FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: So It’s Totally The Holigay Season Now, Right

Hello, overflowing batches of spiked eggnog! It’s that time of the week again where we plan total world domination in the Friday Open Thread! JK, actually we commiserate about the patriarchy and share photos of our girlfriends / pets / loved ones / projects from the past week and then fawn over each other. In other words, it’s everywhere you wanna be.

Pretty much exactly what the FOT would look like if we were all yellow human-like creatures

Pretty much exactly what the FOT would look like if we were all yellow human-like creatures hanging out IRL

I have an announcement to make, queermos of my heart. As of November 1, I’ve been listening to nonstop holiday music all the time and using the hashtag #XXXMAS liberally on Twitter. That can only mean one thing: IT’S THE HOLIGAY SEASON, Y’ALL. Ready or not, here it comes. Start practicing your best rendition of “Santa Baby,” making your lists and checking them twice, and picking out your subversive holiday lingerie! Get gifting! Get gift wrapping, too. Prepare yourself emotionally for an onslaught of red, blue, green, and white decorations in your favorite retail stores and restaurants and start saving pennies for your holiday card stamp stash now.

As for me? I’ve already picked up a bunch of gifts, wished I was watching “The Year Without A Santa Claus,” and caught myself contemplating random acts of kindness around the office. And Eli? He’s already tried on his trusty Santa hat with completely not-optional attached beard twice and hated it. In other words, I’m completely dying of excitement for what is to come and I want to take you with me.

Hermey was totally gay, right. Like, did I make that up.

Hermey was totally gay, right. Like, did I make that up.

You may be reading this and thinking to yourself that you hate crowds, gifts, and general feelings of cheer, but don’t worry! There’s something in it for all of us. Maybe, for example, you like hot chocolate or gingerbread cookies, or don’t secretly harbor ill will against yourself for having chosen to build a life somewhere where winter really does come every year. Maybe you like gifts (I do, no judgement) or giving them (you Saint). Maybe you’re just super nostalgic. Maybe you like snow or snowglobes or the feeling of seeing a photo of snow on your Tumblr dashboard without feeling like it’s out of season. Maybe you really do hate it all, and the only thing I can say to make you feel better is that inevitably, the Holigays, like all of our lives and the Republican Party, will ultimately come to an end. (And then, there will be so many sales you won’t even be able to handle it.)

So tell me, special snowflakes, what team you’re on. Are you excited? Happy? Completely unmoved? Conversely, are you deeply moved? Very busy? A total Grinch? Watching The Grinch as I live and breathe? I wanna know your feelings on the frenzy that’s about to become our realities for the next two months, because at Christmastime, we tell the truth. (And seriously, it’s okay if you hate that movie. Me. Fucking. Too.) And don’t forget to catch me up on your weeks and lives, too! I want to know everything, even if it isn’t about wrapping paper, ornaments, or reindeer cookie cutters. Promise.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

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  1. holy cow am I the first comment?! maybe. MAYBE.

    well I just booked a trip to see my family on Thanksgiving and I’m super pumped, hoping I can afford a Christmas trip as well. Texas to Ohio…whoop whoop…(no I don’t want to live in either of those states but here I am).

    I feel randomly cheery?? even though I don’t have much reason to?? I want to buy a die cutting machine SO SO SO bad but they’re like $250 and I don’t even craft with my bare hands so I’m scared I won’t use it BUT I WANNA PUT VINYL PATTERNS ON PRETTY GLASSES AND MAKE HOME DECOR AND T SHIRTS. sigh.

    also…my therapist is bailing on me because she’s getting a full time job (totes not her fault but I’m still bummed) so AHH!! she was helping me so much I DON’T WANT TO START OVER!

    &&&&&& I’m starting to believe more and more that I will be alone forever lolz because I realized that I’ve never been truly head over heels for a lady and the ones I like don’t like me back and I’m aching for it but I refuse to settle.

    but turkey! and also potential job interviews?! life changes are scary. I wanna move to Seattle but I have job security here and I’m being boring and not wanting to be broke.


    • also cramps are horrible today and I just wanna lay around and cry and get my appetite back and why did I drink caffeine now my stomach hurts

    • My therapist left me too! He’s going to Portland. I really really like the lady he referred me to. I remember being irked that the group had sent me to a male therapist, but he really was an amazing listener. It was like losing a father. One who I could talk to about being trans and all of my other stuff!

      But, we move on. Do not settle! You’re awesome and great and don’t need to!

  2. I have an exhausting week yet again. I’m having a hard time balancing school and social life this term. All last year I didn’t really have one and now that I do I’m not sure what to do. I love hanging out with my friends, I wish I could just spend most of my time with them. But I also have large projects or papers that are due soon. I’m trying to spend as much time on school as last year but in addition to time with people. Meaning I haven’t been sleeping enough or really eating enough. Also, having a small crush on somebody, getting mostly over it, finding out they had a small crush on you at the same time but are also getting over it/ is not ready for a relationship, then sort of getting the crush feelings back because this is the first time anyone has ever liked me and she is so amazing, is THE WORST!

  3. The housemates and I are going shopping for Christmas trees this weekend. Let the joy beat down on everyone.

  4. I’ve never cared much for Xmas, in general. I have no religious attachment to the holiday, and I’ve long come to associate it with dealing with my enormous, fairly judgemental extended family who expressed disapproval of my life long before I ever came out. Oh, and did I mention the hordes of screaming children?

    These days, I’m estranged from the bulk of my family, so holidays just serve as a reminder of that. But, I now have a partner with an awesomely accepting family, so I have this tiny glimmer of excitement at the prospect of a normalish Xmas this year.

    On the flipside, being in an LDR has made the holidays special because it means an extended visit with my lovely partner. So, there’s that.

    Oh, and I think thanksgiving is stupid. My partner and I are spending it in Montreal, eating rich French food and pretending we’re Canadian.

    • I totally agree with you on Thanksgiving and my parents don’t get it. I’m also a opposed to Columbus Day, but that’s another story. Also, good choice on rich French food in Canada. I would also say a bloody Caesar for those long nights.

  5. I’m not in holiday mode yet, but it looks like the kids I teach are there already. I had a birthday this week and after my friend/colleague told my class of young kids that it was my birthday, I was treated to them singing ‘Happy Birthday’ loudly a few dozen times, followed by a rendition of my new age repeated to the tune of Jingle Bells…

    Despite not feeling Christmassy yet, I’ve been looking forward to Christmas since September as I’m heading to the States to spend Christmas with my girlfriend and her family. Aside from the obvious yay-seeing-my-girlfriend LDR excitement, there’s additional excitement because it will be the first Christmas we’ve actually spent together. I’m a little apprehensive about how bloody cold it will get in the Midwest, though – I’ve spent the last two Christmasses in Spain…

  6. I’ve been in charge of the Holiday Food Drive at work and am really proud that we have 87 baskets to donate to families in need. I also just ordered holiday cards. They are scratch and sniff and I’m pretty excited about it. And I made plans to visit my gf for Thanksgiving, so it’s been a very good week.

    • First off congratulations on the 87 baskets!
      And scratch and sniff holiday cards sound like a beautiful creation I didn’t even know those existed

      • I didn’t know they existed either!
        And the food drive sounds like a lovely way to spend the holidays. :)

    • I want one of these scratch and sniff cards! I will send baked goods in return. A deal can be reached here. I just know it.

  7. I am a firm believer in no christmas celebrating til after thanksgiving. my sister…well, not so much. she likes to send out group texts to everyone in my family starting in like September informing them of her holiday excitement.

    I am already excited about it getting chilly, though. I’m down with jackets and coats and scarves and fires and hot chocolate…

    the music, however, makes me want to die. the same two and a half songs over and over with slight variation. it is too much.

    I’m feeling pretty grinch-like in general so probably don’t mind me. my week has sucked and I had to tell a very dear friend that I need to not talk to her because she also happens to be my ex who I can’t seem to get over. and I’ve been an asshole to numerous people, her included, because my feelings are a fucking train wreck. it’s really frustrating and I’m kinda angry with myself.

    (speaking of the grinch, hate the jim carrey version, am okay with the original, though I still don’t really wanna watch it ever.)

    • plus I have a lot of feelings surrounding any family get-together sort of holidays. I love being around my mom’s family and mostly don’t care for being around my dad’s family. both sides are very conservative and religious and I’m mostly not out to them. (my parents, one aunt, and one cousin know.) on the best of days I still have no idea how to present myself style-wise, and it gets messier when I have to try to navigate being comfortable while not seeming too gay. and I hate big secrets and lying and when uncles or grandparents etc are sweet to me half the time I end up questioning how they’d act if they knew. you’d think I’d be used to it as I’ve spent most my life trying to keep my depression/etc from them, but it doesn’t really feel the same.

      I wish things were simpler.

      • Ugh I hate that feeling of being around family and wondering, “would they still be so nice to me if they knew I was gay?”. I’m definitely the favorite grandkid on my mom’s side of the family (staying out of jail helps), but I sometimes question how that might change if I ever came out to them. What helps for me is living 200+ miles from all my family, so I’m able to enjoy the limited time I have with them, knowing that soon I can go back to my own city where I can be more myself. I’m sorry the holidays are a struggle for you :( But yay for jackets and scarves and hot chocolate!

    • Too much, indeed!
      Being closeted in any situation really stinks, let alone with people who should love you unconditionally.

    • Another closeted-to-my-family person here. And it is hard because I’m really close to my parents and brother, and I think they’re generally pretty accepting and open minded. (A lot more-so, actually, than my ultra-conservative homophobic peer circle as a child/teen). It’s not that I think they’d stop loving me or something, but I’m afraid that our relationship would change and they’d think differently of me, less of me. I dunno. I actually think my brother would be pretty cool with it, but I’m just scared.

      I find that anxiety nearly always creates scary mountains out of molehills in my mind. And perhaps after 25 years of not showing the slightest interest in men they already suspect something…

  8. We still have halloween decorations up at my place, so it seems a bit early to get into Christmas. My rule is to wait until December 1, letting the excitement build up, and then just going all out with the music, decorations and baking until Christmas.
    Anyway, I saw this today: and it said “Some lesbians are always on top (or in the dominant position), some are always on bottom (or the submissive position). And some lesbians are unicorns called “switches,” who like to both give and take.” Are “switches” really all that unicorn-y? I’m new to the whole lady loving thing, but that’s definitely what seems most natural to me and, I think, what’s most often represented on tv/in movies. Thoughts??

    • Switches are about as unicorn-y as bi women are unicorn-y, which is to say, only rare and wonderous to people who have only seen them on tv or porn and haven’t actually met them in real life.

  9. Fall and winter are cuddle seasons so I am most looking forward to endless cuddles while watching movies or the endless list of TV shows and movies my girlfriend and I have been post-poning. Cuddles and warm food!

    And also every year since high school my friends and I organize (who am I kidding, I organize it. Mostly) a “posada”. It’s a Mexican-y reunion thing to do during the holiday season, and although there are specific things to do for it to count as a “posada” and not just a reunion/dinner thing, we skip the stuff and just have a reunion/dinner thing with videogames, board games, movies, booze and next-day breakfast. So I am looking forward to that tons.

  10. I think I am more excited for New Years as the plan is to be in a cabin with a bunch of queers. Yay. Thanksgiving, I am not a fan of and as a vegan now I care for it even less. Then there is Chanukah, but I think I’m too old to get gifts(the last good gift I got on Chanukah was a Motorola Pager watch it was soo cool at the time).

    On another note my week has been long. I’ve had a bit of a crisis due some essentials comments about being trans*/genderqueer, and such; but thankfully there is always one straddler on FB that is helpful. I also got asked by my father questions about my love life and how far do I want to take it with women. I told him I plea the fifth, as it’s not really his concern. He also asked if I like to wear women’s clothing, I’m not out to him yet. I told him no, which is partially true, because I’ve tried on womens clothing before and I feel more butch trans* than anything. Like certain outfits sure, but for the most part I admire the andro, butch, and tomboy femme women. I just cant wait to move out so I can start transitioning, because it hurts that I have flat chest and puberty never gave me chest to make feel complete.

    • Oh, and I am totally excited for queer costumed roller skating tomorrow night and then 80s karaoke. I plan to go as a mix of a OITNB character who we never really meet, but is there in background. My back story will be I got caught holding big money street races cross country. I would hold the races with the woman I was with, but little did I know she was working with the cops in exchange for no prison time. Oh, and I was worth one point to Nikky.

    • I’m sorry to hear about you and your father. I am still trying to figure out how to tesla to mine. He knows, or he should. But I thunk he is in denial.

      But YAY costume skate!

      • Thank you. It’s this old school mentality many of our parents have, where everything has to fit in this essentialist notion of society(be it western or in my parents case middle eastern). For me its a bit harder as I feel more butch femme, that straight up femme, which has other queer people questioning me a bit(that and I am waiting to move out to start hormones). I am trying to do this at my own pace I feel most comfortable, because it’s hard to this alone, so to speaks.

  11. I’ve been hit as with the fist of an angry god by how fucking hot Sue Perkins is

    Have also been a bit sick and spending the extra time at home watching my favorite X-Files episodes, and the Great British Bake Off, hence the new burning crush.

  12. My dog is currently taking a nap on my lap, so everything’s going to be okay.

    I haven’t noticed too much of the holigay season…yet. I’m sure it’s on its way. I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays, as I grew up a bitter Christmas-hating Jew. Now I’m a Jew who doesn’t mind Christmas and acknowledges that the holidays center around Christmas, which is more of an American holiday than a Christian one. My sister is trying to convince me to go to our parents’ house for Thanksgiving and Jewish Christmas (Chinese food & movies), but I think I’ll stay in NYC.

    My biggest dislike about the holidays actually has nothing to do with the holidays themselves- it’s the weather. I hate hate hate when it’s pitch black at 4:30 pm, and I don’t like the inconsistency of overheated buildings and the cold outside.

    Now I’m going to return to puppy snuggles. I have 2 shows tonight (I work from 6 pm-12:30 am), as per usual, so there’s that.

    • oooh, good call about it getting dark super early. I go into mourning over the end of daylight savings time every year. I wish we didn’t swap from it.

  13. For Thanksgiving/xmas/The Holigays Costco gives me, every year, a free turkey and a bajillion extra hours in the middle of the night all through december. I am one of the Elves now, y’all. But then Susi will fly out to see me for new years, which is what *I’m* getting for xmas this year.

  14. Perfect timing for a holiday post! I am excited because I am heading to a cabin with friends for the weekend (northern Wisconsin, and snow in the forecast), where we’re celebrating “friendsgiving”, and I am making gluten-free pumpkin doughnuts and bringing some of my pumpkin spice M&M stockpile to share, because no, I am not over the pumpkin-spice craze yet (haters gonna hate).

    • Nothing wrong with still loving pumpkin stuff! Your Friendsgiving weekend sounds fun, too. And hello fellow Madisonian! (Well, I’m moving back in like a week and a half anyway)

  15. I am so ready for Christmas!!! I get so excited, everyone is so happy this time of year I love it!! I also work in retail so we have been prepping for Christmas for at least the last month now and it’s finally arrived!! Most wonderful time of the year indeed. :-)

  16. Well my housemates and I spent over a week decorating the house for halloween but I think we’ve now had enough of a break since then that christmas decorating activities are imminent! I’m hoping old magazines might make some pretty paper chains that we can afford to have loads of (it turns out pretty paper can be expensive).

    Also for me November the 5th and all the fireworks have to happen before anyone is allowed to even say the word christmas!

  17. I’m pretty excited I just booked a half work trip, half vacation with one of my friends who we just recently came out to each other at dinner one evening. It is going to be filled with dancing and partying and the best part is that work is going to pay for a good chunk of it.

    In the part of Canada that I live, we have not got any snow yet which is kind of disappointing, usually by now we have like 3′ of snow and I kind of miss it.

  18. I was wondering when you can officially start being excited about christmas! I woke up two days ago feeling this need to listen to christmas songs…

    I didn’t really think I was much of a christmas person until I moved to another country. But now christmas feels extra special since it means that I get to go back home and spend time with my family while also doing all those fun christmasy things like stuffing my face with food (my favourite part) and making gingerbread and listening to christmas songs. Since there’s not much snow here visiting home kind of feels like going to some magical snowy christmas land. Although I must say I was gravely disappointed last year by the lack of snow… Finland, you’d better not disappoint me this year!

    I also feel like it all kind of helps me get through this dark and generally miserable time of the year. It’s just nice to have something to look forward to.

  19. I AM READY FOR GINGERSPICE EVERYTHING SEASON. Truly the most wonderful time of the year (followed by my favorite holiday of all, NYE).

    This week I hung out with my ladyfriend in a fancy house and helped her pet-sit for her family friend. It was domestic and fun but also we’re glad it’s over. Here’s a picture of the family’s cat in my lap looking disgruntled on election night. NB: I was 500% more disgruntled than the cat (ladyfriend says it was more like 700% but I don’t think that’s possible)

    • YES you’ve helped me finally figure out why my roommate’s cat won’t stop howling like someone’s stepped on her tail…she’s just extremely angry that Amendment 1 passed in Tennessee.

  20. I’m so happy it’s Friday, because work has been super stressful and life and ughhhh but tonight my girlfriend and I are seeing Janet Mock speak for the second time (yay!!! once at PTHC and this time at our alma mater).

    BUT super relevant Christmas info folks, I was in Target two weeks ago and they already had their Christmas stuff out. At first, I was like “sdlfjsdlkf IT’S NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN” until I saw THIS:

    That lovely link will lead you to the Target page for the Classic Christmas Favorites 4-disc DVD set that features all of MY favorite holiday TV specials, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, The Year Without a Santa Clause, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Ya know, all the weird Rankin/Bass specials that ABC Family plays on repeat from 12/1 until Christmas Day. It was $10 in the store but $12 online. They also had White Christmas Diamond Edition DVD for $10, so I was in my holiday glory before Jack Skellington had a chance to bring it to me with Zero in the lead.

  21. Send help am in a room full of Angry Theater Students ready to kill each other. Being an Angry Theater Student myself I know how these situations get…tbh considering hiding in the bathroom until rehearsal is over because there’s about to be carnage and I really hope it’a just the metaphorical kind.
    Otherwise I’m good, though. I’m swamped with homework but the girl I’ve been crushing on for a while now gave me her sweatshirt because I was cold and I wore it home and it was cozy.

  22. Roar!! That is how my week made me feel. Time to workout and drink

    Those election results pissed me off

  23. This is the timeliest post ever. I am close (ish) to my fam and planning to travel home for Christmas, my girlfriend is estranged from her fam and planning to spend Christmas alone again, and we have just had the “Are we spending Christmas together?” conversation, which translates into “Am I inviting my girlfriend home for Christmas?” (answer: yes). Given that I just came out to my fam last Christmas, well, we’re moving right along!

    So I spent today texting my sister figuring out how to pitch GF-coming-home to my mom, cause if Mom says yes, Dad can’t say no.

    I may (may) have read this marvelous article from Autostraddle on “How to Bring Your Girlfriend Home for the Holidays.” (I never had to deal with this kind of shit with my ex-husband. NEVER.)

    Anyway, my sister is excellent at conning my parents and getting what she wants, so she basically gave me a fuckton of ammo. Fingers crossed!

    • That gif perfectly sums up how I felt whenever I’ve had to wear a dress.
      See a total of 5 times in my 32 years.

    • It sounds like you’re going to be okay (sisters got yer back). My fam is cool for the most part. My partner’s family is another story…very religious. They are still trying to reconcile the fact that my partner had a husband for six years and let him go for a girl. It was great when I was a good friend all those years instead of the dreaded girlfriend.
      I am allowed to visit as long, as we don’t “hold hands or show any PDA”. They don’t want the youngsters to turn gay, I suppose :D I’ve decided that I’ll make out w/ my lady in front of them. We will turn them all and make the holidays truly gay!
      Just kidding. Seriously though, I wish you well. Get a thick skin and know that fear is the basis of most ignorant actions. You have my support through the ethers ;) All is well.

      • Thank you! I have yet to call my mom (tonight or tomorrow!) but thank you thank you thank you for the support! SO NEEDED.

        And yes, The Gay is contagious. We all know this. Mmhmm. Gotta spread the love around.

  24. Christmas? Sorry. Too busy trying to figure out how I can get out of having to attend Thanksgiving dinner this year without hurting my moms feelings.

    • My wife and I are going to Las Vegas instead and I still haven’t told my mom. There’s no easy way to say, “I love you, but the rest of the family is a great big bag of dicks.”

      • Hahaha! Oh, man. Good luck either way. I’m seeing my mom on Sunday and I’m trying to prepare a speech a la “mom, I’m giving you Christmas! I’ll be there for hours! Isn’t that enough? :( /horrible daughter

  25. The holidays are so confusing for me. It’s summer and my family is on a different continent and ARGH

    In other news, the damn alarm system in my house won’t stop beeping. I didn’t get much sleep last night because there was a little CHIRP every minute.

  26. Hey snowflakes!!! =) Thats the best. We’re snowflakes=) I hope everyone is doing really good and that your hair looks good. I built a tiny thing this week.

    Taipei 101.

    This is me building the top of it.

    I also already wish it was Halloween again. I want to carve more pumpkins

  27. All I want for Xmas is web presence, teehee. I love bringing the queer to all my family’s hollydaze gatherings, making jokes no one gets, or maybe they’re just pretending they don’t get it. I’ll never know.

  28. I always get into both the holiday and holigay spirits lots. I love Chirtsmas displays (one of my neighbors does a gorgeous light display every year) and even Chritsmas music in moderation. I also love both giving and receiving, though not just at Christmas, of course (hint hint wink wink nudge nudge say no more!).

    And for now I’ll just wish everyone a happy Friday and a happy weekend. =)

  29. I’m still kind if celebrating Halloween this weekend so it’s a bit early for Christmas for me. I had to drive to Chicago to pick a friend up from the airport and my GPS decided to take me off the highway and into downtown Chicago for about twenty or so minutes then put me back onto the same highway that I was on before. And then on the way home it was going to take me in circles on back roads so I’ve now decided to never rely on it again. Other then that my week was easy.

  30. December 25th will be my 26th birthday, if i make it. I want to have a party, after everything this year has been. Year 25 continues to kick my ass.

    Also, my great-grandmother has decided she no longer wants dialysis, she is fed up. They have moved her to hospice. I figure if she’s ready, she’s ready. Her husband was the same way at the end.

    So it’s cold, i don’t fully know how i feel, 2014 has been a hellish/hell of a year, and isn’t over yet, and…. i wish i could take a bath, but the tub’s still needing cleaning. And a plug. I want to be around people in a laid back way, but i don’t think i can get that.

    I feel very quietly drained. I don’t know. I wish i could quietly hang out in person with you guys.

    • I want to quietly hang out with both of you, too.

      I shall bring my knitting and assorted baked items and we shall sit there and not feel pressure to fill the silence with words, because sometimes you just want to be together, alone.

      (You’re a heroine to me, caitlin. I’m so glad you’re here. I’d love to send you a birthday present if I can!)

    • caitlin i always like to see your little blue happy jellybean yellow squiggle cute icon here on AS. happy birthday early; you’re a force to be reckoned with.

  31. The only good part about Halloween being over is that now I can watch Gremlins with people without being honor-bound to point out that it is a fucking Christmas movie, not a Halloween Movie. Also Black Christmas and the Nightmare Before Christmas.


  32. I looooove thanksgiving bc my birthday always falls around the thanksgiving holiday and as a teacher that is such an amazing gift. No school! rest! delicious food! I”m almost done with a semester! The kids are done and I am so ready for a break. One of them did wish me a good weekend, and he’s one of the most precious baby-gays I have ever met in my life, so ya know, small victories.

    Today I am so grateful that my friends who work at trader joes were not working today, so they didn’t get to see my ~teacher needs a break now~ breakdown, in which i bought mac and cheese, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and butter-flavored crackers.

    And now, I get to go to meditation group, eat pho with my gf and some friends, and go do some French exploring in nola tomorrow.

    (let thanksgiving come soon!! let the countdown begin!)

  33. I don’t know how to feel about the holigays this year. Ever since I left my home country (at age six, twelve years ago) they’ve been pretty meh – I don’t have much family around and it makes me very nostalgic to not be able to spend them with the people I love. I thought I would be able to go back home this year for the holidays, but life/work got in the way, and I’m stuck on a different continent again. That, and this year I work retail, and I can already feel the pressure of it, in early November.

    Having said that, I think I’m pretty excited this year. My person, who lives 1200 km away, is coming to visit! This is our first holiday season together and it makes me incredibly happy that I get to spend it with them, it’s a pretty extended visit compared to what we get normally … So even if I’m not really excited for the holidays, I’m excited to see them. Which kind of makes me excited for the holidays, I mean, nothing is better than bringing in the new year with the person you’re in love with.

    This week has been very up and down. My mental state continues to be a mess – but my partner and I have both decided to seek help, and my first appointment with a therapist is on Tuesday! I am nervous. Somehow I am still functioning, so that’s good. I also pierced my nipple on Tuesday – this is something I am sharing with you all because it’s exciting and far too few people know and I really love it.

    I don’t know. I’m still trudging along. Sometimes I’m even walking!

  34. Thanksgiving is a way better holiday than Christmas. There, I said it. It’s an entire holiday dedicated to eating disgusting amounts of food, it’s close enough to Halloween you can still find pumpkin beer, and there’s no pressure to buy your cousin you haven’t seen in ten years a present!

  35. The mere sight of decorations in stores is filling me with ridiculous amounts of joy. I hated the holidays for many years, but last year some switch flipped in my brain and the lights/sparkles/etc became a welcome sight. I bought my first (little, apartment-sized) tree. I started listening to 1950s holiday playlists on Songza. And while I still hate most modern Christmas music, I’ve been secretly thinking of those songs ALL YEAR and I am surprisingly excited for this year. Still debating whether it’s too early to put up my tree!

  36. Im working Xmas and New Years. But I still have my green flannel dress shirt for Xmas and Im also buying a snowflake tie clip and cufflinks.

  37. Let’s ignore Christmas for just a little while longer, k?
    It’s always such a hassle and super depressing to find someone to adopt me for the Holidays ever since my family moved away.
    So, putting the emphasis on the gay of holigay, I’m currently inhabiting the guest room of friends after I couldn’t face the bike ride home. It’s a non-balmy November Night, the train conductors in Germany have been on strike for days (no kidding) and we just returned from “Le Cage aux Folles” which was very gay and very wonderful. The director chose to end the piece with a two minute long kiss between George and Albert, framed by a rainbow. And that in a not very liberal neighborhood to be phrasing it mildly. “I am what I am” ought to be something we remember to sing more often. I wish y’all a weekend filled with Love and glitter!

  38. I have complicated feelings about the holdiays because my family never really did anything for them, but my ex and her family were very, very into the holidays (she too believed in the november-first-is-christmas-music philosophy), so my memories of doing holiday-ish things are very tangled in that. Also it’s still freakishly warm here, so it doesn’t feel like November at all.

    I love peppermint in all things with a fierce and undying love, so I eagerly await the arrival of holiday-themed foodstuffs.

  39. I JUST SAW LA ROUX! Like an hour ago I was watching the encore. I was totally unprepared for how hot and awesome Elly Jackson would be IRL. She was like a sexy female ginger Elvis. Her dancing was ridiculously awesome, so much energy. Both the missus and I claim she made eye contact with us… the realist in me says it’s unlikely. Anyhoo.
    I am on the slippery snowslide down towards xmas and I love it. I’m done with my symposium and due to tutor error I have completed an essay due at the end of the semester (Dec 18th) early, freeing me up to start Christmas crafts with muh bandsaw. Woop. I will be donning my fairisle knits from Monday.
    Some folks have cited non religiousness as a reason to not xmas hard, I like to think of it as a special day, in the darkest coldest part of the year, to take time to share food and gifts with those you love most. Which in busy busy lives you can’t always do as often as you’d like. This reasoning is also why I’m having the inlaw and outlaws to mine this year so I don’t have to see homophobic G-ma ’til Boxing Day!

  40. I have been looking forward to this weekend for like a month. I’m so happy it’s finally here! So my wife and I are going to this adorable down-home, country cooking restaurant for brunch on Sunday morning and then going to a big huge holiday arts and crafts festival/show/thing. Then we’re having another married couple over for dinner Sunday night and one of them is going to start teaching me how to crochet. I’m aware that my plans make me sound like a little old lady but this all sounds so festive and warm and cheery and comfy and just divine to me. I cannot wait!

  41. Me and my awesome team at work have already started Kris Kringle and I proudly present to you our tiny Christmas tree with tissue roll cores as base. (We used the cores of tissue made out of trees to make a tree…?) We’re so not excited for the Holidays LOL I think it’s a beautiful season because almost every human is nice (genuinely or not haha) and the temperature here in the PI is much more cooler than the rest of the year, yep, that simple LOL

    • Praying this will werrrk!
      PS. So far my week was okay, today, aside from having a hard time putting the photo I want in this thread, I will attempt to cook Chopseuy and might watch Big Hero 6 with friends! I will also update my phone’s playlist with Taylor Swift’s 1989 album!

  42. Went up to School of the Art Institute of Chicago last weekend to visit an ex?/good friend/I’m a teenager so what even. It was a real good time and I toured UChicago. I really want to go there. And I got along with friendperson’s new gal pretty damn well ;)

  43. I am underprepared for snow, winter, holidays, etc. Shrink wrapped three windows; three to go. Must dig out woolens from cedar chest, find the dog winter gear, and acquire enough blaze orange for all. ’tis bow season already…

  44. I am so excited about the holidays!!! I get bummed out around this time of year because it starts getting cold and it gets dark so early, but seeing Christmas cards in CVS and Thanksgiving recipes in magazines makes me actually happy about the fact that it’s November. I don’t have a cynical bone in my body, so I get like a little kid during the holidays, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and driving around neighborhoods to see their Christmas lights.

    So it’s good to have something to look forward to, because the highlights of my exciting weekend are going to be getting a flu shot and buying new socks because all of mine have holes in them.

  45. Normally I’m not super excited about the holidays. It usually signifies the time of year that I inevitably hurt one parent or the other by spending one holiday with not-them. This year? Different story. I am leaving to go on a vacation I’ve wanted to go on for about 6 years the day after Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t be more excited. Now if I could just get my dating situation together, that would be great. Oh and by together, I mean actually have one. But meh. Details.

  46. Y’all, I am a holigay lover. Christmas is my jam. However, I have to make three big purchases this December for my girlfriend. Her birthday, our one year anniversary, and Christmas all fall within weeks of each other. We’ve been calling my gift-a-geddon, Chrisbirthversary.

    Fortunately, I know exactly what I’m getting her. I have three presents – all related – picked out. Now, normally I’d gush and tell y’all about it, but I know she’s lurking Autostraddle.

    • so instead you’re just teasing her with the knowledge that you’ve chosen the gifts but it’s a still mystery to her!

      that is beautiful.

    • Giftageddon is the best term ever and I shall be using it for the financial nightmare that is my July. Missus, Mother & Myself, have birthdays within the same week. Then G-Ma and a bunch of folks a week later.
      Love that you have everything picked out and that they’re related, do you think she’ll guess them between the dates/events you gift them?

      • Oi that is a ton of birthdays to celebrate. My sympathies to your wallet, but also many congratulations!

        Now, see, I’m being extra mean and keeping them all until Christmas for her to open. She’ll be wined and dined on her birthday (our anniversary is two days before it) and given a small preliminary gift, but that’s it. In due time, all will be revealed.

  47. I usually hate this time of year…. The weather in New York is super depressing and being around my family always makes me feel awful, but I’m visiting my girlfriend the week before Christmas so this year I’m YAY!

    Plus I’m moving out of the state soon and this is probably the last year I have to deal with family stuff, I can do this.

  48. Happy holigays! ;)
    I moved to the other side of the state and started my very first adult (aka fulltime/school related) job after college. Still adjusting to the new city and move in, but it seems great and there’s so much to explore.
    I looooove winter, the holiday season/spirit, and all the seasonal movies on. Even though I don’t have cable, I still plan on watching Elf multiple times in the next couple of months.
    Also, I started dating again a few weeks ago and ugh, I missed it. Yay dating, yay girls.

  49. I’m so ready for Christmas, my best friend just invited me to an ugly sweater party and I never get to wear this sweater anywhere and I love Christmas and I love her, so really it’s a great thing to look forward to. And I turn 21 in December so it’s an all around good time for me.
    I got my first paycheck today! So I survived the first couple of weeks at my job and it’s going okay and I got a gingerbread latte and I made it so I don’t work til Monday so it’s all good in my hood really.
    I’ve had just really lovely moments with a lot of great people this week, so I’m just in a really good place. I might even get to read and write and bingewatch Shameless.
    I hope you all had a good week and have an even better weekend!

  50. I have actually never spent any holiday with extended family. Growing up, it was just my parents and younger brother. I like it that way though. Quiet, low stress.

    I’m not big on shopping. I will NOT do black Friday. But I do like the festive, cozy, happy atmosphere of the holiday time (and I’m not trying to sound totally cliché). And I love all the lights! I just set up a couple strands of LED lights on my balcony (with the help of my nice mother when she visited), so that my apartment won’t be completely dark when I come home from a 12h shift at work.

    Right now, the one thing on my Christmas wishlist, if I could get anything, is a mattress. I’ve been using a blow up mattress ever since moving into my new apartment. I didn’t think I needed a real bed until I spent the night at a hotel and remembered what a real bed felt like.

    One of my funniest holiday memories was the time when Jesus met Noah’s ark and got rescued by a kayak. We were having one of our annual floods in my small childhood town in western Washington. A river runs through this town and always smells strongly of dead salmon in late autumn. Anyway, it was late November or early December – sometime after Thanksgiving I think because there was a life-size plastic manger scene set up in someone’s yard. Except now, their yard was water, and the entire manger scene floating down 1st Street, which had now become a river. And a group of bystanders watched and cheered as someone on a kayak rescued baby Jesus.

  51. Also! I just rented a snowflake identification book from the library with lots of beautiful photos! I’m ready for the snow! I’ve always been a snow-lover (though preferably when I DON’T have to drive in it…)

  52. Winter holidays getting through them with baking cookies, spicing turkey and the 12 Yats of Christmas.
    Really need to find a way to share “I Got A Used Kazoo For Christmas” with y’all. 
    It is my favorite and you don’t have to be from the 504 to understand the humor. Just in touch with your inner child.

    I miss Halloween all year, but do look forward to glazing gingerbread cookies while singing about a Kazoo that’s kinda smushed but what’s the difference and cannons that can still shoot for real.

  53. Ahhh I just had such a good date! I’very not had even a date in 6 months so… so yum, yay. Also if you live in Pittsburgh and would like to be adopted for the holidays, message me, my family is nice, my mom makes good food and my dad stocks good wine.

  54. I officially became someone’s girlfriend this week and the red cups at Starbucks are back in my life. The stars have aligned my friends. The stars have aligned.

  55. Really hard time of year for me. I moved back to South Carolina from New York in February to help ailing family members. My family is super religious, and I am a gay atheist. This will be the first holiday season I’ve been home in two years, and the idea of spending time with people who have told me I’m an evil sinner for most of my life is…not appealing, to put it nicely. In short, I am the Grinch personified and I cannot wait until this is over.

  56. Oh geez, I was so ready for this post.
    I’ve just had three candy canes and counted that as my breakfast, and my mother’s already contemplating digging up our Elf dvd even though we usually wait until it’s at least Thanksgiving to watch it. This time of year means birthdays for my brother and I, lots of food, gifts, and mild discomfort. My father recently reconnected with his ne

  57. Overall I enjoy the holiday season, it usually means three things: 1) my birthday, which falls ten days before Christmas (and during finals blergh); 2) My college choir’s fantastic Christmas concert which is months of planning and worth every painstaking minute; and 3) going home and warming up the house via baking and cuddling up under blankets with my spoiled cats. This year,the nostalgia and Christmas cheer are extra high mostly because the looming specter of graduating from college seems closer on the other side of the Christmas holidays and I don’t wanna think about it yet.
    Thankfully, I have a lot going on at the moment and I can officially count on my lovely girlfriend to distract me with a Christmas movie marathon. (Continued from a previous comment about my first date in a while; I got a second date, and a third date, and a fourth one and then a geeky Halloween party happened and now she is my girlfriend!)

  58. Oh goodness. I love me some holidays. (Although I haven’t had a peppermint mocha yet, I’ve put peppermint in my iced coffee instead of vanilla or hazelnut and OMG it’s too good. Must-try if you haven’t already.)

    Anyway, holidays have been kinda awkward with my family since my parents got divorced and my dad got re-married, but my siblings and I still make an effort to see everyone. I don’t know how many I’ll be able to spend with them this year (if any at all) because I’m moving back to my college town in a couple of weeks (any fellow Badgers/Madisonians out there?). And since I’m starting my new job during Thanksgiving week, I’ll probably have to work at least one of the holidays because I’ll be the new queer in town.

    Although that would kinda suck, I think I would be okay with that. Because, for one thing, as soon as I get settled in to my new place, I’ll probably definitely be playing Christmas music practically 24/7 because idk it just makes me smile. And I’ll have a set schedule so I’ll be better able to plan trips home so that will help too. :)

    Now I want Christmas cookies.

  59. I’m mostly just REALLY excited for dat pine tree smell to take over the house. If there’s one thing I love about Christmas (outside of bundles of cash I’ll frivolously spend on unnecessary geeky doodads) it’s the smell of pine.

    Then comes mid-January and I have to help take the tree out, which isn’t very fun when geckos decide to live in there. :(

  60. Yesterday I watched my first hallmark channel christmas movie and I watch a LOT of hallmark christmas movies, but that one was THE WORST i have ever seen. So bad, it was good…also, i discovered the thrift store near my job sells christmas decorations soooooooooo that’s where my paycheck’s going.

    it’s the most wonderful time of the yeaaaaaaaaaaaar

  61. I’ve been bingeing on gilmore girls which is great except I am so tired of all the lesbian jokes. and now this episode I’m watching is making midwives look dumb too and I am very grumpy about it.

    ALSO, I want to throttle all of them for yelling at each other after not communicating about really stupid shit.


    thank you, autostraddle, for the gilmore girls venting space.

  62. I am trying my best to do NaNoWriMo, and it is KILLING ME. I am so stressed out, which I feel like is not what I’m supposed to be feeling right now, so that’s great. But also it’s pretty fun when I’m not stressed out. I just keep getting distracted by Skyrim and friends and needing to also go on my walks and apply for jobs and ahhhhh… I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed at the moment.

  63. I was told by my friend, “Ah, I see your blog has evolved from ‘I’m going to shove a whole christmas tree up my butt’ to ‘I’m going to shove a whole christmas tree up YOUR butt’.” and I think that’s an accurate descriptor of how I’ve spent the last few weeks getting ready.

    The Holigays are always draining, but always totally worth it. I also spend a lot of time decorating, and in a few weeks I’m going to go get my tree. Can’t wait!

  64. When it ticked to 12:00AM on November 1st, the instant transformation in stores and on tv to all of the Christmas merchandise began. Every time I see a goddamn Christmas Target commercial I groan audibly by myself on my couch. Every time I walk past the holiday aisle at Stop and Shop I roll my eyes and blitz past it because I’m never ready.

    The “holiday season” is just way too stressful for my taste. The whole gift giving process is a complete and utter mind fuck. How am I supposed to know what you want?! Write me a list? Oh, a list doesn’t show that I care…fuck, neither does a gift card to Kohls, Gamespot or the Olive Garden. Why do we bother strapping our bank accounts for 3 months to buy each other crap we’re too cheap to buy ourselves the rest of the year?

    Good thing it’s normal to drink to excess during the entire holiday season. Cheers, good luck, and try not to get trampled in any ridiculous Black Friday sale lines.

    • I’m not quite the bad ass you are about the holidays…BUT I agree about those stupid Target commercials…hate them! I expect if we play them backwards, they’ll say, “Max out your credit cards and All hail Satan”. Marshmallow World, My Ass. Happy holidays to you…for real ;)

  65. In true Australian style, the start of November is the time where my hay fever goes ape shit and the weather stops gradually getting warmer and just gets HOT. And not nice and warm kind of hot, just hot. It’s currently 32°C (just under 90 Fahrenheit) and it’s only going to get warmer. You know that feeling when you open an oven to pull out whatever’s been baking? That’s the best way to describe the wave of dry heat that hits when you walk out the door in summer here. Gross.

    In other news, I spent most of this week inside (I’ve been sick, I have an excuse), and made this dress! If the coding doesn’t work because I am pretty terrible at it, you can also find a picture on my tumblr here.

    (prays that works okay because I’m super proud of this)

    Re: Christmas, I’m less keen for Christmas itself and more keen for finishing school. I have two more weeks of compulsory education EVER and then I’m done. (And I mean, Uni next year but that’s not the point.) So I have lots of parties and ceremonies and formal (kinda like Australian prom I guess) things coming up and that’s all super exciting! Between now and then though I have to write an essay and sit a couple exams. :(

    Keen keen keen!

  66. Usually with Christmas I am absolutely on board like

    but for this week, this start of the Christmas season (which is November 1st shoosh don’t pretend otherwise) I am just… mentally checked out.

    I had a really bad depressive episode yesterday and that’s not exactly good to share, but it’s what happened. My room-mate is moving out so she’s disconnected the internet, and now I can’t watch Game Grumps as a stress release and so I’ve been having trouble sleeping too (I got to sleep last night by playing an episode I recorded to make ring-tones from on repeat all night… Yeah)
    Also since I had my episode yesterday I left my phone on a bench in the rain – and someone took it. So now I’ve got a cheap nokia brick until I figure something else out.
    Did I mention I wrote a 3000 word essay the other day, referenced it as I went, and saved constantly, but due to a technical snafu the entire thing’s gone? Because that happened too.

    Today I messaged my ex and asked if we could talk because I still want closure and they might not respond, or they might, I don’t know. I don’t know anything. It feels like everything in my head exploded yesterday and I’m still trying to comprehend the debris.

    I know I’ll get through this, I always do, but y’know… some times are harder than others.

  67. I have a love-mostly-hate relationship with the holigays. Because:

    – I cannot handle the cold, like, at all. My family-in-law invited me to their Christmas and even if i could afford a ticket to Norway I would not survive their winter. I can barely survive texas winter.
    – lack of sunlight really gets to me in the winter. I totally get the SADs.
    – socially obligated to spend time with my terrible, no good, rotten family, and i can’t even drink for fear of saying something ‘political’ and having them jump down my throat.
    – most of my social life revolves around cycling, which drops off in winter because it’s balls cold.
    -awkward work party because coworkers are terrible and I can’t drink there either!

    – family has new kitten! Unfortunately, family is trying to name new cat something lame! at least they aren’t trying to name it edward cullen or dubya! (no I am not joking even a little bit- that’s what their previous 2 cats were called)
    – friendmas! friendsgiving! Holiday first fridays! holiday celebrations with chosen family! Seeing my brother again in non-minecraft related spaces!
    – gingerbread! peppermint! PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING. every year I buy a bunch of pie pumpkins, cook them down, and freeze their succulent flesh for fall baking. so far I have make a ridiculous amount of syrup for lattes, some really delicious pumpkin biscotti with butterscotch and candied ginger, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin-maple-chai-buttermilk rolls. I also make the pumpkin pies for both the friendsgiving and thanksgiving celebrations I attend.

  68. I have very mixed feelings about the holigay season. This will be the first time in nine years that I won’t be working retail. I have leftover hatred for the whole season, but I’m so so relieved that I won’t have to do that again. I’m also super stressed out because I gave up my retail job for a job in my field, but my current contract ends this week and I don’t know yet if it will be renewed. Blarg.

    I’m determined that this will be my first true holigay, in that I intend to finish coming out to friends and family. I’ve been coming out for the past year and a bit, but I’ve been too chicken to come out to my family and some of my oldest friends, so I’m in a weird in between stage and it suuuucks.

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