Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 2008

Hi Poppets! So, did you vote? Because, thanks to Washington state’s election laws, you could have last month (I did – but why do I think you aren’t surprised?) Depending on when you are reading this, you still could vote if you haven’t yet so don’t be discouraged or embarrassed or, worse, apathetic. Vote. Please. This is the most important election of our lives, Poppets, regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on. Now isn’t the time to be sitting on your butts, thinking it doesn’t matter or your vote doesn’t count. It does. You do. We do. Vote. Please. And if you aren’t reading this until after November 4th, did you vote?

Now, because a good ¾ of the month is post-election, I will get off my soapbox and focus on something else – but you knew I was going to climb up there, just for a moment or two, didn’t you? Of course you did. However! Now it’s time to focus on something else, something fun. The holidays. Ooooo! I do love the holidays. In fact, I turn into some kind of freaky gothic Martha Stewart from Halloween right on through the new year. I’m a little nauseating, I admit it.

I do recognize that not everyone has this same reaction, though. For some people, it’s just a two month source of stress. If that’s the case, then this article is for you, Poppet. Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving, Christmas/Yule and New Year’s Eve that might make things a little easier this year.

Thanksgiving traditional – Go ahead and make plans with your friends now. Invite everyone over for a house party. Ask everybody to bring their favorite dish to share, after all, who says the host has to provide everything? Be open to turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole and tofu salad or curried lamb. Sure, it’s traditional but it can be personal as well. Invite a close group of friends or interesting people you think need to meet each other. Try to invite someone else who might be alone or stressed. You could make someone’s season. Put on some music and dance. Play charades or Pictionary. Swap stories about your best and worst Thanksgivings ever. Be sure to laugh. Don’t stress over decorations or the perfect menu or the just so place settings. Remember, this isn’t a holiday about keeping up with anybody. It’s about giving thanks.

Thanksgiving nontraditional – The Canadian border is really close (about 30 minutes to about an hour and half, probably, depending on where you picked up this month’s Betty Pages.) They celebrated Thanksgiving last month. What that means to you is you have a long weekend and they are open for business. Fill up your gas tank – or better yet, buy a bus ticket – grab your birth certificate or passport and go explore Victoria or Vancouver. Who says you have to celebrate an American holiday in America anyway?

Christmas/Yule traditional – This can be very similar to a traditional Thanksgiving. In fact, you can invite the same group of people if everybody had a good time. Why not? Families celebrate the holidays with the same group of people all the time. Today, though, ask everyone to bring along a small gift as well as a dish to share. After dinner – but perhaps before the eggnog gets flowing too freely – do a present exchange. Everyone gets a little something fabulous. If you can afford it, add a small, more personalized stocking for every guest as well. And yes, play carols on the stereo and/or have your favorite Christmas specials on the television in the background. It is, after all, a traditional celebration.

Christmas/Yule nontraditional - Turn up the heat, dig the blender back out, put on your favorite swimsuit and have a beach party. Winter is cold and grey and icky. So screw it. Bring back summer, even if it’s just in your apartment.

New Year’s Eve traditional – Seriously, head to Rumors. Or Neighbors. Dress up as your most fabulous self and go dance your ass off. Just remember to take a cab home. Please.

New Year’s Eve nontraditional – Why not stay home this year? Even if it means being alone. You’re pretty good company, if you want the truth. And we don’t spend enough time with ourselves anyway with all the running around that happens during the holidays. Go to the grocery store. Buy your favorite party foods that you never get to eat (my favorite is that cheese ball with the unidentifiable nuts all over it; yeah, nothing remotely like cheese or even, really, food but I still love the things), rent four or five of your favorite movies. Take a bath or shower and change into your most comfy pajamas (guys, you’ve got them, too, you know you do.) If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, light one. If not, light some candles and settle down. Let yourself be. Ring in the new year peacefully, quietly and happily. That’s not such a sucky way to start 2009.

So there you have it, Poppets. My suggestions for a wonderful holiday season. Let me know how they go or if you have any other ideas. I’d love to hear at Otherwise…

…until next month, Poppets, take care of you. (So…did you vote?)

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