So, How Are You Doing With The Christmas Spirit This Year?


  • Saphia - 10 years ago

    Since this is our son's first Christmas, I'm going a bit all out this year. I even decorated the mantel and got stockings. Usually, I'm lucky if I get the tree up.

  • Tim - 10 years ago

    Other: Quite surreal. I'm delighted and excited, but also not very focused on Christmas, and it's for the same reason: My daughter (firstborn) was born November 17, so my wife and I are very excited for our first Christmas as the three of us, but, for obvious reasons, despite the excitement, we are more focused on the day-to-day of having a 5-week-old (tomorrow) baby. We only just got the Christmas tree put up last night, and that and a couple of other decorations constitute the totality of our Christmas decorations. Our daughter is too young to really enjoy Christmas this year, so the excitement of her first Christmas goes more to mommy and daddy than to her, so I'm honestly anticipating next year more than this year. All the same, it's an exciting time.

  • Evilcritter - 10 years ago

    I never really cared for xmas, as an adult. I'm not a Grinch (although I loathe the maddeningly repetitive music), I just find the forced cheer a bit alarming. I do like buying gifts for my family and friends, but the frantic nature of the season irritates me. Plus I hate decorating. No tree will die for me this year if I can help it. Humanity's desperate need for symbols and symbolic continuity kinda baffles me.

  • MNMom - 10 years ago

    I have two kids so I am faking the Christmas spirit like mad. However, I am more Meh due to the death of my Father in Law this fall (more cancer), and the death of my beloved Siamese kitty last weekend. I refuse to do the mall / holiday orgy of shopping every year so at least I don't have to face the crowds. Between shopping year round and Amazon, there is no need to face the crazy sweatpant wearing people who leave a funk of desperation and loneliness around them. I would like to know how it ended up that I do all of the Christmas at my house and my husband buys one big present for everyone and my presents on Christmas Eve????

  • Heather - 10 years ago

    This year my family went from all within a two hour radius of each other to spread across the country from California to New Jersey. We're going to be using Google Hangouts to get a little time together on Christmas but not being with them has definitely put a damper on my mood.

  • M.T. - 10 years ago

    I managed the seasonal retail department for a few years at a home and garden outlet. I never had much of a thing for Christmas beforehand, and after? To put it lightly, the whole overblown thing triggers a "punch everyone including babies and old women" button. But that's not really any different than any other year.

    Being broke and unemployed, afraid the depression will get nasty, and looking a handful of big life shifts is making this particular Christmas about as pleasant as drinking glass shards.

  • ellenceleste - 10 years ago

    Everyone in the household from 4 month old to 80 year old has had some form of strep this month. The five year old is over the moon with excitement, because he's well... five. I love Christmas music and our various traditions, but am just so tired of coughing. Sometimes you just have to fake it 'til you make it, and this year is my year for that. As long as the five year old has fun, that's all that matters.

  • Tiest Vilee - 10 years ago

    My son just got out of hospital having had Bacterial Meningitis, so I'm fucking over the moon! Christmas kind of fades into the background in comparison.

  • Mount - 10 years ago

    I'm sort of a Christmas curmudgeon. I typically don't allow Christmas music (or turn the station if it's on the radio) until mid December, and the decorations come down by New Year's. That said, this is also the first time in something like four years that I've had the spare money to actually buy presents for my people... so I've kind of gone overboard on THAT this year. We also had a death in the family in early December, a cousin who was my own age, which has paradoxically made me appreciate the holiday a bit more.

    That sort of puts me between "same as most years" and "ALL CAPS CHRISTMAS YAY!"

  • Cindy - 10 years ago

    Depressing. I love Christmas, but it just isn't happening this year. I don't have my tree up, haven't decorated anything or wrapped anything and struggling to find the right attitude to "pass" the holiday season. You can't force Christmas. You either have it or you don't, and I just don't. Maybe I should celebrate it after the New Year.

  • Keisha - 10 years ago

    We had an unfair share of tragedy and unplanned 'vacation' this year (Two untimely deaths and a birth) that ate up my entire bucket of time off, so I will be spending my Christmas home alone with the cats, while my spouse takes his children off to see the grandparents for a week. Its strange, and depressing, and a little bit unsettling, but it is life.

  • S. Weippert - 10 years ago

    My family makes a big deal out of Christmas time every year. It's our favorite holiday and we start celebrating the Friday after Thanksgiving with lights and tree and music. Well, most of us wait that long. We tease my mom about listening to Christmas music the first of November. lol

    Now that I married a great guy that celebrates Yule, I have an excuse to celebrate/give presents three times instead of two: Yule, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. :D

  • tcomeau - 10 years ago

    "The Holiday Season" is a moderately bad time of year. I quickly get tired of the right wingnut claims of a war on Christmas, the incessant demands that we spend more on "holiday savings", the really awful traffic, and the extreme difficulty of shopping for anything normal, I find it more annoying than inspiring. I don't mind if other people enjoy themselves. Especially kids. I'm looking forward to the days getting longer.

    So meh.

  • e.m.h. - 10 years ago

    I was so ready and excited for Christmas until death visited my dog and now Christmas can fuck right off.

  • Laura - 10 years ago

    Feeling peace and happiness with our own upcoming celebratory plans, but this is tempered by sadness for the families who lost their loved ones in Connecticut last week.

  • Keri - 10 years ago

    Christmas Interruptus: My Dad died unexpectedly last Sunday. I had to travel 500 miles+ and am sorting out his estate. Christmasgasm on hold.

  • glinda - 10 years ago

    Chris R: I am so sorry.

    (Same cause for loss here. [expletives] cancer.)

  • Dana - 10 years ago

    The more commercialized it gets the less I care. And I can't stand people who have to make every movie and TV show ever made into a cheesy 'tradition.' Ooh, we have to watch 'Miracle on 34th Street' the original not the remake and we have to watch 'Rudolph' and 'Charlie Brown's Christmas and...and...and...

    Then there's the radio stations that start playing every version of every Christmas song ever recorded, starting on Black Friday. Do we really NEED to hear Andy Williams singing 'O Come All Ye Faithful' and then the Brenda Lee version and...and...

  • A3 - 10 years ago

    Other: with Christmas so close to the end of the semester, the kids are still studying for midterms and I'm still trying to finish up work projects. So we're not really feeling the Christmas spirit ... yet.

    But we will celebrate with our extended family this weekend; serve at the Citywide Feast on Monday helping distribute food, toys, and clothes to those who need them; and attend church Monday evening. By then, we will feel the spirit.

  • jen - 10 years ago

    Looking forward to Christmas more than usual this year. It'll be a short turnaround (driving down to northern TN on Monday, driving back on Wednesday), but there's a 1-year-old niece and five 3-week-old Pomeranian puppies! How can that NOT be fun?!! ;-)

  • dhubghall - 10 years ago

    I'm in a strange mood right now. We had a major apartment complex (about 200 yards from the house) burn down last night. I've never seen a fire this big and embers were hitting close to the house. We had to turn on the sprinklers and had to pack up the cars with everything we wanted to save. This took less than 20 minutes so I feel a little better about what our priorities are about. So far there are no known casualties. But at least 50 families lost everything, probably much more.

    What made it a better Christmas was that we could go out and give the people who just lost everything clothes and blankets (one guy was dressed in a sheet!) It will be an interesting couple of days as we try to figure out who needs what.

    That made this an interesting Christmas!

  • lizard - 10 years ago

    on Other: i'm actually in this space where Advent (read: waiting. preparing. mourning the things that are fucked up in this world while we long for/call for/hope for Light and Love to fix them) has been a surprisingly rich season this year. this could be due to helping launch a community art project exploring these things a few weeks ago and not being alone in the world. so not sure how i'll feel about *Christmas*, per se, when it gets here, but looking forward to Epiphany after that (read: Light and Love have shown up and announced they're at work in the world, so let's celebrate and get a move on, people.)

  • kitten - 10 years ago

    Too broke to care this year...lots of stress. Solstice is tomorrow and I am looking forward to that but we won't be totally done until we see my mother-in-law in January...

  • Laura Eilers - 10 years ago

    My Dad died in January 2012 and this will be my first Christmas without him. It's pretty awful, overall.

  • Miles Archer - 10 years ago

    Meh, Same as Last Year, Jewish/Pagan/Unaffiliated, and Other all apply here, but I voted Meh.

    Hark, The Herald Tribune Sings, Advertising Wondrous Things - Tom Lehrer

  • Peter Dudley - 10 years ago

    Christmas tree with nothing but homemade origami adorning it, including dinosaurs and a mini M1-A1 Abrams.

    I haz one.

    Even with that awesomeness, I still feel meh about Christmas. Or maybe humbug is a better word.

  • jon - 10 years ago

    I dislike Christmas and I have since I was 12. This year we're especially broke and downsizing so it even more crappy than usual. Even my wife, the former Queen of Christmas, said meh why bother this year.

  • Nathaniel - 10 years ago

    I'm pretty "meh" about Christmas most years. Just not all that into it. It makes me happy that my wife enjoys it so much, and being off work for a bit is always nice, but trying to figure out gifts and being bombarded by 24-7 Christmasyness gets kind of overwhelming (don't get me wrong, I enjoy giving gifts to the people I love and care for, it's more the physical act of "getting" them the stresses me out. Hence much much more online shopping this year). Did manage to enjoy listening to some classical and mostly instrumental Christmas music for a bit yesterday. But yeah, it comes around again, does its thing, and then goes away for another year, which is pretty fine I guess. But you know, Meh, whatever.

    Merry Christmeh! and all that.

  • Alisha - 10 years ago

    Other - My internal spirit is Christmasy, but as the first Christmas I've spent in sunny Florida, the complete lack of - well - cold, is unexpectedly distracting and strange. Additional aspects of being close to family and far from friends means that my Christmas spirit varies rapidly between all the Christmas believing options above (except the gutting of Santa, thank you).

  • D. C. Sessions - 10 years ago

    Looks like I'm not the only one who wishes there had been a "Please, please just make it STOP" option.

  • Kat Richardson - 10 years ago

    I'm having a mixed year: it was not bad in the early half, though marred by family tragedies; after mid-June things began to dive and the dive accelerated arlound Thanksgiving. Now beating my head against a year-end novel deadline and working at home in a boat with insufficient heat again this year is making me want to cry all the time. No Christmas Bucket o' Fir limbs this year--haven't had the time--and I'll be working on Christmas. Luckily, we have no kids to complain that we're the Grinches.

  • Jack Tingle - 10 years ago

    I should vote 'same as last year', but the 'Warrior on Xmas' imagery was just too good to resist. I blame you, John.

  • Phenomenal Lass - 10 years ago

    My niece passed away due to a sudden illness last year. She wasn't quite 2 when she died. Our family is still reeling and grieving. My sister and her husband are looking for random acts of kindness (even smiling at a stranger counts!) and a report back to keep Catelyn's memory alive - they are going to read them on December 30 - what would've been her 3rd birthday. If any of you would like to participate, you can find out more about it at

  • Alma Alexander - 10 years ago

    Lost a beloved cat not too long ago, and it was a critter who always got very INVOLVED in CHristmas (you just TRY wrapping a present without his assistance). The house is silent and empty with him gone, and my Christmas spirit simply will not rise to the occasion this year. I miss that stupid cat so badly. Yes, I know others have it far worse, but the heart wants what the heart wants...

  • Anne - 10 years ago

    This is the last year both of my teenagers are at home before one (or both) go to college. I WILL by golly, squeeze every ounce of spirit out of the next week. (It's exhausting.)

  • Larry Clapp - 10 years ago

    I'm much more stoked about my post-Christmas vacation than about Christmas itself.

    But, I'm pretty mellow-ly happy about Christmas. Just like most years. :)

  • Gregg Bender - 10 years ago

    Meh. The airline industry (former career) beat the holiday spirit out of me years ago. I reflexively dread the season. The only "Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men" I ever saw was on holiday cards for 20 years.

    Plus I've been out of work (and frantically looking) since September of 2011. I just got my last UI payment. Nothing makes your holidays bright like unemployment. No family nearby to visit. I just can't work up any enthusiasm. Sorry to be a downer, folks.

  • tanya - 10 years ago

    ZOMG for sure!!!

    my husband and i are treating ourselves to a trip to palm springs for christmas this year, so i'm pretty stoked, especially since christmas in vancouver (canada) is 99% likely to be grey, dreary and accompanied by buckets of rain. also, my family and i decided to stop giving gifts and spend the money on activities we can do together instead. win win as far as i'm concerned.

    happy holidays everyone!!!

  • MikeKn - 10 years ago

    I'm more a combination of "About the same as most years." and "Meh. Not so much."

  • Roxane - 10 years ago

    I like Christmas. I don't like that it comes only days after the semester's grades are due. I'm never ready.

  • Chris R - 10 years ago

    I'm in the "other" camp this year. There is a lack of Christmas spirit this year, but it isn't apathy or anything like that.

    I lost my wife to cancer not even three months ago, and I'm still reeling. It's hard to get into the Christmas spirit when your anchor is gone.

  • Remy - 10 years ago

    Had a wedding in October. Working and finishing up grad school / working two jobs. (~134 work/school hours per week between the two of us.) ALSO working the week after Christmas that the rest of the company has off. (Compensatory vacation later... but when?) No time to clean the house, much less decorate. Sad about third (fourth?) year with no tree. Decided to not buy each other gifts (free/repurposed stuff is okey-dokey), and to keep family gift costs to a minimum (AUGH, have to send presents to the hostile in-laws! On the same budget as last year with no in-laws!), so the spirit is very low.

  • Beej - 10 years ago


    I find myself turning into one of "those" Dads, becoming further removed from real involvement in these events for my daughter and our family. I'm physically present for them, but I don't do any of the planning and my involvement with execution is limited to helping my wife.

    I'd like to know why this is, but the psychotherapy bill would be huge.

  • D. C. Sessions - 10 years ago

    Just a bit more than one day and I can leave town and get away from the insanity until it's over.

    I could tolerate the slavering mobs whenever I have to shop this time of year (stocking up on essentials in advance helps) but the MUSIC!!!! Arrrrrrrgh!

  • Ben Wintersteen - 10 years ago

    Kind of ambivelent about Christmas.

    Yay! First christmas with my two-year old.
    Yay! New boy due any day now.

    AUGH! New boy due any day now.
    AUGH! Family coming right after new years for indefinite stay.

  • Amy - 10 years ago

    I don't enjoy christmas as much as I used to when I went all out and decorated and had a party, but I'm still feeling pretty festive. There's a lot of sadness and angst that seems to come to many people this time of year, but I look at it as a chance to spend time with the people I love. All of the bad things that happen in the world still do not ruin the things that are good.

  • The Gneech - 10 years ago

    Normally I love Christmas, but this year I've had so much stuff flying at me (mostly in the form of ill friends/family who need taking care of or at least attention) that it's been like living on fast-forward. I'm just about ready for Thanksgiving now...

    -The Gneech

  • Just K for today - 10 years ago

    Just before Thanksgiving a member of my extended family committed suicide. She loved the holidays deeply, was always one of the two most holiday-spirit-filled members of the family, and due to years of poverty and poor health I guess she just couldn't bear the thought of another season being so different than they used to be. Standing at the grocery store a week later, getting enthusiastic about all of the peppermint-and-chocolate flavored cookies and candies, it suddenly hit me why she timed her departure the way she did, and I just about had to leave to break down. Since then each encounter with holiday cheer has come with a cloud of regret, sadness, melancholy. But I could rally some spirit, especially for the benefit of my 8 year old. Until the massacre last week. Now every moment of excitement is accompanied by an equal or stronger dread, fear, and the kind of sadness that begs the creation of a whole new word just to begin to express it. I'm hoping once the 8yo is done with school we can relax and get into the spirit. I think I'll get there, but it is astonishingly hard this year.

  • karl - 10 years ago

    Working nights around Christmas. Have time to go to Midnight Mass but that's it. Did family stuff already.

  • Robert - 10 years ago

    I don't care for holidays in general. Too much busy stuff for too little time in the end.
    Not to mention all those extra people in my way when I'm just trying to run errands.

  • Lissa Price - 10 years ago

    John, this is a very merry Christmas around here. I became a published author this year, had my Big Idea post here on your blog (Starters), got to tour and meet wonderful people (including you). Starters made several Best of lists, including the B&N one (one of 4 debuts), the LA and Chicago Public Library lists and won some awards in Europe.

    And as we race to the end of the year, one last deal looks like it will conclude and be announced after Sundance.

    Publishing is changing at lightspeed, but it's still going strong. Writers - never give up. You have the weapon in your hand.

  • Randall G. Hauk - 10 years ago

    My older son turns 3 at end of January. I daresay folks who've experienced children at this age can imagine why my Christmas level is at a high.

  • glinda - 10 years ago

    Other: Very diluted, and very sporadic, veering easily into depressed.

    (My usual chaos of a small apartment turned into something that looks like an explosion in a warehouse full of holiday decorations was added to this month -- boxes and bags of things from a friend's apartment, all to be sorted and filed or tossed. This whole executor-of-best-friend's-will thing sucks rocks.)

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