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Mom's holiday teacupSpilling the Tea
By Lucy Leaf, Advice Columnist

Hi Lucy. Are you one of those over-the-top holiday people, or do you secretly wear a Grinch hat at home?

Thanks, Joni


Thanks for your email, Joni.

Back in my not-too-distant younger days, I was a proud member of the “way too much holiday stuff” crowd. Thanksgiving night? Let the decorating begin! Even through all the neighbor notes discreetly slipped into my mailbox or on my porch.

But this year as I was strolling the festive aisles at Target (in October), that rendition of “Last Christmas” came on. You know the one. Then it happened. I felt… dare I say it? Annoyance. Irritation. I was appalled. It was too much. Everywhere. I headed home to rebox all the décor, lights, and anything red or green or sparkling.

Then a dear friend told me about Marsha Linehan, who'd invented this really cool thing called the “dialectic.” The idea that it’s possible to hold two opposing things at once. Apparently I can put up my holiday lights and change the station when “Last Christmas” comes on. I can spend all day at home on Black Friday without interacting with anyone and still enjoy my hot cocoa with just a tiny--a tiny--dash of Irish Cream. I can just say no to all the holiday parties, pass up the commercialism, and invite my friends over to bake cookies.

I'm now a fan. I can love the holidays and forgo some of the traditions as well as societal expectations. Of course, there is one tradition I will never give up - sitting by the fire with a steaming mug of Scottish Breakfast tea, munching on my family recipe of walnut-filled, powdered-sugar-sprinkled kipfel, and reading my TBR pile of cozy mysteries. With my Carpenters holiday CD playing. And a silver bell sewn into my Grinch hat and how did you know I had one?

So happy winter solstice and every holiday in December.

See you all on the flip side,

Lucy Leaf

This month we are excited to spotlight Noelle Adams, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who specializes in contemporary romances. Start a new series or pick from one of her standalones. Oh so snuggly for a snowy, winter night!
Click the images for more info. Say hello to her on her website: and find your next romance!
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