Friday, December 28, 2012


Hanukkah came "early" this year. Too early for us to prepare.  Late nights and early mornings. Swim practice and meets. Sports conditioning. Academic finals for students and teachers. Coughs and colds and trips to the doctor to avoid the truancy fine. Make up homework. Long commutes in short daylight hours. No time means no latkes, no matzo ball soup, no geldt.

The Menorah, relegated to decorative status, held up two Christmas stockings. Accusing.

Chastened, we offered our oldest to the Holy Land and tracked her progress via social media. She sent the occasional text to stem the tide of maternal worry. I was a stone's throw from Gaza and survived. I was not amused by the stone's throw comment.

I developed an affinity for Grumpy Cat thanks to my bossfriend.

In the middle of the holiday ramp up, perfectly centered in the parties and decorating, the world went red and thus began the rage at the machine gun. We've become  a horrible caricature of ourselves. Social media has enabled us to put a megaphone to the microphone. Deafening.

I retreated a little, seeking refuge in inappropriate, but mostly private humor.

Short of gift ideas for the children, I made tasteless jokes about purchasing guns, ammo and whiskey to protect them from lurking danger. If adding more danger to dangerous situations is the answer, then I'm all for providing them with the means to protect themselves. Give them STDs or give them death! Don't tread on their need to text and drive! Bike helmets are a slippery slope, I tell you what.

Or to misquote one of my favorite movies Brighton Beach Memoirs "If Wayne LaPierre taught logic in school, this would be one fucked up and heavily-armed world."

Not that it isn't already.

Christmas was a simple affair. Small, practical gifts for Nathan and Sophie. Chloe's absence felt a foregone conclusion. One day our family would likely scatter, too. We ate. Fudge, chocolate kisses and stars, clementines, cinnamon rolls, Chinese takeout.

Turns out the best gift of all really can't be purchased at a Walmart, ordered on Amazon, wrapped in a big red ribbon in the driveway or exchanged for store credit. It can't be loaded with ammo, requires no batteries,  isn't made by slave labor in Asia and doesn't take up space in the basement when the novelty wears off.


A long break from the routine. Several days off from work. Days to spend doing whatever I want, some of what needs to be done. Scads of uninterrupted time with the family, enough to understand the true meaning of the holidays phrase "Proximity breeds hostility."

Enough to realize that each comes by their quirks and diagnoses honestly. Have I ever mentioned how my husband eats his meals in sequence, finishing one item on his plate before moving on to the next? All the broccoli must be eaten before he takes a bite of chicken.

I've made my contribution, as well. Too bad none of the children inherited my need for order, instead opting for anger management issues and anxiety.

Thankfully, we have something that brings us together. Something upon which we can agree. Dr. Who. A Christmas Story. Harmony, a sweet interlude between revoking driving privileges and explaining again why dishes must be unearthed from bedrooms and delivered to the kitchen.

And the only thing I required besides my reading glasses, a burrowing deep into the covers. Read, sleep, consider writing, consider cocktails. Reject both. Netflix, Acorn TV. Eat more chocolate. Promises to myself that after this long winter's nap, I'll take this store of energy and do something with it.


  1. haha you have plenty of time to come up with something to do with it...smiles...about to leave jerry springer land...i mean my inlaws house and head home from my holiday...time though is def a high point of this holiday

  2. I've been sick all week, thanks to the cold my sister brought when she stayed with us. I could think of nothing better to do than nap and watch Doctor Who. Glad you are getting a rest!

  3. Yes, time is what we crave here too :). Happy New Year to you, MathMan, the kiddies and the kitties. xoxo

  4. All the broccoli must be eaten before he takes a bite of chicken.

    That's crazy talk!!!

  5. Orderly eating, makes a chef cry. And, I've never been a fan of holidoze sauce.

  6. Me. Too.

    Except you wrote it better. You wrote it.

    Here's to more time in the new year for all of us. We should all stand on chairs in solidarity like Norma Rae with our cardboard signs: TIME.

    In the meantime, best to you and yours my ever talented friend.

  7. Bottle the energy, sell it, and do something productive in the aftermath, like sleep.

  8. Yea, all this madness sure did damper all that sugar & spice x mas vibe. Saw a rant by an old geezer saying he now likes high powered guns for hunting. Guns can't be bad, he said, they are inanimate objects.
    By that logic, gentle ocean waves & tsunami waves are all the same right?
    The NRA scrooges are in a conflict of interest. They get their $ from gun mfrs,& for them it is all about profits. Constitutional rights are a prop. It is $$$ they are after.
    So yea all that flotsam of BS dulls the merry & bright.
    They only way to start turning this around is to demand change.
    Not very festive to have a UTI for the holidays.
    So cheers to antibiotics!

  9. Long ago our favorite family movie at Christmastime was Oliver - the one with Ron Moody as Fagin. I see it's still fun but I'll take your word your favorites are good too.

    I think they should let people have all the guns they want but should make bullets illegal.

  10. The Menorah holding up the Christmas stockings. There's an essay in there somewhere ....

    Happy new year to the Goldens. May 2013 treat you all especially well.

  11. pistols that shoot whiskey make perfect stocking stuffers. love you Lisa, may your wonderful life get wonderfuller.

  12. Time, sleep, sleep, no alarm. And a good ski and some mulled wine! No shopping please. Peace and good will, truly. All the best for 2013 xxcat

  13. Ah, you're in fine form, Mrs. Golden.

    I have found myself lately with tons of creative energy, but as soon as I sit down with my pages, I leap up and run away. I should install a seatbelt at my desk.

    Happy New Year, chickadee.

  14. I must be the only person on this Earth who doesn't know anything about Dr. Who. I guess I could get some DVDs from the library and enlighten myself. :) Happy New Year!

  15. I have an order to eating too. Not sure what it is, but my aunt and one of my cousins would bet on what I would eat next b/c they said I have a well established pattern. At least I have good table manners, there's that. Glad you had a lovely xmas/Hanukah. I just got back from EIGHT days with the family. It went pretty well. Happy to be home, of course. Wishing you and all the Goldens a fabulous New Year.

  16. Sorry, I'm late to the party!

    Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    PS: The holidays seriously came and went WAY too fast this year. And I am also obsessed with Grumpy Cat.

  17. "Turns out the best gift of all really can't be purchased at a Walmart, ordered on Amazon, wrapped in a big red ribbon in the driveway or exchanged for store credit. It can't be loaded with ammo, requires no batteries, isn't made by slave labor in Asia and doesn't take up space in the basement when the novelty wears off.


    Fanfreakingtastic, my dear.

    There was a mini crisis at my house when iTunes wouldn't cough up the Dr. Who Christmas movie on the 26th. WTH? Bought it on Amazon instead before I had a meltdown.

    Happy New Year and so glad the other holidays went well. Back to it tomorrow, right?


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