My First Christmas Tree

By Elizabeth Fishel

Are you Hannukah or Christmas? That was the December question a preschool buddy asked my sons years ago. “Both” was their answer.

As a Jewish mother of a certain age, I’ve always done an interfaith dance for the holidays. I’ve toggled between my Hannukah heritage and my husband’s Christmas traditions.

At home in Oakland, we’d light the Menorah with our sons, spin the dreydels, and present eight nights of socks and pajamas and Lego sets. For Christmas, we’d pack another bag of gifts for extended family and hop a plane to Boston to…

Stitching Through Covid 19

How Crafting Soothes Stress, Calms Cabin Fever, and Creates Joy

By Elizabeth Fishel

A decade ago, a good friend took me my under her wing and taught me how to do needlepoint. She patiently showed me the way to finesse the careful, repetitive, but oddly calming stitching on the gaily painted canvases and create vibrant images that might become pillows or doorstops or eye-glass cases for mothers-in-law.

“This will get you right through the NBA play-offs,” she whispered conspiratorially, luring me into the trending craft that’s not just for grandmas any more.

Well, that was then…

Elizabeth Fishel

Elizabeth Fishel is a journalist, writing instructor, and author of five nonfiction books including Sisters; Reunion; and Getting To 30 (with Jeffrey Arnett).

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