santa hat in a mess of balloons, streams and empty bottles

I no longer hate Christmas. Very much.


About a dozen years ago my kids made me stop saying "I hate Christmas."
Not interested in living with a bona fide Grinch, they seemed to think the holiday season would be more enjoyable if their mother stopped glaring and muttering dark threats to the retail-industrial complex.
It’s fair.
Why do I dislike the most wonderful time of the year?
Because of the PRESSURE.
To send out cards and buy presents and put up a tree and do holiday-themed activities and bake and wrap and manage dual-family schedules and wear sparkly things and hang lights and watch insipid movies and make December 25 a magical day unlike any other.
I’m sweating just thinking about it.
Holidays are hard if you’re already anxious and feeling overwhelmed. And to top it all off the big ones come with a lot of gifts.
Many of which turn to clutter within a month.
And so, as a new round of holidays approach, I offer you my Guide to Buying Presents That Won’t End up at Goodwill. It’s good for the little ones (hostess present, anyone? Do we still do that?) and the giant ones (Dad’s 75th birthday? Already?)
And a reminder – the best gift of all is your presence in the lives of those who love you. Why not forego traditional presents and choose to spend a day with your favorite person, doing something the two of you enjoy?
Leading with love – even the Grinch got on board with that.

p.s. What with the meltdown of the supply chain and the economic devastation caused by the pandemic, this is a great time to support your local economy, especially the independent service providers! There are a lot of those on this list.

p.p.s. I will always make time to watch the Grinch - the animated version, not that Jim Carrey travesty. Don't get me started on Hollywood's determination to remake every perfect movie.