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Woman With A Plan - Issue #46

"Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come

Woman With A Plan

December 7 · Issue #46 · View online
Weekly thoughts, ideas, and information from one woman to another.

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” 
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

You Better Watch Out
Among the incredible Christmas Markets and holiday traditions celebrated in Austria, none have been as highly anticipated among our family as the arrival of St. Nikolaus and his devilish companion, Krampus. The first time someone described this custom, I needed evidence to be convinced of it’s validity. Let me get this straight… a gift-bearing bishop is accompanied by a giant demon who scares the bejeezus out of naughty children? It’s like Christmas and Halloween rolled into one. And sure enough, as decorations appeared around town, so did the Krampus accoutrements. I quizzed Austrian friends endlessly on the proper sequence of events leading up to Nikolaustag, or “St. Nikolaus Day,” on December 6th. What does Nikolaus bring? Does Krampus actually show up with a sack and a big stick? Only in Salzburg, apparently. The night before, our children placed their freshly cleaned boots on the windowsill, awaking to find them filled with treats and notes of encouragement from Nikolo. Krampus avoided an appearance, though he left a few nuts as a stark reminder to behave until Christmas. At a time of year when our children grow seemingly greedier by the day, it is absolutely brilliant. Why haven’t we thought of this in the US? Surely Santa could send this guy to keep kids in line. Now the question remains, can Krampus keep watch all year round? 👹🙏
St. Nikolaus was here!
Media Diet
I’m so frustrated by Facebook these days. One story after the next paints a deplorable picture and though I’d likely give it up in the US, I don’t know how I’d live without it as an expat.
I want to be in the Obama Family Book Club! Michelle and I could bond over our love of plucky Swedes:
Pippi Longstocking was my girl. I loved her strength — not just her physical power, but the idea that she wouldn’t allow her voice to be diminished by anyone. She’s independent, clever and adventurous — and she’s clearly a good person, someone who always does right by her friends. What I loved most was that she was a girl, and she was a little different, and she was still the most powerful character in those books.
I just started this audiobook and I can’t get enough of this amazing woman. Even Dubya loves her. At least we can run to the same soundtrack.
We rushed to see the Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf Exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna last week and it was as terrific as expected. Feeling inspired to follow up with this Guide to Wes Anderson’s Vienna.
Who actually enjoys the Victoria Secret Fashion Show?
If it wasn’t shared on Instagram, did it ever happen?
I’ve been a fan of Peter Hedges since reading What’s Eating Gilbert Grape in high school. Seems like he’s a great dad too.
Speaking of St. Nikolaus, a friend just told me about this hilarious description of the Dutch version by David Sedaris.
Looking forward to binging on this all weekend.
Bookmarking this and trying not to 😭😭
Maybe a 4th isn’t such a bad idea after all…
Open Tabs
With a tighter budget and international shipping to contend with, I haven’t been as excited about gift guides this year. Most seem repetitive or excessive, but these two caught my attention.
More exciting are the Best of 2018 awards, starting with these beauty picks.
I’ve only read one of these Top 10 Books of 2018, but Small Fry is next on my list after I finish the Neapolitan Novels (soo good). I’d also nominate Circe for #11.
A friend recommended this charming musical book of The Nutcracker and it’s become an instant favorite in our household.
This would make a perfect statement at any holiday party. I’d throw a little blazer over it too.
I’d love a pair of these if any attentive husbands are listening. These are also on the top of my Christmas list.
The ONE year I don’t have a white elephant party to attend. Curses!
Have a Wonderful Weekend ☕
Woman With A Plan is a newsletter by Sarah Richey, an American expat in Vienna and mom to three feminists in the making.
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Vienna, Austria