Goodbye, 2020, and Good RIDDANCE.

It’s January 2021, and a happy new year to all! Considering the year we just had, it makes me wonder—are we even making resolutions this year?

I’ve started 2021 with a single thought: less is more.

Normally I’d start the year with a giant list of goals, planning to make my year amazing by accomplishing a million things.

But if my years of writing have taught me anything, it’s that one rarely finds success by continually chasing after something new—more often than not, what we needed was something we already had… we just didn’t realise it at the time.

Christmas Gift Guide 2020 for Christmas in a Pandemic!

Last updated on January 4th, 2021 at 03:06 pm

Some content creators are like Andrea and plan their gift guides months in advance, helping their communities see what’s on-trend for the holiday season so they can buy the best and brightest gifts for the people they love. You have hundreds—if not thousands—who put holiday content out in the months that follow, keenly aware that it’s the time where internet searching’s at its highest and want to get in on the action.

And I try—my lead-up to Christmas sees no end to the email exchanges, nights of writing, and the piles of to-do lists that are generally a lot more to and not nearly enough do. In some ways, I wish I could be more on top of things and be ready for all the holidays, but the juggle is real and I always have less time than I have imagination.

But you don’t let good content go to waste, and that’s why I still wanted to get this year’s gift guide out, even if it meant I needed to do some tweaking in the process.

After all—most of us want to see something special under the tree no matter how old we are, right?

But enough preamble. Without further ado, I’m proud to present my 2020 Gift Guide: “The Things You Want to See Under that Tree!”

I hope you enjoy it!


What do you really hope to see under the tree on Christmas when a pandemic has you stuck at home?

Does Santa Still Visit in a Global Pandemic?

The Palmer Boys Horsing Around at Christmas

COVID-19‘s made for a very different holiday season, changing the things we look for when there’s nowhere to travel to or nothing to dress up for. For me, these past nine months have really put a focus on the world immediately around me, obsessing over using up all these things I already have before I even think about adding more stuff to the mix.

But pandemic or no, Christmas is still a thing, and even without the grandiose dinners with our families or so many of the traditions passed down for generations, I have this sneaking suspicion that people are still expecting gifts under the tree on the 25th!

It wasn’t easy to get our shop on this year, though, with retail stores on lockdown, supply chains askew and our wants and needs becoming so much simpler. Instead of fancy new gadgets, we just wanted a meal from our favourite restaurant. Or we’d swap expensive clothing for a night out drinking with friends in a heartbeat. This list has been so strange to put together, but it’s finally here, filled with plenty of things that should catch the attention of all sorts of people in your life! Kids. Coders. Spouses, influencers and everyone in between. If you don’t see something that strikes your fancy, here’s hoping it helps you think of someone else!

Casey Palmer, Author

Last updated on November 5th, 2020 at 03:15 am

And then all of a sudden, we were halfway through 2020 and I was getting ready to write a book.

Casey Palmer, Author — I didn’t see it coming, but I’ll take it!

It all started back in the summer when Scott Fraser reached out to ask me about an idea. Recently named the President/Publisher of Dundurn Press, one of the things he wanted to make was a parenting book from a Black father’s perspective.

It wasn’t hard to do the math. In an environment where sizeable publishers had published only a couple dozen books on Black fatherhood in the last thirty years and so many people trying better to understand after the events of May 25th, it was a perfect moment for a quality book to give voice to a group too often written off by the world around them.

It was clear that a book on Black fatherhood was direly needed to keep up with the times, but at first, I didn’t know if I was the man for the job.

Live from the 3.5, 2020 — Back to Black. — Casey and His Kids
Casey Palmer, Author. Qualifications: Had children. Wrote about it 😂

Casey Palmer, Author vs. Impostor Syndrome.

Here’s my issue—in a few weeks, my eldest son will be seven years old. And my world today looks entirely different from the one I lived in when he first showed up in 2013. It means that I’ve learned a lot through raising my kids, and the pandemic gave me a lot of insight into them I might not have gotten otherwise… but there was still so much parenting I’d have no idea about because I hadn’t made it there yet!

What did I have to offer the dad to a seventeen-year-old? What could I say to the dad of a twenty-seven-year-old that he hadn’t heard before? These were the kinds of questions bouncing through my head as Scott explained the vision he had in mind. Who was I to write this sweeping tale on Black fathers when I’d barely scratched the surface myself?

But Scott just asked me this:

“If not you, then who?”

Dad 2.0 Digital

I was offered a media pass to cover Dad 2.0 Digital as an attendee, but all opinions continue to remain my own.


Eight months ago, plans were in the works to run a second Dad 2.0 conference this year with Dad 2.0 West, an event that would’ve been in Los Angeles, California to kick off an impressive new expansion to the brand. But—as with all too many things thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic—those plans were soon shelved without anyone knowing what was coming next. And then in their Fatherhood on Friday post on July 24th, the Dad 2.0 staff hit us with the news we’d all been waiting for—that instead of Dad 2.0 West, they’d serve it up in a digital format—let me tell you all about Dad 2.0 Digital.

Dad 2.0 Digital | Why Did I Go?

Dad 2.0 Digital — Pandemic or No, The Show Must Go On! — Get the App

Now I have to admit that I didn’t initially plan to go to Dad 2.0 Digital because I was just too busy. Though I had a great time at Dad 2.018 in New Orleans and Dad 2.020 in Washington D.C. alike, my world had changed since George Floyd got murdered, and plenty was filling my plate as one of Canada’s few Black content creators.

But they say not to forget where you came from, and I have so many successes that come from Dad 2.0 that I’d be a fool to ignore them. I’m a cohost of Brothers in Booze thanks to Dad 2.0. I’ve been on various podcasts thanks to Dad 2.0. So when Doug French generously offered up a media pass so I could write on Dad 2.0 Digital, who was I to say no? And so on October 1st, amidst a bevvy of presentations and planning sessions, I logged into the conference on Socio to see what Dad 2.0 Digital would have in store!

Is it COVID or is it a COLD?

Last updated on November 5th, 2020 at 12:11 am

Where COVID Testing Gets Inconvenient

“Get used to it, buddy—this probably won’t be your last one.”

— Sarah to our six-year-old as a long swab’s inserted up his nostril to test for COVID-19

I’m not one to stand in line for tickets or the latest restaurant opening, but if you want me to wait two hours to get a COVID-19 test for my kids, apparently I’m about that life.

After catching a slight cough last weekend that’d be nothing to worry over in The Before Times, we feared that they wouldn’t take our four-year-old in his kindergarten class, so at 7:50 Wednesday morning, I got in line at Michael Garron Hospital to get COVID-19 tests for the fam.

But don’t get me wrong, this was no easy undertaking—I was already fiftieth in line, and that’s before counting the extra people who were doing what I was doing… snagging spots early so their kids would have to wait as little as possible.

And it’s a good thing, too, because despite showing up forty minutes early for doors opening at 8:30, we’d spend over two hours in line, much of that with a couple of kids who didn’t shy away from letting us know how they really felt.

What it’s like to get a test for COVID-19.

The Corona Chronicles | Day One Hundred and Ninety-Five | Monday, September 28th, 2020 | Is it COVID or is it a COLD? — The Boys Sitting and Waiting
This could only end well….

Now, did all four of us need to get COVID tests? No, but it was better to be safe than sorry. After all, even if our youngest was negative, if another case got in the house because we didn’t bother to check, what would this all have been for, anyway?

So we stood in that line, armed with devices and snacks waiting to experience this test that everyone’s been talking about.