Tag Archives: holidays

Life Coaching For The Holidays

28 Nov

Ah, holidays!

The smell of gingerbread and pine needles. The bustle of shoppers picking out the perfect gifts for the ones they love. The sounds of loud cursing when it is discovered you are out of tape. The wiz of the mouse as it flies across the room after you track the shipment containing your mother-in-law’s house coat and discover it will not get here until December 28.

We at Standard Shed Studios want to help. Nay, we CAN help you with that.

We (this is the royal we, obviously) know that you are powerless in the face of drunken co-workers at your office party, your Uncle Norman who insists on showing everyone his stub during Christmas dinner, and your neighbors with the yard decorations so bright you’ve considered covering your windows with aluminum foil. We are here.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My husband insists on wearing these felt antlers on his head EVERY DAMN DAY. It’s getting ridiculous. What can I do?


Mrs. Rudolph

Dear Mrs. Rudolph,

We would remind you that bow season lasts until January and that discharging a musket within city limits is illegal.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My wife always says it’s the thought that counts, but when I give her something she needs like a new low-flush toilet, I get a speech about how I’ve ruined her Christmas.



Dear Confused,

Ah, yes. We know the species of which you speak. The object of your affection is a Passive/Aggressive Gifter. There’s little you can do here. If you take her to Hawaii, she’d really have wanted to go to Mexico. If you go to Jared’s, she’ll call you a cheap, tacky bastard and her mother was right about you.

We suggest you pick out something YOU want and wrap it. Just because nothing will please her, doesn’t mean that’s true for you, yes? Although, to be fair, unless one specifically asks for a new toilet, you might want to stay away from any gift related to excretion. We’re just sayin’.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

I am not Christian, but everywhere I go people are wishing me a merry Christmas. It really pisses me off. This is a secular country, right? How do I get people to stop with the indoctrination?


Hitch Is My Hero

Dear HIMY,

Shut the hell up.

Do you expect people to tell just by merely being in your presence that you are not affiliated? If you don’t like Christmas, stay the hell inside. When someone of a faith different or contrary to yours expresses a wish for you that reflects his or her faith, it is out of a desire to care for that part of you which cannot be nourished by food. It makes him or her feel good, this practice of faith. He or she would like you to feel good as well.

We hate when someone asks us how we are and we say “Good, and you?” and they make a HUGE production of telling us they’re “WELL.”  We KNOW good and damn well it’s well, and we guarantee that’s a hell of a lot more annoying than the festive shit you’ve got a problem with.

Now, burn some sage and get your head out of your ass.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My wife hates people. We have to go to my company’s holiday party or I’ll get fired. What should I do?


Afraid For My Life And My Job

Dear Chuck,

I told you we’d discuss this later, okay?!




Reality Vs. Fantasy: Tabletop Edition

31 Oct

Today starts a new semi-regular series about delusion.

Holidays are coming up. Yeah, I said holiday not Christmas because there’s more to fall and winter than Christmas. You wanna make something of it? Thanksgiving is up first and I have folders and folders and folders of INSPIRATION just waiting for me to, um, be inspired. And I do get inspired. Oh, do I get inspired. Then? Well, reality sets in. And I realize that carefully gold-leafing each individual leaf of ten artichokes and then using organic thread which I have dyed myself to hand-embroider each family member’s name on said gilded artichoke for beautiful, meaningful place markers IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. EVER.

So I go have a little cocktail and hope everyone will enjoy a holiday dinner of frozen pecans and pimento cheese.


It’s Christmas in America

10 Dec

Okay, let me tell you why I haven’t written anything. See, I messed up my knees. No, I don’t write with my knees, on my knees, or anything like that. It goes like this blah blah blah exercise blah blah blah bad shoes blah blah blah narcotics. And for whatever reason, whatever I sprained hurt like a mother when I sat down. I don’t like to write standing up. Throws off my balance. So there’s that.

So now I’m here because I’m putting off decorating the Christmas tree. I have this pathetic, naked tree just sitting there, mocking me. The stockings are hung from the curtain rod with care–lots less tacky than it sounds. We don’t have a mantle, but that doesn’t stop me from hanging them with care. I’ve got greenery and wreaths up. But the tree? The tree silently awaits its adornment.

And I say it waits silently for a reason. Not all Christmas decorations are mute. There are dancing, singing Santas, snowmen, reindeer, and apparently wreaths. I know this because I was out to the Big Lots the other day and overheard a lady make the following comment about a wreath: ‘Ats purdy, but hit don’t sang. I wont one ‘at sangs.

This fine lady wanted a singing wreath. You know what I say to that? If that woman does not get her singing wreath, the terrorists have won, my friends. The terrorists have won.

Is there anything that sums up an American Christmas better than a singing wreath? I’d like to know what it is. You hang the greenery of the winter solstice to honor the birth of Christ. And you can’t see it because it’s on your door. It exists purely for the delight of your mailman, UPS driver, and random carolers. It’s a decoration for other people to covet. And the singing? Well, the singing just comes right out and says, I’m an American, dammit! And if I want to adorn my house with festive plastic greenery that uses a nine-volt battery (not included) to belt out a variety of secular and spiritual songs, I’ll have it! Because in America, even our holiday decorations are so full of mirth, they greet weary holiday guests with tinny songs of joy! And that’s why THEY hate us! Because it took American ingenuity to create such a production! Yes, it’s made in China, but that matters not! Because every time some Chinese woman inserts the digital music chip into one of those fine plastic, snow-tipped realistic cedar and pine creations, she thinks WOW! What must it be like to be an American and have fine musical evergreens hanging on a door? What must it be like to have my own front door?

Yes, this poor woman who had the unfortunate luck not to be born American will never know the joys of going to the mall three days before Christmas because, well, did you know it’s on the 25th every year? And we have to make sure we get all those last minute gifts wrapped at the store, mmkay? Because there’s no warmth like that of being packed against a sweaty grandma in a fleece Rudolph sweatshirt who reeks of the 4,385 perfumes she’s just tested to see which ones have the best gift set deal to give to her whining, ungrateful bitch of a granddaughter. And how do you know this about little KhymberleeDawnSanddeeBelle? Well, because Granma Rudolph Sweater just loves talking to new people! And you know what else? Have you noticed how many Mezzicans they got working to the Penny’s these days and how they always scrimp on the complimentary enclosure cards? She likes a burrito as much as anyone else, but they should stick to the cooking and not the wrapping! You know they just take those jobs until they can have those anchor babies here. Then it’s Uncle Sam to the rescue when it comes time to feed the little senorita! But she’s not racist, Granma Rudolph Sweater! No, there’s a Mezzican lady lives two doors down and her kitchen is spotless, if you can believe that! She makes tamales for the neighborhood sometimes, can you imagine?

And still my naked and mute tree sits waiting patiently for its baubles. And I will adorn it. I will decorate the tree by myself.  And when I get it decorated and lit, I will yell out the same thing I yell out every year: NO ONE BUT ME IS ALLOWED TO LOOK AT THIS TREE!! I PUT IT UP BECAUSE I LIKE IT! NOT SO YOU CAN ENJOY IT WITHOUT TAKING PART IN ITS RITUAL ADORNMENT AND DISMANTLING! IF I CATCH YOU LOOKING AT IT, I WILL BLIND YOU WITH A TURKEY BASTER! GOT IT? And my family will laugh, thinking I am not serious. Oh, I’m serious. But I’m also patient.

Very, very patient.