Stuff I Learned From 2014

If there is ever an appropriate time to sit down and over think the past, I figure the designated last day of the year is as close as it gets. And away we go!

In no particular order, I learned:

1. just how difficult it is to supervise and train an uncooperative employee.

2. you can deny Jesus 70-something times in a single day and still feel pretty okay about yourself.

3. that New York City hurricanes probably won’t be a regular thing.

4. how to pass a New York State Driving Exam. My ability to drive is up for debate.

5. that ignorance is not bliss. Having the wrong idea about things can mess you up hard.

6. horror movies are still awesome.

7. that roller coasters are still the best thing ever.

8. that sometimes you just have to force someone to pick up a crucifix.

9. like a single Tango move. Or maybe it was Salsa?

10. Twitter is a fun place to visit, but don’t live there.

11. that photography is easy. Good photography, however, is an actual skill.

12. a vacation in summer is really no more weather-proof than a vacation at any other time of the year.

13. what a wonderful thing coffee really is.

14. that soda is not actually my friend, and has been hurting me for a long time.

15. life is bonkers and there is very little we can do about it. No but seriously it is.

16. that isolation will destroy anyone.

17. that sometimes playing dolls just means holding a doll and talking.

18. Salvation Army will let you donate pretty much anything and give you a receipt for it.

19. I have some really amazing friends. More than I thought I did.

20. that I might just have a future worth looking forward to.

Here’s hoping I don’t need to relearn any of the non-fun lessons. Happy* New Years.

*Your mileage may vary.

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4 Fun New Holiday Traditions For The Young And Adventurous

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the shameless embrace of age-old customs and rituals that marked our childhoods. Whether it is little things like getting to open a single present on Christmas Eve or singing carols at old people, or more elaborate celebrations like setting your seven backyard towers ablaze for Hanukkah, there is a comfort and joy to be found in the good old ways.

For many younger people, particularly those starting new families of their own, however, the old way of doing things can be onerous and impractical, or dredge up unpleasant memories of dead reindeer (why doesn’t blood ever wash out?), and so one might be tempted to forego such pageantry altogether. While understandable, I defy such logic. We are young, and the dismal future the baby boomers have left for us is still ours to craft.It is with this unquenchable spirit that I offer to you 5 ideas for adding a new and personal touch to the holidays and make them your own.

1. Candle Fight

This is one for you people who celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, and perhaps any weirdos who would light candles for Christmas (seriously?). Traditionally, one lights one candle after another in celebration of whatever it is Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrate, but for a young person with a taste for wicked good fun and asbestos-laced clothing, nothing can compare to the simple pleasure of throwing the candles at one another. The best part is that lit candles means you can play this fun game at any time or place, even in the middle of the night! Watch out, it’s gonna get you!

2. Stocking Race

We know all about hanging up our stockings upon the chimney with care, even if we don’t have a chimney, or haven’t neglected to renew our restraining order against Santa Claus, but what a waste of good socks! They hang there for perhaps a full month, only to be filled with things from the dollar store on Christmas Eve. Instead of hanging the stockings right away, make a fun tradition that your kids will look forward to year after year! Each kid will stick both feet into their stocking and hop the finish line while we all cheer for them. The winner gets to have their presents, and the losers get a compelling motivation to try harder next year.

3. Write A Holiday Song

Here is one for you artistic types! Nothing says “new traditions” like having a song of your very own to sing and play! I humbly submit a few titles to get the creative juices flowing.

Christmas Time, Yet Again

Mom Can’t Visit Anymore

Where’s My F****ing Candles!?

Randolph The Last Reindeer

Shopping Helps The Economy

Christmas, But For Minorities

4. Burn Last Year’s Gifts

In many ways New Year’s Day marks the end of the holiday season; those who would dare extend it to Valentine’s Day are in desperate need of therapy, do NOT feed their delusions. With all the wonderful gifts and useless garbage you’ve no doubt received over the Christmases and Hannukahs one can begin to feel overwhelmed with consumerist burden, their very soul crushed under the burden of matter. But New Year’s is a time of new beginnings, after all, and what better way to mark the start of your next few weeks of a gym membership or trying to read books than burning all the wonderful things you received in the previous year? There is no better way to warm your heart and your hearth than with the discarded debris of the holidays of yesteryear.