Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Holidaze

I’m bouncing a crying baby on one knee and typing one-handed, so please talk amongst yourselves. Topic: what do you hate most about the holidaze? We’re almost in the thick of it and sure, there’s lots to love, but that’s not as much fun to discuss. Me, I hate the holiday eBay commercials, my dwindling bank account, and weight gain. When I was single, I also hated the pressure of New Year’s Eve — where to go, who to kiss, whether I’d be the only single person — but now that I have a built-in date every year the only pressure I feel is squeezing into something slinky after a month-long eating binge. Your turn.

78 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Joanna December 2, 2011, 5:58 pm

    In the past, I tended to get really depressed in November/December. But I’ve been depression free for the past few years and the holidays are a really exciting time. I finally have enough money to get everyone a nice present and I love the joy I get out of giving them. I’m a “giver” by nature, and receiving gifts just isn’t the same joy for me. I’m even getting my sister a gift even though she probably won’t get me anything.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark December 2, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Sigh… I hate the fact that as much as I love decorating for the holidays (soon the apartment will be a Mad Men 1960s sensation!), going to parties (already too many invites!), and spending quality time with family (Yay! Nephew’s 2nd X-mas!)… you know, basically, all that is Christmas…in the end it really just seems to underscore how utterly washed up I am. Behind all the non-blinking lights and vintage decorations, it’s all just very hollow and depressing. But the great facade must go on! So woo-hoo! Somehow — as always — I am the life of every party. I’m not delusional here, either. A fact reinforced each time I try to bow out gracefully only to then be faced with repeated calls pleading me to come! To bail on that “other” (made up) event. “But, Mark! It won’t be the same without you…” Ugh. The performances I give at these gatherings blow away anything I ever see up on the silver screen. And I do it all with no rehearsal. No director. No script. …I seriously get tired just thinking about them. Often I don’t even know who I am at these parties… It’s like suddenly I am this whole other person.

    Yes, being woefully underemployed is trying. REAL jobs just aren’t there. Meanwhile, there is simply is no getting around the fact that money rules all. Meaning all the pollyanna bullshit in the world can’t erase the simple truth that if you have NO real income you are fucked. Hopelessly, hopelessly fucked. So, yeah… I totally get why some people decide to simply check out at Christmas. Permanently. I really do. It’s just…a rough time of the year. For many. And that so defeats the purpose… Meanwhile all those fucking x-mas cards start pouring in any day now, each proclaiming with gleeful photographic evidence no less how much better everybody’s life turned out than yours… Bah humbug. So, yeah, being broke multiple Christmases in a row simply sucks.

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    • avatar

      Lindsey December 2, 2011, 11:26 pm

      BGM, we should be friends. Being broke does suck at the holidays although I’ve discovered some very frugal ways to give presents! Remember that behind those smiling Christmas cards, maybe their lives suck too!

      I think you should say fuck it and enjoy Christmas the way you want to. You shouldn’t have to be guilted into going to the parties, that totally sucks! I know what you mean about being that whole other person though. That happens to me too!

      And you are right, money is a hard thing at Christmas. I’m really trying not to think about it because it gets me depressed.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 3, 2011, 3:33 am

        Actually, I don’t have to spend all that much on gifts… It’s just, yeah. As you said, such a drag to be consumed so completely with financial issues. There is no escaping them. They are just so ever present 24/7. Relentless… And exhausting….

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      • avatar

        Lindsey December 4, 2011, 1:53 am

        Relentless is definitely the word.

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    • avatar

      anonymous December 3, 2011, 9:36 pm

      In David Sedaris’ book “Barrel Fever: stories and essays”, he writes a mock holiday newsletter which is hilarious. There’s a link to a preview below. I also love the movie “Bad Santa” with Billy Bob Thornton but that’s just my humor. Money issues do suck. Sorry things are rough and while these probably won’t help, they may offer a less exhausting form of distraction.

      http://www.amazon.com/Barrel-Fever-Stories-David-Sedaris/dp/0316779423/?&tag=dearwecom-20&linkCode=wsw&

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 7:07 pm

        I’ve always loved that Sedaris Letter, it is beyond hilarious…

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  • avatar

    Carolynasaurus December 2, 2011, 6:59 pm

    Every year, every damn year, my high school has a reunion between christmas and new year’s. I should really stop going, but it’s the only time everyone’s back in town. But it’s always when i’m at my holiday heaviest so I try to cleanse for three days without anything happening and just end up bitter.

    I should really just stop going…

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  • avatar

    Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich December 2, 2011, 6:59 pm

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  • avatar

    Britannia December 2, 2011, 7:15 pm

    As a college student who works in fashion retail, I hate the stress of this season. My work hours practically double (and the stress level is through the rough at work), and I’m also preparing for exams. Add into that mix the fact that I’m hosting Christmas this year for my family and also reeling from a recent breakup with a guy who’s delighting in continuing to fuck with me (in a bad, sociopathic way), and I really wish I could skip right past this month till the second week of January.

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  • avatar

    amber December 2, 2011, 7:33 pm

    I get very tired of the pressure to buy buy buy and the way we’re made to believe that gifts are the only way to show that you care. I’m also not a big New Year’s Eve fan. I’ve always preferred a night in with family or a few friends to a big party. When I was younger people always felt the need to say oh I’m sorry you’re not doing anything, that’s sad, come to my house. And I always responded, no really I want to stay home, I’m happy watching the ball drop and drinking wine on my couch.

    Other than that I really love the holidays. I love the smells and sounds and time with family and close friends. This year is a little sad because my Grandfather is very sick. We’re hoping to have him here with us on Christmas. He has a few surgeries to get through before then. Typing this is actually making me very sad. So, if any DW readers have extra time to say a prayer or send some good vibes his way I’d appreciate it.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest December 2, 2011, 9:19 pm

      Done! Merry Christmas to you and your family 🙂

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    • avatar

      Firegirl32 December 2, 2011, 10:10 pm

      My prayers and good vibes are with you, and your grandfather. <3

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    • FireStar

      FireStar December 3, 2011, 8:17 am

      Many blessings and good health to your granddad.

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  • avatar

    Chelle December 2, 2011, 7:33 pm

    My least favorite part is how everyone in my family gets so stressed out around the holidays and just wish everyone could relax and enjoy time together.

    Also I have a question I thought some readers would be able to share insight/advice on. I comment really rarely but love reading what everyone else has to say and you guys give great advice.

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a year and in a week we’re going on a cruise with his family that they planned and invited me to go with them. I’m 20 and my bf is 22 and they are paying for their expenses as well as my flight. I would like to get them something nice as a thank you/Christmas gift for inviting me to go with them, as well as sending a thank you note after we get back. What would be an appropriate gift for them? My bf has not been able to help me think of anything since they never do gifts and just go on vacations. Any suggestions for a thoughtful and appropriate gift?

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    • avatar

      Rei December 2, 2011, 11:02 pm

      Maybe a nice luggage set since they travel so much?

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    • avatar

      Rei December 2, 2011, 11:20 pm

      I know for me, and this sounds kind of childish, but I always get kind of sad around this year because exams and holidays completely overshadow my birthday, which is just a couple weeks before Christmas. It always ends up that everyone is too busy studying or traveling to celebrate with me. I understand and don’t get mad or anything, but it does get a little sad that no one can spend some time with me.
      Also, along those same lines, those damn BirthdayChristmas presents people always try to give me! No, a $5 lotion set isn’t enough to combine holidays for. I understand if you can only afford one present or no presents. Really, I do. But at least don’t insult me and have the decency to pick a holiday.
      That really sounded a lot angrier than I actually am. I guess it does get a little annoying when you buy someone a birthday present and a Christmas present, and that person buys everyone else a birthday present and a Christmas present, but they try to get away with just buying you one present. Or no present since you’re “presented out for the month!” I have been told that this was always a sore spot with me. Apparently when I was little, I would cry if my parents put up Christmas decorations before my birthday.
      (I’m really not a bitter people who demands an entire week for their birthday and screams and cries if she doesn’t get a present from someone. I’m actually pretty chill about my birthday. I just prefer people be honest. Though I do get sad when I’m alone on my birthday because everyone’s busy.)

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      • avatar

        Rei December 2, 2011, 11:21 pm

        I’m sorry. That wasn’t supposed to be a response to anything.

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      • avatar

        Lindsey December 2, 2011, 11:28 pm

        I know what you mean! My birthday is on the 16th and everyone was always busy. Now I throw myself a b-day party every year! I still end up being alone on the actual day though.

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      • avatar

        callmehobo December 3, 2011, 12:33 am

        Dec 12th. I feel your paiinnn! You know what I did to avoid the Birthday/X mas gift? I started doing the exact same thing to the people who felt that way about my birthday.

        So I’d be like, this is your Christmas AND Birthday gift this year, no matter what month their birthday was in. I mean, if it’s a money thing, just right me a nice note or a homemade gift (those end up being the best anyways)- It’s not a big deal, but don’t try and play it off like I can only have Xmas or a birthday.

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      • avatar

        Rei December 3, 2011, 3:07 pm

        Hehheh. My birthday is also the 12th. And I’ve thought about doing that as well, but in the end I just don’t have the motivation to do it.

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      • avatar

        Fidget_Eep December 4, 2011, 2:11 pm

        Mine is the 6th and I made/make my parents wait until after my birthday to start decorating for Christmas. For me this just helped to differentiate the two, and with family, most of mine were understanding enough to send two presents when I was younger, one in B-day wrap and one in Holiday wrap. But my dad has tried a few times to suggest putting up lights and I just say NO, you can wait a week ]-( 😉 Thats my solution can’t do anything about exams or finals (I am being punished for being sick last week and missing an exam and my make up is 7:30 am on the 6th).

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      • JK

        JK December 4, 2011, 4:23 pm

        That´s my daughter´s birthday as well 🙂
        Sheps sick right now, so I´m hoping she´s better by thursdaym when we do her birthday party )it´s a holiday here in Argentina, also the traditional day to put up all things christmassy.

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      • avatar

        Yammy December 3, 2011, 2:03 am

        I can relate, too! My birthday is on Dec. 27. I enjoy Christmas, but I must admit, sometimes I feel like Jesus steals my thunder. And I’m not fond of combo gifts either. It doesn’t bother me when I don’t get anything at all because I’m not a big gifts person but for some reason the combo gift bothers me. It’s like they take their regular Christmas gift, which is very nice of them, but then they add “oh and it’s for your birthday too” onto it, perhaps to ensure that I won’t expect anything else from them, which I wouldn’t anyway.

        It could always be worse though. There’s a customer at work that was born on the 24th, and her parents named her Merry (of course). So at least I have 2 days and only my middle name is Christmas themed (Christine).

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    • FireStar

      FireStar December 3, 2011, 8:23 am

      Check with the cruise line. They actually have on-board gifts – at least the do on Celebrity Cruises. I went on a cruise for my honeymoon and we had a lovely surprise when our travel agent arranged chocolate covered strawberries to be delivered to our suite with a sweet little note. I wouldn’t give them anything too big – treat it s a hostess gift. Send something a little decadent with a lovely note saying how much you appreciate being included in their vacation.

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      • avatar

        Morgan December 3, 2011, 11:11 am

        I think this is a really great idea if your cruise line does it!

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph December 3, 2011, 2:31 pm

        Every cruise line I’ve been on does this, but you have to be kind of sneaky. Basically your money is no good on a cruise ship unless its tied to your room charge. If they’re paying for your cabin then likely your room charge will automatically be linked to their credit card as well. You can set up to have your room linked to your own credit card, and usually you can do this at check in. Its hard to do it without them noticing unless you check in at different desks.
        Try calling in advance of sailing and see if you can set it up and pay for it in advance, if you don’t want to link your room charge to your credit card (or if they won’t let you- my parents probably wouldn’t let that happen).

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie December 3, 2011, 1:13 am

    I love the holidays, we have plenty of money to spend on gifts for our friends and decorate the house. Last year we went on a Christmas cruise through the Panama Canal and spent a few days with our old housemates in Florida afterward. Part of why we did that is because we have no family left alive. That’s the biggest thing we don’t like about this time of year. Our parents are gone, we have no children or siblings. In years gone by we enjoyed the company of other single friends and reflected on Xmas memories of our childhood. Those friends now have married children thus the guest list is exponentially larger which leaves us rather left out. In compensation we have the traditional meal at a great restaurant that requires about an hour’s driving through some beautiful countryside.

    Traveling on any holiday is unpleasant and Christmas crowds make it more of an ordeal then it’s worth. We’ll put up a tree and other decorations to buoy our Christmas sprite, perhaps do some community service. I’m packing a care package to the service men and women spending their Christmas in the middle east. I’ll be checking at the local animal shelter to see if we can borrow dog or puppy for the weekend. They know me well there so the chances are good. Hopefully my friends on line will check in and the time will pass. At least we have each other and our cats so it could be very much worse. This post sounds a bit negative but I don’t mean to put out a bad vib. We’ll be very happy and hope all of you will be also. The stock market’s up so our portfolio made enough this week to pay off Onnie’s Lexus. 🙂

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    • avatar

      cporoski December 3, 2011, 7:45 am

      I am curious about your ideas for traveling on the holiday. My husband and I are going to Africa and come back Christmas Day. This has been a very contriversal plan. But this tends to be a slow time at work and we are childless. So we are going on Safari. We still decorated so my house is a winter wonderland but then we are off.

      This seems to gain alot of criticism from people. People say we are ditching the family and like that movie “Four Christmases”. Do you think the traffic will be a mess?

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      • fast eddie

        fast eddie December 3, 2011, 9:29 am

        Christmas travel won’t be all that much worse then normal but with a LOT more people so if you must go put on your patience cap before leaving early and plan on huge delays getting through TSA screening. This applies to every aspect to the trip like parking shuttle, cabs, hotel checkout, etc. Whatever you do don’t leave the tickets or boarding pass on the side table like we did one year and missed our flight. (groan) Checkin online if you can as early as you can. Airlines overbook and all you can get for it is space available (ya right) on another flight. I always carry something to read and pick up a newspaper enroute.

        Tell your family you’ll celebrate New Years with them and dig up a local place to spend the 25th. A safari sounds to me like it’ll be roughing it, so book a couple of nights at the best hotel there and get pampered while the madding crowd clogs the travel portals.

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      • avatar

        cporoski December 5, 2011, 7:03 am

        Those are great ideas! It is wierd because we are coming home on Christmas so I wonder if it will be as crowded if we are starting the trip in Nairobi and ending in Newark.

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      • Chicago-Dude

        DudeInChicago December 3, 2011, 3:45 pm

        @ Cporoski, fyi Africa is not a country or one big safari.
        Just sayin’…

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      • avatar

        cporoski December 5, 2011, 7:01 am

        I was simplifying, jerk. Didn’t say I am going to the “Country of Africa” but it was more the point that I will be away.

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      • avatar

        Christy December 4, 2011, 10:17 am

        I think you’re thinking of “Christmas with the Kranks,” which is based off a short John Grisham novel entitled “Skipping Christmas.” It’s actually quite a good book; you should read it.

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      • avatar

        cporoski December 5, 2011, 7:05 am

        I have never seen Christmas with the Kranks. I will definately look into it. Four Christmas’s was with Reese Witherspoon and this couple vacationed every christmas and ditched the family. It came out a year ago or maybe two.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray December 3, 2011, 9:52 am

    What stresses me out most about Christmas is figuring where to go. My family is so spread out: San Diego, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Boston. Once I said to hell with traveling for Christmas, and I stayed put and spent the holiday alone in Chicago. I rationalized it by saying, well, (a) I’m not religious, so Christmas is just day off like a Sat. or Sun., which I spend alone routinely, and (b) I just saw everyone a few weeks ago, so what’s the big deal – why squeeze in a trip for the sake of Christmas? But it was horrible. I never felt so sad and lonely as I did on that Christmas, even though I did fun things like eat sushi and go to the movies. I kept thinking about Christmas-pasts, with family, and home-cooked meals, and playing cards, and watching movies, and never changing out of pajamas. Lesson learned: No matter what, go be with family on Christmas, even if you’re only culturally Christian – is that a thing? Raised Catholic + not religious = culturally Christian? Eh, it makes sense in my mind. Now, where to go this year? I still haven’t made plans. And at this point, airfare to San Diego is probably around, I dunno, a million dollars.

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  • avatar

    Visharoo December 3, 2011, 9:57 am

    Lately the thing I have been dreading about the holidays is the infamous question, “so when are you going to start having kids?” Ugh people! Really?! Every time we skype with my family, my husband’s family, or meet up with friends (or more like acquaintances) the question comes up!

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray December 3, 2011, 10:49 am

      You should try to make them feel uncomfortable by talking about sex. Like, “well, we fucked this morning on the couch in your basement, so we’ll see!”

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      • mandalee

        mandalee December 3, 2011, 2:54 pm

        LOL I love your answer Addie Pray. My response is similar. I tell them we try EVERY night without exception. I normally like saying it when we are staying over my in-laws for the holidays. They were so uncomfortable with us even sharing a room before we got married, I don’t get how my sex life is now topic for conversation because they want a baby to result from it now. haha

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      • avatar

        kali December 3, 2011, 3:44 pm

        Back in the day, I used to just say we were still practicing because it was more fun.

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      • avatar

        Visharoo December 4, 2011, 3:42 am

        I like that one! I think I’ll use it if it comes up this year!

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    • Just Max

      Just Max December 3, 2011, 10:56 pm

      I get two questions: “so, when are you getting a boyfriend/husband?” and “when are you going to have your kids? You are not getting younger!”
      Last year I skipped the New Year’s Eve party just to avoid the questions and looks of pity. :-/

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  • FireStar

    FireStar December 3, 2011, 11:00 am

    What confuses me is the “are you trying?” question. Essentially you are asking me how much sex I’m having – and when did that become appropriate? I usually just answer “I can try right now but that might be a little awkward.”

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    • FireStar

      FireStar December 3, 2011, 11:01 am

      oops – didn’t reply to Visharoo as intended

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray December 3, 2011, 11:04 am

      Ha, that’s funny. I guess then I was trying often with my douche bag neighbor for eight months. I kind of miss my neighbor. Sigh.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar December 3, 2011, 1:48 pm

        Do you miss the neighbour…or do you miss the “trying”?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray December 3, 2011, 1:59 pm

        I miss trying. 🙂

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      • FireStar

        FireStar December 3, 2011, 5:32 pm

        🙂
        We’ve all been there!

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark December 3, 2011, 12:55 pm

      Actually, I think they might simply mean — did you go off birth control? Did you stop using protection? It’s not about whether or not you are banging one another…

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      • FireStar

        FireStar December 3, 2011, 1:47 pm

        That’s no better. I’m guessing people don’t ask you if you used protection recently as a way of making conversation.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray December 3, 2011, 1:58 pm

        Well, it’s not as funny to think of it like that, so I’m sticking to what FireStar said. Plus, I can’t remember the last time someone casually asked me about protection and what I use like FireStar noted. Well, except for my gynecologist; she asks me that every year. But I think she’s required to.

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    • JK

      JK December 3, 2011, 2:10 pm

      Just wait, if you have kids then people start asking how long you were trying for, if it was difficult, some even ask if you used special methods!!!
      No matter what life circumstance, some people just don´t run out of awkward questions.
      I love how awkward the word awkward is. 🙂

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      • avatar

        Visharoo December 4, 2011, 3:44 am

        Seriously! I think people think they are being polite by starting a conversation. I’d rather sit in silence then talk about all of this stuff with parents/random people!

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 4, 2011, 9:42 am

        Or when you do have a baby everyone starts asking when you’re having the next one and if you have a boy they start asking if the next one will be a girl like you can just choose the gender of your second baby.

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      • JK

        JK December 4, 2011, 1:39 pm

        Yes. Just yesterday a random stranger asked me if we had been trying for a boy when we had the 2nd girl.

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  • avatar

    MsBorgia December 3, 2011, 11:38 am

    My parents are divorced and neither have other family to visit during the holidays, so I feel like I have to fill the void. I am also in my early twenties and have a strained relationship with them, so the holidays have become more of a responsibility than a pleasure.

    I also hate the Christmas music on endless loop, that rendition of “Jingle Bells” that can’t pick one damn tempo and stick with it, and all the Christmas TV episodes that have to involve some kind of Christmas spirit message. I love Christmas itself, but I hate all the saccharine sentimentality that it seems to truck along with it.

    My mother also has the gift philosophy of “quantity over quality”, so even if I give her a wish list, she’ll get me maybe two things on that list and then spend the rest of her gift budget on kitschy items like Christmas socks (I have at least two dozen pairs of Christmas socks!!)— things that I don’t want or need and that just end up contributing to clutter. I’d much rather she just buy me two or three high quality items. This year I apparently waited too long to ask her for anything and she announced that she’s already finished my shopping, which makes me really nervous. Anyone got advice there?

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    • avatar

      BeccaAnne December 3, 2011, 2:34 pm

      Last year we just got stocking stuffers for everyone in the fam. But stocking stuffers tend to be things that are cute and silly for a day… and then what are you supposed to do with this??

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    • avatar

      kali December 3, 2011, 3:40 pm

      My mom has a thing for Christmas tea towels and scarves. Two things I do not need and rarely use. I mean, does she think the towels wear out?

      One year, I suggested we not buy for the adults in the family but instead participate in one of those adopt a kid/adopt a senior programs. It was easy for me since my foster daughter’s program had a program like that. The kids who need gifts get them and you don’t have to figure out how to regift yet another Rudolf the Rednosed scarf (hint: Scarves make great wrappings for small items.) Foster kids typically don’t have luggage and haul their stuff around in big trash bags, so that’s my #1 recommendation for them.

      Seriously, try redirecting Mom’s gift giving zeal next year and you’ll take some of the pressure off. Good luck!

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  • avatar

    Lolabeans December 3, 2011, 1:15 pm

    I thought some people may like this article about marriage and women in today’s society.

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    • avatar

      scattol December 3, 2011, 6:19 pm

      Well those “I am Hot and Picky” genes are going to die in this generation. More room for MY kids then…

      To an extent it saddens me though. Sure single life, or even plain couple life, is care free and fulfilling because of opportunity and the lack of obligation. Yet for just about everyone (Except Bill Gates and a few of his friends) everyone greatest accomplishment will be to have raised great kids that will make you proud.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph December 3, 2011, 2:43 pm

    Even though I’m Jewish,I don’t really mind Christmas time that much. People who say “Merry Christmas” to me I always smile and respond “Merry Christmas” back. I never knew why people were so pissy about that anyways. Do you get mad when people say “Good Morning” when you’re having a crappy morning? Its just a nice way to greet someone. /end rant
    Christmas music doesn’t bother me- I don’t listen to it in the car or at home, but playing on store soundtracks is kinda fun and usually I sing along (yes I’m that crazy lady singing to herself at the grocery store). Christmas trees smell so good. And obviously I don’t decorate my own house, but I love the lights in the neighborhood. I try to get in some good walks or runs in December to see all the decorations.

    The major thing to bother me is traffic. Always gets worse in December, all over. Makes going to Target or Old Navy or wherever a damn nightmare. Sometimes I need things and I would like to buy them without climbing over 1000 people. Also my bf and I like to go run at a park in Downtown, but we have to drive past 2 different malls to get there. November 23rd, the drive takes 30 minutes. December 3rd, the drive would take over an hour. Eff that, I’ll just run laps around my neighborhood.
    The minor thing that bothers me is trying to explain to people that Hannukah isn’t really a major holiday and that no we aren’t really supposed to get gifts. Maybe that’s bitter. Whoops.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie December 3, 2011, 3:24 pm

    My military family and inherited wanderlust resulted in spending Christmas in two dozen widely dispersed cities in 8 states, 6 countries on 3 continents not counting last years ‘a day at sea’ between ports. Some were with my now departed family, some were in uniform, some with established friends, others with fellow travelers in resorts. The last 23 have been with my wife in various places. All of us remember where we were for every Christmas day and forgot that we have a dental appointment next Wednesday. It’s a wonderful life.

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  • avatar

    kali December 3, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I can’t write about what I hate because I’m too happy! I just got a job after nearly 4 months of unemployment and I am thrilled. It won’t start until January 2, but it’s the perfect job with an awesome boss and a fabulous company, more money than I expected (or asked for) and terrific coworkers. I’m lucky – I have a wonderful guy, a funny dog, great family and friends and now a job doing what I adore. Life is good.

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    • JK

      JK December 3, 2011, 4:02 pm

      Congrats on the job!!!

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  • avatar

    daisy December 4, 2011, 6:07 am

    Hi all, I am an avid DW fan but have never commented before (though I was once an LW, I admit it!) In any case, I am breaking my silence in order to shamelessly plug an amazing cause I am fundraising for — and also a great Christmas/Chanukah/winter birthday gift 😉

    Like many of you, I’ve got even less cash than usual this year and instead of buying gifts that look cheap and make me FEEL cheap, I’m going to make donations on behalf of my loved ones to an incredible non-profit organization called Save A Child’s Heart. They’ll send a special certificate to everyone you donate in honor of, and no, they won’t mention it if you only gave $10!

    http://saveachildsheart.donorpages.com/JenniferTullman/BirthdayProject/

    Happy holidays!

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie December 4, 2011, 9:07 am

    I gathered some snack food to make up a care package for our soldiers but my neighbor’s Army son is field deployed in Afghanistan. I asked his mom how he was doing and our conversation evolved to care packages. She sends him stuff all the time so I took my not quite full box to see if she wanted to cram something in it. She got misty eyed kept the box and refused to accept money for the postage. His unit has no access to common articles that we do. It’s very difficult for them to live with uncertainty and deprivation 24/7. If your interested in this http://anysoldier.com has detailed information about it.

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      honeybeenicki December 5, 2011, 8:09 am

      I send about 4 or 5 care packages out between November and December (and find units to send them to through AnyMarine.com) and try to get at least one out a month the rest of the year. It is an excellent cause 🙂 Good for you for doing that. I’m sure it meant a lot to your neighbor.

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    Anna December 4, 2011, 11:45 am

    Being underemployed myself and paying on a ton of student loans, the stress to buy everyone presents definitely affects my December. I typically live paycheck-to-paycheck anyway so to throw more purchases in there is hard. I normally go pretty inexpensive with my gift-giving and just try to make the gift as thoughtful and relevant as possible. I don’t use credit cards so you are getting whatever gift I can afford to get you with cash!

    I also hate that I live in Ohio and the winters here are awful. We barely get any fluffy snow in my part of the state. It usually stays around 32-34 and alternates between snow and rain, which inevitably melt and then freeze into a solid layer of ice…all over EVERYTHING. Ever try driving a car on a skating rink? Not fun.

    However, I do love the holidays because I love real Christmas trees, baking cookies, boozed up eggnog, and listening to Christmas carols while decorating the house.

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      honeybeenicki December 5, 2011, 8:10 am

      This year to save me the stress of gift giving, I went a much more cost-effective route and made everyone fleece tie blankets. I went to a fabric store when they were having sales and got enough to make 9 blankets for about $100 total (3 trips).

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  • mandalee

    mandalee December 4, 2011, 1:18 pm

    I love everything but the holidays except traveling. Even though my husband and I are now married and have a townhome big enough to host everyone, my husband’s sister is insisting that Christmas at her house is now a “tradition” (after two years) and stated she will never be traveling anywhere else on that holiday and her mother plays along. However, they live over 3 hours away from where we do in the middle of nowhere mountains in NY. I absolutely loathe putting on a happy face as I watch her complain, whine, and huff her way through Christmas Day.

    I’m extremely excited for the year I do not have to celebrate Christmas at her house.

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie December 4, 2011, 8:15 pm

      One bright side you live far enough away to only have to put up with her on short visits. Next year book a holiday vacation to break the “tradition”.

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    MsMisery December 5, 2011, 8:41 am

    I’ve started to really hate buying gifts. Xmas has become so commercial. They start putting out the decorations and ads on Halloween. Black Friday started on Thursday this year. I am not even Christian and I think there is far too much pressure to buy and shop. This time of year is supposed to have some spiritual significance for most people, and even if it doesn’t you should at least be able to get together with your loved ones without the “Who got me what?/Who spent what?” race. It’s why I like Thanksgiving better.

    That and I hate winter weather. -__-

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  • Budj

    Budj December 5, 2011, 9:18 am

    The older I get the more annoying being single is around the holidays – so I hate that. I also hate that they start advertising so soon. Halloween barely ended and they were trying to bring in Christmas. Nothing wrong with savouring each part of the year in its own right…i.e…let Thanksgiving go by first.

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    • Budj

      Budj December 5, 2011, 9:20 am

      On a positive note my roommates and I went with my parents to find Christmas trees yesterday and now my apt is filled with a tree aroma.

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  • Lyra

    L December 5, 2011, 10:28 am

    I really dislike how everyone gets so obnoxious during sales — especially on Black Friday. It’s like we’ve totally lost what Christmas is all about. Americans have unfortunately lived up to our consumerist stereotype during the holidays, and it is just getting worse. I mean, how many of you remember what you got for Christmas last year? I sure don’t remember everything.

    On an unrelated note, I am thankful beyond words that I am still in a relationship this side of the weekend. Yesterday my boyfriend and I had a major heart-to-heart discussion in which he told me he thought he was ready to move on from the relationship. Being long distance has strained us this year especially and the future is very uncertain for both of us career wise. This relationship has been going strong for over 2 years with potential to live closer/maybe together starting this summer. During the conversation yesterday we started talking about what the future has in store for us and we both realized how much we mean to each other and that we want to experience the relationship in a more “traditional” setting. We want to experience a relationship with each other in which we can see each other every day. Needless to say, our talk yesterday had lots of tears, lots of sobbing, and lots of eye-opening realizations. There was definitely a point in which I thought I would be a single gal at the end of the conversation, but it ended up opening discussions that will help us to start to plan for the future. There are a lot of tough decisions ahead, but I’m glad that we both want to face them together.

    Jeez, that turned into a novel. My apologies.

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    misslisa December 5, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I can’t say there’s anything I “hate” about the holidays, but I will say that Christmastime in Phoenix still feels weird and awkward to me, even after 12 years. It’s crazy to hear songs about snowing and winter wonderlands when it’s 80 degrees and sunny. It’s nuts to see saguaro cacti (the big-armed cactus we’ve all seen in cartoons) decorated with Christmas lights, instead of pine trees. But a funny thing happened this year: We’ve had a cold snap! It’s actually cold enough to wear a coat outside! For the first time in over a decade, I’m feeling the ol’ Christmas spirit 🙂

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 7:12 pm

      One thing that IS cool about Arizona this time of year though is all the luminaries… Lanterns made out of candles and a paper bag… Also, I love saguaros meet x-mas light combos! Good thing too, as it looks like I will be having MANY a Arizona Christmas since my folks just bought a place to winter there… A few years ago, I was in the Valley of the Sun and it snowed. It wasn’t Christmas, but it was crazy! And made for an amazing drive up the Carefree…

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