A Yo Ivanhoe Holiday Tradition

Let’s suppose you –the hypothetical, perhaps wholly imagined You– stumble in here to Yo Ivanhoe on an occasional, one-time, or even purely accidental basis (one of those Google mishaps, say), completely unaware that this little futility closet is in fact a mere, very minor adjunct to a giant media empire (Rake Media Worldwide), which produces […]

Shop n' Nosh

I am WAY behind on shopping. I know I’ve been writing out gift guides for y’all, but that doesn’t mean that I’m surrounded with foodies in my real life. I have to buy Bionicles and Restoration Hardware tchotchkes like the rest of you. But I generally hate shopping. The only way I can suffer the […]

From the Scrap Heap: Richard Kunkel's Christmas Pageant

A lot of folks around town thought there was something special about Richard Kunkel. Big things were expected of that poor fellow. Certainly no one believed that such a fine, bright boy as Richard Kunkel would stick around a tiny little jerkwater village like ours for the rest of his life. Many assumed Kunkel would […]

Cookie Party

Do you have a cookie party in your future? Is there a massive plan afoot to organize friends/co-workers/relatives/cellmates for a gathering in which an inordinate amount of cookies is exchanged? I have a love/hate thing going for the cookie party. The premise is a bit appealing, bake dozens of one kind of cookie and bring […]

Great Joy

It was an old, quiet horse, the color of gray corduroy, or child’s clay, those elephant slabs wrapped in wax paper that Reston remembered from classrooms in his childhood. Six months earlier the horse had been delivered to the pasture out back of Reston’s trailer, and it had taken four men to coax her from […]

A Christmas Tale

Every Christmas when I was a child, much of my extended family would gather at my grandparents’ farm outside a small town in Illinois. My own family would usually arrive early in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, and many other relatives who lived nearby would come out to the farm for dinner that night. My […]

Giving and Getting

The Gorilla Under the Tree Give Offense: The Gift That Keeps on Giving Passing the Buck Rules of the Game   The Gorilla Under the Tree by Mary Lucia We’ve all heard the harried holiday shopper ask, “What do you give the person who has everything?” Come on. Is there someone on your gift-giving list […]

A Rakish Holiday: Silent Night, Unholy Night

It’s not hard to understand the aversion some people have to the ubiquitous music of Christmas. There are literally thousands of recordings in this genre, and every year the market is flooded with new product. Much of it is indisputably execrable, and obviously driven by the crassest and most exploitive of impulses. But then, it’s […]