Posted in Holidays, writing

To Whine, or Not To Whine

My tree this year is an 18″ decoration I picked up at Target close to 30 years ago. I couldn’t be bothered setting up the big tree.

So, is it time for my annual self-indulgent Christmas whine? You bet it is! This time of year always causes those feelings to resurface, and it’s not as if anything can be done about it. I guess it’s time to fully acknowledge that I will never feel about Christmas the way I used to, but it’s becoming more ok.

Holiday season is the loneliest time of year for many. I’m sure you all know that. This time of year I feel the loss of my family most acutely. I realize I had a very good childhood, and because of that I look back with such longing for those bygone days. So much of my family is gone, or far away, or simply estranged, making the memories of those happy, innocent days of my childhood that much more poignant. But many people, too many people, never had a safe, stable home with presents under the tree like I did.

Am I looking back with rose-colored glasses? Probably.

So what is “Christmas spirit” anyway? Every year it seems I see more and more people say they can’t find it, or they lost it. Are we all just longing for some idyllic time that perhaps never actually existed? Or is the stress of shopping and overspending on top of the pressures of everyday life just ruining it? I suppose I’m just missing those innocent days of believing in Santa Claus, while my parents dealt with the stress of putting the holiday together for us kids. But I genuinely enjoyed doing it for my own kids when they were little.

God knows neither of my parents had those perfect Christmases. My dad was born and grew up in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, W. 51st Street. His own father died when my dad was only 18, in 1939. My mother immigrated from Norway when she was 12. Her parents had been in the U.S. for several years before they could afford to bring my mom and her sister over (1934), so she and my aunt lived with their grandmother who by all accounts was a very stern old Lutheran woman. I don’t think my mother ever psychologically recovered from having been separated from her mother.

Despite all that, it’s pretty amazing that my parents gave me and my sisters the quintessential American Christmas with tons of gifts and the family all gathered together. I’m just missing that. I was damn lucky to have that growing up. Too many people will never know that kind of warmth and joy. I should just be grateful that I had it at all, and make new traditions for myself now. And considering what else is going on in the world, I have nothing to complain about.

Anyway, enjoy the holiday in whatever way you can, even if it’s just a day off from work for you. Sending love and blessings and wishes for a good 2023 to everyone.



Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. First novel, "Revenants Abroad", available now at Amazon. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.

4 thoughts on “To Whine, or Not To Whine

  1. I don’t think you’re whining, my friend – you’ve said only nice things about your parents, and your childhood, and your kids’ childhoods. It reads like bittersweet nostalgia to me. Every Xmas season is a little different, but the whole point of making memories, is so we can treasure them, in the quiet years. Have a peaceful solstice, and enjoy whatever bits you love the most, of the present, and the past, and whatever the future might bring by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend. I just feel kind of petty complaining about lack of Christmas spirit. I think this is the 3rd year I’ve posted something similar. So true what you said about memories. Things can’t stay the same forever, or we’d never have wonderful new experiences, either.


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