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  • Writer's pictureMary

The December List

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

At the beginning of November, I slipped away to Buffalo for a soul nourishing girls' weekend and on that trip we decided to plan a second get-together here in NYC for later this month with even more friends. I'm so so excited for the reunion, and as a bonus I'll get to experience the city in all of its holiday glory as we're planning to be out and about as much as possible from Friday evening through the weekend. As a local you sometimes don't notice that there's magic in the air this season.

We have a couple of other exciting things in store for the month. We have two friends' long anticipated housewarming in an actual house(!) in Brooklyn which they bought and have been renovating since last year. I'm also happy to share that I'll be setting up shop at the LIC Flea Spiked Mug Fest & Holiday Market the weekend of Dec 15-17, bringing all of my mom's beautifully made baby knit and crochet goods as well as any ceramics that I have on hand.

seasonal wreaths

Plus these plans:


Take advantage of any and every opportunity this month to shine bright like a diamond. I mean that literally, e.g. glitter, rhinestones, sequins, metallics, and figuratively, i.e. you do you baby. Throw on one of those flashing string light necklaces if you’d like and celebrate all of the wonderful things you did this year as hard as you can as often as you wish.

Greet the winter solstice

We’re about to be tilting as far away from the sun as we do in our collective orbit. The longest night of the year in the northeast is a perfect excuse to cozy up for a special night in. Step away from your desk for a few minutes to witness the 4:32pm EST sunset on Thursday, December 21st, and nudge the summer child within you to slowly, slowly wake.

Give yourself (and others) a hug

Here we are, bumped and bruised, definitely older and hopefully wiser. It feels as though we always start each new year with such hope and excitement, and by December, life has happened. No doubt that this has been a long and, at times, rough year.

I’m lucky to often be reminded to focus on the positive, to be grateful for the good, and that’s all great but I want to recognize that we can still acknowledge that some things are just plain crappy. It’s totally possible and totally okay to be both thankful and weary. You don't need my permission, but allow yourself permission to feel proud, happy, wanting, overwhelmed, and every good, bad, and complex feeling that you feel.

It's December, so give your tired little self a hug, and hug a buddy for sticking by you and sharing the ride.

Read a damn book

This way, if nothing else, you'll have read a book this year. But really, learn something. Get some perspective, meet a literary voice, suspend your reality between the covers of a book. Maybe be the better for it.

My December book will be What Happened by Hillary Clinton. Through the first year of this presidential administration, the trauma that I experienced along with many others in the US on election night 2016 has not healed. I read an article this year that mentioned the phenomenon of people bursting into tears wherever Hillary goes. I understand that impulse; I harbor it myself. I still cry when reading coverage of her and can tear up just thinking about the injustice of it all, about the message some people in this country sent to women, minorities, immigrants, all of which I am. If writing this book was a catharsis for her, maybe reading it will be the same for me.

Make peace

As we come to an ending, reflect on some of the things that you've been carrying with you. Regrets, disappointments, anger, and any other bad mojo. Whatever it is, face it honestly, make peace as best as you can, then shake it off for good or place it down and walk one step at a time away from it. Remember to forgive yourself if you look back now and again, as long as you don't return to pick it up again.

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