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I Look Bad in My Family's Holiday Card and Other Shit I Hate About Winter

By Audrey Fromson
Dec. 5, 2018

Apple’s portrait mode has made my mom into a monster. When my sisters and I are together, she whips out her phone and proceeds to take photos “for the holiday card.” Every time, I so badly want to yell, “We’re Jewish, so pick a side and just call it a Hanukkah card, and by the fucking way, your thumb is covering half of the lens!” and then faint into my sisters’ arms.

In a few weeks, a photo of my sisters and me in front of blurred UChicago foliage will grace the mailboxes of sad suburban households and obscure relatives. I look objectively horrible in the photo, like I’ve just woken up from a nap but also haven’t slept in four days, and I don’t think the U.S. postal service is prepared for the influx of “return to sender” envelopes coming their way.

Not only will my family’s visually-offensive cardstock photo be added to the National Banned Holiday Card Database (NBHCD), but that’s just the tip of the climate-change-melted iceberg. Winter is the Mondays of seasons: dreaded and long.

Winter’s only redeeming quality is that the holiday season allows society to embrace its materialistic side. The snowy months allow me to be my true self, a crazed consumer, without shame. However, Zuckerberg’s algorithms have over-exposed me to mini documentaries about things like dumps in the middle of oceans, exploitation of labor, and shitty Black Friday sales. So this year, the only thing I’ll be shopping for are tissues, ChapStick, and a new sense of personal self-worth.

But now that I’m staying away from digital shopping carts, I’ll finally have the time to heal my drying hands that crack and bleed after lightly brushing air! During the snowy season, my nose becomes an actual avalanche. Furthermore, by December, my skin will become snake-like and I will actually start to slither around to stay in character (I am a sucker for getting in acting practice whenever I can). I’ll probably need a new coat for that though, and I feel like there’s one from Patagonia that is just hissing my name. 'Tis the season of self care.