Posted in Friends & Family

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Remember when no one shared photos of Christmas morning because they were all bed-headed and crusty-eyed?

Remember when “sharing photos” meant getting your film developed and handing someone a photo album or just a pile of prints to flip through?

Remember slide shows?

Remember when your dad set up the camcorder in the living room to record the opening of the presents and then no one ever watched it?

Ever?

Continue reading “Ghosts of Christmas Past”
Posted in Fun & Games

LadBaby’s Historic Christmas #1, Christmas Spirit, and the Power of Social Media

If you’re British (or you’ve seen Love, Actually) you know that it’s a British tradition to award the title of Christmas Number One to the season’s most popular new song.

This tradition dates back to 1952. It’s gone to the Beatles, the Spice Girls, Ed Sheeran and now, LadBaby.

Twice.

That’s never happened before. LadBaby has now been named Christmas Number One two years in a row and has officially made history.

But who on earth is LadBaby? Have you heard him on the radio? What kind of music does he play?

Continue reading “LadBaby’s Historic Christmas #1, Christmas Spirit, and the Power of Social Media”
Posted in Cooking & Eating

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies

I love gingerbread. I love ginger snaps. I love ginger anything, really, including redheads.

I especially like them if they have a little oomph.

It was nearly a decade ago that I discovered my spicy gingerbread recipe, and I’ve made it every year since. It’s not for everyone; it has a kick, by which I mean it kicks you in the back of the throat. It lingers on the palate. It goes really well with ice cold milk or a glass of eggnog.

I wouldn’t waste this recipe on a gingerbread house. I would try this mix of spices in other ginger recipes–molasses cookies, maybe, or a classic gingerbread loaf.

Continue reading “Spicy Gingerbread Cookies”
Posted in Friends & Family

The Santa Secret

I was in the second grade when I unmasked Santa. I’d had my suspicions for a while: the handwriting on the gift tags, the fact that Santa used the same wrapping paper as my parents did, and I’m sure I’d heard rumblings around the playground or maybe from my older brother. But whatever evidence I brought before them, my parents stood by Santa. Coincidence, they said. Santa’s helpers, they said. Go to bed, they said.

I spent that Christmas season snooping. I finally found my proof on Christmas day, not long after I received a beautiful Barbie dream house, pre-assembled under the tree. I was probably helping clean up wrapping paper, or perhaps making a last-ditch effort to make my point, but I found the box for the Barbie dream house in the garage, and my parents could pretend no longer.

I was not angry. I did not feel betrayed; I felt proud. Proud of myself for figuring it out. And I was grateful for my Barbie dream house, whoever gave it to me.

As I prepared to have my own children, I wondered whether I’d uphold the Santa myth. I didn’t want to lie to my children. Then again, I didn’t want to burden them with knowledge they couldn’t share with their classmates. I heard a lot of young parents considering the same conundrum. When they were babies, though, it was all academic.

Continue reading “The Santa Secret”
Posted in Friends & Family

How Christmas Movies Made Me a Better Parent (All Year Long)

Have you ever noticed how people talk a lot about how children learn, but they don’t have the same conversations about adults?

Maybe learning seems more important when the mind is young and malleable. Maybe we tend to forget about our own minds and hearts when we take on the responsibility of someone else’s. Maybe we don’t realize how much we keep learning as adults or how important it is that we keep learning well.

Learning is a particular concern of mine, and not just for my children. I’m the type of person who could have happily become a professional student, and failing that, I’ve become my own teacher. I’m a student of music, literature, foreign language, art, crafts, and even business.

I’m also a student of humanity.

Continue reading “How Christmas Movies Made Me a Better Parent (All Year Long)”
Posted in Friends & Family

The Day After Christmas and Other Letdowns

img_20171225_095017.jpg

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 “The Day After Christmas and Other Letdowns”

Posted in Reading & Writing

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 “Guest Post: A Hyggelig Christmas in 2017”