Our Favorite Essays And Stories About the Holidays

From Electric Lit:

The holiday season—which I (arbitrarily!) define as beginning in mid-November and continuing through the first of the year—is a minefield. If you’re lucky, the bombs are carbohydrate- or confetti-filled. If you’re not, you’re facing roughly two months of celebratory gatherings and realizing that alcohol, while perhaps a helpful social lubricant, does not actually have the power to silence your mother’s unsolicited opinion about your ticking biological clock. However full or empty your cup of holiday cheer, these essays, stories, and lists are perfect for “the most wonderful time of the year.”

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Please Do Not Give Me Another Freaking Bookmark” by Carrie V. Mullins

As any voracious reader knows, the only thing you really want for Christmas is a book, which also happens to be the only thing your loved ones refuse to give you (in their defense, it’s not their fault, you’ve read everything). Unfortunately, this dilemma often results in the purchase of book-related garbage—and do you really need another bookmark? No, no you do not. If you’re worried about being on the receiving end of yet another pillow embroidered with a literary quote, I recommend sharing this list of alternative ideas with your friends and family this year. 

This Christmas Is Unlike Any Other, and Exactly the Same” by Tabitha Blankenbiller

The holiday season can often feel like a one-dimensional menagerie of glee, as enthusiasts fail to ask important questions like: just how many Christmas lights does this desiccated evergreen actually need? In her thoughtful essay, Blankenbiller discovers a book on Christmas in midcentury America that prompts her to unpack her own holiday traditions in the context of her own unusual cultural moment.

This collection I’m now surrounded with for the remainder of my quarantine holiday is the answer to a question I wouldn’t have dreamed to ask. How did you know it would get better? This sparkling, melancholy, fading world is its own reply. We didn’t. But we celebrated anyway. As you do. As people always have.

Link to the rest at Electric Lit