I hate Christmas

That’s right. I hate Christmas.

Throughout history, at least since Dickens, guys like me get dubbed a “scrooge” or worse because it is assumed my animus toward the holiday is due to being cheap. Christmas is a gift giving holiday so if you don’t like the holiday, it means you don’t like gift giving. The only people that don’t like gift giving are tightwads and misers. The most famous hater of Christmas is, of course, old Ebenezer from A Christmas Carol, but Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life is a close second. Both are heartless misers of the first order, who are smote by Christmas.

Well, I’m neither of those guys. I don’t have a problem with gift giving. Gift giving at Christmas is one of the few things about the holiday I find heart warming. I enjoy taking the time to think about a nice gift for someone I care enough about to give a gift. Like everyone, I tend to take for granted those around me that care about me. When it is time to buy them a gift, I take the time to think about all the nice things they do for me and I appreciate how lucky I am to have them in my life.

It is a mostly selfish act, of course, We give gifts to say something flattering about ourselves. That something makes us feel good because we hope that others will agree with it. “What a nice gift” implies “what a nice person you are for giving me this gift.” We give the gift to let the other person know we are kind, thoughtful, generous and so forth. It’s not all there is, but it is the big motivator. Jewelry stores exist so men can let women know they are good guys, who can and will provide for them. Diamonds are man’s second best friend, just behind dogs.

The issue I have with gifts is in the receiving. I’m terrible at gift receiving. I always feel like an obligation has been bestowed on me. My ideal Christmas is one where I give the gifts and no one gives me anything. That way I don’t feel obligated to wear the ugly shirt, carry the useless wallet or read the Ann Coulter book. I have been given every one of her damned books and I have yet to read a single one. God bless Ann Coulter, but I would rather have my testicles hooked up to a car battery than read one of her books.

I could live with the gift receiving hassle, but the whole experience is wrapped up in weeks of traffic jams and people acting like idiots. We know retail is way down. We know people are buying more and more stuff on-line. We see the malls and big box stores closing down. Why are there more people out on the streets each year at Christmas? Where are they going? Why are they out driving around and making a nuisance of themselves? The best gift we could get at Christmas is an EMP so no one can go out and drive around for two weeks.

I could even get past the traffic and the hassle of gift getting, but there’s no payoff to Christmas. You make yourself miserable for weeks, open gifts and then nothing. It’s often in a flash. The kids get to play with their toys, but the adults get nothing for their trouble. That’s because Christmas is not a good food holiday like Thanksgiving or a summer cookout. There are treats we associate with the holiday, but America is a rich country overflowing with treats.

The unique foods at Christmas are things like god-awful casseroles and stuffings that taste like ass. As a kid, I was often forced to taste oyster stuffing even though I hated it with the intensity of a thousands suns. No one liked it, which is why it was always left over and then thrown away. The same is true of the casseroles. Bad cooking is not improved by dumping cheese and mushroom soup. Green bean casserole is a crime against nature and should be outlawed. When I’m ruler of these lands, casseroles will be banned.

In fairness, I used to enjoy Christmas mass. When I was a kid, the one thing I really liked about Christmas, the only thing I liked, was the big hullabaloo of Christmas Eve mass. I could just imagine what it was like in the medieval times with candles and torches lighting the church instead of electric lights. A big old church had that ability to awe a person. I’ve always found it comforting to know that I am just one tiny insignificant fleck in the grand tapestry of life. The most miserable people are those who believe they are important.

But, I no longer go to mass so that’s on me. Even so, the terribleness of the modern Christmas far outweighs whatever pleasures I could pluck from it. This is not a new thing either. I’ve felt this way since I was a kid. Once they killed off Santa, I started thinking this holiday was a bit of a rip-off. It’s just one big pitch to buy stuff and spend money. The fact is, Christmas is for cops and kids, as they say in Boston. Most of us just staple a smile on our face and get through it as best we’re able. Another week and life gets back to normal.

Until then, Bah! Humbug!

80 thoughts on “Humbug

  1. “You make yourself miserable for weeks, open gifts and then nothing. It’s often in a flash.”

    Contemporary American Christmas is completely backwards, which is why nearly everyone feels that it’s a big disappointing anti-climax. Medieval European Christmas was preceded by an Advent season of fasting and penance, much like Lent. It was a time of austerity and anticipation lasting several weeks. When Christmas finally arrived, the party lasted for 12 days, not 12 hours, with another big shindig on Epiphany (bigger in some countries than Christmas itself). Decorations would often be left up for 40 days after Christmas, letting the holiday spirit fade gradually until Candlemas on February 2nd.

    Our instant-gratification culture entirely skips the austere waiting period and jumps into Christmas as soon as the dishes are cleared on Thanksgiving. Having “Christmas” parties all throughout December is like grazing on a rich dinner whilst cooking it- by the time it’s finally plated and ready on the table, you’re already full, and the prospect of finishing an entire serving is even a little bit nauseating.

  2. The kids play with the toys through the day, maybe through the week. Then we parents go through the drudgery of sneaking out the old stuff to make for the room for the new stuff that will sit in storage containers that double as furniture for families with kids until next Christmas, when they’ll go to the local catholic charities or goodwill to be bought up by illegals at a tenth of their sticker price.

    The kids’ anticipation of the Christmas morning is hard to beat, though, I have to admit. It’s better than any other holiday by far in that regard.

  3. Z –

    Christmass has nothing to do with what any of us “feel.” If you thinki it through, the folks all caught up in the commercial celebration are doing what you say you are – expressing their feelings about well. Diffeernce? None, really.

    But Christmass is not focused on us, or our shifting emotions, or any of that. It is John 1:1-18. It is God, in Christ, taking on our sinful flesh, and redeeming the full, not for feelings of the moment or season, but the rock certain knowledge of salvation and life eternal.

    Perhaps, were you, no matter “how” you “feel,” to attend Advent Mass – the focus upon our sinfulness and preparation for the Incarantion, and then – the High Masses of Midnight and Christmass morning, that “hum-bug” might be chased away like a bad infection.

    In any case, A Blessed and Merry Chrsitmass to you.

    Pax Domine –

    Rev Fr. J. Baxter
    Texas (rgular reader)

  4. coulter’s “adios america” is her only vaguely readable screed – i can read 5 minutes of it at a time. switching between that & jesse ventura’s marijuana manifesto on kindle, i get confused about which i’m reading – if i see “get this:” or “think about it!” every other sentence – it’s jesse. if i see them only every other paragraph – it’s ann. both books are pleasant polemics, btw.

  5. I am sorry that Christmas makes you say “hum bug”. Maybe it’s time to fill your house with babies. Trust me they do not stay babies for long. Zman you need to pass those brilliant genes of yours along.
    I always told my children that Santa lives in your heart and I see evidence that he does.
    All of you stay warm, be safe and have a wonderful Christmas.
    Pray for president Trump and his family.

  6. Here’s my happy cheerful holiday. DNR is supposed to remove what is left of the dock. Instead, they are on the back end of the property, cutting down trees. Normally, I wouldn’t care as they are cottonwoods. There is nothing in the court order that says they can go onto our property and cut down trees.

    Merry Christmas. At least we can say that now.

    • Well, it turns out that it’s not more harassment by DNR. They decided this would be a great time to clear the dike, so they are out whacking trees and cutting blackberries. The good new is, I don’t have to come up with bail money for my husband, since there was no confrontation.

  7. “Staple a smile on our face”. Yes. There is something so forced about Christmas. It has become a frantic exercise in consumerism and the plentitude of poor quality, tasteless merchandise in ALL the stores has made it a real exercise in masochism. So I have skipped the shopping in favor of the one-size-fits-all and never-ever-returned gift: Money. Let them buy their own stuff. Stuff they like. (Or pay a worrisome bill that I don’t know about?)

    Sounds crass, but I know what it’s like to receive gifts that are not awful; just not right for me. So I am kindly sparing my loved ones that experience.

    Merry Christmas all around (and Happy whatever to those who don’t do Christmas)…

  8. “The most miserable people are those who believe they are important.”
    Oh, I don’t know.
    When I’m stacking up a cord of wood for the household’s coming winter, I’m important.
    When I’m standing in a forest, deciding which tree to pee on…not so much.

  9. Merry Christmas to the whole gang here. I just found this blog this year, and Z Man’s posts plus the regular crew of commenters makes it a daily visit. PS ZMan thanks for linking our site as “A-list fans.”

  10. Christmas is crap. Once the last one is out of the nest, it’s Christmas in Costa Rica or further South. BTW if Christmas was July 25th, it might be a better proposition. Maybe not. Merry Christmas everyone.

  11. Your problem is that you live in a shitty part of the country with shitty traditions and get together with people you don’t like. lol

    Around here, Christmas is like Thanksgiving, only there are presents.

    People get together, eat too much, and the food is awesome (that’s why everyone eats too much), then there’s TV or Sportsball (if you’re into that sort of thing), and the inevitable after dinner coma/nap, and then if it’s not witch’s tit cold outside, we go shooting for a while on the day of.

    We don’t go see people we don’t like (or who don’t like us), we don’t fix or eat food that sucks, and we don’t give or do anything we don’t want to.

    Christmas is exactly as good or bad as you make it.

    If Christmas sucks for you and yours, you need to look in the mirror for who to blame it on.

    The Orange Haired Master of the Universe and All Things Yuge™ was just elected President of the United States.

    If THAT can happen, it is certainly possible for you to turn your Christmas steamship “SS Grumpy Bastard” around and head her up river to less shitty waters.

    This year, try doing something that DOESN’T piss you off, and see where that takes you.

  12. Oh yeah Z – did you get your office manager an overpriced bottle of plonk with the price tag still left on?

  13. Nice Whitey reference Z-man!

    A gal I was seeing at the time was dating one of the cops who robbed the Depositor’s Trust. Unfortunately, she was the one sticking her head out the door extolling the virtues of the “really nice guy neighbor” to Channel 4. Her entire family always spoke about how generous he was at Christmas and the great 4th of July he put on will all his ill gotten graft. When he was arrested in Mississippi for dealing I was vindicated for observing that the nice guy act was a put on.

    Christmas is for cops and kids… In vino veritas as FBI SAC John Morris used to say.

    • I’d still like to know where all the moolah is from those hidden bank accounts. Not to mention all the cash from the flat in Santa Monica. Oh, Catherine, when will you spill the beans?

  14. We get a week off work between Christmas and New Year in this part of the world so that’s worth enjoying. Also the Boxing Day Test match is the next day which is nice, too.

    As for the food – leg ham? Turkey? Fruit mince pies? Trifle?

    All crap and since this year is at Pop’s house, that’s what i will see. If it weren’t crap we would eat it all year. Next year at my house – standing rib, french fries and chocolate mousse.

  15. I would highly recommend you return to Europe for a Christmas if you want to see how it’s done right. German Christmas Markets (Christkindlmarkt) are still a thing of beauty for children and adults alike. We enjoy hand made crafts, Glühwein (mulled wine), hot wurst, and if we’re lucky, snow!

    We still keep many of the ancient Christian traditions. One such tradition is that we mark the main door of our home with the initials of the three kings and the numerals of the new year, connected with crosses, in chalk. We also have advent calendars to count down the days until Christmas, with chocolates behind each number.

    And we don’t look at gifts as “gift giving” but “exchanging presents”. While the act is the same, the intent is different. It’s not about what you get, but that the other person took the time and effort to do it. Regardless of what the present might be.

    I would agree, the traditional Christmas we have today is really for children, at least with respect to the decorations, trees and presents. But we should all remember why we celebrate: it’s the birthday of Jesus Christ who ultimately gave us the most precious gift of all – his life in exchange for our salvation. There’s nothing under the tree better than that!

    • German areas in Pennsylvania still have Christkindelmarkts! My family hauls out the old recipes during Christmas from our European ancestors: springerle from the pin that came over on the boat, little short breads, stollens, etc. How can zman not love Christmas food?!?!? I wait for that cookie plate all year.

    • Back in the 70’s,there was a West German Luftwaffe F-104 Starfighter Wing that flew training missions with their USAF counterparts. My younger brother and I would see them in the commissary,laughing and joking after a flight,distinctive in their dark grey flightsuits with the Luftwaffe wing over the heart. There was an aisle that featured imported German foods,it’s where I discovered Lebkuchen and Nurnberger cookies,delicious. It must have been quite a culture shock for them,especially during the holidays,being in the arid American southwest desert,but they were superb ambassadors. One December,during a vicious blizzard on the Navajo-Hopi reservation in far northeastern AZ,emergency supplies had to be flown in and dropped from C-119’s. The Germans were there,kicking bales of hay out to stranded cattle. But the best Christmas gift was their Chorale,who performed free concerts at various venues each year. They would sing Christmas Carols,alternating from German to English,and they were simply wonderful. I can still see the faces of the audience,young and old,so joyful at every performance. We called them the Baritone Angels,and I can still hear their voices. Thank you,Germany, and Merry Christmas,Karl!

    • What’s not to like. I love nice crunchy green beans covered with a cheesy or other creamy sauce. Ummm!
      Maybe for you it was just in the way the beans were cooked? I know my mom, bless her memory, spoiled lots of veggies for me by simply boiling the crap out of them. It wasn’t until I learned to cook them properly that I got to really enjoy many of them for the first time.

      • I got my veggie-hating husband to eat them – even pick them off my plate when he was curious about what I was eating – by serving them in their proper colors. Especially green. Not nondescript swampy beige. And textures. Not mushy.

  16. We treat Christmas pretty much like Thanksgiving, as a family get together, except for having a big medieval type tree with antique ornaments. We also play a lot of antique Christmas music, which we like….Very casual is best.

  17. I was up today at my usual 5 AM. Book-keeping, planning and a shower at 6:45. Walked into the kitchen at 7AM sharp for a second cup of coffee, at which instant…

    My wife fired up her 500 h.p. blender full of steel balls and shrapnel, or something like them, to bake into Christmas things, causing me to leap frightened into the air. Tomorrow my future daughter in law is coming over in the morning so the two women can continue this noisy fiasco until late in the day.

    Christmas to me is great noisy roarings, clashings and thumpings of kitchen machinery and equipment, and vast tribal movements of relatives, with even more uproar. I hate it. Happily, I have a nice quiet garage with a nice quiet motorcycle needing its annual servicing.

    As for gifts, I like giving them and receiving them, because I have told everyone that if they give me anything that is not a consumable, I will instantly give it to a thrift shop. I ask for and get wine, whiskey, port, sherry, scotch shortbread, Danish marzipan et cetera, and I give the same.

  18. You sir are not alone in this respect, I too, have felt this same way about Christmas. I tell people all the time to NOT give me gifts. Give them to your kids and wife, show you think of them. This is truly the silly season. Christmas in itself is not missed, just all the commercialization and going overboard with decorations. I go to a traditional Catholic Mass even though I am not Catholic and enjoy that and stay away from awful turkey dinners… pork is where it is.

  19. Each to his own! I enjoy every moment of it,helped by having a bunch of kids of course.Kids choir today in our village church was good followed by lunch in village hall surrounded by rather cheerful old folk….anyway merry xmas to all who frequent here and zman himself.

  20. ” Diamonds are man’s second best friend, just behind dogs. ”

    And here I was thinking it was that Colt 4 . . .

  21. On November 1 I begin noting how many days of Christmas hysteria i have to get through. I try not to rain on others’ parade,, but two months of this crap is just too much. I actually enjoy my Christmas visit to my brother’s house and exchanging gifts, but i am really happy when I’m driving home. On the up side, unlike many, I am a very happy person in January when the days are getting longer and warmer. No holiday let down for me.

  22. Pingback: Bah! Humbug! | IowaDawg's Very Own Blawg

  23. Seems there are quite a few folks here who aren’t big Christmas fans. My son and grandsons are at his in-laws fro Christmas this year, plus which it’s summer, but in order not to be a wet blanket, I’ve decided to celebrate Kwanzaa! C’mon everybody, let’s light those Kwanzaa candles and start singing! “Gone are the days/When my heart was young and gay…”

    Holiday spirit: yeah!

    • Ripple, and others: a request for your consideration – would it be possible to stop putting a “X” in place of “Christ” as shorthand in order to save five (5) keystrokes? This has always seemed to me a Progressives idea and a way to diminish our Christian heritage, commies that they are.

      Sorry but it is just something that rubs this old guy the wrong way. But I am asking you to consider why you do what you do and get back to respecting the real meaning of the Event … the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks!

      • I can’t speak for liberals but the X used as an abbreviation for Christ has been around for a very long time and for Christmas for at least five hundred years.

        • It still sucks and shows the world has been trying to get rid of Christianity for a long time. In fact, since they hung Him on the cross a couple of millennia ago.

  24. “God bless Ann Coulter, but I would rather have my testicles hooked up to a car battery than read one of her books.”

    Now THAT’s funny. 🙂

    All I want for Christmas is a good fruitcake with lots of nuts, soaked in rum. Yum! OK, another gun wouldn’t hurt. Or a case of ammo. For some reason nobody gives me these things.

    Giving – I’ve given up on it. Too much work, and why wouldn’t people just go out and buy their own stuff, to get what they really want rather than dealing with some lame gift? My in-laws have me all figured out – I always get a box of chocolates. Easy, no anguish required.

    I do enjoy the home-made Christmas cards from my brother, though. He has this unusual sense of humor…

  25. I don’t know what it is about Christmas that for a brief moment sets some of our wheels spinning and others to stop dead. Here’s T.S. Eliot on the subject in The Journey of the Magi:

    Were we led all that way for
    Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
    We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
    But had thought they were different; this Birth was
    Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
    We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
    But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
    With an alien people clutching their gods.
    I should be glad of another death.

  26. “Christmas is for cops and kids, as they say in Boston.”
    Wonder what Whitey will get in his stocking this year. Not too many of them left.

    Seriously though, I have to really kick start myself into the Christmas spirit and every year it seems to be a more difficult job. Without children of my own I don’t have the kiddie hassle but I also don’t have the crazy kiddie joy that goes along with it.

    As a kid in the 70s and 80s (and only four reliable TV channels) the manic push to Christmas didn’t seem that bad. Store decorations didn’t go up until the weekend after Thanksgiving and most radio stations only played an occasional Christmas song interspersed with the normal stuff. Our lists were made via the Sears catalog. My mom was strict about observing Advent so decorating and tree trimming was kept until as close to Christmas as possible. But once midnight Mass was over we celebrated into the wee hours of the morning. I realized by the time I reached adulthood that those small things were important and made sense. Well, there’s always next year.

  27. Well, I love the lights and decorations (except hideous inflatable crap) and while gift – receiving is painful, giving is nice. But this year, Christmas was made for me when the fire dept. rode through my neighborhood with Santa. See, I live in a 55+ community. What was that all about? Gave me smiles for days.

    • Another item on the banned list when I’m ruler is inflatable Christmas decorations. There is a guy near me who has an inflatable nativity the size of a carnival ride. Instead of the Christian version, it is snowmen, elves, Santa etc. Stupid and tacky.

  28. I just finished buying a gift for my youngest sister and it was a real joy thinking about how we have grown closer over the last few years. Being eleven years apart in age, That age difference and my activities kept us apart until much later in life. It was a nice experience to think about what she does, her sacrifices for other family members and being able to tell her sincerely that I appreciate her and thank her for being my sister. Yes, I do that on her birthday also but this is a special time considering other things that are going on.

    I also remember the first time I heard a choir sing Handel’s Messiah in church. It was amazing and I was left wondering how I had lived thirty years (up to that time) and had never heard such beautiful music until then. Now, it is an annual tradition for me to play Messiah and simply marvel at the creativity, imagination, the genius of composers of that time and their writing songs glorifying The Son of God.

    I too do not enjoy crowds, traffic or the commercial aspect of the Season. Thank God for PE Trump. Seems like greeting each other with “Merry Christmas” is already making a comeback and that, and the smiles that people give back make the spirit of the season much more tangible.

    Merry Christmas and God Bless ya’ll.

  29. On Christmas eve there will be twenty one of us singing hymns in my house until our vocal cords ache. Been doing it for nearly thirty years now. I think the family looks forward to this more than anything else.

  30. Back in the day, in olden times, when I walked 25 miles to school and back–uphill both ways–xmas and Halloween were a big deal. We didn’t have stuff. If anyone doubts this, look up Leave It To Beaver. Other than two parents who apparently liked each other, and him, the kid had nothing except a bike without gears and a black and white tv. Once xmas music started the day before Thanksgiving I cut the xmas cord. Now I tell people I am being extra nice to them eleven months a year so I can take xmas off.

  31. At the moment I’m pretty high on Xmas because my son is entering the age I had the most fun with all this stuff (believing in Santa, cool toys, etc) and so I’m vicariously re-living those years. However I’m with you the rest of the time…

    • Christmas is best when your kids still believe in Santa. It’s still a hassle, but that’s a nice payoff. Otherwise, it is all hassle and little reward.

      • Our kid is young enough, but we told him the truth about Santa when he was two. To hell with that old fatso.

      • Plate of cookie crumbs and empty milk glass. Leaves and dirt around fireplace. A few objects thrown on top of the house (hoping no one called the police) and minor window rattling at a strategic time. The smiles and laughter did not allow for any of my Hum Bug BS.

  32. Wait a minute! Christmas is a really cool Western tradition that now has little to do with the birth of Jesus for most. But it has lights, decorated trees, all sorts of wreaths and cards and presents, and special music and programs (was Charlie Brown Christmas always so slow and disjointed?). It is the holiday that serves to tighten the relationships between families. It is also the one great opportunity for the parents to teach their kids to just go with a Western tradition, and have the kids be really happy and satisfied with the result. Yup, there is something crass and coldly manipulative about thinking of Christmas that way, but in a family that doesn’t hunt or fish or ride motorcycles together, what other “fun” things do you have?

    For the rest of us, settle down and listen to some really fine Bach, and you should get the mental version of Z’s satisfaction from going to Christmas mass.

  33. Wow – bad food? I always liked our Christmas food better than Thanksgiving.

    Christmas food at our house was always – a massive sliced ham, grandma’s sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, and lots and lots of pies. I suppose my mother put out other vegetables which I avoided.

    • Ham is OK, if it came from a smoker and it is called barbecue 😉 I can’t stand sweet potatoes. For me, nothing tops Thanksgiving for food. After that, it is the summer stuff like clam bakes, cookouts, bull roasts, crab feast, etc.

      • Ham exists to be chopped into eggs, along with sharp cheddar, just a little onion, and the barest hint of garlic. Sweet potatoes and marshmallows exist for no reason but to annoy people who enjoy real food, like pecan pie, with chopped, not whole pecans, which cannot be cut with a fork. Give me a second and I will construct another run-on sentence with commas used correctly. 🙂

        • OK, and I’ll stop using “yesterday” twice in the same sentence. 🙂

          Those eggs with ham and cheese and onion and the barest hint of garlic sound heavenly!

  34. Well, lately I’ve been in a deep, deep funk pre-Christmas for a range of personal reasons [Christmas is just me and my aging parents now, my own middle age, and so on] and public ones [thrilled as I was by Trump, the future of our civilization still on some levels terrifies me regardless of how little I may see of it].

    But many parts of my city still are covered in lights, there can be seen lovely decorated trees in and out of doors and on public property. My Lebanese cab driver the other day was listening to a Christian CD mixing Gospel readings and trad carols. I heard a voice reading the chapter of Luke in which the angels announce the birth of Christ to the shepherds, which I had read on stage in an Ontario public school in the 1970s in about grade 3-4, followed by “Hark!
    The Herald Angels Sing”.

    Despatches just in from a lost world, or so it seemed to me in the moment.

    Still there is plenty of snow this year, and the lights and trees.

    The other thing is that in Canada our Thanksgiving is six weeks or so earlier. So in a traditional Anglo-Canadian household Christmas has long been a second turkey holiday. And my dad used to make great stuffing, although only if you liked sage. I took to it. There may still be families who do goose, though. The French have mixed traditions- many do turkey as well but they have a fine historic tradition of ground meat pies in winter [‘tourtiere’]. A good one is a fine meal.

  35. My ex destroyed Christmas for me. She made my life miserable the last five years of our marriage, put her needs and “Feelzz” above our three kids, labeled them “family values” (classic example of Gaslighting) and then emotionally punished me when I didn’t fit into the box she projected onto me.

    When I finally left and then spent years trying to see my kids 50% of the time (which she would not have, since that would have decreased child support $$$) all holidays, especially Christmas were burnt to the ground. This was in the early 80s but the scars are still there.

    Nowadays I dread these holidays. I usually wind up fighting off seasonal depression. Bah Humbug doesn’t quite capture it for me.

    • Dear Fuel Filter — Your story sounds very familiar to me. Busted up families of some of our relatives and also of our friends’ families made The Holidays a very tricky time for all concerned. Kind of ruins it for the kids, too, which is kind of the point of the celebration;-) My husband (of 48 yrs) and I are looking forward to a quiet weekend, just the two of us and our two kitties and one dog. Saw the grandkids last week in another state, exchanged gifts etc. They can’t be bothered to visit us here, so . . . . My advice to you is to make some new friends, people who enjoy the same things you do (politics? cooking? book club?) and get some social life going. Man is not meant to be a hermit. You have something to offer but you need to reach out a bit more. Do not dwell on the @#$% that happened in the ’80s. You are only harming yourself. I know you didn’t ask for a stranger’s advice here, but I did want to let you know how we cope with the inevitable disappointments of the holiday season. Last tip: buy/rent “A Christmas Story.” It’s the best!!

      • Many of us have had less than wonderful Christmases in the past. Yesterday I cried when I heard “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” yesterday. Always hits a nerve. We move on. Like trees, if we bend in the wind we survive. Otherwise we break. Sometimes it helps to know that others have had similar experiences, that there is a fellowship of those of us who have survived painful experiences and managed to move on. We don’t forget, but we do survive. Wishing FF and all the others a better Christmas. For the first time in years we have some real hope for the future. Not a bad gift. Christmas love to all of you and wishes for a wonderful New Year.

  36. Region matters to how casseroles taste. Not all are created equal. I know, that’s foodist or something. But, down south, casseroles are good eatin. Nonetheless, one man’s casserole is another mans roadkill.

    Yeah, Christmas has turned into a fake celebration of what, the celebrants don’t know.

  37. christmas time used to be more relaxed and less commercial. a lot of companies don’t give their people any slack causing most of the stress. when mom was at home, there was time to indulge tradition.

    re: Ann Coulter, I bet she is a kiegel champ 😛

  38. Yeah, I hear ya I’m kinda the same way….For me now that my folks are gone
    Christmas really serves as a great point of focus for memories…Happy joyous memories of better times, kinda of like a mantra ….that immediately puts me in a great uplifted if not somewhate melancholic mood. Christmas was always big fun at our house and my old man really lived for it….. and went all in….and it worked !
    Which is why when given the opportunity I try to do the same so some kid/adolescent/young adult will have the great luck to look back and smile when he or she gets to be an a crotchety old f~#ker like me.

    Have a Merry Christmas All !

    • Yep, me too. Fortunately I’m blessed with a house boss who really gets into it and makes it special for our AARP-eligible brood. Six of them, and four or five show up every holiday with their families. Don’t know how my wife does it, but she’s been at it for 61 years.

    • Merry Christmas Clayton. I had two wonderful parents whom did their best at providing. Not even talking about material things. I’m the youngest of 7 and was born in ’69. I miss having a houseful of older brothers and sisters to horse around with. My folks and my siblings provided me with the opportunities to experience a normal life as normal as it possibly could be. I have so much to be thankful for and I’m totally aware of that. The parents are gone but their legacy lives on and is thriving. We do have a few younger nieces and nephews that felt the “Burn”. Oh well, perhaps not every family is perfect. Z, that’s a bit of a downer considering we have a lot to be thankful for recently. I’m happy to say we’re not subjected to your alternative post had “she” have won. However but now that we are warmly ensconced in President Trumps bosom it would be interestesting to note the difference in content. Merry Christmas to all of you! I check in every day. Many times more than once to read the new comments.

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