>Although stores have been encouraging people to shop for the winter holidays since the 4th of July (OK, I exaggerate - retailers have only been pushing the holidays since approximately 9 pm on Oct. 31st when they thought it was unlikely to get any last minute Halloween sales), the season officially begins on Friday. Store understand that people are more vulnerable to sales pitches after they've overeaten and spent time with beloved family members. After all, we need to assuage our guilt at all the calories consumed and the number of times we had to repress the urge to strange a beloved family member.

My birthday also sneaks up after Xmas, so I'm beginning to get inquiries from my family as to what I want for Hanukkah's and to celebrate the day I emerged into this world 32 years ago. I don't have an answer. Thanks to Husband, I am more or less set on things that I want. I get to travel frequently. If I want a new sweater or pair of shoes, I just buy it. I don't really wear jewelry other than what I am always decked out in (six random earrings, four rings, and my feminist necklace; most of which are cheap). Technology doesn't interest me much. When I want to read a book, I get it. I'm very lucky and comfortable.

What I really want, though, is for the majority of the world to stop annoying me. Anyone inclined to get me a gift can give the funds to a progressive political candidate instead. For those who think that is a waste, how about a donation to the National Network of Abortion Funds? As I told my mom, there's no better way to celebrate my birth than by preventing innocent souls from being born themselves.