This atheist LOVES Christmas.
At least in theory. But let’s face it. Christmas as an adult is way more complicated than it used to be.
As a kid, Christmas was a magical time filled with warmth and gifts and family. But when you grow up, those things change a little bit. Family becomes less of a support structure and more of a collection of people you are forever tethered to, people you will always love completely and immutably, but people whose company you might enjoy or be completely stressed out by on any given day.
I still love everything about Christmas — the time off from work, the little potted tree I bought and named, the movies playing incessantly on my tv, and yes, even Christmas morning with my large extended family — but the latter is a little more work, emotionally, than it used to be.
Anyway. I thought it would be a good time to check in with some queer bloggers about Christmas. Here are four personal essays, and one funny song, about the holidays. (Thanks, Autostraddle — I almost typed ‘holigays.’ Way to coin a phrase.) Cheers!
A married parent-of-one reflects on the Christmases when the family had nothing, and vows that things will always be different for their son.
Our son has never experienced hunger, nor homelessness, and Santa has always and will always come for him. He will NEVER go through or experience anything that happened to me. That has been my VOW and PROMISE to him since he was but an hour old.
As a kid, Heather Hogan took it upon herself to keep the holidays merry and bright, no matter what was going on with her family. As an adult, she’s over it.
Head Elves don’t quit when things get tense; they ramp up the merriment and keep on Christmasing.
Head Elves don’t quit when they outgrow the costume; they wrap tinsel around their hats and carol even louder.
Head Elves don’t quit when their dad leaves and Christmas dishes finally get broken.
Head Elves don’t quit when their mom threatens to kill herself at the Christmas tree farm.
— Heather Hogan
A queer blogger posts some tips to help navigate the Holiday dinner table when eating is…complicated. A few of them apply to your first out Christmas, too.
Remember the attention is not on you. I know it can be hard to convince yourself of this, but especially at busy occasions like Christmas, people will really not be focusing on you – the only time they will be is if you are talking, or being spoken to, and in this situation you can simply put down your cutlery and talk, and remember that then they’ll be focusing on what you’re saying, not what you’re eating.
A queer trans man squares off against his mother’s expectations at the holidays.
My mother still begs me to put on a pretty dress and heels when the family come round for Xmas dinner, but I have finally realized that I have the power to say no. No, I want to wear this fabulous suit I just bought from Topman, thank you very much. And you know what? She may not be thrilled about it, but I have realized that my Mum loves me just the same, whether I’m wearing a suit on Christmas day or a dress.
— Alex Inkley
Bonus: It’s a Very Queer Christmas (song)
Erin McKeown sings the queer holiday blues.