Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
From the Editor: December 2018

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Photo by Evelin Horvath. See more of Evelin's work at

Several weeks ago, one of my children asked if we'd be traveling for any holidays this year. My answer—an unequivocal "no,"—didn't bother her: she's as much of a homebody as I am. She shared that while she was "glad not to get in a car," she'd miss not having everyone—aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins—sitting around a big table. "I like having everyone together," she said. "Remember that time we had to put the kids' table in the foyer?"

Our reason for not traveling at holiday time is simple: too often we're harboring a pesky virus, and because one Thanksgiving we brought influenza from Dayton to Chicago (and gave it to anyone who came into contact with us or the cherry pie I had baked), we now tend to stay put, celebrating with local friends (who have become like family) or by ourselves.

But my daughter's reaction gave me time to reflect on what I like about the holidays: the enchantment of twinkling lights, the scent of baking gingerbread cookies, the almost ubiquitous feelings of joy and kindness, and just like my daughter, the uninterrupted family time.

Curious, I perused the internet for what other people consider their favorite parts of the extended holiday season. Repeatedly, the same themes arose: classic movies, tried-and true recipes, gift giving, holiday music, random acts of kindness, and yes, you guessed it, family time. Despite all the rituals and traditions that can vary across countries, cultures, and religions, the most important thing to people is family.

After fifteen years together, our readers are like family to us. We're grateful to have you while you're here, and we're hoping to see you for years to come. From our family to yours, may you find your favorite parts of the holiday with your own family this season and throughout the entire year.

Welcome to the December issue.

Senior Editor

P.S. Stay connected between monthly issues by subscribing to our blog or by following us on social media. Also, explore our archives to discover more mothers' voices!

The End of a Circle : Blue Christmas by Jennifer Golden

Creative Nonfiction
The Grief We Carry by Michelle DuBarry
Hidden Mountains by Genevieve Douglass Persen

Permission Slipped by Jaime Pollard-Smith
Letdown by Rachel Mans McKenny

Literary Reflections
A Story Worth Telling by Karen Debonis
Essential Reading: Gift Recommendations compiled by Nerys Copelovitz

 Why You Love the Ocean by Karen Pojmann
The Messiah Could Have Gotten Listeria by Heather Lanier
Polar Guides by Sarah Burns
After Birth by Sarah Murphy-Kangas
In Your Room, a Moth, Trying to Get at the Light Source by Anna Gates Ha

A Conversation with Saadia Faruqi by Rudri Bhatt Patel
A Conversation with Alicia Jo Rabins by Camille-Yvette Welsch

A Review of Fruit Geode by Kandra Strauss-Riggs
A Review of Every Room in the Body by Camille-Yvette Welsch

Images by Nonki Azariah, Danilo Batista, Evelin Horvath, Nikko Macaspac, Mike Schaffner, Feliphe Schiarolli, Rui Silvestre, Sabato Visconti

Christina Consolino has had work featured in Brevity Blog, Flights: The Literary Journal of Sinclair Community CollegeHuffPostShort Fiction Break, and Tribe Magazine and is the coauthor of Historic Photos of University of Michigan. She is a founding member of The Plot Sisters, a local writing group that strives to offer compassionate writing critiques and promote literary citizenship, and also serves on the board of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop. Along with writing and editing, Christina is Marketing Communications Manager for Brunner Literacy Center in Dayton, Ohio, where she lives with her husband, four children, and several pets.

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