The Winter Holiday of My Choice

October 28, 2006 at 1:47 pm | Posted in More than you ever wanted to know about me... | 12 Comments

Quite honestly, the winter holiday of my choice would be no holiday at all.

Yes, I’m one big fat grinch.

Growing up culturally and very vaguely religiously Jewish, I put a lot of energy into Not Celebrating Christmas. And I still do. It pisses me off that I have to hear Christmas carols while I’m buying groceries, starting sometime in NOVEMBER (!) It pisses me off that people ask me automatically what I’m doing for Christmas. I’d love to be able to work on December 25th and not have to take a personal day for Yom Kippur. The “december dilemma” has tormented Pili and I. Whenever I think we’ve come to peace with it, it rears its little red and white capped head again. At the moment, we exchange presents on New Year’s eve. It’s great because you get to take advantage of all those post Christmas bargins. However, we usually do spend some time with Pili’s family around That Day, and so I have reluctantly had to shed my superior attitude and join the hoards of frantic shoppers.

So why the hell did I decide to participate in Andrea’s holiday gift exchange. Because, derrrr people, I do love getting presents. Even if they come around the end of the year. And because I loved this survey.

Fill in the blanks:

If I could, I’d invent a new electoral system for the U.S. that wasn’t vulnerable to gerrymandering and voting machine companies who promise the election to someone and damn it, the world needs one because, hello, George Bush?

I sometimes buy very academic non-fiction books that I don’t read because it is/they are more like the me I want to be than the me that I am.

If you came over to my house to play and touched my
ate the last chocolate in the box I’d be a little bit mad at you forever for a while.

The colour/s hot pinkmakes me want to shave my eyeballs with a cheese grater.

The colour/s deep jewel tones – burgandy, midnight blue, sunrise, sunset (is this the little girl I carried… oops) is/are so beautiful that when I see them, a beam of light comes down and I hear a choir sing.

Eggy things, okra, and eggplant make me gag, feel it in my mouth for a minute, and then swallow it back down rather than spit it out (or else I just don’t like it, but I’m too nice to say it.)

I might get sick or die if I touch or ingest: Pistachios, mangos or cashews, or anything made of meat or fowl. I’m a pescatarian, otherwise known as a wimpy vegetarian (cheese=good!) with the notable exception of… or look at Canned fish and anything made from it. Seriously. The thought of a tuna fish sandwich makes me gag. I would have mentioned it in the previous question but there’s no way that shit’s getting anywhere NEAR my mouth. (this is where you mention allergies or phobias)

George Bush and all his cronies give me the willies and I might need to consider a frontal lobotomy if I even think about it further.

I love the feel of warm clothes fresh out of the dryer, flannel sheets, and sitting in front of the fireplace so much I want to hump it like a puppy on a sofa pillow.

No one should have to watch me eat chocolate, ripe strawberries, olives, blue cheese, or really good bread because then I might consider being polite enough to share, and I don’t want to share it.

I’m a grown-up now, so I don’t have to eat
drink apple juice (cider is okay) any more, and you can’t make me.

If I could invent a way to permanently coat my nostril hairs with this scent, I’d be my own biggest customer: Vanilla. I am a total sucker for anything vanilla scented. Especially if it has a little bit of a spicey kick to it.

Three things I like that anyone might like: NYT crossword puzzles, chocolate truffles, gardening. And coffee.

Three things I like that nobody else in the world likes: I doubt that nobody else likes these things, in fact I know that’s not the case. But I do think I’m a little odd in my fondness for these things. European black licorice – none of this wimpy twizzler crap. Old signs and advertisements. Tights (NOT HOSE!) with funky patterns and designs on them.

I have TOO MANY/TOO MUCH OF: chotchkes that don’t serve a purpose. Cats, and cat-themed items. And books – but can you really have too many books? No, of course not. And not enough… time to read them. And I know this is supposed to me about me! me! me! But the things I really want are sort of for me and sort of for Guatebaby. I love cute kids’ clothing and I love really good children’s books even more. I think I should have been a children’s librarian. In fact, sometimes I still think about being a children’s librarian, despite the fact that I am already paying back student loans on another degree I haven’t quite finished yet.

Okay, we know the best things in life aren’t things, but these are the best things in life if there are going to be best things: Really beautiful handmade functional objects that are not so beautiful I’m scared to use them. Yummy food and drink. Plants for my garden.

When people have kind, sweet and nice things to say about me, they’re usually talking about:
I had to ask Pili for answers to this one: She says: impish sense of humor, excellent cooking skills, and willingness to listen to a friend in need. I add a good writer and someone who genuinely likes children to that list. When they say I’m a horrible procrastinator they’re usually right too.

It’s true, I’m a photographer. I’m learning to be proud of it.

If I could have any talent in the world, I’d choose the ability to speak persuasively and use it to get people to stop killing each other.

You are given a day and a no-limit credit card to spend in one of these places, childfree. Choose one, or write your own:


  • An auction, where you never know what you want until you see it, and then you want it more than anyone. It’s all about the adventure and the atmosphere.
  • A picturesque neon-lit bar, where a couple of swank cocktails and a friendly bartender might lead to a Chandler-esque story. It’s all about becoming a character yourself.
  • A craft show, because you really need to find something attractive to cover your spare rolls of toilet paper with, and then, you want to maybe glue some paper to some more paper. It’s all about making and doing.
  • A gourmet food store, because you are what you eat. It’s all about feeding yourself and your soul.
  • A hoity toity boutique, because you’d rather have the experience of shopping gracefully than anything. It’s all about quality time.

I would: wander through hip and ethnic neighborhoods in an unfamiliar city, wandering into boutiques, bookstores, museums, restaurants and bakeries along the way, trying new things, taking pictures, and buying whatever I please for myself and my friends/family. And because this is my fantasy, I wouldn’t gain any weight or have to carry any heavy packages or have my feet get tired.

And here’s the last chance to make sure that you’re not going to get a “Jelly of the Month” club membership when you’re expecting your bonus for a swimming pool. It is important to me that the items chosen for me (Examples: respect my Wal-Mart boycott, are vegan, aren’t made by child or sweatshop labour, can be stuffed down my pants)

I try to avoid things made in sweatshops and I try to eat organically but I’m not dogmatic or consistent about it. A jam of the month club membership would make me pretty happy, actually.

And: If I could suggest that you read only one post from my archives, this would be it:. I think it’s sort of an off beat general introduction. But um, by all means, come on in, make yourself at home and read for a while. Can I get you anything to drink? A cup of coffee?

And: If I were to name the Holiday of my choice for this exchange, it would be: Hanukkah, but yeah, no need to reference that. Anything santa related will be summarily chucked (see above, re: grinch) (Please feel free to make one up – but this is your chance to say “Um, I’m Jewish but that doesn’t mean give me dreidels!” or “More Santa decorations please – I only have thirty-seven now.” or “Winter and gifts yes; religious denominations, no – if only all cards could be like those politically correct corporate holiday wishes!” if you want to. Or, you know FESTIVUS!)


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  1. Thanks so much. Now I have Tevye’s voice stuck in my head. It won’t go away until I sing the whole song, perfectly. Or listen to it. So here I go, off to flip through dusty vinyl, find the record, and listen.

    Actually, on second thought, I don’t hate you so much for getting this song stuck in my head, because I have a fondness for “If I was a rich man” and so I will listen to that song, too. Thanks:)

  2. I’m not sure if you get the same Body Shop products that we get in Australia, but my friend works there and let me preview their special X-Mas lines. There is a Vanilla Spice body butter and body lotion that is TO DIE FOR! It smells like warm ginger and vanilla cookies. Oh my goddess – I’m drooling thinking about it….

  3. Hmm. Well. If you ever come to visit, do not, I repeat, do NOT come between Hallowe’en and New Year’s. Because there is christmas all over the damned place, and you wouldn’t like it.

    Fortunately that leaves another ten months of the year which are christmas free.

  4. But Christmas is the best part of marrying a gentile! There’s nothing inherently religious about a Christmas tree and presents anyway. And lots of the music and decorations are really beautiful.

  5. except christmas sucks when your partner breaks a window carrying in the tree.

  6. Wow, what a lot of learning about you in one post. In this country really the whole place closes for christmas and new year – most businesses just stop for 10 days, (not retail obviously) so there is no choice but to make it a big deal, but I do empathise. I got a hard time once for a boss for needing to go home early to prepare for Seder, and had to explain it was like me giving him a hard time for leaving early on Christmas eve. Only less so because he doesn’t leave early to go to church…

  7. wow. that was the most entertaining post I have read in ages.

  8. I am thinking of declaring January 2 some kind of holiday because that is the day I truly celebrate that it is OVER and we can get back to our boring little lives. Yeah that’s it, I’ll call it Over Day. Or Boring Little Life Day.

  9. hahah! yay! I love european black licorice too! When I was growing up my best friend was an immigrant from holland, and she introducted me to the stuff.

  10. You’re right, the music *does* start in November. I generally enjoy Christmas, but I now have a bitterness for the Christmas music invasion. It happened because last year my boys spent Nov. in the NICU, and there was a stereo that would always mysteriously show up next to their isolettes turned to one of those all-day-long Christmas music radio stations. We would turn it off, change the station,… but when we’d return, it would be back on. Meanwhile, my boys were hooked up to monitors and tubes, and there was a lot of uncertainty as to when they’d come home. The blatant cheeriness of the music just annoyed the shit out of me. And I agree that none of us should have to hear Christmas music at the grocery store – especially “Last Christmas” by Wham.

  11. I totally agree about Christmas (and it sounds like we come from the same type of Jewish home)…but it is soo hard for people to understand. Many Christians don’t see Christmas as “religious” but it is hardly unreligious! It is hard being non-Christian this time of year and I get “grinchy” too! (I wrote about this on-line and it made people mad for some reason).
    Anyway, glad you are in the gift exchange and if I get your name you can be sure there will be no santas in your box, although you may find some gelt!

  12. […] 2007 at 2:42 am | In Uncategorized | So I did this… holiday thing. Despite my self avowed grinchiness I do love giving and getting presents especially when I don’t have […]

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