my week in objects (mostly).

December 6, 2019

1. this water bottle.

{for making a valiant effort at keeping me hydrated during an insane week.}

2. these stockings.

{and the kids who were so excited to hang them.}

3. this tiny glass vial.

{because it sure was nice to carry just the right amount of face oil overseas.}

4. this jumpsuit.

{apologies for being a pregnant consumerist bore, but this arrived three hours before i took an international flight on wednesday and i’ve never been so excited to have something cozy and presentable to wear. don’t plan on taking it off until sometime early march…}

5. this book.

{because a book is such a beast to make and putting it out in the world is so scary and i’m so happy that rose did both of those things.}

other things:

holiday magic is killing us.

a playlist for angry women.

cactus leather.

only ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.’

what happens to the stuff you donate?

i like to bite their heads off first.

i feel rooted to mammalian impulses.

a movie without a villain?

This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links.

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  • Reply kim m December 6, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I could certainly relate to the article on women and holiday pressure. I did the Xmas card thing once for my first born’s first Xmas but consciously decided it was too much work and money and I did not get much personal pay off from it. That said, I get a little pang of “I’m not as super as this super mom” every time I receive a photo card from another family [sigh]. So while I debate whether I should do this or that for the holidays, I have this nagging voice asking: what does this holiday even mean to me, to us as a family? Why are we making such a fuss? What would really feel meaningful to us and how can I streamline my holiday to do list to line up with that? My 4-year old was asking about the classic Christian/European symbols of Christmas (Star of Bethlehem, St Nick vs Santa Clause) and I was totally struck by the fact that I could not articulate to her what these symbols mean in a way we can relate to them notwithstanding that they are displayed every year in our home. So this year, I want to spend a little less time icing and decorating and a little more time drilling down on the why we celebrate, why and from what we get holiday joy, and then perhaps in the coming years this will help ground my to do list.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 6, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      So interesting! I forgot to include it in this list, but I also read this NYT piece this week, which offers an alternative perspective on the season of advent/Christmas prep:

      • Reply kim m December 6, 2019 at 4:29 pm

        Thank you for the link Erin. I have never heard of the Season of Advent. We can always count on you to offer up some unique perspectives. Will take a closer read this weekend (hoping to also reread your book Simple Matters!). I hope you enjoy London and recover quickly from the jet lag. I traveled there from the West Coast at almost 6 mos pregnant earlier this fall. It was an exciting trip but A LOT for this body!

  • Reply Claire December 6, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    I’m curious, how do you get into/out of the jumpsuit. Had a look on the website and I can’t spot any fastenings?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 6, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      no fastenings! just stretchy wool that you can step into and pull up!

      • Reply Claire December 6, 2019 at 4:31 pm

        Sounds heavenly

  • Reply Jessica December 6, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Did you size up in the jumpsuit to accommodate your belly? Currently 25 weeks pregnant & curious…

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 6, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      I did! Sized up two sizes, just to be safe. Very comfy and doesn’t feel too big at 6 months, but like there’s still room to grow!

  • Reply MissEm December 6, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    This year I consciously decided to only do life giving things for Advent and Christmas – as a parent and an aging adult, I take seriously my role as a culture keeper and tradition transmitter and magic maker, but it isn’t magic if it’s bound up in people pleasing and perfectionism rather than true comfort and wonder and slow, present moments. And there’s plenty of magic in just doing a few things. I’ve been reading a (Christian but not overtly so except in the intro, which is still amazing) book for Advent called All Creation Waits about taking cues and guidance from animals about different ways to respond to this dark season and momentary death/rest before the light returns. Sadness, grief, bustling activity, deep rest, tiredness, moving within, moving without, fear, strain, joy – all acceptable and normal ways to respond in this time, and making space for them more important I think than checking off someone else’s list of what to do. Practically speaking, we select about 50 photos from the year to send to about 7 people who will care the most about them (some get 5, my mom gets all 50). I edit them over a couple weeks while watching a Christmas movie and it’s a sweet time. Very little addressing and no matching outfits needed. But I love me a gingerbread house. And feeling ok about naps. It will take tweaking over the years, but I feel like I’m on my way to a reasonable, human-paced, guilt-free, restorative and joyful holiday practice.

    • Reply MissEm December 6, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      And sometimes trying to have slow, thoughtful moments is a burden too.

  • Reply Rachael December 6, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    I was talking to a man I work with who were perplexed that their wife always get anxious and depressed this time of year because “the holidays are just magical to me!” and I was trying to explain to them that it’s magical and not stressful is because their wife works so hard to make it magical for him and their kids. I might share that Huffington Post article with him Monday morning.

    • Reply caprice December 9, 2019 at 8:55 am

      My mom (in her 60s) told me once that Holidays are about children and men. They are the ones that have the best time. I saw my mom growing up to be very stressed, taking on a lot and not enjoying the moment plus crash at the end. I keep this in mind and try not to accomplish all the Holiday events and rotate them through the years. My husband also does most of the Holiday cooking which has been a blessing in our family. It’s his contribution and he is an amazing cook. Finding ways that everyone can contribute really makes it more meaningful.

  • Reply mado December 6, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks for both the huffpost and NYT articles. Particularly today I have been feeling resentful that my preferred way of celebrating this holiday (small, handmade, locally made, and just less in general) so easily gets subsumed into the more-more-more mentality of everyone else. In particular, that when too many holiday activities or gift obligations become stressful for me, the advice (particularly from my spouse) is to “do less” – but that always seems to mean cutting out the things that are mostly important to me, rather than saying no to extended family activities. Hoping I can take this impetus to sit down together and think through how we can make this season meaningful and calm for all the members of our family.

  • Reply Jen December 8, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Purchased and read the book Secondhand based on your link about where our donated stuff goes. I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended!

  • Reply Genevieve December 9, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    “[A]pologies for being a pregnant consumerist bore”—hahaha, oh no. Never. Glad you got yourself a cozy and lovely thing to wear and enjoyed it.

  • Reply mishmeshim December 12, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    OK I immediately went to Everlane and got myself one of these in M (two sizes up). I am 8mo pregnant and I am never ever ever taking it off. Thank you for the idea! I would have never seen this as it is listed under “underwear” instead of a sweater!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 12, 2019 at 7:56 pm

      Oh good! I’m so glad it’s working for you! It’s the coziest!


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