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How kitty sweaters, virtual fires, and friends saved the day I had to work on Christmas day

Last Christmas was a lonely one for me. I was separated from my family and I had to work. My heart was broken. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. After my Christmas fate was sealed, I told my group of besties about how sad I was about missing my favorite part of Christmas for work. We then decided to have our own Christmas celebration after my shift was over. The name for our shindig was not original, but it meant the world to me: Friend Christmas.

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How do you celebrate birthdays that fall on, or close to, holidays?

We welcomed our sweet baby boy in to the world last year on Christmas Eve. My husband's birthday is the 28th, so he's not a stranger to being forgotten at Christmas time. But in this Pinterest-crazed day and age, I feel kind of put-out that we won't be able to have big birthday celebrations, as almost everyone will be busy with Christmas festivities. Any suggestions?

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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…