The Day After Christmas and Other Letdowns

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I’m always a little sad when I go to bed on Christmas Eve. Christmas is a melancholy holiday, really–bittersweet at the very least. There’s something about all the anticipation, the expectations, the tradition–and then it abruptly ends. Suddenly, the holiday season is over. The snow turns to slush, the feast turns to self-induced famine as our New Year’s diets kick in. Continue reading

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Guest Post: A Hyggelig Christmas in 2017

Welcome to Rebecca, our first ever guest blogger here at The Sensitive, Bookish Type! She is an MFA candidate at Eastern Washington University (my alma mater!) and an assistant managing editor at Willow Springs Magazine. Her work has appeared in Lit.Cat and Catch. Both of her parents are writers and English teachers, and she spent much of her formative years listening to spirited debates on the merits of Jonathan Franzen.

IMG_0306On the day Roy Moore was almost elected to Senate, I had a few people over to decorate Christmas cookies and drink vodka-spiked hot chocolate. The timing wasn’t intentional. In lieu of a proper dining table or tablecloth, I threw a wide scarf over a card table and lit my absent roommate’s candle without permission. I played Christmas music, using the phone-in-a-coffee-cup trick to make it loud enough, and before any of the guests had even arrived, I congratulated myself on the most hyggelig event I’d ever hosted.

Hyggelig is the adjective form of hygge, a Danish word that loosely translates as a state of coziness, warmth, and contentment. I read The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking in August, which is not a very hyggelig season—no use for cocoa and candles in ninety degree heat. I read it alone in bed, which is somewhat hyggelig but not as hyggelig as say, if I’d read it aloud to my closest friends and family. Continue reading

Photos for Santa

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Do you take photos of toys your kids want?

I overheard another mom doing this at Target and I thought it was brilliant. Since then, whenever my kids get the gimmes on a shopping trip, we take a picture for Santa. Of course, they know (or should know because I’ve said it over and over) that Santa can’t bring them everything they want, but it’s fun for them to take a picture and they usually forget about that fantabulous toy in three minutes, anyway.

The Holiday Hollow

img_0083This year, the first night of Hanukkah fell on Christmas Eve. That’s pretty cool, and not just because the two holidays coincided and we could all hold hands and sing together. It’s cool because, if you celebrate Hanukkah, you get to leap over the holiday hollow this year: that abyss between Christmas/Hanukkah and New Year’s when you kind of don’t know what to do with yourself and you feel like you’re falling and falling but the fall is so long that it drags on, so you find yourself wishing for the splat of the pavement if only to make the falling end. Then you hit New Year’s and, bruised as you might be from the impact, you manage to find a few toe holds or even a staircase back into real life.

Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but you know the time I mean. You might still have family in town, or time off of work. You’re all done celebrating but you don’t necessarily want to tear down the decorations. You’re waiting. You might have a lot of New Year’s resolutions, but you don’t feel like you have to enact them yet since, technically, it’s not the new year. Or maybe you have no resolutions. Maybe you’re just bored.

But this year, I’ve decided not to let it get to me. I’m going to start phasing in a few of my New Year’s resolutions (eating more fruit and veg, using my Waterpik every night) while phasing out my holiday behaviors (binge eating peanut brittle, falling asleep with my makeup on). I’m going to take down the Christmas tree because, God help me, I cannot chase the girl away from it even one more time without going insane. Instead of shuffling around waiting for the new year, I’m going to get busy preparing for it, so that on January 1 I can relax and hang out, knowing that everything is all prepped for a wonderful 2017 (inasmuch as I can control such things, which I realize is very little–but, God grant me the serenity and all that).

How about you? How are you spending the last week of 2016? Any tips on getting back to real life? Or do you avoid real life as long as possible?