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being nessasary

a quirky look into being

Category Archives: holiday

When a year ends, I tend to get a bit thinky – not like that is anything new.   I like to focus on what has changed in just 365 days.  It brings some perspective to the time I have been given on earth.  They don’t have to be super deep and dark secrets that I have shed light on or anything, but here are a few then and nows I am willing to share with you, my dear blog reader:

1)  A year ago, I swooning over my now boyfriend.  I was in the same room as him at 12:00 am January 1, 2010, but I did not kiss him. Instead, we kissed near the end of May.

2) A year ago, I was about to start a job tutoring high school kids.  Now, I am about to start school for massage therapy.

3) A year ago, I was 2 years post op brain tumor with no sign of recurrence.  Today, I am 3 years post op with no sign of recurrence.

4)  A year ago, I cried more.

5)  A year ago, I didn’t have another beautiful nephew on the way.

Give yourself some thought.  What changed this year?  What blessings were you given?  How do you feel about your world? Have you gained friends?  Lost them?  Did you get hitched?  Have a baby bless your life?  Give it some thought.  Make a list.  Smile a bit – we are a year’s history.


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First you gotta find the perfect box of cards. A difficult task when you are super sensitive to all religions and beliefs.  It is particularly challenging to locate a box of greetings that do not look like an elementary school teacher’s closet.  It took several stops this year to find some that are okay, just okay. Last year was much better: I had found postcards featuring vintage-looking holiday cartoons.  I loved them – plus my message space was limited.

I have struggled to send my well wishes to friends and family this year.  I have had a particularly busy December, but have had issues with being quite wordy.  The cards I selected are dramatically white on the inside!  THEY MUST BE BLANKETED IN BEAUTIFUL WORDS!!!  I want everyone that receives a card to feel a little more loved than, “Happy Holidays, Love Nessa (in some cases, “and Betty [pawmark]).”  I like to do a bit of updating, throw in a little thing that was special between me and the recipient, maybe even toss in a bad pun or two.

However, it has come down to the time where they are going to be belated.  If you haven’t received one and you are in my address book, I do love you!

I hope you can get by without your Nessa holiday cheer until after the 25th (I think anyone that is Jewish actually got theirs on time).  You may even get yours after the new year! How delightful to get a festive card post the “Winter is fun and joyous!” season.

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I just saw Black Swan and have found my brain completely befuddled.  If you have seen it, you know what I mean.  If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do.  It will take many an Oscar.

What is the solution to obtain sanity when a mind is stuffed with feathers?  YouTube. Like a good friend, it is there to make you smile, whether it be dramatic gopher or the world’s beloved Charlie and his older brother.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, my favorite holiday YouTube videos!!!








I hope you got some joy from this little collection!  Happy Christmas friends!!!

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please! let me be!

You’re doing your holiday shopping; shuffling store to store, sweating through your winter jacket, struggling to find the perfect gift.  Everyone is frantic despite the cooing of the “White Christmas” melody bombarding every scarf, sweater and stocking stuffer.  It’s maddness, yall, MADNESS!

I went to one of my favorite little gift shops this evening.  Typically hosting a few other shoppers and a small staff, I decided it was the best place to do a wee bit of shopping for some beloved family members and friends (NO! I am not going to give you said family and friends any hints!). The staff typically does the general, “Hi! Can I help you?” thing, but do not press you beyond the, “No thanks, I’m seeing what you have.”  Great Job!

But tonight, I was completely overwhelmed by a crowded shop and an overly friendly staff member.

While I love this store because of its artistic and quirky items, I felt smothered. One staff member in particular was frolicking from customer to customer telling them to follow him to his favorite gift items.  He eventually grabbed me and insisted on fondling my rather shabby old boot while trying to attach a magnetic broach to it (and hilariously failed).  He then proceeded to ask me about a pair of horrendous cowboy boot inspired wellies.  Heinously printed, he asked if I liked them.  I playfully answered that they were fabulous, but that I had my Hunter boots in the car. 

He didn’t stop then, he began presenting me with sweaters I should wear while presenting gifts to my loved ones.  I told him I could give them to them naked and they wouldn’t care.  I think he got the hint about then.  Humorously done, he left me alone.

It is aggressive salespeople like the one I encountered this evening that make holiday shopping for me unpleasant.  I enjoy the process of purchasing something special for someone I love.  I really do not like someone else picking out presents for the amazing people in my life.  It’s pushy.

Giving a lovely gift is a personal thing.  I try my hardest to give thoughtful and meaningful pressies all year round, even if they cost less then $2.00.  I like to make people smile.  So if it is a fart machine or a yodeling pickle toy, YAY!  I only ask to make my own decision.

Tomorrow is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, good luck friends!!!

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I love giving gifts.  The holiday season just means I need not feel guilty spending a little more on a trinket for a friend.  The truth is, my eyes are wide open for a card, a hilarious gas station keychain, maybe some icey cream all year round.  My heart is heavily involved in the giving, as for my hands, they aren’t quite into the presentation of said pressies.

I am a terrible gift wrapper.  I am often embarrassed by my inability to present nicer gifts.  When wrapped, my offerings usually look like I stuffed pom poms and an ugli fruit between the paper and the box.  I will jump over rainbows and thorns to find a pretty bag for a summer wedding gift.  Birthdays?  Same thing.  I swaddle a pair of wine glasses or a cute necklace in tissue paper, place the gift in the bottom of a bag, and stuff more paper around the gift.  So easy, so ordinary, so darn boring.

I really love the way wrapping paper looks – how it blankets an object in mystery, especially when accessorized with a bow toupée.  But this year:  it will be different.  I bought two rolls of paper and am going to do my “how to tie a bow research” on You Tube.  I am going to wrap beautiful presents.  The gifts will be so immaculate that not one person will be willing to puncture the green printed paper. Imagine! – gifts so gorgeous they won’t be gored by eager fingers!

Well, all this is true as long as Betty the Cat stays away from the loot…



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Chicago is being hammered with snow, ice, and its infamous gusts.  I am on my journey home, and am not really thinking about how my bus was delayed because of said weather or the fact that my new UGGs are prematurely aging.  My heart is focused on a wheelchair-bound woman.  She lacked the bottom half of her left leg, but her spirit – that was completely intact.

She initially chatted up my boyfriend as we waited at a bus stop. Finding refuge in a used bookshop’s storefront, we huddled close to hear the lady talk about the weather, and her keen ability to use swears (swears that no one’s daddy can even imagine, she said).  She won me over right then – I knew she was the kind of crazy I relate to.  After all, you have to be a little nuts if you’re disabled, and as I came to find out, sick.  I gathered that she was around seventy years old, having been born and raised on the streets of the Chicago.

We got a good taste of what her life was like.  I could tell she was into her God and the holiday season.  She couldn’t be too poor off considering she was dressed well, didn’t have an odor of any kind, and she lacked that stressed, sad look that some folks have when life has them down (or maybe she was crazier than I perceived).

Conversation flitted from topic to topic until I saw the bus through the falling frosty air.  She rolled herself onto the sidewalk while I made sure the bus stopped for us (we had attempted to catch an earlier bus, but it blew past us as if we were yellow snowmen).  When it stopped, the personality who had delighted my boyfriend and I with several laughs and smiles, paused.  She could not move herself over the icy mound obscuring the street curb.

I know stubborn.  Yet, with all my health issues these past few years, I have learned when to accept help.  This woman was on that page with me, though I am most certain she got there much sooner than I.  She lived independently, yet knew when to accept my offer to push her forward.  Thankfully, when the tread on my boots didn’t allow me the traction to push her forward without the terror of spilling her into the gutter, I asked my kindly escort to step in.  He pushed her over the threat, and helped her up the bus’ wheelchair ramp.  It was quite the feat considering she asked the crowed bus to give the driver and us nice white folk a round of applause.

The passengers were a bit confused by her merry behavior, but it did not seem to faze her.  We stood behind her as the bus did its business.  I noticed her fidgeting with a long pink ribbon on the handle of her wheelchair.

I’m a nosey cancer survivor.  I ask when I sense another troop.  She smiled up at me and questioned how I knew.  I pointed at the ribbon and smiled while saying, “I’m one too!”  She didn’t do the whole, “Baby you’re to young,” speech.  She grabbed my hand in the most congratulatory manner I have ever felt (forget those two graduations I have gone through) and said, “We are survivors! We are here to prove things can be done!”  If we weren’t on a crowded, slippery bus, I would have hugged the lady.  What a woman.

She continued on to talk about my dimple, and how she wanted one when she was little.  She used to stick her fingers in her cheeks hoping the dent would stay.  When she asked her mother where dimples came from, she replied, “They came from angel kisses.” Like all curious children, there was a second question along the lines of, “Well, then how come you have them and I don’t?”  Her mother playfully answered, “Well, God just must love me more.”  She laughed.

As my boyfriend and I prepared to get off the bus she wished us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We returned the well wishes.  But after reflecting upon this woman, I demand that she is Happy and Merry.

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I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I am afraid of Santa Claus.

Would you put your child on the lap of a strange man in the mall?  Is it okay to welcome a man into your home late at night?  What about telling your children to trust a man who gives you things?  I am one for fairy tales and fantasy (but, in reality, most of the “true” versions of popular fairy tales are morbid), but Santa hits a bit too close to issues of today.

Most people love him, even though he kisses countless Mothers each year.  This makes him a legitimate factor in the rising divorce rates.

Kids are taught to love him from a very young age, mostly because he gives them presents to reward them for being nice.  Doesn’t this sound a bit like a creeper (in the tamest of ways for me to say)?  Don’t a lot of bad guys use the same Santa-like logic to get what they want/need from children?

And then there is just the whole concept of the Old Man sneaking past your security system via chimney, and creeping around your house to make sure all are deeply involved in gumdrop and lollipop dreams.  He knows exactly what you want, which pretty much means he has been watching you way too closely – this is unless you wrote him a letter (I’m proud of you – keeping personality in communication alive…).

Then there are the mall Santas.  Holy moley!  Not only is it strange that Santa has time to hang out in a mall, but also that his beard hangs little too loose on his face.  Also, why sit on this strange “Santa’s” LAP of all places??? He smells a lot like cigarette smoke, and his breath is seasoned with dragon bum and garlic.

I think A Christmas Story‘s Santa embodies much of my Santa fears, right down to the “HO HO HOOOOO!”

The only version of the Christmas Eve Intruder that I find remotely OK is Buddy the Elf’s Santa.  There is something about that version that makes me smile.  Maybe it is because Buddy speaks so highly of him, or perhaps it’s epic fist fight with the mall Santa.

Love him or hate him, he is a huge part of holiday tradition, and is surely going nowhere soon….unless….

HEY: Thanks to those of you that sent me some silly holiday stories yesterday, I would love to receive some more!  Please send me a story at, or leave me one in the comments!!!  Thank you so much!!!

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