City Paper's 2007 Holiday Guide
The holidays create a lot of pressure. There are presents to buy, meals to prepare, halls to deck, religions to observe or stridently ignore, traditions to keep alive, and friends and family to share good cheer and perhaps a nervous breakdown with. It's no wonder some of our best and worst memories come from this questionably most wonderful time of the year.
We all have a story of something crazy a family member did at Thanksgiving or a Christmas that changed the way we looked at our family or a New Year's Eve when blacking out would have been a blessing. So, this year we asked City Paper staffers and freelancers to share their holiday stories. Some are funny (you won't believe what Van Smith's father considered proper pre-Thanksgiving viewing) and some are sad (Wendy Ward's story of her last New Year's Eve with her cat made us cry, and we're heartless bastards), but they all illustrate the fact that other people's lives and families and experiences tend to be simultaneously unique and oddly familiar.
So get yourself some eggnog and tuck in with our holiday tales. Michael Byrne chases a wholesome Thanksgiving dinner with a very unwholesome apéritif. Ben Werner tries to escape the Hanukkah dumping season unscathed. Charles Cohen works on reconciling his love of Christmas with being Jewish. Edward Ericson Jr. looks back at one of the last Christmases his family spent together. Rahne Alexander goes home after making a very big change in her life. Femi "The DriFish" Lawal relives a New Year's Eve party he wishes he had never thrown. And Christopher Skokna spends that night in a tree. These holiday tales of woe and weird may never replace A Christmas Carol or Twas the Night Before Christmas as go-to yuletide reading, but we're certain that at least one of them will remind you of your own holiday misadventures.
We also have our annual Gift Guide to help you through this time of watching your account balance dwindle, and a massive Holiday Guide filled with so many performances, kid activities, and festive celebrations you'll be pa rum pum pum pum-ing in your sleep.
The gift guide was penned by Jeffrey Anderson, Michael Byrne, Anna Ditkoff, Edward Ericson Jr., Lee Gardner, Tim Hill, Chris Landers, Bret McCabe, Christopher Skokna, Van Smith, Erin Sullivan, and Wendy Ward. The Holiday Guide calendar had its bells jingled by Wendy Ward and Katherine Hill, and interns Christina Bumba, Natasha Hunt, Joseph Iarossi, Becki Lee, Marquel Melton, and Audrey Murray checked the facts, such as they were.
Our cover elves are actually garden gnome characters by Melissa Webb, M. Jane Taylor, and company, and are Carolyn Armsworthy, Sarada Conaway, Leah Cooperson, Uli Loskot, Frieda Mohr, Rebecca Nagle, Spoon Popkin, Lee Sinoski, Renee Tantillo, Elle Trusz, and Melissa Webb; Todd Evans was Santa. Jefferson Jackson Steele took the photograph; special thanks to the newly remodelled Ritz Cabaret for use of its stage and Holiday Pole. The Holiday Guide essays were illustrated by Emily C-D, Tom Chalkley, Alex Fine, Emily Flake, Hawk Krall, Justin Rose, Kevin Sherry, Deanna Staffo, Donald Tyson, and Smell of Steve Inc.
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