160

De-stressing the holidays: Ditching traffic, fake smiles, and our parents

I love the holidays. I love the food, the family, and the general festive atmosphere. I hate the stress though. Add to this that my career choice primarily involves dealing with difficult people and that the holiday season is THE busiest time of year for those kinds of jobs (read: retail and waiting tables), the stress of the holidays is almost more than I can handle. Then I started thinking about what the holidays meant when I was growing up…

233

What to do when people ask, "So what gift do you want from me?"

Getting presents can sometimes be comparatively unrewarding — especially now I'm at an age where family still want to give me birthday and Christmas presents, but aren't quite sure what to get. Therefore they ask me what I would like. I used to feel this took a lot of the fun out of it, but now I've realized that I can get all meta about it. What I'm really doing, I've decided, is giving them the gift of giving. So here are my tips for when someone asks you for a list of present ideas.

144

Finding the value in being a part-time creative person

I now hold a very normal job. I work in the finance industry in the city, and I love it, but there always has been (and I suspect always will be) part of me that wonders if I should have done something more creative… Am I wasting potential talent? What if I'm withholding some grand work of literature from the world because I didn't take that route?