getting through december

Last year I went cross country skiing at the Hildene estate in Manchester, Vermont. So fun. So pretty. The winter months don't have to be depressing.

It’s no wonder people find Christmas depressing. It’s a holiday in a dark month full of rabid consumerism and fake merriment.

Here’s how I’m going to power through the season:

1. I will be exceedingly good-natured, especially to crabby people. This is my passive-aggressive way — if I hold a door for you, a stranger, at the bank and you don’t say, Thank you, I will shout exuberantly, You’re welcome and have a beautiful holiday season!

2. Seriously, I will try to maintain a sunny attitude, even while facing layoffs, long lines, and disappointing gifts from my children.

3. I will give and go to a lot of holiday parties and have conversations with family and friends that are so deep and meaningful they cannot be summarized in a tweet. (But follow me any way on Twitter @MaryBethC — Self promotion? Not gonna stop!)

4. Delve into some childhood memories and try to make some damn good memories for my kids — but NOT memories of things like iPhones, but memories of experiences, like hanging out with cousins, eating fondue or looking at the Rockefeller tree. (We live in NYC and we never do any of the touristy, Christmas crap.)

5. Do some Christmas-y NYC things:

  • see the Renaissance angels at the Met
  • see the origami tree at the Museum of Natural History
  • see the windows on 5th Avenue
  • listen to Handel’s Messiah
  • eat Scandinavian food

6. Write a lot.

7. Travel a lot (to Chicago and the Adirondacks).

8. Drink a lot (of egg nog).

This was last winter’s post from my visit to Hildene.

NYC and Snow

When I walk to work through Barnard College campus in the morning, the first day the city is covered in snow, it is quiet, soft and beautiful. The next day or two, the city snow gets sooty. After that, I don’t see the snow because I am too busy Googling cheap fares to Florida.

Snow is inevitable. But lately we’ve had so much so frequently! Oy! There must be a lesson here. Perhaps we are meant to pull together as New Yorkers — zip up, meet your neighbors, share the icy chill at the bus stop! Maybe the lesson is to hunker down with family and friends. Or seize the opportunity to beautify the home and clean the linen closet!

Maybe we are supposed to feel the aliveness of the moment when we step into the frozen wind of Riverside Drive.

Whatever the lesson is, I’m looking for it. My eyes are open. Yet my head is down and I am watching my steps. I am avoiding the ice. New Yorkers are intrepid in all kinds of weather. I wrote about New York, a walker’s town, in the rain. http://mybeautifulnewyork.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/new-yorkers-and-the-rain/

Now I am looking forward to the rain. I am waiting for the Spring. I will love New York in the Springtime. They write songs about that. That and Autumn in New York. The Winter though? I am not singing the love song.