Hope, as we are so often reminded by smug new-agey types or court-appointed therapists, is not a plan. So if your head hit the pillow last night with a degree of serenity long absent from your regular efforts at slumber it was no doubt on account of your fervent faith that an obvious misreading of a Mesoamerican date planner would somehow provide the finality to all things for which you have been desperately craving but too paralyzed to do anything about yourself. And yet here we are, not only not dead but about to head into the teeth of the season where the manufactured enthusiasm is as mandatory as [...]
"For those of us who have any active associations with wassail, they are probably musical. 'Here We Come a-Wassailing' is about as likely to turn up on your supermarket’s holiday Muzak loop as 'The Christmas Song' or 'Frosty the Snowman.'" —Today in the Times' Dining section, Rosie Schaap provides a recipe for and history of the traditional holiday drink wassail. Wassail is a warm punch made of cider and ale and spices that is enjoying a comeback in Brooklyn cocktail bars. It is intended to enliven spirits and lower inhibitions so as to encourage people to join in a Yuletide sing-along. But Wassail comes from England, which [...]
"Christmas is nearly upon us and, with all its commercialism and saccharine rituals, it's all too easy to forget the true meaning of the season. Thankfully, the sanctity of this glorious holiday is still appreciated in parts of Germany and Austria where good, hardworking folk remember that Christmas isn't merely about the gifts; it’s about dressing up like a cloven-hoofed demon, terrifying children with violent, demonic folklore and drinking 180-proof licorice-flavored liquor until you puke." —Feeling festive yet? Why not celebrate the season by revisiting this holiday classic about Krampus, Santa Claus' demonic buddy.
I would like to make a proposal: Let’s all stop giving presents to anyone over the age of 12.
We can consider this a new front in the laughably famous and obviously fictitious “war against Christmas” that people like Glenn Beck and Rick Perry always talk about. Because I’m really only proposing this for the holiday season. (So the following all goes for Chanukah, too. Oh, and birthdays. No presents on birthdays, either.) Presents at other times of the year, random days on the calendar, are fine. Like, if you’re going over to someone’s house, you should bring a bottle of wine. Or if you’re browsing in a bookstore [...]
You could view this report as the heartwarming tale of a family brought together by its tradition of dressing up in comical holiday outfits, yearly proof that despite the passage of time and the differences that come between us as we grow and change, Christmas stills retain the magic of our earliest childhood memories, when all was wonder and joy. In fact, that is exactly how I suggest you view it, because the alternative—the story of a group of adults held hostage by a megalomaniac matriarch whose need to humiliate her spouse and offspring on a yearly basis is probably driven by resentment and regret over the paths her [...]
"A father had his finger bitten off in a brawl with another parent as they waited for their children's nativity play to begin."
"When your relatives force you to look at photos on their phones, be thankful they no longer have access to a slide projector. When your aunt expounds on politics, rejoice inwardly that she does not hold elected office. Instead of focusing on the dry, tasteless turkey on your plate, be grateful the six-hour roasting process killed any toxic bacteria." —Science has some tips on how to handle Thanksgiving. Your main takeaway? Be more grateful. I can actually endorse this idea, although not necessarily in the way it is suggested here. My personal technique for coping with the holiday is to remind myself that even though I had the [...]