The Twelve Things of Christmas (continued)

I’m back with another four! These are not in any order of preference; they are simply written down as I can remember them. As someone with exceptionally poor memory, remembering twelve things is quite impressive, and if you would like to shower me with accolades, my office hours are 9-5, Monday to Blurnsday.

NADDpod is an actual play D&D podcast which just started on their second campaign in October. If listening to a group of people play dungeons and dragons does not sound exciting to you, please know that the antics of this group has improved so many days throughout 2020. The DM Murph has a wonderful sense of story, and he is so willing to go weird when his chaotic comedian players have a wild idea. Because I can’t condense an entire podcast down to something for you to sample quickly, I’ll put up an animatic that an amazing fan made of the darkest and silliest Star Wars inspired moment in the game.

Sometimes it’s very cathartic to watch someone else vocally lose their mind the way I’ve felt on the inside for some time! Brennan Lee Mulligan has a series of sketches which highlight his skills as an unhinged man, so tired and disappointed in the world around him that his unraveling has become poetry. My favorite, and the one I’ve watched many times this year, is “Tide CEO pleas with the American public to not drink bleach.” You can watch it here:

John Allison has been making my favorite webcomics forever, and 2020 brought a new series called Steeple about a former Church of England Curate named Billie and a former satanic priestess named Maggie who are best friends in a small English village. It’s great. His dialogue writing is effortlessly hilarious, supernatural hijinks lurk around every corner, and the issue I’m linking here is the Christmas special! Maggie and Billie attempt to bring some holiday cheer to the village’s most hostile woman, and must exorcise a ‘sesh gremlin’ while extremely hungover before they become forever slightly inebriated. CHRISTMAS WITH CLOVIS

The eighth good thing is miniatures. I love miniature anythings. Model ships, train layouts, sets and props made for stop motion movies. When I was very young, I lived on a cul-da-sac near a man who had a massive dollhouse in his garage. He’d been building it for some time, and he made a new piece of furniture for it every year. The dressers all had tiny drawers that could pull in and out, the dining chairs were upholstered, bookshelves had trinkets and books. I don’t remember the overall look of the house he’d built, but I do remember how intricate everything was that he built. I probably would have fallen in love with tiny things even without this early memory, but it does stand out to me. And I am married to a man who also loves building things on very small scales.

Christmas ornaments are a reliable source of very small, and Erik has been making a new one for our tree almost every year. This year he built tiny doorframes for our tree and for a few of his friends from work, complete with door catches drilled with the smallest bit I’ve ever seen. I painted on the glitter.

So here’s our 2020 ornament.

It’s not a dumpster fire. While I do understand the catharsis of wrapping up this year in a commemorative dumpster fire, Erik and I agreed that we are perfectly capable of summoning our depressions and frustrations over 2020 without giving them physical form. I like our little door. When Erik started work at Frontier Cabinets and Doors, he also started bringing home lots of wood that he salvaged from the chipper.

2020 has been a year of building. We put in garden beds and a deck between them, we made an end table for the library and a bar for the window upstairs. Almost all of it built from salvage, because lumber is scarce and expensive right now. But also, salvage feels good. Building something from what has been discarded is an act of hope.