Black Fri Lady

Yes, I’m aware the wordplay does not completely work. But the sentiment stands true. There is nothing ladylike about elbowing your way to an eighteen dollar sweater at five in the morning. There is no reason to pay more for something than you have to, but the value of your time and character also have to be accounted for. The spirit of gift-giving is to think about the people in your life you want to show appreciation to and what it is in your power to give them that they might like.

The spirit is not to dive in to the dollar bin grabbing everything within reach, only to decide later which unfortunate cousin is going to get a battered copy of Die Hard, and who gets the stuffed reindeer with the jingle hat. Shopping on Black Friday is not relaxing, so you can’t even claim retail therapy.


The only ladylike way to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving (the day after you have dedicated a whole uninterrupted twenty four hours to connecting with friends and family whilst consuming twice your body weight) is online. There are some incredible sales, that no reasonable person can expect you to ignore, but the pursuit of a bargain should not take over your brief respite from work and other distractions. Pick a time to commit yourself to the pursuit of a reasonably priced coat, or set a cellphone alarm for that Amazon lightning deal you just can’t miss, but limit it to an hour or two. Then read a book, curl up and watch a movie, or even take a walk with your aunt or other relative you don’t get to see very often.

As we get older, and advertising agencies get evermore overeager during the holiday season, we seem to forget that celebrating is meant to be about spending time and making memories with those we love. Whether it’s taking the time to tell one another what you’re thankful for, or making sure gifts are both thoughtful and personal, make sure you take full advantage of your time away from the obligations of work to play a little bit.

If your idea of play happens to include a quick tirade through Target with your mom, then so be it.

Happy Thanksgiving! And Happy Hanukkah!

Holly Days

Happy Holidays, everyone! I know this time of year means something a little different for us all. Decorating, shopping, vacationing, lovingly gathering with/avoiding family. Mild to extreme observance of whatever spiritual credo you adhere to. But what I really think it’s important for us not to forget this time of year are the Pagan roots we all descend from and should respect. Granted you’re probably already doing a lot of things without even realizing it – decorating trees, lighting candles, cooking and eating feasts in a ceremonial fashion, dressing up, and dancing.

If you think about it, those are really all the fun parts of the winter festivities anyway. Especially that whole making out under bushes thing. Awesome.

Since the point of all the religious observances is just to further bind you to the global power play that is organized religion, and they are mostly not fun, I’m all for glazing over those in favor of the purity of Pagan celebration. And what better way to exorcise the stress caused by all of those aforementioned seasonal obligations. A little worship to the North Star, in sparkly earrings and a red scarf, sashaying near flames sounds way better than your average midnight mass. Who’s to say that is any less spiritual or connected to the world around you?

Although, if that’s the sort of emotional freedom and happiness, the kind of connection that you get out of mass, or Hanukkah prayers, or ritualistically howling at the moon then more power to you. Shun the tree, oust Santa, and get on your knees in front of a manger. Personally, I think gold and silver are a choking hazard for babies. A nice fleece blanket would have been a lot more welcome at the birth of a barn baby in the Israeli desert. In my opinion. Or, like, socks. Or a Bugaboo stroller. Maybe myrrh is really good for diaper rash? Anyway. My point is just to value the joy of Paganism, in all its forms, as being of equal value as any other holiday tradition. Presents make people happy (and that whole scenario is very symbiotic with capitalism, so there’s that) and you shouldn’t let anyone make you feel guilty for thinking about what would please the people you love and sacrificing part of your income to get it for them when they label it “materialism”. We exist as physical entities. Materials are nice. Embrace it.

While you’re at it embrace the people you choose to be with this holiday. Do whatever makes you happy with them. And definitely set something on fire at some point.