CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{December 19, 2006}   Christmas in The Hood

mytree.jpgOn Christmas Day, my sister and I will get together in the morning to exchange a few presents and then in the early afternoon, we’ll walk over to our Aunt’s apartment and have dinner. This woman makes fried chicken like you wouldn’t believe. I intend to eat a lot!

Christmas in Over-the-Rhine is kind of quiet and I like that. In the past, it’s a day of no violence, no drug dealing and hopefully this year with nobody getting killed. It’s a relief from everyday life and I welcome the peace.

I got me a little tree that I got at Walgreen’s. It’s fake but I got it for six bucks and it looks good in front of my window. I like to turn off all the lights in my apartment and just have the lights on from the tree. The tree takes me to another place and lately I’ve been calling the tree Hope.

Merry Christmas to all.

Karen @ The Hood


Jim Stanton says:

It’s always a pleasure to read your words, Karen. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Karen says:

Good wishes to you and your family during the holidays…….from the other Karen 🙂

Ellie says:

I work downtown and live in Clifton. The bus I take to and from drives through Over-The-Rhine. When the bus goes through, I often think of you and the posts that you have written and wonder how you are and what you’re up to. You give us little hints of your life and I want to thank you for that.

Happy Holidays.

Julie says:

A tree named Hope. I like that:)

Matt says:


I wish you would tell us what diner you work in in Over-the-Rhine. I’m pretty sure a bunch of us would like to come over, have some lunch and tip the hell out of you.

Your posts are always special.

Jackie says:

I think we all love Karen. Merry Christmas to her.

Carla says:

I was hoping some of the “regulars” here would write something before Christmas. Thanks,Karen – always enjoy reading your posts. Marilyn, where is yours?

Marilyn says:

Karen @ the Hood, I’ve always wanted Christmas to be magical. Always yearned that for just a few hours all things would stop and there would truly be peace on earth.

When my children were small, and we were living on a farm, I told them at midnight on Christmas Eve the animals could talk just for a magic hour.

Maybe if the hope in our hearts is real enough, the peace will become real also.

Feliz Navidad.

Marilyn says:

(Carla, thanks very much for asking. I did write an essay and Larry tells me it will run on Thursday.)

Marilyn says:

PS, Karen @ the hood, I forgot to thank you for reminding me of hope. Lately, I forget.

Heather says:

Merry Christmas, Karen.

And God bless us, every one.

Even Mr. Scrooge (Larry).

Rob says:

God love Karen! I always look forward to her posts and this is one of her best.

Judy says:

Karen’s writing style is kind of cool. She tells it straight, but there’s a hit of emotion in her stuff. I think she’s cool.

Dandy says:

A Christmas Tree named Hope. Sounds like a great story to me, Karen. Why don’t you like a fiction piece?

Sandy says:

Karen, God bless you 🙂

Rhino says:

I think Karen may be fooling herself if she thinks there’s no crime in Over-The-Rhine on Christmas day. I lived there a couple years ago and I saw arrests over all the place on Christmas. Maybe she just wants to look the other way for a day. Who can blame her?

Beth says:

A sweet touching story from Karen. All of her stories seem to come from the heart 🙂

hard as nails says:

with karen’s stories, reality kind of hits you in the face. i wish i could help her but i can barely help myself these days.

Matt says:


I don’t think Karen is really looking for help. I think she’s looking to write and she is.

Marilyn says:

Matt, you are correct, but Karen’s writings reaches out to us in such a way that we really do want to help in any way we can. And that is a positive thing for readers as well as the mark of a good writer.

H.A.N, I kinda feel like you do today, not doing as well as I’d like. I think I will be glad for the holidays to be over this year.

jake says:

Always yearned that for just a few hours all things would stop and there would truly be peace on earth.

once again this year our boys still fighting a war that shouldn’t be fought.

marilyn, I hear what you’re saying. last year, i was depressed about all this needless fighting and this year i’m even worse. we need to get our boys home.

Sally G. says:

My Christmas wish: That Bush get impeached. The worse, the WORSEST president we have ever had. Yes, send our troops home.

Kristina says:

This girl is talent in the raw. I hope Citybeat continues to run her stories on this blog and also in the LOL column. I hope you know what you have here.

Jeff- or-ly says:


I love ya, you know that.

numb says:

karen, merry christmas.

Ted Stevens says:

Sometimes I’m a little beside myself when I read her posts, this young girl living in a horrible part of town, clearly wanting to find a way out.

I don’t know jack shit about writing, I’m an accountant working downtown. I come here most days, read some of the posts but not all, but when Karen has something to say, I always read it.

I try to picture her but I really can’t. I just think of her as this little girl lost in the only world she knows and it saddens me. God, I want her to have a good life, a BETTER life. I think that’s my wish this Christmas.

David Gallaher says:

The Little Woman and I are your neighbors down here in OTR, so we hope your prediction for peace is correct even if we happen to be down the Ohio River a bit that day, down in Madison, IN.

For a more peaceful 2007, everyone needs to recognize the distinction between drug-related violence and drug war-related violence.
Allow me to make it clearer: The War on Drugs is causing much of the violence. The drugs themselves (with the possible exception of alcohol) are not. “Dealing” drugs is also not violent.

Rita says:

I always look forward to your post. You are an extremely talented, intelligent and insightful person – a special spirit to this world. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and have a lot of fried chicken ( not to mention mashed potatoes from scratch with homemade gravy.)

CA says:

I didn’t do the tree thing. I’m a scrooge, for real. But a tree named Hope, now that sounds perfect. I have two plants…Marie and Thelma. Louise kicked the bucket.

Brian says:

You’re also keeping your hope alive by writing about your world. Like everyone else here, I love reading your words.
Sounds like you’ll have an excellent holiday meal and I hope you have a Happy Christmas in your heart too.

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