Ask Caroline

Caroline Manzo tackles questions on holiday loneliness, moving, and fashion.

on Jun 19, 20110

Got a question for Caroline? Send it.

Jo from Pelham, NH says: Caroline - I was wondering if you had any ideas for the upcoming holiday season. My husband is in the coast guard and will be gone for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. This is the first year in our marriage we will spend all these holidays apart. We have two boys who are 13 and 15. This is going to be really hard on them this year. They are used to dad missing things such as Christmas or birthdays, but it gets to them. I was hoping you could give some insight on how to make this holiday season special with my husband gone.

Caroline says: I hear you loud and clear, Jo. My husband is in the restaurant business, and my kids and I have celebrated more holidays and birthdays without him than with him. Explain to your boys that their dad is not absent by choice, and if he could be there to celebrate, he would.

I think the biggest mistake you could make would be to minimize the holiday because your husband isn’t there. Keep the tradition going; decorate, cook, and celebrate as you normally would. Fill the house with people, surround your boys with love and laughter. Sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves is not an option, and I’m willing to bet your husband would agree with me.

You’re going to think I’m crazy but here’s another thought… Who says Christmas has to be in December? Make up your own Christmas Day. If your husband is home now, have Christmas in June. Put up a tree, buy gifts, cook a great meal and celebrate. Your sons will probably think you’ve lost your mind, but when all is said and done, it will be a memory they will always treasure, I guarantee it. (I still recommend you celebrate 12/25 as well.)

Bottom line is when life gives you lemons you have to make lemonade. Attitude is everything. The good news is this is a temporary situation with your husband, and you’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the holidays together in the future. Some people aren’t that lucky. Just remember to count your blessings.

92 comments
NATHAN HAMM
NATHAN HAMM

Hey Caroline, I really love watching your show and you are the only one that I could be a friend with. You are the only one on the show that shows maturity with your friends and family. I have so much problems with my mother-in-law that is causes so many fights with my wife. My 25 year old son acts the same way as she does. She lives about 1,000 miles away and our son lives about 1,200 miles away but it seems like they are around the block becasue they cause so much tention within our family. I love them both but at this moment, I do not like them. What to do without making my wife fight with me about this situation.

VeraSilva
VeraSilva

Caroline, I am super fan of yours..to be honest ..I got sick and tired of show because Teresa Jealousness and tackiness..You don't need that..I am glad you find out ..better late than never!!! Love all

MONICA MARTINEZ
MONICA MARTINEZ

Caroline,hi my name is Monica Martinez from Las Vegas,NV.I'm a big fan of youradvice & the show.I'm always curious to know your advice on life.My husband's ex wife is so vindictive towards him & when it comes to the child support stuff. Just this past week we went to court & she asked the judge for her original child support payment of $550 monthly.I think she's being unfair because she only has one child & the other two are imancipated. My husband was ordered to pay only $110 monthly for one child who is still under her care. Another thing is that my husband is not working,only me,I hold down two jobs one for the school district & the other with the county.What should I do I'm so pissed off but I don't want her to know I am or that she's getting to us.Help Mrs. Manzo???

Helen Harvey
Helen Harvey

Carolyn...Just watched the episode of Real Housewives showing you in a lovely vacation spot but unable to join in the activities and enjoy your trip because of a migraine. As a fellow migraine sufferer, my heart broke for you because I've had the same experience too many times. I wondered if you have tried an Rx called Imitrex? After many years of suffering with nothing working, this is one prescription which does afford me some relief. I take it in the form of a nasal spray and while it doesn't make me feel 100%, it does allow me to function. Hugs & best wishes..

Jane1979
Jane1979

I've had a fued with my sisters and mother for many many years! I lost respect and trust for all of them. I know that sounds mean! I have a major history of hardships that I've gone through and realized that it's only made a stronger person. I've completely came to the point hat I'm happier without them in my life. I cant hate the people they hate.. I was abused as a child for 7 years and my parents decided to put me out of the house at 12 because it happen to be one of my sisters husband! I've completely over it. Now it seems to dawn on them on bringing up the past. It's hurtfull, But I cant answer the questions to why it happened. Because it started when I was 6. I turned to all the bad things in life and now Im a grown woman with 2 awesome children. I'm the youngest and somehow they seem to jump the gun towards me when they need resources and other things. I've turned my back and text them once in a while that I love them and keep it simple! Do you think I'm hurting them because of the way I am now?

GRANZD
GRANZD

Hi, caroline iam from hawaii and i like the show and really like you and how you are trying to keep the family toghther. But i don't get why teresa just can't get along with melissa although they seem alike, I really think because teresa had every thing she wanted at one time and don't as much now she is jealous of melissa and don't know how to deal with it you could just see it when teresa was invited over and showed teresa her recording room. I see that melissa want to try and work things out and make things better for the family and her husband. But teresa not trying hard enough.Well caroline keep up the good work ALOHA GRAMZD

AussieGirl
AussieGirl

Hi Caroline...I really hope that you get to read this. I admire you,you are a lovely woman,a great mother and wife and a very loyal friend. I think that you are great,one of the nicest down to earth women that I have seen on these reality TV Shows. Cheers and Good Luck with everything. Ausssie Female

kathy luvs bravo
kathy luvs bravo

I Love the Housewives series. I feel Caroline gives GREAT ADVICE but it is advise with a knowledge that you as a person are set for life. I had a love we were together thru thick and thin. we lasted 11 yrs then ... he had a bad year he tried to kill himself with a gun to his head... god answered my prayers and he did not hit any cognitive parts of his brain.... BUT AFTER I pointed out that we need to act causously as you just tried to leave me permanantly ... he says you are right I tried to leave you... got with my friend / ex girlfriend of his bestfriend ... How am I sopposed to accept this. I have been so upset the fattest food possible has been my solice.

Jule
Jule

Caroline, I would like to hear from your mouth if you think you are being loyal to Teresa. Without a doubt, she is a piece of work in progress; however Teresa is a true friend to you. She loves Jacqueline and you without reservation. You seem to (appear to) have changed toward her. I can not abode anyone being so ruthless and disloyal and I know that you will need Teresa'a friendship in the future. Did your husband suggest that you develop a friendship with Kathy for sake of the business? The Brownstone may not always be so lucrative and you children may fall on hard times. You head is way up there. To make jest of how Teresa deals with her personal pain in criminal, and I quote "Teresa will just put on that smile and say everything os fiiiinnnneee". That was catty and not so Caroline. Just look at who is getting the most BLOGS and that will tell you who the real STAR of the RHNJ is.

Missy3
Missy3

Caroline, after each episode I watch I try to figure out how I can adapt your parenting into my household. I am a stay at home mom to three amazing little boys trying to create a loving, fun, structured and respectful environment for my boys. My life's mission is to help the boys to grow up to be responsible men, to be honest, moral men, and most of all to be close to each other. The piece that is missing is my husband who passed away 4 years ago. I am struggling to be everything to the boys and don't want to let them or my husband down. I fear that I am not giving them that strong male role model, the discipline to demand respect me or each other, and most of all the tools to stand strong in the world. I wish I could fly you down to give me a quick 101 on how you created the childen and family that you have. Do you have any, "If they do this you need to do this" advice?

Judy Karnes
Judy Karnes

You are so sweet. Watch you every week.

Lisa Variara
Lisa Variara

Caroline... I loved the bracelts you gave to the kids. I hope they all wear them all the time. Did your husband get one as well? Every family should be as happy as yours. I love watching you guys every week, even reruns. You are all so awsome.

Jill W
Jill W

Caroline...you are the only one of ANY of the Housewives franchise with any sense or class. You are so calm, truly love your family and husband and give excellent advice. I've been listening to you and thank you for your positive, good energy. Jacqueline seems nice too, but don''t really know her like you.

Ladyaudi320
Ladyaudi320

I was very proud of Melissa and her husband for putting Monica out they were coming to your house with alot of drama. You let them know that family and blood is thicker than water. I'm upset that no one put Kim G out for bring Monica in the first place. Now I see why Caroline stay away from Kim G. The classy woman on Real Housewives of NJ. She's done a wonderful job with her children and her husband is very low key. I was alittle disappointed that Kim G wasn't thrown out. Send Kim G back with Danielle.

Bob from San Francisco
Bob from San Francisco

Caroline, I'm old enough to be your Father... but that aside, if I could live it all over again, I would choose you and your family as my Mamma e papà. Keep up your good works on radio and don't change a thing with famiglia. :-)

Opinion09
Opinion09

When life gives me lemons - I demand tequilia......

Vinnie Albano
Vinnie Albano

Hi Caroline, I am from Brooklyn and now live in P.A. My name is Vinnie, I think you and your Family are the best. Its great to see a nice Italian Family like mine. It was good when my mom was alive but now things are different. I don't speak to my dad any more and miss those family get togethers. Can you guide me in the right direction.

Thank you.

Hadley
Hadley

Hi Caroline - first, I watched the latest episode (shown on Bravo) last night and you just launched your radio advice hour. Congrats to you! You are such a breathe of fresh air to the Bravo Network. I think you are the only one of all the Real Housewives 'franchise' that has the wisdom, sophistication and sense of true reality to sensibly give advice to others. So kudos to you....very nice to see you pursue a dream and fun to watch it happen "live". Question for you - I am 43, never married, own my own insurance brokerage, have my own money and unfortunatly have no children and had to have a hysterectomy recently. My boyfriend of 2 years lives 6 blocks away. He has never been married and has no kids either. We are independent but are committed to each other. I enjoy having my own space, as does he. We have recently discussed marriage but would hate to ruin a good thing! One of the reasons to get married would be to appease my parents and his, who would both like to see their kids get married. What do you think about us getting married for the sake of our aging parents sake? We would be committed either way...should we make it official to appease our folks? We would likely still keep our own homes as we both like our space (and I don't want his craft beer stuff and boat stuff and fishing things.....and he doesn't need to have my office stuff in the home). Thoughts? I would appreciate your true and real wisdom on this. Thank you!

greatfallsfan
greatfallsfan

Why are you on radio and what on earth kind of advice can you give when you support your son in starting up a strip-car-wash venture? Is that how we mothers should raise our boys to be good fathers to their future daughters?

Kay Williams
Kay Williams

I have been married to a wonderful man for 42 years. The only fault with him is that her interups when you are talking. I had told him about this several times and then I just recently looked at him and told him to stop interupting me when I am talking. It has gottent o the point that I don't want to be around friends or family because he always does the talking and he interups everyone. It's driving me crazy.

Starla
Starla

She "gets" Melissa's side because deep down inside she has never liked Theresa . Just saying.

In Laws are coming
In Laws are coming

Dear Caroline, The only time my husand & I fight is when we are around each others family. His family coming this holiday weekend and still no plans are what we are going to do with eight people, where everyone is sleeping and what time they are leaving. I am a planner and his family isn't at all. We end up walking around in circles and they never make can make up their minds what to do. I have in the past made plans and my guy thinks I am being bossy! It drives me crazy and I have asked in the past what do you what to do and sometimes I don't even get an answer!!! They are wonderful sweet people who just can't make up their minds about the smallest things. I came from a family who tell you how they feel all the time -his family doesn't talk.

gessie
gessie

I don't like you this season. You keep bringing up Theresa's problems, but it does not seem like you are very much on her side. Your problem is that your kids are leaving the house at 26? Boo-de-freaking-hoo. You did'nt have fun at the Catskills because you can't let your hair down anymore. You are not the same. And now you are on Melissa's side? I just can't believe all this! You say Theresa had such a hard year! You don't think when she sees how your feelings and actions have changed towards her that that will hurt her even more? I like your brother because he doesn't judge people. You and your husband have been doing far too much of that lately. He didn't go to the Catskills because he didn't want to be with "those people."

love you
love you

Caroline, this is totally off the subject, but can you please tell your son Chris that I've had his "color" theory since I was a kid. I don't know if you remember from season one, but you were all sitting around the table talking and Chris was talking about how people may see colors differently. I was amazed to hear him saying this, because I've had the same theory since I was a kid (I'm 35 now). I know it's coming from way out in left field, but I really want him to know he's not the only crazy person who believes this! Btw- love you and your entire family. It reminds me of me and my siblings....always laughing and having a great time just being together :-)

ViewerPalma Ryckebusch
ViewerPalma Ryckebusch

Caroline, I have a lot of respect for you but please don't become a know it all. I did not like the way you just kept saying to Teresa that the both of you are at fault. You were not listening to what Teresa was saying. You keep interupting her as if you don't want to hear it. Some what like a know-it all. All Mellissa has done since she got on the show was belittle, talk trash, complain, and compare her self to Teresa. I have not heard Teresa harly even mention Mellissa except for when she is trying how to fixs thins with her brother for herself and her family. Then, when you said that you understand what has been happenng to Mellissa on WWWL I flet was a low blow. Even Dina says she see no jealousy from Theresa' side. And Dina is a lot closer to them then you are. I am getting tired of new house wives coming on the show with an ajenda and clearly both of the new ones have thier own!

MyBlackIsBeautiful
MyBlackIsBeautiful

Love me some Caroline. Caroline i have to admit that i was not to fun of you the first season, but watching you this season so far has been a pleasure, you are the most beautiful woman on the show, as a matter of fact you are the most beautiful woman of all the housewives shows, some people lone for the relationship with family like yours, i love your sons and daughter, and your husband is a pleasure to watch. You guys don't fake getting alone like most housewives shows, another thing your friend looks alot like Dina. Anyway i Love me some Caroline, thanks for being authentic, even on camera.

Luv2012
Luv2012

Caroline I luv you. you tell it like it is and you do it with warmth honesty respect and truth. You're direct and then you say pick yourself up. You have been an inspiration and I wish that when it's my turn I am blessed with a loving family like yours. Thank you for showing me what a strong woman is.

xx

Rachel Banks
Rachel Banks

Unbiased!!! Pleasssse...only one word to say about the spin doctors makeover for the Manzo's...BORING...even the brother/Jacquline and that spoiled 'yawn" daughter of hers...BRAVO you can do better than this...if we must have a "normal" family unit show us more of the Wakiles family who seem way more relatable.

TINA M
TINA M

you are amazing. the end. love you

Tracy Fallon
Tracy Fallon

Caroline, you ROCK woman!! Love you on the show !! Keep keepin it real !!

MG Avalos
MG Avalos

What happened between you and Theresa that made you take up for Melissa?

Ann Marie
Ann Marie

You are one classy lady-who knows how to set things straight. How you deal with some of your cast mates is beyond me, but I admire the way you do it. This show would be really missing something without you. I wish you much success with your radio show!!

Maryhelbert
Maryhelbert

Why did you throw Teresa under the bus? Did you see Kathy and Melissa blogs? They are trashing Teresa again. Stick up for Teresa!

karentc
karentc

You go girl. watch out Wendy Williams. You are almost as great as she is!

mYD
mYD

You are not a very good friend this year...You come across as a know it all...You might want to give yourself advice on treating your daughter as though she is just as important as your sons.... you give the impression that without the sons in the house it's already empty of children...Tone it down a little, you are just too overbearing this season

socalgal2012
socalgal2012

Jacqueline, Teresa, and Caroline are the "Holy Trinity" of all the Housewives shows. RHNJ is the only one that has "heart".

Caroline - I love ya "Mama Manzo" but lately you are coming off a little "high and mighty". Yes celebrities acknowledge they love you and you are doing some fabulous high profiled things - but tone it down a little.

You know Teresa has had issues (and she has caused some of the problems herself) but she has always been loyal to you. Why did you need to stir the pot on WWHL and announce you are, essentially, "Team Melissa". You could have kept quiet but you didn't - I am a bit disappointed that you are not as loyal as she is.

Heidi P
Heidi P

Kuddos Caroline! There are always two sides to every story...and I think it's fair that you said you can see the other (Melissa's) side of things. I don't think it means your any less "loyal" to Teresa. True friends can see way past the emotions of just one side and really look at the whole picture so that everyone involved can hopefully understand how they got here and how it can be avoided in the future.....It is what it is and time will heal things.

WindyCityWondering
WindyCityWondering

Glad to see you trying new things (the radio gig) and spending more time with your daughter - she really love you!

kimberboss
kimberboss

Yes, what do you know about Melissa that we don't...other than the whole story, lol...but team Teresa does want to know. Melissa? Really? I know they are a lot alike, but the bloggers sure don't see what you do! By the way, you are awesome!Great common sense/ no non sense approach!

nanaNancy
nanaNancy

Caroline, Love you and I wish I could be as calm as you. I love how you say only what you mean and you do everything that you say you are going to do. You are Honest and trustworthy. Is what I dont get, is how people misunderstand you. when you were on WWHL you said that you get were Melissa is coming from. You did not say that you were taking her side nor did you say or imply that you were not friends with Teresa. When Teresa said that it was easy for you to say. If Teresa would shut up and let others talk and truly listen to them, she would understand more, but she talks over everybody and never listens to anyone. she also never accepts her part in anything, just like with her money problems, she didnt see how her spending could have caused any issue. Any how this is your blog not hers. Just wanted to say I love you and am striving to take some of your advice into my own life. Good luck on you radio talk show, wish I could get here in California.

Lisa La Valle-Finan
Lisa La Valle-Finan

Good girl. Betcha thot you weren't going to have a second act, eh? All us Italian gals have more in us than we think! Love the new "do". What's it called? Who does it for you? I am really happy and proud of you. Warmly.

Mom on the job
Mom on the job

Caroline, I think we all love you because you have this inate ability to be objective, understanding and reasonable without letting personal bias roll off your lips. You remain true to yourself, true to the facts and true to your beliefs. The ability to maintain that perspective in every situation is what makes you such an admired and respected sounding board. You tell it like it is just like the rest of the women on the show, but the difference is that you say what you mean and mean what you say, whereas the other women say what they think will be most effective on their own behalf at any particular moment. I think if you sat Teresa, Melissa, Joey and Kathy down, and did what you do best, they'd all walk away realizing that they EACH have a part in the on-going problems that they ALL need to apologize for. You go girl!!!

ARIZONA Jersey Girl "63"
ARIZONA Jersey Girl "63"

New Jersey 101.5's Caroline !!!! I first have to tell you I LOVE THE BROWNSTONE!!! I've lived in Arizona now for 27 years, but my heart belongs in New Jersey. "You can take the girl out of New Jersey, but you can NEVER take the Jersey out of the girl". I love the orginial THREE, Caroline, Teresa, and Jacqueline! You have been the "VOICE" to the Housewives of New Jersey, NOW, you are the "VOICE" to New Jersey 101.5 listeners. Gods every blessing upon you and your family.

CINDY AMEZQUITA
CINDY AMEZQUITA

I know that you lost a lot of weight last year and look fabulous. I am 54, and in relatively good shape and good health. However, because of menopause and crazy hormones, I have put on weight, to the point where I am uncomfortable. My question: how did you lose the weight? I walk on my treadmill 4 times/week, 2.5-3.0 miles each time. The fat won't budge. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

The Truth
The Truth

You seem so down to earth and grounded.

How do you deal with the all the mess your "new cast members" are bringing?

Hope to see you next season,and the next,I wish your sister would return,especially since Danielle is no longer a factor.

HousewifeFan54
HousewifeFan54

Caroline, You are VERY good at advise. You need to run a seminar with ALL the Housewives from all the cities. Lord knows they could all use a swift kick in the butt! Give NeNe an extra kick for her attitude on the Celebrity Apprentice and for calling LaToya Jackson Casper the Ghost. It was more than gracious of LaToya to give her MJ T-shirt for the art auction so soon after his death. She said she carries it around with her everywhere. If it was my brother, they would have to pry it out of my dying hands! I was shocked no body else on the team didn't appreciate that fact and not take it to sell.

Valarie C.
Valarie C.

Hey Caroline, I just wanted to ask you how do you deal with stress and stressful situations and what do you think it the best way to deal with it?

Roberta M.
Roberta M.

You look fantastic Caroline!!! As the years go by, you look better and better. I love how calm you are. Good Luck in your new endeavors. I think you have the best advice....Love you

maureen leibovitz
maureen leibovitz

My goodness she did not take anyone side people. She heard more from Melissa and understood where she was coming from. Both familes are hurt and they will have to resolve it. Caroline fame has come for you and I for one am happy some good things like the pageant where there. You where wonderful!! Who would believe you would get the first question. Caroline you where endearing with your little stumble on words. We don't always want perfection for we know we could and would do the same thing. You where great and looked beautiful. I was routing for Miss California!!