Privilege Blog

Christmas Presents, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:30am

I have been quite cranky lately. I know I am not alone, as a couple of my friends and family say the same, but I may be the only one of us who has pouted on Twitter. Said I,

“At this point I am refusing to read any gift guides solely on principle.

Unless written by friends of course because manners.”

At which point @jacqb very nicely asked me if I planned to write a gift guide myself, which I hadn’t, but she used the “fingers crossed” emoji. And so here we are. (Right about now I send significant holiday wishes in both arrears and going forward to all who do not celebrate Christmas. I get that this time of year can be difficult.)

Christmas Presents From Friends, For Friends, From Family, For Family, Also Me

What Caught My Eye

You know one thing I or anyone Sturdy might like? A simple hobo bag to replaced a now somewhat bedraggled Bottega Veneta. One that doesn’t cost two gillionty dollars. I like this. Tobacco is such a versatile accent color, particularly for those who dress often in blue.

Simple, nubuck leather. I might replace the tassel with something garish, or maybe not.

Or silver-colored dangling earrings, to replace the Vicente Agore Ice Shelf pair I had made for my wedding that are are now too heavy for my somewhat-bedraggled earlobes. I like these, in platinum. (By the way, this link is monetized. I know I don’t do that any more, but as I said I’m cranky and I feel like it so thank you for your forbearance.) Vicente’s other work can be found here.

(Here’s an old Blue Nile on birthstones, updated. The current Blue Nile sale items are here, use code CYBER18,)

Oh and to go somewhere I’ve never been before. Say, Croatia. Or Korea. Adventures make me feel I can transcend the world. Carrying this suitcase, via Une Femme’s “Top Gifts For Travelers.” In navy, of course.

From The Community

Also I would be very happy if my friends and family sold a lot of their work. Friendsmasses past can be found here, and here – if I’ve missed anybody this year, please let me know.

But Really I’d Like To Be Less Cranky

Get Things Done?

I think I’d be more cheerful if I got more done. So I’ve signed up for an online jumpstart class. I need to focus on editing, I’m struggling to enjoy it because so far I don’t.

Why take a class? I generally avoid self-help tools.

At some point, and I cannot for the life of me remember how, I came to follow a woman on Facebook named Patti Digh. (I should add, I do very little on Facebook except appreciate friends’ updates.) You want to listen to her talk, and you feel like she listens to you. Now she has heart disease. To pay for cardiac rehab, which for annoying insurance reasons she has to do herself, she has opened up a 37-day online class to start in January.

Someone to listen. Again, I’ve signed up here.

Give To Others?

In fact they say giving to others will make you feel better. And put a ribbon it. Recommended by Remodelista, ribbon made from repurposed saris.

Feel Grateful?

Finally, everyone recommends gratitude above all. I am thankful for you here, I really am, even when I’m crabby and irritable. Perhaps then even more. Have a wonderful weekend.

28 Responses

    1. @JRH, And I feel less cranky reading yours, and so we create the Cranky Reduction Cycle and mankind is better for it. xoxox. Thank you.

  1. In all the time I’ve been reading your blog, I have never before heard you cranky, so have at it :)

    BTW, just wondering if you have tried those earring lifters designed for heavy earrings. Perhaps those would work for your wedding earrings.

    Love your gift suggestions — thanks for this. Sending you good vibrations!

    1. @Cynthia, I am appreciating the vibrations as we speak! I can’t use the big discs that go on the back of your earlobe as I don’t have earlobes to speak of, ha!

      It dawned on me today that perhaps I am cranky because I am, underneath it all sad. My mother has declined again, every time she goes down a notch I lose her all over again.

      And once I can say that, I feel far less cranky. <3

  2. I even didn’t know what cranky means in croatian-thank you,I’ve learned a new word :-)
    Tho hobo bag is nice and I like the suitcase (especially if it is used to travel to Croatia or similar)

    1. @Dottoressa, My pleasure. It can be very useful, the word “cranky;)” I would love to come to your neck of the woods. And Frances’s posts only made me more interested. Am mulling over how I can travel more.

  3. Dear Lisa

    I have been reading your blog for a few years now. Last week’s was particularly thought provoking and really hit the spot for me on multiple layers. I have just gone back and re-read it and the comments. I read a few more back posts while there. I would like to say a big Thank You to you for sticking with this blog and for bringing unexpected things via your responders comments. Things such as links to other blogs, writings, items and thoughts that have been life enhancing and that I would not otherwise have come across. I have tried blogging myself (you may remember) and it is a hard slog. But you seem to do it effortlessly, as though you are writing a despatch to old friends, which I guess is what we all are, even those who are new to your readership are our old friends too. Because you have built an on line community here of amazing women. And I enjoy reading their comments almost as much as I enjoy reading your words. And that is what you have built. That’s not an easy thing. So for a moment, I want to give you a vote of thanks. Try to take it ;) Now, about this feeling cranky business. That’s ok too isn’t it? I mean we are living real lives and we are entitled to admit to feeling less than enthralled with life all the time. In fact, it’s about time we started to be more honest about our feelings, be they deemed to be negative or otherwise, they are valid feelings. So again, well done for honesty. Now in a moment of unadulterated materialism, I followed the link to Vicente Agore, and fell in love with the large ring with the fire opal in the centre which looks to me like a map of my birth country, England. With all that red and orange fire inside it. If I were a rich widow, I might consider buying it to wear to cheer me up and as a beacon of light. Fortunately, i am not a widow. So I won’t be buying it. But it was a lovely rabbit hole to wander down on my lazy Sunday morning. Thanks again Lisa, cranky or not, your blog is appreciated. With love and light. Xxxx

    1. @TJ, What a kind and generous comment. It makes a big difference to me to know that the blog is valuable in some way to our readers. Whether it’s a link to an opal to fall in love with, (and I love how you say fortunately you are not a widow), or as you say, all the incredibly thoughtful and open comments, I am really glad that it resonates.

      I have said all along that the best thing about my posts is very often the replies. That people bring their minds and hearts here is a privilege.

  4. I’m cranky too but it’s a combo of 36 degree heat, a huge workload for my job and then all the domestic servitude when I get home. Meanwhile I am giving everyone recycled gifts or things I’ve made for Christmas. It makes financial and landfill sense. We’ve all got wants we want already anyway x

    1. @Ff, DOMESTIC SERVITUDE! It’s overrated, isn’t it? I applaud your gift-giving strategy. We all do have what we want already most of the time. Happy Christmas to you, and to the Antipodes. xoxox.

  5. Hello Lisa
    I would agree with reader comments who feel better after reading your blog.
    You are a powerful writer whether you like editing or not.
    Like your daughter my son is moving away, my cat is sick and my husband is driving me crazy. I have to admit I am cranky. At sixty-two I do have a basket of ideas on how to minimize time in this state. I am embracing my crankiness before moving on.
    I’ll tell you this Lisa you have a way of hitting the nail on the head.
    My simple gift to you is appreciation.


    1. @luci, You made me laugh! And I agree, I had to embrace this, rather than try to elude it, before I could have a hope of moving on. I do think in my case it’s a lot to do with my mother’s new decline. She’s been diagnosed now as at the beginning of the final stage of Alzheimer’s. It’s hard because every time she changes it takes me a while to figure out how to relate to her, how to connect, and then I lose her all over again. But just realizing that that underlay my feelings has helped. As have you all here.

  6. Sari Ribbon & Patti’s course – I will be purchasing both from your fabulous gift guide! Thank you for doing this! (Which I am glad you did, after all. Was worried I was being too cheeky.) I’m watching my aunt (82) decline – she does not have Alzheimer’s but when 3 months pass between seeing her I see her decline more sharply and it makes me sad that we have so much less time left together. Take care as your mom continues to decline.

    1. @Jb, Not too cheeky at all! Encouraging! And giving permission! Thank you. I hope I see you in the course:). You can hear me whine, “It’s too hard for me!”

  7. Yes, I’m crabby too. And although I do have “reason”, I know my attitude would be better if I got more accomplished for me, rather than for others. Maybe I should sign up for the jumpstart course too – also not a self help book reader. I love that bag, also gorgeous in the sage suede.

    1. @KSL, I hadn’t looked at the other colors of the bag, but, I agree, the sage is gorgeous.

      If you sign up for the course you too can listen me complain endlessly:), xoxoxo.

  8. Hi Lisa –

    If you are looking for a nice “hobo bag” at a nice price, check out Uno Alla Volta (One at a Time), under ‘Handbags” – featuring well-priced suede and smooth leather “bucket bags” made by Florentine artisans, in glorious colors:

    (this recommendation is not monetized!)

    I’m off to a Sunday afternoon seasonal shindig carrying my own red BV “latticio” shoulder bag with a special dark green tassel attached (since I am too old to carry off an ugly Christmas sweater, but I do want to show a little holiday spirit!).

    My suggestion re ‘crankiness”: sit in a comfy chair, with a cup of seasonally-spiced tea, and mellow jazz on the (metaphorical?) turntable. Close your eyes, breathe in the scent of the tea, feel the music, and RELAX.

    Sending you love and thoughts of peace –

    1. @Victoire, Thank you for the recommendation – from me and the readers I bet:). And I love your Christmas “outfit.” Am doing my best to relax. xox

  9. My brother and I used to call this time of year the season of unfulfilled expectations. The commercials, the movies and the stores exert so much pressure to have the perfect gifts for the perfect families. Neither my husband nor I have families left, they are all gone. I feel it the most in December. I get sad and then I get cranky because I am sad.
    I am glad you’ve continued the blog, like your other commenters I enjoy yours and your readers’ thoughts.

    1. @Allison, I am sorry your families are all gone. I think I got cranky because I’m sad about my mom. I’m glad you enjoy the blog, it makes me happier. xoxo.

  10. When I read that you were cranky (me, too, but without a good reason), the line from Ouiser in Steel Magnolias came to mind: “Im not crazy, M’Lynn, I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!” All I can say is that we can be glad that being ‘cranky’ has not been a 40 year thing, right?

    Then I read in the comments that your mother has entered yet another stage, potentially the last, of Alzheimer’s–being cranky upon hearing that news is absolutely acceptable/understandable, as is sadness, anger, fear and all those other feelings that overwhelm us in the face of things we cannot change, but only accept…just not right away.

    Pax, friend.

  11. I was feeling cranky last week. This weak I am feeling light and generous and I hope that the same sense of lightness wisps its way over to you. But I also have to thank you for creating a space where one can acknowledge that crankiness happens.

    I have a couple of those Hobo bags. I love them as much as my BV hobo.

    1. There’s a link, the “this” is a link. It’s not a monetized link or anything. Does that not work for you? Does it not show up when you view the post? The bag company is called, unsurprisingly, Hobo Bags;), and can be found at

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