Christmakwanzakah OPEN THREAD: For All Your Hapless/Happy Holigay Feelings!

It’s Christmas! (For the record, I’m Jewish, but whatever, I’ve always not-so-secretly loved the fuck out of Christmas, which’s really a secular holiday at this point, amirite?) Regardless of your religious affiliations, chances are good you’ve got a few hours off this week to spend with your parents and/or children as well as various assorted members of your chosen and/or incidental family. There will be food and drink and presents and, obviously, lots of feelings and minimal safe spaces. Thus we present our fourth annual holigay open thread!


muppets love holigays!

Also! If you’re looking for a holiday drink, we suggest Irish Coffee, Eggnog, mulled wine, spiced whiskey, Hot Canadian, Five Loko, Corpse Reviver #2, Vegan White Russian, Skinny’s Spiced Pear & Ginger Punch, Poinsettia, Spiced Pear Sangria de Cava, Peppermint Snowflake Mistake, Candy Cane Infused Vodka, The Holiday Standard, Coquito, Bloody Ohio, or a Flaming Cinnamon Martini. Want some solids with your liquids? Try our moms’ favorite holiday dishes or just Get Baked in general. Or perhaps you’d like to wrap presents, make a last-minute gift,  roast chestnuts over an open fire, snuggle up in holiday hotness, make yourself some holiday-themed apparel, create some belated menorahs or do some super last-minute holiday shopping. We’ve also got advice on bringing your girlfriend home, not coming out, children, coming out help for your parentsbreaking up before the holidays as well as music including the Happy Holigays Playlist, XXmas, First Snow and Christmas songs that don’t suck.

If you’d like to view my girlboifriend’s favorite Christmas film, A Claymation Christmas, you can do that right here:

Now it’s your turn: what are you doing today? Are you having fun? Any politically horrifying and/or inspiring conversations? Have you been stuck in an airport for any significant period of time? Are you judging me for having a Christmas tree this year even though I’m Jewish? Did anybody get you a Samantha doll or 23 pounds of paper? Is this your favorite Chirstmas song, because it’s mine?  :


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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2962 articles for us.


  1. My mom keeps asking me what I’m looking at on my phone, and although I say CNN or Angry Birds, really I’m thinking up witty messages to send cute girls on OKC. Its a highly recommended holigay coping strategy.

  2. My partner, Fitzi, got me a Saint Harridan backer package for Christmas! My first real suit, and it is specifically designated as the suit I am going to marry her in. Best. Christmas. Ever.
    Happy Holigays Friends!

  3. You guys, I love my family, but I might bust my eardrums if I have to hear one more mention of what upstanding, honest citizens Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are.

    I’m just going to take a gander and assume that now isn’t exactly the best time to shout “Hey! I’m gay! And it’s awesome!”

  4. OK so I just got back from work to find that my dad (who I haven’t spoken to in 4 months because he is abusive) gave my sister presents to bring home for me. I opened them, and they’re nice things and I want them. But I don’t want to talk to him. I feel dishonest accepting gifts from someone I dont want a relationship with. I just wanted to share.

  5. I thought I’d make it through my first real “alone” Christmas okay, and then Rudolph started singing about being a misfit. Lost it entirely. My family might not be super good at holidays, but I miss them a lot today. My (sometimes) friendly neighbor brought me some ham and fixings from his family Christmas tonight. He knew all my roommates are gone and didn’t want me to “feel forgotten on this special day”. His wife makes some bomb-ass cookies, so at least I can eat all the feelings I have.

  6. I guess I kinda sorta came out today? I made up my mind if anyone in my family posed the usual boy questions I’d be honest. Today my sister asked, so I told her I like a girl. Mildly awkward, but I don’t think she was too shocked.

    In other news, tornadoes in Alabama! So, uh, roll tide.

  7. My father didn’t call me. I knew he didn’t care about me but he usually keeps up the pretense. I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.

    I didn’t even realize until my mom pointed it out. I wasn’t feeling good because I had some wine and I am alcohol intolerant, but my mom kept asking why I was acting upset. Then she asked if it was because my dad never called and… yeah. Now that is why I am upset.

  8. Pros: being out to family and slowly seeing the distance I created by being closeted for so long starting to close, even if its one inch at a time ;-)

    Cons: Realizing this relationship Im in isn’t healthy. Crap.

  9. I love my family and I’m so happy that I’m home, but I really miss my girlfriend who is spending the holiday with her family. She was supposed to come and visit this weekend, but now it looks like she’s not. It’s no big, because I’ll see her Sunday when I head back to our place, but she would’ve met my extended family (who I am very close with) and my best friend for the firs time and I’m super bummed. It’s not her fault. The logistics just didn’t work out, but I just feel… I don’t know. I’m just down. =(

  10. When my brother talks about his girlfriend, everyone chimes in with questions and comments.

    When I bring up my girlfriend, there’s a word or two, followed by awkward silence.

    I started dating girls a little over a year ago, and told my family immediately. It wasn’t a big “coming out” story, just… “this is what’s going on in my world, now”. My mom, dad, brother, and I have always been close like friends, but the news has kind of thrown a wrench in all of that. I didn’t expect it to be a big deal, and unfortunately, it has been.

    Aside from the family drama… I’m SUPER thankful that my girlfriend has an iPhone, this year. :) FaceTime is a godsend. Plus, all my friends from home are amazingly supportive. Overall, I’m a lucky girl. So happy freaking holidays, and lots of warm snuggly feelings to all of you!!!

    P.S. I’m excited to get back to Fox and Hounds Ladies Night with the Los Angeles Autostraddle crew. See you guys in a week! <3

    • i had a really similar non-coming-out coming out. my family (mom, dad, brother) and i have always been superrrr close, so when i started dating girls i just mentioned it like i would mention anything else. my dad and my brother were totally cool…my mom, very much not so.

      things are not the same as they used to be and i wouldn’t really say we’re best friends anymore, but i will say that 3.5 years later, things are much, much better. i guess i just wanted to say i understand, and i’m sorry, and i hope it gets better. it’s gotten better for me.

      but also i’m super jealous that your gf has an iphone & you can facetime, AND that you get to party with the LA AS crew…so you sound like things are gonna be alright ;)

  11. My brother and I accidentally raced each other to the bottom of a bottle of port, then went outside in my flannel jim-jams to look at the moon with my new high powered binoculars. I’m declaring it a Christmas win.

  12. This thread was beautiful. I love all of you.

    I’m reading it at the end of a two day Christmas, which, like usual has left me convinced that my family dislike me, and that I have no social skills. I also have a headache, and nobody recognizes me as enough of an adult to even offer me a cup of tea, let alone a glass of wine. Waaaaah.

    But my immediate family is beautiful, and for the first time in a while I actually got to spend the lead up to Christmas with them.

    We had a lovely ‘Blue’ Christmas Eve service, which gave a time to be somber and remember and support those remembering tragedy. Then Christmas morning was beautiful, and my six year old sister played bells in the band, and was gorgeous.

    Then we had presents, and then drove 400km to have Xmas dinner with Dad’s family, then got up today and did mum’s side.

    But on the bright side I got rainbow stuff from my parents, who are pretty homophobic, but I’m takin this as a sign they’ll come around, and today my AS calendar was in my mail, so that’s great.

  13. I’ve never been able to get drunk on Christmas because since the age of 18 I have worked on Christmas. I vow to NOT work on or around Christmas next year because I want to experience the joy of getting plastered with my family.

    This year I spent my first Christmas morning alone where I opened up my presents and cried because I don’t have my family or a girlfriend or even a roommate (who went home for the holidays) to share it with. But then I opened up a really awesome present and my mom called and I immediately felt 100 times better.

  14. Christmas is a non-event for me as I don’t do my family(my choice and I’m still searching out people of my own liking. I’ve been watching season one of Sailor Moon. and the theme song has really been a comfort/brainwashing. Their outfits and style are totally rad and there is even a special disguise pen that helps Sailor Moon change into a sporty photographer or even a sophisticated talent agent etc. Also there are many good lessons in the show such as: study to give yourself the best possible future and get a good night’s sleep and eat well to be the best that you can be. I think Sailor Mars is the best because she’s no-nonsense and will kick your ass with her martial arts. Sailor Mercury is smart and compassionate and takes the high ground in moral dilemmas and Sailor moon is a big whiney baby. She cries every episode even though you know she’s going to defeat the evil monster sent from the Negaverse! Hello! And what’s with fucking Tuxedo Mask saving their asses every single fucking time with that goddamn rose? This is not really a feminist show at all when a gdodamn man comes in every fuckin time to help before they can really let their powers shine. What the fuck???? And duh Darian is fucking Tuxedo mask you idiots!!!!!Hello how can these people not see that??? Also the cat Luna may be the most intelligent creature on the show. I have yet to meet Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus but I am curious to see what their personalities will be like. And to all the sisters with no family yet Moon Prism Power! Mercury Bubble Blast and so forth!

  15. Guys, my very homophobic uncle was very nice to me yesterday and then told me, for the first time since coming out, that I’m always welcome to come stay a few days with them and to come by sometime soon. Best Christmas present I got.

  16. Y’ALL. I mostly have a lot of feelings about the Doctor Who special. Can we talk about this?

    Like I’m not sure how I like Clara yet. And some parts were kinda cheesy (no spoilers yet)…and Madame Vastra/Jenny, omg!

    (I’m enough of a nerd that this is nearly eclipsing my big queer feelings about city mouse coming back to the small-town where nobody knows he’s a boy except his family, who’s remarkably chill about it. thank Santa for Steven Moffat, even if he is the devil sometimes)

  17. I hate going to see my family for the holidays. It’s always terrible, or at least, not so awesome. My paternal grandparents (the only people I’m not out to) kept asking me if my “roommate” (a.k.a. my live-in girlfriend) went to see her family for the holidays and where do they live?, etc. etc. I did manage to go the entire time I was up there without seeing my mother though. I swear it was a solstice miracle! :D :D :D

  18. As for gifts, Idk. I’m a somewhat masculine of center/androgynous individual and I received “hair chalk” in colors pink and blue, a pink bottle-cap necklace making kit, and a pink and lavender scarf – all from my sister. She is and has always been perfectly fine with me being gay, but she simply does not understand my style. On the upside, she did pick out baby blue footie pajamas for me, which are perfect (even though I never asked for footie pajamas) because hers were pink, so she did a better job with that. At least I didn’t get nail polish in flower-shaped containers from my grandfather like I did last year, lol. I was like, cooool. I’ll… paint stuff. :P

  19. This hometown is smaller than I thought… The locals scare/confuse me… My family makes me want to change… Thank the baby Jesus that Lagunitas is here with me… Should have booked the flight for before New Year’s though…

  20. Christmas was awkward but fun.

    I came out to my aunt and we had a long discussion about this guy I was going out with (but am not anymore, which was complicated by the fact that he put the moves on me when I visited him). As a result my grandmother’s house will always be -for me- the place where I came out to her.

    And I went to mass -willingly- and got more than a bit drunk Christmas Eve. (I’m good at hiding drunkness so I’m not sure anyone noticed.)

    I also went to New York City with my father -we go every year- and before Christmas visited people I missed in DC.

  21. After being home with my parents for 8 days, my mom finally asked me, again, if I was “still trying to meet men,” despite the fact that I’ve told her 4 or 5 times I am not interested in meeting men – I want to date ladies! We were doing so well, with 8 whole days of her not questioning my identity. Sigh.

    On the plus side, when I suggested she go to a local PFLAG meeting she said “maybe,” so that’s progress I suppose.

  22. Whelp. Another Christmas has gone by and once again, I neglected to inform my somewhat homophobic father that I’m a flaming homo. He and my stepmother announced that they’re having a baby, and now I’m even more afraid to tell him because I really want to be a part of my new sibling’s life, even though we’ll be about 22 years apart. Uggggh, feels.

    On a much brighter note, I have a huge crush on a gay girl I work with/am friends with, and I got to be her secret Santa! She liked her gift, which included a mix CD. So that made me ridiculously happy.

  23. This was a strange Christmas – the first one in which I refused to dress/act male for the benefit of others. That felt good in itself, but it was really weird… usually, our family always ribbing each other and cracking brain-hurting jokes, stringing wordplays along for as long as we can manage, etc… but this year it was really subdued, almost as if everyone was afraid of everyone else, walking on eggs, like… well, it was cool, that everyone wrote my new/real name onto card envelopes (though nobody /ever/ calls me or my sister by our real names, nicknames only; also, we don’t give gifts, just cards)… though my grandmother just didn’t write any name on my card… she’s the only one who seems to be actively denying to herself that there’s anything different about me. My dad and one cousin, though, who are both normally pretty homophobic/transphobic, have basically reached the point of just leaving it be/not talking about it, and acting with me like they’ve always ever done. (To quote my dad when I came out to him: “What am I gonna say? No? You’ve never listened to me before, why would you start now?”). Really, it’s only my stepmum, sister and one female cousin who are actively supportive, but that was good enough.

    And unusually, we didn’t go to midnight Mass… nobody said as much, but I suspect it was because my grandmother didn’t want me going to ‘our’ church in a skirt…

    The woman who gave birth to me, on the other hand, didn’t even bother to send me an email for Christmas (or my birthday in March, for that matter, after being outwardly all supportive, taking me clothes shopping and such whilst I visited her in the states), nor has she replied to the message I sent her. Ah, well. Not like she’s ever really been involved in my life, but still, it kinda bugs me that she seems more interested in what her born-again friends (yeah, she became one of those a few years back) say/think, than in her child.

    I still find that rather surprising. My birth-mother, who was the one who taught me, as a child, the importance of tolerance and openmindedness, doesn’t seem to want anything to do with me anymore (either because I’m transitioning, or because I refuse to become a born-again, or both), whereas my dad, who was always a fairly hardcore prick, at times exceedingly abusive (and yet always there without a word when you really needed him), and also quite homophobic/transphobic/everythingelsephobic, accepted my explanation when I came out to him and was surprised, almost even offended when I told him I worried he’d disown me over it.

    Interesting, how differently people you thought you know, can turn out to be…

    (sorry for rambling so long!)

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