Posts by Jill

by Jill Greenwood

Sorry for the blog silence, folks. When we started O+U, we never really ironed out our schedules. For a while, Erika did the calendars, but when she was selling her house, I took it over . . . and I’ve forgotten the last few months. No real reason other than life. But that’s not to say that we haven’t missed posting here. Some months are easier than others; occasionally, we’ll come up with an idea relatively quickly. Other months . . . takes forever (remember February?). Anyway, there’s no real theme for this month, and truthfully, I haven’t even posted a calendar yet, but I’m running with this one: politics. That dirty little word that no one wants to talk about: politics. A subject on which everyone has an opinion: politics. If there’s any one subject that’s rife with opinions and tons to talk about it’s . . . politics. And my own personal political issue is reproductive health. That’s right. I’m talking about vaginas and uteruses (kick it old school and go with uteri if you want) and birth control and abortion and children and cervixes and cancer and disease. And I’m calling bullshit on the politicians. PS – If you don’t like the f-word, walk away now.

Whenever I say that I’m pro-choice people automatically assume that I’m pro-abortion. Honestly, I don’t think that I’ve ever met a person who is pro-abortion. Have you? No one that I know ever has said, “Hmmm . . . what haven’t I done this summer? I know. Get an abortion!” Contrary to what Wisconsin Senator, Mary Lazich, says, you don’t need an abortion to be a woman. No, Senator, you need a uterus to be a woman. Having a vagina helps, too. You can get away without the boobs. Then again, what do I really know . . . I’m not a doctor, so I could be wrong. But wait! Neither are you, Senator.

So back to me. I’m pro-choice. I believe that, when given a choice between having a child and raising it, having a child and giving it up for adoption, or having an abortion, that choice should be mine and pretty much just mine except for the people that I choose to share it with. In the summer of 1990, I was in that very spot. Just finished up my sophomore year in college and having a blast in the summer. I was working at three jobs and taking a few classes. Thoroughly enjoying my summer. And then I got pregnant. For some reason, I always say, “I got pregnant,” when in all actuality, it took two people to get to that point and a compelling lack of condoms, but I got pregnant. My friends found out first because they were in the bathroom when the stick changed colors. The next person? The father. I really had no idea how that conversation would go because let’s be honest, not much physically would change for him. He could, if he wanted, deny everything and be a real dick. Tell me that it was pretty much up to me what happened. Tell me to go fuck myself. Tell me to do whatever I wanted. But we talked and talked and talked, and in the end, chose to have the baby. The first place we went was Planned Parenthood, and true to Planned Parenthood form, they offered me – wait for it – prenatal vitamins. Not an abortion. Or literature to read. Just prenatal vitamins and the opportunity to listen to the baby’s heartbeat because the obstetrician wouldn’t see me until I was 12 weeks along (fun fact: only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s activities have anything to do with abortions; the rest is all about women’s health). And in April of 1991, our daughters were born because by then, there were two bambinos floating around in the “aquarium” that was my ever expanding belly.

I had every hope that my daughters would grow up in an era that respected them as equals with the boys around them. For the love of god and all that is holy, hadn’t Free To Be You and Me already established that boys and girls were the same except for the bits and pieces down there? For a little while, it seemed like we were good. I’m not even sure when the tide started to turn, but it did. All of a sudden, things shifted away from making a choice to “protecting the lives of the innocent” at all costs (which also involved vilifying any need for public assistance, by the way). Plan B? Better hope you can find a pharmacy that’s willing to stock it. Comprehensive sex ed? Not in school . . . you only need to know how to abstain. An open dialog about sex? Right here – at least I had that covered. Thankfully, getting birth control wasn’t a huge issue because we lived in a state that didn’t make us jump through too many hoops.

Last summer, I felt like I was 20 again. Not because I found I was filled with all the energy and vigor of a 20-year-old but because I thought I was pregnant again. You know what? It sucked all over. I didn’t want to be pregnant. I had no desire to have another child. I was older, which brought about all sorts of risks. All these thoughts running through my brain and just one way to squash them all: take a pregnancy test. So I went to the store and called my husband on the way. He reacted much calmer this time around (that will happen when the last time you had this kind of conversation was before Bill Clinton had been elected), but it was clear that he didn’t want another child either. I bought a test – did you know that they keep the pregnancy tests right next to the diapers? If that’s not a great big, Fuck You!, I don’t know what is – came home and found out that I was not pregnant. The relief that washed over me was unexplainable.

But had I been pregnant, the only person’s opinion that I would have given two shits about would have been my husband’s opinion. Not my state senator’s or my governor’s or my children’s or my extended family’s. Just his and mine. Because ultimately, the only two people raising the baby would be the two of us. And honestly, it’s none of Lisa Boscola‘s business if I choose to have a child or not. Pennsylvania has a 24-hour waiting period, and there are “informed consent” laws that serve only to add to a woman’s guilt. But like it or not, if I were in fact pregnant and I wanted to have an abortion, I would have had one. Because the 24-hour waiting period wouldn’t affect my bottom line in any way, shape, or form. My husband would be there to hold my hand the entire time. Hell, I’d probably even have my children with me. But not all women have the luxury of taking a full two days or have a support system in place to help.

Other states are worse than Pennsylvania. Everyone has focused on Texas and Senator Wendy Davis‘s filibuster regarding Rick Perry and his version of what kind of health care women in Texas should receive (hint: there’s a lot more at stake than abortions but it’s not “sexy” to focus on cervical cancer or that it really only will affect poor and/or minority women). Senator Davis did a remarkable job with her filibuster and was only ruled “out” after three very bogus strikes, but the Texas legislature at least put the bill to a vote . . . unlike a state that I was once proud to call my home. Because Ohio’s governor didn’t put it to a vote. He allowed it to be attached to the budget and quickly signed the whole package (although thankfully he did help out the spider monkeys and their owners by removing them from regulations: spider monkeys – 1, women – 0). So, Ohio women, welcome to the following:

  • Want an IUD? Fuck you . . . it’s an abortion.
  • Had a miscarriage and need a DNC? Fuck you . . . it’s an abortion.
  • Still hellbent on getting an abortion? Fuck you . . . wait 48-hours.
  • You were raped? Fuck you . . . only clinics that don’t mention abortion will get any money.
  • Your life is in danger? Fuck you . . . Gov. Kasich decided what that means (and good luck if you are in danger because chances are it really isn’t danger according to the governor’s list).

There’s more, but really they all amount to a giant fuck you because clearly the governor knows better. People fixate on the abortions after 20 weeks and how horrible a woman must be to abort her baby that late in the game. I’ll let you in on a little secret: those are usually the most wanted pregnancies out there. They are a beyond gut wrenching decisions of all – a baby that you desperately want only to find out that nothing will be able to save the life of your unborn child and that continuing with the pregnancy would do nothing but cause more heartbreak for everyone.

I’m unabashedly pro-choice. Because every option should be available to women . . . have the child, find adoptive parents, terminate the pregnancy. Ultimately, it’s not my choice to make. It’s yours. And whatever choice you make, I’ll respect that. Because you are the one to live with the outcome. Not me. I made my choice 23 years ago, one that I have never, ever regretted. I’d seriously love to hear your points of view . . . just keep it civil.

By Jill Greenwood

Moments are fleeting. They come and go in an instant. Four years ago, we loaded an SUV to the gills and packed four adults into it for a two-hour drive to Philadelphia. Ten hours later, two adults came home feeling deflated and depressed but hopeful for the two adults they left behind. The moments in between flashed by in an instant. Trips to and from the train station. The occasional football game. Moving vans to get from one apartment to another. Olive in Philadelphia. Olive in the Poconos. “Can you put money in my account?” Texting at odd hours. Playing Words With Friends with one and Skyping on Sundays with the other.

Overlooking the Old City, May 15, 2013

Overlooking the Old City, May 15, 2013

And now, the moments are fleeting again. He looks out the window, one day away from graduation, surveying a city we’ve come to enjoy. Tonight, we celebrate the successes that they’ve earned from their professors. We’ll listen to a professor speak so glowingly of our daughter that I can’t help but tear up. We’ll meet colleagues of our other daughter and know that she’s made the right choice for her future. Later, we’ll find our way to a local restaurant and celebrate with our families because without their love and support, our children never would have become the women that they are. Tomorrow, we watch them proudly march in with their fellow graduates and sit through speeches from people they are likely to forget. They will pose for pictures (and get a little testy) and celebrate even more but holding on to the moments while they can.

Monday we’ll have a new theme since it is June.

by Jill Greenwood

Yup, we’re a little late getting the month started on O + U. Could be the nice weather, but it only became nice in the past few days in my region. Might be all that time I’m spending taking photographs. Only problem? I can’t find the time to process a damn thing without a small “beagleador” on my lap. So it must be all my hobbies, right? Possibly but not really. Turns out I’ve been reveling in being lazy and doing nothing except for reading the occasional book.

Even while I’m reading or falling asleep, the nagging feeling that I should be doing something else keeps pricking at my brain. What’s missing is knitting. Lucy, the aforementioned “beagleador,” doesn’t really like to share my lap. And it turns out that she’s kind of picky about wanting to play since she’s a puppy and all. Knitting, sadly, has taken a seat on the back burner, and it’s a shame considering I have enough yarn to choke a small family. You want silk? Come on over, my love . . . I have mulberry and raw. Merino? Want that blended or pure? Could I tempt you with a little qiviut? Rub it on your wrist . . . or some place else. Tell you what I’ll do. First skein is free. It’s all yours. But the next one? Well, the next one you’ll have to pay for. Sure, with knitting, you’ll start with some lovely Red Heart (and there are some lovely Red Heart varieties) and think, “This sweater will be perfect!” However, you’ll figure out quickly that you can’t block anything because it’s acrylic. So you’ll buy a nice, reasonably priced wool. Later, a friend will show you some cashmere blend, and that’s it. You’re in for the good stuff from then on. You’ll stalk certain indie dyers to try and score just a skein of the goodness. The same friend will send you links on Ravelry for another indie dyer. You’ll go into your attic to retrieve two balls of yarn and realize that you have not one, not two, but six (yes, six) separate sweaters in yarn form just waiting to be knit.


But admit you have a problem? Screw that. Because eventually, you’ll have a sweater. Or a sock (probably not its mate). Could be a scarf. All that yarn? It has potential. There is possibility in a skein. The colors meld with a stitch, and you’ve created something magical. Twist your stitches this way . . . nothing. But twist the other way, and it all pops. Maybe you’ll get ballsy and throw a sweater that’s too big and shrink it a little (I would caution you on this; it often leads to tears and sobbing and hyperventilating and booze . . . lots and lots of booze). Save the big one – cutting your sweater – for last. Because after you do that, it’s all downhill from there.


So why knit? It can be a relatively cheap craft. You can get wool sweaters at most thrift stores and unravel them if you like. There are plenty of small projects out there that take a small amount of yarn. A skein of sock yarn can go pretty far if you’re creative. And if you’re not creative . . . buy a pattern and get to it. Knitting will keep you focused, for the most part. You focus on the stitches and let the rest of your thoughts melt away. Nothing will destress me faster than the garter stitch. Knit a row. Turn it around. Knit another row. Repeat. But if I need to stop from thinking of anything, give me a complicated lace pattern. Because if I have to think about a pattern, chances are I can’t think about anything else. Sometimes, that’s the best part.

by Jill Greenwood

Years ago – 1992 to be exact – I graduated from college with a degree in professional writing. Back then professional writing encompassed all the components of technical writing and was pretty much as dry and boring as it sounds. For a while after the girls were born, I did a bit of freelance work, creating newsletters for a few alumni groups in my area and the occasional editing job for some articles. I thought for a while about applying to work at our local newspaper, but after looking over the front pages, it was clear they needed an editor and not another reporter. By then, the girls were getting older and in school, and I decided to go back to school and become a teacher. Writing, it seemed, was going to take a back seat to education, but as luck would have it, I channeled my efforts towards becoming a middle school English teacher. Even though I get to pass on my love of writing to seventh graders who, let’s face it, probably don’t love it quite as much as I do, I still don’t get to write very creatively. Blogging allows me to write from a personal point of view but not creatively.


About three or four years ago, I was struck by how each of Laura’s street photos formed an almost perfect story. She had the ability to hone in on something special with the people she photographed. Before we really knew each other, I commented on a photo she posted on Flickr that I wanted to write a story about the image. A few weeks later, Laura tagged me in a photo and said she couldn’t wait to see what I wrote. I tried . . . so many attempts . . . but nothing ever really came of it. That nagging bit of doubt kept bubbling to the surface. You’re not a writer. Not a real one, at least. Eventually I gave in and stopped trying.

But now, there’s a change coming. Laura and I have decided to give it a whirl. She’s supplying the images, and I’m trying to do them justice with some short stories. Some of the images lend themselves to a longer narrative with characters coming and going. Others are one shot deals, nothing more than a few paragraphs to describe the scene. I’m still not convinced I’m a writer, but I’m willing to try. Come on and join us at Les Bruyants!

By Jill Greenwood

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love music. With a passion. Like lots and lots and lots. That being said, I kinda suck at the lyrics. For the longest time, I thought that the final line of David Bowie’s “Changes” was “But I can’t change time;” turns out I was wrong . . . and really, I like my lyrics better than Bowie’s. Far be it from me to think that I’m a better lyricist than the Thin White Duke, but what the hell does tracing time even mean? Anyone? Thought so.

So what does this have to do with change? Not much other than every time someone says anything about change, I start to hum the song. We generally toss around our topics on a Facebook group that we started a while ago. Most times they are the result of the season, but this time it seemed that many of us were in a state of change. Me? Nothing major because I avoid change at all cost. Case in point: Friday nights. We’ve been having pizza every Friday night since we moved to the ‘Burg. And not just pizza. Frozen pizza. From a local grocery store. If we don’t have it, something is off for that week. Slightly obsessive-compulsive, but there you have it . . . frozen pizza, every Friday night from Weis.


Change – not something I like. I think I would even go so far as to say that I shy away from from it. But that all changed on January 28 this year because Dave and I decided to adopt a puppy. For some reason, it seemed like a good idea. After six weeks of having the lovely Lucy in our lives, I’d have to say that it was still a good idea, but fuck . . . I’m too old for a puppy. It’s like having another baby after raising two grown children. Am I equating having a puppy is exactly like having a baby? God, lord, no! I laugh when I hear couples say, “Well, first we’re going to start with a puppy because that will give us a good idea what raising a child will be like.” Ummm, no it won’t, dipshits. It will give you a good idea what raising a puppy will be be like. Because trust me, when your own spawn eats its shit, you might stop him or her faster than your puppy. At least for your child’s sake, I’d hope you do.

Back to the decision to adopt a puppy. The one change that I knew – knew – we had to make was training. With Livie, our first dog, we didn’t really do any training because I was lazy (but you figured that, right). She was sweet, good tempered. But ring a doorbell, and she would bark. My mom would get pissed because she couldn’t sit with a biscuit on her nose like my childhood dog. Granted, that was something to see, but then again, Livie never ate a) a 10-pound rump roast; b) $40 worth of fundraiser chocolate, or c) pounds of crayons either; and, yes, Schatzie, the childhood Lab, did that and more. I’m firmly convinced it was because of the endless biscuits on her nose. Puppy 2.0 was going to be trained. That change was a huge one for me because it means constant reinforcement of good habits and redirection for the bad habits. Trust me when I say that it would be a whole lot simpler to let Lucy jump up to say her hellos when you walk in the door rather than gently push her down and say, “Off.” Right now, she’s adorable and cute when she does it. But come three years down the road, I’m pretty sure that she’ll just be an annoyance with it.


There’s other change brewing in Chez Greenwood. My girls are graduating from college in a few months, and I have no idea what comes next for them. I’ve branched out and started reading good and proper grown-up novels (not giving up on YA though). We are finally joining the 20th century and will luxuriate in central air this summer. See? Going to Crazy Town with all this change. Maybe I won’t have frozen pizza tonight . . . who the hell am I kidding . . . that would be beyond crazy.

Spill it, people! If change scares you as much as it does me, what change do you think would be totally worth it? Pretend money and time are out of the equation . . . what change would you make right now if you could? I’ll mull them over with my third slice of Weis Magic Crust Frozen Pizza.

By Jill Greenwood

Tiffani wasn’t joking about those crickets. It’s totally my fault, y’all. A while back, when Erik’s was buying her house, I took over our posting calendar. And towards the end of last month, we adopted a puppy, and that pretty much took over my life. So that’s a huge reason for our silence. But back to the good stuff…sex.

My husband and I have shared a full sized bed for 22 years. I know, I know. A full sized bed is likely the bed that most children sleep in after they emerge from their cribs. But yet we sleep in that same size bed every night. Tight squeeze but we manage. And since we’ve been sleeping in the same bed for all those years, it’s not a stretch to figure out that we do other things there, too: read, laugh, have sex, argue, joke around, figure things out, cry. Arguably, it’s where we spend most of our time together. And when he’s on a business trip, I basically stick to my side of the bed, curl up into a ball, and go to sleep.

But on vacations – like this weekend’s Chicago getaway – I get to revel in a king sized bed. Roll around in it. Sleep on my side and never touch my husband. Laugh. Figure out what to do the next day. And revel in vacation sex. Admit it…part of the fun of a vacation is trying to figure out if the bed is as much fun as your own.

Turns out this one is. Enjoy the long weekend!

by Jill Greenwood

Seriously, I truly am a simple woman. Give me a cold beer and some hot wings for a meal, and I’m happy. Books? I’ll read anything as long as it has a good plot and your main character doesn’t come off as a grade-A douchebag (I’m looking at you, Eat, Pray, Love). My children? Do your best because I’m doing my best. My students? Go back and read what I wrote about my own children.

But my goals? I make them so convoluted that I never achieve what I’m setting out to do. They are so lofty that I know I’m bound to fail. And I fail spectacularly. Finish all my knitting works-in-progress? Ahh, that goal gets made every year, and I only seem to add to my WIPs. However, if I set that bar at a more manageable level (say 25% with no more than two projects added), I would probably be successful. Write a novel? Half sounds good. Hello, graduate degree? Where are you? This is the year . . . I can feel it.

But with grading last-minute items before the end of the term has a way of preventing goals getting started. Thankfully, good friends have a way of reminding you that your ultimate goal has nothing to do with knitting or novel writing or finishing your graduate degree. Yes, the ultimate goal is to meet the vice president. And if sitting on his lap and snuggling is on the table, so be it.

Jill and the Veep

I am a simple woman after all. But here’s the deal I’m willing to make with you, oh lovely O + U readers: if you can make that last goal happen, there’s a nice hand-knit something-or-other in the making for you. I do have that two project addition rule in place for a reason.

Every year, I come up with about 20 or so goals. Most of them have to do with “personal growth” – not biting one’s hang nails is personal growth – and come mid-February, I’m left scratching my head, beating myself up yet again for having set the bar too high. What’s a girl to do? Contact a  friend who knows a lot about setting goals and getting the job done and ask for some help. And I’m figuring that we all could use a little help in achieving our goals. But I’ll speak to my own goals next week. For now, I’ll pass the blog over to Beverly Army Williams. Her post has concrete steps to help set yourself up for success with personal and professional goals.

Whether or not you’ve ever written a grant, and whether it was a little or gargantuan grant, there are some lessons to be learned about personal and career goals from grant writing.

Each and every grant comprises at least six parts: Need, Goal and objectives, Plan of action, Evaluation, Key personnel, Budget

Wait! What does this have to do with finally completing a 100-mile bike ride (one of my recurring goals)?  Here’s a look at how the grant sections can help you focus your goals.

Need: the grant writer explains why the project must be undertaken. What problem or opportunity has presented itself? What will happen if it doesn’t change?

Goal and objectives: in grant writing parlay, a goal is an overarching aim. What is the big idea? Objectives are the what of the grant: what will it take to reach the goal? Think of this as the stepping stones that lead to the destination. The classic litmus test for a strong objective is to see if it is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Referenced)

Plan of Action: this is the blueprint, the if-you-leave-the-job-and-the-grant-gets-funded-we-can-still-run-the-program part of the grant. It is the how to the objectives’ what. Write down every little thing it will take to make the project (or goal) happen. In what order do all these actions have to occur? How long will they take?

All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein

Evaluation: no one gives you money without a way to assess if it has been well spent. Strong objectives lead to effective evaluation. Questions to ask are how will I know I achieved the objective? What questions will help ensure that I stay on track?

Quality of Key Personnel: grant writers need to prove to funders that the right people are in place for the job. While some goals are achievable on your own, in some cases you’ll need support—a cheering section, an expert to guide you, a coach. Who is needed to make this a success?

Budget: grants are about exchanges. Here’s a project that will alleviate a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. Here’s what it will cost. Does that balance out? Is it worth it? How many people will feel the impact of the project? What is the cost, in terms of money, time, and other intangibles, of your goal? Is achieving the goal worth that cost?

Free writing on each section can lead you not only to concrete plans to achieve a goal, but also help evaluate whether or not a goal is worthy of your efforts and how you will know that you’ve made progress even if, like my 50-mile apex ride of 2012, the goal hasn’t quite been achieved.

 Beverly Army Williams is a writer and fiber artist. She teaches grant writing at a small public university in MA and blogs at and runs a writing consulting business at Follow her on Twitter @Beverly_Army.

By Jill Greenwood

I’m not a real big fan of New Year’s Eve. It’s nothing personal, but after years of babysitting for siblings and having small children at a young age, New Year’s Eve just doesn’t do anything for me. Normally, Dave and I have some appetizers and prosecco, and we settle in for an evening at home. Probably goes without saying that most years, I’m lucky to make it ’til the ball drops.


January 1, 2013

But come morning, come New Year’s Day, all bets are off. Because as ambivalent as I am towards the Eve, I love – love – the Day. Something about the promise of a new beginning that makes me sit up and take notice. And let’s face it, after a six-week slide into gluttony known as “the Holidays,” I could use a new beginning. Not a resolution (gave those up years and years ago), but something to focus on. Sometimes it’s a word, like “growth” or “persistence,” or a project or two.


January 1, 2012

This year? I haven’t figured out a word yet – it’s narrowed down to about four – and I’m 99% sure that I’m ready to tackle another 365 project but on my terms. I finished a 365 in 2011 but gave up in August for 2012. This year, I don’t want to give up even if it means taking another photo of my coffee mug. It’s a goal that I have for myself . . . not a resolution (they are made to be broken) but a goal. Goals have to start some where, so we’re focusing on them this month.

Growth 1/365

January 1, 2011

There are about a million other ideas floating around in my brain, but for now, my goal is to finish another 365. I’m sure that I’ll develop a few more as this month progresses. What about you . . . any goals for the year?

By Jill Greenwood

There’s a house on our street that our family has dubbed “Christmas Village.” I’m pretty sure that y’all have a Christmas Village, too . . . lights galore, several “tactful” animatronics, some planning. The kind of house that would make you shudder if you lived nearby. I’m not talking anything like this, but you get the general idea. Usually, our Christmas Village coincides with the general Holiday time, but for the past several years, it’s gotten earlier and earlier. Usually, the Christmas Spirit has been determined by the Village (not a bottle as some might suspect); sadly, with its early appearance, I’ve had to rely on something else: music.

It's blurry. It's grainy. It's my favorite Christmas photo of the girls.

It’s blurry. It’s grainy. It’s my favorite Christmas photo of the girls.

A couple of caveats: I won’t play Christmas music until after Thanksgiving and I’m not a purist. Not by a long shot. Here’s what really gets me happy and ready to groove when Christmas is a mere 23 days away:

  • “Santa Baby” by Kylie Minogue: really, anyone singing this song is generally OK with me (except Madonna . . . I don’t like her version, which is odd because I love the Material Girl, but I think she was in that weird Who’s That Girl? period when she recorded her version – too much “baby talk” bullshit)
  • The Fairytale of New York” by The Pouges and Kirsty MacColl: hands up, people . . . who among us hasn’t had a Christmas a little bit like this one? That’s what I thought! Plus, it’s breathtaking if you just listen to the music.
  • “Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie: any other version is crap. Shit. Not worthy of being heard. The Binger will be on here a few times.
  • “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey: when I hear this song, it means that it’s officially Christmas. I’ve been known to turn off the radio if I think it’s occurring too early (and her boobs looked spectacular this year during the Tree Lighting telecast this year).
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by anyone: I really like this song . . . even if it makes me cry. Sorry, sentimental sap.
  • “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses: it’s silly; it’s goofy; it’s fucking Christmas, people. Enough said.
  • “Christmas In Killarney” by Bing Crosby: it was a toss up between this and “Mele Kalikimaka” for my favorite song by Bing Crosby, but this is the one that I associate with Christmas. Because the Christmas of my childhood was spent at my mom’s parents’ house. And this is the song from their house.
  • “Wonderful Christmastime” by Wings: child of the ’70s. That’s me.
  • “Get Behind Me, Santa” by Sufjan Stevens: I associate this with my children who introduced Mr. Stevens to me. Thank you, Girls!
  • “Carol of the Bells” by anyone: I’m not picky with this holiday classic. It’s pretty. It’s innocuous. It’s a just plain pretty.
  • “Father Christmas” by The Kinks: one of the very, very few songs that I can listen to when it’s not Christmas. Probably because the Davies’ brothers are my kind of siblings.
  • “The Coventry Carol” by Alison Moyet: ’tis an oldie (like 500 years old) but it’s an amazing piece of music, albeit kind of sad and depressing. Go have a listen!
  • “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews: my husband will vote for Buster Poindexter and Sigourney Weaver. But he would be wrong.
  • “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” by Hall & Oates: because I love my husband (and I might be a little tipsy . . . fine, a lot tipsy)
  • “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley: it is only acceptable by the King. We can’t be friends if you like another version. You think I’m kidding. See the above comment for the ruling.
  • “Christmas In Hollis” by Run-DMC: I don’t need a reason for this one. It’s Run-DMC.
  • “Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey)” by Lou Monte: I. Fucking. Love. This. Song. Questions?
  • “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives: it doesn’t get any better than this.
  • “Zat You, Santa Claus?” by Buster Poindexter: throwing my husband a bone . . . because it’s Christmas 🙂

I’m sure that there are some that I’ve missed. Any that you’re willing to go to bat for? Fair warning . . . if you suggest “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” all bets are off.