Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmastime and Hanukkahtime Is Here ...

I mailed my holiday cards on Monday. Not Christmas cards, mind you. I don't buy Christmas cards. I buy holiday cards because some of my friends are Jewish, but it feels weird to buy Christmas cards and Hanukkah cards, so I buy holiday cards. Peace is my annual theme.

Normally, finding cards is the bane of my holiday existence. This year, I bought them in October. They're very simple. Here's the front, which reads "on earth...peace":



And the inside reads: "hope...always"

In 2000, I started including a holiday letter in my cards. For those of you who don't get a card from me (because I don't actually know you nor do I have your addresses), here's what I had to say:

November 2007

Family and Friends:

Hi there. Could you hold on for just a second? I seem to have lost something ... I know it’s here somewhere ... I just had it.
Or maybe you can help: Could someone please tell me where my 2007 went?! Wasn’t it just January 20 minutes ago?

Phew. This year has been a blur. And the funny thing is, I can’t figure out why. I didn’t think I was doing much.

Let’s list some of the things I didn’t do in 2007: 1. I didn’t get married. Or engaged. Or go on a date. I saw an ex-boyfriend. Does that count? 2. I didn’t write a bestseller. 3. I didn’t record an album. 4. I didn’t open a bakery. 5. I didn’t save any whales.

Oh, but I did win the Nobel Prize for my work in raising the planetary population’s awareness of global warming. No, wait,
that was Al Gore.

Geez, what did I do? I just hauled out my desk-blotter calendar pages from this year to jog my memory. Let’s take a look:

January: Ooh, my treadmill was delivered. I looked forward to a year of fitness. More on that later. I continued my subscription at The Goodman Theater and lived up to my vow to see more live theater. (As opposed to dead theater, which can get rather boring.)

February: I watched The Police’s reunion on the Grammys (two words: Sting’s arms). Two weeks later, I watched the Oscars. Then I checked myself into award-show rehab to detox. I did some recording with my pal Brian.

March: I bought tickets to see Lisa Gerrard at the Park West in May. I also bought tickets for Mom and Dad and I to go to NYC.
I celebrated my two-year blog anniversary. Cupcakes and Hawaiian Punch in waxy Dixie cups for everybody!

April: Dad had never been to New York, so we did touristy things. My parents met my friend John. He and Dad got along famously. We ate fabulous meals with our cousins Patty and Barry. And we went to see Kevin Spacey in
A Moon for the Misbegotten.

May: I had bought tickets to see Brandi Carlile this month. And then I didn’t go. To be consistent, I also didn’t go to Lisa Gerrard. But I did go with Doreen to The Goodman to see
Oedipus Complex. The set was really cool. The play? Well, let’s just say Greek tragedy + Sigmund Freud ≠ Fun. I did more recording.

June: Angela and I met up to wander through the Printer’s Row Book Fair. And then we wandered through Blues Fest for 10 minutes. Crowded. Noisy. I was there to meet up with a musician (named Dave, of course) for the first time. We had less chemistry than an Alka-Seltzer and a glass of water. I think we said 10 words to each other. Another love connection averted. So I bought some overpriced Pad Thai, Angela bought some overpriced French fries, and we left.

July: I went to see Sting’s arms in person at Wrigley Field with Tracy. It was a fun concert. We scored seats on the field. But in one of the last rows. So Sting appeared to be about the size of an ant on stage, an ant with hot arms. Oh, and I was hired to write a blog about HGTV’s Design Star, my first-ever paid blogging gig.

August: I participated in the 2007 Breast Cancer 3-Day. Yes, in August. No, I don’t know what I was thinking. Walking 60 miles in three days in any conditions is a little nutty. Walking 60 miles in three days in heat indices of 100+ degrees is insane. But I met a great group who made me part of their team.

September: I bought tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and Annie Lennox in October. Mom and I returned to New York to shop. We didn’t want to put Dad through that in April. Dad is not a shopper. Unless fishing tackle or a new boat is involved. We spent a lot of time with Patty and Barry, eating. Patty has a fab apartment in Brooklyn with a roof deck, and one night, we had a lovely dinner under the stars. Back home ... wait for it ... I joined a gym. And hired a personal trainer.

October: To kick off the month, my parents thought it would be fun to end up in the hospital at the same time. (They’re both doing much better now.) Once they were home, I began in earnest with Brandon, my trainer. Somehow, I had it in my head that working out would be easy. I think that’s because when I watch other people work out, I feel absolutely no exertion. But Brandon makes sure that I work. Hard. I can now flex things. I also went to three concerts in 11 days: Brandi Carlile (another tour, not the one I didn’t go to before), Annie Lennox, and Bruce. All were exceptional shows. Doreen and I decided to become each other’s Goodman Theater dates and bought a subscription together. First up,
Passion Play. We left after the first act. (Giant fish were involved. And a crazy girl with a jack-in-the-box. Seriously.) But then we saw The Cook a few weeks later. It was 100% giant fish-free. I did the baking for my friend Cheryl’s tea party baby shower (building my cookie empire, one Russian Teacake at a time ...). I skipped my 20th high-school reunion but saw my high-school friend Nat for the first time in 20 years.

November: I turned 38. (In the distance, 40 is greedily rubbing its hands together and laughing sinisterly.) I celebrated, over two days, with family and friends. In this month of thanksgiving, I’m reminded, yet again, of how much I have for which to be thankful. And you, my family and friends are, as ever, at the top of the list.

Love and peace to you all,

Beth


(Well, I sign my name to the actual letters; I typed it here.)

Tonight, I decorated my tree. Normally, my mom and dad come over and decorate it with me, but tonight, I just felt like doing it myself. So I put on mellow holiday music and now my tree is ready, just in time for December. L.A. Dave asked me to take a picture for him, which I did:

2 Comments:

Blogger Mercurie said...

Given that not all of my friends are Christian, I have to say that finding holiday cards can be difficult. As much as many people complain about folks no longer saying, "Merry Christmas," it seems to me that most cards say exactly that. And I have no problem with that, but it would be nice if something was widely available for non-Christians, too.

10:42 AM  
Blogger d. chedwick bryant said...

Nice tree...makes me want to go out and get one.
I send out the same cards as you do! (Peace Theme)
I am not a Christian, everyone always assumes people are this time of year...but you have the embrace the whole season since it is such a pleasant time of year (Parties Galore, Festive Treats)

enjoyed reading your holiday letter.

7:38 PM  

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