This year more than ever, people are interested in supporting small businesses and individual artists/creators when shopping. So many people and small businesses are struggling in this wild ride called 2020. The mega-companies and their billionaire CEOs will be find, but maybe not the local businesses you love in your community, the restaurants and cafes, the small businesses. the creative folks selling their wares.
This year, an art group I’m in called MN Visual Journal Collective has put together a Handmade Holiday Buyer’s Guide. It features 9 artists/creators who are selling their work online. I’m grateful to be a part of it with my shop on Redbubble. There are a variety of artsy offerings including jewelry, prints, handmade crafts, cards, stickers, classes, and more. The guide is in the form of a PDF with active links. You can download it here:
2020-handmade-holiday-gift-guide-final Continue reading
The year was 1991. Bob and I spent the Fall at home with our preemie twin babies, exhausted, broke and exhilarated as we learned the job of being new parents.
I’ve always loved so much A Christmas Carol, from Dickens’ stylized language to the redemption story, quirky ghosts, and all the Christmasy details. Our famous Guthrie Theater puts on a wonderful production of it every holiday season, and there was no way our tight budget would allow anything like that. But I yearned to see it, needed something bright like that to help my tired spirit appreciate the holidays.
I found out that a local independent bookstore (Baxter Books, which has since closed) was having a writing contest to give away tickets to the Guthrie production. They wanted Christmas-oriented submissions — I don’t remember much more than that. I wanted to win tickets so bad that I wrote my heart out, coming up with my own short version of A Christmas Carol. I don’t remember how many winners there were, but Reader, I was one of them. It was so exciting to win something from my writing, and to get to see the performance I wanted so much to see.
I dug into my old files and found it. Here it is, a blast from the past, from 27 year old me. I hope you enjoy it, and may there be wonder and contentment for you this Winter. Continue reading
Some people put their Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving, ready to hum holiday tunes and dive into shopping. Me, I seem to go up into my attic and pull out the big gray box of Dread. Instead of glittery ornaments and tinsel, I pull out tissue-packed bundles of expectations and to-do lists as long as Santa’s naughty-or-nice scroll. I turn off the oldies station that starts to play Christmas songs in mid-November. I try to avoid thinking about any of it for as long as I can.
But eventually, it’s rather unavoidable. Continue reading
I am trying to make sense of this, the deep feelings that come over me directly after a holiday. It might be when driving home from somewhere else, or when the door closes at my house after the flurry of goodbyes and coats and hugs. The sudden quiet, the change in energy… I find myself sucked into a vortex of sadness settling into my chest, an emptiness, loneliness. I find myself asking, Why?
Often, I will have had a good time celebrating the day. Even though I’m a quiet person, I’m more of an extrovert and love socializing. I have family. We have delicious feasts. But it often all ends too soon for me, with people rushing off, as people do in their busy lives. I find myself longing for more — more connection, more laughter, more time spent together. Is this all there is?, I wonder. Continue reading