FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Tell Us About Your Holiday Survival Prep

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Hi, pumpkin-spiced eggnog pies! It’s time for the Friday Open Thread. A time for misandry. A time for GIFs. A time for telling me all about your week / activity partners / pets / plants / dinner / holiday plans through misandrist GIFs (and also words and photos and YouTube links aplenty).

I am spending a last weekend (for 2014) visiting my girlfriend in LA before flying home to Montreal for a few days before heading to Toronto for family and then maybe Hamilton for friends and then back to Toronto for the winter holidays.

As a result I have the biggest hangover, not from drinking but from working super hard to finish all the things I need to finish before the possibility that I will need to talk to more than one other human or be on a plane without wifi or “relax” comes up. (Also from sleep deprivation and an ongoing series of stress headaches.) I have not finished yet but I will, dammit, so when I am reading and ignoring friends and loved ones it will be for fun instead of work.

I know it's only this pretty because of the pollution, but I'm fine with that.

I know it’s only this pretty because of the pollution, but I’m fine with that.

Anyway I wanna hear all about what you’re doing to prep for the holidays! Did you get a hair cut (and can I see it)? Do you decorate or emphatically not decorate or seal your windows with saran wrap against the cold? Do you do an enormous grocery shop of non-perishables so you don’t have to leave the house again until March? Have you been avoiding the world by watching Gilmore Girls? Have you left the house this month? Is it nice out there?

I also want to hear your feelings about winter or working too hard or travel or fighting valiantly for armrests or embracing/avoiding family or seasonal beverages and desserts or anything else! Let’s hang out.

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

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  1. New plan:

    Hide behind equal parts defensiveness, sarcasm, and snark.

    This plan may also include changing the subject, especially if my judgemental but well-meaning relatives comment on how much weight I have gained since last year.


  2. My prep work for the holidays consists of getting through finals and performances before I get off school and can finally relax. I have three finals in a row Monday morning and then in the afternoon I’m doing a show for the other upperclassmen. My director says we’re going to look like asses onstage because we’re not prepared. I’m losing my voice. It’s great.

    I did go swing dancing last night though and there was a disproportionate amount of Christmas music. My parents didn’t realize it was just me and my girl person going, but technically we’re not dating so they didn’t ask questions. Girl Person and I still need to have that conversation. We had a good conversation about barriers/kissing/things last night, which I was happy about. But we still need to have the what-even-is-this conversation(s). So many conversations. Also gifts! So many gifts to make. I like to illustrate quotes for people and do those as gifts, so if anyone has any quotes they think would be good for that, I’d love to read them. That’s how I’m prepping for the holidays. Girls and quoting things and tea to ward off the stress.

  3. Good luck with your work hangover! I recommend hot ginger tea with a bourbon infusion (infusion meaning at least two thirds of the mug). Perfect stress reliever.

    I am supposed to be cleaning out my room at my dad’s house, which I haven’t entered in about five years, but have accomplished very little cleaning because I found my old gameboy and have been sitting on a pile of old yearbooks playing Harvest Moon for about three hours. I’ve been ignoring my crops and chickens and instead hitting on this boi from the village and giving hir fish. It is highly suggestive and totally perfect and I feel like my adult card is going to be revoked.

    • I am actually drinking ginger tea RIGHT NOW. But with lemon zest instead of bourbon. At least for the rest of the morning.

    • That sounds delicious! I have a work hangover combined with a regular hangover right now so I’m definitely going to be trying this recipe in a few minutes.

    • Y’all there has been a terrible tragedy. My chickens, Tegan and Sara, died in a storm because I was so busy flirting that I forgot to bring them inside.

      • My condolences! That’s as sad as the time that my friend’s goat, Dolly Parton, perished unceremoniously. I just about had a heart attack when she came into work and said “Dolly Parton DIED.” Took me a bit to figure out she meant the goat…

        • That’s so sad though! RIP Dolly P. My chickens were just tiny images on a screen and it still stung! I got a new one though and named him Albus (HARRY POTTER SPOILER ALERT), I feel like it won’t hurt so much if he dies because I already went through that pain in book 6.

          • Aww hahaha, somehow I completely missed that these were virtual chickens! That explains why you seemed to exhibit so much emotional fortitude at their untimely passing! THIS CHANGES NOTHING; I STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH YOUR VIRTUAL LIVESTOCK. Good call on Albus, though.

    • I read your original post a while ago, and I’ve just been reading the comments and I was SO CONFUSED at your CALLOUS DISREGARD FOR YOUR CHICKENS but then I finally noticed it was Harvest Moon. I see yes this makes more sense now.

  4. Happy Holidays, whenever those will be happening for you!
    I will be working straight through Christmas and the holidays.I’m really trying to put time away for cookie baking, but no such luck.
    Tonight though, I’m going to a friend’s thirtieth Birthday party and will get her gift from a liquor store on the way there and go in and work the early shift tomorrow after what will be two hours of sleep. Classic..
    So a big yay for coffee is what I’m saying.
    A big yay for Christmas chocolates and baked goods and for the organic food delivery service, which nicely dropped off a week’s worth of groceries in front of my door by the time I got home today.Very recommended.
    And last but not least, in all of the chaos, I still manage to go to my twice weekly arabic classes.Learning another language, one that’s so different and breathy is just so much fun and we’re finally done with the alphabet. Half of which I can’t pronounce. But, oh well, I’m doing this just for me and that’s probably the best part about it!
    Have a good time everyone and remember to take a five minute time out to enjoy the egg nog once in a while!

    • This reminds me of, “Eat, Pray, Love,” and I love that! Yay indeed for any grocery drop-off service, it has it’s own special magic. :) It’s like Santa for adults.

  5. I am going home for Christmas in a bit more than a week. I am looking forward to being in my hometown and country again as well as seeing all my friends there. Not so much anticipating the family time though. Luckily I have managed to convinced my best friend to let me stay in her flat while she is away for the holiday so that I don’t have to stay with my parents. This makes my pre-Christmas stress levels drop considerably as my parental units are a lot more manageable in little blocks of time.

  6. My holiday will also include a trip to New York (including Christmas Eve, per usual) and seeing Cabaret. It will no doubt involve much fangirling over Alan Cumming and Emma Stone and -when I get to my grandmother’s – too much champagne and truffles.

  7. my approach to holidays the last few years has been to generally avoid them. i liked the holidays as a kid, and even enjoyed going home and seeing old friends when i was in college. but since college, home started feeling less like home, my friends stopped going home, or when they did they came with husbands and wives, and i was showing up at church on christmas eve feeling like i stuck out like a big gay thumb.
    so, since flying from nyc to anywhere over the holidays is terrible, i just started not going home.
    and now i’m about to fly away from this country for 6 months, having not been to see my parents or the place i grew up in 1 year and 2.5 years, respectively.
    which feels strange.
    and this week one of my parents’ dogs died, and i hadn’t seen her in over a year. and i hope my parents’ other dog stays alive and healthy til i can see her again.

    this is kayla.

    • Wow, that’s quite an emotional toll. Presumably there are more complex reasons than being a big gay thumb at church, or you just wouldn’t attend that service. I hope your trip offers some revelations, it sounds like that’s what you’re looking for. Positive vibes for you!

  8. I am not completely out to my family- everyone except for my grandparents. Also, I don’t get along very well with the majority of my family. I’ll show up, smile, avoid conversation directed toward a “nice boy” and continue to draw attention to my brother to keep it off of me. He, in turn, will try to do the same to me. It’s a yearly ritual really. Eventually, they’ll look away and we’ll both make our escape. We’ve become quite good at it. I’ve made most everyone’s presents except for my kids, and I won’t be able to buy those until the weekend before. On that note, the girlfriend and I are going to Nashville for the weekend before so I’m excited about that! No haircut though…I cut all mine off and I’ve been studiously trying to grow it back since. Apparently, short hair isn’t for me.

    • I’m also out to everyone except my grandparents! Well, I’m out to my mom’s dad but not my dad’s. GOOD LUCK. I recommend drinking.

      • Drinking, yes always. I’ve been out for a very long time, it’s just something I’ve accepted that it would emotionally really hurt my really old grandparents. So, they don’t know and no one’s telling them. I’m okay with that. :D

    • Good luck! My grandparents rule that gets me through family gatherings is that it’s okay to love them but at the same time totally hate what they believe in/ stand for/ knit for you. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad grandchild or that they’re (necessarily) a bad grandparent.

      • That sounds like a pretty descent rule! I do love my grandmothers knitting though. (Looks down at comfortable warm feet in knitted socks :) )

      • That’s basically the rule I’ve followed. We’re never gonna see quite eye to eye on anything and that’s okay :D. It is fun though, watching the looks I get when they ask me about new boys and the like. Sometimes I think that’s the only reason my brother even shows up, to watch me dance around difficult subjects.

      • I do that too! Also some topic are safe topics and some topics are “smile and nod and change the subject asap” topics and that is just fine.

        • It’s a good rule to have! I’m more than willing to debate topics or have arguments in normal, calm voices but if I don’t think that is a possibility; I’ll usually just walk away.

  9. Well I’m preparing by working too much as I am a retail shop owner(actually business partners with my father) so I am pretty much stuck working until Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, where I work(downtown LA) the neighborhood has been a bit quiet so I pass time window shopping on amazon, and reading autostraddle.

    Oh! and tickets for Sleater Kinney’s LA show in Hollywood went on sale today. For a moment their site gave me some technical difficulty errors the moment they went on sale, but then like 3 minutes later it was working and now going to the show. Anyone else in the SoCal area going?

    • I’m not anywhere near SoCal but I just had to share in the Sleater-Kinney excitement!!! I bought tickets to the Nashville show literally the minute they went on sale, it took a while to load for me too. I’m just so happy they’re a) reunited and going on tour at all, and b) actually coming to a city near me.

      • I know I was like they announced a tour but no dates in LA, seriously. But, then this week I saw they have LA tickets on sale I did quick happy dance. Same with this morning when I bought the tickets. I may try to take my good camera in and take a picture or two and maybe wait to meet them after the show.

    • Hmmm…. I may be remembering wrong, but if you were hoping to disappear, I’m glad you’re parked in front of a window, in plain sight.

        • Yes, agreed. Realizing that you’re partnered in business with your father also offers a lot of insight into those challenges. Holy Toledo. Kudos for keeping all your nerves in one bundle, you sound like you’re keeping your head above water.

          • Thank you. It’s a but hard, but I am trying and he acts like I don’t get it when I teach him stuff I read here.

  10. I aced the final I’ve already taken but I still have two big essays and one test for which I must outline 11 philosophy essays so when I take the (thankfully open-note) two-hour final I will be prepared to write the 3 essays appearing on the test. Three essays in two hours! Ridiculous! This is how I feel about them:

    I have not yet caved to the seduction of TV as an escape but I have been curling up with my girlfriend in her room and hiding from the world with her. Also, I have a girlfriend! And she’s amazing! And she’s coming on vacation with my family and I after the holidays because our school break doesn’t end until late January! What!!!

    So, I’m going to get through finals because life will be great after them. Luckily I’m out to my whole family and they’re all completely okay with it.

  11. I am heading to my parent’s house in ten days to share a room with a couple of young children and a house with fourteen other humans. (Parents, siblings, and their partners, plus some dogs a cat.) I haven’t been back in my hometown for over six months so I’m pretty excited. I’m looking forward to seeing my brothers and sisters…but I’m also looking forward to how much cheaper it is there.

    I’ll miss my girlfriend. She’s heading to Texas to see her folks. (Also, first time I was ever invited to a significant other’s family Christmas!! I couldn’t go for several reasons but I was incredibly touched!) I’ll also miss my second favorite cuddle buddy, Boo.

    I am hoping to finish Gilmore Girls before I leave. I’m halfway through Season 6! Why I never watched it before, I’ll never know.

  12. Ah, the holidays!!
    I work in retail. Half the people I meet are irritatingly cheerful…… and half are clinically depressed…. and the other half are us in retail who are quickly morphing into grinches!

    Killian’s Red Ale! Please Santa!

    • Good luck not yelling at anyone/throwing shit at people/going full on psycho and just punching someone in the face.

      • You are a Sweetie!! Jane , but. I need Maryanna! I don’t know why….. just that she is the one for me… for the girl/woman inside me….:: no matter what she imagines about me. Her anxieties…. or doubts….. or fears of a translesbian who sees her as the tender, impressionable loveable girl in Fairhill School , with straight hair and a Mona lLisa smile that melts Sarah ‘s heart..’My girl heart melts for you , Maryanna……no tricks… just love…don’t be afraid….my love is girl to girl to girl despite what I look like. Pleasej be brave and trust my girl love for you. I need the woman’ that YOU Are!’

        Let me prove that I am a girl…and that I love the unique woman in the world who is Maryanna Sobstad , the only woman that Sarah wants as her girl love! Just you Maryanna.

  13. So on tuesday I had a final for this art history class I’ve been taking, and I totally owned face on the actual final. Like, I got 2 questions wrong out of 80. YES. WOO! Soooo then I go to turn in the final project that I’ve been working on for a week, aaaaaand it turns out the project I’d been working on was a smaller, secondary project and the actual final project was discussed on a day I was out, and I never checked the syllabus because I’m dumb, and so I get to take that class over I guess :/

    garden roses even make failing a class you were good at better

    Also earlier this week I did flowers for a tiny tiny wedding! It was super low budget but I made the flowers really pretty and still managed to pay myself a reasonable amount, which is something I’ve been working on and thus I feel really good about the whole thing.

    I legit love carnations I don’t even care if they’re grocery store flowers I will FIGHT YOU

    Ever wondered what my workspace looks like? This is how/where I make bridal bouquets! In the garage, with a mirror. Some day I will have a real studio, and that is when I will know that I’ve made it.

    I feel like Girlfriend Holly has been extra cute this week! Just super sweet ’cause she knows I’ve been stressed about stuff, I think. Lately we’ve been doing a lot of massages (coconut oil is the greatest for everything. EVERYTHING) and also eating a lot of honey walnut shrimp, which is fantastic but kinda expensive and maybe sort of bad for us? OH WELL. It’s amazing. I am making her a really bitchin’ christmas present, which I would love to tell you all about but she reads this SO HI HONEY

    I forgot to post these tulips last week!

    The weather has been absolutely magical here for the past few days, and last night there was such a downpour that it woke me up! It’s so great!! Ahhhhh I love love love stormy rainy weather, and in southern california we seriously do not get enough of it.


    This has, of course, been perfect crafting weather, so I’ve been prepping for other presents, too! I’ve made a bunch of cute tags for the flavored salt I’m going to be making, and I’ve been getting packages together for my far-away friends, which leads me to….

    I want to send you stuff!
    This goes for ANY of you guys—I don’t care if we talk or not or whatever. It will probably just be a little drawing or some homemade garland and maybe something random I found at the japanese market for a dollar, but it will be just for youuuu!

    this is my desk right now

    So, PM me your address and name (if you don’t want to tell me your rl first name, I’ll just address it to your username!) and I will put it on an envelope! And put something in that envelope! And mail it to you! It will probably have a couple of cool stamps on it! Seriously don’t be shy, I am in snail mail heaven right now.

    And tonight I have a job doing a holiday party for a bunch of lawyers, so mostly I’ve been doing that. My mum’s out of town, so I’m completely on my own! The flowers look AMAZING and I’m crossing my fingers that everything goes okayyy!

    possibly the best flower arrangement I have ever done, no lie. What is it called when you have both impostor syndrome and also the opposite of impostor syndrome?

    Hope you guys have been staying warm! <3 <3 <3

    • My Mum had carnations at her wedding :) They therefore hold much significance in her house. Hooray for your budget wedding goodness. Also not sure if Yay for resitting a class because you enjoyed it or boo because you have to resit. We don’t have resit options on my MA, if I fail the module i just handed in I’m scuppered…sooo yeah. *gulp*
      Beautiful pics as ever. Happy crafting.

      • 1) yay carnations! That is such a happy thing to be reminded of :)

        2) booo resitting, which is a great word that I did not know, but definitely enjoy!

        3) GOOD LUCK YOU CAN DO IT <3 <3 <3

        4) send me your address and I will send you shitty american tea packets

        • “Re-sits” must be a Britisher term. I guess it’s a colloquialism from sitting exams. So many words so many differences, like biscuits. Will send address I could do the reverse and send you Britisher tea if you like :)

    • I can not do anything with flowers. I have tried and tried and just can’t- not to my standards anyway. And I’m one of those people that can craft with just about anything…yet…never the flowers. They look beautiful! What does a real studio consist with with that? Oh and snail mail? I’ve got an addiction to it, so I’m totally doing that- I’ll send you something back!

      • Thank you!! :)

        One flower thing that’s super super easy if you ever want to try: the hydrangea poof. Literally take three hydrangea, pull most of the leaves off until you just have the ones right up under the flowers. Then, hold them together by the stems. Put a rubberband around them, and push it right up under the flowers, just underneath the last leaves/where the flowers branch off from the main stem. Then cut the stems shortish and put them in a cup so that the flowers rest on the edges of your container! SO EAAAASY and surprisingly elegant looking!

    • Really depends how frequently you have it, and if it’s fried or not. Cause the honey is high in extra sugar, shrimp is up there in terms of increasing fat and cholesterol among the sea foods, and walnut while great for you in large-ish doses, along with shrimp can lead to some form of steatorrhea. That last one can occur if you had say the shrimp and walnut 3 times in a week and then also had other sea food, nuts or legumes also in the same few days. I had a time frame where for 3-4 days last month I was eating peanuts, walnuts, and cashew trail mix, where I had steatorrhea occur.

    • That is a stunning storm photo. I love storms too. Last night was windy and it was so cool listening to it while lying in bed, although I was a little worried the power might go out (it didn’t). Come visit us in Washington if you want more rain!

      And thank you for the weekly dose of floral bliss! Once again, your photos made me nostalgic for spring. I especially love the tulips.

      On a different note, I just got a book of 100-healthiest foods, and honey, walnuts, AND shrimp were all in there. So I would argue that honey walnut shrimp is an excellent health food. :)

      • Heaven heaven rainy heaven! I miss the storms in Michigan–big crashing things. I keep hearing that I would love Washington’s weather!

        flowers 4 life

        I like your honey walnut shrimp assessment :)

    • So I live in Ottawa, and I think my version of valley bo(i?) accent is way different from yours, but duuuuuuuuuude that is way harsh about your class. Like, fucked with a bristle brush kind of harsh. Youch. How are you taking the news?

      Your flowers are always gorgeous. I love the carnation arrangement more than the fancy one. :). And they are so lucky they got someone with a love of people and flowers to stretch their budget.

      • I realized a while ago that I say “dude” “rad” “like” and “bitchin” both often and unironically. hahaha?

        I’m taking it okay–luckily it was a community college class so not too expensive, and I’ve been busy busy ever since so everything will be okayyyy
        I have a great capacity to force myself to be okay with things, sometimes. This is one of those things. Be cool, be cool! I totally cried and freaked out when it happened though. Alas.

        The arrangement in the mirror with the white/yellow flowers? those are peonies, too! I love them and NO ONE SHALL ESCAPE THE PEONIES! Also those particular peonies where suuuper cheap because they were perfectly bloomed and thus not going to last long, but they lasted through the wedding and they were beautiful! Yayyy

        Also, I totally ship to canada! Send me your addresssss :)

    • I can never get over your flower posts, please never stop!

      I’m sorry you failed that class. Ughh, I am pretty sure I would cry out of frustration. I hope it doesn’t put too large of a dent into your holigay spirit.

      Also, I shall totally send you my address. I promise to send you something back, as well. Snail mail is fun!

    • Yay for the class you rocked! I’m sorry about the one you didn’t do so hot in.

      Your statement about significant others and coconut oil may have revitalized my desire to find a partner.

      Your floral arranging and photography skills are incredible!

  14. I don’t have much to contribute to surviving the holidays bc mine are usually actually always fun.

    But today I’m trying to survive by not watching the clock very much bc I feel like crap but I’m stuck at work til 7:30 bc we have a one-day sale but I’m worried I’m just going to pass out and/or throw up on a customer?

    And there’s free food for lunch at work that normally would look delicious to me but the smell of it is just making things worse. :(

    • I seriously hope things got better fast. Oy vey.

      Also, it is lovely news that you enjoy the holidays, and good news is always a good contribution!

    • Thank you guys!

      I am feeling lots better today. :) Which is good, since I’ve been at work since early this morning. :P

  15. Christmas is going to be a little crazy for us this year because we have to get to both of our family’s houses and still have time together. But we have a plan and we are sticking to it.
    We decorated our house on Saturday, so we have lights strong across our living room and a tiny tree. We found teeny tiny little lights to go on it and they are the cutest.

    We also made a ginger bread house, which was really fun, but a little stressful because I want it to look perfect and have no artistic abilities.

    • Ooh! The tree is pretty! I tried to make a gingerbread house from scratch once and failed epically. It got all puffy and I cut some of the pieces wrong….Now, I buy one of the tiny kits from walmart every year. But one day….I’m gonna win the gingerbread battle. It will happen, I’m just biding my time.

    • That is the cutest tree I’ve ever seen! We tried to decorate a smallish plant in our office yesterday in lieu of an actual tree, but it did not turn out nearly as cute as this.

      • My girlfriend is utterly obsessed with tiny, cute things, so she really put her all into decorating.

  16. I actually did get a haircut, because I only see my girlfriend in person a couple of times a year and I don’t want to go to the US sporting the uncontrollable mullet-in-progress my hair becomes after a couple of months. Now my head is cold!

    I’ve been looking forward to my Christmas trip for months now, but I still have to try not to be nervous about flying to the Midwest. Last time I flew to Ohio there were storms in Philly, my flight was mysteriously cancelled and I ended up having multiple delays and a surprise detour through Chicago, then finally arrived without my suitcase – and that was in the summer. I’m a little apprehensive, but mostly excited about going over there anyway.

  17. I have a 4-day weekend for Christmas. I might drive and visit my sister and her family; that’s usually the only family I visit for holidays or at all, really (my relationship with my mother is contentious at best, and she’s traveling with her newest boyfriend anyway). I don’t really do much for Christmas I guess. It’s just not always the “most wonderful time of the year” for me, lol. Well, I’ll definitely sleep a lot, I know that for sure.

  18. I typed up this whole big comment but then lost it so. here. have a creepy Santa. maybe I’ll type some more words later.

    or, okay, I do want to brag about this at least: I’m mostly finished with my Christmas shopping! I’m usually one of those people panicking about what to buy for my sisters on Christmas Eve or something, so I’m feeling pretty high on my accomplishments this year.

  19. I am in post finals not getting out of bed or pajamas mode. Yesterday I took myself on a date to see Rosewater, get a pizza, and walk around the shops downtown. I had to get out of the house, because I’ve been alone too much lately. Both my roommates recently got into relationships so they’ve been ignoring me and treating me differently. They seem to now have a connection between them that they won’t let me in on, like jokes and ending conversations once I try to join. Its been really hard to deal with this. During finals I was trying to not let it get to me because I had too much to get done. But now that they are over, I have all the time in the world to be a puddle of tears. This whole thing is making me wonder why people never want to hang out with me. Thankfully I have wonderful other friends that text me to check in, and one friend who lives here that let me come over and chill with them last night.

  20. oh, holidays.

    I’ve actually been reading a ton of books about family dynamics because of my job, and I’ve had time & space to process how I feel about all kinds of family stuff, so I’m feeling a little bit more prepared. Also, if any of y’all have any kind of ambivalent estrangement, ie you are considering maybe talking to the person you’re estranged from sometime, a good book to look at is “I Though We’d Never Speak Again” by Laura Davis. She’s a lovely queerdo who wrote the courage to heal, and her background is in childhood sexual abuse but she’s smart in lots of different ways.

    Otherwise, I’m pretty good! I’ve been picking up shifts at the ice cream shop, which means I have been bringing home peppermint mocha ice cream, and have a second job interview next week for this fancy hospital job, and things keep showing up in the mail that I forgot I purchased, and I LOVE getting things in the mail.

  21. My holiday season will be spend dog/house sitting while my parents are on some tropical island in the middle of the ocean followed by renovating my bathroom by hand. Nothing too exciting for me.

    • We are fixing our kitchen over the holiday- replacing some cabinets that have water damage, tearing down part of a wall, fixing the floor and putting down new flooring, etc. Over Thanksgiving we put a new floor in the dining room and over Labor Day it was the bathroom floor. I have an in home business so the projects have to get finished. Thankfully my family will be helping. So good luck with your bathroom renovation Ashley!

      • Wow that is a lot of work! I was supose to start it back in August but something came up and we have just been pushing if off. This year u was able to take holidays at Christmas so we are going to finally get it done. Good luck with the kitchen renos this.

  22. Hello snowflakes! =) How was everyone’s week? We’re getting slammed with rain here in SoCal. There were so many flash flood warnings that woke me up last night. It looks like it has stopped for now. There’s supposed to be snow in the mountains and that means when it melts, it’ll feed the waterfalls I hike to. Speaking of hiking, my co worker and I went to the sign yesterday. It was gloomy cold weather which meant no semi permanent sun tan. I was a few streets away from Universal Studios so I went because I had my annual pass. That was fun, I met Optimus Prime and both yellow and purple minions. Then Frankenstein snuck up on me while eating which was funny.

    Look at where we hiked yesterday!!

    This is my metal earth I was able to make a few days ago. It’s a Klingon Vor’cha class I’m told. Sorry guys, I really do not know anything about Star Trek.

    This is the cat. He was guarding my wife’s uniform so she wouldn’t go to work.

    But then this happened.


    and my snowflake!!! I maked this you guys. I maked it <3

  23. Guess what? I found a unicorn on the street this week!!

    So I decided the only thing that would be better would be to turn it into a diversicorn for my wife for the holidays!

    I was considering adding wings, what do you think? Wings or no wings???

    Other than that my preparations for the holidays mostly involve yummy quinoa waffles…mmmmm

    To those in the northern hemisphere, may your winter be full of hope, healing and confidences shared in the dark. To those in the southern half of this beautiful blue sphere, may your summer be merry and bright!

  24. Today I got the turkey and the gammon so I am 20% ready for C-day. Woefully under prepared and I have one day off between now and the 23rd. Argh. From the 25th-28th we are on a marathon of family time/driving round the north of England visiting inlaws and outlaws. Much stress. Hopefully newly reformed homophobe G-ma will be well behaved. She’s angry at her own kids husbands so my lady gets a pass at the moment.
    Holiday haircut day is on weds and I’m hoping to get my old LP esque hair back. All the curls. We’ll see how that goes.
    Missus and I have both contracted the same head cold for the first time ever which is making our house a jolly winter place…such vast heaps of used tissue and empty pill packets have never been seen. Hot toddies and spiked tea are the name of the game. Spiced rum seems to cut through the greb.
    I have crafted one thing so far which can be found on my instagram along with pictures of my dog and because I still suck at technology outside of work. I’m just going to say my instagram username is in my profile if you wanna look. Which is totally bad form and useless of me and I’m so so so sorry, but I swear I will get on a computer and sort imgur next Friday!
    Right Mary Berry is teaching us how to make a chocolate log on BBC2 so I’m out. :)

  25. I’m getting my haircut on the 21st, the day before I fly to Seattle for my first christmas with my partner. I’m looking forward to being by the seaside, London is more busy and stressful as an adult than I ever could have imagined as a child who sort-of-grew up here. I want to get an elfin haircut, not that my face is particularly elfin.

    Last year I decorated my tiny £10 tree with baubles of all my favourite theorists (I’m doing a critical theory/art history degree, I was trying to embrace it) Edward Said, Hito Seteryl, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Judith Butler, Roland Barthes, bell hooks etc. This year we’ve just got baubles, it’s nicer. I get to stop thinking about all the work I should be doing.

    This week I read a book that wasn’t something to do with my course. It was about trains in Italy. Funny how you can pick something about a country or a culture, the way meals are made and eaten, the way holidays are celebrated, the way the lemons and limes are harvested or the way the trains were built and extrapolate that a history of a place. It’s a good book. It’s good for me. I’ll write about it on the blog soon, but not before I enjoy it.

    It’s freezing in the house. The curtains are effectively draught excluders, which is a shame because I do miss those little sausage dogs that my granny used to lay across the front door. I am lucky, though, to feel the wind on my ankles. My friend wrote ‘The world has roofs and central heating and if you’re very lucky, Passive Haus standards that enable you to never, ever feel a breeze on your ankle, never cold feet. You don’t have the smell of a wood fire or the pop-snap of it or the pang of guilt for the doomed woodlouse.’

    I’ve done a couple of things I’m proud of this week. I received an essay back and got a 1st. I don’t know what this translates as in the US, but I’m proud. It’s good. I also filled in a self-referral for my community mental health team. I have been postponing this for sixth months. Well, I have been postponing it for years — the confronting myself bit, that is. I hope 2015 is better.

        • I don’t think this image upload worked. Y’all I am not the one with the images and the coding images into comments. IT IS LITERALLY UP THERE and I still can’t I AM TURNING INTO MY FATHER. This is a disaster.

  26. I totally actually did get my hair cut this morning. \o/ No pics yet, because on Sunday I’m re-doing my color in black and turquoise. Right now it’s faded into a mishmash of blue-green colors. My stylist told me today, “your hair reminds me of a mermaid” which is basically the best compliment I’ve ever received about it. So yeah.

  27. I am slowly making my way through my check list of 1,000 things to do before vacation!!! Each check mark is a burden off my soul!

    emailed my six (SIX!) supervisors about my time off
    finished my Physics extra credit work
    archived all my Calculus I notes for reference when I start Calculus II
    finished all of my backlogged Matlab homework
    culled a bunch of trash in my apartment

    Plus I’ve been eating super healthy and getting lots of sleep!

    Next Thursday morning I can officially start vacation mode. Which means I’ll be getting a jump start on my Spring semester reading. But only after I drink all the eggnog and all the bourbon.

    • That sounds all very impressive!
      If you have tips for this slightly overwhelmed master student how you manage to be so awesomely productive and organized in the weeks before the holiday it would be greatly appreciated ;)

      • Unfortunately the answer involves having absolutely no life outside of school work…

        Also my partner gave me their old iphone recently and I have been using two amazing apps:

        HabitRPG (this is probably the nerdiest thing I have ever admitted to anyone) – it turns your to-do list into a game and you get points for doing stuff etc

        Optimism – allows you to track your mental health. Just being able to identify triggers and symptoms and strategies to treat them has made me feel more in control of my life. For instance avoidance is a big stress symptom for me (like not going to class, feeling hopeless, not talking to professors about things I don’t understand, giving up on assignments that make me feel stupid). The app kind of gives you confidence that you can get through those feelings.

        Good luck with your semester!

  28. I turn 21 in a week! So, I think I’m more focused on that than Christmas at the moment. I’ll probably have work on my birthday but that’s okay. My best friend wants to take me to a gay club next weekend so if any of you have suggestions in the DC/Maryland area, it’d be appreciated :) Also suggestions on how not to be terrified would be good too, since everyone around me has been joking about how I’m gonna pick up a bunch of ladies and I’m just trying not to pass out tbh.

    (which vaguely reminds me, I came out at my job earlier this week, and it went really well!)

    And this is the first year I’m not asking for just a notebook and pen, so I’m kind of excited about that. And since I’m pretty much out and stable and stuff, I don’t even have to hide my books or come up with excuses as to why I’m reading what I’m reading!

    This might be one of the roughest Christmases we’ve had cause my grandma isn’t getting much better (she’s recently been diagnosed with dementia) and usually my mom has the tree up the day after Thanksgiving, but we just got it up two days ago and it’s still not decorated, she said “it juut doesn’t feel like Christmas this year.”. So, that’s not good. But, I’ll be able to get her a gift this year, and my parents don’t have to worry as much for my therapy since I’m starting to pay for it myself, so I like to think of that as a partial gift at least.

    And, so, that’s all I’ll be doing: work and therapy mostly. I was invited to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party next week that I might go to if I’m not knocked out after work, and I’ve got at least three more days planned with friends. My family always comes over for Christmas, but that’s alright cause everyone’s tried to be a lot…calmer recently. So it’s good.

    Hope everyone has a happy holiday if you celebrate, or just good times all around if you don’t!

    • Happy early birthday!!!

      I do not really have advice about clubs/bars because they’re really not my scene (though I do think playing darts or pool is fun, even though I’m mediocre at best at darts and pretty downright awful at pool), so if you’re not into crazy party bars with tons of people maybe look for lower-key places that feature those things because they’re fun and they don’t require a TON of talking to people?

      • genius comment tbh! (my mom said if there were like gay bookstores near me, i’d be set haha) also thank you for the happy early birthday! hope you’re well!

  29. I got a haircut, and now I’m super excited for my next haircut. Why, you ask? The girl who usually cuts my hair is studying abroad this semester, so she hasn’t given me my usual flair in exchange for pizza in SEVEN MONTHS. So SIX MORE WEEKS UNTIL SHE WORKS HER WONDERFUL MAGIC ON MY HAIR.

  30. I wanted to add:

    Yes I have been watching Gilmore Girls, and Rory and Paris are my otp.

    • Yesssss. I mean I am only early in season 2 so they are barely friends yet even despite that concert bonding situation, but they just seem like they would be so compatible if they were sleeping together instead of (in addition to?) being academically competitive.

      • I think a Rory-Paris union is even more apparent when they are at odds with each other. Every time they argue or Paris goes into a full-on meltdown I am just like…Will you two fuck already, please?

  31. Right now I am trying to talk myself up for xmas shopping *sigh* I don’t want to go near the manic shopping centre.

    Renting a house on a nearby lake for a few day with the family this year. Given we’re in Australia, the day itself will involve lots of heat and seeking out air conditioning and hoping we don’t get an afternoon hail storm and generally feeling hot, full and exhausted by the end of the day.

    I was completely uninspired about making xmas lunch, but was reading the Donna Hay xmas magazine at the hairdresser and got inspired to make some kind of summer punch to get through the day. Trifle for dessert seems like a solid plan as well.

  32. I will be working during the holidays so I don’t mind it much :). I did survive finals and got really good grades.

  33. For the holiday we’re fixing the kitchen, so there’s that. A break from working might have been nice. But at least it’s different work. I’m thinking of a career change, which after almost 10 years seems a bit daunting. I’m trying to finish out the school year but feeling rather depressed about the whole thing. I’m thinking maybe accounting or something in finance- being responsible for money instead of small people and actually making more money.

    Our second try getting pregnant didn’t work and we only have two more tries, which is also depressing. And my job is watching other people’s kids, which is not helping. So I’m trying to be nice to myself, self care as someone mentioned above. Tea and hot chocolate are good.

    Also I wanted to say thank you to Autostraddle for existing- I appreciate all of you wonderful humans and the work that you do oh so very much!

    Now I’m heading out of the house for the evening to make truffles and other chocolate goodies. So hopefully that will help.

    • I’m in the home stretch of my accounting Masters degree, so let me know if you need advice on the profession/school/career paths.

    • That sounds stressful and sucky. I hope looking forward to your gorgeous future kitchen at least gives you something positive to look forward to.

  34. I have a final for the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my entire life on Monday (and I’m a graduate student, so I’ve taken a ton of finals). I’m just pretending the holidays don’t exist until that’s over. My mom asked when I was coming home for Christmas the other day and I couldn’t answer because in my head days after next Monday don’t even exist yet.

    I also have not bought a single Christmas present. Oops?

  35. I got my haircut last night and then watched two episodes of the Gilmore Girls. My god, it’s like you’re reading my mind.

    I am going to a small island and hanging out in a cottage with my folks for Christmas. I am stoked to just chill for five days and go for long walks in the woods.

    Quiet woodsy Christmas. There probably won’t be snow, but I am okay with that.

    The only prep I have to do before leaving is figuring out who is going to hangout with my shy and anxious cat while I am away.

  36. How I handle the holidays:

    Because my family has never heard of using their “indoor voice” and and my friend who I have been hanging out with lately (and has more than “friend” feelings for me) kinda sorta asked me to invite her over for Christmas Eve and I’m like, nooo! it’s gonna be super awkward and they will assume you’re my girlfriend and you can’t speak Spanish so it’s gonna be doubly awkward, oh why can’t be just be friends?! – but I didn’t say any of that of course – avoiding giving her an answer (I will though, I will).

    Need more wine. (whine?)

    • Trying to find this saucy “squeeze me and make me wine” t-shirt I saw when I was a kid but google images search is not a magical time machine of my memories.

      Best I found in the saucy wine/whine department:

      Nosy awkward family-ness with no inside voice I feel ya. Only time I tried to intoxicate myself was at a family thing, tho I think it was the cramps that pushed me pass the line. Thank you red wine and carbonation forcing the alcohol into my bloodstream faster.
      Coco cola and cabernet, the drink of champions.

      • Haha, it’s all good. And did you say, coke + cabernet? I’ve never heard of such a combination. I’m quite intrigued and might just try it Christmas morn….

        • Wine isn’t the strongest of alcoholic beverages, carbonation speeds up intoxication. Red wine tastes like dirt to me and coke is sweet. That was my pain wracked and aggitated thought process.

          Nosy family + cramps= desperate (strange) cocktails

  37. -slides in-

    Hi tiny cupcakes. My nose is sniffly and my window isn’t saran wrapped yet so i keep having sore throats.

    I finally saw my new therapist today. She didn’t pick up on my subtle “im not straight” lines. Eep.

    It’s been a rough emotional week for me and it’s just hard to be okay. I’m hoping i can go to Carmen’s holigay meet up on Sunday and that the sniffling is just sinuses. I’m scared though, because next week is completely open and i know that can go bad. : ( and everyone is so busy… and i keep worrying that im bothering people by texting them.

    Sad sad.

    • I can relate to the new therapist thing. I just saw a new therapist a couple weeks ago. It’s hard starting with someone new, finding a good connection. I have moved around quite a bit, and then after my most recent move, I really procrastinated finding a therapist because (1) I didn’t have health insurance immediately and (2) it’s just awkward looking around for new therapists. “Here, let me tell you my life story in the 45 minute intake session!”

      *hugs* Hang in there! I know it’s emotional when you just get out of treatment at a hospital. You’ll get through it and come out stronger, even if you have a lot of emotional waves to ride! (I know that sounded completely cliche. But the emotional waves are just relentless sometimes! And remember, feelings/emotions can’t harm you, even if you feel like you’re drowning in them sometimes!)

      Hope you get over your bug/cold soon!

    • Get over the sniffles quick!!! Because you need to go to Carmens thing. Keep warm with tea/milk/coffee=) and chicken soup.

    • I get to be a tiny cupcake toooo? :)

      Also getting texts from people pretty much always makes me happy and I bet your friends/fam/whoever you’re texting feel the same way. :)

  38. Why yes, I did get a haircut! I had been procrastinating too long and it had gone from “pixie” to “shaggy dog” and was starting to annoy me. I always cut my own hair because I don’t care enough to spend the time or money to go somewhere to get it cut, and it grows back quickly anyway, even if I have to live through a couple weeks of awkward hair because it’s too short and/or slightly uneven.

    We’ve had weird, warm, stormy weather this week in Washington. Pineapple express. It felt almost like spring earlier. Below is a photo of Titlow Park in Tacoma with cool/stormy lighting.

    And getting splashed at Lincoln Park in Seattle:

    No plans for the holidays. I think I mentioned this in a previous thread, but I’ve never actually spent a holiday with more than three other people. Holidays have never been big gatherings for me – just immediate family, usually doing something at home. It’s relaxing. I can’t complain. I’ll probably spend Christmas day by myself and then my weekend after visiting my parents and younger brother (who will be visiting from college).

    It’ll be nice seeing him again. I drove him back to college the Sunday after he visited over Thanksgiving, and (much to my relief!) there was no snow on the roads so I didn’t need to put on chains going over the mountain passes. The timing was perfect – snow had just fallen the day before, and it was all beautiful and white on the trees, but the roads and sky were clear. The only time I started sliding was in a parking lot at Snoqualmie ski resort at the top when I pulled in to get a snack and use the bathroom.

    Winter wonderland!

    • Aghh, how does one even cut their own hair? I tried that once before, when my hair was also a shaggy dog. Lemme tell you, I trimmed the back so unevenly that I gave up and asked my friend to take me to the barber’s.

      Also, GORGEOUS photos. I especially love the last one. I love winter, overall~

      • Double mirrors. And winging it. There isn’t really a secret, I just cut a little bit at a time and gradually even it out. And it isn’t ever 100% perfect, but I’m okay with that. (I’m actually a perfectionist about most things in life, but hair isn’t one of them.)

        And thank you – I love winter too, even the rain. It’s just calming and soothing to me. I like the seasons in general; I’d get bored if it were always the same.

    • I have exactly the same hair feelings! I sometimes think that people are giving me sideways glances, like, “why doesn’t she go get a real haircut for once…?” but I just really don’t care enough to worry about that and also I can think of other things I’d rather spend my money on than haircuts!

      • Washington welcomes you! :) Hope you have a wonderful visit and get to explore some of the beauty here and hang out with awesome people!

    • Fellow Washingtonian here who just wants to talk about/revel in the unseasonable warmth! I haven’t had to light a fire for about a week now. IT’S FANTASTIC. Is it weird that I really enjoy Northwest winters? I wouldn’t want them to go on forever, but I strongly feel that they are much more diverse weather-wise than people think.

      • Ugh, having this post-comment realization that I just made a comment comprised solely of observations about THE WEATHER. Every day I become more aware that the crotchety old lady I was truly meant to be is slowly taking over.

      • Nope, not weird at all. I actually love our PNW winters. And the rainy days make the sunny days even better – the air is so clean afterwards, and the blue sky just seems more beautiful after a storm. (Heh – can be an old lady too!)

        • Oh haaaay fellow Washingtonians! I too am loving the winter…and I also cut my own hair, have been for about 6 years now! The trick is to stop when you think “but if I just cut a little bit more…” Nope. That way lies madness and terrible hair.

  39. Haircut Monday. That’s good, because it’s getting a little Eraserhead-ish. I made a stab at holiday decorating by asking my mother if she’d saved my grandparents’ gumdrop tree (eh, hopefully not with vintage gumdrops), but it has apparently found its way to Goodwill. I know that’s a seriously old-style thing to want around, but I loved sneaking those spice drops off when I was a kid. My alternative festive plan turned out to be buying a really excessive amount of holiday-themed coffee at Target. The guy who checked me out said, “So, uh, is this ALL for you?”

    In news completely, 100% unrelated to coffee consumption, I have mega-insomnia (I really am just an insomniac). I’m living Rear Window in my apartment complex: 4 AM, my upstairs neighbor gets up. 5 AM, the person next door starts watching TV. But this is today’s sunrise, taken from inside, because it was cold, and I’m a wimp.

    What I’m really missing right now is a holiday tradition or at least something that feels semi-special. I don’t really do anything with my family, but I do wish I had something of my own.

    • Beautiful sunrise! (Also, I love coffee in pretty much any form, and I believe it is entirely impossible to have too much holiday-flavored coffee.)

    • Consider volunteering? It’s surprising how close it makes you feel to people, and it’s 100% yours. I know what you mean. Making traditions when you’re on your own is tough. Here’s one -exchange Christmas cards with strangers from the internet! Jane is game, and so am I :)

  40. I find myself madly trying to finish the semester and make gifts for my family and family of friends [broke student = no money] while I mope about not flying to see my gf over break. Surrounding the holiday, I plan on acting cordially for as long as I can manage, and then taking cover at my favorite coffee shop with a stack of feminist magazines.

  41. Finals are next week. Two tests stand between me and four weeks of freedom from school. (Not from work, but we start year-end on January 2.)

    This weekend I have a rehearsal for my “Vagina Monologues” piece at school, a “Messiah” singalong at church, and stalking the choir director at said church to get a copy of Christmas music. And studying. All the studying. My espresso machine and tea kettle will get a workout between now and Thursday night.

    Also, my work finally changed my job title and description. I am officially an accountant now!!

    I don’t really have anything regarding coping with family. I drank a lot when I was with my ex-in-laws, but they drove me insane (and my ex-husband, to be fair, is not a fan of them.) If there’s a dog, could you offer to take it out for a walk?

    My ex-husband is thinking about spending Christmas with me. On the one hand, we’re friends and I don’t want him to be alone for the holiday (and I kinda don’t want to be alone on Christmas, either). On the other hand, it’s going to be AWKWARD. He would be driving three hours to see me. Argh.

  42. So yeah, lots of stuff this week. Girlfriend officially now my ex-girlfriend. A lot of cookie dough was eaten. Pool was played. Fresh Prince was watched, and text from bestie received saying, “PUT ON SOME PANTS WE’RE GOING TO WALMART FOR ICREAM.” I love it when friends just know.

    Got my two month chip last night. Went to some extra meetings this week between making myself fatter and oversleeping, and I swear I feel very cathartic and happy about it all. :D Planning my holidays to include my family, and above all voluntwering, which has become my higher power. I’m doing a bunch of stuff for the local Alkathon, and that’s where I’ll be on New Years Eve, cause I’ll need it!

    Oh, also I got my period and that sucked a lot more than I thought it would. Fuck. Okay, that is all.

    • Well hey, it seems you’ve been taking good care of yourself! Also, you have cool friends. I love it when they just know.
      Volunteering? What an awesome thing to do during the holidays!!

      • Thanks! I’m letting myself feel it all… Although that may be the pinch of my trouser button after all the sweets I’ve had. :)

    • Congrats on the two month chip! You seem to be doing well at taking care of yourself, which is good. Sending you lots of positivity and consensual hugs!

    • I keep getting frustrated with how my period starting makes me feel less able to deal with life. So yeah. I hope you feel better soon!

      • It was not the first time I wished my house were made out of chocolate. Like Hansel and Gretel meets Willy Wonka.

    • I was thinking of you this week and wondering how you were doing after last week’s post – very glad to hear you are grabbing life by the horns and pushing the pointy bits away from you.
      Sending you big hugs if you want them!

      • I’m really happily surprised by that, this week I was probably enjoying the positivity sent out to me by people in my life, including people on the internet. :) I attribute the beauty in my life to the gift of thoughtfulness from others. :)

    • Yay for your two month chip!! Take care of yourself while recovering from the breakup; it sounds like your friends are being awesome. :)

    • Ice Cream is always great, specially with extra toppings. Also great to hear about the two month chip. :-) More power to you!!

  43. Ughhhhhh I am actually looking forward to my finals more than the holidays. Which, like, I knew, but I had a gathering/potluck with some folks in my a capella group and we went around and talked about holiday plans and everyone sounded excited for holidays and had sort-of fun things planned. Not only was I incredibly envious, but I also felt like such a grinch that I couldn’t share in their excitement (because my holiday plans include: setting daily time aside for myself to cry, being stupid drunk whenever I cannot hide myself away at my best friends’ house, probably getting disowned by extended family).

    And like, I also feel ungrateful because my parents are “supportive” (but mostly clueless). But I could deal with them not being supportive at all or even outright getting disowned than going back to their declarations of how they support me and that “this is hard for them” and then have them exert what feels like zero (but is probably only slightly more than zero) effort to use my name or my pronouns and then be told I’m putting up too much of a fuss when I get upset, or when I don’t want to run trans/nonbinary 101 for them whenever they want. And I’m also frustrated because my parents can get my best friend’s name and pronouns right, and like I know he’s not their kid, he’s been my best friend since I was 3 so it’s not like “well we’ve known him as [birthname] for only a short period of time so it’s easier to make that change for him vs you”.

    And I feel bad about bringing this negativity into the comments for the last few weeks, y’all, but most of my irl friends don’t get this because they don’t have ridiculously dysfunctional families and/or are straight, so this feels like one of the only spaces I have. I swear I’m not usually this much of a debbie downer, but there’s just so much existential dread right now.

    On the plus side, I kind of need a haircut, and I’m debating getting the queerest thing possible to antagonize all of my relatives, because so long as things don’t turn really ugly, it’s very funny to watch themselves fall over trying to not say the offensive things they’re thinking about how I present myself.

    • That’s a rough situation to be in, sending you loads of consensual hugs.
      (Also, get the haircut! You won’t regret it.)

      • I’m a little scared I will regret the haircut, but like 99% because it’s winter and therefore cold and I care less about being a shaggy beast than not having a cold head. (Of course, I could just use this to wear beanies even more than I already do…)

    • That sounds like a really difficult situation to be in. I know it is hard to have a family situation your (irl) friends can’t relate to or even imagine. This is the place to talk about it, so never feel guilty about that. Good luck! Stay strong and remember, they love you even if they don’t understand you.

    • Please get the queerest possible haircut. It’ll be hilarious, and will also give you an opportunity to have an existential inner dialogue about what even makes a haircut queer anyways. When you’re the black sheep of the family, sometimes you just have to own it, and try to have a little fun. Sucks that your family won’t use your name or pronouns, though. Hope the holidays go over better than you expect!

      (if you want someone to talk to about having an extremely dysfunctional family, feel free to message me. I have one, too.)

    • 1. I’m assuming your pronouns are she/her? Is that right?
      2. Send me your address! I’ve got a little something for you for good luck :)

    • Yowza. I can relate to the burn of indifference. When I came out as gay, my family was very, “aren’t you happy we love you anyway?” Followed by, “why aren’t you being supportive of us as we get used to this transition?” I felt really ungrateful because its true that they could have disowned me, but a strong reaction would have given me something to stand up against. This wariness that masqueraded as indifference was hard to stomach. So I didn’t. I was like, I will be over here because you aren’t making an effort. I get to decide when I feel you are accepting me, and this is not it. If you want to be in my life, come be in my life.”. It took everyone varying amounts of time, but now I have more genuine relationships with people. There are some who I never reconnected with, or vice versa. Good luck, friend.

  44. Guys, this week has been really hectic. And by hectic, I mean there was a lot of really good stuff that happened, but also a lot of REALLY bad stuff. They’re mainly about what’s going on in my friends’ lives. Thankfully I am coping well under all this…hectic-ness, somehow. Good thing, too, so I can better support them emotionally. I would go into detail, but I feel that some of the stuff is too depressing. And honestly, we’re here to talk about holidays.

    So yeah, CHRISTMAS. I am excited! Just another week of school and then I’ll be on break. Just gotta get through those finals and stuff. Been extremely busy with homework, and I still gotta make/buy some Christmas gifts for my friends. My family is actually pretty broke this year, so I’m not expecting too much for Christmas. Which is totally fine, cuz I couldn’t think of many things anyways. :D Also at my dad’s, we shall be getting our tree tomorrow~

    Hope the holidays are going well for you all<3


  46. I’m trying very hard to be cheerful this Christmas season, but I’m on deployment in the middle of the Persian Gulf and honestly the holiday spirit hasn’t quite reached my ship. My mom sent me a ton of holiday decorations which cheered up my shop a bit with stockings and a wreath and a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree… but still, not feeling the spirit. The girlfriend is being wonderful and supportive but I miss her like crazy more and more every day that I’m gone. It also doesnt help that it’s snowing in Chicago with her while I’m sweating my ass off out here. Not all of it is bad I suppose, the crew is trying to keep each other in good spirits and I work with a great group of guys who are like brothers now. I got a care package from my dad with a french press in it with some coffee which was great. I made a batch and just walked around the ship pouring people some decent coffee. Who knows, maybe Santa will make a pit stop in the Middle East!

  47. Preparing for the holidays by reading all the awesome holiday themed food and drink articles. I’m always looking to expand my repertoire, get ideas and just look at things. Baked goods make me happy, I don’t have to make them, like that particular good, or even eat them and they’ll make me happy.

    Food in general makes me happy, but festive baked goods are my happy zone happy place.
    And I can really embrace the spirit of giving with my skills and knowledge.

    Make treats for the people with celiac, fibro, allergies and lactose issues in my life or find them something because confectionery past chocolate covered strawberries is still scary and turron is worth paying for.
    Turron de yema takes like pancakes to me, it’s magical and if you can’t have flour no more try it.

    Ooh, ooh I went to NOLAW, New Orleans Ladies Arm Wrestling.
    It was fun and Stay-Puft won.
    There was a moment of loudness because black lives matter.

    I kind of wonder what y’all think of the idea a “moment of loudness” versus the standard “moment of silence” cause here be versed minds that mull things over like this that understand what respectability politics mean. People in my life either haven’t a clue or have smidge of a clue but choose to disregard such nonsense.

    • I haven’t heard of a moment of loudness, but I think I like the idea? It seems like a way of claiming space, maybe. It seems like minorities are constantly told to shut up, be quiet, be small, so loudness seems like the perfect mix of protest, and, like celebration?

  48. Well, I’m defending my thesis on Thursday, how’s that for holiday prep ? I am going to spend the CHILLEST holiday ever once grad school is behind me !

    Also I should probably do some prep on the whole coming out thing, since I promised myself I’d do it over the holidays. Here’s to not chickening out !

  49. Hello! This week has been pretty uneventful. To be honest, I am just counting down the days until I get to see my person – they are flying over on the 22nd and it’s been way too long since we last saw each other. It’s been unbearable, however, we only have nine days left! Long distance relationships suck, especially when both people in it are not at their best. Sometimes I just want to be around to give my partner a hug, and I hate not being able to.

    Work has been crazy. If you ever want to feel good about yourself, get a job in retail over the holiday season. People’s stupidity will never cease to amaze you. I’m pretty pissed off because on the two weeks my partner is here, I work about 50-something hours. (Including Christmas eve, boxing day, new year’s eve and new year’s day.)(Who the fuck goes to buy body creams and make-up on the first day of the year?!)

    I don’t know, the holidays are a weird concept for me. Before I left my home country, I used to adore them – they were a time for my massive family to get together and eat loads of food. Since I left, though, I haven’t had any massive family to get together with … And my mother, she really does try, which I think is the saddest part of all. Twelve years later and she is still trying. (And I think this is only her second Christmas without a partner since we left!) I guess this year I ~do have something to look forward to, seeing my person.

    Also, the cute barista who works next to my job and gives me free coffee got a new job. Tomorrow is her last day. ):

    But! In positive news! I have not bitten my nails in almost a month now – after fourteen years of doing so! They’re long and painted now. (And still weak, but that will change with time!)

  50. So I accidentally moved to Oregon on a whim a month or so ago. I transferred with my company to a grooming salon that is incredibly slow in Bend.

    It’s a bad fit for me in a town that is too small for me and that I know no one in. SO, I requested a transfer to Portland and I have to call the Portland store today to find out when I’m going. Which could be as soon as next week.

    Holidays away from home kind of suck. Moving near holidays sucks. Not knowing when you’re moving near holidays is the worsttt.

    • My parents moved to Oregon on Christmas day last year, (and I flew out to meet them). It made for a weird holiday, but actually pretty awesome, so I hope your move is also very happy and that you get to move and like it and all that!

  51. I sent out the rest of my yule swaps on today~! And I bought a bunch of candles that I will decorate and give to family members that I am obligated to buy something for. I bought an engagement ring for my girlfriend (idgaf if Governor Snyder doesn’t think we should be able to get married, I’m proposing anyways and we we’ll have a wedding even if it’s illegal). Hopefully she says yes. Wish me luck.

  52. Soooo I got her permission to post about this here so I’m a day late on the open thread but my perfect beautiful wonderful girlfriend isn’t my perfect beautiful wonderful girlfriend anymore because she’s now my perfect beautiful wonderful fiancee!

    So. Umm. That’s pretty exciting. :)

  53. My brother and I have a new favorite holiday pastime that involves replacing every time the word “womb” is used in the Biblical Christmas story with the word “wombat”. It’s pretty great.

  54. I’m in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in. It’s really a change of pace, and seriously it’s the sweetest, most tender-loving thing I could have ever imagined. I’m just really happy and sentimental lately, w/e w/e

    My family stuff is SUPER complicated right now but I’m hoping that won’t have too huge of an impact on Christmas. There are lots of little kids in my family though, so that always keeps us on our toes and having a genuinely good time during the holidays despite whatever else may be going on. I’m grateful for that.

  55. I’ve been spending too much moolah on binders, so I’m knitting/crocheting all my gifts this year. My selfish priorities are costing me time and yarn.

  56. Spending this last week with my friends and girlfriend. Last night we spent the night baking cookies, confessing compressed memories and sleeping off the tiring week of too much working. Finals week till the holidays always drags on the longest.
    In a couple of days I’m flying to Austria, to ski with my close family.

  57. This is my first Autostraddle comment, after lurking for ages–I’m a day late, but I was in transit yesterday and this open thread feels right.

    Flew back into Toronto this morning for the first time since moving to Wisconsin for university. I’m really glad to have a break from where I go to school for a while–most of the time I love it there, but I was supposed to go on a first date with a girl I’ve really been enjoying talking to right before I headed home, and she stood me up. Woof. So I need to lick my wounds a little (to the tune of doing drinks with my friends–my 19th birthday happened while I was at school, so I haven’t gone out for my first legal drink yet!) away from that school environment. In related news, I’ve decided that I’m coming out to my family over break.

    It’s my job at family get-togethers to look the best and drink the wine (emoji peace signs), so I am prepping for the need to look hella hot by taking a long, long bath (you never realize how much you miss a proper bath until your only option is the communal showers, right?) with a Lush glitter bomb.

    • I too miss baths. (Less communal living, more cheap apartment)

      Best wishes with coming out to the fam. I’m technically out to everyone, but still struggling to get my father to communicate.

    • So glad you’re joining in on the comment party!

      In college I used to look forward to taking baths whenever I came home on break–now that I’m home I’ve been trying to save water because of the drought, but I think I’ll be taking one tonight. You’ve inspired me! :)

  58. Well, I’d say I rely on my holiday survival buddy, Phoebe:

    I had to leave her with my ex Wednesday through Friday because I had an electrolysis appointment in Chicago. But she’s back and snugly and I need her.

    I got to see my other two babies when I dropped her off and picked her up.

    And Olivia (Livvy):

    I miss those two.

    WARNING: emotional

    I had my second large volume electrolysis appointment on Thursday. It went pretty well, my electrologist was super pleased with the clearing achieved from the first time. I’m excited to see the results. That procedure is really tough. The good news is that with the clearing we had from the first one (maybe the five laser treatments I had killed or weakened more hair than I’d thought) I only had to be in the chair about eight hours. I could feel a lot for some reason, and the doctor was being a jerk about re-injecting the lidocaine. That’s upsetting because the nerve block is the reason I’m spending so much money and going to Chicago in the first place. So, it was challenging, even though my only job is to get poked and burned over and over. I got super emotional during the procedure as well. Just crying uncontrollably for a while. My sobbing and shaking got a little violent to the point they gave me some more sedative.

    I think it was a mixture of pain and the fact that right now, even though my transition is actually going pretty quickly, it feels as though it’s taking forever. (I wish there was a better term than this:) I’m ready to be “full time.” I know I’ve only been on HRT for nine months, but I feel like I’m ready to do it. I just need to be rid of this stupid facial hair.

    Sorry to be so whiny. Things are moving, I know this. In a few months, I’ll be ready and this will all seem like a silly bad dream.

    Anyway, I love you all. Prosst!

    • Hey, you’re not being “whiny” at all. :) Don’t worry about it; it’s good to let your feelings out! I’m happy you’re unbottling your emotions — and some beer, haha. Best of luck.

    • Those are some beautiful pups! Sorry that your medical stuff is so difficult right now. Sending hugs & support thru the internet <3

    • I really don’t have anything to add except that I hope things are better soon too, I am sure they will be.

      • You’re right.

        I’m just impatient and moody. Thank you.

        I told a friend that feeling as I do now, with emotional highs and lows that are simply astounding, is really difficult to get used to. I spent at least five years in a state of desperation where I never felt sad. But, I was never happy either. I can handle the lows. I’ve learned to lean on my support networks.

        • I am really glad to hear that you’re in a place where you can feel your feelings, and have people to help you through them when they are not stellar feelings.

          Also I recommend sparkley eyeshadow. Or nailpolish. Basically I just recommend sparkles for improved outlooks on life? #superuselessadvice

    • I’m sorry that medical things are rough right now, but I’m glad you have super cute pups in your life to cheer you up and be cuddle buddies.

  59. I am supposed to be finishing out finals by finishing/starting 2 papers, but instead I started reading Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera- bad idea. For all you friends doing finals, this book will make you question the validity of your academic life, and make you think when you are trying to study. Read it! But later.

    Anyway, break plans- bundle up and get outdoors, read tons, study Chinese, cuddle with my kitten, and work out! So close!

  60. Hi everyone! Have just been workin, workin, workin here as of late. Hoping to go to the AS Holigays event in Wash, DC tomorrow. Since I’m not going home for the holidays this year (I’d probably be harassed or worse if I did as I’m now living and working full time as a woman and my blood family has made their displeasure very clear to me) I will be teaching a special 2 hour extended yoga class on Christmas Day and maybe seeing a film with friends later that evening. Much peace and joy to all my fellow Straddlers. :)

  61. I actually just finished prepping for my holiday plans. The holidays are never easy in my family (recent divorce of the parental units=awkward holidays). So this year I decided to go on a trip to New Zealand right before the holidays. I got back earlier this week, and I fully expect to ride out the holiday hurricane in a state of jet lag and vacation euphoria. I’m still kind of proud of myself for actually planning out my holidays so well.

    I am also strongly considering going to my area’s holigay thing, but I am too terrified. Apparently my vacation-induced new life outlook isn’t quite strong enough to overcome that fear.

  62. Ugh, I think I’ve finally managed to catch one of the winter viruses going around. But at least it’s the start of my 4 day weekend. I work 12 h shifts, hence the long weekends. And being sick on a 12-h shift makes for a very long, un-fun day. Hopefully it’s just a minor cold.

    In other news, I have a small story to share from work today: the power of a simple “Good Morning!” I have a co-worker, an older man probably in his 60’s, who I thought didn’t like me very much because he always seemed to avoid talking to me, or would reply very minimally. I wasn’t sure if it was just his personality or if I had said something to offend him without knowing it. So being the introvert I am, I started avoiding talking to him too because I didn’t want to bother him! And this went on until I decided that this was silly – perhaps he was just hard of hearing. So I decided to start saying “Good Morning” to him every time I came into the break room at work at 5:30 am. And it would be a confident “good morning” – not a mumbling staring-at-the-ground “..morning.” And after a couple times, he started saying good morning back, and today he gave me a giant apple-pear fruit to try, which seemed like a gesture of friendship.

    So the moral of the story is, if you think a co-worker doesn’t like you, don’t stop talking to them. Instead, start saying “good morning” – even if you’re an introvert and it’s at an ungodly early hour of the day. :)

  63. My holiday prep has mainly consisted of finishing off my first semester of grad school. I have two exams and three essays left, and I’m hoping to finish them all before a Gay Holiday Country Party that’s happening on Friday night a mere twenty minute walk from my apartment.

    As far as going home to my family, I’ve bought all but one gift (some olives for my aunt) and don’t plan to make any big announcements during my month at home. My sister knows that I’m bisexual and genderqueer, although I’m not sure what her understanding of genderqueer is. I wanted to go home for three weeks but booked my flights wrong and didn’t want to pay extra to fix it or get another ticket.

    I’m looking forward to being at home, but I think it will end up feeling like a looong time. I foolishly mentioned to my mom that I can always buy a Greyhound ticket if I need to come back to Brooklyn on short notice. Should have kept that to myself.

  64. I am exhausted about the holidays already. My next three weeks go: secret santa with current and ex flatmates, morning rave, leaving drinks with friend who is off to India for winter, meal with my jewish friends, hannukah with A’s family, seeing my old school friends (in three different groups on the same day due to who is not speaking to who), xmas at my mum’s, xmas at my dad’s, volunteering at a homeless shelter for women, new years party I for some reason decided to host.

    I want to curl up under a duvet and sleep.

  65. Oh, my holiday prep involves a pre-Christmas dinner Friday with the only member of my family that doesn’t drive me crazy.

    I plan to keep my holiday visits with the rest of the family as brief as possible, as they’re kind of unpleasant to be around.

  66. My contribution is more like “how do I survive the week leading up to the holidays without exploding from excitement” because my holiday plans are eminently survivable: I’m going back to the queer Oregon homestead I worked on this summer and hanging out with @floralprintdress who introduced me to the awesomeness that is Autostraddle. There is also my family gathering for the actual Christmas day which is always fine because my family is great and not bigoted.


  67. I’m listening to the Grates at a high volume while wrapping presents for my partners and immediate family. Happy holidays, Autostraddle!

  68. Hello there,

    It’s been a while since I stopped by these parts. Not that I haven’t meant to, just hat life being as it is has killed any motivation for anything. Work is stealing all my energy and currently feels like pushing a boulder up Everest. I’m tired of fighting with university students who still think they are in high school. But, I shall restrain myself and not go off on that tangent.

    Outside of work life hasn’t exactly been fun either. A few weeks ago I ran into the man who assaulted me this past spring. I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for busy streets, especially considering the time of night. Needless to say, that set me off on a bit of a downward spiral. Trying to get through your days without crying while simultaneously not explaining to your colleagues what is wrong (because, really, how could I) is not what one would call a pleasant experience. And to make that week even better a friend and activity partner walked out of my life due to reuniting with a jealous ex meaning I need not to exist. It is very strange, and hard, to go from talking to someone every day to nothing.

    Christmas doesn’t feel like it’s coming here. I guess that’s the problem with being in a country with so few Christians; it was never a big thing here and therefore it never even really made it as a secular celebration. And most Turks think Christmas is January 1st. Even though there is a Turkish word for Christmas and one for New Year (which they actually use for January 1st).The point is I will spend the next few weeks explaining the difference. At least I have the day off and get to see some friends. I miss the years I used to host Christmas, everyone round the house, weeks of baking in the run up to it. I don’t even have an oven right now, and yes that makes me very sad.

    I am aware this was grumbly. I’m sorry; sometimes you just need to let it out a little.

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