Go ahead and love something an embarrassing amount: Amahl and the Night Visitors

Christmas to me is something in between a secular holiday and a religious holiday. My own celebrations of the season have generally tended towards the former - Christmas movies, Christmas trees, and gift-giving being the main constants. And yet I have always fallen mysteriously prey to the emotional pull of religious Christmas music. Don’t get me started on the popular stuff; I can’t stand it. I can take about one Bruce Springsteen rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” a year and I’m done, and don’t come near me with that Mariah Carey racket. There was one year (ninth grade?) when I was briefly taken with Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, and it is one of the few things in my life I look back on with sincere regret. Not to yuck your yum; let’s just not go there. No, give me the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” every single time. And for that matter “Joy To The World.” Does the Savior reign? I don’t know, but who cares? You bet I’ll well up with tears when we get to “repeat the sounding joy”!

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Air your grievances, friends, Festivus approaches!

Whereas the Costanza family uses the Festivus Airing of Grievances as a forum in which everyone gets to tell everyone else at the table how they have let them down recently, my husband and I made the rule that our grievances be neither serious nor ongoing nor directed towards one another specifically. Furthermore, we decided, our grievances also had to be good stories, and they had to be stories we’d never told each other before. This is one of those grievances. Then, you get to tell me yours.

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OG Beanie Babies of Belmont

Once I had one beanie baby I wanted two and once I had two I wanted five, and so on. I thought I would be embarrassed by the memories of my own acquisitiveness upon opening the huge trash bag full of beanies that awaited me in the basement, but I was surprised to find that I could totally relate to my 11-year-old self’s insatiable desire to possess these things. They’re genuinely cute and cuddly. They’re also the perfect size and weight…I don’t know how to describe it other than to say that they just feel good to hold in your hand. What’s more, they pose beautifully together. They can compose a scene like no one’s business. And you can fit a whole lot of them in your bed with you.

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The Caganer: may help, um, clear some things out

My coach named this month’s key workout “The Caganer,” which my autocorrect already hates no matter how many times I assure it that yes, this is what I meant. A Caganer, according to Wikipedia, is “a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighboring areas with Catalan culture.” That’s right: the workout is named after shitting your pants at Christmas.

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Go ahead and Love Something an Embarrassing Amount: The Gang's Philadelphia gets rainy for a change

I spent many years not particularly liking It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, for reasons I could rarely explain very well. It was grating, and intense, and I just didn’t get it (although I am sure I never admitted that last part). I eventually gave it more of a chance and grew quite fond of it, finding myself at times fascinated by it, but I would never have said I truly loved it. With this episode, I am Sunny’s forever. What happens at the end of Season 13 makes me retroactively love the show’s entire run in a way that I never could before.

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She Dissents

Recently, we’ve received lots of beautiful books containing stories of amazing women in the world: Ada Lovelace, Joyce Chen, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, just to name a few. Ruth is the clear favorite, though. In I Dissent, Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley have created a compelling and enriching narrative of RBG’s life in picture-book form. It is a serious book, and assumes seriousness on the part of its readers. It’s been around for several months now, and Ros seems to periodically remember that it’s there and subsequently request that it be read to her multiple times a day for a while, before getting distracted by some other (usually inferior) book.

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I'm sorry for my troubles

“Hey! How was your race?” my friend asked, and it took me a moment to remember that he was talking about the marathon I’d toyed with running in September. “Oh!” I said, “I decided not to run it.” He was surprised to hear that. “Oh, how come?” I knew that this friend was actually asking out of genuine interest and concern, and with the working assumption that I am a driven person who always runs, no matter what, and that therefore there would have had to be a very good reason for me to decide not to run this marathon. So without really thinking it through, I gave the true answer. “Well, I decided I wanted to get pregnant instead.” At this, he lit up with a big smile, which I immediately torpedoed by continuing with “And then I had two miscarriages, so…I guess it’s been kind of a tough time.”

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2018, the year of no goals

This is the time of year when runners start to count up their miles. Can I get to the next round number before January 1st? Will I reach the number I chose last January 1st? If I do, what does that say about me? If I don’t, what does THAT say about me? It’s pretty fascinating to read the zeitgeist in December and see how people are tallying things up. December is the season of many lists: Dave Barry’s Year In Review, celebrity-endorsed holiday gift guides galore, and perhaps the very best online media tradition of all (and my personal favorite annual read): Drew Magary’s annual Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. If you’ve never checked that last one out, you’re welcome. What were the best things in 2018? How does 2018’s things compare to 2017’s things? We categorize, we summarize, we count, we compare. And we prepare to use our findings to decide what we’re going to categorize, summarize, count and compare in 2019.

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