DON'T Shut Your Mouth

Over the years I've come up with a bunch of silly New Year's Resolutions like drink more water or hang up my coat. Well, this year, I've just got one: Don't stay silent.

Now you might think, "Gee, Jen, I didn't know that you stayed silent on much. You're kind of a ranter and you tend to yell a lot. Are there really things you're staying silent on?"

YES. There are. For instance, when I see someone in public behaving badly, I tend to steer myself away from them, I don't want to get involved, I'm exhausted. Over the years I've begun to feel worn down. I feel like, "What's the point? I'm never going to change anything." Well, it's time to make a scene. It can make a difference. There is a point. It's time to call out bad behavior when I see it. Loudly and clearly. When I witness even the smallest acts of racism or sexism or homophobia or xenophobia or whatever, I will no longer shrug it off and mutter, "Asshole" under my breath and hope that someone else educates them. Instead, I will speak up and I will say, "Hey, that's wrong and here's why."

And when I see blatant racism like this piece of shit JC Penney shopper who ranted like a maniac, I won't stand there silently. I won't listen to an angry, scared old woman yell at Latina shoppers, "Go back to where you came from" and "I bet you're on welfare!" and then ultimately bring it all back to Donald Trump, because of course she did. I will sing Kumbaya and I will ask, "What would Jesus do right now? I'm pretty sure not tell someone to go back to where they came from or speculate how their purchases are being made. Or brag that he voted for a pussy-grabber." I will teach her some facts. Like the United States actually has no official language. And, unless you're a Native American, you're the descendant of immigrants who once came here and probably didn't fit in real well at first. 

How I Stay Stress-Free During the Holidays

Growing up, my mom made Christmas perfect in every way. We had multiple trees decorated with their own themes, Christmas dishes that we ate every single meal on (including snacks), constant roaring fires, delicious smells wafting through the house from her endless baking, and Christmas music blaring from every speaker we owned. My mom made it looks easy. She took her Christmasing very seriously--and still does today. If you don't believe me, check out the video I made that showcases just the decorations in the guest bathroom.

As a child I took it for granted that everyone had a mom that could trim a tree, bake fudge, and wrap a billion gifts in an afternoon with a smile on her face. I thought all moms could do that. Looking back now I'm trying to see if my mom ever uttered cries for help. I don't think she did. I think she is a rare beast who really enjoys all of that stuff.

When Your Kid is More Magical Than You

If you've read Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat then you know that I accidentally ruined Santa for Gomer a few years ago when he was in fourth grade. It's a long story and you should probably read it, but basically it boils down to I thought he knew, but he didn't know and I blew it.

Cut to now where Adolpha is in fourth grade and showing some definite signs that she no longer believes. HOWEVER, since this is the last child I have to screw up, I refuse to be the one who says, "Santa isn't real." If she's thirty years old and she comes to my house on Christmas Eve hoping for a Dustbuster, I'll give her one. Y'know?

She's been throwing me some serious signs this year that she doesn't believe or that I'm at least being tested. For instance, she refuses to tell me what she's asked Santa for.

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