Happy Holidays, everyone. With only a couple of days left until Christmas (which is what my family tends to celebrate), I am spending more time writing to-do lists than poetry, editing gift lists more than poems. There are cookies to bake, presents to wrap, plans to finalize. We travel for part of the holiday thanks to family that lives 300 miles away. All I really want to do is open a bottle of wine and listen to music.

One thing that is keeping me pretty entertained during this madness is Augusten Burroughs’ book, You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2009). Burroughs has a knack for spitting out stories that alternate between hilarity and unbelievable familial dysfunction in such a way that the reader is compelled to keep going. If you are dreading your own family interaction this holiday season, read Burroughs’ book. Read it even if you’re looking forward to said interaction. Trust me. My gift to you.


Give a gift to someone who wasn’t expecting one from you. It happened to me today. I’m going to pay it forward. Could be anything – a gift card to the local coffeehouse, shoveling a driveway, freshly baked cookies. Just leap.

No blog next week. Happy New Year. Thanks for reading.

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas