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Really, after a certain age, what does one get one’s mother for her birthday?

After exhausting my sister’s brilliant idea that began several years ago with “40 Things We Love About Aunt Amy,” we’d run through the whole family (our mom included) and desperately needed a new schtick.

Enter the Mamafesto. A while back, my dear friend Jill wrote a brilliant manifesto for a writing workshop. I wrote my own, Jackalope Ranch is now doing a series — the manifesto has arrived.

So why not a Mamafesto? You know, all the good advice (well, the advice that’s fit to print) your mom has given you over the years?

With no further delay, here it is, a birthday present to you, Mom, from Jenny and me. And thank you. We’ve learned a lot — so far.

1. Always announce that you have a big butt (even if you don’t) before anyone else can say it about you first.

2. It’s perfectly acceptable to start the day with a Diet Coke.

3. It’s okay to refuse to get in the pool until the water temperature is 90.

4. Eating Brach’s by-the-pound candy while walking through the grocery store is not stealing, as long as you tell the clerk to lean on the scale a little when you hand her the wrapper-filled bag.

5. Birthday celebrations cannot be too big when it comes to your children.

6. Half birthdays deserve to be celebrated, too.

7. Shoulder pads are always in style.

8. Santa Claus does not discriminate against Jews, but don’t expect anything more than Trident gum from the Easter Bunny.

9. If you are going to fast on Yom Kippur, be sure to eat breakfast first.

10. When you don’t have a coffee filter, toilet paper will do.

11. When buying gifts, purchase one large, lovely thing — instead of a pile of crappy little things.

12. The best Christmas song of all time is and always will be “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

13. They call Scrabble a game, but it’s very serious business.

14. Democrats are better than Republicans.

15. It’s more important to be creative than to be organized.

16. A little green fuzz on the raspberries never hurt anyone.

17. You can’t please everyone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

18. If you feel like your neck is sagging a little, put on a birthday hat. The elastic under your chin will do wonders.

19. You can never tell your kids too often that you love them.

20. The show must go on.

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Tags: Filed under: birthday parties, family by Amysilverman

8 Responses to “Mamafesto: Happy Birthday, Mom. Everything Worth Knowing, You Taught Us”

  1. And…..
    I have the best daughters … & grand kids* in the world……
    Evidence that my manifesto should be followed…..
    a loving and insanely grateful Mom…….

    *and sons in law…..but I can’t take credit…..:)

  2. I realize I have never met your mother but I already love her.

  3. Happy Birthday to an amazing mom. She taught you well.

  4. your mom sounds fabulous!

  5. I love this. I’m stealing it for my mom’s birthday. What has she taught me?

    - If you buy white dishes at yardsales, then everything will match eclectically
    - There’s always room for one more person at the dinner table. Just make an extra side-dish, so the food will stretch to cover last-minute guests.
    - Most people are crazy. Try to be kind.
    - Normalcy is overrated.
    - It’s a good idea to travel halfway around the world after college.
    - The activities that mass-culture promotes as fun are often not fun. Here’s what is fun: Reading. Drinking tea. Talking with old friends. Gardening, but only if you do it your way.
    - Try to leave the world a better place than you found it. This includes sneaking out in the middle of the night to plant sunflowers on a military base.

    Oh, I could go on, but I ought to get back to work. What a great idea.

  6. I thought of your mom the other day when I was going through stuff and i found my “bye bye thigh fat club – member of the month!” ribbon!!!!! <3

  7. Leah….I hope you saved it…I think it’s very valuable….

  8. [...] by Amy Silverman’s Mamafesto, I am moved to write down some of the many, many things that my mother taught [...]

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