A Very Heathen Christmas 

Here’s the deal with our family: we’re not religious. We’re heathens. It’s not that we don’t believe in God necessarily, it’s just that we can’t be bothered to care either way. We’re also not anti-other people’s faith, unless it involves them being a dick. Hate faith we’re super opposed to. But if your faith is about kindness and love, then you get down with yo bad selves.

Just because we’re heathens, though, doesn’t mean we don’t love Christmas. (Well, I do anyway; The Hubs is a bit of a humbug, but he grudgingly tolerates my Christmas cheer.) This is how I feel about Christmas:


yes, those are Mickey Mouse ears on my Santa hat.
Yeah, I’m basically Buddy the Elf. I freak out at the end of the Macy’s parade when Santa comes. And I decorate like crazy. My favorite part of Christmas decorations is the lights. It’s our rainy season, and it gets dark at about 4:30 these days way up here (did you know Seattle is north of Maine? Look it up) and Christmas lights make it feel more hopeful and cozy instead of dreary. 

Don’t get me wrong, I get that for Christians this is a holy day and I know the story of the birth of Jesus. In fact, I tell it to my kids. It’s important for them to know that stuff if they’re going to live in this culture. We just also tell them that whether they believe Jesus was the son of God is up to them. And we celebrate the kindness in the story–the wise men bringing Jesus gifts, the angel bringing good tidings. 

The Girl isn’t sure about Santa anymore, The Boy still believes in Santa. I think he’s worried if he says Santa isn’t real, the gravy train of presents will stop. Which is probably why he’s all “Sure mom, I’ll take a selfie with you and Santa.”

Santa asked “Where’s your selfie stick?”
I used to have a coworker who was Jewish and she was like, “When I moved to Seattle, everyone kept inviting me for Christmas because they felt bad I nowhere to be that day, and they just didn’t get thy it’s just a day to me.” And I was like, “That’s because we’re all heathens out here and it’s not a religious holiday for us. It’s a day to eat a lot and watch A Christmas Story nonstop for 24 hours.”

Heathen Christmas is pretty awesome. There’s presents and chocolate and we hang out all day in our PJs, and Jesus looks down on us from this picture.  

He looks pretty happy, don’t you think? 

Crazy Cancer Cures: Clay

You guys! It’s time again for another in my series on Crazy Cancer Cures, where we discuss the many dumb ideas I’ve heard about alternative ways to cure my cancer. Today’s Crazy Cancer Cure: clay. Apparently clay is excellent at detoxifying your body. I mean, that’s why people take mud baths at spas, right? Well, it turns out if you just detoxify yourself enough, your cancer will go away! Isn’t that great?

This one has been hard to research for me, not because there aren’t plenty of websites touting clay as a Crazy Cancer Cure, but because they’re so incredibly poorly written that they hurt my brain. An example:

“To cure cancer, tumors, ulcers of the stomach or intestines, to get rid of wounds and trophic ulcers, the affected area should be set not less than 4-5 clay widgets a day. In addition, it should be every hour to drink clay water to kill it in the body all diseased cells, microbes and bacteria.”

I mean, look, maybe I’m going to come off like some over-educated snob or whatever, but if you’re getting your medical advice from some website that can’t even put together a coherent sentence, instead of listening to an actual doctor, I mean, what the fuck? What in the actual fuck?

Then there’s the hippie-dippie explanation of clay’s seemingly magical properties, like this one: “Clay cannot be reproduced in a lab. Clay is the product of earth birthing itself in a new form.” Riiiiiigggghhhhhttttt. Also, did you know Jesus healed people with clay? And it’s what they put in the nuclear reactors after Chernobyl blew up?  

You know what’s interesting? Not one remotely legitimate medical website came up in my search on clay and cancer. Not anything written by an oncologist, a PhD, or a naturopathic doctor. Which brings me to an important point, which I will write in all caps because yes I am shouting at you clay-believing people:


Is the website where you’re getting your info from written by someone who has studied cancer? A scientist or a doctor of some sort? Or, is the website entitled “Starship Earth: The Big Picture”? Because, if it’s the latter, please, for all that is holy, do not share this ridiculous Crazy Cancer Cure with your loved ones who are actually dealing with cancer. Unless, like, you really want to drive them away, or you both have a very strong sense of irony. 

I Hate Running

The Boy loves running. And Jesus (more on that in another post), but even more so, running. His school keeps track of the laps the kids run around their school building, which he does at recess basically every day. He chooses to do this rather than playing ball or on the climbing structure. He ran 2 miles during his school’s jogathon. As a kindergartner.

I don’t think I am adequately expressing how “WHAT THE FUCK” I feel about him being a runner. Just, so much confusion. I am not a runner. The Hubs is not a runner. None of our parents are runners–in fact, when my dad tried to take up running recently, he kept falling and injuring himself, so my mom made him switch to an exercise bike. If, when he was born, I had to guess what athletic activity The Boy would take up, running would probably have been way down on the list.

And yet, this is his thing. It’s yet another reminder to me that kids are their own people, and we have practically no control over what they kinds of things they will like or dislike. I am not running this show, I am just along for the ride. And honestly, as much as I dislike running myself, I know that running is a great healthy activity and I want to support him in this thing he loves.

Now, the thing with him running is, he is still young, which means if he wants to run in an event like the Seattle Children’s Marathon, or a 5K, I am going to have to go with him. Which means, I need to be able to run 5K without dying. Which means, I have to start running. I am a couple weeks into a couch to 5K right now. Am I enjoying it? I am not.

One of the things I have leaned about being a parent is, I have very little control over the things that will excite my child’s imagination, but it’s still my job to support them in the things they are excited about. Sometimes it’s something super fun, like discovering my kids love to have dance parties in the living room in their underpants, and helping them discover awesomely bad pop music to dance to. And sometimes…it’s running.

I know a lot of runners who really love to run. My local BFF is one of them and she even has her own blog, which is super inspirational and you should all go read it. Girl is a badass (who the hell runs a 5K and 10K back to back one day, and a half marathon the next?!?! WHILE PREGNANT?!?! A badass, that’s who) and even more than that, she has found something she loves. And that is a powerful thing, finding a thing you love. I have learned from running that I am not that person. But, I can pretend to be that person for a while, because helping my kid find something he loves, is the something I love.