OPEN THREAD: Thank Goddess It’s Christmakwanzakah

Happy holigays, queermos! It’s been a long, rough, faith-in-humanity-testing whirlwind of a year, and I’m hosting this, the 8th Annual Christmakwanzakah Open Thread, to help you forget all about it for a few minutes via pictures of kittens, small talk about my dog, and an endless bounty of love strong enough to fortify your heart against the nuclear winter in our future and the racist relatives sharing your dinner table with you this weekend. 

Look, here’s some festive animals!

The holigay spirit almost got away from me this year, but then I slapped myself across the face with a metaphorical cold towel called “joy” and went to Target to fix all of my problems, as the rich white woman inside of me often calls out for me to do. I bought a tiny tree, ingredients for a pie, small stockings, and some candles that smell like pine trees and made some magic happen in the name of saving humanity and myself from the Mad Max film that has become our waking lives, and guess what? It worked! 10/10. Would recommend. Put on some holigay tunes, put on a sweater emblazoned with a pine tree and ideally some actual jingle bells, and get to work getting into the spirit. I dare you. Or don’t! I love you never change you’re perfect. But I still dare you to.

Here’s a strong place to start.

Regardless, though, Eli and I traveled home in matching varsity jackets this week with a T-Rex cookie jar, some self-help books, a big tin of butter cookies, a white sweater, and an overpriced airport bottle of Evian in tow, so I know it’s officially time for me to put him in some flannel pajamas and try to train him to unwrap presents by himself. Luckily, I’ve got a very joyful week ahead of me: Multiple occasions to give and receive presents while I wear sweaters, a very gay New Year’s Eve party, and an even gayer wedding ceremony. (At which, yes, I am reading a Hillary Clinton speech to the crowd. Bless.)

Also, I may or may not have convinced my mom to let me take a day trip with her to Chappaqua while I’m here in the arctic tundra I once called home so we can, like, IDK, take a hike in the woods for no reason? In case you were wondering, no, I don’t plan to run into any smart and beautiful women in the woods and encourage them to primal scream with me for our nation. Stop being weird.

But enough about me! Here’s a Festivus Poll for the rest of you! Since I asked you last year to help me dress my dog, I figured this year we could just all decide which of these signature Molly Adams holigay looks we like the most. Hail Santa is gonna win, right.

In case you missed the post last year, she has an extensive collection, so here’s three outfits she owns and one sweater she doesn’t own but totally should have bought.

Okay, tofurkeys with all the fixings! Time to tell all and get weird together. Spill the tea. Shake the salt. Bare your soul. Post a picture of your cat in a Santa hat. Post a picture of your girlfriend lighting a menorah. Regale me with the minutia of your lives. Retell the stories of your youth. Record in excruciating detail the number of times your relatives brought up Benghazi at holiday dinner.

To get you started, here’s a warm-up question. I love polls! Do you love polls? It’s okay if you also just love dancing the pole. I’m into that.

See! Sharing is caring! Let’s do this. I want to know everything about your holigay celebrations and your day-to-day life and I want to know it now and I ideally want you to wrap it up in tissue paper inside of a baby pink plastic bag and then put that bag inside of a box inside of a box inside of a box inside of a box, with each box intricately wrapped in paper, so that I can spend as much time immersed in the everlasting gift of your love as possible.

And remember: At Christmakwanzakah you tell the truth, so please don’t hold back.

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:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640 px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


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

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.



    I had to vote for “What Even But Also Yes” because it is my exact aesthetic.

  2. Meowdy folks,

    I already got a pretty cool Xmas present. I earned a scholarship to my first national librarian conference, so I can afford to go! I’ve been to professional conferences before, but they were in anthropology. This’ll be my first as an aspiring academic librarian. Anyone else going to ACRL in March? Let me know so we can nerd together!

    My holiday plans themselves aren’t all that interesting. I’m going to have my butt plopped down either on this couch or in the wicker chair in the other room working. In fact, concerned that I was not getting enough work from my company (I’m a freelancer), this morning I agreed to Super Special Extra Awesome Work. But that’s completely OK, because…

    My hotter half is off of work for the week, which is amazing, but he’s probably going to want to sleep a bunch, so I can’t poke at him and harass him every second as I might otherwise wish to do. I’m sure I can divert a lot of that absurdity to the cat, though – that’s kind of what cats are for. Perfect cat child. Sweet floof. Cat cat cat. Cat. What were we talking about?

    I’m going to tear the computer apart and then make it perfect as my Xmas project. I bought a 2TB hard drive to throw in there and then I’m going to clean install Windows. I bet it’ll run like new after that, and we can get another seven years out of it (which we’d better because I refuse to upgrade past Windows 7 ever).

    The other night, as I continued to wrestle with insomnia, I decided to take another crack at calling my Chinese buddy. She did pick up, reminding me how awesome it is to hear her voice, but unfortunately that voice said “I’m still at work.” It’s cool, though, because she said she’s free this weekend, and I can wish her Merry Christmas, and I don’t even give a crap that she doesn’t celebrate Christmas because she’s Chinese. For the first time in actual months, yinz guys, we’re going to have a non-IM conversation. I’m absurdly excited by this.

    And lastly, my other project this week is probably going to be to finalize the coding for my book. Anyone else edit the code in ePUBs directly? What’s your workflow? I think it’s going to be tiresome to re-zip the entire folder every damn time I make a change to the CSS, but at least I’ve discovered BBEdit. Don’t tell me “use Calibre” because it doesn’t, as far as I know, actually let you edit the plain text of your files.

    I’m off to spend my afternoon playing cabinet arcade games!

    • have fun, and also congratulations on the scholarship! yay!

      ps – i used blurb recently for a thing and loved it, idk if that helps, it was v easy and there was no coding?

  3. It’s gonna be my first Christmakwanzakah with my girlfriend there and I am hyped. Like, my family Christmas? With my family? With my girlfriend there as part of it? And four cats? I am gonna explode with gay, festive joy.

    Have a good one, all!

      • I am reporting back! We are still cute! Also warm, the girlf would like to add.

        This morning I woke up with one of my cats gently booping me on the face while she took photos. I feel like this is demonstrative of the holiday experience as a whole (also wrapping paper there was that too).

        10/10 a good holiday and now there are candids of us being cuddly in an armchair in the Official Photo Slideshow that my mum made on facebook because of course she did.

  4. Carmen what kind of pie did you make?

    I’m here to report that this year’s crop of cards from the AS holigay card exchange is ~*brilliant*~. Never has my mailbox been so cheerfully gay. <3

      • I’d like you to know that I am also making pumpkin pie this Christmas and am v interested your a pumpkin pudding pie recipe. I’m also making teh fabled avocado pie recipe featured on a previous AS Get Baked column. PIE.

      • I’d like you to know that I am also making pumpkin pie this Christmas and am interested in your pumpkin pudding pie recipe. I’m also making teh fabled avocado pie recipe featured on a previous AS Get Baked column. PIE.

  5. At Christmas we tell the truth, so truthfully – I fucking hate Christmas. Especially this Christmas.

    I hate the way the world fills up with messages about happy families and everyone assumes that visiting your family is a good thing, a thing you want, a thing that is not totally toxic and panic-inducing.

    I have been filled with dread for several weeks about seeing my parents in the flesh after they voted for Voldemort and also since I’ve been in therapy and am fully dealing with the fucked up toxic mess that was my entire life. I leave tomorrow to drive to their house. I really really really don’t want to go.

    I don’t want to look them in the eye – these people who honestly believe I should be forced to undergo conversion therapy. Who belong to (and give a full 10% of their income to) a church (the mormon church) that was more upset with the word “pussy” being spoken on television than the fact that the speaker is a rapist. Who think rolling back my rights and the safety of everyone I love is totally a-ok because they’re mad their healthcare premiums went up.

    But I’m going to go, because of reasons. And I’m going to survive it.
    Thank the Goddess for the Safe Space Text Thread of Life my friends and I have already established since we are all facing similar situations. Thank the Goddess for a rental car so I can fucking leave if I really have to. Thank the Goddess for the flask I just bought myself that says “I Solemnly Swear I Am Up to No Good” that I will be bringing with me, filled with whiskey.

    So for everyone else staring down this kind of bullshit weekend, you’re not alone. We’ll survive this the way we do everything else — together.

    • I sat here for awhile trying to think-up something to say…but mostly I just made sad-faces at the computer (file under: not helpful).

      You’re right, there is a lot of emphasis on ‘happy family’ and ‘please ignore/shut-up about all the BS going on so we may present the image of happy family’ around the holidays. I’m sorry that it’s something you have to put up with, but glad to hear that you have supportive friends! I hope that the time with your family isn’t a total shit-show with a side of dumpster fire, and that you can make up for it with time spent with your friends/chosen family!

    • If you are in need of advice:
      Check out motels/Hostels near where you’re staying(and that are open) so you can walk out the door and leave at a moment’s notice.
      Bring a book/fanfiction/your favorite feel good gay show on your ipad/the Harry Potter series/the Sense8 Christmas movie so you can just be”I’m going to bed early”/Random excuse for going to bed early and indulge in your favorite feel good headspace whenever you want.
      Bring running shoes/work out gear, check out a gym or a park nearby, so you can leave with a good reason, because multiple days are easier to bear if you step out for a couple of hours and check back in with yourself.
      What also works is reading a book in a coffee shop nearby.
      My mom drinks, is a bad drunk and lives a gazillion miles away.
      So when I visit, I always do it for multiple days and with multiple escape routes, mental as well as physical ones, plotted out well ahead. That has helped me a ton, not to feel as trapped and to be able to literally walk out the door and not be lost, like hanging out in a rental car, in the parking lot of a seven eleven.
      If it is any further help: We always tend to move in such conforming social circles.
      Social circles that make us comfortable.
      Being in the middle of people that stand for everything you’re against actually helps you fight others like them down the road.
      Good luck, you’re not alone in this.

    • I have no helpful advice, so instead I’m giving you an *e-hug* (unless you don’t like having your personal space invaded like that, in which case I am waving sympathetically from a respectful distance). You can do it!

    • I am right there with you about the Voldemort-loving family. My chosen family (wife and teenage daughter) decided not to spend the holidays in Mordor and instead went to the gayest place on earth–no, not Fire Island–Disneyland. Even if we were surrounded by Slytherins, we couldn’t tell because nobody looks like a Deatheater in mouse ears.

    • Ugh, I’m having such a shit Christmas, too. I’m single, I don’t talk to my family, and since I just moved here a year ago I don’t have many close friends nearby, and most of my friends in general have partners and kids and are busy with them. I’m forcing myself to stay off social media and I’m glad there’s a safe space to bitch about this while I listen to River and 2000 Miles on repeat and hate everything.

  6. Happy holigays, all ye merry Straddlers! I’ve been busy with traveling and holiday-ing and haven’t been able to read/comment much this week, so this Open Thread is a welcome relief for me!

    I’ve been having all the feels. First, it’s weird for me to be at my parents, who live in a different state than I, because I just start to feel un-grounded really quickly and I like, forget how it feels to be in *my* house and my community and with my friends and it feels like everything is drifting away from me and YUCK! Idk, it’s weird. Also, usually Christmas is a very big affair where we get together with my mom’s extended family, almost all of whom were Trump voters. I’ve always known that they were conservative and had different values and I, but this…this is different. I don’t really feel ready to have a big conversation with them about it and I don’t know if I ever will be, but it certainly has changed the way I think about them and I just really don’t want to spend much/any time with them this year, so I am working on avoiding all the family get-togethers.

    One crappy thing I’ve learned about being an adult is that there is always SO MUCH WORK TO DO! Usually when I’m home for Christmas, my parents work during the day and my sister is at school so I dick around the house and watch TV, go to movies, go to Barnes and Noble, read, etc., and do whatever I want. This break pretty much all I’ve done is work, although I am trying to make time for my favorite solo holiday tradition-rereading all of Harry Potter! I had “job work” to do but I’m also busy organizing to fight a CAFO and a jail which apparently takes a significant amount of time. So, not nearly as much lazy time as usual!

    Finally, I’ve been reading Fools Journey and looking to get into tarot, but if any tarot readers and/or astrologists out there wanna share some wisdom and advice with this newbie, I’d really appreciate it!

    Make the Yuletide gay, everyone! <3

  7. lmao oh my god, this post ♥ The eyes on the pupper in the first picture! I love doggo crazy eyes. :)

    I’M AT WORK BY MYSELF hence the reason why i feel safe enough to be typing this up on my work computer ahahah. Watch, i’ll be found out :\ Hopefully not, though! Fingers crossed.

    Today’s been okay so far, except for a really rude woman from SoCal who i was on the phone with for 12 MINUTES. I’m confused, honestly, because i’ve been to SoCal three times, & people didn’t seem rude when i was there at any of those times. But the people who call from there are some of the rudest we get. Like, the fuck, California? Get your terrible rude people, please, & tell them to stop bitching at customer service people in Maryland for minutes on end. Gawd.

    Work is closing an hour & a half early today, so i get to go home before going to a lil party that a friend is holding that she went “this is also a b-day party for you” haha. My girlfriend (i can still say that??!!!!!!?????) & a mutual friend are going to drive me there, & then i’ll spend the night with my gf. :) But i’m mostly excited that i get to go home first because that means i’ll be able to give my friend Maggie her present, when i thought i wouldn’t be able to because it’s showing up while i’m here at work! So i’m like, stupid excited about that fact lmao.

    The whole “i have a gf” thing is weird, can i say that? Is that allowed? It’s just strange. It’s like, i thought more daydreaming while apart would be involved, but i’m okay going without her for periods of time. I do miss her at times, but it’s not obsessive or anything, which at least feels different for me. And then when i see her i give her big hugs & stuff. It feels almost normal? Is normal supposed to be like this? It feels so low-key that i’m afraid i’m doing it wrong. I’m used to really intense emotions, not… “normal”.

    I’m gonna have another published illustration, too :)

    If that doesn’t work, you can go here to see it, & buy it, if you like it :) (Only 1 doll hair!) It’s also on my Redbubble; i managed to make a big enough file to put it up as a wall hanging! I’m foolishly excited, hahah. But this is something i made that i actually like & was able to complete fairly quickly, & the magazine editor liked it, too. It sucks that i can’t get paid for it, but at the same time, it always is exciting to see my stuff in print, in an actual magazine that complete strangers read & hold & look at.

    And then in the meantime, i draw a half-man, half-shark. Y’know. As you do.

  8. How am I feeling? I’m not crying today, unlike a few days ago. I got to talk to my best friend yesterday about goats and to another friend today about self care and families, and we made plans to get together next weekend for lunch, which is nice. I’m not into the holidays like I ususally am. The last few years I’ve said we don’t have kids yet, so I should enjoy the freedom and flexibility, as soon it would change. This year it hasn’t, and I’m having a hard time seeing the bright side, the pros instead of just the cons.

  9. So far, I’m having a fairly low-key, nonreligious Christmas down here in Orlando. My Dad took my sister and I to see “Rogue One” last night. We’re with him for Christmas Eve and Day this year, so we get to celebrate Christmas again with Mom on the 27th-one of the perks of having divorced parents.

  10. I’m home for a few days, first time I’ve seen my parents since August.

    Conversation today with my dad during the interval of Sleeping Beauty ballet:
    Dad: I wonder who is going to kiss her to wake her up
    Me: me, I will
    Dad: that’s no good it needs to be the prince, it only works if it’s her one true love
    Me: how do you know I’m not her one true love?
    Dad: ….silence….

    Sooooo maybe they’re still not used to having a gay daughter!

    My dad is starting to suffer from Parkinson’s which is making it hard for him to walk…it’s kinda surreal seeing my dad like this, but he got new meds last week so fingers crossed they help.

    Anyway…lurking on here because I’ve got 5 days of being away from the LQBTQ community so need a fix :) Happy Holigays everyone! Lots of love and hugs and gayness!

    • I dig the sign!

      Sorry about your dad :( I know the feeling, my dad has some mobility issues (can’t feel his legs below his knees, spinal injury. He still walks though, with difficulty), and to see a tough-former-football type struggle with some physical aspects of daily life, yeah, it’s very weird. Though, likely even weirder and tougher for him. Hopefully your dad’s new meds help!

      Happy Holigays!

      • Yeah it sucks huh….I’m having the only-child plus live-abroad combo guilt trip which is fun…

        But onwards and upwards! Glad you like the banner, trying to spread a little cheer ;)

        • I hear you… I have the only child and living abroad guilt thing going on too, except I didn’t go home for Christmas. Never do, it’s too expensive to fly and I’m too busy at work. Been spending a lot of time IMing with my mom trying to give her moral support because she doesn’t want to deal with the holidays either. Hang in there and good luck!

  11. I have had the crappiest week in existence. I had a lovely time at the autostraddle meetup, but on my way home my body went NO. I was able to get home and wait for like half an hour in the driveway for my parents to get home so I could go to the hospital because I was in too much pain to walk, and I spent the weekend in the hospital.

    I’m home now and have seen one specialist who is like “maybe it is a muscle issue” so I will have some steriods injected into a muscle in my abdomen to see if that makes me feel better in a couple weeks. I have an appointment at the end of NEXT MONTH WTF why does this take so long I want to throw things with a specialist to see if it might maybe be endometriosis (or like maybe this pain is not endometriosis but I still might have endometriosis so either way this is a good thing). But I still want to throw things because the dang holidays are screwing everything up and making the wait times much longer. Plus it flat out doesn’t feel like the holidays nor can I properly celebrate them when there is just pain. Fuck this. I want a dang refund because this almost exactly how the holidays went last year too because I was recovering from freaking appendicitis and having surgery.

    • Hollis nooooooo. Sorry to hear this condition is still dogging you. My friend lucked into a great health practitioner that happened to be a friend of a friend just from asking around. I hope the same for you; sure sounds like you need a medical professional who won’t just write it off! I’m sure you know us Straddlers are thinking of you and hoping for the best for your new year.

  12. My attempts to get in the holiday spirit have been overshadowed by discussions with my dad about my financial situation, which is basically “bad bad not good oh no.” I need to get a job doing ANYTHING in the next three months to stay in NYC or DC instead of moving back to Rochester NY. Rochester is admittedly cheaper, but also not what I want for myself. So, I’m trying to frame applying for three-five jobs a day as proactively advancing my career rather than desperately trying to keep the life I’m trying to build for myself.

    Oh, and Christmas. We’re trimming the tree tonight and then my dad wants my agreement on this financial plan which is mostly his idea TOMORROW. So the peace and reflection part of Christmas Eve / Christmas has been obliterated, and then I’m home for another five days (great plan self). I don’t know why my dad couldn’t have left the financial conversation until Monday, but it’s standard procedure for him.

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry. As someone who has consistently had shitty finances and hears about it from her family, I know that this must be very stressful! Wishing you luck and I hope you have time for some quiet contemplation when you return home! <3

      • Thanks! As a second-best to quiet reflection, I’m listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion as I wade through the depths of LinkedIn. My dad keeps suggesting that I move into the apartment complex that he lived in when he left college (in 1974) so I set a Google Maps image of the area as my desktop background. That way I’ll have a constant reminder of the other option the world is offering me.

    • oof! I hope you land a job soon, sorry our dad is heckling you about it. being a tough spot financially is enough to shred your nerves, even tougher when family is on your case about it.

  13. Happy holigays! Work let out early, so I’ve got the apartment to myself for a wee bit (ah, a bit of alone time!). Drinking some coffee, but with eggnog instead of milk…an eggnog latte? It’s good, whatever it is.
    I’m normally one to make the best of the holidays and do enjoy the time with my family, siblings especially, since we don’t often get an extended period of time together. This week has been a bit rough though – found out that my grampa, who I’m quite close with, was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I’ve never had someone close to me with a terminal illness, nor have I had anyone close to me die, so this is new…lots of feels. Also, my good friend and bowtie-appreciator at work is leaving for an overseas job…serious womp-womp and sad face there. And, also, also, still waiting for my autostraddle merch shipment. Any other Canucks that have ordered/aprox. shipping time (to Onterrible, that is).
    …I didn’t mean for that to sound so Debbie-downer! Overall, I’m looking forward to the holidays and a few days off to catch some Zs and laze about in some comfy clothing. It’s been a heck of a year (and I’m not even in the US). I think I’m just rambling now. I’ll go learn about photo-embedding so I can include the pic. I just took of my bowtie collection being overseen by my Holtzman action figure.

    • I’m sorry about your grandfather!

      I don’t think having seen decline and death before does much difference, to be honest. Your relationship with each person is different. It feels different. You may handle it differently. There are practical details that can transfer if the situations are similar enough, but that’s not where the heavy lifting is. Know that your feelings are valid and other people feel as lost as you do, even if they have more experience —some of them even might even handle it by acting very practical and together, like they know exactly what to do at all times, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily do.

  14. I’m not celebrating Christmakwanzakah, but I did celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary yesterday. It was glorious. Champagne, freshly baked bread rolls and fresh exotic fruits for breakfast in bed, ten red roses and a gorgeous love letter, a couple’s spa day with mimosas, trying out a couple of “anniversary gifts” we ordered together, making a romantic three course meal together (including handmade pasta), eating said meal, then cuddling in bed to a nice film with a sidecar (or three). It was like three romantic dates wrapped into one. We emerged this morning somehow completely worn out, having lost track of time.

    In unrelated news, the stray kitten we are feeding is getting tamer. She still won’t let me touch her, but she’s learning her feeding schedule and comes looking for me (to my dogs’ amusement) around tea time. Given that don’t now nor have I ever owned a cat, I feel a bit ridiculous seeing roughly 40 days worth of kitten food on a shelf every time I go into the kitchen.

  15. This has been a weird week.
    Christmas is just this thing that makes everything brighter, and emotions roll all over the place.
    Everything is just closer to life and death than usual.
    And then of course, there was Monday.
    I was working a 24 hour shift on Monday and absolutely clueless,without cell reception in the ER, when the guy heading the ER turned to me and said,”Have you heard?”.
    I didn’t believe him at first, and I didn’t believe the news, either, but then I hit a spot with cell reception and my phone started shaking in my pocket with a dozen messages asking if I was ok.
    And I was on this thread last week, full of self pity because I thought no one cared.
    I’m proud of my city, because Berlin is entirely unfazed.
    Its grumpy, no-bullshit people defiantly crowd the Christmas markets, scoff at the surge of police with heavy guns and are telling off the rural fascists who somehow want to make it about themselves and “The Refugee crisis”.
    I’m proud of the news agencies and social media having learned their lesson from Munich, where they whipped people into mass panics with overeager speculation.
    I’m also very glad for cool headed Merkel who did not promise to rain vengeance on anyone or anything.
    I’m kind of glad and grateful, for three days off, for my friends, for having enough money to be comfortable, for having a refrigerator full of food and for my rad new Star Wars knitted sweater.
    I actually managed to get one for a friend of mine, too, and she’ll love it to pieces!If it fits. I’m very new to this sweater buying business.
    I hope you guys get to enjoy a lot of food, warmth in whatever form and a few days off.
    Happy Holidays, everyone!

  16. My dog was in my parents’ annual christmas card and he looked very beautiful. (hopefully the picture below works!) His name is Cappuccino (whyyyyyy eighth grade Carolyn) but I call him Happyccino because he’s always wagging his tail. He’s been a very bright spot in this awful year even though he found his christmas present today and ate it.

    I’m looking forward to 2016 being over and to having my twin sister here in St. Paul for two weeks. This year has been a clusterfuck for me personally, but I just went on a date for the first time in 5 months and it was really nice! I’m actually feeling hopeful that I might be able to be happy again. Sending love to everyone dealing with toxic families – if anyone would like more cheerful dog pics, let me know!

  17. Because of an allergy testing thing I cannot have cinnamon or even touch it I will not be doing gingerbread cookies this year so I’m getting experimental. Made cake flour and will use that for my sugar cookies with ginger and lemon zest. They will be so soft and fluffy.
    Also trying out some new gluten free cookies for people with gluten issues in my left.
    Sweet plantain cookies and sweet potato cookies.

    For Christmas Day my family will be using home mixed Sazon on Cornish game hens. Avawn gave me the particular ratio of da spices so once again I am bring a little holigay to the holiday table. Last year I made Alaina’s jolloff and brought it to Christmas Eve.

    Speaking of my lil 14 yr old cousin’s boyfriend who was checking my andro dressed self out Thanksgiving while cuddling her is worse than I thought. He’s a junior to her freshman and he has a car.

    I wasted a like sec thinking what should I wear in case that insect is there, before deciding I don’t care.

    Beside it’s the side of my family that undoubtedly voted Trump and ignores me as if I didn’t speak when I say something counter to their point of view.
    I might show up in my Bad Girls heels if I didn’t think I might need a drink. Just enough to get a buzz so I don’t shout at my elders in frustration and bemoan the youth in exasperation .


    The dog I am dogsitting felt festive last night and ate all this fancy chocolate that I thought was in a place she could not get (I was wrong) and we spent many hours at the emergency vet, while she vomited and I read Catster magazine.


    She is fine, nobody slept well last night, now I am waiting on my girlfriend to get the hell out of the house to a) pick up sperm from the sperm bank (no joke!) and so I can b) wrap her xmas present, which is an analog radio, because I am an annoying hipster. It’s wood-paneled.
    She said something awhile ago about wishing we had an actual radio and not streaming bc old fashioned feelings, and so I promptly went out and got one so that she could listen to NPR in style.

    I don’t really love Christmas in general, but this year I’m not gonna fight it, I’m gonna wear slippers and drink some seasonally flavored rum and be like “fuck it, whatever, Christmas, thank you for the beeswax candles” (every year my girlfriend’s family buys me beeswax pillar candles and varieties of early gray tea bc I am boring and if I tell them to buy me the same thing every year I know I will like it.)

    Every year though I ask for people to buy me a membership to this yarn CSA (a wrinkle in thyme farm! run by lesbians! in Maine!) and nobody ever gets it for me. I wish they did! I love subscriptions! Once upon a time when my life was fairly crappy I bought myself a membership to a robot-of-the-month club and got a watercolor print of a robot doing something like eating pasta or birdwatching and it was very charming.

    That’s all. If you like Christmas I hope you get all the Christmas you need, if you hate Christmas I hope you get to do something else really cool and fun.


    • I’m glad the dog is alright after that chocolate scare. And, maybe those candles could serve as props for saying “None of your beeswax” if someone asks an intrusive question.

      • yes me too! also that would be hilarious, I’ve never considered gesturing at people aggressively with a pillar candle to make a point, but that’s not a bad idea. :D

  19. Happy holigays, everyone!

    I started watching Person of Interest and I’m in love. I haven’t watched anything that good in a long time. Plot is so good and all these characters are amazing and I love them so much! Also, I have such a crush on Shaw.

    I haven’t really felt this Christmas atmosphere this year but I’m pretty excited. I’m packing gifts for my family now and I hope they’ll like it. I love this time mostly because I get to spend time with them and after Christmas Eve’s supper we watch “Home Alone” together. Everything is peaceful and warm, I go to kitchen for cakes and sweets, I read books in my room and I’m so relaxed. I just love Christmas.

  20. ??Praying?? for you to run into HC. Wouldn’t that just be a Christmas dream/miracle?

    I’m working Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Luckily I really like my job and it’s not retail or hospitality (nothing wrong with those industries, people just get real crazy this time of year) and I’m scheduled to be working with one of my best friends.

    Then I’m gearing up for a HOT Christmas. It’s going to be 35C, that’s 95F which is a lot to deal with. After champagne breakfast I’ll likely take a nap. Clearly I have big plans.

    Happy holigays everyone!

    • Have a great day at work. Some of my best Christmases were spent at work.
      This year I’ll be cranking up the “cool” setting on the A/C and cooking like a madwoman for my special live in Christmas traditionalist and probably FaceTimeing friends in the snow in the northern hemisphere.

      Best Wishes to you all.

  21. Happy Holigays everyone! Christmas, like thanksgiving, is at our house this year, which is odd as my mother hates having christmas at our house. We’re having a pasta buffet and various kinds of dead animal (which I will not be eating). My liberal aunt and uncle are coming, so I won’t be completely surrounded by Drumpf supporters. I’m going to dress as gay as possible to make the ones I’m not out to start to question their straight view of me. I can’t make an official announcement (like I really want to) because I can’t come out to my stepfather, who will be present.

    In other news, work was crazy yesterday. I work at a higher-end convenience store/fast-food restaurant/gas station (the customers are mostly rich white people), and we ran out of gasoline and coffee filters, so all the customers were extra grumpy and complaining. Then, proper fisticuffs occurred in the parking lot. It was a bad time.

    Also, I’ve decided what I want my protest haircut to look like. I will get it on January 19, and because I think I can donate it, I will send before and after pictures of the back to our new president and vice-president with a little message.

  22. Howdy.

    My family celebrated Xmas yesterday.

    I did not open most of my gifts, because I acted like a total dick to my mom after opening one that she got for me, and I could tell I wasn’t going to get any nicer.

    I probably could have gotten nicer, had I forced myself, but I’m a shitty person, so I didn’t.

    I hate Christmas.

    I’m bad at forcing enthusiasm, and I have this awful tendency to get angry over being given gifts, like I’m somehow being manipulated into doing the gift-giver a favor by receiving their kindness with gratitude (How Emotionally Taxing).

    I tend to react to the expectation of agreeableness by becoming my least agreeable self.

    I’m an asshole, is basically what I’m saying.

    Anyway. Today I bought lamps, so there’s that.

    • relatable. i feel like there’s even more pressure for bday presents because you’re the only one opening presents on that occasion.

        • we had a party in my honor at my boss’s house (I graduated) and here was a white elephant gift exchange. I ended up getting a lump of coal (actually charcoal soap but like … same, right? lol). I was not gracious about it hahahhhh.

  23. I am so excited for this holiday, maybe even the most excited ever. And I am doing absolutely nothing Christmassy or family orientated at all. No family=mucho relaxation time. I’m going to Lambeau field to watch the Packers stomp the Vikings on Christmas eve and spending Christmas day at the cinema. Then I have a while week off with no plans except our Autostraddle Holigay party!

    Also today was exactly the kind of day when I love being a toddler teacher. I got so many sweet presents and notes that made me cry from parents and kids. And so much chocolate! Sidenote: why do people always assume teachers love chocolate?

    Happy Holidays lovely straddlers!

  24. It doesn’t really feel like the holidays for me here, despite it raining the past few days(with more to come) and Christmas music playing loudly from the outside(when I first type it, it was Elvis’ Blue Christmas). It has been kind of busy and work, but not as much as it should be. I think it’s all due to the climate, political and actual weather. Though the weather does allow nice drives through PCH and mountain roads with the windows down.

    Speaking of mountain roads, I went on a short hike and then drive Sunday. Some of the drive was familiar, but I decided to drive a new road that lead to some beautiful views, but in an area that felt wasp-y/white guys in lifted trucks(which there was a few of). Unfortunately, my car refused to turn on in this area and I was looking fabulous with dark blue lipstick on and my Autostraddle They/Them pin. It was a bit nerve racking, but did get the suv to turn on again. Sadly it happened again at the gas station, which at that point I was san lipstick. Again got the suv working, and have plans to take it to the dealership next week. Ugh.

    On a more lighter note, I finally got headphones last Friday afternoon(via amazon). For anyone curious I got Sennheiser CX5.0 in ear. I like it for the price and I recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade, but doesn’t want something too bass heavy and more balanced. I also got my They/Them pin also last Friday, which I am very excited for. Then Saturday I saw the movie Silence staring Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield. I know it’s based on a true events, but still had that Christian savior feel to it. Plus, they had a Jewish actor(Andrew) playing a priest. The acting was good for the most part, but I still couldn’t get it out of my head. That and it could have been shorter.

    Afterwards I went to the Abby with to celebrate a friends b-day and got to show the in, which stayed on and looked great on me! Thank you Autostraddle! Had a nice night there as I got to dance a lot, be around queers dancing, and making out. Plus, having my old friend Mary and Jack there.

    A tree I saw on my hike.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a safe and happy holidays, a Merry Christmas, and Happy Chanukah!

  25. Evening all-well technically it’s now v.early a.m. here but eh. My lovely wife and I have finally stopped cleaning the house and wrapping stuff for the day. It’s nearly done, we are nearly ready to host our parents in the biannual tradition in which we seem to have fallen (the grammar of this sentence hurts, I yield after 3 attempts, I’m sorry it’s like 1am damnit). The turkey is defrosting, we have hidden 90% of the crap we usually have around the house, and my van is filled with bags to take to the dump tomorrow morning. Happy holidays! Why is there so much pressure to live in a showhome? I mean, I have no built in storage anywhere, I had to hide an ironing board and a ladder ffs! We even discussed building an under stairs cupboard today. Urgh.
    In other news I’m now on holiday until January 10th (ish) hooray! Let the relaxation commence…on Wednesday post family dealings. I’m bracing for the fallout from my exiling of the iffy voters to whom I’m related…today my parents hosted them so we shall see if they say anything tomorrow at their faux New Year’s Eve party (they’re out of town for the real thing so shifted their annual bash forward a week) hoping they won’t comment as they’ll be in front of friends.
    For those who were interested last week; I have finalised my queer mix cd playlist, and will post when I am back at my laptop, not about to nod off.
    Good night all. Have magical holidays whatever you’re celebrating, and great weekends if you’re not. :)

  26. I’m spending the holiday season imagining songs for Alex and Maggie to sing to each other when the “Supergirl/The Flash” musical crossover happens.

    Oh Maggie, what a pity you don’t understand,
    You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand,
    Oh Maggie, you’re so pretty, can’t you understand,
    It’s gals like you Maggie,
    Oh, what you do Maggie, do Maggie,
    Don’t break my heart, Maggie

  27. I ran out of olive oil for cooking and I keep forgetting to get some. I need a Christmas miracle. Wait maybe a Chanukah miracle. Not sure I just need some olive oil for cooking.

  28. Happy holidays everyone!

    So … I did a whole lot of coming out this past week. I told my sister, my dad and my best friend that I’m gay (my mum asked me a while back). Tonight I was at a burlesque show with my sister and cousin and it came up over dinner, so my whole family will undoubtedly know by christmas. It’s such a relief and it’s also super weird but I guess this is my first holigay!

    We have a super casual christmas planned this year, with just me, my sister and parents hanging out tomorrow and Sunday. The plan is to eat a lot of food, watch a lot of movies and wear pyjamas all day. I’m finishing up my present wrapping now and watching christmas movies, then the plan is bed (it’s 1:30 here) but I’m feeling good. After all of the shit that has gone down this year it’s nice to end it with some positive stuff!

    I hope you all have a lovely time over the next few days no matter what you have planned!

    • You came out to your family members at a burlesque show? You just won the holigays so freaking hard.

      And congrats for having those conversations! They aren’t easy. I wish I had the guts to come out to my parents about some things.

    • Congrats on coming out! Happy first holiday ❤ sounds like you’ve got lovely plans and only more happy times to finish the year off! ❤

  29. Its my first Christmas with family in 9 years! And I’m not sure if I’ll be with them next year, I’m moving to barcelona in January by myself! Exciting but terrifying! I’m happy to spend time with my brother and sister, but missing my girl. Hopeful for the future but content in the present ❤ so happy to have the AS Community and staff to make me feel like I can be at home anywhere :) you guys inspire me! Xo

    • Happy holigays! I second you, AS is such a wonderful place, I don’t know where I would be without this community!

  30. OK open thread do over because my first one was too much of a bummer:

    I finally got my little thing in the mail that proves I did a French immersion program this summer

    (it took a while to find me, because I moved twice after registering, so they had a very wrong address, and also I just didn’t feel like picking up the phone when the school called me afterward, which may have sped things up)

    And! I swung a B+!!

    Well, a Canadian B+, which is I think a United States B? C+? I remember being very confused / delighted by the Canadian grading scale, but I don’t remember the details, so I’m not sure.

    ANYWAY, I forgot how to budget when I was in Québec, and spent a solid week living off of no brand vanilla Oreos and water, so I think I earned this Canadian B+

    I was at least dedicated enough to French that I was willing to almost get scurvy for it

  31. Happy holidays everyone!

    I just arrived at my aunt’s for Christmas and so far it’s a blast – I pretty much only see this part of the family once a year and I always love seeing the sibling rivalry/hilarity between my dad and his sisters. Also an unquantifiable amount of alcohol.

    I’m feeling super grateful atm that the second half of my 2016 was sort of a dream, political hellfires aside. I’ve been busy moving country, having lots of adventures and meeting amazing new people! And I love my gf more than ever. It’s nice to be back home for the holidays but I’ve decided to keep going with the whole living abroad thing and I’m going to try and get my first proper grown up job in January, wish me luck!

    P.S. Carmen I love you

  32. Happy holigays guys!
    I’m not usually too festive on the 23rd – it’s my birthday and I’m one of those people who isn’t very into them, often they can be rather grim because it’s the time of year where people are stressed / rushed off their feet / absent to go elsewhere, but today was really nice!
    I went home to my mothership and sister for the day, and got the last of my Christmas wrapping done, and they were really thoughful – no stress on the day, no fuss, but cool books and a trip to the panto in the evening. The holiday racism™ inherent in being around family was even pretty low key!

    I’m looking forward to Christmas, but honestly mostly looking forward to Christmas dinner / chocolate / various food things and Doctor Who.

    I hope you guys all have a lovely winter / holiday time!

    I’m off to ignore the fact that I’m another year older and in a few years will round up to 30 – not old I know, but I graduate in June and it’s scary.

    Festive hugs to you all <3 xx

    • Happy birthday! Mine is on the 29th so totally get those “everyone is too partied out to celebrate” feels.

  33. I decided in November that I was not doing Christmas this year. Neither my wife or I have enough time off for a visit (She is in Seattle and I am in Chicago, both in the medical field) and I am in another/ continuation of the eternal fight, with my college age daughter about money and being a horrible mom.

    Then my wonderful, thoughtful and intuitive wife decided to decorate my apartment while I was at work during her last visit. It thrust me into the holiday spirit. I even made cookies one weekend. I bought lots of presents for family and friends. And I am even hosting a holigay party for Chigagostraddlers who are planless on Christmas Day. I don’t know what bit me but I caught the fever.

    I also tortured my doodle!!

  34. This is shaping up to be the worst Christmas ever.
    I just got fired from a job I started a month ago, the first job I ever really liked. As a result, I had a breakdown in a way that I haven’t since college. And I got through it, but still.
    On top on that, I’m dogsitting, so this is the first Christmas I’m away from my mom.
    I’m pretty much just trying to get through the holidays by taking long walks with the dog and trying to plot my next move.
    Mostly, I’m just really scared and impatient for next year.
    Sorry for the angst. It helps to just dump everything online, makes me feel less alone.

    • Hi! Last Christmas I was dog / house-sitting away from my family, and while I was employed, it was my personal Rock Bottom in terms of just how much I disliked my job

      And I feel for you

      And I hope walking with The Pup helps ease some of that pain

      I recommend dog parks, for built in socialization, if you want that

      • Thanks. I’m hoping to pull in enough cash dogsitting over the next week or so to where I can keep my head afloat and plot my next move in a less panicky state of mind.

        I hope you get to be with your family this year. :)

    • I’m with you on the holiday financial / familial angst. *elbow bump*

      Listening to Mariah Carey Christmas songs is helping me. My family isn’t a Mariah crowd, but her voice just blows me away. Plus she shared some saucy/sultry pictures of herself “festivating” like a true diva with a glass of egg nog on social media.

  35. Got to my parent’s house today. negative feeling – none of us really have the “christmas spirit” I’m really trying, we kinda all are trying for each other but we just don’t have it. positive-ish feeling – this year cant possibly be as traumatic and awful as last year so there’s that at least. Also I get to see my kitty and go to Powell’s Books so there are some upsides to this visit. Also nice to have a break from working on my grad school application, yikes so much to do still and about two weeks left. Pretty sure everyone in my life is tired of me complaining about it, I’m tired of complaining about it, but also AHHHH!

  36. This Christmas is super untraditional for me because it’s the first one I’m spending away from my family! Surprisingly, though, I’m super chill and into the idea.

    I think it helps that I’ve made some great friends here, one of whom is coming over for a Christmas Eve sleepover tonight, and we’re gonna make Bailey’s French Toast tomorrow morning and exchange Christmas presents.
    Also, my other closest friend (who lives in my building) just invited me over for pizza and a film tonight, so there’s that!

    Tomorrow we’re all going out for lunch and then boardgames and shenanigans at my friend’s house. I think around 12 of us will be going?
    Super grateful for this new weird chosen family thing we’ve got going on here!

    Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

  37. Hello friends, hope you get to do something relaxing over the holidays. I just finished up my first semester of law school – it totally kicked my butt, but I’m loving the challenge and have met some good people. Now I’m home hanging out with my dog, getting a few workouts in, and cramming some online courses to stay up-to-date in the reserves. My dad just asked for help deleting an app from his phone, so I took the opportunity to also delete the Breitbart app from his phone.

    Also, I’d like to share the crowning achievement of my finals week, this GIF.

    If that doesn’t work, here’s the link:

  38. Bonus: The stray kitten we’re feeding gave me the Christmas present of letting me get within touching distance (without actually touching).

  39. I’m in bed at my grandparents house writing an Autostraddle article and periodically a grandparent appears with a cup of tea or a helpful suggestion. If you’d asked me ten years ago the only part of this I’d have guessed at is being in my room in their house tonight but they’re really proud of me even though what I do for a living is write about lesbian witchcraft on the internet. In a little while I’m going to put a dress on and go up to my parents house for Christmas Eve drinks and bad behaviour with the middle generation of adults. My Dad’s made an alternative nativity scene with godzilla and skateboarding Ian Wright (British footballer from years ago, we got an action figure of him free from a petrol station once) and is going to make cocktails while we listen to heavy metal.

  40. i have a head cold and four hours sleep for christmas. i guess this is normal for northern hemisphere people but it’s 36 degrees today give me a break

  41. Update: have handed Mum her present. Its a rectangular box wrapped in opaque paper, she cannot possibly tell what’s in it.

    Mum: ooh is it a bottle of patron silver?

    It is but shh.

  42. Well, I’ve never joined an open thread before, but I’m at a loss for outlets right now and thought I’d give this a go.

    My life is in transition right now. I’m in between jobs and countries, having just moved from a not-safe country to Trump’s USA (also a not-safe country!) with my Muslim immigrant spouse. Until I find a job and an apartment in the city I actually want to be in — the city where I have family and friends, the only city I’ve ever felt okay as myself in within the US — I am staying in a relative’s empty apartment in another city, one I don’t really like, but beggars can’t be choosers and all that. I know I am very lucky to even have this option.

    And yet, these relatives are understandably occupying this apartment for Christmas (this branch of the family is Christian, my immediate family Jewish), and one relative in particular is a clinical narcissist who never sleeps and never stops talking and needs a constant audience and laugh track and it has always fallen upon me to occupy that role because I owe this person many things, but after being independent for so long being back in a space where I feel beholden and emotionally suffocated is really, really hard, particularly on the heels of a personally and politically awful year.

    To top things off, my partner and I are “invited” to Christmas eve dinner at the home of adamant reactionaries of the sickeningly wealthy variety, not just Trump supporters but serious fundraisers and donors, and that event is only a few hours away and I am steeping in dread. Religion + politics + personal space + sense of autonomy just all under full assault right now and god do I just want all of this to be over.

  43. Happy Halloweeeeeen! 8) Wait.

    When I’m happiest, I feel free to act like a dope in public so you can tell I’m having a great holiday so far.


    My hands are so cold from shopping by bike in a winter rainstorm (I LOVE YOU WINTER RAIN <3 ) that I'm having a hard time typing.

    But, I'm *stoked* to start making some of these pies. This is my first time making vegan pies SUCH EXCITE one is an avocado key lime pie and the other is a pumpkin pie with a praline spice crust (gluten free). This week I had a lot of fun researching different recipes and learning the chemistry behind custard pies to do my best with the substitutions for eggs and milk.

    I'm freezing but MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: I got all the hard-to-find ingredients I needed from my last-minute shopping trips. Soon the kitchen will be filled with a warm oven baking up that fragrant pecan crust. Gonna make soup for dinner. Maybe a hot toddy.

    Christmas Day is pie day. And crafts! :^D

    Happy holidays everyone! I appreciate reading all your updates, the sad ones and the happy ones and all the ones in between. Thanks for sharing your holidays with AS. <3

    • Pie science! Those both sound amazing, I hope they taste as good as I’m imagining! Ah, what am I saying, they’re sure to be even better ;)

      • Heheh thanks Thesaria. I hope they taste ok! Gonna find out later today; that’s for sure. :v Speaking of pie science heh, I forgot about the little tin foil hats they have to wear in the oven to keep the crust from burning, so definitely these are pie astronauts now that they are foiled up. Lulz.

      • Ok so the pecan crust was *delicious*. I like it better than a regular pie crust. Yummeh. The pumpkin pie itself was great but not quite enough sugar, which means it will go perfectly with ice cream. The recipe is from Oh She Glows, available online.

        I messed up the avocado pie recipe mistaking evaporated milk (unsweetened) for sweetened condensed milk. Luckily I had a back-up crust so we rescued the filling and are trying again. Hopefully it will set overnight in the fridge.

        Overall, I’m calling it a win because it’s all edible heh. The only problem now is I have to eat two entire pies by myself (they’re not good enough to share, unfortunately).

  44. Alsoooooo was looking and looking and LOOKING for something on Netflix and finally found ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ which is pretty perfect for my current baking / crafting / holigay mood.

    Merli looks pretty good! But it’s sub-titled so not ideal for multi-tasking in the kitchen (unless you speak Spanish!).

    Pls put other suggestions below: vvv

      • Oh man I wish I had HP on netflix instant! I meant to borrow my friend’s DVDs before she left for break.

        I *can* report that The Jungle Book (2016) is legit; they had some great casting like Bill Murray as the bear, Baloo, and Idris Elba as the tiger Shere Khan.

        I’ll look for Ebenezer Mouse! Thank you. :)

  45. so I got the gayest Christmas presents ever:

    1) a pair of Doc Marten’s ( finally <3 )
    2) pictures of rainbow hearts
    3) a subscription to a feminist magazine

    yeah, I see a pattern here…

  46. It’s a Christmakwanzakah miracle!
    My lil cuz and her creepy older boyfriend with a car broke up last night. It was not a nice break up as we’re not allowed to mention it.
    He may have attempted to pressure her into physical stuff only to have that blow up in his weasel face.

    Her sister, cousin from her dad’s side and mom are rallying the “fucking dirtbag” etc and gleeful delighting in his self inflicted by temper tantrum broken toe.

    I will never mock squad goals or any kind ladyish people together ness.
    Supporting one another is a miracle to me.

  47. Watching my favorite childhood christmas specials and finding them gayer than ever! Loving Muppet Christmas!

    Celebrated Solstice last week in true gay-pagan form with a night of candles, storytelling and witchy chants.

    Tonight, my cats are curled up under the tree, and I’m grateful for their safety and comfort in this wild world. I’m making eggnog and maple pecan pies for my girlfriend’s family tomorrow. Did you know that eggnog can have raw egg yolks in it (esp if they are local and fresh) and that’s totally okay?!

    It’s so wonderful to see everyone’s holigay posts here. This time of the year can be so stressful and extra hard to remain grounded in our understandings of ourselves. So text your friends if your family is driving you cray, and enjoy knowing you will be returning to your self-made gay paradise home, wherever that may be.

    Peace on earth and good will to all.

  48. I’m at my mom’s for Christmas, and we have been running all over town to finish shopping, get groceries, and just generally carouse. We spent the afternoon making pies, spinach dip, and some weird cheeseball to take to my grandmother’s tomorrow.

    I also spent the day today watching a marathon of “Too Cute” on Animal Planet and holding mom’s tiny dog. His name is Wilson.

  49. I’m at my mom’s for Christmas, and we have been running all over town to finish shopping, get groceries, and just generally carouse. We spent the afternoon making pies, spinach dip, and some weird cheeseball to take to my grandmother’s tomorrow.

    I also spent the day today watching a marathon of “Too Cute” on Animal Planet and holding mom’s tiny dog. His name is Wilson.

  50. To those who celebrate a certain December holiday, Merry Catmas and a happy Mew Year!

    I am home alone with cats and not doing anything today, but that’s ok, because I don’t really have that much sentimental attachment to Christmas. Actually some peace and quiet and kitties is lovely.

    In less than a fortnight I’ll be leaving my amazing queer sharehouse family, stashing my stuff with my parents, traveling and then moving to another city. The others have already moved out of the house into a neighbouring suburb and I wasn’t prepared for the shock of seeing the empty rooms and realising that lazing on those couches playing dumb games and talking to these people was so precious, and it will never happen quite that way again. I am actually grieving.

    But, so many factors aligned that I know it is the right decision to leave, and they are happier in the new place, so I can only hope this year is the opening of an amazing new chapter in my life.

  51. I’m super late to this but I wanted to share because I’ve had an eventful week!

    I did most of my Christmas shopping (and I tried to remember to use the AS amazon affiliate link as much as possible!) and I really enjoyed being able to spend more money on people and being able to get everyone a few gifts instead of just one small one each.

    Speaking of which! I bought my parents a surround sound system because it was on sale for black friday and the new TV they bought has a pretty lame/weak rear-facing speaker so I wanted to upgrade them. BUT the box it came in is, 5 FEET TALL so wrapping it was an interesting experience.

    I had a plan as soon as I bought it to keep it a secret until Christmas morning when I would sneak it out in the middle of the night and put it under (or near, as it is so tall and doesn’t fit) the tree. They would always “play santa” and put out gifts sometime Christmas Eve night while I was sleeping or otherwise unaware so it feels really good to get to surprise them in the same way as an adult :)

    Also, during my Christmas shopping I found out that a local bookstore has an LGBTQ book club that meets once a month!

    Thankfully my place of work is closed both Christmas and Christmas eve, but I worked the 23rd and had a really nice time with my coworkers as a sort of early Christmas, even though it was just another day of work. Everyone was in good spirits and it was nice to be around everyone.

    We had a Christmas eve dinner with my aunt which was very pleasant, and I made a brussel sprout dish I wasn’t really sure about and not sure if people would like but they all liked it and even my dad, who had said as I was making them that he probably wouldn’t have any because he doesn’t like brussel sprouts, finished them off!

    It’s been a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year, I’ve just felt really disconnected from the holiday season and just haven’t felt the special atmosphere that I usually enjoy leading up to the big day, but this last week and tonight I’ve felt a little more Christmasy, even if I wish there was another week to hype myself up.

    I hope everyone has a safe and pleasant holiday!

  52. I had a really great holiday this year. My sister, who lives abroad was in town until yesterday, with my niece in tow. We celebrated Christmas on the 23rd and 24th, so today my wife and I are going to do a bunch of cleaning and go see Rogue One.

    2017 is a year of uncertainty. Everyone in my family is moving, but we don’t know where yet. I have lived in the same city for all but 6 years of my life, and my family has lived here for generations, but soon I will have no familial connections here. Depending on my wife’s placement, we will be moving somewhere new, my parents will be retiring and moving half way across the US, and my sister and brother may be returning to somewhere here in the US. We spent the last week cleaning out stuff from our childhood, and I realized for the first time we would be leaving our childhood home. So much is unknown.

    I have also been trying to get pregnant for the past year, which has been a really hard process. I adore my niece (she is two) and getting to spend so much time with her was wonderful, but also a reminder of how our efforts are not working. My wife and I are so ready for our own family. Thankfully, out cats were really cuddly last night!

    Here is to the next year, may it be full of adventure, love and growth!

    • I feel you on the trying to get pregnant/enjoying one`s niece thing. We tried for 2 years to get pregnant and it didn’t work. We`very been going through classes and all for foster care for 5 months and are waiting to hear back. We usually watch my 8 month old niece 2 nights a week but this week I just couldn`t.

  53. Anybody still hanging out here? ? It was so good this morning to read through this whole thread before getting ready to dive into heady family stuff today. I love AS and I love you all!! ❤️

  54. So I survived Christmas Eve dinner without much to note. Though things got a little tense when the most outspoken Bernie supporter in the family told the most outspoken Trump supporter, “You say communist like it’s a bad thing.” I got food poisoning last night so I’ve been excused from Christmas breakfast and Christmas dinner.

    Possible highlights of the holiday were listening to my dad’s old Christmas records like Snoopy and the Red Barron while opening presents. My father has started a tradition of labeling presents as from different politicians. Nothing like opening a present addressed from Hilary Clinton in my father’s handwriting for a book on the Codebreakers of the Enigma Code.

    • I love the bloody red Barron! Idk why I thought my dad was the only one who played that record every Christmas!

      • I never realized anyone else still listened to it either. It’s a family tradition I actually enjoy. Not to mention it’s disturbingly catchy. I can’t get the last song out of my head, the one where Snoopy and the Barron celebrate Christmas together.

  55. I feel incredibly guilty for not reading out to my homophobic trump-supportin side of the family today… My partner keeps reassuring me that it’s warranted but I still feel pretty bad. I was thinking of going and seeing them in person Wednesday but that also seems really daunting, so who knows. My relationships with them have pretty much been in shambles since I graduated three years ago but it’s gotten even worse since I’ve come out. I’m trying to focus on the bright side, my partner and I are spending the holiday at a resort and my more accepting grandparents came and had a delicious dinner with us both. We’re about to watch some fireworks. Sending warm vibes to everyone wrestling with feelings about toxic family today, you are worthy and you are loved.

  56. welp my cousin’s emotionally abusive fiancee who forced her to have an abortion used the word ‘she male’ at dinner and I nearly broke my fork off in his face…so there’s that. the Christmas spirit hasn’t really visited me this year.

  57. Oh Well!!

    It’s all over for another year, unless you’re Orthodox I think.

    I’m pleased to say the day went well, food turned out pretty nicely and the Darlin Girl loved her paintings as I’d hoped she would. I got some more fantastic recipe books so I’m sorted for another twelve months and our friends and family have survived to fight another year, so it’s all good in our corner of the world. Hope all went well for all of you and Best Love for the New Year.

  58. I got to bring my girlfriend to my family’s Christmas eve party and I was so nervous and scared. Like sweating before she got there half hoping she got lost to delay everything just a little longer scared and nervous.

    But then she showed up in this strapless red dress and my jaw dropped to the floor. She walked in with me hand in hand. She even asked what our plan for PDA was, which was pretty much play it by ear. (but actually my family left us alone a lot so plenty of PDA was had) And she knows I get very overwhelmed with lots of noises and lights and people, so she held my hand all night and kept checking in which kept me very grounded preventing anxiety issues.

    My whole family thought she was so pretty and sweet. They even all threw a couple bucks in to get her a present so she felt included. I can’t ever be more grateful,
    (even though my 90 year old great grandmother kept telling her to sleep over sometime, obviously not understanding the concept of girlfriend vs girl who is a friend. But that’s a laugh we keep reliving.)

    And the best part was walking her to her car knowing everything would be okay, and it started to snow just before I leaned over to kiss her goodbye.

    Best Christmas ever!

  59. Anybody here watch the “Call The Midwife” holiday special? The focus was on a trip to help a clinic in South Africa: sadly Patsy and Delia did not make the trip (and were only seen briefly at the start). However, I like to imagine that, w/ most of the nuns & midwives gone, Our Grrls *Did It* in Every.Single.Room. of Nonnatus House! ;-)

    Looking forward to the return of the series (Stateside) in April…

Comments are closed.