xmas cookies

Wellness for One (or Two): Five Ways to Survive Holiday Cookie Season

By Samantha Pollack 

I have a confession to make.

Yesterday, I walked into work (a physical therapy clinic/fitness center), and there were cookies. They weren’t gluten free; they weren’t made with natural sweeteners – just traditional, sugary, peanut-buttery, chocolatey cookies.

I ate a lot of them. And then I got a headache.

I know when I go back there, there will be more cookies. There are always cookies now.

In my defense, I was in a weakened state. I already have a sweet tooth (it’s genetic; I blame my mother), but there’s a certain day of each month, when I turn into a giant walking sweet tooth. On those days I have to be extra careful to satisfy my craving in healthy ways.

Walking into a roomful of Christmas cookies? Not part of the plan.

All my co-workers delighted in watching the health coach crash and burn. They joked and teased me: “Look at the healthy girl, brought down to our level! Mwah hahahahaha!”

But I didn’t mind. Because it’s Christmas. I was happy to bring so much joy into their workday. And the cookies were really good.

And because, newsflash: HEALTHY PEOPLE CAN EAT COOKIES SOMETIMES.

J Aniston xmas

Jennifer Aniston at Christmas: Same Sh**, Different Day

By Karen Malone Wright

Merry freakin’ Christmas to Jennifer Aniston. More articulately pissed about The Baby Question than we’ve seen her before, Jennifer probably opened up to Allure months ago. But, her words are bouncing back everywhere as peeks at the magazine’s January 2015 issue hit the media just before the holidays. 

I’ll say it for her: Sigh.

Ms. J is 45 years old now. Forty-five. The front porch of the next chapter. Eight years since the end of her days as Mrs. Pitt where, in much of the media’s view, she is stuck.  

“This continually is said about me: that I was so career-driven and focused on myself; that I don’t want to be a mother, and how selfish that is. Even saying it gets me a little tight in my throat,” she told Allure.

I would buy this T-shirt:

“There’s all sorts of reasons why children aren’t in people’s lives, and no one has the right to assume. It’s quite rude, insulting and ignorant.” –Jennifer Aniston

elf shelf

The Most Terrifying Thing About Christmas Involves An Elf…And a Shelf

By Laura LaVoie

Can I just say here that I really, really hate those things?

What things, you ask?

Elf on the Shelf, of course.

Seriously? Why was that ever a good idea?

It was about 10 years ago or so that I was at a client lunch and one of my company sales reps said, “My sister created this thing called Elf on the Shelf.”

“Really,” I replied, feigning interest. (That’s what you do, right? You create a connection and you get more business. I was never very good at the client lunch, which is why I didn’t stick with a corporate career.) That was the first time I had ever heard of Elf on the Shelf.

I have no idea if it was true or not if her sister that created the whole thing. I was living in Atlanta at the time, so it was entirely plausible based on my cursory knowledge of the Elf on the Shelf franchise.

I do wish it had been the last time I heard of it.

NM PURCH woman xmas stress

Holiday Dread: A December Flu for Child-Free Women

By Karen Malone Wright

When this tweet arrived on December 7th, my first thought was that it reflected a case of Holiday Dread, which generally creeps in as a visit to see older relatives draws close.

Because the message came during the first week of December, I decided a case of second-degree Holiday Dread might be at play. This form appears when office Christmas parties are afoot, including annual small talk chats with the wives of your boss or co-workers’. 

tweet 12-7-14

Whether you’re childless by chance or childfree by choice, it’s a rare NotMom who hasn’t experienced Holiday Dread at least once. Family members all up in your personal business because they feel it’s their right. Brand-new acquaintances ‘innocently’ curious and downright rude, digging for details rarely shared with anyone.

The experience is aggravating for women who chose to opt out of motherhood, and it’s downright hurtful for the women who get a little melancholy during a holiday focused on kids because they desperately wanted them…but don’t have them. Third-degree Holiday Dread, perhaps.

So, what was my tweeted reply? Remember that I only had 140 characters to work with, because if I could have, I would have started with: First, close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths.

pound cake

Small-Batch Kitchen: Holiday Pound Cake

By Faye Davenport

I need to start with a confession. In my Thanksgiving Dinner for Two column, I advised against cooking a whole turkey because it would yield more leftovers than you’d want left over. This is true.

What I didn’t realize is that, while you can clearly have too much turkey, there is no such thing as too much dressing. That was my very rude discovery when I opened my package of leftovers for my day-after-Thanksgiving feast and there was no dressing…no stuffing…no chopped-up dried bread that had been seasoned with herbs and vegetables and turkey broth and baked in the oven. If I think it’s not Thanksgiving without turkey, it’s definitely not day-after-Thanksgiving without stuffing.

So I needed to make stuffing.   And, of course, to go with the stuffing I needed more turkey. Here’s my confession: I bought a whole turkey. In my defense, it was on sale. turkey

In my secondary defense, the turkey looked a lot smaller in its vacuum packaging than it actually was once it was unpackaged.

Cutting up a turkey is a whole lot harder than cutting up a chicken, but I had to whack that bird into parts because cooking a whole 20-pound turkey (YES, it was 20 POUNDS) was a lot more than my little kitchen and I could handle. I brined it, I whacked it, I brined it some more, seasoned and roasted it, made my dressing and had my day-after-Thanksgiving dinner, albeit several days later. I ate all the dressing. It was delicious. I still have turkey.

Now I’m looking ahead to Christmas. If the day after Thanksgiving is about the savories, the day after Christmas is about the sweets.

M Holmes 2

The NotMom Monthly Profile: Melanie Holmes of ‘The Female Assumption: A Mother’s Story’

Childless and childfree women come in lots of shapes and sizes. We are all colors, all cultures, and all ages. As much as we have in common, we are also very different. Some people say it is strange to define ourselves by things that we are not, so let’s determine what we are instead. In this monthly series, childfree blogger Laura LaVoie interviews women bloggers without children who answer the question, “If you’re not a Mom, then what are you?”

Laura Says: For December 2014, we’ve gone in a different direction with our interview. We had the pleasure of speaking with Melanie Holmes, author of The Female Assumption: A Mother’s Story: Freeing Women from the View that Motherhood is a Mandate.

Yes, you read that right. Melanie is a Mom, but she is a strong NotMom ally. Her book, and her overall mission, is to change the view of a woman’s role in society to include reproductive freedom. Melanie believes that motherhood isn’t always the right answer. Her book is slated for 2014 Best Book Award by the Population Institute’s Global Media Awards and the winners will be announced soon.

It is so rare that NotMoms have such vocal public allies among Moms. What made you want to write this book?

Let me begin with the story of the major publisher who declined publishing my book, telling me that I had to “pick a side.” It is my view that all women should be on the same side. So when we speak of allies, I embrace TheNotMom’s vision of Sister-to-Sisterness. I believe that when women join forces, nothing is impossible.

Santa pets

Quality Gift Ideas for Dogs & Cats (Because They Deserve It)

By Karen Malone Wright

This holiday post is particularly for the owners of dogs and cats. (That group includes me.)

Actually, this post is for owners of dogs and cats with a tradition of giving holiday gifts for their four-legged friends. (That group generally does not include me.)

I’ve always been a cat person, and holiday stuff for cats tends to be downright pitiful, in my humble opinion. Mesh stockings with catnip and something fluffy with a bell. Headband “antlers” that no cat of mine would ever allow on its head.

Dogs, on the other hand, have the world at their paws. Santa hats and expensive beds and bones…it’s hard for us cat people not to be jealous.

In 2014, I might actually do something for Charlie, who turned 15 last June. The ideas that sparked my interest came from the ASPCA, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I’m full of Christmas spirit; gift ideas for dogs are listed first.

#NoAd

wonderful life

Wellness for One (or Two): Holiday Wellness Tips for Grown-Ups

By Samantha Pollack

We’re getting into the nitty-gritty of the holiday season now. Christmas music is coursing through speakers all over America. Black Friday has morphed into Red Tuesday; Cyber Monday is now a whole week long, and after the second week of December, my calendar is chock full of holiday-related obligations.

I already promised I wouldn’t write ANOTHER ‘surviving the holidays’ guide, and I won’t. But I am going to tell you how to actually enjoy the weeks ahead. 

xmas gift

THE NOT MOM HOLIDAY GUIDE FOR GIFT GIVING & GETTING (2014)

By Laura LaVoie

It’s that time of year again. No matter what winter holiday you celebrate, there is most likely a gift giving component. So what do NotMoms want for the holidays? Here are just a few ideas to build off of last year’s suggestions. (btw, this is #NoAd.)

Give Things That Aren’t Things

I admit, my reason for wanting less clutter is the size of my home. But I think many people would say that there is just too much stuff around the holidays. Instead, why not give experiences?

  • A massage
  • A pedicure
  • Concert or theater tickets
  • House cleaning services
  • Dinner at an amazing local restaurant
  • A trip (Or, part of one. An airline gift card, perhaps.)
  • A subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime 

Things to read

We suggested a few books last year. Here are a couple that came out in 2014 which might be of interest to NotMoms. And, if physical copies of the books aren’t the right gift for any reason, go digital with Kindle or Nook.

My favorite things

Partially because of our decision not to have kids Matt and I are the kind of couple who buys things whenever we want or need them. We don’t buy much these days because of the aforementioned tiny house, but we don’t have restrictions except those that are self-imposed.

However, starting around October when we think of things that we want or need we don’t rush out and buy so we have something to put on a Christmas list. Here are some examples.

What are your ideas for gifts you want or gifts to give this holiday season?

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