16 Oddball (& Endlessly Entertaining) Ways to De-Stress Ahead of the Holidays


When I was a child, I desperately wanted to be like everyone else. I couldn’t understand why the cool girls in my reading class didn’t find my Beetlejuice-striped leggings chic, or why, when solicitors called our house and I answered in my accidentally husky 6-year-old voice, they’d think they were speaking to Josh Quittner. Pretty much my favorite thing in the world was to sit on the floor of my closet for hours at a time—drawing or painting or writing a poem or taping together weird old ribbons I found around the house to make one, giant super-ribbon—and while I sensed that this was possibly not helping me get invited to more seventh birthday parties, I couldn’t help myself.

It wasn’t until I grew up and experienced more of the world that I realized: Weird is better. Like, way better. (And most birthday parties are overrated.) Oddball, quirky, strange, nuanced—all of these are basically just synonyms for not boring and super fun.

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