OPEN THREAD: Do You Need a Little Gay Christmas Right This Very Minute

Hello and happy Christmakwanzakah to all and to all a good morning! This open thread is launching on December 21st and will last all the way through Christmas, just like how the Maccabi warriors found oil that burned for eight nights in the Second Temple in Jerusalem back in the day. (However Hanukkah is over so that’s all ancient history now.) So if you need a refuge from whatever storm you’re weathering at your family holiday celebrations, here we are!

Digitized by the Gruss Lipper Digital Laboratory at the Center for Jewish History – via flickr

Real talk: I’ve always been obsessed with Christmas, which’s weird ’cause I’m a Jew and also generally misanthropic. Then, I had a girlfriend who ALSO loved Christmas fully and un-ironically with her whole heart. We spent a month making Christmas Cards for all our friends leading up to our first holiday together, decked out our apartment in lights and every pine-scented situation IKEA had in stock, spent literally thousands of dollars we did not have on gifts for each other. Then… well, some bad things happened that Christmas (unrelated to our relationship) and then… well, eventually we broke up! Ever since our breakup in November 2016 (a great time to break up), my Christmas enthusiasm has generally remained in hibernation.

But maybe I can start the reboot now! So many Christmas-related things to discuss.

BABY-SITTERS CLUB, Tricia Joe, Stacy Linn Ramsower, Schuyler Fisk, Bre Blair, Zelda Harris, Larisa Oleynik, Rachael Leigh Cook, 1995.

What are your plans for Christmas? (I’m spending it with your gay Moms Robin and Carly)

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? (This is hard for me, but probably National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, or a Muppet Christmas Carol.) What’s your least favorite Christmas movie? (Love Actually is the correct answer to this question.)

How often do you think about the fact that the entire plot of Home Alone wouldn’t work now ’cause of cell phones? (I thought that was gonna be the topic of the new Google Ad but I guess not.)

Did you know that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is my favorite song of all time besides Ave Maria? What’s your favorite Christmas song?

What are your favorite Christmas foods? (Mine are peppermint bark and Christmas cookies in general, mashed potatoes & gravy, wassail and honestly… egg-nog)

Do you remember the Christmas Movie drinking game I made a million years ago? It still holds up, FYI!

Finally: did you know that today, December 21st, is your Community Editor Vanessa Friedman‘s birthday? It is! You should let her know how much you love her and the holiday cheer with which she approaches her very own life and yours.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3202 articles for us.


  1. I’m glad you’re spending Christmas with Robin and Carly, Riese. I’m sure it’s gonna be great!
    Happy whatever it is that you believe in, Straddler Family! Love you lots!

  2. What are your plans for Christmas? Chinese food and Mary Poppins Returns, like any good Jewess

    What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Carol and that screenplay I wrote in high school about the “straight” 20-something who reluctantly ends up back in her small town for Christmas because her male fiancé is awful, and she ends up rekindling her romance with a female from high school who she was in love with. So kind of like a Christmas “Disobedience”, which is hilarious because I’m Jewish.

    What’s your least favorite Christmas movie? Love Actually. You’re right.

    How often do you think about the fact that the entire plot of Home Alone wouldn’t work now ’cause of cell phones? I haven’t seen Home Alone in so long that I’ve forgotten most of it. How often to you think about the fact that the restaurant scene of Mrs. Doubtfire wouldn’t work now because smoking restaurants don’t exist anymore.

    Did you know that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is my favorite song of all time besides Ave Maria? What’s your favorite Christmas song? Same. Also the Spring Awakening version of “I Wonder as I Wander” from Carols for a Cure circa 2006.

    What are your favorite Christmas foods? Chinese food.

    Merry Christmas, if that’s your thing! Now I’m going to go back to my Patricia Highsmith research.

    • “Chinese food” the true Jewish Christmas food!!!!

      Even thinking about that scene of Mrs. Doubtfire completely stresses me out! Scenes like that make me so nervous. I forgot there was a smoking section involved! Which then makes me wonder…. why didn’t anyone notice she smelled like SMOKE

    • Your high school screenplay is the lesbian Hallmark Christmas movie we deserve. If I had any money whatsoever (and knew how to produce a film) I would produce it in a heartbeat.

  3. I know this is a contentious one but my favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard. I saw the movie when I was like 5-6 years and remember we would driving by Nakatomi towers whenever we went to my grandparents house. I always as a kid call it the Die Hard building(it’s real name is Fox Plaza). Plus, the Die Hard-Working Girl musical mashup that Bob’s Burgers did is pretty great and for a while had that song on repeat on Spotify. Home Alone 1 was on HBO the other week and was thinking yeah he’d probably be on the web telling people what is happening on FB or twitter. Like a scene where he tweets yes, got him by the stairs, or tweeting out a picture of Marv getting hurt to a guy who didn’t believe him(cause it’s twitter). It’s more Chanukkah food than Christmas food, but my favorite is latkas and berry hammentachen.

    I spent my Sunday relaxing at Cuties Coffee so I wasn’t really outdoors hiking, but did take a walk around my neighborhood the other night. Not sure what I am doing Sunday but Saturday night I am probably going to a goth bar in Hollywood as they have a LGBTQ kink themed event, should be interesting.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend and safe holidays!

    • honestly i just watched Die Hard (and two Die Hard sequels) for the first time last year and kinda… loved them? It made me miss the really tightly-plotted action movies of the ’80s and 90s before they could just rely on special effects to carry the film. Like all these movies follow the same basic structure but it’s a successful one, like good genre fiction.

      • I am not a fan of Die Hard 2, but number 3 was good(I like Samuel L Jackson), 4(with Justin Long as his daughters gf) was okay(it was aimed at people in the digital age), and don’t remember number 5. I feel you about the plot and the basic structure. I just looked up Die Hard 1(double check if it is still called Fox towers) and it was mostly filmed in the tower itself with the only special effects being for those scenes were the windows break.

    • Another member of “Die Hard IS a Christmas movie” team, hello and that mash up…I want a full length edition of Holly’s song. Nay I need it.

  4. I am happy to be spending the holidays with my family! but sad that my girlfriend won’t be here, at least I have a bit more time to think of a present for her!

    Your favourite and least favourite christmas movies are bang on! I think the muppets take number one for me. And no movie where emma thompson cries should be allowed anywhere near christmas thank you very much

    best song: stop the cavalry or fairytale of new york. santa baby is also a good one

    best christmas food is probably cheese tbh because cheese is the best food all year round but I love it all, shortbread and mince pies get an honourable mention

    Happy birthday Vanessa, we love you!

  5. Today is my son’s birthday too, so we celebrated that this morning. But now the kids are off for the holidays with my ex-wife, and my girlfriend and I are prepping for our first Christmas together (and our first big trip). I’m planning to eat a lot of cheese and chocolate and bread (my favorite foods any time of year).

    I’m not a big Mariah Carey fan, but I love All I Want For Christmas Is You. And I’m conflicted about Love, Actually because how can anything with Emma Thompson be the worst? (Except also how could snape cheat on her?)

    I’m also getting in as much autostraddle as I can before I’m offline for a bit.

    • A thousand times this: “And I’m conflicted about Love, Actually because how can anything with Emma Thompson be the worst? (Except also how could snape cheat on her?)”

  6. My favorite Christmas food/drink is pumpkin bread (also a Thanksgiving food and my favorite food on the planet) and coffee with Bailey’s. Preferably consumed on the porch of a house in the mountains, which is where I’m going in two dayyyyyys and I can’t wait. There’s a fire pit on the deck so if we bring enough wood I can just stay out there all day and read until it gets dark, at which time I will go inside and do jigsaw puzzles with my family.

    I largely haven’t held onto a lot of Christmas traditions because as I’ve grown up, I (and it turns out, my parents) have gotten a lot more pagan and a lot less down with (even casual) Christianity. Our trips to the mountains have been an attempt to find a new tradition that is nature-based and isn’t just us staying home and pointedly not celebrating a thing we’ve done for thirty years as a family.

    It’s funny, I used to go all out for Christmas and now we don’t do as much, and I never used to do much for New Year’s Eve and now that I’m an adult I’m getting invited to actual gay NYE parties XD

    Also, my favorite Christmas movie is The Holiday! It is a masterpiece and I watch it all year round, because Christmas is kind of tangential so it works. I’m also very fond of It’s A Wonderful Life, because we used to watch that every year when I was a kid so I have really good memories of that. My family still says “I wanna big one!” in a Jimmy Stewart voice. Oh and the original Grinch cartoon! “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch” is probably one of the best songs of all time, tbh. Those insults are positively Shakespearean.

  7. I don’t think many people see my posts in open threads because I live on the west of the US, so I start work before the Open Thread goes up (sometimes) and get out of work after the East Coasters have already gone to bed (typically). Since I got a little early today, let’s try this week :). I posted this question before Thanksgiving but haven’t made any progress since then, so maybe a few more people will see it this time?

    How do I find people in real life who want to talk about, say, Vox’s Twilight retrospective ( and what it was like to read Twilight as a queer trans woman for the first time or what my feelings about She-ra way back when I was a little kid say about me? I know they exist because I can talk to them on the Internet, but I want to make more real-world connections.

    • Cheers to a fellow Westerner! I’m on mountain time.

      I wish I had a clue how to find gay discourse friends IRL, but I’m rooting for you! I thought all my friends where I live were Very Straight, but it turns out some just hadn’t come out yet? You never know, it could happen!

      Alternately, do an activity and statistically, at least some of the people you meet have to be queer?

      • Never been quite sure what to say in response to your kind thoughts, but I appreciate them. Here’s hoping I figure out something eventually.

  8. My favorite Christmas movie is The Nutcracker but I also like the original Miracle on 34th Street and Prancer.

    The live-action version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas is my least favorite. All those The Santa Clause movies should be there too, mainly because I can’t stand Tim Allen!

    My favorite Christmas song is The Little Drummer Boy, I don’t know why but I’ve always liked it. I also really like Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys.

    Christmas cookies are my favorite Christmas food if that counts.

    • i remember really looking forward to the live-action grinch and then feeling like it was a lot! i have a soft spot in my heart for the cartoon version

  9. We eat like pigs on Christmas and the same goes for New Year’s.

    One of the weird things is that, in Argentina, we eat a lot of things that come from our Italian and Spanish ancestry and are in no way adequate to summer. For example my favorite food is Vitel Toné (known in Italy as Vitello Tonnatto, but we don’t totally follow the original recipe): pre-cooked in broth boneless veal (we use something called Peceto), plus a sauce thick as hell with Mayonnaise, cream, tuna, anchovies and capers. It’s something like this:

    But if we want to make it a little light that doesn’t work either because it means ASADO, and it means every single class of meat you can think about that goes to the grill: chicken, cow, lamb, pig, plus chorizos and blood sausage (I don’t like it but you need to add sweetbread and some other other viscera and organs of the cow). And you use different grills for the different cooking times. Something like this and I just realized that I choose an image with some vegetables:

    Yep, the only light thing on Christmas is the freaking salad and you can’t even be so sure about that. Thank Jebus I’m not a vegetarian.

    • I was listening to NPR the other day and they were talking about how Italian American’s celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner with at least 7 different types of seafood in a wide variety of dishes. One of the dishes described is similar to tuna-anchovy dish mentioned. While in Italy there is even more seafood, a lot of which are native off the coasts of Italy. Always interesting to hear about how other parts of the world celebrate the holidays.

      • It’s called Feast of the Seven Fishes. Where I live it became like Reveillon dinners, a meal had after midnight mass. Italian Americans else where have it before midnight mass.

        It’s all connected to old old Roman Catholic traditions of abstaining from meat on holy days and the midnight thing is supposed to be when baby Jesus popped out. Christmas Day isn’t technically the holy day, Christmas Eve is because it’s like a vigil for the birth.

        Thus why NOLA Italian-Americans are the oddballs eating seafood after midnight instead of before.

    • Vitel 😍. The amount of heavy food is preposterous but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      I’ll be spending the 24th with my family and will surely eat tons of food and get drunk off of clericó, whereas I’ll spend the 25th in true lesbian fashion drinking craft beers surrounded by queer vegans in a pelopincho

      • Big fan here of clericó La Victoria, you can get get so drunk with it and never noticed.

        For me Christmas is the family holiday and New Year’s Eve is for friends, my chosen family. No matter who drunk I can get, I don’t have the stomach to deal with my tío tachero de extrema derecha for two holidays in a row.

        “…drinking craft beers surrounded by queer vegans in a pelopincho” sounds fancy, but I think we know what happens at the end of so many beers: pipí in the pool.

        Felíz Navidad, @janaconjota

        • “No matter how drunk I can get, I don’t have the stomach to deal with my tío tachero de extrema derecha for two holidays in a row.” SUCH A MOOD.
          I’m the same here, but this girl I’m seeing spends Navidad with her chosen family and nye with her close family (no tíos fachos allowed).

          I know I’ll spend nye with my closest friends, get high and start the year with high hopes, only for the election year to hit me in the face.

          Felices fiestas @freakazoid!

  10. Favorite Christmas food: Chicken instead of turkey, lemon shortbread and gingerbread cookies.

    Favorite Christmas music: Sorry Mariah but The Boney M Christmas album is the best Christmas album of all time.

    Favorite Christmas movie: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) because it was on TV every year and all the characters are accidentally gay.

  11. Hi,
    I’m in Florida right now to spend Christmas with my mom.
    My mom drinks and is a mean and hurtful drunk, but last year,the first year I tried being here over the Holidays since my Grandma passed, she actually pulled herself together enough over Christmas for there to be no major drama and I’m hoping for the magic to continue this year. It’s actually been pretty good so far! It makes me miss the person my mom used to be.
    This is such a loaded time of year.
    I’m totally open to being convinced otherwise, but I have the suspicion that unless you have kids somehow in your life, this season lends itself more to stress and loss than merriment, which makes the overly cheerfulness of basically everything pretty cruel.

    • I would have to agree. I have no children and no Christian faith so Christmas doesn’t mean anything other than forced time with family members and lots of responsibilities re cooking and gift giving. I only continue to take part because I know it would hurt my grandma not to go. It’s stressful and I know that i will have some lighthearted moments during dinner, but mostly I’ll feel trapped in a table full of microagressions.

      However, there’s a baby in the family and his presence has renewed the holidays. It was weird having no one believe in Santa and still go through the motions and wait for presents.

    • yeah i think the other thing is that there is a lot of travel stress! like year after year my brother and i, trying to get to ohio for christmas where one side of our family lives, we’d be stuck in airports with flights that got delayed for 10 hours, or once literally spun out on the highway on black ice and our car had to be towed out of a ditch in bowling green ohio. once my brother’s flight from NOLA was delayed so long he eventually gave up and just drove up. it started to feel arbitrary that this was the time of year we chose to see each other when it was also the craziest time of year to travel anywhere!

      • I feel that the stress and Christmas gatherings and things to take care of before the Holidays makes the traveling part even more stressful.
        I don’t know, I somehow end up packing and wearing clothes that are still kind of wet from the laundry every single time.
        I hope you got safely and without much trouble to Ohio this year!

    • I’m not sure having children lends more merriment than stress to the season, unless one is lucky enough to have very little to do with preparations of any kind.

      My mother was just lamenting to me on the phone that she has to organise Christmas with the grandchildren now that my brother is freshly divorced, sole caregiver and also travelling for business on average at two days per week. It’s her first Christmas with the grandchildren in forever, and she misses “when it was just us adults”, no expectations, no jarring sounds or lights or decorations, no gift frenzy, just good food and a quiet drink.

    • In my experience, having kids makes it more fun for everyone BUT me. Stress and loss, check and check. Hope today was good for you!

  12. Attending 2 family functions, everyone else is busy or out of town. One is at my aunts over-sized ugly house with her judgy mother in law and more unfun people who have decided to ignore me when I voice an opposing opinion. Still haven’t made up my mind what I’m wearing but I know what I’m bringing and McJudgy can’t stop herself from eat 2nds and 3rds of it, it’s congri.
    And since 2010 I’ve been bringing gingerbread cookies, which is the best dessert at the table every year. It’s my young cousins’ favourite part of the evening aside from opening gifts.

    Christmas Day is going to be chill, everything on the menu is something I can eat and my mother views me as responsible enough to be trusted with making the sides she picked out and NOT check up on me to see if I’m doing it right like she does with everyone else. Dessert is a junior’s recipe cheesecake with a pumpkins spice cheerio crust and it’s going to be awesome.

    Die Hard is my favourite Christmas movie, followed my Home Alone 2. I dislike so many Christmas movies couldn’t possible pick one that I like the least.

    I don’t often think about the fact that the entire plot of Home Alone wouldn’t work now ’cause of cell phones cause Home Alone 3 made me think about that so much it’s been outta my system for years

    My favourite Christmas song is I Got A Used Kazoo For Christmas by Benny Grunch & the Bunch, I’ll link it at the bottom

    My fave Christmas food is gingerbread hands down, nothing compares to how much I love it. Cookie or in loaf form give it to me.

    I don’t remember the Christmas Movie drinking game you made up but I don’t doubt for a second it still holds up

    I remember very well it’s Vanessa‘s birthday today because I was born on the summer solstice. She is like sunshine, brightness to get through the many long nights of winter and has good taste in cookery and appliances. Bright Blessings and Happy Birthday Vanessa. *waves*

    I Got a Used Kazoo for Christmas- Benny Grunch & the Bunch:

    Two Benny Grunch & the Bunch I can recommend people without insider knowledge might enjoy; “Santa, I Been Bad All Year”, “Mblueh Rchristmasah” which is a parody of Blue Christmas.

      • Home Alone 3 is the true controversial choice.
        Home Alone 2 has the bird lady, the bullied child in me found kinship in her.
        Also the traps are so much more Looney Toons I cackle every time.

  13. I never do open threads but I really really love Christmas… I love the lights, I love the smell of a fresh tree (I love supporting the tiny family farm we’ve been going to for years), I love the food.

    Most of all, I love giving people things. I give gifts year-round for no particular reasons but I like Christmas as a holiday about giving to other people. This year will be the first year my girlfriend comes to my family’s Christmas and I’m both excited to share the boisterous joy of my family and also anxious about her feeling uncomfortable as a broke person who grew up poor in a much more privileged household. She couldn’t afford individual gifts this year and is baking everyone cookies instead (also many of “my” gifts are jointly from us) but my family loves her and I know will be giving her a lot of gifts. (TBINAA has a good post on this though and we’ve been discussing and preparing.) But overall I’m excited and can’t wait for everyone to get the gifts that I’ve picked for each of them!!

    And now some answers:

    My favorite Christmas movie is Hogswatch, which I think is technically a holiday special but I’m going to say it counts. My least favorite is… most of them?

    My favorite Christmas songs are God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Mary Did You Know, even though I am not religious in the least and both songs very much are. I like how dramatic the lyrics are for Merry Gentlemen (what other Christmas songs actually mention Satan?). And there are so many songs about Jesus and all, but I like Mary Did You Know for centering its narrative on Mary and her experience. It’s also very pretty.

    Favorite Christmas foods are my mum’s enchiladas and also peppermint hot chocolate.

    And last but by no means least, happy birthday Vanessa!

      • In layman’s some bureaucrats (who do the paperwork about everrything that exists) decide to put a hit out on Santa(the Hogfather) but anthropomorphisised personification does his best to reverse it with the invaluable help of his granddaughter, a goth Mary Poppins played by the future Lady Mary Crawley.

  14. I’m not really excited for Christmas this year, I have the same plans with my parents as we did last year which was actually surprisingly really great, but I’m not expecting it to be as good. I also just FINISHED MY THESIS yesterday!!!!!!!! So that’s really what I’m celebrating! and because of that I’m not really prepared for christmas at all. I’m looking forward to the couple of days after and NYE. I love that weird, slow and peaceful feeling of the couple days before it and then NYE is the best day of the year to me. I love my traditions of being alone and making a great meal. I’m really looking forward to spending a couple days cuddling and playing with my kitten!

  15. This is so cute and I love everybody’s answers. Being Norwegian will definitely affect my answers here.

    My favorite Christmas movie is actually the Czechoslovak/East German movie ‘Three wishes for Cinderella’ with the same guy dubbing the voices for everyone (in Norwegian). A few years ago someone proposed to add new dubbing and the entire country VOTED IT DOWN. Because we love our 1 main guy who has the cutest voices for everyone.

    My favorite Christmas album is ‘its snowing on my piano by Bugge Wesseltoft which reminds me of decorating the tree. As a stand-alone song I love Carol of the bells (Wilhousky), however this year Feliz Navidad made a special place in my heart as well, because my Spanish girlfriend made my dad play it on his guitar it so that we could all sing along.

    I’m not a fan of Norwegian Christmas dinner (just google pinnekjøtt to see for yourself. It’s not very nice) so I always get duck confit – which is my favorite. Pecan puffs is the best Christmas cookie and I will fight everyone over this.

    Wish you all a blessed holiday!

  16. I really love anything Jim Henson does, so I guess I have three Christmas favorites: Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, A Muppet Family Christmas, and now we have a new Mormon Tabernacle Christmas special which includes many Muppet performances called Keep Christmas With You. I have always loved the Home Alone movies too! I have always somewhat enjoyed solitude; the moments when I could truly be myself with absolutely no filter!!

    Here’s hoping you will all be surrounded by fun people this holiday season.

  17. Christmas is going to be a bit hard and sad this year as I’m nursing a very recently broken heart, but my immediate family is the loveliest, and baking and caroling and working on puzzles together will hopefully heal me a bit. It’s good to remember the other kinds of love in my life.

    My favourite Christmas movie is an old TV version of a Child’s Christmas in Wales, the Dylan Thomas poem. However, The Holiday is a total guilty pleasure and I will watch it anytime it’s around even though Cameron Diaz overacts like crazy.

    Love Actually is indeed the correct answer to what is the worst Christmas movie.

  18. I don’t think I’ve ever even watched any Christmas movies (my mum thought television was evil when I was growing up, and I never got the hang of it as an adult), but a discussion with my therapist yesterday reminded me of a (mostly) British seasonal thing that was definitely formative as a young liker of ladies.

    The pantomime tradition was alive and well in the town where I grew up. Which, if it’s not a thing in your part of the world, was a play for kids, usually of a fairy tale, with songs, audience participation, an older female character (the dame) played by a man (*sigh* they teach transphobia young here) and the young male lead (the principal boy) played by a woman.

    I don’t think they do the latter any more, which is a huge shame, because as a young Inmognito I had SO MANY FEELINGS about the principal boy characters, who were usually dressed in tunic and tights and high heels and really did not try to look like boys, and always got the girl.

    I’m not alone in this, am I? I’m kinda sad that these days it’s usually some minor TV personality pretty boy playing the principal boy, and all the young proto-lesbians will be missing out.

    In other news, my favourite seasonal song is Bach’s entire Christmas oratorio, and I have planned be spending the holiday on my own, on my boat. This is a good thing for me, as I usually spend it at the whim of a controlling, emotionally manipulative parent, for whom nothing I can do is ever enough.

    So I will hopefully spend Christmas doing DIY and hanging out with fellow boat dwellers, hopefully having a chill old time of things.

    • Spending Christmas on a boat sounds lovely. I hope you get to listen to Bach’s work while you do.

  19. Overall my Christmas plans are pretty excellent. Christmas Eve with my father, his girlfriend, and whichever sister decides to show up. Sadly, my sibs have now been feuding for two years and have not seen each other for about a year and a half. I’ve decided there is nothing I can do to repair their relationship though and I’ve taken myself out of the matter. It does make me very sad though because I love my sisters, I love Christmas, and I wish we could all be together on it. Christmas Day will be spent with my wife’s parents. This should be pretty pleasant too with one potential snarl I am worried about: I turned down their request that I attend a Christmas Eve service at their church. They are both singing in the choir this year and wanted our support. I feel bad, but I just can’t do it. It is a conservative church and, even though it was not as hateful as the ones I grew up in, I can’t forgive conservative Christianity for how it hurt me and other queer folks. I would also feel extremely uncomfortable there because love the sinner, hate the sin is so much BS. My wife, Jen, is also not going. My mother-in-law has a tendency to hold grudges and I’m afraid she might hold one about this. I don’t think she understands what she was asking and I don’t know how to explain it to her. But it could be nothing and Christmas Day could be great. It will be a fun surprise.

    My favorite Christmas movies are A Muppet Christmas Carol ( I love anything involving the Muppets) and White Christmas, which was a family tradition. I look forward to them every year. My least favorite is Frosty the Snowman. Why? I don’t really know, but I have despised Frosty since I was a kid.

    Despite being a lapsed Christian, I love Christian Christmas music. O Holy Night and Silent Night are two of my favorites. The yearning present in O Holy Night just breaks my heart.

  20. I just enjoyed one of my favorite pre-family obligations holiday tradition (for all holidays) of a bath in the middle of the day with a glass of wine and so many candles that adult me can’t relax fully because I know it’s a fire hazard while child me is ecstatic. During said bath I wrote a truly compelling argument for my enjoyment of Love Actually as Camp, beginning with Sontag’s classic definition and then moving in to a more nuanced reading of the work. But like all the best writing I do in the bath, I don’t remember it anymore. I dislike most Christmas movies and movies about love in general, so I don’t know why I like this objectively not good movie – but I do?

    Obviously the best Christmas and all times (but back to back and soundtrack non-stop in the winter) movie is Carol.

    How can I love Carol and also enjoy Love Actually? Camp. That’s the only logical reason this former academic can come up with.

    • I am very curious about this argument and wish I could read it! Maybe I’ll reread the Sontag and ponder it in a bath myself (that actually sounds really great right now)

  21. YES Love Actually is the worst, I thought I was the only person who disliked it, but thank you for the validation. Love Actually is straight culture.

  22. We are spending the first half of Christmas with my mom, my brother and his in-laws and the second half with my husband’s family. Both of these are good things. I am slightly bummed about one thing: I got some cheap but pretty dark-iridescent rings to wear as a “hey remember I came out last year to y’all? Remember that?” And they were too big so I got a smaller ring to wear to keep them on. This plan worked great for three or four days and then the smaller ring turned out not to be small enough and it flew off somewhere and got lost. Fortunately I didn’t lose the other rings but I can’t wear them now. Oh well. Solvable problem once I get home again.

    Have been having fun designing jewelry in my head and rereading Chaos by James Gleick which I hadn’t read since high school and it is even more awesome now.

    Happy holidays to all and especially happy birthday Vanessa!

  23. I haven’t listened to much Christmas music this year. Just not feeling it.

    I’m at my dad’s half-watching half-judging hallmark movies and I just felt a tickle in my throat. Super fun!

    Even though I am again without my partner for the holidays (please remember those who have to work this year!), I’m grateful for time off of my own. Also grateful that my dad and stepmom are understanding of my introverted ways – they’re basically letting me hide when my stepmom’s kids and grandkids and dad come over later today. 🙌🏽

  24. every major holiday that my family celebrates + my birthday has made me sad for years now

    like, heaving sobs in the shower kind of sad

    my whole family used to get together, including the side that has wide smiles and warm hugs, but then people get old and die and other people move and in laws with competing holiday schedules are collected and Christmas is lonely, so lonely, and no one who gives hugs visits anymore, definitely not all at once.

    i do like the movie Elf, though. So there’s that.

  25. I dunno if this is straight watch worthy or not but I just learned why my aunt’s MIL disapproves of her granddaughter’s boyfriend as well as her parents.
    It’s because he’s going to be teacher.
    That’s it.

    The way they brought him up at previous holiday get togethers made him sound a dead beat planning to mooch off her the rest of their lives and she’ll put up with it because “big girls” can’t be too choosy.

    Like fuck them that’s a worthy job. So what if it doesn’t make 7 figures. We NEED teachers.

    Can you pie someone in the face wit cake? Is that what it would still be called.

      • Wrong part of American for mayo “salad” dear, too much Cajun, Creole and Italian around this parts for such a thing to appear at Christmas.
        Also the dinner stuff was in another part of the house, and that cake was right there along with another better(chocolate) cake and 2 brownie pans.

        Wasn’t the worst thing she said just somehow wasn’t prepared for that and that young man clearly adores my cousin-in-law. Not a fresh bloom of young love adoration but like cute old married couple adoration. Partners in life kind of love.
        But none of that matters to her, noo not if her granddaughter makes more than him in her STEM career. That makes him a worthless deadbeat.


        • Hisss indeed!

          If this were a musical there would be a fantastic number with all kinds of sung jokes about teaching her a lesson, in a calculated way. Food would be juggled and fall into pie charts, and the cake smooshing would be the finale, with her falling backwards and ending up with the chocolate cake on her derrière.

        • People are very odd. Just leave her to stew in her mean and bitter juices.

          Even bad cake is better than wasting it on someone like her.

  26. What are your plans for Christmas? I’m spending the holidays with my family.

    What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Favorite movie: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Favorite holiday special in a TV show: The Most Horrible X-mas Ever from Invader Zim.
    What’s your least favorite Christmas movie? It’s A Wonderful Life. Just one of those movies that everyone else seems to love that I cannot stand in the slightest (the list also includes The Wizard of Oz). I’ve never seen Love Actually, so I can’t include that on the list.

    How often do you think about the fact that the entire plot of Home Alone wouldn’t work now ’cause of cell phones? I rarely think of that movie, but this is correct.

    Did you know that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is my favorite song of all time besides Ave Maria? What’s your favorite Christmas song?
    This version only, though.

    What are your favorite Christmas foods? Eggnog, just about anything with peppermint, cheese, crackers, and sliced meat (my family used to do a dinner of cheese, crackers, and sliced meats on Dec. 24th every year).

  27. Spending my Christmas in the best company ~ with books and tea. Just going on a bike ride to watch doggos at the park, and then back for more reading.

    Hope you are all finding comfort today, wherever you may be <3

      • Merry Christmas Snaelle ! Joyeux Noël ! Books, tea, and yes indeed, the best company.

        All the best for your first Christmas in your new digs. The future awaits !

        • Merci muchly! This was a lovely Christmas message ~~~

          And here’s to the future we’re creating. Here’s to bravery, to diving into our selves, into our depths and finding so much more, so very much more! Joyeux noël a toi aussi, Adèle!

  28. Okay, Straddlers. I need your help. I’m trying to find an old “Warehouse 13” video where it’s sort of a help-wanted or SWF looking for same. It’s either about HG or Bering & Wells and there is typing on the screen.

    • I was trying to help you out because I think I know which vid you mean, but NBC has made most Bering and Wells unavailable in the US on yt!?
      I’ll try again back home, remind me late next open thread,please?
      Also, I’m a little destroyed by a B&W vid to “Fix You” which I unwittingly checked out out on Vimeo for the sake of this research.

  29. I spent my day napping, reading, and taking my dog for a nice long walk. My sister and I hung out. We don’t do the big family thing.

    My favorite Christmas food is probably just a good old-fashioned yule log. It’s simple and delicious. This year I made a mocha orange one.

    Favorite movie is Carol, obviously.

  30. Okay so this Christmas kinda sucks! In fact I don’t even wanna talk about it or acknowledge it as Christmas.
    But uh I do like the way ihop smells like hot butter!

  31. Watching Carol because of course. It is melting away so much unpleasantness with its amazing misandry. Grateful 2 Carol 4ever & ever amen.

    Love Actually is terrible! Thank you, Riese, it just had to be said.

    Separately, the Jim Carrey Grinch is also pretty bad. Given the apparently horrible and torturous ordeal of the Grinch makeup application, how did this movie happen?? Also Why?

    Praying for sequel to Carol for 2019?! Cheers

  32. Normally I travel to my brother’s to spend a low-key Christmas Eve and day with him and my sis-in-law, eating and drinking copious amounts and swapping tourtière recipes (savory meat pie). So _normally_, I wouldn’t be here at AS right now.

    After Christmas I’d be free for the rest of the holidays, including New Year’s which has been nice and quiet for the last few years.

    But this year my brother moved me to New Year’s because rest-of-family is descending on them at Christmas (and that’s not my scene which my brother respects). And lo, an Angel came unto me and said Fear not, I bring you great tidings, etc. Actually it was my new gf who invited me to a Christmas Eve party. So my gf, her main partner and I got to hang yesterday with a bunch of cool folx eating copious amounts of food and swapping recipes for so many things including tourtière. It was marvelous !

    Another change, this year I’m actually going to go to parties over the holidays, one at my girlfriend’s with her polycule, and one on New Year’s Eve at my favourite pub where I swear I have a crush on every single one of the women who work there. Then get on the bus on New Year’s Day, with hangover no doubt, for a 3-hour ride to my brother’s. Where, after a few glasses of something, I’ll tell them about my divorce, which they don’t know about yet. They were our witnesses so it kind of hurts. But I wanted to tell them in person, not over phone or skype.

    My favourite movie is A Christmas Carol with Mr Magoo but I also like the Alaistair Sim version, not colourised if possible. TBH I’ll take any remake in a pinch, it’s scary and fantastic and anachronistic. Also I finally saw Hogfather ! Could become my new favourite, the book certainly is one of my favourite stories. It always starts with blood, indeed.

    Not a fan of any of the Home Alone’s, but yes I can see how it wouldn’t age well !

    My favourite Christmas song is all of them in an endless playlist, while watching the fireplace channel and making the aforementionned tourtière. This year I’m making my own crust which is… a challenge.

    I’m looking up the drinking game in another tab,

    and All the best to Vanessa ! Solstice babes are the best. Bring on the bonfires, dancing, and merriment !

  33. How is it that I’m just finding out that Jaime Murray and Joanne Kelly were at DragonCon together this year?

  34. I got guilted/mildly threatened to spend Christmas with my dad’s side of the family and I agreed on the condition that i could leave on Boxing Day, which is today thank all the gods and deities real and imagined because I am so people’d out it’s not even funny. What is it about Christmas that turns people into drama queens and quiet dinners into all out fights? I’m beyond desperate for peace and quiet and solitude right now.

    Favorite Christmas song – Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton. No contest.

    Favorite Christmas movie – The Santa Clause followed very closely by Elf.

    Favorite Christmas food – Chinese takeout because a) it’s not turkey, b) it’s not traditional and c) it’s delicious

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