Make of It What You Will

It’s an odd space to be in, after someone dies in the midst of a holiday season. We have, over the years, planned our rituals and meals around my mother-in-law. With her passing, it’s a time of sadness, but it also takes away expectations. I’ve never much cared for the holidays, because I’m just that kind of sourpuss who revels quietly in ordinary living, but loathes over-the-top squeals of delight, social interaction with people I wouldn’t share a lifeboat with, and lavish meals that last an entire day. Although if that meal… Read More

Auntie Scrooge’s Unsolicited Advice for the Holidays

Now that the competitive shopping marathon has begun and social events designed to crush the soul are in full swing, I’ve grumbled my way through a mall, a holiday party or three, and the receipt of numerous greeting cards with pets and coordinated outfits, and sometimes pets in coordinated outfits. I’m in the mood for unsolicited advice-giving. You’re welcome – in advance of the overwhelming gratitude you will surely feel. Let’s get the respective holiday greetings out of the way. Merry Happy Holiday Christmas, Hanukkah,  Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Ōmisoka (大晦日), Three Kings… Read More

Premature Glee at the Holidays Almost Being Over

This morning I was wrapping the last few Christmas gifts and humming carols. It’s the happiest I’ve felt in about three weeks. Last night was my in-law Christmas event. Tonight we have a small eve dinner with my mother-in-law and then, on Christmas day, my husband, daughter and I spend the whole day padding about in our jammies. And then, the day after, everything gets cleaned up and put away. Holiday boxes get lugged up to the garage rafters. Nobody will attempt to foist their tarted-up joy on me. I don’t have… Read More

Surviving the Holidays: An Introvert’s Guide

It happened in rapid succession. The emails landed with a resounding thud on my psyche today. “Hello Everyone, We’re thinking that for Thanksgiving…” and “I know it’s early, but we’d like to coordinate the family Christmas…” I am an introvert. I find human contact only manageable in small doses, before I need to run away to a dark hidey-hole to process the interaction. Extended family celebrations, with the enforced captivity, doubly so. If you’ve been reading this blog over the last few weeks, you know I’ve been finding my middle-aged spine. It’s… Read More

The Green Study Holiday Humor Contest

As I got ready to participate in my favorite tradition of the season – the delivering of treat bags to my daughter’s school, I had a brainstorm of an idea. My spirits have been a bit low, between the events of the last week and our recovery from the family flu. So I’m going to sponsor a contest with prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Welcome to the first, and possibly last, Holiday Humor Contest at The Green Study. Guidelines: Write a previously unpublished blog post (with title) 200-500 words long… Read More

Making Family Where You’re At

The holiday season is a great time to realize, once again, everything that is wrong with your family. This used to be a really hard time of year for me. I have a very small family of origin that fled our shared memories of misery and abuse. I haven’t spoken to my brothers in over a decade. My sister, who is considerably younger than I, stays in touch, but we have an uneasy relationship, much of which is tied up in mutual ambivalence about our mother. My normal is like a lot… Read More