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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