Monday, December 06, 2010


I dreamt last night that I was working for an injured friend. I had two bags of his laundry and was carrying them many blocks between the two apartments he owned in this dream-reality so that another worker could wash them. Somewhere along the way I lost one. From 4:30 to 6 this morning I continued to dream-worry about the second bag while choosing to do other non-essential tasks rather than retrace my steps and find the white, mesh bag full of unmentionables.

Now, as my ex-pseudo-father-in-law used to say, I told you that to tell you this.

I've been ignoring Christmas. First it seemed far away and then it seemed like something I just needed to take a look at and then it was like a bag of laundry lost somewhere on a ten block walk. I can't even fathom the energy to solve this problem much less apply myself to the task. Every time it walks naked out of the bathroom I avert my eyes.

You know?

A large bit of what I've been avoiding is saying something big. I've wanted to say it, I've bandied it about, I've urged others to say it first but I haven't gone jingle balls to the wall and said it. I'm almost 42. It's time to St. Nick Sac up.

If you're reading this and we have exchanged presents in the past let's please not this year. (Even if you're not reading this expect an email soon 'cause I think I've hit the year where I don't just want this change, I need it.) Sure there are things that I want and need but they're not things that you should or probably even can buy for me. Some of them can't be bought at all. That's OK. You don't need to buy me things. If we exchange food gifts I'm sure we'll continue to do that but as for me? Don't get me anything. Please be sure, it's not that I don't appreciate all the gifts you've given me. I'm fortunate to know a bunch of pretty awesome gift givers. But that's stress, time, and money we just don't have. I'd rather we spent those parts of ourselves differently. (Anyone want to go out for dinner in January?)

Now, chances are, if we've exchanged gifts before, I am actually going to give something. But I'm going to give it to someone else. This year I'm going to sit down and make a bunch of donations in the names of all of you. If you absolutely must give something to, on, around or about me then I'd be enormously flattered if you would do the same. I think it's cool to see what charitable entity speaks to you of me.

I see charities I want to support all the time and then I don't have money right then or I plan to do it when I get home or for Christmas and I just...don't. I'm going to highlight them here at 117 Hudson this season. Not every day, not in a formal gift guide way but here and there in case you're inspired to join me on this charitable holiday thing.

First up the ones I know right off my head, that I already give to.

1. ChemE's mom died of ovarian cancer a long time ago. Most years at Christmas and/or her birthday I go to Charity Navigator, pick the best rated ovarian cancer charity and donate in her name.

2. ChemE and I donate to Habitat For Humanity every year as a memorial for Auntie Blanche. I'm not exactly clear why, though I can guess, but this was AB's top organization to support. We used to give her the donation as her gift and she loved it.

3. Again with ChemE, but we've got systems in place, in honor of Mrs. X who passed away in January of 2007 we trade off donating to The American Lung Association (I use Charity Navigator to see which branch is both geographically close and highly rated) and Heifer International. Mrs. X made a "Heifer & Homemade" policy for the holidays a few years before she died of lung cancer so you can understand why we keep this up.

4. For a few years I've supported classroom projects through Donors Choose for Blondie & The Athlete. I try to choose a project that aligns in some ways with their interests. When I miss Auntie Blanche a lot I'll sometimes cruise the Donors Choose projects and just donate to a music project she'd have liked.

5. On the other hand, this year I might donate to the SPCA in the "kids" names (they're so old now!) as they're both hard core animal lovers.

6. My good friend and yours, Mimi Ferraro (first photo above), is having a Breastival to help with the crippling costs of her treatment for breast cancer (yes, she has and had health insurance, yes, the costs are still more than a person can bear). You can get more information about the event, Mimi and how to donate here.

Now, all this being said, I'm still sending the hell out of a bunch of holiday cards. I can't guarantee they'll get there before Christmas but they'll get there. JRH worked hard on the design and I want people to see it. If you've gotten a card from me before (and not moved without telling me) you'll get one this year. If you haven't gotten a card from me before and you'd like to you can email me at isabeau6 (at) hotmail (dot) com and I'll gladly add you to the list.

Happy Holidays y'all. Thanks for helping me to say my piece. I feel lighter already.

1 comment:

  1. A new charity on my list this year is - I'm thinking R's nieces who used to appreciate the animal-loving charity presents are old enough to be inspired by this. I would love to be on your card list, would love to eat and drink things in January, and look forward to seeing you soon on purpose or by accident.