1The holidays are off and running around here.

Last week, I was able to cross a bunch of big holiday to-do items off my list, like ordering Christmas cards, figuring out what I was going to bake for the annual cookie exchange (chocolate pretzel cookies) and spending so much money on Cyber Monday that Wells Fargo’s fraud division shut down my VISA card until they could confirm it was me making all those purchases and not some half-drunk identity thief in Caracas.

But now that the kids go to their dad’s more regularly every-other-weekend, it kind of puts a pause on the holiday spirit. It’s just no fun decorating the house or doing any other Christmas-y activity without them around to complain about it.

Instead, I spent most of Saturday organizing the crawl space in our basement that was a hodgepodge of Rubbermaid containers and black garbage bags full of all the Christmas paraphenalia I’ve collected over the last 20-odd years. Usually, there’s some order to all the luggage, ski helmets and old sports gear that the holiday stuff shares the cramped space with, but after my older children so kindly disassembled and stashed our holiday decorations last year (unprompted!), the storage area was a little haphazard, to say the least.

Beggars can’t be choosers. I’d rather deal with a disorganized crawl space than taking down the Christmas tree any day of the week.

I hauled out the giant boxes filled with Pottery Barn mercury glass trees, the red velvet skirt that goes under our tree each year and the banners my oldest child made in nursery school some 15 years ago that used his tiny hand print to make angels and reindeer and  reminds me of Christmases long ago.

All the boxes and bags are now lined up at the bottom of the basement stairs, waiting for next weekend when the kids will be home and we can stuff all the holiday joy and kvetching into one weekend.

After all the physical labor, I went and got a sparkly manicure and pedicure and all was right with the world.

If you’ve already ordered your cards and trimmed your tree and lit all of the bushes in front of your house and are looking for something to do this Sunday, perhaps you’d like to spend some time catching up on what I haven’t been doing. You’ll feel good about yourself.



timthumbLet the Holidays Begin! Sigh.

Over the course of this past weekend, I had to yell at not one but two of my neighbors – both grown men – for causing me undue stress and anxiety.

There they were, with the Thanksgiving dinner a not-so-distant-memory, wrapping lights around anything not moving in front of their houses. There were wreaths and swags and twinkling shrubbery while over at my ranch there’s just a lone pumpkin leftover from Halloween sitting on the front step.

Fuck. (READ MORE … )


IMG_0047Holiday Cards 101: How to Market Your Family

It started the day after Thanksgiving this year, the annual marketing campaign going on in homes across the country that gives new meaning to the term Black Friday.

Inside my mailbox on that day, along with 20 pounds of Pottery Barn catalogs and Bed Bath & Beyond coupons, sat the first holiday card of the season.

Ho ho ho. (READ MORE … )


DSC02004Offensive Driving

You’d think I’d be used to it by now.

You’d think that my arms wouldn’t fly up to shield my head reflexively as we hurtled past parked cars or stop signs, preparing for imminent impact.

By now you’d think that I’d gotten used to how angry they become when I shout things from the passenger seat like, “Move away from the curb!” or “Slow down for the turn ahead!”

It hurts their feelings. (READ MORE … )


And finally, I know you’re all racking your brains, trying to come up with the perfect gift for me. Let me help you out.

The greatest thing you could give me is the gift of sharing my blog posts on Facebook with all of your friends. I’d like to become the Clairol Herbal Essence of bloggers, so if you could tell two friends about a post you like, and maybe they end up telling two friends, we can get the whole “and so on” thing going.

Plus, it’s free and doesn’t need to be wrapped, which is almost like a gift right back to you.


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