or cut-your-own) is a green option. For every tree cut down, one to three saplings are planted to replace it. Trees are renewable and recyclable. Christmas trees are grown in all fifty states and Canada, but eighty percent of our artificial trees come from China. In full disclosure, cutting down a tree is not for everyone. When we had a colicky baby, we pulled into the Belmont Lions’ Club parking lot and had the wonderful gentleman there tie a tree to our roof and were home within thirty minutes. (A pre-cut tree has its benefits, too!)

Amy Rodriguez is a Belmont mom of two children.

HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP? With over one hundred Christmas tree farms, Massachusetts makes it easy for you to get a tree. No matter where you live, you should be able to find one within a bearable driving distance for you and the kids. Although there is no way to cover all the farms here, The Massachusetts Christmas Tree Growers’ Association has compiled a list of cut-your-own tree farms. By far, the best way I have found to locate a farm and what it offers (as well as directions, hours, etc.) is from these two websites: You can make the Christmas tree hunt experience as easy or as “hard-core” as you’d like. At some farms, you simply need to wander the fields until you find the perfect tree, “tag it,” and then the people at the farm will cut it down for you. Or you can go to a farm where they will hand you a saw and you can wander

courtesy of the marchetti family, leominster

utting down a Christmas tree with my family is one of my favorite childhood memories. My parents loved it so much that, in their thirties, they started their own tree farm to be a part of making those memories for others. Although they recently retired (the tree farm is now a horse farm), our love for the Christmas tree tradition lives on. I have my own family now, and we have had some great times cutting down our own tree. As someone who grew up cutting down her own tree, I thought most people cut down their own tree. Now that I’ve asked around, I know this isn’t so. Many people seem to find the idea of cutting down their own tree daunting. But here is what you get in return: • Just like picking apples in an orchard or pumpkins in a patch, cutting down a tree brings you to the source. It’s easier to grab a bag of apples or a pumpkin from the supermarket, but what makes for better memories? It’s the same with cutting down a Christmas tree. • Tree farms tend to have an amazing sense of community. Kids can run around in their search to find “the perfect one.” Moms and dads may struggle a little bit to cut it down, but the whole family can work together to drag or carry the tree back to the car. • You feel like you are part of a simpler time. You can’t get much more Norman Rockwell than hunting for the most idyllic tree with your family, especially if it’s snowing. • Dads will feel manly and moms will feel like rock stars when they cut down their own tree. You might not be able to fix your ceiling fan or your air conditioner, but you can (probably) cut down a tree. • Kids love seeing the tree travel from where it grew to your own home. • Your tree will last much, much longer than a tree that has been pre-cut. Most trees that are precut have traveled from Canada and have not been watered as they wait to be picked up and brought home. Their needles often begin falling off soon after

amy cooper rodriquez

until you find your tree and then cut it down yourself. Some farms will tie it to the roof of your car for you. Find the farm that is right for your family. Some farms have cider, donuts and all sorts of holiday decorations. A few farms have sleigh rides, if the weather is right. (Don’t forget - sleigh rides require lots of snow, so be sure to check the status of rides.) Many places have hay rides. If you search, you might even be able to find a farm where Santa stops by. Then there are farms that have bouncy houses and petting zoos. Other farms have only trees. But even farms with only trees can be an adventure--pack your own hot chocolate in a Thermos, bring snacks, explore nature and make an afternoon out of it. Most importantly (I cannot stress this part enough), be sure to call or email to check hours and status of trees. Like orchards, some farms run out of trees quickly, close due to inclement weather or only open on weekends. Nothing is worse than schlepping all of your gear for a family adventure to find the adventure closed. Dress warmly. Wear lots of layers. Nothing makes for a sadder tree experience than the kids (and you) whining that they are cold. No matter what you choose: a small, low-key farm or a farm with amusements and rides, make sure you bring: water, layers of clothes, boots, snacks and an old sheet or tarp to protect the roof of your car. The farm usually provides the saw, as well as the rope to tie it to the car, but ask when you call ahead or when you check the website. Fill that Thermos with hot chocolate, grab your camera (what could make for more perfect pictures) and get ready to make some holiday memories.


Experience the Family Tradition for All Ages! CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS December 1-4, 7-11, 14-23, 26-30 and January 1



free goodies* | fun activities | coupons and giveaways

Auburn Mall Wear your PJ's and have Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 10 8:30 am - 10 am ~ Food Court

All Aboard!

THE POLAR EXPRESS! December 5, 6, 12, 13, 24 and 31

Simon Kidgits Club members be sure to RSVP at 508.832.6000 by 12/2/11. Limited to the first 100 members.

Solomon Pond Mall Wear your PJ's and have Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 10 8:30 am - 10 am ~ Food Court Simon Kidgits Club members be sure to RSVP at 508.303.6255 by 12/2/11. Limited to the first 125 members.

Visit Simon Guest Services for program details. *While supplies last

Get a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree. Text KIDS to 74666.

Located less than an hour from Boston and Providence.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years or older. Ends 10/31/12. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, visit Simon Guest Services or the Mall Office. Void where prohibited. Message and data rates may apply.

AUBURN MALL Exit 9 off I-290 or Exit 10 off I-90. Shopping Line® 508.832.6000.

Find us on:

SOLOMON POND MALL Exit 25B off I-495 or I-290 Shopping Line® 508.303.6255. BAYSTATEPARENT 29


Snowmen only a mother could

Love! paula monette ethier, creative director steven king, photographer carrie wattu, editor

Five sentimental snowmen that only a mother could love are the tattered treasures of baystateparent’s creative director, Paula Monette Ethier. “My boys made them when they were little, and they are dear to me,” she says. These snowy showpieces have lasted 19 years of set up and storage. This winter, make some sentimental snowmen with your children with these very simple projects.

Snow Mates: These snowmen come out of storage every year in November and stay until March. To make your own, stuff the fingers of a white glove with Fiberfill and stretch the glove over an upside-down margarine container. Decorate with markers, yarn scarves and handmade paper hats.

Tree Trinkets: A). Glue two Styrofoam balls on top of each other and decorate with Chenille Stems (aka pipe cleaners). Just snip the stems with scissors and push them into the Styrofoam. Make a loop to hang on the tree. B). Paint craft sticks white with black on the tip for the hat. Decorate with a ribbon scarf, a Chenille Stem hat brim and markers. Glue on a loop and hang. C). Paint a clothespin white. Add texture with spray snow. Glue gun twig arms and gem buttons. Make earmuffs with mini pompoms and a bit of craft wire. The nose is a toothpick sliver painted orange.



Michael Cooper Transformations occur before your eyes, Masked Marvels & Wondertales is a spell-binding show for all ages.

Trent Arteberry An extraordinary mime who deconstructs the physical world and reveals the magic within it.

Animal Adventures Get up close and personal to some of the cutest little creatures and learn about animal tails and tales!


$12 - December 25-30 $15 - At the Door


Rock with the Mohegan Sun All-Stars and Blues Brother Matt â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Guitarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Murphy at the Hanover Theatre from 10:00 PM â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Midnight!

Blue Man Group meets the Smothers Brothers for a fusion of raucous physical comedy and technology.

Tickets sold separately. Discounts available with your First Night button. Details at

Complete event details @

Presenting sponsors:

baystateparent BAYSTATEPARENT 31





I sat at a table where good wine and food were in abundance, but truth and sincerity were not. I went away hungry. ~Henry David Thoreau


shred potatoes and onions for latkes and mash apples for homemade applesauce while I dip Matzos into melted chocolate and put a brisket in the crock-pot. The smells are familiar


amanda roberge

and comforting, and it is then, gathered around the table, that we dial Ya-Ya and Pop-Pop’s number and try to pull them through the phone lines right to where we sit. “Happy Hanukkah!” my daughters cheer, and I feel only a slight pang of guilt as I glance at our Christmas tree set up in the next room. Defensively, I mumble “it’s only ornamental” to no one in particular. Ya-ya – otherwise known as Myrna, also otherwise known as my mother-in-law – doesn’t ask to talk to me. I sit and listen while my daughters list off menu items, and my husband grabs the phone and fills her in on the minutiae of our days. But I register her quiet approval; I smile with the knowledge that she has received my message to her – that her traditions are important to me. That I love her. That we all do. My mother-in-law does not have daughters – only three sons – and so I assumed (incorrectly) that her affections would be easily won. But these days, with her synagogue’s annual cookbook in hand, the dynamic has shifted and even if you can’t feel the love between us…you can most certainly taste it. Like my own, Myrna’s kitchen is cozy and warm but it’s a little tight in terms of

square footage. It’s the kind of intimate space that two people who adore each other can navigate with relative ease, but for two matriarchs who both covet the attention of the same 37-year old man and his three daughters, things have been known to get a little tense. These days I see my mother-in-law’s kitchen mostly in my mind as we stir soups, knead dough and compare holiday guest lists with our phones tucked between our ears and shoulders. These days, I find myself wishing I could wrap myself in woolen things and pull on my boots and visit her. I would wander out into the darkness and follow the well-worn path between our houses, knock loudly and be welcomed by her voice, sharing stories, prying into my business, complaining about the weather. To the non-Jewish daughter-in-law of a Jewish mother-inlaw, even the complaints would feel like a warm hug. With 500 miles between our homes, this has never been a reality. But if it was, I would be there – borrowing eggs and folding chairs, asking her to babysit while I finished cooking. Eager to impress, I would bring her samples of my baking: a loaf of Challah, some chocolate rugelah, a Tupperware full of Kugel. She would

remind me that she doesn’t eat that stuff (though Pop-Pop would be grateful for whatever I left behind), and she would gladly stop whatever she was doing and scoop up my kids, indicating that this would be a good time for me to get the

"'Happy Hanukkah!' my daughters cheer, and I feel only a slight pang of guilt as I glance at our Christmas tree..."

HAPPYHOLIDAYS hell out of her house and leave her alone with the girls. I would smile at the injustice, and it, too, would feel like love. Often, I find comfort within the pages of the Temple Beth Ami cookbook, a treasured gift that came sometime in the early years of my marriage. I thumb through the pages, looking for her name and for the names of her women-friends: Frankie, Beverly, Linda and Janie. Sometimes I find their recipes there, and I doggie-ear them with every intention of cooking up that storm. Sometimes just seeing their names next to the recipe for a cookie theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve forced upon me at a bridal shower or a post-wedding luncheon in the last decade is enough, and I close the book and tuck it away until next time. In the weeks following my engagement, while I am fairly certain nobody had actually expected me to convert to Judaism, there was the undertone of curiosity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of how we would handle our wedding ceremony, whether our children would attend services, study for their Bat Mitzvah, learn Hebrew. My mother-in-law knew better than to pressure me â&#x20AC;&#x201C; her oldest son had chosen, in me, a strong-willed woman whose temperament could rival hers. But underneath my bravado and sharp tongue, I am a traditional homebody â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a lover of the connection between the seasons, their rhythms and the smells and tastes and feelings. I love how sometimes the morning air smells like winter is coming, how cinnamon reminds me of the fall donuts my family always prepared in late October, how the taste of chocolate and peppermint together can evoke a crystal-clear memory of my mother stirring something delicious on the stove in her sock-feet on a braided rug. My husband â&#x20AC;&#x201C; over the years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has painted the picture of his childhood to me with descriptions of food â&#x20AC;&#x201C; foods Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never had like gefilte fish and lox, Manischewitz and macaroons. Hungry, I wanted even a small part of that story for our family too. To give my kids a piece of their heritage, a sample of

where they come from, no matter how diluted its flavor. My favorite holidays are now the ones we all get to spend together. There will be an occasional trip for Passover, and an even more occasional voyage in honor of Rosh Hashanah. Even Christmas gets a nod each year because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Myrnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birthday. Though few and far between, they leave me with a full belly for days, satisfied and content. After all these years, Myrna and I no longer find ourselves throwing elbows and egos around the kitchen, posturing for alpha-female status. We are more likely to decide ahead of time who grabs the role of head chef and bellies up to the counter, and who sits at the table, chopping vegetables, polishing water glasses, sticking organizational post-it notes on serving platters. She delights in shooting me nasty looks while I drink the lionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s share of the household wine, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned to roll my eyes at her while sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not looking. We take turns being the boss, and this has been the biggest compromise in my marriage. After all, we share a love of the same things â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the same three girls and the same men, not to mention the other people, little and big, that come along as part of the package. Hayden, Ellie, Hudson, Dave and Mara, Marc and Nasim. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our family and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complicated and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real and in the best of times, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really, really good. But it should come as no surprise that the kitchen countertop served as the most neutral and common ground for Myrna and me. The food is just the thing to bind us all together, and on a good day it can be the most delicious thing youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever had: savory and sweet, creamy and satisfying. It tastes like love. Amanda Roberge is a Leominster freelance writer and the mother of two children.

Share the gift that lasts a lifetime: Healthy Smiles MELVIN A. EHRLICH, D.D.S., P.C. Individualized Preventive Dental and Orthodontic Care for Toddlers, Children through Adolescence, and those with Special Needs Melvin A. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dr. Melâ&#x20AC;? Ehrlich, Pediatric Dentist William U. Murthy, Orthodontist for Children and Adults 223 Walnut Street, Framingham, MA 01702

(508) 875-KIDS (5437) Call for details about our FREE WeeCare Infant Oral Health Program















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CherylAnn Lambert Walsh Of HOPKINTON Age: 48 Mom of: Marrisa (7), Amber (12), Colin (14) and Amanda (15) Occupation: President & Founder of Project Just Because Married to: Mark BY

carrie wattu, steven king photography

you receive a present this year that you can’t use (again!) - perhaps a sweater that you won’t wear - CherylAnn Lambert Walsh, a Hopkinton mother of four, will take it. In fact, she’ll take absolutely any new gift that you don’t need. And it’s not just during the holidays. She accepts items all year round. But the gifts are not for her. CherylAnn is the year-round Santa. She is the type of person who can’t walk by the kid collecting change for his football team without handing him a $20 bill. She is a giver, so much so that 14 years ago, while caring for her three children under age 2, she filled her basement with new items, clothing, food, toys, toiletries, household goods, and opened her home to needy families to get what they needed. Just because. “My kids have grown up knowing that Mommy opens the doors to strangers and hands them stuff from the basement,” says CherylAnn. It surprises most people that there is a need for donations in the affluent suburb of Hopkinton, but CherylAnn says, “There are people in need in every community. I see it every day.” As word spread about CherylAnn’s generosity, people from every community began to come for a helping hand. Today CherylAnn rents a 7,000-square foot building in Hopkinton named Project Just Because (PJB). The building is filled with bins of new items and food for families in need. Help is available free of charge for everyone, and most days there



is a line out the door of people in need. CherylAnn says, “I don’t judge people. We are on the honor system.” “And it’s not just a warehouse,” she says. “There are stories.” Unfortunately, one of the most common

you’d have dinner with these people. It’s the economy and stress that makes them turn to violence. They feel they have nowhere to turn.” One such mom suffering from domestic abuse receives her family’s groceries at

stories CherylAnn has seen in this down economy is domestic abuse. “It’s large in my warehouse, and unfortunately it’s in every single community. You know these people are good people and kind people;

PJB to relieve her husband’s stress at not being able to feed his family. His hours have been cut back at work, and his family’s needs and bills are a tremendous source of pain, so much so that he resorts

to violence. “The economy has made people do what they have to do in survival mode. We are here for them. It breaks my heart when a young child comes in the door with bruises and says, ‘I walked into the wall,’” she says. Less than 11 months ago, a generous mom whom CherylAnn describes as having “the white picket fence” wrote CherylAnn a PJB check every week. Ironically, because of unemployment and the sickness of a child, she has become the one in need. “She is the most bubbly, happy person, looking good always, and saying, ‘What can I do to help?’” Today she needs the help. CherylAnn sees this every day. “They didn’t want this to happen to them. They lose a job and use their savings to pay for health insurance [COBRA]. They are literally in need.” She recalls one child visiting PJB with Band-Aids on her toes. CherylAnn assumed it was a sports injury but discovered the child did not have a pair of sneakers for gym so she squeezed her feet into sneakers that were a few sizes too small. To help families like these, CherylAnn encourages parents to come for a tour of Project Just Because with their children. “If you walk into the building one day from the front to the back, you will see the need. I guarantee it.” The experience can be powerful for children. Cheryl says, “It matters to love your neighbor, to know that others need help and to reach out for those in need.” Project Just Because has been a part of her children’s every day lives. “I hope in my heart that each one of them knows that


Items Project Just Because really needs this holiday season: Financial donations and gift cards for warm clothing for children as we are taking in over 15,000 children for three holiday wish programs. The economy is hard. The most unique item on my Christmas tree: angels from volunteers and past families in need New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plans or traditions: Rest after the holiday season, gear up for the kids skiing and watch ball drop on New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve if we stay awake A special Christmas memory: the first Christmas village my parents gave to me over 25 years ago and each year they add to it for my children to see Moms Rock is an award-winning monthly feature that celebrates the good that moms do. Do you know a mom who just rocks? Email

FAMILY TO FAMILY easy ways to help a local family

people are in need, and that when they open the door for someone, that really matters.â&#x20AC;? Visit for more information on volunteering and donating. Also please contact PJB if your family is in need. They help families keep their dignity by helping with sensitivity and privacy. Carrie Wattu is editor of baystateparent.

Take 10 with CherylAnn Best part of my day: when I get a goodnight hug from my little one We love going to: Cape Cod and Edaville Railroad for the Christmas lights No one would guess that: I love to kayak. Current family obsession: baking cookies

With the help of volunteers, Project Just Because runs 19 programs. If you are too crazed to get involved this holiday season, CherylAnn needs volunteers and donations year round.




â&#x20AC;˘ Project Just Because is open during the week. People are welcome to come and see the building and bring new items. â&#x20AC;˘ Volunteer with your children at the warehouse as little or as often as youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like. â&#x20AC;˘ Post any unwanted furniture on the furniture network at A needy family will connect directly with you by email or phone about picking up the furniture (there is no room for furniture in the PJB warehouse). You will receive a furniture tax receipt. To learn more about how your family can help: â&#x20AC;˘ Email CommunityServicePJB@ and ask to receive their weekly email.

Best things about the town where I am raising my children: feeling of a loving community who care for one another

â&#x20AC;˘ Like Project Just Because on Facebook.

Biggest challenge my family faces: the schedules of four kids with sports etc. and parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work schedules

â&#x20AC;˘ Call 508-435-6511 or visit

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carrie wattu, dara north illustrator


ennis Tarmey plans to take his niece and nephew to the Greater Boston District Post Office where he works as a Communications Programs Specialist. He wants to open their eyes to the needs of children in their home state by reading through the hundreds of Santa letters the branch receives every holiday season “You’ll see a few who ask for the world, but some of them ask for mittens and gloves. Some people were crying last year reading, ‘I don’t want anything. I want something for my sister.’” Dennis encourages you to visit too as the Greater Boston office displays Santa letters through Tuesday, December 20th. Children have been mailing their Santa letters to the North Pole at participating post offices around the country for 100 years. While it’s the busiest time of year for the post office, Lynn Legor, supervisor of the Millbury Post Office, makes sure that Santa answers every letter received as

Holidays to-do cookies to bake cards to write menus to plan parties to enjoy carols to sing decorations to hang stockings to fill families to visit gifts to buy gifts to wrap

Ho Ho...Oh Oh!

long as it has a return address. Each post office handles their Santa mail differently, but it’s something Lynn likes to do. It’s not just children who send letters. Lynn says that adults writing for their children pour out their family’s problems. These kinds of letters are most likely a sign of the tough economic times. Last year The Greater Boston branch received letters from adults explaining that they lost a job and didn’t know where to turn. The Greater Boston branch is the only office in the state that sets aside letters that clearly show a family’s need in a special “Operation Santa” file.* Anyone who wants to help needy families can visit the Boston office, read through the letters in the file and play Santa by shopping for a child. Last year, 1100 letters were received by the Greater Boston branch, and 552 were adopted by individuals and companies. This was an increase from 730 letters, 230 of which were adopted, in 2009. Dennis

says, “You have some great people out there.” The Operation Santa program runs in 24 offices across the country and has been a Boston tradition for more than 20 years. While children can mail Santa a letter at most post offices in the state, only the Boston office offers the Operation Santa program. If your family or workplace would like to sponsor a needy family, please note:

postage to have your package shipped to the family. When you select a letter proper addressing information will be provided.

• The “Operation Santa Office” is open through Tuesday, December 20th, 8 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Monday through Friday) and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The office is located at 25 Dorchester Avenue, Boston MA 02205 (Main Post Office located adjacent to South Station tracks).

• To ensure privacy, all personal information for the child and family (name, address, etc.) is omitted from each letter. You will be provided a copy of the letter which indicates the age of the child and notes whether the request is for a boy or girl.

• All gifts must be boxed, taped securely and brought to the Fort Point Station Retail Office also located at 25 Dorchester Avenue where you will need to pay for the

• Participants must visit the Operation Santa office in person and provide a valid ID and complete the required form to participate.

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• Packages must be received no later than Thursday, December 22 to ensure delivery by Christmas Eve. • All gifts must be ready to be shipped when brought into the post office in acceptable shipping packaging.

HAPPYHOLIDAYS • Due to the overwhelming demand of families in need, The Boston Postal District will consider letters that originate from Greater Boston. If you are one of these families, please mail your letters so that your Christmas wishes can be considered. However, wishes are only granted based on how many people volunteer. For more information about Operation Santa this holiday season, call 617-6545802. * Please also note: The Greater Boston Post Office distinguishes “Letters to Santa” from “Operation Santa” letters. Letters to Santa are letters where a child will send their wish-list to Santa, and the “Operation Santa” letters are identifying a needy child/family. Carrie Wattu is editor of baystateparent.

Dear Santa Parents, before your children send off their Santa letters, make a copy so that you have a keepsake that will make you smile every year. Here are some of our readers’ favorites:

Dear Santa,

I relly want you to come Becase: I was relly Good in class. I DiD’t fool around with some of the kids in class. I lisand to the teacher. If mom tells me to something I say yes. I am helpful. I don’t yell at resses. And of corese I Do not hit or punch. I was a good girl this year. Lauren Rudsit, age 7, Shrewsbury

Season’s Greetings from all of us at


Thank you for choosing Women’s Health of Central Massachusetts for your obstetrical, gynecological and urogynecological care. We wish you the very best for a happy and healthy holiday season. Worcester: 508-755-4861 Marlboro: 508-485-1056 Webster: 508-949-3600 Email: •





Open House

at the Shrewsbury and Auburn Campuses January 7th 1-3pm (Snow date January 8)

Elementary Grades One through Six Full Day Kindergarten Half Day and Full Day Preschool Ask about our Pre-Primary program for children 2.9 years old

Dear Santa,

I am not being nise to Mommy and I would like some presents. Katie, age 7, Sterling

Dear Santa,

For Christmas, I want a pillow pet...a money printer...a hamster please...the elf [on the shelf] to sleep in my room.... to find my DS and my room to always be clean. Leah Crowley, age 8, West Boylston

Dear Santa,

I love you because you give prezent’s to children every christmas eve. Please give stuff to poor children. I care about them. Mary christmas everyone! Nicky G., age 7, Worcester

Dear Santa,

Can I please have an iPhone because I can call people, I can text, and I can have my own songs on the iPod, so I don’t have to borrow my mom’s. Also, so I can make my own videos & take pictures. I also would like an itouch with a sparkly case. I need both so that I can take my phone to school, and leave my itouch in my room. Tess McCarthy, age 5, Scituate

Come see our Montessori classrooms in action! Call to schedule your visit 508.842.2116 55 Oak Street Shrewsbury MA 01545 135 Byrn Mawr Avenue Auburn MA 01501 BAYSTATEPARENT 37



Pollyart Never doze off without your Dozer! Neck support for stress free travel – no stiff necks. Low back support, germ free travel, easy to pack, easy to wash, has built in blanket, built in carry case. Great for college students. Made in USA and mother invented. $24.99 each 508-864-8354


Cutie Patutie’s Consignment All the best gifts, including a shopping cart! Have someone who loves to do what you do? Make them feel important with their own cart! True-to-scale replica for little helpers.

WubbaNub Infant Pacifier Moneky from All Star Child, Inc.

1021 Central Street Leominster, MA 01453 978-534-6604

Custom Jewelry from Heart and Stone

Artist Julie Booras creates handmade Custom Charm Necklaces and Stacking Rings made from Recycled Silver. Choose from a variety of shapes and beautiful natural gemstones and then personalize with names, initials, dates and meaningful words. Use the gift code BSP10 at checkout to receive 10% off your order.

This unique pacifier stays conveniently close to the baby without the use of a dangerous cords or clips. It offers endless soothing comfort and security in addition to encouraging the development of hand-eye coordination. It is comprised of the highest quality plush fabric and medical grade silicone which confirms to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requirements for infant products and pacifiers. Latex free.

North Shore Baby: A Field Guide for Parents North of Boston and Boston Baby: A Field Guide for Urban Parents from Union Park Press

PishPosh Carryall from PishPosh Mommy

Crystal Pompom Earrings from Marissa B.

A diaper bag essential! North Shore Baby is jam-packed with information parents need to make the most of raising a family north of Boston. Boston Baby is the guide Greater Boston parents have been waiting for! Gather up the kids, grab Boston Baby, and discover all the city has to offer! Available at Barnes and Noble, and

The PishPosh Carryall is an innovative organizer that allows any bag to be used as a Diaper Bag. This lightweight, machine washable organizer has pockets inside and out to fit all your baby and mommy essentials joining practicality with fashion for a perfect match! Use your favorite handbag as a diaper bag. Organize the bottom of your stroller and easily transport baby essentials from bag to bag, bag to stroller or stroller to diaper bag. With fabulous accessories like the Diaper Clutch and Wet Bag, PishPosh Mommy products are a must have for any Mom on the go.

Sparkle through the holidays and beyond with these eye-catching yet understated crystal pompom earrings. Versatile and very giftable, they will add a dash of glam to your daytime look and punch up your evening attire. Light-weight, artisan handmade in the USA, purchase individually or as a trio.


HAPPYHOLIDAYS Mommy Juice Wines Being a Mom is a constant juggling act. Whether it's playdates and homework, diapers and burp cloths, or finding that perfect balance between work and home, Moms everywhere deserve a break. So tuck your kids into bed, sit down and have a glass of MommyJuice—because you deserve it! MommyJuice Red Wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petot Verdot with aromas of bright berry fruits. MommyJuice White Wine is a Chardonnay with aromas of tropical fruit salad. MommyJuice Wines was founded by Cheryl Durzy, a mom of 2 and 10+ year veteran of the wine industry in Sales and Marketing at Clos LaChance Wines. These wines were inspired by her young children that point to wine glasses everywhere claiming “That’s Mommy’s Juice!” Her vision includes balanced, fruit-forward wines that bring just a bit of peace after the chaos of everyday life as a parent. available in MA at Kappy's Fine Wines & Spirits

The Magical Moon Foundation

Proceeds from the sale of the traditional story and song book, Merry Christmas: Best Loved Stories and Carols, will benefit The Magical Moon Foundation in Marshfield, which nurtures and empowers children with cancer. To order yours, call 781-740-2511 or visit $15.95.

baby cakes by Sara

A baby cake is a diaper cake that’s handcrafted out of premium brand diapers and other baby essentials to resemble an actual cake - a perfect baby shower gift! Choose from 10 different baby cakes or “bake your own” right on the website. Sock Roses & Lollipop Washcloths are also available. Everything is assembled by Sara herself, right here in Massachusetts. “David” is show here and includes 60 size 1 Pampers Swaddlers; travel size Johnson’s body wash, shampoo, lotion and baby powder; manicure set; comb & brush set; Wet Ones hand & face wipes; and a rubber duck diaper trash bag dispenser with bags & refill.

▲ Snoozeshade Blackout Blind Now, thanks to Snoozeshade, on-the-go moms and dads can take their little ones everywhere and know they will still get in their much needed naps. The SnoozeShade blackout blind replaces the haphazard drapery-job over baby’s stroller, offering a secure sleeping solution for baby. SnoozeShade easily attaches with Velcro straps to most strollers and car seats making it portable for your many wheels! The SnoozeShade blackout blind blocks 94% of light so babies can sleep anywhere! The protecting cover also shields baby from weather elements such as rain, snow, and sun with sunburn-preventing UPF50+ throughout, as well as insects and pests. SnoozeShade Original recently won the PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Seal of Approval. SnoozeShade products include the Snoozeshade Original $34.99, SnoozeShade for Infant Car Seat $29.99 and SnoozeShade Plus $49.99. SnoozeShade is available at and via

Kuku Dolls by the Dolly-Mamas LLC The Kuku Dolls are Knitted/Crocheted/Felted Kits. Choose from 50 unique, multicultural, colorful, kid friendly dolls with no loose parts and able to float! The instructional DVD “KuKu Dolls – Knit ‘em and Felt ‘em” presented by international knitwear designer, Lucy Neatby makes it easy for knitters of all ages and skill levels to learn to make these adorable dolls. Making a KuKu Doll is a terrific project to do with your children or grandchildren. The Dolly-Mamas LLC is a social entrepreneurship that donates a portion of all profits to children’s charities worldwide. They are available at fine yarn shops everywhere and online. They make you smile! 781-444-9341

Neatnik Saucer®

This pleasant fragrance-free ointment soothes baby’s most sensitive skin while keeping it protected. It is absolutely the most effective diaper rash treatment product available today. Grandma El’s reduces the redness, pain, itching and irritation caused by diaper rash. This ointment creates a patented breathable, softening, protective barrier which prevents wetness from coming in contact with the skin, therefore keeping your baby comfortable.

The perfect solution to dining out with baby. Neatnik Saucer is the only high chair cover and placemat all-in-one that prevents the food and toys from falling on the floor and offers the little diner a tidy, safe and clean play space. Neatnik Saucer is portable, lightweight, fits all restaurant high chairs and some home styles as well. It cleans up in a snap and travels in its 12” square tote. Designed for babies 6 months to 3 years. This perfect, unique gift offers parents and grandparents less mess and a whole lot less stress! Evaluated by Lekotek/AblePlay to be a “Great Find” in all 4 categories of disability.

Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy and Prevention from All Star Child, Inc.





40% off everything in the store on purchases of $10 or more.






(Excludes tights, shoes, candy, previously purchased merchandise, and already discounted items)

FOrnaments FJewelry F FDance Apparel F FHoliday Gifts to Make Every Ballerinas Heart Sing! F F Stocking Stuffers for All Ages F

Presenting a revelation in children’s clothing... Visit us for the latest in holiday styles, gifts and accessories. We feature boys and girls sizes from infant through pre-teen and we are Tea Collection Passport Members. Also Offering: - Custom Gift Baskets - Baby Registry - Private Shopping Events - Shipping anywhere in the U.S.

HOURS: MON & TUES 9-6, WED & THURS 1-6, FRI 10-2, SAT 9-3

Hours of Business: Mon: By appointment only Tues - Fri: 10 a.m - 6 p.m. Sat: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

36 NORTH MAIN STREET ROUTE 140 NORTH GRAFTON ...a super cute boutique

290 West Main Street - Northborough, MA 01532 - (508) 393-5437


TLC Christian Preschool A Ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church Conveniently located across from the Worcester Art Museum

73 Lancaster Street, Worcester, MA 01609

Enrollment space available for a mid-year start. Enrollment for 2012 begins February 1st. st. ½ OR FULL DAY PROGRAMS Qualified, nurturing staff ½• OR FULL DAY PROGRAMS

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Christmas BY

allen stein, lena hunter illustrator

pendulum has swung once again for American families - from decades of abundance to basic survival. Many recently or long-term unemployed parents are finding themselves approaching the holidays in survival mode and wondering what to do about their children’s high expectations. Your son longs for that next-generation iPod Touch or $100 pair of Nike sneakers. Your daughter has her eyes set on a high-end Coach handbag to match her new faded blue jeans and pink sweater. “All you can say is I am so sorry. I can’t meet your needs at this time,” says Joyce Dolberg Rowe, director of clinical services at The Door is Open Counseling Center in Quincy. Dolberg Rowe has seen and heard some



heart-wrenching stories about parents with money problems. Money is just too tight to afford to buy presents - let alone pay the electricity bill to keep the holiday lights aglow. Some parents, broke but unable to break the bad news that Santa isn’t coming this year, have made the wrong decision to go deeper into credit card debt to keep the illusion of Christmas alive for another year. Even if it means not being able to pay the mortgage or car loan, or shutting off the cell phone and cable television service. Dolberg Rowe says that she still believes in the rational goodness of children and adolescents. “If there is a financial struggle in the home, I think they are aware, and even if they hate it and feel angry about it, if a parent approaches a child of any

age and explains that Mum and Dad wish they could get you what you want for Chanukah or Christmas, this year money is tight and I must ask you to help with your understanding heart and best mature attitude.” When it comes to lessons of the heart, she says, “I am a big experience person. Teaching children to do without so many material possessions around the holidays can be a good lesson in character building.” Still, many unemployed parents can’t seem to rise above the feelings of guilt and shame at being jobless and unable to provide during the holidays. Being unemployed cuts to the heart of an adult’s self-esteem. Dolberg Rowe recalls one cash-strapped parent who shut off his cell phone but spent money on birthday clothes for his children. “He just didn’t have the heart to do it,” Dolberg Rowe says. So he went further into debt just to be able to give. But if money is not so tight this year that maybe one gift per family member won’t break the budget, many parents are finding a good solution in consignment shops. Consignment shops always offer an abundance of toys to help parents whose younger children feel that Santa will come to save the day, but they can also be used for the preteen and teen as well. Vintage gifts are considered quite hip. Shopping consignment is even considered responsible as going green during the holidays through recycling is trendy. And the price is right, consignments shop owners say. “People are more creative now, and we are definitely seeing parents using consignment shops to do their holiday shopping,” says Leah Mung, owner of Alexis Grace Consignment in Worcester. What’s the difference between a lightlyused Juicy Couture custom handbag and a brand new one? About $100 or more “crazy money,” says Mung. “A sterling silver ring is still a great gift even if it’s used. It isn’t going to go bad. And there is a lot here that isn’t used,” she says. Mung says that craft items are a big sell, too. Something unique and interesting for the entire family to gather and assemble together. “People are also bringing in their things they aren’t using any more and are making a few dollars for the holidays,” Mung says. At Second Time Around, a chain of consignment shops located in the Boston area, many parents have discovered an affordable shopping nirvana of holiday gifts for pre-teen girls. “During the holidays we have lots of moms come and shop for bags and accessories that their ‘tween’ daughters are after…- labels such as Coach, Juicy Couture and Dooney and Bourke are on our shelves in like-new condition and make wonderful affordable holiday gifts at up to 75 percent off their original retail value,” says Jeanne Nicholson, the store

chain’s director of marketing. “Teens wants all the latest fashions from Abercrombie and Hollister to UGG. When Mom finds it for half the price of the mall, it will give her some holiday cheer right into the new year without breaking the holiday budget,” says Cassandra Abramson, owner of Cutie Patuties and Q-Teens Consigment Store in Leominster. Margee Perez, owner of Finders Keepers consignment shop in Quincy, says that the overall economy is tough. “I had a woman this morning who bought a bunch of bead kits to use as Christmas gifts. Parents are also buying winter jackets, winter clothing and school clothing. We have better names like Ralph Lauren.” The material aspects of the holidays aside, Dolberg Rowe says she believes the meaning of the holidays is lost if it’s only about giving and receiving presents. A parent being unemployed and unable to afford a gift may actually be able to unite their families during bad times. Perhaps the family can give the gift of volunteering for a local cause and start new traditions that take the emphasis off the commercial side of Christmas. Allan Stein is a freelance writer and former reporter and editor with a variety of daily and weekly publications throughout New England and California. He currently resides in Quincy.


carrie wattu

Parents may have to ease teens into the idea of having a consignment Christmas, but little ones who believe that Santa will save the day will never even notice that the Legos or tricycle they receive on Christmas morning were purchased off of Craig’s List or at a consignment shop. In fact, it just makes things easier on the family as there will be no crazy packaging to wrestle with on Christmas Eve or morning. How many times have you actually lost important pieces in all of the plastic, cardboard and paper? Consider buying some big bows or plain white boxes to package the like-new toys in classic wrappings. You can explain to children who notice that their toy is not in the original box that it came directly from Santa’s workshop. Ask friends to trade their like-new DVDs and books with you so that each of your children will have new movies and books stuffed in their stockings. There is enough plastic to go around in this world without having to buy new if you are open to consigning your Christmas. And by the time they are teens, your tradition of re-purposing gifts will be one of your family’s holiday traditions.



lori belton


a child growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I remember watching humorist Erma Bombeck on Good Morning America. She became famous through her syndicated newspaper column highlighting the trials, tribulations and sometimes absurd expectations of motherhood. Although I was too young to understand her humor, I liked her anyway; she had a big smile and made my mother laugh. As an adult, I find Erma Bombeck brilliant. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:

“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.” “Being a child at home alone in the summer is a high-risk occupation. If you call your mother at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you.”

“Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids.” “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”



Enrolling Now!

All of our centers enters are NAEYC N E NA EYC accredited  Enrolling children from 4 weeks to 12 years Ê Center Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ‰ Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Provided Center Locations Include: Granite St., & Grove St. in Worcester Charlton, Devens, Fitchburg & Gardner Family Care Offices in Devens, Leicester, Whitinsville & Worcester

Early Education and Care Since 1913 888-798-4567

But this is the one that haunts me:

“If I had my life to live over, I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.” Oh, how that sends a chill right through me. Too much of my adult, married life I have concerned myself with the constant mess from children and one large dog inhabiting my “work-in-progress” house. I wished I could care less about these things. I still care, but 2011 has been the year that I let it all go. Not just the mess but the mommy guilt too. I understand (finally!) that I need more than quick school yard conversations with other moms after the kids are handed over to their teachers for the day. No matter how meaningful these quick exchanges and confidences may be, they are never long enough. I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions. They are a fun, if sometimes futile, tradition. But last December I made my first New Year’s resolution in many years, partly motivated by Erma and also inspired by my upcoming 40th birthday. With 40 around the corner and my children growing older and more independent, I pledged to spend more time with my friends. Determinedly, 2011 was the year that I made semi-regular lunch plans with a dear friend. I managed to host play dates at my home and entertain friends for evening drinks and appetizers. I accepted more invitations than I declined. Climbing Mt. Everest, running a marathon or swimming with sharks it is not. But I am proud of myself. It’s time, way past time to be honest, for me to really invest in friendships that mean so much to me. Invest in the laughter, joy and comfort these female relationships bring me. Friendships I need. With Erma’s advice and my 2011 resolution firmly planted in my mind, I finally, finally feel that I’m headed in the right direction for 2012 and the next decade of my life. Lori Belton is a Worcester mom of two. “On My Plate” is a forum for Massachusetts parents. Do you have a viewpoint you’d like to express, a story or experience you’d like to share? You don’t have to be a published writer to be considered. Please submit essays to for review. BAYSTATEPARENT 43




Aura Restaurant Chef Rachel Klein invites families with children to enjoy a delectable meal in an environment where the kids can act up while the parents wind down! Fine Dining â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Family Styleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at Aura Restaurant at the Seaport Hotel is the ideal excuse for parents of young children to escape the house, without having to pay for a babysitter. In December, kids will enjoy Hanukkah and Christmas themed crafts from Samara Lamm of The Kids Place 4 Fun in Needham (, lots of toys, a movie and kid-friendly food. Parents will enjoy a memorable meal from an award-winning chef and hopefully, a few moments of relaxation! Grownups enjoy their own a la carte dinner menu for $35 per person, plus tax & service, while kids can select from their own a la carte menu of kid-friendly favorites. Friday, December 16, 2011 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM Aura Restaurant at the Seaport Hotel One Seaport Lane, Boston, MA 02210 Call 617-385-4300 or for reservations.

Be Healthy Boston A new kind of urban wellness retreat to be held on January 28-29, 2012 at the Westin Boston Waterfront, assures a unique experience that connects community members with local health and wellness businesses, service providers and experts in a highly interactive setting. Includes 3 Keynotes and 15 workshops with over 35 experts on all topics of wellness. Sample fitness classes, mini spa treatments, cooking demonstrations with award-winning chefs, book signings with best-selling authors, great take home gifts and plentiful samples. Silent auction to benefit Dana Farber Cancer Instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies.

Concord Museum A Love of books and reading is a lifelong treasure passed from adult to child, from generation to generation. The 16th annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Literature at the Concord Museum in historic Concord, Massachusetts gives Concordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s renowned literary tradition a creative twist. From November 23, 2011 through January 1. 2012. the Museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s galleries are filled with 36 fanciful trees of all shapes and sizes, decorated with original ornaments inspired by acclaimed childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s storybooks and contemporary picture book favorites. Check our website to reserve space in our Morning with Santa or for the schedule to meet Classic Storybook Characters like the Little Nutbrown Hare or the Berenstain Bears. 200 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742 978-369-9763 â&#x20AC;˘

Crash Prevention Training for Teens and Parents


The In Control program is a hands-on, closed course training that focuses on developing instinctual reactions to real world emergencies and making attitudinal adjustments that result in more skilled and cautious driving. The training includes defensive driving techniques, spatial awareness, tailgating drills, rapid decision-making, speed control, distracted driving (including cell phones and texting), proper backing up procedures, personal risk assessment and much more. This highly effective program is taught by state certified professionals and has been measured to decrease the incident of first time driver crashes by 70%. Additionally, most graduates qualify for auto insurance discounts. Driving is the #1cause of teen deaths nationally and more than half of new drivers crash within their first two years on the road. Protect your teen and sign him/her up today! Classes are offered at approved facilities across Massachusetts, most weekends and some weekdays, year round. Gift certificates for this half-day course make great holiday gifts! Log on to for special discounts for baystateparent readers.

exhale Battery Wharf mind body spa is a hidden gem in the busy streets of Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s North End! exhale is a full functioning spa of massage, esthetics, healing therapies along with yoga and core fusion classes! This is a great gift for well-deserved moms who need to treat themselves! Create memories together with a group of friends, or relax in this beautiful oasis solo. Either way it will be a day to remember! 2 Battery Wharf, Boston, MA 02109 617-603-3664 â&#x20AC;˘


â&#x20AC;&#x153;God Bless us, everyone!â&#x20AC;? Continue our family holiday tradition and start getting in the holiday spirit with Troy Siebelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; adaptation of Charles Dickensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; classic tale. You know the story, you love the message of Christmas redemption, and the love for mankind that the season brings. Join us for our 4th annual spectacular production of Charles Dickensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; A CHRISTMAS CAROL 2 Southbridge Street, Worcester, MA 01608 877-571-SHOW â&#x20AC;˘

At the EcoTarium, you can explore hands-on science and nature exhibits, meet an array of live animals, travel through space in a digital planetarium, and take a ride on the Explorer Express train. Now open: The Arctic Next Door: Mount Washington, a new permanent exhibit about New Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest peak that will blow you away! 222 Harrington Way, Worcester, MA 01604 508-929-2738 â&#x20AC;˘

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts




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BetweenTravelTrips Agency Jodi Howe 774-200-3456 (mobile)

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The Boston Ballet

Kings is a huge entertainment facility featuring ten-pin bowling lanes, premium bars, a full-service restaurant Skee Ball, billiards, shuffleboard and more. With its retroinspired vibe and state-of-the-art equipment, Kings offers a modern option for those seeking a hotspot that hearkens back to an era when good times ruled. That era is back at Kings! Fun for families! After 6 p.m. Kings is reserved for ages 21+ only! 50 Dalton St., Boston, MA 02115 617-266-2695, 600 Legacy Place, Dedham, MA 02026 781-329-6000,

SHOP Official provider of Nutcracker souvenirs and merchandise. The City’s best assortment of collectible nutcrackers – plus a bevy of unique gifts, stocking stuffers and collectibles! Shop in the Opera House lobby during performances or www.

Museum of Russian Icons Order a bit of art from the Museum collection! Our hand-painted ceramic holiday ornaments are created in Uzbekistan by skilled artisans, crafted to portray an icon from the Museum collection. The artists’ unique painting techniques creates a raised texture on the painted surface you can actually feel. Choose from six distinctive styles: Saint Nicholas, Mary Magdalene, Sign Mother of God, Lord Almighty or two different Nativity scenes. Museum of Russian Icons located at 203 Union Street in Clinton, MA 978.598.5000

Why shop when you can create?

TICKETS The Nutcracker, now through Dec 31. Live music and extraordinary dance – Boston’s #1 Holiday Tradition – See this version for the last time! Spring 2011 tickets available now. Curtain Pass – the perfect holiday gift! 6 tickets, 7th free. Call 617-695-6955 for details. Restrictions apply. All performances at The Boston Opera House www. CLASSES Get in shape for the New Year with Boston Ballet School’s Adult Dance and Fitness Classes including Ballet, modern, Pilates and character. Purchase a 10 class card at www. Adult classes for all levels, ages 16+ • Beginners Welcome. 3 Studio Locations: Boston, Newton and Marblehead.

Visit for programs and monthly calendar of events

paint your own pottery & bead studio The Melting Pot – A Fondue Restaurant Give the gift of fun & interactive fondue this holiday season. There’s nothing more enjoyable than reminiscing about the years past, and those to come, over a warm and inviting pot of delicious fondue. Bedford/Burlington, MA & Framingham/Natick, MA Bedford: 781-791-0529, Framingham: 508-875-3115

Route 9, Shrewsbury (Next to White City East) s (508)798-9950

MUSEUM FAMILY DAY Saturday, December 17, 9am-3pm

Providence Children’s Museum Give the gift of PLAY! A Providence Children’s Museum Membership gives children, parents and grandparents a year of joy-filled play and learning. Includes free and unlimited admission for one year, gift shop and birthday party discounts, and other great benefits. 100 South Street, Providence, RI 02913 401- 273-5437 •

Wheelock Family Theatre Tickets make great gifts! Gift certificates are available for 2, 4, 6, or 8 tickets to either or both WFT productions: “The Wizard of Oz” or “The Miracle Worker.” 200 The Riverway in Boston near Fenway 617-879-2300 •

Give the gift of music..... A gift that will last a lifetime. UÊ>“ˆÞ‡vÀˆi˜`ÞÊ̜ÕÀÃÊÊÊÊUÊÀiiÊÀivÀiœi˜ÌÃÊÊÊÊUÊ/>Ži‡…œ“iÊ>ÀÌÃÊ>˜`ÊVÀ>vÌÃÊ>V̈ۈ̈ià UÊ>ŽiÊޜÕÀʜܘʜÀ˜>“i˜ÌÃÊ>˜`ÊV>À`ÃÊÊÊUÊ-̜ÀÞÌiiÀÊ>̈iÊÀii˜Ê«iÀvœÀ“ÃÊ,ÕÃÈ>˜ÊœŽÌ>iÃÊÊ UÊ Ý«œÀiÊ̅iʘiÜÊëiVˆ>Êi݅ˆLˆÌˆœ˜ÊCelebrating the Season: Icons of the NativityÊ

*Lessons and Classes *All Ages and Abilities *All Instruments and Voice 11 Irving Street, Worcester 508-635-6900 *Use your WOO Card for discounts!

*Not affiliated with Worcester Academy

UÊ-«i˜`ÊfÓäʜÀʓœÀiʈ˜Ê̅iÊÕÃiՓÊ-…œ«]ÊÀiViˆÛiÊ>ÊÌÀ>`ˆÌˆœ˜>Ê“>ÌÀޜŎ>Ê`œI IÕÃiՓÊ-…œ«ÊœvviÀÃÊÛ>ˆ`Ê܅ˆiÊÃÕ««ˆiÃʏ>ÃÌ°Ê"˜iÊ­£®Ê`œÊ«iÀÊÌÀ>˜Ã>V̈œ˜°

203 Union Street . Clinton . Massachusetts 978.598.5000 BAYSTATEPARENT 45



photo courtesy of improbable players

A SOBER STAGE A Waltham group of young, diverse actors, Improbable Players, tour schools presenting plays on peer pressure, alcohol and drugs, HIV/ AIDS, dating violence and addiction. All of the actors are in long-term recovery, and all of the plays are developed from their life stories. After each performance they tell their own stories of change. An authentic and honest show for any middle school or high school!


We’ve never taken our children to a First Night celebration and do not know what to expect. “If you’ve never been to First Night, you’ve been missing the best family-friendly arts festival ever! Early in the day, the Worcester Art Museum area and lovely surrounding churches host the highest caliber of non-stop performances and activities filled with every genre of the arts from master mimes, life-size puppet theatrics, open hands-on studios to physics professors who juggle the likes of DNA molecules! The event takes place indoors within an easily accessible footprint that allows celebrants to walk from one place to another. Parking is ample and free at the museum and the participating churches. First Night is the best bargain in town…admission is a $10 button from 12/1-12/24, $12 from 12/25-12/30, and $15 at the door. Children 7 and under are FREE!” — Joyce Kressler, First Night Worcester


photo courtesy of safetynet

Last June, a 15-year-old boy with autism wandered to Boston’s subway system. Public safety officials could detect the radio frequency signal emitted from the SafetyNet™ bracelet he was wearing and rescue him. To find out more about this lifesaving device and how it can help your family, visit The LoJack company is based in Westwood.


Jill Rosenwald, a Boston-based designer and mom of two, has a studio in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood (her 13-year-old daughter gives a personal tour online). Jill’s lamps, bowls, mugs, trays and vases have bsp dreaming of “someday.” Especially smitten is our newlywed on staff, Staci Bisset. See it all:

As many families accumulate new items this holiday season, please consider cleaning out your closets and donating your lightly-used clothing and small household items to The Big Brother Big Sister Foundation. They collect donations door to door in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. To schedule a free curbside pick up, call 800-483-5503 or email Your donations are tax deductible.

Junkdrawers strives to highlight the products, people and places of Massachusetts. Have an idea? Email 46 DECEMBER2011

photo courtesy of jill rosenwald



Continued from page 19

OH,THEPLACESYOU’LLGO you share stories of farm and woodland creatures. Meet some of the main characters of the stories. Enjoy games, songs, snacks and crafts to go with our stories. If the weather permits, venture outdoors to explore. For C age 8 and under. $12pp NM. Register: 781-2592200,

16FRIDAY ONGOING & FREE The Enchanted Village. Jordan’s Furniture, Avon. Ends Jan. 1. This vintage collection from Jordan Marsh and later the City of Boston, is on permanent display in Avon. Santa will visit each day: Mon. - Fri., 12 – 4 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 508-580-4600, ONGOING & FREE MOMS Club of Hubbardston Area. This monthly membership circle/open playgroup features guest speaker: Susan Tordella. Serves Barre, Hubbardston, Princeton and Templeton. 508-667-8102,

17SATURDAY ONGOING The Velveteen Rabbit. Boston Children’s Theatre (BCT) at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston. Dec. 3 – 18. All performances at 2 p.m. $25pp. Handmade Cards. Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak St., Brockton. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. A special opportunity for kids of all ages to create unique,

hand-made objects. Led by professional artists. Advance registration is strongly suggested.Admission: A$8, C FREE. Snow Sculptures will be held on Sat., Jan. 22. Meet Ladybug Girl. The Concord Museum. Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Rd., Concord. 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. From the best-selling series by Jacky Davis and David Soman, Lulu is “Ladybug Girl,” and she’s ready for fun festively dressed in red-and-black polka-dot wings, a red tutu and antennas. Included free with Family Trees Admission. 978-369-9763, Also Dec. 18. The Annual Holiday Program at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House. 399 Lexington Rd., Concord. 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Orchard House will be decorated for the holidays with the tasteful, festive simplicity that the Alcotts were noted for, and come alive with costumed “Living History” characters, activities for children and families, and take-home mementos! A $12; Sr. and St.$10; Y (6 - 17), $8; C (2 – 6) $4; Under age 2, free. Family rate available. Advance reservations strongly suggested. 978-3694118, Also Dec. 18. ONGOING The Story of the Nutcracker. Drawbridge Puppet Theatre, Lunenburg. Every Sat. and Sun., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Marionettes, shadow and hand puppets will delight audiences throughout December. $5pp. Reservations are strongly reccomended: 800-401-3694, The Wonders of the Stars at the Holidays. Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St. (Rt.16), Natick. 7 – 9 p.m. Winter is one of the clearest times to look at the sky. Just what is Orion’s belt and why can you only see it in the winter? Enjoy stars, snacks and hot drinks. A$15, C$8 NM. Register: 508-655-2296. Owl Prowl for All Ages. Mass Audubon’s

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St. (Rt.16), Natick 4:30 – 6 p.m. Come with the whole family to learn about owl calls, behavior and habitat and search for frequent evening owl visitors, the screech owl and great horned owl. A$12, C$8 NM. Register: 508-655-2296. FREE A Night in Bethlehem. Fisk Memorial United Methodist Church, 106 Walnut St., Natick. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Characters in Biblical costumes tell the story of the young family from Nazareth who have just given birth to their first child, a son. Those attending will experience the feel, taste, sound and smells of what life was like at this miraculous time. See and enjoy crafts, authentic food, music and games that children would have played the year Jesus was born. Free but pre-register: 508-653-1674. Culinary Housing. Smolak Farms, North Andover. 10 a.m. - Noon. Make your very own personalized house made out of flavored icings, candy canes, chocolate snowmen, candy sprinkles, gum drops, cookies and loads of fresh-from- the-oven gingerbread. Receive given step-by-step instructions under the expert eye of the Smolak Farms bakers. Santa will visit. $40 per parents/child. Space limited. Register: 978-6826332 x 0 using a major credit card. Santa’s Tea. Gore Place, Waltham. See Dec. 10 listing for details. Holiday Family Workshop. Worcester Art Museum. 1-3 p.m. Make gingerbread houses. Visit for more information on fees and registration. A Christmas Journey. The EcoTarium, Worcester. 12:30,1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Begin with a storytime, featuring Chris Van Allsburg’s classic winter tale The Polar Express. The holiday tale then comes alive as the EcoTarium’s “elves” help families to the train station to board the Explorer Express Train for a

trip around the EcoTarium’s grounds as children ring their bells. Hot cocoa, cookies and a visit with Santa follows. $7 plus museum admission. Reservations required: 508-929-2703,

18SUNDAY Magic Show with Rupayan Neogy. The Discovery Museums, Acton. 12 p.m. Held at the Science Discovery Museum. $10.50pp, C under 1 FREE. Meet Ladybug Girl. The Concord Museum. See Dec. 17th for details. Holiday Memories. American Girl, Natick. Available during Bistro hours. Create a special holiday decoration to display year after year. Includes a delicious meal, a commemorative photograph and a memory booklet. $35pp. Ages 6+. Reservations: 877-247-5223, Sunday Brunch with Santa. The Oliver Wight Tavern, Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Reservations are recommended. A$19.95, C under 10 $8, C under 3 FREE. 2nd Annual Gingerbread Castle Competition and Holiday Celebration. Higgins Armory, Worcester. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Local bakers, culinary students, and restaurateurs compete for the #1 spot. Museum guests will be asked to cast a vote for their favorite gingerbread castle. Classical guitarist, Carl Kamp, will perform holiday favorites while the Master Singers of Worcester stroll the museum a capella caroling. Children will have the opportunity to decorate a delicious gingerbread cookie of their very own. A$10, C (3-16) $7. 508-853-6015,

Gigueres offers so much for your family For the Kids UÊÊޓ˜>Ã̈Và UÊÊ >˜Vi UÊÊ՘}vÕ UÊÊ …iiÀˆ˜} UÊÊ …ˆ`Ê >Ài UÊÊvÌiÀÊ-V…œœÊ >Ài UÊÊ-«iVˆ>Ê ˆ˜ˆVÃ

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ONGOING Frog Pond Winter Skate. Boston Common. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Mondays. Admission (14+): $5pp, C 13 and under FREE. Equipment rental is available. 617-78-SKATE,

ONGOING Winter Skate at Patriot Place. Foxborough. Mon. - Thurs., 12 – 9 p.m.; Fri., 12 – 11 p.m.; Sat. and school holidays, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. The 60-by-140-foot, refrigerated ice surface is designed specifically for recreational skating, and features a observation deck for non-skaters. Large enough to accommodate beginners and experts alike, the professional surface provides ideal skating conditions at all times. Onsite skate rentals, concessions and bathrooms are available and parking is free. A$8, C 12 and under $6. Ice skating rentals $4. 508-203-2100.

FREE Act It Out. Barefoot Books, 89 Thoreau St., Concord. 11 – 11:30 a.m. All ages. Acting out stories is beneficial to your child and a lot of fun! 978-369-1770, ONGOING Christmas Festival of Lights. Edaville USA, Carver. Ends Jan. 1. Weekdays, 4 – 9 p.m. and weekends, 2 – 9 p.m. Vintage amusement rides, visits with Santa, indoor play areas and over 7 million Christmas lights and a 2-mile heated train ride. A$18, C (2+) $16, Under 2 free. 877-EDAVILLE,

Arlington. 7 p.m. Also Dec. 27 – 30. The evening begins with a live show in which your host will lead you through a vocal warm-up, judge the fancy dress competition and award the prizes. Costumes are not compulsory but they are highly recommended and you will be amazed at the inventiveness on display. The host will then show you how to use your free goody bag throughout the film and suggest some appropriate heckles and accompanying actions (such as hissing the countess, barking at Rolf and, of course, cheering for Julie). Then, you sit back and watch the original 1965 movie in glorious Technicolor ™ with the lyrics for all the songs on the screen, so you won’t miss a chance to sing your hearts out. The audience takes over as the star of the show from this point

Happy Chanukah!

photo courtesy of edaville railroad.

Make a Gingerbread House. American Girl, Natick. 4:30 p.m. Design and decorate your own gingerbread house with frosting and lots of candy decorations. Also enjoy a delicious meal. Reservations required. For girls ages 8+. $40pp. FREE Chanukah Concert with David Polansky. 60 Stein Circle, Newton. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. The encore will be latkes, sufganiyot and gelt! PALS (Preschoolers And Little Siblings) programs are high-quality, free events that arej ust right for preschoolers. You can never have too many PALS! 617-964-7765,

21WEDNESDAY FREE Baby and Me: Loving and Learning Together. St. Peter’s Church, 929 Main St., Worcester. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. An opportunity for adults and their infants (ages birth to 1 year old) to get together to share experiences, discuss the joys and challenges of parenting and have fun. 508-421-4500. Worcester Sharks Vs. Springfield Falcons. 7 p.m. Baby Yoga. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 10 – 11 a.m. Bring your baby for a yoga class. Call to confirm and inquire about fees: 508-835-6666,

22THURSDAY Decorate and Drum. 212A Mass Ave., Arlington. 3:30 – 5 p.m. Kids will learn to express their own rhythms, interpret drum circle cues and improvise music as a group. They’ll also learn basic metal embossing techniques that they’ll use to decorate their own drums. Drums will be provided to session attendees, and session time will be split between decorating drums and playing together. $15 per session. 781-646-2200. ONGOING TubaSlide. Ward Hill, Shrewsbury. Weekdays, 4 – 8 p.m. For children over 6 or 42” in height. $21pp.

ONGOING TubaSlide. Ward Hill, Shrewsbury. School vacation, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Must be over age 6 and 42” tall. $23pp. FREE Stacey Peasley Concert. Watertown Library, 123 Main St., Watertown. 10 a.m. All ages.

28WEDNESDAY Sing-A-Long Sound of Music. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Also Dec. 29 & 30. See Dec. 26 listing for details.


Greater Worceser Mothers of Twins Meeting. Location TBA First meeting and expectant mothers free. 508-347-5606,

weather conditions – call first. Mon. - Fri., 10 a.m. 10 p.m. and Sat. and Sun., 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. A$6, C (12 and under) $3. Skate rental $4. 401-331-5544.

All aboard the Polar Express in your pjs at Edaville Railroad in Carver. Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 24 & 31. ONGOING Tubing Park. Nashoba Valley, 179 Great Rd., Littleton. 1 – 10 p.m. weekdays. 9 a.m.- 10 p.m. weekends, holiday and holiday weeks. Requirements: Over age 6 and at least 42” in height. Two-hour ticket: $27.

24SATURDAY ONGOING & FREE The Enchanted Village. Jordan’s Furniture, Avon. Ends Jan. 1. This vintage village collection from Jordan Marsh and later the City of Boston, is on permanent display in Avon. Santa will visit: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. 508-580-4600, The Polar Express. Edaville Railroad, Carver. See Dec. 5 listing for details. Also on Dec. 31. FREE Crafts for Kids. Lakeshore Learning Store, Saugus. 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Ages 3+. 781-233-3770,

25SUNDAY Merry Christmas

26MONDAY Sing-A-Long Sound of Music. Regent Theatre,

and almost anything can happen – and usually does! General admission: A$15, C (12 and under) $12. ONGOING Frog Pond Winter Skating. Boston. 10 a.m. - 4 p .m. Hours change depending on the day. $5pp, C 13 and under FREE. Rentals available. ONGOING Spiders! The Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. See the new exhibit Spiders! within Arthropods: Creatures that Rule, and learn about these amazingly versatile, and venomous, air-breathing creatures. A$9, Sr. St. $7, C (3-18) $6, C under 3 FREE. 617495-3045, Worcester Sharks Vs. Portland Pirates. DCU Center, Worcester. 6:30 p.m.

27TUESDAY Sing-A-Long Sound of Music. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 10:30 a.m. Also Dec. 28, 29, 30. See Dec. 26 listing for details. ONGOING Ice Skating. Bank of America City Center. Greater Kennedy Plaza, Providence, RI. Nov. 19 – March 18. The 14,000-square-foot skating rink is twice the size of Rockefeller Plaza’s ice rink in New York City! Skate rentals available. May close pending

Catskill Puppet Theater: The Willow Girl. The Stephen Smith Center at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Dorchester. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. When a young Chinese girl immigrates to the American frontier, she faces discrimination in a swirl of other immigrants and cultures. Find out what happens when they all discover the magic of the beautiful Willow Tree. The performance features an animated giant willow tree and blends humor, mystery, drama and magical effects. A$12, C (1317) $9, C (12 and under) FREE. 617-514-1644, Moving Mobiles. Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg. 1 – 4 p.m. Ages 6 – 12. Use wire, found objects, string, cardboard, paints and more to create a hanging mobile that moves in the wind. Look at the colorful art of Alexander Calder for inspiration. $25pp NM. Big Joe The Storyteller. Jam Time (indoor playground), 86 Powder Mill Rd., Maynard. 10:30 a.m. With his unique style, Big Joe captivates his audience and takes them on storytelling trips around the world. There will be puppets, there will be props, and best of all, there will be stories kids will not soon forget. $10 per child. Adults free. 978-897-2917, Braids & Bows. American Girl, Natick. 11:30 a.m. Learn the basics of braiding! Reservations required. For girls ages 8 and up. $ Sparky’s Puppets. Providence Children’s Museum, Providence, RI. 1 & 2 p.m. See playful performances of favorite tales from Aesop’s Fables. Meet the country mouse and the city mouse, sing along with the grasshopper and the ant, and see what happens to a boy who cries “wolf” too many times. $8.50pp, C under 1 FREE. FREE The Fairy Circus. Worcester Public Library. Tanglewood Marionettes present three shows: 12 noon, 3 or 6 p.m.. Tickets are required and available FREE starting December 13th until they are gone. Recommended for children and families. 508-799-1671. Worcester Sharks Vs. the Monarchs. DCU Center, Worcester. 7 p.m. #32 Alex Stalock autograph card giveaway and postgame autograph session (First 2,000 fans).

29THURSDAY Sing-A-Long Sound of Music. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 7 p.m. Also Dec. 30. See Dec. 26 listing for details. BAYSTATEPARENT 49

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ONGOING Winter Skate at Patriot Place. Foxborough. Mon. - Thurs., 12 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9 p.m.; Fri., 12 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 11 p.m.; Sat. and school holidays, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. The 60-by140-foot, refrigerated ice surface is designed specifically for recreational skating, and features a observation deck for non-skaters. Large enough to accommodate beginners and experts alike, the professional surface provides ideal skating conditions at all times. On-site skate rentals, concessions and bathrooms are available and parking is free. A$8, C 12 and under $6. Ice skating rentals $4. 508-203-2100. Stories From Under the Big Top. Berkshire Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Theater, South St., Pittsfield. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a circus full of laughter and lively storytelling as the ringmaster and players perform a variety of well-known tales such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Billy Goats Gruff,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Lion and the Mouse,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Monkey See, Monkey Doâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Magic Fish.â&#x20AC;? A$18, C$9. Also Dec. 30. Rolie Polie Guacamole. Providence Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum, Providence, RI. 1 & 2 p.m. This rock â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;n roll trio from Brooklyn performs humorous original songs from their second album, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Time for Hummus.â&#x20AC;? $8.50pp, C under 1 FREE.

30FRIDAY Sing-A-Long Sound of Music. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. See Dec. 26 listing for details. Weaving the Rainbow Story and Craft Hour. The Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton. 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 11 a.m. $5 pp includes museum admission. Parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Night Out. Great Escape Playcafe, Leominster. Playtime, arts & crafts, yummy dinner and snacks and story time - under supervision of staff, while grown-ups can head out for a fun night of their own! Register online or call for details: 978-227-5886, Rolie Polie Guacamole Kids Pre-New Years Eve Bash. Jam Time, 86 Powder Mill Rd., Maynard. 4 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6 p.m. Hear the hippest new childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s band from Brooklyn, NY, a mix of funk, rock and folk music mashed into original songs about natural living, eating healthy and staying active. Pizza and snacks will be available for purchase. Reserve your tickets to this private event by calling 978-897-2917. Tickets also available at the door. A$15,C$10 ($7 per sibling). The Rhythm Room. Providence Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum, Providence, RI. 1 & 2 p.m. Feel the rollicking rhythm of world percussion, horns, drums, guitars, piano and join the band to try out different percussion instruments. Recommended for ages 3+. $8.50pp, C under 1 FREE. Sharks Vs. Connecticut Whales. The DCU Center, Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Post game fireworks! $2 Fridays - $2 hot dogs, popcorn or soda.

31SATURDAY Bessieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve PJ Dance Party! The Discovery Museums, Acton. 10 a.m. at the Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Discovery. Bessie, the dinosaur mascot of The Discovery Museums, will be there as children create party hats and noisemakers and dance to popular kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; music. The staff will be in their pajamas--hope you will be too! $10.50pp, C under 1 FREE. First Night Boston. 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Midnight. Over 1,000 artists in 200 performances and exhibits at 35 indoor and outdoor venues located throughout the downtown area. Highlights include a Family Festival at the Hynes Convention Center, a Grand Procession down Boylston Street, colossal ice sculptures that dot the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landscape and a spectacular fireworks display at midnight. Admission buttons required: The Polar Express. Edaville Railroad, Carver. See Dec. 5 listing for details. First Night Northampton. A 12-hour familyfriendly festival of the arts that culminates in a traditional ball-raising from the roof of the Hotel Northampton. Fireworks at 6:15 p.m. A$16, C$8 (prices vary). Family New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve Party. The Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum of North Easton. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Music, magic, cookie decorating, mask making, noisemakers and more. Tickets available at the door. $10ppNM. First Night Portsmouth, NH. 4 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Midnight. New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve Circus Spectacular. Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield. 11 a.m. Acts of acrobatics, juggling and contortion to complement Big Top: Festival of Trees 2011. A$18,C$9, C under 3 free. Hike Into the New Year. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester. 9:30 a..m. - Noon. Hike or snowshoe on the sanctuary and look for tracks and signs of wildlife as you follow the trails, then return to coffee and cocoa back at the Visitor Center. Registration is required. A$5, C$3NM. 508753-6087, First Night Worcester. Whirled Class Arts theme. Your button is your admission to all! Cost is $10 through Dec. 24, $12 thereafter and $15 at the event. Children 7 and under are FREE.

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hen is the last time you had an adventure? Not the “I went to the grocery store with three kids under four” kind of adventure, but an adventure with friends. It may be hard to imagine a time when you will be able to jet across the country with three of your dearest friends and only have to worry about buckling your own seat belt, but as your children get older, it is possible to work on a to-do list just for you: a bucket list with friends. In the meantime, while you chase mischievous toddlers and build snowmen in the yard, a yearly get together with friends can help maintain your connection. While it does take effort, says Donna Wayman, a Millbury mom of two, the trick is simple: “Pick a date, get together and stick to it.” Donna Wayman and Linda Magoon met in a two-room schoolhouse in West Millbury when they were in first grade. Eight years later, high school sports matched Donna and Linda with lifelong best friends, Marcia Gilbert and Karen Murray. The four graduated from Millbury High School in 1979, with a core group of five other best friends by their side. While college, weddings, work and life with children followed, Donna has been their glue. “She’s always been the organizer to do things. She’s the one who always gets us 52 DECEMBER2011

kevin koczwara and carrie wattu

together once a year at her house,” says Marcia. “No kids, no husbands, just girls,” says Karen. “It seems like we don’t lose a step even though we don’t see each other for months,” says Marcia. Their annual get-togethers worked just fine until ten years ago. The friends were in their 40s and their children were getting older. They now had the opportunity to see each other more frequently, usually for dinner. But lingering over coffee and dessert just didn’t fill them up anymore. They decided to reserve one weekend a year to go on an adventure together, following a bucket list that Donna drafted. “She’s a teacher so she’s into planning and organizing. If she has to control a classroom, she certainly can control the three of us,” says Linda. Six years later, the sports-oriented friends have bobsledded down an Olympic course and jumped out of an airplane. This year, the year they all turned 50, they went on their longest and most ambitious trip yet.

A SHOT AND A MEDAL Each adventure begins at the girls’ high school stomping ground the night before their trip, the St. Charles Hotel in Millbury (the drinking age was 18 in the ‘70s). The St. Charles is that place where everyone gathers the night before Thanksgiving, and it’s the place where the girls’ adventure officially begins. They exchange “goody bags” for the upcoming

excursion, which usually includes a T-shirt and earplugs (because Donna snores). The girls have a shot together before saying, “See you in the morning.” On one of their very first adventures to an Olympic bobsled run, Donna bought medals at a trophy shop and had them engraved for each girl with the trip event and date. “We drove up to Lake Placid and spent the weekend. We went ice skating on the speed skating rink. We went up to the top of the ski jump. Things like that. It was just amazing,” says Karen. Just like their pre-trip shot, medals have become a tradition for whenever the group does something exciting. “We went away for a weekend to Baltimore to see the Red Sox; that’s not medal worthy,” explains Donna. But skydiving is... “I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even go with them. I don’t like heights at all,” says Karen. Marcia admits to having been nervous about jumping out of a plane in Pepperell, Massachusetts. “I like to try new things and that probably scared me more than any of the other things that we’ve done.” The friends were each strapped to an instructor when they jumped out of the plane. “The whole thing from training to jump only lasts like 3 or 4 hours so it was kind of surreal because on Saturday you’re jumping out of an airplane and later that afternoon I’m like vacuuming my living room thinking, ‘I just jumped out of an airplane and this is what I come home to? Housework?’ It was great, but I wouldn’t

do that again.” Donna threw up when she hit the ground. Well, at least according to Linda. “I never got sick going down; I want to put that on the record. When we landed, I spit up a little bit,” says Donna. Donna recommends that other jumpers, “A.) Don’t drink a little bit the night before and B.) Have a little something in your stomach like a toast of something.” She also recommends taking Dramamine as she didn’t know she would get motion sickness coming down. “But I did,” she says. They added other adventures such as rafting down the Kennebunk River in Maine, and tubing down Loon Mountain in an ice storm, but the friends were just warming up for their biggest excursion yet.

THE FAB FOUR TURN 50 The three friends didn’t take Donna too seriously the first time she suggested that they raft through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River, but after a few years of bringing up the idea, the group agreed to plan a trip for 2011 when they all turned 50. It took a whole year to research tourism companies and plan out their trip. “It took an enormous amount of research actually because the variety and types of trips were almost paralyzing,” says Linda. To get the reservations they wanted, they booked their trip a year in advance. The friends decided on a seven-day trip

The annual adventures of four longtime friends have included night tubing in an ice storm on Loon Mountain and white water rafting on the Kennebunk River. Pictured here are Linda, Marcia and Donna on their skydiving trip (Karen is afraid of heights).

in August 2011 with two-and-a-half days of camping and rafting. They opted to take a helicopter in and out of the Grand Canyon instead of hiking. “This was our biggest trip ever,” says Donna. “We hoped we’d be friends at the end of it.” The group flew into Las Vegas on August 6, 2011, boarded a 12-seater plane and flew to a dude ranch. “It kind of eases you into roughing it a little bit. We stayed in a covered wagon, a kind of a tent-like setup. They had shower-like facilities. We went horseback riding. We went on an ATV ride to the rim of the Grand Canyon, which is really nice,” says Donna. “You couldn’t see because of the dust from the ATV in front of you. Rocks came flying; Donna almost went flying. I was behind her, and she came out of her seat,” says Karen. After 24 hours at the ranch, which included learning how to use shotguns, the friends took a helicopter into the canyon to pick up the raft. “Once you got on the river, you had to do things like pee in the river as all liquids went in the river. That was a little bit of an adjustment for everyone,” says Marcia. “You did everything in the river,” says Linda. “You brushed your teeth and you spit in the river. After they did the dishes, all the gray water and everything would go in the river. The thing is, it’s so big, and it was running higher than normal when we went down, that it just gets diluted. And it’s better it ends up in the river than in the desert because the ecosystem is so fragile.” The touring company provided tents, cots, tarps and sheets, but because it was hot [about 100 degrees], on the second night, the friends just set up their cots without the tent and laid under the stars. “You could feel the heat radiating from the rocks,” says Donna. “At three in the morning just the stars are out; it was like the closest you can get to heaven and not be there. It was very, very moving,” says Donna. “It was so quiet for three days because all you hear is the river.” The guides and the food were amazing.

“Our guides were up at four in the morning baking in a dutch oven – fresh blueberry bread, the thickest bacon I’ve ever had, eggs cooked to order, fruit salad,” says Karen, “Our last night we had steak and river trout and baked a birthday cake.” Linda was surprised by the color of the

Marcia, far left, is a proud auntie while Linda, Donna and Karen are all moms of girls. As their daughters grew, the friends slowly graduated from once-a-year dinners to adventures that culminated in the trip of a lifetime on the Colorado River.

What the group also had to get used to was being wet. According to Karen, a guide told them, “You’d be stupid to get in this river with anything dry on your body. So, get in the water then get in the boat or dunk your clothes in the river.” “My favorite part was just being on the

often,” says Marcia. The group went from quiet to riot as they spent the final three days of their trip in Vegas. They played the slots, took in a show, dined and even went to an ice bar. “It was awesome. It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I think we all walked away from it and it kind of changed us a little bit,” says Donna.






Millbury High School Yearbook Class of 1979

river. “It flows brown, brown, brown, almost like hot chocolate. I think that’s a big difference because around here we’re used to great water quality in New England. People have this expectation to see clean rivers. And to me, I never got over that.”

raft I think. I really enjoyed just going down the river and wondering what was going to come around the next corner. Just being able to share it with my friends and being able to get together afterward to talk about it. Being able to spend time with them, because I don’t get to do it too

After their Grand Canyon adventure, family and friends expressed admiration and encouragement. “I think they admire the fact that we’ve been able to stay in touch for so many years despite having competing interests – family, kids, work obligations. I think we know we have something special too,” says Linda. Donna’s two girls asked, “Gosh why can’t we go?” Donna told them that the experience is something that they can look forward to when they are older. Karen says her family thinks the friends are crazy and admits that her husband was a little nervous about their last trip. “He kept saying, ‘Don’t get hurt. Don’t fall out of the boat. Don’t get hurt.’” With their grand adventure checked off the bucket list, the friends look forward to earning more medals on smaller trips such as zip lining or driving race cars. Donna is also working on the five-year plan to celebrate their 55th birthdays some place spectacular perhaps to Cataract Canyon in Utah. “I hope we have many years ahead of us, that’s for sure. It’s just a great group of girls that I grew up with and we just like getting together,” says Donna. As the medals accumulate so do their years of friendship but one is silver and the other is most definitely gold. Kevin Koczwara is editor of baystateparent’s sister publication, The Millbury Sutton Chronicle. Carrie Wattu is editor of baystateparent and looks forward to her 40s and having her own adventures with not only her growing family but with her childhood friends.


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EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS /Â&#x153;``Â?iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x160;*Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;}Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x201C;Ă&#x192;


Full Day Program & Morning Program 2, 3 or 5 day option Art, Science, Music, Gym Low teacher to child ratios Nurturing environment

Morning program with half & full day options, 2, 3 or 5 day option Developmental, innovative curriculum 3 year old and 4 year old classrooms



4 and 5 year old preschoolers 11:30-3:30 (with 5:30 option) Swim, gym, cooking and more!

Transition class before kindergarten Progressive project based curriculum 2, 3 or 5 day option

Worcester JCC Ă&#x2C6;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x160;->Â?Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;LĂ&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x160;-Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;iiĂ&#x152;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;7Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;ViĂ&#x192;Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x20AC;]Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160;ä£Ă&#x2C6;äÂ&#x2122;



DIVORCE MEDIATION If you can’t save your marriage, you can save your divorce. Divorce can be expensive … Mediation allows you to save, time and emotional energy. Protect your rights while preserving your family’s resources. /THER!VAILABLE3ERVICES s&LAT&EESs%XPEDITEDWEEKENDNIGHTAPPOINTMENTSs,IMITED)SSUES-EDIATION Since 1975 James F. Connors SUPER LAWYER



%LM3TREET 7ORCESTERs508-792-3006


While you're busy at work, your child is busy at PLA Y !

• Family owned and run • Infant, Toddler, Preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten Programs • EEC Licensed Teachers • The Letter People Curriculum • Lively Letters Curriculum • Indoor Gym • Sibling Discounts • Optional Lunch Program • CompuChild, Music & Movement, Tumblebus, Lil' Sports and Mad Science programs on site 172 Otis Street (behind Walmart) .ORTHBORO -!s  

-AIN3TREET2TE .ORTHBORO -!s New Hours: 7:00 AM TO 6:00 PM, 52 weeks a year


”‡›‘—…—”‹‘—•ƒ„‘—––Š‡ •…Š‘‘Ž‹‰ ‘’–‹‘•ƒ˜ƒ‹Žƒ„Ž‡–‘…Š‹Ž†”‡‹͛–ŠǦ͕͖–Š‰”ƒ†‡•ǫ  ‹• ƒ ‹‘˜ƒ–‹˜‡ ’—„Ž‹… •…Š‘‘Ž –Šƒ– ‡‡–• ‡ƒ…Š ƒ† ‡˜‡”› •–—†‡– ™Š‡”‡ –Š‡› ƒ”‡ƒ•‹†‹˜‹†—ƒŽ•ƒ†Ž‡ƒ”‡”•Ǥ ‡ †‘ ™Šƒ– ‹– –ƒ‡• –‘ ‹•’‹”‡ ’ƒ••‹‘ƒ–‡ǡ …”‡ƒ–‹˜‡ Ž‡ƒ†‡”• ƒ† Ž‹ˆ‡ǦŽ‘‰ Ž‡ƒ”‡”• ™Š‘ ƒ…Š‹‡˜‡ ’‡”•‘ƒŽ ‰”‡ƒ–Ǧ ͕͔͔Ψ‘ˆ͕͔–Š‰”ƒ†‡ ‡•• ƒ”‡ ’”‡’ƒ”‡† ˆ‘” –Š‡ •–—†‡–•’ƒ••ƒ–ŠƬ ˆ—–—”‡ ƒ† ‡‰ƒ‰‡ ™‹–Š ƒ† ‰‹˜‡„ƒ…–‘–Š‡™‘”Ž†Ǥ       ͙͝Ψ‘ˆ•‡‹‘”•ƒ”‡ ƒ……‡’–‡†‹–‘…‘ŽŽ‡‰‡Ǥ


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To advertise call Stephanie Pearl at 774-364-0296 or email LACTATION





The Knowledge


The milc room is mother to mother breast feeding support with professional help by appointment or referral â?¤ Peer support, lactation guidance â?¤ Referrals for lactation follow-up care, classes â?¤ On-site resources: baby scale, reference library Open Thursdays 10am - 12noon Thom Worcester Area Early Intervention Glavin Regional Center-Child Development Building 214 Lake Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 508-845-8466



Recommended by Pediatricians and run by CertiďŹ ed Lactation Consultants.

We welcome ALL mothers who want to breastfeed their baby.


Saint Spyridon Preschool Where the growth & development of each individual child is nurtured

Surrogate Mothers Needed Be part of a miracle The rewards are more than financial Seeking women 21-43 non-smoker with healthy pregnancy history


Call for Details (508)752-5354 102 Russell Street, Worcester

SCHOOLS 1]`\S`ab]\S/QORS[g eeeQ]`\S`ab]\SOQORS[g]`U

5`ORSa9$ A quality education founded on the four foundations (Education, Character, Social Responsibility and Family) that are the Cornerstones to Life.

Special Ed & Learning Disability Instruction

ACADEMIC EARLY EDUCATION A Readiness Program for 4 & 5 year olds.

Tour Our Brand New Classrooms!




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623 Chandler Street Tatnuck Square, Worcester Tel: 508-797-5050 Fax: 508-797-5051

1]`\S`ab]\S/QORS[g Tutoring Service Available for Grades K-6

5 Oak Avenue â&#x20AC;˘ Northboro, MA 01532 508 351-9976


Cornerstone Christian Academy A K (Dec. 31st cut-off) through 8, nondenominational school for students where academic growth and spiritual development go hand-in-hand. Fridays January 6, March 2, June 1 from 9:30 - 11am. New student applications accepted beginning February 10 40 Kenwood Circle #7, Franklin, MA 508-520-2272

Fayerweather Street School Family Concert & Early Childhood Open House Saturday, January 7 from 9:30 - 11:30am Passionate Teachers - Joyful Learners PreK through 8. 765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA Contact Cynthia Boher, Director of Admissions 617-876-4746

Shrewsbury Montessori School 55 Oak St., Shrewsbury, MA 135 Bryn Mawr Ave., Auburn, MA Contact: Elizabeth Leandres 508-842-2116 Open House Date: January 7, 2012 1-3pm at BOTH Campuses

Worcester JCC Preschool/Toddler Porgram 633 Salisbury St. Worcester, MA 01609 508-756-7109 x258 Contact: Sandy Scola Open House Date: January 8, 2012 11am-3pm


ing Princ es s e s Singare our Specialty CPrincess Singer (with Bachelor of Music)

COur Original Singing Princess has enchanted children since 1994 CCostume Characters w/ Karaoke, games, face painting and balloon sculpture

Singing Princess 508.853.4257


Ring in the New Year

Wheels ”

Make a time capsule with your kids which you can add to every New Year’s Eve. Items to include: photos, movie ticket stubs, coins, stamps, newspapers, etc. Consider burying it in the backyard!

Nails, Pedic s and CustomPartie

• Princess Party • Diva Glam Party • Ooh La La Spa Party

(Mani/Pedi or Facial/Make-up) • other custom parties available

Call to book your next party 137 Schofield Ave. • Dudley, MA 01571 508-671-0069 •

“All Live” Insects, Small Reptiles & Animals

Birthday Parties Daycares/Preschools Neighborhood/Mom’s Groups Special Events Ages 2-7 Heat and a/c for year round comfort 508-393-5287

The Coolest Party EVER! There’s Nothing Else Like It. 1-800-649-9992

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We will come to you in our converted school bus complete with gymnastics equipment, monkey bars, rock wall and more!



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CONTACT: Chelyanne & Brian

(508) 943-4549 Email:

Tons of Bricks Tons of Fun LEGO® Themed Birthday Parties for all ages. Check our website for current class offerings, summer camp offerings and drop-in play times. 164 Westford Rd. Tyngsboro MA 01879 978-649-2654

Theatre Programs, Classes and Workshops for Ages 4 to 18 Call us or visit the web for more info... 617-424-6634

To advertise, call Stephanie Pearl at 774-364-0296 or email BAYSTATEPARENT 57

Traveling Farm Animals for your Party or Event! Year Round • Inside or Out Fun & Educational Baby Animal Parties, Theme Parties, Living Nativities, Petting Zoos, Animals for Therapy & more!

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All Ages. Birthday Parties, Schools, Fairs, Day Care Centers, Etc.

#JSUIEBZ1BSUJFTt$PODFSUT Teacher-Parent Workshops



Animal Craze

Kids all love the silliness of my interactive, high energy, and musical shows! Come join the fun! My silly sense of humor and rythmic style will soon have you and your kids giggling, wiggling, dancing, and singing with delight.

Mike Slattery Children’s Entertainment * Songs * Puppets * Concerts * Schools

* Magic * Parties 617-633-2832

Tablecloth Tradition This holiday season, have your guests sign a plain tablecloth with some fine-tip permanent markers. Include the year, ages, a holiday message, whatever you’d like. Use your heirloom-in-the-making every year!


Birthday/ Party Room Central Mass’s only dedicated Climbing Facility! Sign up now for our Week Long Summer Camp Programs • 14,000 square feet of amazing climbing walls • 60 different top rope stations • Climbing walls from 15 - 40 feet high! • Massive lead arch, and super long overhangs! • Separate climbing wall just for kids and parents • Classes for beginners: lead and top rope belaying • Rentals and a retail shop for climbing gear • Lounge area, w/ free wifi • A large bouldering area, with top-outs

508-852-ROCK • 299 Barber Ave. Worcester, (Across the street from the Higgins Armory, near Sam’s Club, at the 190/290 interchange)




Offering Beading, Mosaics, Stuff-Your-Own Animals, Paint Me Tees, Silver Clay and PaintYour-Own Pottery Parties

!$23!(13'# 8/ "* &$2 1.4-# %1$$&(%3%.1!(13'# 8"'(+# >


BYO CDs, Cake, Soda, Pizza Etc. Offering 2 Large Private Party Rooms

Rt. 9 (next to White City East), Shrewsbury • 508-798-9950 •

To advertise, call Stephanie Pearl at 774-364-0296 or email 58 DECEMBER2011

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For Bookings and Info Call: 617-713-4349 E-mail: Visit me on the web at:

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time. To change. To advance. To start.



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Call today or visit our website for more info: 781-352-2494 290 Vanderbilt Ave. Norwood

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Our New Location is Coming to Auburn, MA! Book Now for Jan!





SpringďŹ eld

Applicants are responsible for reading the academic catalog and getting all the information needed to make informed decisions.


The Beacon Assessment Center

One of the best films of the year comes home for the holidays Enter to Win the inspirational hit film of the summer on Blu-Ray™& DVD Combo Pack!

Available Services • Early Intervention Diagnostic Evaluation • Neurodevelopmental Assessment • Neuropsychological Evaluation • Educational Consultation • Clinical Consultation • Doctoral Level Licensed Clinicians


Beacon Assessment Center Beacon ABA Services, Inc. 321 Fortune Boulevard, Suite 201 Milford, MA 01757 Referral Line: (508) 478-0587 Fax: (508) 634-6984 * Most Major Health Insurance Plans Accepted The Beacon Assessment Center is a program of Beacon ABA Services, Inc. a provider of home and school based ABA treatment of the highest quality.

Visit our website for your chance to win at Deadline to enter is December 31


Applewild invites you to join us!


Why We’re Different • Urgent care is available 7 days a week. • Separate waiting room for well children - Why worry that your child will catch something at the doctor’s office. .• Children and adolescents of all ages will feel comfortable in our office with exam rooms decorated for children up to early school age, and other rooms decorated for tweens and teens. • Private breastfeeding suite

The first Thursday of every month - 9am Take a tour, no RSVP needed.

• Bring us your child’s artwork for display in our art gallery •W We invite you to schedule a free tour of our facility and meet our staff and providers. Our patients can choose to have their picture made into a 1 ft. vinyl decal to decorate our walls. They’ll love to see themselves when they come for their appointments.

FREE with this ad. (New Patients Only)

2 Narrows Rd. Bldg. C, Suite 105 Se habla español Westminster, MA 01473 978-874-5550 • Very conveniently located immediately off of Rt. 2 (exit 25) at its intersection with 140 South. We are only 5 minutes from Leominster, Gardner, and Fitchburg, and an easy drive from every community in North Central MA


December 1st, January 5th and February 2nd

* Individual tours scheduled daily.* For more information, go to or call 978 342-6053 x110 Serving Grades K-8 120 Prospect Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 (978)342-6053 ext 110

HO...HO...HO...PE YOU WIN! Your kids are counting the days to Christmas. How many of them already have their letters to Santa written?

Get in on the fun and Enter to Win an iParty Holiday Fun Gift Basket.

ING UPCOM CAMPS 5 er Decemb 2 January

Contest rules available at

Contest is open until Noon on December 19th, 2011. Enter at

Holiday Stress Gift Buster! Certificates Available


for more information Your Life! Your Body! Your Adventure!

Cornerstone Christian Academy Training the Intellect, Teaching the Heart

A non-denominational school for students in K (Dec. 31st cut-off) through Grade 8, where academic growth and spiritual development go hand in hand. CCA offers small class sizes, where respect, compassion, support and encouragement are the standard for how everyone is treated. Cornerstone’s Middle School program provides for the unique needs of Grade 5 through 8 students by combining a rigorous and challenging academic program, team building activities and biblical study.

See our Open House listing on page 56.

Cornerstone offers a before-school program. Tuition assistance is available. For more information about the Academy, please visit our website at or call the office at (508) 520-2272.


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Internationally acclaimed performance

music by Sergei Prokofiev

$50 - $39

Call now for students, groups & packages

Hanover Theatre 7:30 PM

508.754.3231 Sponsor 62 DECEMBER2011 Media Sponsor

Adventure Bootcamp..............................................................61 Applewild School...................................................................60 Attorney James Connors.........................................................55 Backyard Adventures...............................................................9 Bay Path College...................................................................54 Bay State Skating School.......................................................16 Be Healthy Boston.................................................................63 Beacon ABA Services..............................................................60 Becker College......................................................................13 Between Trips.......................................................................44 Boroughs JCC.......................................................................43 Boston Ballet........................................................................35 Boston Children’s Theatre........................................................41 Brian O’Donovan Christmas Celtic Sojourn................................55 Buca di Beppo......................................................................41 Cambridge College.................................................................59 Charter................................................................................64 Children’s Music Academy.......................................................22 Claytime..............................................................................45 CoCo Key Water Resort..........................................................21 Concord Museum..................................................................27 Cornerstone Academy...............................................................3 Cornerstone Christian Academy................................................61 Crispus Attucks Childrens Center...............................................20 Curious Creatures...................................................................54 Cutie Patutie’s......................................................................41 Dance It Up!........................................................................40 Dance Prism.........................................................................25 Deveruex.............................................................................12 Disney Pictures.....................................................................60 Dr. Bruce Fieldman..................................................................7 Dr. Mel - Pediatric Dentistry.....................................................33 Ecotarium..............................................................................5 Edaville...............................................................................29 Epiphany Children’s Boutique..................................................40 Fay School...........................................................................60 Fidelity................................................................................11 Gigueres..............................................................................48 Good Neighbor Concierge.......................................................36 Guild of St. Agnes Daycare.....................................................43 Gymboree............................................................................16 Hanover Theatre.....................................................................4 Inn at East Hill Farm.............................................................23 iParty...................................................................................61 Lakeshore Learning Center........................................................2 Mass Allergy Relief Center.......................................................9 Museum of Russian Icons.......................................................45 Music Together......................................................................10 Music Worcester Inc..............................................................62 New Horizon Karate & More..................................................19 Next Generation Children’s Center..............................................6 North Central Charter Essential School......................................55 North Star Youth Forum.........................................................23 Packachoag Community Music................................................54 Panera Bread.......................................................................51 Parenting Solutions...............................................................50 Piano Pear...........................................................................54 Piccadilly Pub.......................................................................20 Play Town Express.................................................................33 Providence Children’s Museum................................................33 Roche Bros.............................................................................6 Second Generation Energy......................................................17 Seeking Sitters.....................................................................19 Seven Hills Charter Public School.............................................54 Shrewsbury Montessori..........................................................37 Simon Malls....................................................................21,29 Skribbles Learning Center.......................................................55 Speech, Language & Hearing Assoc.........................................47 Spin On Us..........................................................................59 SureShot Portraits.................................................................27 The Children’s Workshop.........................................................18 TLC Christian Preschool...........................................................40 UMass Medical School Child & Adolescent NeuroDevelopment Initiative..............................................................................22 Wachusett Pediatrics..............................................................61 Wheelock Family Theatre.......................................................61 Wifesavers...........................................................................50 Wild Ruby Artisan Galleria.......................................................41 Women’s Health of Central MA...............................................12 Worcester Academy of Music..................................................45 Worcester Art Museum.............................................................9 Worcester JCC......................................................................54 Worcester Sharks..................................................................50





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December 2011 baystateparent Magazine  
December 2011 baystateparent Magazine  

December 2011 edition of baystateparent Magazine