Christmakwanzakah OPEN THREAD: A Place to Put Your Feelings on This Merry Festive Holigay

Hello! Welcome to the 5th Annual Christmakwanzakah Open Thread! This is where we gather every year to share stories of gifts, foods, family time, the first thing your dad said when you walked in the door, crazy shit on display at your aunt’s house, what you’re drinking, etc.


That’s your gay homegirl Raven Simone on a segway, plus Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat.

Christmas comes this time each year.  —The Beach Boys

Riese is currently in the frozen tundra of Canadia, Rachel’s flying all over the country and could possibly be in your backyard tonight, Yvonne is deep in the heart of Texas, and me? I’m right here with you, my kickass Autostraddle family. Did you bring the snap peas and carrots? I hope so because I have multiple dips and yet no vegetables. Also Geneva made the gifs! Everybody be sure to thank Geneva for the gifs.

*~Feelings Interlude~* So this holiday open thread business is a thing we’ve been doing since way back when we were tadpoles, and it stands as proof that you — YES YOU, I’m serious, you — are 100% so necessary because just look! You can start a conversation that will make someone else feel less alone/weird/stressed during a potentially super stressful/lonely/alienating time of year! You can take a minute from your ridiculous day to make someone else’s a little more hilarious, or doable, or just better. You know we’ll all be here and we know you’ll be here. Even if you feel super new to AS, you’re still important as fuck. IT’S SO SAPPY AND BEAUTIFUL god I love you.


We put together a holiday pet gallery for you! How do you feel about dogs in plush antlers? Just wondering.

Hey speaking of you being a giant gaybag, Contributing Editor Kaitlyn’s girlfriend Camille has some support and advice on coming out or not coming out this holiday season, is also adorable:

And now for our Important Open Thread Traditions! Muppets and Mariah Carey!

For Riese forever:

It’s time to settle in and think about life, think about the world and your day and the days to come. Don’t forget you can now easily embed imagery into your comments, and we’d all like to see what it looks like outside your window and/or how cute your animals are. I’m going to make homemade hot chocolate now because Trader Joe’s obviously sold out of all their mixes yesterday! Definitely let me know if you have a stellar hot chocolate recipe.

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Laneia is the Director of Operations and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 918 articles for us.


  1. Things That Have Happened To/Around Me This Christmas:

    – I traveled from my home in Southwest MO to Jonesboro, AR to spend Christmas with my dad.
    – Dad, stepmom, and I went to a brilliant little restaurant owned by a lesbian and there were a few visibly queer people there and I freaked out a little internally because VISIBLY QUEER PEOPLE I DON’T KNOW THAT NEVER HAPPENS IN MY SMALL TOWN
    – I pondered how or whether to bring up my partner to to my dad, since telling that story or the truth about how long we’ve been together involves coming out as poly
    – Dad gave me jewelry that is simple and looks good with collared shirts
    – Stepmom’s family was mostly in Memphis, so we went on a trip-within-a-trip and stayed in an ohmygosh superfancy dadifyoucanaffordthiswhyhaveyoubeenstingyaboutchildsupport hotel suite.
    – Stepmom family drama all over the place
    – I got to vent to Dad about the shit Mom’s put me through
    – Dad taught little underaged me things about wine in the hotel room
    – I grew increasingly uncomfortable with the high amounts of socioeconomic stratification in Memphis and my Dad’s shitty callous attitude towards it.
    – I realized I have no idea how the hell rich, or even upper-middle-class people, work
    – I got to talk to/eat dinner with my awesome 93-year-old grandpa

    Currently I am being extremely glad switched the channel from a Rush Limbaugh interview to HGTV and realizing that, holy shit, I’m staying here through the end of the week and should I be more scared than I am?

    It’s fun most of the time, but gosh, I am a nervous little queer kid this holiday season.

  2. After my first Christmas out to the immediate family, and the only atheist in the bunch, I am just happy that my holiday is over and I’m back to my own space. I have no wine and only one beer, which is a real shame. How do you all decompress after such engagements?

    • Usually I watch a thing while in the middle of a blanket pile, preferably with some form of chocolate on hand. It works especially well if you’re watching something that reaffirms your identity as a legitimate thing, but it doesn’t have to do so explicitly.

  3. This was the second Christmas since I stopped talking to my parents. Everyone assumes it’s because I’m gay and they’re homophobic, and sometimes I let people think this because it’s easier to understand than the truth. They actually subjected me to all sorts of intense, bizarre abuse that took me years to acknowledge or even remember. This year, I spent the holiday with my uncle and his kids, and it was nice but still a bit sad. My uncle doesn’t know about what my parents did, and I’m not sure if I should or even can try to talk about it. For tonight, I’ll relax over a rewatch of the OITNB finale.

  4. I’ve never ever in years of watching this site posted a comment but this has been the weirdest Christmas ever.

    -I didn’t put up a Christmas tree this year. Not even a little baby 3-ft celebration tree like the one that lived in my college house for months every year. I got the tree and my ornaments from my Ex two weeks ago but I couldn’t commit to decorating.
    – Christmas Eve included microwavable Mac-N-Cheese just like Kevin McCallister in ‘Home Alone’. I totally got to eat mine tho.
    – Last Christmas I had a kid (the best step-kid ever) and it all made so much more sense. I was on pins and needles waiting for the morning. (A favorite picture of her I love is her opening an umbrella on mom’s lap like she’s never seen rain before.) This year I couldn’t make myself get out of bed.
    – In an effort to take care of myself I didn’t make early plans, knowing that the parts of my family I cared to see weren’t getting together until the late afternoon/evening. I took myself to see an early movie and when I got there I realized the first words I’d spoken to a person today were, “One for…”
    – My baby-brother/roommate (one in the same) left me to drive myself to Christmas because he got off work early and my movie wasn’t finished (he offered to pay for my gas but I feel like he missed the point).
    – My ex-step-daughters other mom got engaged to her GF today.(She’s not anyone I have ever been particularly close to (and not my Ex- [I live a beautifully complex life as late], but my Ex-GF and I were supposedly the stable side of the family). It’s amazing how suddenly life changes.
    – Last year there were 22 people at Christmas Dinner (I’ve always imagined the house was built around the table [which is located in the basement with the kitchen] where we feast on heated canned vegetables, it’s some kind of crazy antique from my grandfather’s childhood in India, I can’t explain except that is it’s massive, beautiful, and never leaving) and this year there were 9.
    – We ate dinner in silence. It was weird.

    I ended up leaving at the first chance I found. I came home to drink beer and watched Saved! (a personal favorite).

    My birthday is next week. Happy fucking New Year!

  5. I just got home from spending 4 days with my family where I spent too much time wishing that I smoked so that I would have an excuse to leave the house whenever the kids’ wrestling/screaming/crying and sister/brother-in-law bickering got to be too much. It’s blessed quiet here.

  6. This year didn’t really feel very Christmasy for me. It was the first Christmas in two years that my mom wasn’t either leaving a hospital or going to one and I think we were all a little afraid of jinxing things. So it was a pretty small family dinner and Doctor Who marathon for us.

    Things do feel kind of weird sometimes because even though my mother and I are extremely close I haven’t come out to her yet. For years she’s told me that if I am gay she wants me to stay in the closet because she doesn’t want to know. She “can’t handle that”. I came out to my brother months ago and while he seemed fine at the time he’s become increasingly less so. Maybe it’s finally sunk in?

  7. This Christmas was not too bad. I got some really cute gifts from my brothers, even if my mom gave me a lot of boxy sweaters that don’t fit me and gave my sister a lot of cute, formfitting sweaters… It made me wonder if it was because she knows I’m gay now, but I don’t know. It was kind of disheartening to think she didn’t really know what I like. But tomorrow’s my birthday, turning 26 on the 26th! So who knows what might happen??? :P

  8. So my aunt and uncle gave me a gift-basket type thing which included a knit hat (I think some lady who goes to church with my aunt makes them and sells them) that’s got a rainbow pattern — I really like it … but I have no idea if my aunt/extended family knows I’m gay?
    My mom knows but I don’t know if she mentioned it to my aunt, and I haven’t brought it up (there’s been no reason too).

    Reading some of these comments, my family seems surprisingly normal compared to some. There hasn’t been any weird drama, awkwardness, or fights over the holidays since 2007.

  9. Christmas day started off with laughing hysterically, when my sister called. She was cooking her first Christmas dinner for her, her husband and the babies. She was roasting a boned and rolled turkey and also making a ham, which you boil the night before. So she calls and says “what would happen if, for some reason I made a mistake last night and actually boiled the turkey?” The moral of the story: with enough gravy most things are still pretty delicious. And with the right attitude, most disasters are hilarious- provided your mother-in-law never finds out.

  10. After flying across the country, I managed to socialize with my family for two hours before I had to go find somewhere quiet to hide.

    Also, the 2.5 year old nephew that I’ve only seen like twice before decided to take a liking to me and was following me everywhere before I hid.

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