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Tag archive for: holidays

Alert! This Won’t Depress You

I know, you guys; it’s bad out there. Just blowfish-ugly in every direction. Terrorism and police brutality. Rising sea levels and E. coli outbreaks. The words “President Trump.”

Here in our dusty California hometown, we can’t get the skies to rain — and yet we’re drowning in bad news. We skulk away from headlines, afraid to learn of yet another calamity. The other day, I attended a holiday parade and quietly wondered if the van on the street corner, the one whimsically arrayed in holiday lights, might just be packed with explosives.

But enough. Refusing to hand over my seasonal smiles to dread, I begged my fantastic friends for some reasons to feel hopeful about humankind — just a few tiny toeholds to help me clamber up on top of the Awful for some much-needed perspective. They delivered, as fantastic friends do. And I’m regifting their 20 gems to you. Happy holidays. Continue reading Alert! This Won’t Depress You

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Don’t Bogart Christmas

Most Californians don’t know from snow. We have no idea what it’s like to shovel a driveway, or awake to white-blanketed landscapes, or bundle up and stroll through frosty flurries (See? Frosty flurries — are those even a thing?). But we sing about it all just the same. Come December, we croon about sleigh bells and winter wonderlands and glistening treetops with all the enthusiasm of people who know what the flake they’re warbling about.

What I love best about this lyrical-geographical incongruity is that no one seems to care. People in nippy climes don’t ask us West Coasters to pipe down and stop singing about something we don’t — and frankly can’t — fully appreciate.

“Hey!” they don’t say. “Quit your convivial yodeling, and do some personal precipitation research!” It matters not to folks in icy Buffalo, New York, or glacial Grand Rapids, Michigan, whether our musical merriment is based in experience or willful ignorance. Whatever jingles your bells, man!

Why then — and you knew I was going somewhere with this, right? — should sourpuss religious zealots give a holly heck how the rest of us celebrate Christmas?

Continue reading Don’t Bogart Christmas

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Faux Ho Ho

One word comes to mind as I watch my husband and sons scramble over our extremely pitched roof, stringing lights over the precarious edge of our home: balance.

It’s hard to find during the holidays, isn’t it? I’ve yet to master the balance between magic and madness, that elusive equilibrium between what the season should be about (family, friends, and gratitude) and what it actually, quickly becomes about (overspending, overeating, and buttoning up your coat for yet another bothersome obligation).

Heres one that no longer jingles my bells: I cannot bring myself to haul the family to a bustling parking lot, scout for the least-mangled tree, curse its $80 price tag, wrestle it into a stand, curse its asymmetry, argue about which unsightly side should face the wall, curse it for tilting, crawl underneath it to add daily water, live in fear of its flammability, and ultimately drag it, browned and battered, to the curb before vacuuming pine needles from the abused rug below.

I can’t do it. You can’t make me.

As a child, it was enchanting to have a huge, live tree in the house — no less astounding than if we’d dug a pond in the middle of the living room: How can this be? It’s magic!

Continue reading Faux Ho Ho

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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