OPEN THREAD: All I Want for Christmakwanzakah is You, So Get In Here


Happy holigays, bitches, and welcome to the 6th Annual Christmakwanzakah Open Thread! This is a safe and special place we create every year for you to use as refuge from your family, a recipe depository from your holigay feasts, and also a friend-making machine. Please do feel free to comment here with tales of holigays past, pictures of your weird uncle in a full Santa outfit, information about the drank in your cup, and/or holigay-themed photos of your pets. Here, I’ll go first!


Current drink in my cup, by the way? It varies, but one thing stays the same: NOT. ENOUGH. BOOZE. IN. THE. WORLD.

If you’re like me, you’ll spend today desperately refreshing a package tracking link, sending a big ol’ batch of holiday cards (they’re not late unless you send them after December 26, it’s a technicality, I’m serious), attempting to view a claymation movie about the Heat Miser, and contemplating how to make it possible to bring hot, mulled wine to dinner tomorrow. If you’re like other people, you might be opening gifts, eating chinese food, petting a cat, or rocking around a tree. Honestly, no matter who you are in this world, you’re probably a winner, so. That’s about all I have to say about that. Now that we’ve covered this part of the day, TAKE THE HOLIGAY POLL!

I said Heat Miser because like, um. Duh? Like, I think that’s my Facebook profile picture. MOVING ALONG!

The holigay season open thread is an established tradition steeped in richness here at Autostraddle dot com, and I’m super duper totally honored to be hosting this digital soiree this year. When I think about the holigays, and I think about family, I think a lot about my chosen family — and so many of the people who work for and read this website are the people who come to mind when I’m writing cards, wrapping gifts, singing carols, checking my list and checking it twice, eating cookies left for me by strangers across the country, and doing other general business at the North Pole. And that’s special! So thank you for being here, and I hope you like these apple cookies I made because I had to skip making the eggnog cookies because I was just too busy eating at a bunch of diners with my mom. I hope you understand.

I’d like to offer up my own memories of Christmakwanzakah open threads past in commemoration of this occasion and remind you all that my person Geneva made this meme last year and it remains perfect. As an aside, I also frequently speak in doge and I think it’s kind of becoming a problem.

Ho Ho Ho! Very Cheer!


So, what else is there to say? We’re here, we’re queer, we’re either about to stuff our faces or about to watch a lot of Netflix and at the end of the day, I’m madly in love with you. NOW LEAVE A COMMENT AND SPREAD THE LOVE, YOU GLORIOUS MOTHERFUCKERS.

Lastly, Muppets. Because like, we are all made of Muppets, right? Unless they scare you. In which case, forgive me lover for I DON’T CARE.

Also, you should probably use the last days of the holigay season to share your memories and feelings online with the hashtag #HappyHoligays! Just saying. I’m totally not biased or trying to make this hashtag trend or anything, I promise.

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix! KINDA LIKE THIS:

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3. Go forth and jam.

Carmen is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. , host of Bitch Media's POPAGANDA podcast and co-founder and Contributing Editor at Argot magazine. She previously served as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director at Autostraddle. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 927 articles for us.


  1. Today I am going to meet my partner of over a year’s not super queer friendly mother for the very first time, at my house, with my family, on Christmas. She is flying all the way across the country to see her child in the healing stages of top surgery. This is going to be a very interesting holigay…

  2. We celebrated Hannukah with Jewish family last week and we celebrated winter solstice with the non-Christian family last weekend. My partner is a nurse and is working today. I’m home alone with the kids. The 2yo is sleeping and the 5yo is drawing next to me while we listen to TSwift and I read AS. A nice afternoon respite in a high expectation day. Later I’ll make microwave popcorn and put on a G rated movie.

  3. Today I have to see my homophobic aunt and uncle for the first time in several years and I am dreading it. I am not out to them and have no desire to be, and queer topics probably won’t even come up (I hope), but I will still be sitting there remembering the dinner where they ranted about “gays trying to shove their deviant lifestyle down our throats.” I will sing Lily Allen’s “Fuck You” song in my head, because I am super mature like that.

  4. Got home about a week ago from where I go to school 9 hours away and the family has been, for the most part, great! This is the first Christmas I’m out to my immediate family, and they’ve been fab! Going down to NYC tomorrow to see the rest of my giant, right-of-moderate, Italian Catholic family, so that should be entertaining…I’m not out to them, and my cousins are oh so not sensitive to politically charged issues and were very homophobic when I saw them 2 months ago for my grandfather’s funeral…should be fun…

    Fuck if I care, my brother gave me Pokemon alpha-sapphire for Christmas, so I’ll be drowning their noise down Victory Road. Happy Holigays to all, and to all a good night.

  5. Christmas itself was fine and pretty mellow. Xmas eve was kind of crappy. Got into a fight with parents, who don’t respect my boundaries. Felt bad about getting upset. Watched old episodes of queer as folk and tried to forget. On the other hand today my stocking was full of fun socks and masculine accessories so that turned it around a bit. Happy holigays.

  6. Christmas for me was…it was the new normal, which is usually stressful. My parents are about two and a half years post-divorce and they’re still fighting over stuff like cake plates, and still putting me and my sister in the middle. I am also pretending to be asleep (at the age of 26) so I can hide from my mom and her boyfriend and read AS. I regret nothing.

    On a happier note, I have successfully set up the greatest Christmas gift I’ll ever give. I am turning my apartment into a blanket fort and giving the gift of being a kid again to my sister. She won’t get it until next week due to timing, but it comes with lunchables, so I think it’s fair.

  7. My holigays are going well!

    Yesterday I went to a cousin’s party. It was awkward as usual. Family parties always remind me that, yes, I am such an introvert. It was also awkward because I’m vegetarian and I felt bad for turning down 99% of the food. I don’t like it when family members ask me “why are you vegetarian?” because I hate explaining myself cuz I suck at talking and yeah.
    But when I got home, my lil bro and I baked gingerbread cookies for SANTA!! c: And this morning I got lots of wonderful gifts. Mainly giftcards and cash, but that’s my favorite stuff. Oh and a new phone! Nothing fancy, but it’s better than my last one. And tomorrow I will bake some cinnamon buns, as me and my lil bro hang out!

    Also I miss my friends, so hopefully I can visit them soon. Happy holigays, everyone~

    • Yay! Good to hear that you had a positive holiday!
      Little brothers are the best! It’s awesome that you have a happy relationship with him. My younger brother is visiting from college too, so I got to hang out with him over Christmas too and will probably visit some more next week. :)

      • Hehe, thank you so much!! You’re seriously too sweet, like dang.
        And yesss, lil bros! I’m glad that you have a good relationship with your brother, also. I hope you continue to enjoy each other’s company!

  8. Guys, Merry Christmas, guys! I’ve been really enjoying meditation and reading my Buddhist meditation books. Likewise, a couple days after the open thread takes place, I brew a pot of tea and I start reading the comments in reverse order, bottom up, because I feel that the people at the end get less feedback because they were late, but need it almost more, because they/we are late and still wanted to send our stories out there. So if you’ve got a lot going on, and nobody comments, remember that us lurkers support you, and that’s what the thumbs up is for on the upper right side. ;)

    This happened (!):
    Because my brother in law is thoughtful and sweet. My list of wishes included a fancy shirt from Snorg and a membership to Autostraddle. He got me neither because he wanted his gift to be “more thoughtful than something off a list,” and did this!

    So lovely. I had an interesting holiday. No alcohol this year. Normally there’s beer and wine. My family, absolutely without discussion, didn’t drink because I can’t. My mom brought two bottles of sparkling wine and that was that. Like, “of course we’re not gonna drink, stupid, it’s hard for you to be around, didn’t you know?”. It made me so very happy. I love my family. In other news, my dad is leaving my mom for another woman – any other woman, as it turns out – and I was the only one who knew. So glad there was no alcohol around! :) I’ve been following a few simple ideas that I know by heart from, “Buddha in Blues Jeans,” and I want to share them here:

    When you get distracted, focus on the simplest part of being alive – your breath.

    Listening is kindness

    Listen to words. Listen to the experience behind the words.

    Thoughts are just your thoughts. They are not your life. They are your thoughts. Belief is only thought.

    Give thoughts room. Make a room in your mind as big as the sky, and let your thoughts be clouds that pass through.

    Events are not our ideas about them.

    Pain is natural. Relax into it.

    Benefit life.

    There is only now. Get connected now.

    Peace and love, my lovelies!

  9. It’s the day after Christmas and I’m currently sitting in my living room, overthinking stupid things. Christmas Day was spent with my mom and my brand new step father, both of whom are pretty awesome.

    But of course I’m not focusing on that, am I? I’m totally focused on the friend I’ve had for a long time, who lives like 700 miles away from me. Last weekend, I drunkenly admitted to her that I might maybe think about her in more than just friend ways. The upside? She told me the feeling is mutual. The downside? EVERYTHING ELSE.

    She lives 700 miles away. She is casually seeing someone where she lives, and while she insists that its totally a casual dating situation and they are not like, together or anything, that person actually lives in the same city, and is beautiful, and in my mind, 1000 times a better dating option than me. She is talking about coming to visit me, which would be awesome. But it won’t happen for like, two months. A lot can change in two months, especially when you have someone sitting right in front of you.

    And then, yesterday, all I got was a single, not personalized, “Merry Christmas” text. She didn’t answer the phone when I called her. Didn’t call me back. Never answered any of my texts.

    Two weeks ago, this would not have registered as much of anything to me. It’s Christmas, she’s busy with family, whatever. But now, I’m overthinking every possible reason she would be avoiding me. It was enough to distract me from enjoying my Christmas yesterday, and I woke up thinking about it.

    I think this crush was more fun when it was innocent, meaningless text-flirting, while we both pretended that we didn’t actually like each other that way.

    Merry Christmas.

  10. I am at home right now, during a lull in the family festivities. I have family visiting and there’s going to be a constant low-level state of chaos until they go home. I’m also considering coming out to my mom because I actually can’t stand it anymore. I think she’d take it well but I also don’t want to add to her stress because about 50 million things are happening right now/

  11. oh my god I’m so late to this open thread but. 2 things. 1, I woke up at 9 this morning, opened my laptop, started playing my brand-new copy of Gone Home, and I didn’t stop until 2:30 when I was done. So that was awesome. It was really queer and cute and there were SECRET PASSAGEWAYS.

    Also! My girlfriend is coming to visit me at my parents’ house tomorrow! Tomorrow! I haven’t seen her in a few weeks and soon we will be IRL KISSING again!

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