Great post. (And good writing!) I relate! I’ve never liked the holidays, especially Christmas. In my twenties I called it Capitalism Day, which I now laugh at it but it’s kinda on the mark. More personally, Christmas represents for me the fact that my family loves to shove all the collective trauma under the rug and pretend like everything’s great, perfect in fact, and we get to distract ourselves by giving each other useless possessions. I know--my perspective is a little extreme. What can I say? I’m a writer ✍️. All that said: We had a very nice Thanksgiving.

Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’


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So many great ideas for dealing with loneliness. And yes, being lonely and being alone are two completely separate things. It is important for us to recognize that.

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It's so true. It can be detrimental even when you enjoy the holiday season. I often think about all the people who have no family or friends to visit or to spend time with during this time and it makes me so sad. I am the youngest by a large age gap in my family and I know that will be me someday. I try to be compassionate to myself and others this time of the year. I also have a tradition where I make a video specifically for people who feel lonely this time of year on my channel every Christmas. My hope is that after many years it will make a huge playlist lasting several hours that people can watch if the algorithm happens to bring them to it and then they at least have someone talking to them and distracting them for a while. To me, Christmas is a pagan holiday filled with the kind of magic that can make something out of nothing, a tiny light in the darkest part of the year. Thanks for this!

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I loved this! Theoretically, I like the holidays, but the commercialism of it is so draining (financially and spiritually)! Also: loneliness as a reflection of one’s relationship with oneself is spot on. Thank you!

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Nov 29, 2022Liked by Diane Hatz

There are some good suggestions here. I am also particularly happy to see someone admit openly that Xmas music is as treacly and maudlin as hell (well, I added the anger words). I've in fact opted out of _all_ holidays. I don't celebrate new year's, or my birthday, or Easter or Valentine's

Day or Thanksgiving or Halloween or any of it. And I'm not a curmudgeon. Not to make too much of a big deal of it, but I see it as a means of establishing my independence from state-, culture-, and religion-imposed days of felicity.

No, I'm not saying that that makes me a hero or better than you, but just pointing out that we all don't have to mindlessly (or mindfully) sign on for these assigned days just because they are marked in the calendar. Xmas is arguably the worst of them. I am of course not the first to be kind of disgusted and embarrassed by the commercialism of it. And not because it diminishes the "true meaning" of Xmas (as Bart Simpson once said: "The birth of Santa?"). I'm an atheist, and so I have some difficulty celebrating the birth of a baby from a woman who was apparently a virgin. Hmm. How does that work exactly? Be careful out there, people: you could be sitting around sipping your latte and God can apparently impregnate you without you knowing it.

It's all ridiculous of course. And, Diane, you raise excellent issues about loneliness. There is so much pressure put on people to have the "spirit of Xmas" that if you don't have it, you feel like there must be something wrong with you. An alternative is to go your own way. I get up on December 25 and have the same breakfast I always do. Sometimes I choose to join the many Jewish people who eat Chinese food on this day. Sometimes I get a pizza. One year I spent it with my friend of like mind, and we had Kraft Dinner for lunch and seafood lasagne for dinner, and spent part of the day watching "Sid and Nancy." My mother nearly had a heart attack when she didn't hear the word "turkey."

As for the religious side of it, I have to say: come on. What portion of people are just thrilled to celebrate the boy child Jesus? And what portion of them are not hypocrites who can't even get along with their own family? I do still marvel that people say with a straight face that they are Christians, when the largest denomination, the Catholic Church, has been the perpetrator of such physical and sexual atrocities against boys—and then covered them up, or moved the priest along to some less conspicuous parish—that I am surprised there are not mass (instead of Mass) demonstrations at the Vatican every year until justice is done, victim compensation is paid, and pedophilic rapists are thrown in prison.

I'm not angry, I'm really not. I have no gifts to buy, I have no events to attend perfunctorily. I don't kill a tree to bring into my home. My one concession is that I do like egg nog. Mea culpa.

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Thank you for speaking openly. As you pointed out so lucidly, most people prefer pretending their happiness on social media. Loved all the practical suggestions.

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