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Hygge Me!

Get thee behind me, pumpkin spice. Hygge is the big league of cold-season trends that help you forget the brutality of reality beneath a smothering mountain of blankets.

I've canceled my 10 hours a week of creative writing time for the month of December so I can focus on my day job--at which I might receive death threats at any time for promoting peace, love, and justice--and recovering from that day job while taking care of myself, my family, and my friends, who--I have realized this fall--are frankly better people than a lot of America, you flaming dirtbags.

This month, I'm putting up Queen Elsa-sized, icily fortified boundaries around my personal energies, so get in line, devil's advocates and ism apologists. You can wait for your hot cocoa right there in that greasy snowbank.

Meanwhile, I am volunteering at churches that serve activists and immigrants.

I'm working on semi-obscene Christmas cards to spread the warm feelings among friends who need a laugh.

I'm baking all of my Christmas gifts. I hope you like pastries made of extra fatty European style butter. BECAUSE I DO.

My tree is up and lit. My daughter has one of those crummy $1 "advent" calendars full of garbage chocolate flakes and also a Christmas countdown house loaded with Barbie accessories and candy behind the little doors. Every morning is magical.

I took my little ninja to decorate a Christmas tree at our covenantal church and, to remind us of the true reason for the season, we hiked in the dark to find a Yule log to burn, told stories of our Germanic tribal ancestors, and bashed on percussion instruments while howling like barbarians to bring back the sun.

And we're making sure we can keep the hearth lit at home as well.

Before the first snow, we traveled deep into Trump country, out beyond the suburbs, through a forest of T/P signs, out to a large and picturesque rural estate with a giant peace flag flying in the wind, and we bought a 1992 pickup truck with nostalgic roll-down windows. This is an upgrade from our old "other" car, and it looks real cute next to our Nissan Leaf. Coexist, baby. And haul firewood!

We used that truck to upgrade our broken TV to a less broken hand-me-down TV. It's a grotesquely large plasma monstrosity that we have crammed into the little movie room behind the fireplace, where we can watch Rammstein videos in life size from between layers of animal skins and quilts.


Or children's cartoons. Or Home Alone. Our kid doesn't really sleep. Anyway...

Rejoice! Let us hoard food, firewood, and f**ks for what really matters--taking care of ourselves and each other in a time of frightful politics and social unrest.

It's not even selfish if you invite people over, cook for them, wrap them in snuggly things, and help them recuperate from the stresses of their work or home lives. You don't have to have a fancy house or anything. All my thrift store furniture and crumbling 1980s tiles look awesome in the half-dark, illuminated by candles and Christmas lights. Or Rammstein videos on the giant TV that mostly works.

God ferie!


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I've only been waiting 10 years for this. NO BIG DEAL.

As someone who loves history, science, anthropology, art, and Rammstein...

As a descendant of German-Americans who served in both world wars...

As the wife of a Holocaust survivor's son...

This is epically satisfying.

Using an unfortunately hilarious turn of phrase amounting to a gallows pun, German authorities have "condemned" the video before its release (ironically and hypocritically doing all the work of promoting the video and single in the German mass media) because of a teaser depicting executions in a Nazi concentration camp. I find this unsurprising--the German government often censors and speaks out against Rammstein's work (thus increasing their concert ticket and music sales). But all to the good. It is an unfortunate reality that a full third of Americans today are misinformed or in denial about the Holocaust and that anti-Semitism and right-wing hate groups are on the rise in Germany and elsewhe…