Religion has never played a large part in my life. I grew up celebrating "Christian" holidays like Easter and Christmas, but in America, these days are so mainstreamed and commercialized, they almost seem secular. I've never minded not having a religion, and I like the fact that because I'm a blank religious slate, I can approach new religions without prior assumption. I've learned Hindu traditions while in India, marveled at the Muslim mosques while in Indonesia, caroled in a Carmelite monastery, and recently visited a Zen Buddhist center for meditation.
Up until I was six years old, my family celebrated Christmas. In 1984, we moved to a new town in a new state and joined a synagogue. As December rolled around, there was no tree, just a menorah in the kitchen and a pile of Hanukkah presents in the corner of the living room. In high school, I began dating a Catholic boy—and like a holiday miracle, Christmas returned! I was a jolly, happy soul once more... until we broke up and I had to find a new Christian boyfriend to spend the holidays with. On the occasions that I did not have a boyfriend during "the season," I was the sad orphan Jew.
The year may be coming to end, but the time to get closer to your partner is just beginning. The holidays are an opportunity for couples to introduce the traditions that have been passed from one generation to the next—but also to create new traditions that enhance a relationship for years to come. Here we've collected ten holiday traditions (some a little spicier than others) that you and your boyfriend or husband can make your own. Happy holidays! – Maureen Dempsey and Elizabeth Narins
Back when you were a kid your mom probably told you "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," and that Santa was checking his list twice to find out "who's naughty and nice." Now that we're older we know good from bad, but we also know we'd rather tell the truth than hide it. Ole St. Nick never had to deal with an oversexed coworker up on his Mrs. every time he turned his back during the annual Christmas party, so we think it's time to redefine the rules. Read on to fine out when "naughty" is actually "nice" this holiday season.
You think you've gotten a bad gift? You'll think twice about exchanging your present—or your partner!—after seeing some of the awful gifts women have actually received from the men in their lives. We polled women in New York City's Union Square to see how clueless guys can really be; here are the ten worst.
A lifetime of holidays, birthdays, and other assorted gatherings with his brood may send shivers down your spine. Whether his mother is constantly smacking you with backhanded compliments or his dad can't find one decent thing to say throughout dinner, we've got you covered. We've grabbed five real-life scenarios and taken them to the experts to help make the holidays with his family a little brighter.
The tabloids say that Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow may be on thin ice and are planning a Christmas together to rekindle the flames. Gwyneth says things are fine. But we feel like there has been a slow sinking for the Chris Martin / Coldplay experience since Paul Rudd joked about them back in The 30 Year Old Virgin.
The holidays are upon us, and, unfortunately, so is a recession. Times are tough, wallets are tighter, but you want to give your one and only something to show how much you care this Christmas or Hanukkah. One writer explains how she gave—and received—the very best gifts without spending a dime.
The latest national statistics show 14 percent of Americans are uninsured. Assuming half of them are women, that's approximately 21 million females who might not have affordable access to routine checkups or birth control. Healthcare is certainly an unorthodox gift choice, but what would a wife, mother or sister enjoy more: a new sweater or the ability to catch a disease in its early stages?
The December holidays are a time of romance and sex, right? Whimsical jewelry commercials, love-themed Christmas songs and invitations on pretty paper to parties for "you and a guest" all add up to a magical time of year… except if you're single. This time of year can feel bewildering and lonely for women who are just out of a relationship or single and looking. Fortunately there are ways to tweak the holiday traditions so they're fun for single gals, too!
We'll be damned if date night means venturing out in this cold. Factor in the crazy, package-laden shoppers, and our desire to depart drops to zero. The toastiest alternative to going out? Staying in. Bunker down with a cozy throw and a holiday flick that warms the soul (if not the toes!). Hot cocoa and a snuggly date are highly recommended. After all, he'll love being under the covers with you, and you'll love staying under cover! Check out YourTango's top holiday movies.