Time with those we love is too often taken for granted

I’m a fortunate fellow. I’m spending Christmas in Madison with my wife and kids, at my daughter’s house (so I’m even luckier — she’s doing all the work!) It’s going to be a good calm pleasant Christmas, with calls back to the family in Seattle as well…and we all accept and love each other.

It does, however, make me sad that not everyone gets the full and desired consolation of family.


  1. silomowbray says

    Yeah, that must be ongoing hell for Zinnia and other trans people. I’m white, straight and male, and cis, and yet I struggle mightily with anxiety and depression roughly half the time. Zinnia has to cope with this crap all of the time, “crap” including having to keep who she is away from a bigoted family member, or face the perils of judgment. I don’t know how she does it. I feel weak around people like her, in many ways. I admire her resilience, and self-honesty.

  2. says

    I loathed Christmas with my family, when I still technically had one 20 years ago. The last 15 years I have worked over the Xmas period, keeps me busy and I don t have to think about it. This year I would love to see the parts of my family that I love and that are around, but my father is too far away, and my son not allowed to see me. Work, it is.

  3. samihawkins says

    I don’t find it at all awkward having to act like a guy and wear clothes baggy enough to hide the evidence showing otherwise when I go see Grandma 3 times a year, but that’s just because I have to do it every day at work.

    Not sure how I’m gonna handle the less accepting parts of my family once I get a job where I’m not surrounded by bigoted rednecks and can be Sami full time.

  4. Lofty says

    I told my only brother that family xmasses were over for me, once the last child became adult. I haven’t missed not having a family “do” these last few years. My wife and I loll about snacking on treats and reading the books we gave each other. Her sister gets fobbed off with a “we’re too busy” so we don’t have to deal with her boorish partner.
    My heart goes out to those genuinely lonely over xmas, but heck, any day of the year is a good excuse to get together with a friend or three to make up for a lack of xmas cheer. And now you can pop into the Lounge and find some friends and have a therapeutic chat.

  5. says


    My heart goes out to those genuinely lonely over xmas

    It’s not about loneliness, Lofty. For some, it’s about family being unwilling to accept and love them. For others, like myself, it’s the loss of family due to deep abuse and trauma. It’s a serious loss those of us who have long found ourselves without a family know and find ways to come to terms with, but it’s in no way easy. This is not about ditching annoying relatives. It’s about finding yourself alone and cut adrift and coping with it the rest of your life.

  6. magistramarla says

    Our kids are grown and scattered, so now it’s just Dear Hubby and me. We’ve already mailed the presents and now we’ll settle in for a quiet day and a nice meal.
    My oldest daughter and her DH choose a different country each year and travel for the holidays. This year, it’s Columbia. I’m a bit jealous.

  7. Lofty says

    Caine, I don’t know if losing your family to premature death is any different from losing a family to estrangement, either way the only strategy is to find a substitute family. I consider myself lucky to have an arms length relationship with my immediate family, I couldn’t imagine going back to the fights we had over petty issues. I hope you have some good friends you can turn to in need. I have my wife, who is my best friend and confidante.

  8. says

    Like I said, I’m incredibly fortunate. I’m on good terms with my surviving parent and brothers and sisters, I’m happy with my kids, I’m privileged to have one of those lazily contented personal lives. I can’t imagine being without it…but I can sympathize with those who have family they’d rather not associate with.

  9. jnorris says

    PZ, for some of us, or at least me, time away from family is time without stress. I love my family and I feel better the longer the distance there is between us.

    Please enjoy these holidays as I am sure there is another ‘End of the World’ around the corner somewhere.

  10. mnb0 says

    I’m even more fortunate. I live in a community where christmas is not a big deal. Moreover my female counterpart is muslima and doesn’t give an SRD.
    Must be hell for Zinnia.

  11. Maka Woksapa says

    Gay is easy. A real test of your fatherly love and acceptance would be if one of your kids became a born-again, young-earth creationist, tea-party evangelical Christian!

  12. says

    My mother just died. I was able to commune with brother and sister, and that really helped. Have an enjoyable Christmas, everyone, wherever or whatever your situation.

  13. Azuma Hazuki says

    Alone doesn’t always mean lonely. I’ve moved to Madison from NYC following a job lead and live alone, and my girlfriend lives in Malaysia (!) of all places…but Skype and IRC really help bridge the gap. My family’s insane, so with the exception of my mother there’s not much missing going on here.

    Glad to hear the Clan of Poopyhead is having a good holiday though :) May all find peace, even if only for a short while…

  14. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I don’t know if you were serious or not, but if you were, ‘gay’ is not easy. When I came out of the closet, holidays were filled with tension between my father and I for years. We overcame it in time when I revealed how hurt I was, but those years were still gone.

    If you were joking, please don’t do that. There exists all manner of problems that can make the holidays difficult for people. No need to play ‘who has it better/worse’. That serves only to minimize the real pain many people go through.

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you.