Find out how you can ensure your kids avoid boredom regardless of whether they are locked in the house because of weather or the coronavirus crisis.

Let your kids play mad scientist by mixing vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Let your kids play mad scientist by mixing vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Let your kids play mad scientist by mixing vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

One of the facts of life is that kids’ cabin fever is real, and it can be really annoying to parents. We’ve all been there. “Mom, I’m booooooored,” says your kid with the heaviest sigh and an eye roll to boot.


I am waxing nostalgic and sharing this love letter to my former home, the nation’s capital, in the wake of the Trump Capitol insurrection.

Democracy is as fragile as the snow globe of Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Democracy is as fragile as the snow globe of Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Democracy is as fragile as this snow globe of Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

Some places will stay with you. The memories of the place stick to you like your DNA. Washington, D.C. has always been that place to me. As a bright-eyed 17-year-old girl, I went to the nation’s capital for the first time. A friend of mine and my teachers had recommended me, then the captain and MVP of my high school debate team, to be part of the National Young Leaders Conference. I don’t think that conference exists anymore. And, yes, my glory days were spent on the debate team. …


Find out how Italians celebrate the Epiphany on January 6 and learn all about the Italian Christmas witch.

La Befana is the Italian Christmas witch, who gives gifts on the feast of the Epiphany. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
La Befana is the Italian Christmas witch, who gives gifts on the feast of the Epiphany. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
La Befana is the Italian Christmas witch. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

Buona Befana! This is the greeting Italians share with one another on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany. It marks the end of the holiday season and recognizes the arrival of the three Magi to baby Jesus’ manger. As a religious feast, the Epiphany also is a celebration of the realization that Jesus was God incarnate and thus the Savior.


I spend much of my time talking to MBA students, administrators, and professors at the best business schools in the world. Discover their advice.

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Businesspeople are the masters of job hunting and networking, which is why they have the best career tips. After all, business schools train students to build a long-term career that reaps professional and financial rewards. Much of this training happens in the career centers at top MBA programs, such as University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, London Business School, and more.


Find out how I’m dealing (or not dealing) with the fact that the pandemic upended all my plans for my son’s first year of life

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In November 2019, while I was at the hospital with my newborn son Pasquale, I held him in my arms and looked at his delicious little face. I whispered to him that I had big plans for his big brother Enzo and him. First, we would celebrate Thanksgiving with guests from Italy, who were coming to meet him. Then, we’d have a big party for his baptism and Christmas with our extended family in the United States and more family from Italy. …


Discover the annual tradition of building an artistic nativity scene that takes people far beyond Bethlehem and the manger

Check out my father’s presepio and his story about it, which changes every year, and better understand this delightful Neapolitan tradition. Video by Francesca Di Meglio with cooperation by Pasquale Di Meglio

In Naples, Italy, some families will have a Christmas tree but all Catholic families will have a presepio or nativity scene. A few will be simple manger scenes typical of what you’d see anywhere during the holidays. But most will be an elaborate artistic expression. …


Discover the traditional Christmas Eve menu full of seafood and sans meat for Italians and those of us living in Italian America.

Pasta with octopus and tomatoes. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Pasta with octopus and tomatoes. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Pasta with octopus and tomatoes is a typical dish served on Christmas Eve in southern Italy and among Italian Americans. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

Christmas Eve, known as la Vigilia di Natale in Italy, is the true holiday for Italians. Certainly, we exchange gifts on Christmas morning and have a lovely lunch all together. But our feast with the extended family and friends happens the night before Christmas. It is when we eat fish, only fish.


Discover the joys of cooking with your children and the benefits it provides.

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“I love cooking with you, Mommy,” says my 9-year-old son. “Let’s do it more.”


Find out how to become your own boss, work from home, and earn a living from someone who has been a freelance writer for nearly two decades.

Becoming your own boss is possible if you take the necessary steps to become a freelance writer. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Becoming your own boss is possible if you take the necessary steps to become a freelance writer. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

My plan always was to become a freelance writer. First, I was going to work on staff at different publications as a writer and editor. However, I ended up changing course 7 years earlier than I had anticipated. Sometimes, life makes these kinds of decisions for you.


Find out how to ensure your kids keep believing in the magic and wonder of Santa Claus even in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.

In 2020, we get the elves in our house but we can’t see Santa at the mall or on the street. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
In 2020, we get the elves in our house but we can’t see Santa at the mall or on the street. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

My son is 9 years old and still believes in Santa. In 2020, the year of pandemic, we need him to keep believing. We need him to hold onto that innocence and experience the joys of Santa’s magic. The truth is that I need to believe.

About

Francesca Di Meglio

Francesca Di Meglio is a veteran reporter who has worked for Bloomberg Businessweek and Ladies’ Home Journal. Visit francescaandantonio.com for her blog.

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