You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 22, 2008

nudging maternalism beats Nudge‘s paternalism

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,Procrastination Punditry — David Giacalone @ 12:23 pm

.. … from making Christmas happen for her kids . . .

.. to sharing Holidays with Great-grandchildren . .

Mama G. has followed in her mother’s loving footsteps for over half a century, continuing and creating holiday traditions — scraping pennies and dishes; stuffing envelopes and turkeys; embracing changes and children.

Christmas again:
she shops and shops
and chops cardoons

.. by dagosan

The folks at the Sunstein and Thaler Nudge Weblog tried to cure me of my Scroogy holiday procrastination, after I turned in desperation last week to the decision-making principles and “choice architecture” presented in their book “Nudge” (Yale Univ. Press 2008).  Readers at their website suggested a new To Do List and strategically-positioned post-it reminders.  But it’s really only the image of Mama G. that finally got me off my balking backside to get Christmas 2008 into gear.  Her modeling of constant holiday preparation, between work and daily family duties, and her nurturing of the spirit of the season despite fatigue and the greedy neediness of her young offspring, have left me suitably motivated — by admiration and obligation.

Clearly, maternal nudging — that sweet mixture of nature and nurture, example and guilt — represents the Holiday Decision Tree I needed to stop stalling and start spreading holiday cheer.

too tired
to untangle
christmas lights

………… by Roberta Beary 

That’s all I wanted to say, as I dive into a final, long day of holiday preparation before heading tomorrow for Rochester, NY.  I’ll be en-joying Christmas with Mama G. and all the other women in my family who always work so hard to make Christmas and every other major holiday warm and loving (and filling) for generations of their children.  Of course, I’ll also bask in the company of many other relatives (young and old), including all the males who are so well-fed and pampered like the little kids we are at Christmastime.

I’m coming, Mama G., thanks for the gentle nudge into Holiday Spirit.

Christmas Eve calamari
Nana serves
Grandma’s recipes

…. by dagosan

holiday recipes…
I set a haiku
on the backburner

how did Santa know?
a roll of duct tape
in my stocking

…………………. by laryalee fraser

.. postscript: It’s easy to forget that our mothers and grandmothers were once little children with Christmas dreams and disappointments of their own.  A few years ago, my family discovered a family portrait photo of my maternal grandmother, Elisabetta Catino Papagni, with her siblings, circa 1902, when she was still a toddler.  That’s her image, at the start of this postscript.  For the first decades of my life, every Christmas was orchestrated and revolved around Grandma Papagni, and both her absence and love are especially felt this time of year.  Although she might want to do a thing or two a little differently, I know she would be proud of the way her daughters have carried on and passed on both her recipes and her tradition of holiday love and joy.  She always wanted her grandson Davie to “mangia” some more.  I hope I can earn her holiday blessings each year by honoring her wish to refill my plate often, and then to help wash those plates after every lovingly-made meal.

red envelopes
the sound
of children’s laughter

……….. by Yu ChangUpstate Dim Sum 2003/I

p.s. If you’re smuggly finished with all your Holiday Prep, and have spare time for celebrating the Winter Solstice, the f/k/a Gang suggests you treat yourself to viewing the new edition of Haiga Online (Vol. 9-2), where you will find fine examples of the haiga genre (images combined with linked haiku or similar poems), along with this one by dagosan.

Then, if you have additional time to kill, please ponder this seasonal mystery: Where do all the snow shovels go between winters? Why is there always such a big rush for shovels at hardware and home-supply stores after the first major storm each year?


  1. David:

    Loved “holiday recipes” by laryalee fraser. Thanks, hope you are having good times.


    Comment by Don — December 26, 2008 @ 9:51 am

  2. […] Turns out that mom was the best nudge for f/k/a. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)A Nudge pollYou’re a Mean One…My […]

    Pingback by Nudge Blog ping — January 4, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress