This Holiday Season, I'm Thankful for Weed

by Alyssa McBryant
Originally Published: 
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We thought a friend had COVID-19. She was waiting for test results, but felt terrible. I had some marijuana tincture left over from a dear friend’s experiments in edibles, and I knew it would help her make it through the misery. So I grabbed an adult coloring book, some presents for her kid, a gift bag, and some tissue paper. I slapped it all together with the tincture in the bottom and drove it to her house in my minivan: just some blonde housewife cruising down the interstate with a Christmas present. I set the gift bag on her porch and texted. She came out and grabbed it. It probably wins best suburban white lady drug drop ever. One quick hand off of pot, and I was on the way home.

With coronavirus and Christmas and the rush of the holiday season, I’m grateful for hemp derivatives. I use CBD all day to calm my anxiety. I deploy pot for nighttime relaxation, sleeplessness, and serious anxiety issues. One is legal in my state. The other is not. I buy my CBD from a nice guy downtown who educates me on different strains. The pot comes piecemeal, through friends and relatives, a long journey from some legal or decriminalized state (usually Washington, D.C.). It’s a pain in the ass to find. We keep a close eye on our stock. The CBD? Smoke it if you got it.

The kids see me smoke CBD. I don’t hide it, but I’m clear about the risks of vaping and how I use CBD, which isn’t addictive, unlike nicotine. I also note that it’s illegal for kids under 18. Pot, on the other hand, I never mention (other than telling them it should be legal). They don’t know I smoke it, and they’ve never seen it.

They Fix My Anxiety

I take plenty of anti-anxiety meds. But CBD takes the edge off. I smoke it in a vape pen throughout the day. My husband says the flavor tastes like candy from the 1980s. I tell him it’s cucumber melon and STFU. I know if I haven’t had my CBD: I’m just a little twitchy, just a little more likely to yell, just a little more annoyed at life in general. Maybe the kids are playing too many video games. Maybe I have to sweep up an entire roomful of LEGOs. Maybe I have to make room for a Christmas tree. The CBD stops me from feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

Pot is my nuclear option. If I need to decorate the Christmas tree, bake a boatload of Christmas cookies, or wrap Christmas presents, pot stops me from losing my goddamn mind. I find zen in menial tasks, rather than impatience. And when the holiday season pushes me to the edge of a panic attack — forgetting a Secret Santa gift, for example — I bring out the weed. Lately I’ve used a cheap water bong I bought from Amazon. Three hits and I’m golden. Xanax takes fifteen minutes. Pot will kill a panic attack in five.

Pot Helps Me Sleep


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The holiday season is stressful AF, and it’s hard to stop running through undone tasks while I lie in bed at night. I have to wrap the presents. I have to call my mother. I have to plan a festive meal for four that feels like Christmas, though it’s only for people who live under my roof. I need to wash my Christmas china. I need to order more gift bags. It never ends. When I need to turn my mind off, I bring out my pot.

CBD’s great, and if I hit a vape pen a lot in quick succession, I’ll find myself a little loopy. But when I need to pass out cold, I need pot. I smoke some — or use that great tincture my friend made — curl up, and fall asleep without visions of undone Christmas crap dancing in my head. Or coronavirus rates. Or Christmas crap combined with coronavirus rates. I really, really need pot this holiday season.

Pot Makes Me a Better Parent

Parenting during the holiday season is always more stressful. The kids are excited. They want to count days. Counting days spirals me into panic: I have how much time and how much to do?! They’re always a little more wild, a little more excited. After all, Santa’s coming! Maybe there’s a present in their stockings! They need to fight over the Advent calendar! CBD helps with the everyday stress. But when my kid hands me a Christmas list of sold-out stuff, I need to pot to get me through.

Pot also helps with Christmas crafting. It can turn cotton-ball Santas into works of art. Well, not really works of art, but pot gives me enough patience to direct my kids as they construct cotton-ball Santas. Sugar-cooking decorating becomes fun rather than drudgery (“Stop using too much icing! No, you can’t shake on that much edible glitter! I swear, if you steal more edible eyeballs…”). Instead, I nod a lot. You want how much edible glitter? You do you, boo. Yeah, those eyeballs taste great. Sure, we can all snarf cookie dough.

Pot mellows me into the parent I want to be.

All Because I’m a Blonde White Lady

Let’s be honest: living in a state where pot remains illegal, I’m privileged to have some green on hand. It’s hard to get, and since cops are more likely to pull over BIPOC, possession while Black is a significantly more risky operation than my driving some handshake drugs downtown. My friend Lindsay and I could likely cruise down Main Street passing a blunt, and no cop would dare pull us over, because we were two white suburban housewives.

Let a Black mom pull try that with her friend and see what happens.

If you’re Black, I imagine pot is harder to get and scarier to own. I can smoke a CBD wrap that looks like a blunt sitting on my front porch swing. I can wave at the cops if they drive by. And were they to question me, I could hold up its packaging. They’d tip their hats and go on their way.

A Black mom would probably wouldn’t have the chance to pull out evidence; she’d likely have her hands held in the air, probably praying that she is able to walk away from this interaction in one piece. And that CPS doesn’t take her kids.

In my state, pot reeks not only of green, but of white privilege. And that’s not just my state––it’s certainly a nationwide issue that stems from the pervasive systemic racism that has been present in this country for over 400 years.

I’m lucky to have CBD and pot to support my mental and emotional health, help me parent, and get me through this holiday season. I don’t need it, necessarily. But it sure makes life more pleasant. I wish everyone could have it legally and without worry.

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