21st century moms – multitasking proficients

My latest feature article published in Ventura County Reporter:

21st century M.O.M.s

Masters Of Multitasking

By Carla Iacovetti 05/09/2013

“Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.”
– Marion C. Garretty

The role of motherhood has dramatically changed over the last 100 years. During much of the 18th and 19th centuries, women did not do much outside of the home. A woman’s success was measured by her ability to care for her family and maintain order in the home. She was the center of the family, and all of her duty was fundamental to her roll as the mother.
Carol Costello Casey, grandmother to the local Curran surfing family, was a full-time working mother and loved every minute of it.
“There was nothing like watching my children grow,” she said. “Nothing is more important in life than being a mother. I’ve been fortunate to have three wonderful children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and I greatly treasure each and every one of them.”
A native of Boston, Casey left at 18 after she married a marine. The young couple lived in North Carolina and Florida, and then made their way to the San Fernando Valley, eventually ending up here in Ventura County.
Though working full-time was less common during Casey’s early years of motherhood, she managed to work and successfully raise three kids. Even with a full-time job, Casey always focused on the family and diligently strived to nurture her kids.
“I’m so proud of my kids and how they have raised their own families. It’s been humbling to watch the legacy of this family continue to develop,” Casey said.

Carol Costello Casey (right) with her daughter Debbie,
who is the mother of Timmy, Nathaniel, Joshua and Taylor Curran.

Casey admits that being grandmother to the famed surfer Timmy Curran was exciting, but it did not ever take away from her love and devotion to any of the other grandkids.
“All my grandkids are the same in my eyes. Each have unique personalities, talents and abilities, and I’m forever proud of them all,” Casey said.
It was fun to pick up a magazine and see her grandson’s face on the cover.
“What amazed me the most with Timmy is that his personality never changed,” she said. “He was this funny, happy-go-lucky, normal kid, who was making a lot of money and gaining a lot of popularity in the surf world. I credit his stability to his parents — they did a great job of raising Timmy and the three other boys. Joshua works in the television industry, Nathaniel is also a pro surfer, and Taylor, who has recently graduated from high school, is also competitively surfing.
“Timmy’s break happened when surfing was just taking root and the sport was being appreciated for the sport itself — the timing was right. It’s hard to fathom that I have a celebrity for a grandson because I don’t think of him that way. He’s my first grandson, and like all the others, he holds a special place in my heart.”
“Mothers work so hard,” she continued. “I think all of the expectations that surround motherhood makes it all the more challenging to raise a family in today’s world. I admire mothers today who can juggle the responsibilities of home life, work and all of the extra activities and do a great job of raising a family.”
Even though the dynamics today have become more intense, Casey believes that a child’s behavior and how it develops in life are very dependent on family life. “After all, family life is all you have. It’s the only thing that you have that really belongs to you.”

It’s complicated …

Because most families require two incomes, life has grown a little more complicated.
“My advice to working moms is to have quality time together around the dinner table. Turn off the television, set the cell phones aside, and spend time talking as a family together — listen to one another,” Casey said.
Even though life was busy for Casey, sharing a weekly meal together became a family routine.
“I think it’s important to establish that pattern when they’re young. With the world going at a much faster pace, there are a lot of distractions today; but if a mother will make this a priority, her kids will thank her later,” she said.
While women still share the experience of pregnancy and endure the pains of labor, the life of today’s mother is complicated. In fact, nowadays a mother needs to be a multitasking proficient.

Amanda Armitage at Disney’s California Adventure with her twin sons.

Amanda Armitage is the full-time IT director for John Muir Charter School and the president of Ventura County Mothers of Multiples (VCMOM), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers support for parents of twins or higher order multiples. The organization was originally founded in October 1952 as the Ventura Mothers of Twins Club.
Armitage’s involvement with VCMOM is interesting, particularly because she never really wanted children.
“My husband and I weren’t going to even have kids, but we enjoy life and thought it would be fun to procreate!” she said.
Amanda and her husband, Jesse, are also comedians who do competitive improv at Ventura Improv Company (VIC). The couple met at VIC, and when she was pregnant with twins, she performed in a contest at VIC and won.
There are two ways you can look at having dual births: Double trouble or a double blessing.
“Finding out I was pregnant with twins was exciting but sobering. When Jesse and I saw the ultrasound together, all my husband could do was cuss repeatedly,” Armitage said. They quickly began to realize that things would significantly change — starting with dual car seats, a different car and a new place to live. The list kept growing.
“Today, we are very much hands-on parents, and Jesse is extremely involved,” she said. “I have an awesome, rockin’ husband that helps out! Our fraternal twin boys just turned 7 on March 24th, which is also their dad’s birthday.”
Even though Armitage never felt like the motherly type and did not plan on walking down this path, she’s happy with their decision.
“I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on being a mom. It’s so crazy — the minute they were born I felt so connected. No one can possibly prepare you for this kind of bonding. You really don’t understand this until it happens. Once you see your baby for the first time, you’re a gonner! It’s instinctive!”
“I love being a mom. I work full time, and I have a husband, but my boys come first. You really don’t need a lot of ‘stuff’ to be a good mom. Just get down with them. Spend that little bit of extra time with them,” Armitage said.
At the VCMOMS, Armitage likes to encourage new moms. She believes today’s moms put too much pressure on themselves by wanting to do everything right, and it can wear a person out. “In the end, that isn’t good for yourself or for your children.”
The American Sociological Review posted a recent study about the busyness of working mothers.
“Working mothers spend significantly more time multitasking at home than working dads. And those mothers aren’t happy about it,” the report stated. According to the research, which was performed at Michigan State University, a large percentage of working mothers were on “overdrive.” Sociologist Barbara Schneider co-authored the research paper revealing that the mothers experienced a lot of stress and strain from the time they walked in the door each evening.
It is true that working mothers have numerous obstacles to face. Learning how to manage the home front, corral children and stay on top of a work schedule is no easy task. Often times, moms need support, especially if they are new mothers with unusual circumstances.
Becoming a mother has given Armitage a greater appreciation of mothers. It is the bigger reason why she has become so involved with VCMOMS. “I just want to be the voice of encouragement to other mothers — those who are blessed with multiple births — letting them know that they’re not alone.”
Being a new mom is exhausting, but even more so when you have multiple births. “It’s not just exhausting, but it can be emotionally challenging. The responsibility of making the right decisions for a mom and your newborn babies can be daunting,” Armitage said.
Armitage encourages other mothers to embrace diversity and not to be so hard on themselves. “Don’t be afraid to be yourself,” she said.
Life-long Ventura County resident, Tori Hall is also the mother of identical twins girls. Izzi and Nickey Hall turned 4 in March. Tori is a single mom.

Tori Hall with her twin daughters.

“There is no family history of twins in either my family or my ex-husband’s, and it is safe to say I was in total shock when I found out I was having twins. I had no idea how I would adjust to that,” Hall said.
“I’m five feet three inches and very tiny. I had a lot of complications. At 20 weeks, I was put on bed rest and could not go back to work. It was a very stressful pregnancy,” said Hall. She had a medical disorder that caused her cervix to shrink during the pregnancy, and there was a serious risk she might lose fetuses.
“I ended up going through a divorce when my girls were a little over a year old. That would be hard enough with one baby, but with two … it was nothing short of exasperating, and something needed to change,” Hall said.

It takes a village

“My ex-husband and I planned on starting a family, and we were excited about it, but you’re never quite ready for double duty. Learning to go back to work and not having a partner at home was really challenging,” Hall said. It took time for Hall to find a happy medium, but she attributes any success she’s had to her “village.”
“I’m grateful for my village, which encompasses grandmothers, family members, friends, my daycare support and my ex-husband, who has been tremendously supportive,” Hall said.
Mothers today have to be more than prepared. Juggling the balance is not easy. There is pressure from the work front.
“You know, we’re supposed to be there and focused, but when your kid is home sick with a fever, it makes it hard to give 100 percent. Being a working mom is hard. I don’t even believe that women were ever made to do all of this while raising kids. It’s not an easy task. I’ve been fortunate enough to have understanding supervisors, but that’s not always the case,” Hall said. She never takes a normal lunch break. Her lunch hour consists of running errands, going to the grocery store and taking care of family-related business.
“I can’t even describe how fortunate I feel being allowed to have these two little girls.” Motherhood enthralls Hall, and she wants to take it all in and cherish each day with them.
News of the Boston bombings has been very hard for her to watch. “I can’t really watch it. That kind of sadness and loss, especially the loss of a child, is just far too overwhelming.”
Hall focuses on the here and now, realizing the impact that it will have on her kids later.
“My kids are at formidable ages. I’m always trying to teach them ways to communicate and teach them whom they can trust — like firemen, policemen or anyone in uniform like their dad, who is a tech sergeant in the Air National Guard.”
Having identical twins holds particular challenges. She strives daily to make sure her girls realize that they are distinctive and individual, and that includes her monitoring the way they dress. Hall purposefully does not dress them identically because she wants them to develop independently of each other.
“My advice for single moms — get a village. It will make life a lot easier. Don’t think you have to do this all alone. Motherhood is hard. You need help, so embrace it,” Hall said.
The mothers of the 21st century have come a long way, and there is no doubt that the grandmothers of yesterday might find the barrage of multitasking requirements a bit challenging, if not overwhelming, but there is one thing that unites the young and the old — motherhood. It is what connects all life, even in the midst of a complicated and imperfect world. It is where the imperfect is perfectly wonderful. 

Original Article:  Ventura County Reporter


Holiday joy: Anonymous donors pay off Kmart layaway accounts

Anonymous donors pay off Kmart layaway accounts

This is truly heart-warming, especially at this time of year.

December 15, 2011 — OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The young father stood in line at the Kmart layaway counter, wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots. With him were three small children.

He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it all before Christmas. Then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter. “She told him, ‘No, I’m paying for it,'” recalled Edna Deppe, assistant manager at the store in Indianapolis. “He just stood there and looked at her and then looked at me and asked if it was a joke. I told him it wasn’t, and that she was going to pay for him. And he just busted out in tears.”

At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents.

Before she left the store Tuesday evening, the Indianapolis woman in her mid-40s had paid the layaway orders for as many as 50 people. On the way out, she handed out $50 bills and paid for two carts of toys for a woman in line at the cash register.

“She was doing it in the memory of her husband who had just died, and she said she wasn’t going to be able to spend it and wanted to make people happy with it,” Deppe said. The woman did not identify herself and only asked people to “remember Ben,” an apparent reference to her husband.

Deppe, who said she’s worked in retail for 40 years, had never seen anything like it. “It was like an angel fell out of the sky and appeared in our store,” she said. Most of the donors have done their giving secretly.

Dona Bremser, an Omaha nurse, was at work when a Kmart employee called to tell her that someone had paid off the $70 balance of her layaway account, which held nearly $200 in toys for her 4-year-old son.

“I was speechless,” Bremser said. “It made me believe in Christmas again.” Dozens of other customers have received similar calls in Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana and Montana. The benefactors generally ask to help families who are squirreling away items for young children. They often pay a portion of the balance, usually all but a few dollars or cents so the layaway order stays in the store’s system.

The phenomenon seems to have begun in Michigan before spreading, Kmart executives said. “It is honestly being driven by people wanting to do a good deed at this time of the year,” said Salima Yala, Kmart’s division vice president for layaway.

The good Samaritans seem to be visiting mainly Kmart stores, though a Wal-Mart spokesman said a few of his stores in Joplin, Mo., and Chicago have also seen some layaway accounts paid off. Kmart representatives say they did nothing to instigate the secret Santas or spread word of the generosity. But it’s happening as the company struggles to compete with chains such as Wal-Mart and Target.

Kmart may be the focus of layaway generosity, Yala said, because it is one of the few large discount stores that has offered layaway year-round for about four decades. Under the program, customers can make purchases but let the store hold onto their merchandise as they pay it off slowly over several weeks.

The sad memories of layaways lost prompted at least one good Samaritan to pay off the accounts of five people at an Omaha Kmart, said Karl Graff, the store’s assistant manager. “She told me that when she was younger, her mom used to set up things on layaway at Kmart, but they rarely were able to pay them off because they just didn’t have the money for it,” Graff said.

He called a woman who had been helped, “and she broke down in tears on the phone with me. She wasn’t sure she was going to be able to pay off their layaway and was afraid their kids weren’t going to have anything for Christmas.”

“You know, 50 bucks may not sound like a lot, but I tell you what, at the right time, it may as well be a million dollars for some people,” Graff said. Graff’s store alone has seen about a dozen layaway accounts paid off in the last 10 days, with the donors paying $50 to $250 on each account.

“To be honest, in retail, it’s easy to get cynical about the holidays, because you’re kind of grinding it out when everybody else is having family time,” Graff said. “It’s really encouraging to see this side of Christmas again.”

Lori Stearnes of Omaha also benefited from the generosity of a stranger who paid all but $58 of her $250 layaway bill for toys for her four youngest grandchildren. Stearnes said she and her husband live paycheck to paycheck, but she plans to use the money she was saving for the toys to help pay for someone else’s layaway.

In Missoula, Mont., a man spent more than $1,200 to pay down the balances of six customers whose layaway orders were about to be returned to a Kmart store’s inventory because of late payments. Store employees reached one beneficiary on her cellphone at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where her son was being treated for an undisclosed illness.

“She was yelling at the nurses, ‘We’re going to have Christmas after all!'” store manager Josine Murrin said. A Kmart in Plainfield Township, Mich., called Roberta Carter last week to let her know a man had paid all but 40 cents of her $60 layaway.

Carter, a mother of eight from Grand Rapids, Mich., said she cried upon hearing the news. She and her family have been struggling as she seeks a full-time job. “My kids will have clothes for Christmas,” she said.

Angie Torres, a stay-at-home mother of four children under the age of 8, was in the Indianapolis Kmart on Tuesday to make a payment on her layaway bill when she learned the woman next to her was paying off her account.

“I started to cry. I couldn’t believe it,” said Torres, who doubted she would have been able to pay off the balance. “I was in disbelief. I hugged her and gave her a kiss.”

Associated Press writers Michael J. Crumb in Des Moines, Iowa; Matt Volz, in Helena, Mont.; and Jeff Karoub in Detroit contributed to this report.

Christmas through the ages: Traditions that still flourish

Christmas Through the Ages Right at Home in Santa Barbara

Traditions flourish amid the magic of the season

Santa and two of his rein-goats at historic Stow House in Goleta.

Santa and two of his rein-goats at historic Stow House in Goleta. (Goleta Valley Historical Society photo)

By Carla Iacovetti, Noozhawk Contributor | Published on 12.21.2010

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” — Norman Vincent Peale

Christmastime for many of us heightens our senses, stirs our memories, fuels our appetites, and reminds us of the significance of family, friendships and sharing lasting memories together.

Through the years people embrace tradition, as we string lights on our homes and trees, hang mistletoe above doors, shop for the perfect gift(s) for loved ones, send greeting cards, sip eggnog by the fire, open our hearts and homes to Christmas carolers, and watch streams of children stand in line at Macy’s to sit on jolly old Santa’s lap.

We are lured by aromatic delicacies, as many of our kitchens are the source of every kind of fudge, gingerbreads, beautifully decorated cookies, cakes and holiday drinks that are all guaranteed to increase our waistbands and send us racing to the gym with a New Year’s resolution to drop those extra pounds — many of which were gathered over the holidays!

While America has had a stream of holiday traditions over the years, renowned anthropologist Ralph Linton in his article “One Hundred Percent American,” claims that many of the customs and beliefs we revere in America have foreign origins, and some of those origins actually pre-date the birth of Christ.

Of course, these celebrations were not called “Christmas,” but have other distinctive names like winter solstice, Yuletide, Juvenalia (a Roman holiday to honor children) and the Festival of Saturnalia (another Roman holiday lasting from Dec. 17 to Dec. 24). It wasn’t until the fourth century that the Roman Church instituted Dec. 25 for the Feast of the Nativity. While there is no historical record as to when Christ was actually born, the Feast of the Nativity was established to counter pagan solstice celebrations. Over the next several hundred years, Christmas gained popularity, and by the end of the 18th century, it was considered a qualified holiday.

Christmas tradition in America did not really take hold until after the American Revolution. Part of this was due to some of the beliefs that the Pilgrims brought to America in 1620. In fact, hold on to your horses, Christmas lovers: celebrating Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681, and anyone overtly participating in Christmas cheer was fined five shillings.

Christmas wasn’t declared a legal holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870, and America changed the face of Christmas forever. It went from a feral festival event to the family-centered day of peace and goodwill similar to what we know today.

Washington Irving was instrumental in the evolution of Christmas in America with his collection of essays and short stories, Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written in 1892. Irving’s eloquent description of Christmas past, binds family relations and friends of all ages under the canopy of peace and love, even in the midst of worldly troubles, and no wall separates culture from this magical experience.

“Of all the old festivals, however, that of Christmas awakens the strongest and most heartfelt associations,” Irving said. “There is a tone of solemn and sacred feeling that blends with our conviviality and lifts the spirit to a state of hallowed and elevated enjoyment.”

Whether one has religious connections to Christmas or not, the ever-popular Santa Claus is a figure that cannot easily be dismissed. While Santa’s origin dates back to the fourth century, when he was known as St. Nicholas, he has remained an icon within American Christmas tradition. Back in the day, St. Nicholas, who was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Myra, was known for his goodness and loving nature toward children and sailors. The Dutch called him Sint Nikolass, which was shortened to Sinter Klaas, and after the Dutch came to America, the New York colonials changed his name to Santa Claus. Emerging in the American press in 1773, this amusing character has captivated the hearts and trust of children for hundreds of years.

Of course, the Santa Claus that has evolved over the centuries is not the same saint that was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church; indeed he is a loose adaptation of the sainted Claus. America most definitely has its own variation of Santa, and he is a fantastical legend that represents human kindness, goodwill toward children, happiness and generosity.

One of the most renowned writings about Santa appeared in Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, “A Visit From Saint Nicholas,” more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas.” The classic story of Santa and his team of elves and flying reindeer working in his North Pole workshop is solely American. Illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted Santa as a little fat man with a long white beard, appeared in many issues of Harper’s Magazine during the mid- to late 1800s, and the favored Rudolph, Santa’s red-nosed reindeer came on the scene in 1939, when copywriter Robert L. May created him in a poem that was an advertising gimmick for Montgomery Ward.

Even during the grip of the Great Depression, Christmas was still a celebrated event that bonded families together. Various churches and schools within a community usually instigated social activities, and almost every home had a hand-cut Christmas tree decorated with homemade ornaments. Ornaments like popcorn garlands, crepe paper cut-outs, old Christmas cards strung together, and tinsel icicles were in vogue.

Christmas caroling, which is also a part of American holiday tradition, actually originated during Medieval times when carolers would form a circle and sing and dance. The word “carole” is the French word for a song that accompanies a dance. Even today, many of our shopping malls, hospitals, hotel lobbies and parks are graced with Christmas carolers from various churches and community organizations, sharing in song the story of the Nativity, the anticipation of Santa’s arrival, and the hope for peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

Irving Berlin’s timeless musicals Holiday Inn (1942), starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds, and White Christmas (1954), also starring Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney, were not only two of the top money makers in their era, they became a part of the American Christmas experience. These films are shown on television every holiday season, and we still enjoy many of the songs composed for these films. And let us not forget the wonderful classic film Miracle on 34th Street (1947), starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and John Payne, which tells the story of a nice old man who is institutionalized for claiming to be the actual Kris Kringle (Santa Claus).
Here in Santa Barbara County, we have a number of traditions that have been with us for many years, as well as new customs springing up all the time — yes, the magic of the season can be seen vividly throughout the county. The 70-foot Canary Island pine on West Carrillo Street is an eye-catcher, and if you happen to be driving north on Highway 101, you will get a glimpse of Montecito’s mystery tree at the San Ysidro Road exit. (No one will admit to decorating this oversized pine over the years). The Downtown Holiday Parade has a 58-year legacy that began as a tree-decorating event with 40-foot Douglas fir Christmas trees lining the middle of State Street that were lit by the Christmas Fairy. Originally, it was called the Children’s Christmas Parade, and it was held on a Saturday morning, but in 1998, the name was changed and it was moved to a Friday evening.

This year Santa Barbara celebrated its 25th year with the annual Parade of Lights, as thousands of spectators watched beautifully decorated boats parade past the City Pier in the Santa Barbara Harbor. Accompanied by holiday music, a fireworks display, 10 tons of snow, and a visit from Santa, the event is a festive part of Santa Barbara’s holiday tradition.

One does not have to go too far to find Santa during the last couple of weeks of December here in Santa Barbara. In keeping with America’s love for “jolly old Saint Nick,” the Goleta Valley Historical Society hosts the annual Holiday At The Ranch held at the fully restored Stow House, Goleta’s oldest frame house, built in 1873. This 20-year holiday tradition is the perfect combination of Christmas past and Christmas present, with tours of the beautifully decorated house, children’s cookie baking and ornament-making projects, live holiday music and appearances by Santa Barbara’s very own Santa and his entourage.

While Santa Claus brings to mind a certain element of long-established American tradition, make no mistake about it, this Santa is a different kind of Santa! This Santa (Mike Lopez) has seven rein-goats, not reindeer, and refuses to wear a fake beard. Lopez begins growing his beard in February or March, and jokes, “Heck, I’ve had face hair since I was 3, and so I’m just goin’ with it.”

Lopez began his seasonal career as the Stow House Santa more than 20 years ago when he became involved with the Goleta Historical Society.

“It all began with me doing blacksmith work for them, and Santa sort of evolved,” Lopez said.

Lopez didn’t plan on being Santa as a kid, but wouldn’t trade it now.

“Santa gets a lot of attention,” he explained. “Truthfully, this is a mystical space that I get to hold each December that represents love, faith and magic. It’s a bubble that time stops in, and I get to stand in the middle of it, and I am privileged.”

Dressing up like Santa is so much more than a holiday job for Lopez, but it enables him to give back to the community, which he believes is really powerful.

“I wish more would recognize the importance of giving back,” he said.

Bernie Joseph, who is a member of the Goleta Historical Society and who has been a Goleta resident for more than 50 years calls Lopez “one of the best Santa’s I’ve ever seen.  Everyone just loves him.”

Joseph, who admitted she has seen so many changes over the years in Santa Barbara, recalls life in Isla Vista in 1955 when you could rent a beach shack for $55 a month.

“There have been so many changes here, it’s always nice to see a little bit of tradition at the holidays, and the Stow House makes that happen,” she said.

“Hey, I’m the smartest guy in the world,” Lopez said. “The reason is because I recognize that I don’t know anything, and I think this might be the byproduct of being in that space with a child. As Santa, it can never be about me. It’s all about them.

“In fact, it really isn’t even about what they think or want, but it is about what they need. The kid might want the Game Boy, but what he needs is love — space. That child is in the center of the universe, sitting on my lap and is the center of my attention and the reciprocal of love.”

Lopez has concerns that tradition here in Santa Barbara is somewhat dying out, but he has no plans to retire anytime soon. Besides, when he’s not sporting a long graying beard, or suiting up for holiday events, Lopez and his seven goats (Nemo, Eino, Tobias, Louie, Buck, Little Lopez and Baby Frank), take to backpacking out in nature’s splendor. In addition, Lopez is a mentor with Santa Barbara Boys to Men Mentoring Network, an organization that began in 1977 and helps troubled teenage boys learn how to build meaningful and trusting relationships. Lopez also volunteers with Los Padres Forest Association.

One thing is certain, while holiday traditions have changed somewhat over the ages; we all share a common bond. We are a part of this wonderful holiday continuum that adds to the journey of discovery, as we give ourselves permission to step outside of everyday life and experience the joy of giving and receiving.

Happy Holiday
Happy Holiday
While the merry bells keep ringing
May your every wish come true …”

— Happy Holiday, from The Holiday Inn (1942), Irving Berlin


Swartz, B.K. Jr. “The Origin of American Christmas Myth and Customs”

Lane, Sarah, “The Origin of Christmas Traditions”

Catholic Online, “Saint Nicholas.” Retrieved Dec. 13, 2010.

Link to the Original Article: 122010_christmas_through_the_ages_right_at_home_in_santa_barbara

Noozhawk contributor Carla Iacovetti can be reached at ciacovetti@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews or @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

The impressionable child: Divorce battles and their influence on children