It’s December, must be time for some Classic Caterpickles

The (then) Four-Year-Old, inspecting the landing pad she drew on the beach for Santa and his reindeer. (Photo: Shala Howell)

The (then) Four-Year-Old, inspecting the landing pad she drew on the beach for Santa and his reindeer. (Photo: Shala Howell)

I can always tell when Thanksgiving is over because the searches for my Santa posts go through the roof. Most years, I repost the Santa questions on Mondays as Classic Caterpickles, which let me get through the holidays without doing any extra work. (Wait, did I type that out loud?)


This year, I have higher aspirations for myself. I’m still planning to repost those Santa questions because clearly, folks want to know when Santa’s birthday is, how old he is, and why some folks call him Kris Kringle, but I’m going to do them on Thursdays, and keep slogging through The Nine-Year-Old’s ever-growing list of fresh questions on Mondays. It’s the Caterpickles version of #throwbackthursday.

(For you Caterpickles trivia buffs out there, my most requested post of all time is “How long can jellyfish sting after they’re dead?” — which, interestingly enough, is a question that came up on Christmas vacation.)


About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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