A toast to you.

It’s Christmas Eve and although I’m not a sentimental or religious person, Christmas Eve has always been magical for me.  It’s the night we drive back to the house I was raised to spend the evening laughing with my family…my grandparents, parents, sister, aunts and uncles and cousins.  It only lasts a few hours and then we drive away to see Victor’s family.  It feels like it’s over in a second but that loud and wonderful second is what Christmas is about for me.

Today though I’m home alone and my family is scattered or working or otherwise MIA.  I’ll still see them after the holidays, and tonight Victor and Hailey and I will celebrate alone with presents and a frozen pizza.  And it will be wonderful, but not quite the same.

So this post goes out to all of you, but especially to those of you who celebrate as you are haunted with the sweet bitterness of things past, and of well-loved places that now only exist in your mind.  It goes out to those who celebrate with the ghosts of the people who made the holidays special.  It goes out to everyone who feels a little bit alone today.

You aren’t alone.  None of us are.

I’ll be toasting you tonight.  Yes, you.  I’ll be toasting to friends and family who aren’t with us, both the ones that we miss and the ones that we haven’t even met yet.  I’ll be toasting to you, my friend.

Happy Holidays, sweetness.  I wish you happiness and magic.  And I wish it for me too.

347 thoughts on “A toast to you.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I appreciate your post!! I am also celebrating with my son and boyfriend and missing Christmases past filled with large family gatherings. A toast back to you, for making me smile and laugh out loud quite often! Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  2. Even though I’m lucky enough to have all 4 of my siblings and my parents (and two very unpleasant smelling dogs) with me right now, this post filled my heart with happiness and I’m glad that, no matter what, none of us are ever really alone.

    Merry Christmas.

  3. we’re mourning the Christmas of past and trying not to stab crazy grandma

    we’ll see if toast and wine lessens the feelings of distaste

  4. Thank you! I needed this. I’ll be with family, but still missing something or someone.
    Your posts are always a bright spot in my day. Love and hugs and toasts to you! With pizza!

  5. Awww, thank you Jenny! And remember, if you feel just a bit down … remember the Eurovision Song Contest video clips I emailed you yesterday and you will watch in disbelief and Victor will roll his eyes and you will have plenty more material for a new blog post. 🙂 xo

  6. This almost made me start bawling in the middle of my living room. Merry Christmas, and thank you very muchly for the toasting and such.

  7. From someone who is spending her second Christmas in a row away from home and the family that loves me, I have to say that I really appreciate the warm and happy thoughts. Tomorrow, I will be with the family that has adopted me in my new home, but today, I needed to read something like this. I raise my glass of white wine to you. Merry Christmas!

  8. Merry Christmas to you! This is the first Christmas in my entire life that I haven’t been able to spend it with my parents. They moved 300 miles away, and we just don’t have the money to go visit. 🙁
    I’m fighting hard not to be crazy depressed this year.

  9. This is going to be a quiet one for us as well, just the two of us and the world’s cutest canines, and seems peaceful and magical all the same. And soooo relaxing!

    Merry Christmas to you as well!

  10. Just put the granddaughters to bed and Santa will be here soon to put the pressies under the tree. So to Jenny, Victor and Hailey Merry Christmas have a great time

  11. Merry Christmas, and thank you ( and Beyonce ) for helping me through this year! I can’t wait to read the book.
    XOXO to you and your family. God knows, Victor has made me laugh almost as much as you have.
    PS: I love my ” People to Kill ” notebook. Best Christmas gift EVER.

  12. Thank you from the bottom of my whimsical, crazy and tonight lone heart Jenny 🙂

    I’ll be toasting to you too as the woman who makes her happiness by knowing what’s it’s like to get shit from life and who never judges but supports those who, though they try everyday, sometimes get stuck in holes. For it is a pleasure to know you’re there, to know you truly understand 🙂

    I’m not kidding when I say you’re my guru and spiritual mom (but don’t worry you’re way too young to be my mom 😉 you spread words that have always been dear to me and it’s a blast to see they have meaning for you too… ‘k now toast, I hope you like white wine, it’s my favourite (I’m French so don’t worry, it is class A stuff 😉

    *Cheers*

    Loads of love,
    Mey
    🙂

  13. I don’t think of myself as lonely, but your post made me cry. Beautifully written ode to loved ones gone. I’m gonna need something a little stronger than white wine though.
    And how great is Tim Minchin?

  14. This is the first year I’m not spending Christmas Eve with my family, and I’ve been feeling sad about it. Thank you for always making me laugh or cry just when I need it. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year (2012, just sayin…) filled with blessings. Cheers to you!

  15. Thank you and I raise a glass to you. I’m grateful for the honesty and laughter you bring to me and so many others. Have a joyous holiday evening with Victor and Hailey!

  16. Merry Christmas across the ocean Jenny.
    Tim Burton’s ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ is on, and the ghosts of Christmas past are here as well.

  17. Merry Christmas to you, sweet Jenny! You are so special. I am grateful that you share your awesomeness with us all.

  18. A Tim Minchin Christmas song! Thank you for such a present! Merry Christmas Jenny, I raise a glass to you!

  19. Thanks for this, Jenny. I am feeling sad and alone today and have not been able to get into the Christmas spirit at all this year for many reasons. I honestly and truly appreciate this post more than you could imagine.
    Merry Christmas!! <3

  20. That made me cry a river! But in a good way; it’s really what I needed to hear to soothe some of the bittersweet sorrow that Christmas brings with itself.
    Thank you for your words and merry Christmas to you and your family!

  21. I love this video so much. And this from the little Jewish girl in the room. Thanks Bloggess. Merry Christmas to you. Sending you cyber-potato pancakes. They are lower in calories but they won’t make your house smell like onions for a week.

  22. Merry Christmas, Jenny. I’m toasting YOU today because you bring so much laughter into our lives! Many of my friends received Bloggess presents this year and just yesterday I had my dad read the “Pick your battles” story and he laughed so hard, he almost peed. Then again, he had his prostate removed a few months ago, so I’m not sure his incontinence is sufficient praise for your writing. (Yes, cancer CAN be funny. My dad WOULD pee if I had read him what I wrote above. Not sure this says anything about my writing ability, either.)

  23. Merry Christmas! Thank you for bringing so much joy into the world. You make my little corner of it a little better every day by reminding me to laugh, even though you don’t even know it.

  24. A toast to you as well. This will be my first Christmas without my family, but I have a jug of wine and a box full of Caramellos to get me through it.

    Here’s to the lonely, but funny, ones who know it will be better next year.

  25. Well this made me weep like a small child, and I now have a favorite new Christmas song. Merry Christmas 🙂

  26. Tim Minchin? Oh I couldn’t love you any more!

    Merry Christmas Jenny, I hope your day is full of love and laughter and a lot of alcohol!

  27. First Christmas without my Dad – he’s with his girlfriend across the country. I feel ya! Merry Christmas Jenny.

  28. I haven’t been with my family at the holidays since 2007 b/c there has either been an ocean or half a continent between us(thank you US military :oP). This year I am trying oh so hard to keep the mood light and a smile on my face. My husband will be leaving soon for another TDY to Afghanistan. Two weeks ago they announced it was cancelled, collected all his gear and we thought our dreams had come true. The next day they issued him a new TDY and all his gear back. I want and need my family so much this year but it’s just not possible. My daughter and I are going to hug him extra tight and made this as magical and loving of a holiday as we can. This year I will raise my glass to you b/c you have given me much needed smiles and laughs during his many deployments, and for showing me that no matter how much crap life hands you, you can stay strong. Here’s to you my dear.

  29. It’s five minutes to Christmas and I’m now sniffling… Thanks for that, Jenny…
    Honestly, though… Thank you. Christmas gets harder every year, but this reminded me that while some people are gone, others haven’t even got here yet. And that is magic. So thank you.
    And also: Merry Christmas!!

  30. That was wonderfully sweet and (tho’ I’ll deny it later) I’m tearing up. Christmas fell apart for my family sometime shortly after my grandmother died in ’85. I don’t even see my aunts, uncles or cousins and it’s a rare treat to see my nieces and brothers any time of the year let alone the holidays. I’ve told myself that my real family are my friends and this is true but there’s always that hole left gaping where my other family should be- no matter how much my bitter-Grinch-like nature tries to deny it. Thank you for the kind words.
    …And now to drown my holiday loneliness in eggnog and turkey potpie…

  31. Thanks Bloggess, the wife and I are spending our first Christmas without family. We’re sad about it, but we have each other. I’ll toast in your direction tonight!

    BTW: 20 Joey points for the Tim Minchin love.

  32. Merry Christmas Jennifer

    Thanks for saying exactly what I needed to hear tonight and thank you for all the things you’ve said this past year. You truly are one of a kind and I love you dearly.

    Thatnks for being the sliver of sunlight poking through my cloudy days. Love from South Africa.

    Byron Voogt.

  33. Thanks for all the laughs this year. You certainly brightened my year with much needed tears of laughter. Wishing you and your family and all the stuffed and metal creatures a Merry Christmas’

  34. Thanks for having the courage and vulnerability to be honest and real with all of us who love and admire you. It’s why we do. You make us feel like part of a big extended family – the family who ‘gets us’ – not the one that looks at us like we’ve lost our minds. We’re not alone, even when we are. I’d hug ya if I could (but not one of those hugs that feel like a strangle waiting to happen). Thank you for being you, and sharing you with us.

  35. Merry Christmas to you, too. I’ll raise a glass of Cupcake sparkling wine to you tonight. I enjoy reading your blog and your tweets. They brighten my day and make me thank God for the internet! Please go out and pat Beyonce on the head for me.

  36. Thank you Jenny. You brighten my life every day and this year especially as I lost so much that there’s little left. As I sit alone this Christmas, knowing that I have people like you to look up to makes it a tiny but easier to face the losses and move forward.
    Much Christmas love to you and yours.

  37. Merry Christmas to your family and loved ones (Copernicus and Beyonce too). I was actually thinking about this kind of thing yesterday as my mom and I were baking cookies and fudge. Mom’s mother was the cookie queen and used to back hundreds of dozens of cookies for our big family (and several for the local church that feeds the homeless on Christmas). Her baking was a HUGE part of Christmas for use and she was sorely missed this year. And then later, I was making fudge from my dad’s mother’s recipe and remembered how she always made multiple batches of it for us before her and Grandpa “flew south for the winter”. Even with the same recipe, it just doesn’t taste the same. It may be our 2nd Christmas without Grandparents, but missing them just seems to hurt so much more this year.

  38. Thanks – this is my first Christmas without my child, she’s 4, and although she comes home on the 26th this actual Christmas day is a tough one.

  39. <3! I've been bummed all day, home sick instead of at my family's annual Christmas Eve party. This post made me feel a little better. 🙂 Merry Christmas, Jenny.

  40. It’s always weird, being away from family for the holidays. As aggravated as I am with mine, we always have a full, happy, crazy, stressful, fun Christmas. This is the 2nd year in a row I’ve spent it with just my boyfriend, and although he tries his best, it’s sort of empty. I’m trying to keep my spirits up, and the camaraderie of the Internet is probably the greatest gift of all.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  41. I know this is a little goofy – but your post made me a bit teary-eyed. You, more than any other person this year, have made me laugh. It’s been a very tough 2011 and your writing here has brightened my world on a regular basis For that, I say THANK YOU! I wish I could give you a hug because it really has made such a difference. Merry Christmas and cheers to you, too!

  42. My parents moved to Chicago this summer, and I graduated college. So I don’t get a long break (have to get back to work!) and I don’t get to go back to where I grew up, with all my family. It’s the first Christmas for as long as I can remember where I don’t get to spend time with my mom’s whole side of the family. It’s the first Christmas since 1998 where I’m not going to spend at least a little bit of time with my best friend, drinking cream soda and comparing presents.

    So this post hits close to home. Thank you. I’ll be toasting you too.

    ~Sor

  43. Merry Merry Christmas to you and yours Jenny. It is Christmas morning here in Australia, We had thunderstorms yesterday afternoon and today promises to be hot. So the sky is blue and I think we will be having white wine in the sun as well. Love Kim xxx

  44. This made be tear up. My husband is deployed, and I couldn’t afford to be with family this year. It’s just me and my cat, and while lonely, I’m trying to remember the good times of the past. I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas!

  45. This post sums up exactly how I feel during the holidays now that my husband and I live 2000 miles away from our family. I hope you, Victor, and Hailey have a Merry Christmas!

  46. Traditions and memories are great, but what’s comforting is that there’s always a chance to make new traditions and new memories. We lost a close friend of the family last night, so this year’s not going as planned. But it’s also a reminder that every day is a gift, and it’s not how you celebrate, but who you spend that time with.

    A toast to you and yours. May your new memories be full of comfort and joy!

  47. Thank you Jenny! Tonight I sit at home alone, baking, eating, drinking and trying to grasp the reality of the day. My daughter is with her father and I just returned home from being with my grandmother in the hospital. We were just told she won’t be with us next Christmas. The baking is to show my appreciation to the staff at the hospital for taking incredible care of her, they are true angels. Christmas Eve was so magical growing up. My dad used to bring Santa in the police car to see us. I can remember jumping up and down on the couch when Santa visited our house on Christmas Eve. We can remember and honor the past, cherish the present and hope for the future. Merry Christmas, may each person that reads this feel love, experience joy and know peace.

    And the Giant Metal Chicken Christmas Decorating Contest Photos will be sent in the next couple of days.

  48. May zombies not eat us first in the New Year. And I hoist my Judy Garland TrailMix Baggie in memory of Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal. I am sure that wherever she is, she is laughing her ass off at all of us.

    I miss you, Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal. I Love You, Jenny. May the New Year bring you high book sales and “Kim Zolzack” Brand Confidence Wigs.

  49. This is the first time i’ve commented on your blog, and i just want you to know that I’ve been reading for just over a year now. I found this website by accident last Christmas with amazing project that you accidentally fell into.
    This year, I’m asking people for money instead of presents and I’m going to donate it to a variety of worthy causes, inspired by you and your readers.

    You have truly made my life a brighter place, Jenny! You are so strong, even when it’s difficult, and when you aren’t able to be strong anymore, I’m glad you have the support network that is the internet. Your IGNITE speech was the most beautiful thing, and I appreciate that someone else knows the magic of enthusiastic ridiculousness.

    Thank you for existing, and I wish you the very best Christmas and New Year celebrations.

    <3 Alex (a 21 year old near Houston)

  50. This post made me cry a bit. You get it. You really get it.

    Thank you for getting it and making me cry, and laugh. A lot.

  51. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s so comforting knowing I’m not alone–my husband is deployed yet again this Christmas. Our fourth one separate in 10 years of marriage. I’m not going to lie; it hurts and it’s hard. HUGS to you and V.

    Merry Christmas!

  52. Once again, your writing hits a nerve — not in a bad way; you just have a way of cutting through the BS and being touching or funny or both.

    Both my parents have passed away (my Mom about 7 years ago, my Dad just this past February.) This will be my first Christmas as an orphan and it’s tough. Tomorrow, my wonderful girlfriend and I will head out to Annapolis (we live in VA) to see my Mom’s side of the family. It will be great to see everybody and I’m sure I’ll have a good time but this holiday without them is gonna be a rough one.

    Anyway, thanks. Thanks for being yourself, which is a witty, hilariously funny, kind, generous and beautiful woman.

    Happy Festivus!

  53. First off – could there be any more Heathers who follow your blog and comment?

    Second – Jenny, as I write this I am in my hometown with my mom, just the two of us. There is no tree, no decorations – although there are presents. My father passed away in December 2009, and my brother and his family aren’t coming down this year. I was planning to spend this holiday at my home with my boyfriend – our first together – but instead am here for 26 hours so my mother isn’t completely alone.

    And it can’t pass quickly enough for me. I feel like Holly Hunter’s character in Home For The Holidays. I’m over 40 but whenever I go home I feel like a kid again. And not in a good way.

    Happy holidays to everyone who reads this. May your days be merry and bright.

  54. Merry Christmas, Jenny! You don’t know me but I want you to know I appreciate the gifts you’ve given me over the couple of years I’ve been on Team Bloggess. Thank you for teaching me to be furiously happy and to see my own perfectly flawed beauty. And all the really, true belly laughs too. I’ll be toasting you with an Iron Butterfly (my fav!) and listening to my favorite Christmas Album. BTW- if you’ve never heard the South Park Christmas carols, you’re missing out….

  55. Thank you so much, Jenny. I am a lurker here on your excellent blog and love reading about all your adventures.
    When They told me back in the 70s that if I didn’t stop doing whatever or start doing whatever, I’d end up old, poor and alone, I laffed. But They had the last laugh because They were right – that’s where I am at.
    So, from a lonely old crone, many thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  56. Merry Christmas Jenny. This is my first Christmas without feeling the spectre of death hanging over us in four years and we’re feeling okay. Finally.

  57. Thank you, Jenny. And warm thoughts from our little of the PNW to you this Christmas. Thank you for all your brilliance too.

  58. I understand where you are coming from, with my dad passing on Christmas Day 12 yrs ago. My mom 4 ys earlier. How different my life would be if they were still here. I do have to thank God for steering me to finding you. You AND you friends often lift my spirits and I am truely grateful for that. Thank You All!!

  59. Cheers to you! We are alone, the H, the kid and I with chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. After reading this I don’t feel quite so lonely for the Fam or the past as much as I had today. Merry Christmas.

  60. Sure, make me cry. My family always does a big Christmas Eve. This year I’m sitting alone. A tear for things lost. And a toast for future possibilities. Now where did I put the white wine?

  61. You’ve captured EXACTLY how I’m feeling tonight. Thank you for reminding me we’re all together. Love you, Jenny! Merry Christmas!

  62. Going out for sushi w/ my man and our boy. We have a tree made of white shirt hangers. We’re stuck in the Midwest while our families are in NY and the ret of the people we love are in Oregon. It’s perfect and horrible at the same time. I’ll toast to you too. (but with club soda, cuz this is my first sober Christmas in 18 years.)

    Cheers.

  63. Merry Christmas Jenny – thanks for the song. I’ve recently discovered how much i like Tim Minchin and hadn’t heard this one yet – and an aussie christmas too – sun and white wine (or bubbles for us!) but yeah – that’s my christmas, my and my family 🙂
    Have a good one with yours. love to Victor and Hailey too.

  64. I am haunted on Christmas Eve, which is when my extended family gathered at my grandparents’ house to sing songs around the piano, exchange gifts and eat. Half of the people are gone now and the house stands empty waiting to be sold. Christmas in the mind, yes. Merry Christmas, Jenny. *clink*

  65. “So this post goes out to all of you, but especially to those of you who celebrate as you are haunted with the sweet bitterness of things past, and of well-loved places that now only exist in your mind. It goes out to those who celebrate with the ghosts of the people who made the holidays special. It goes out to everyone who feels a little bit alone today.”

    Thank you!

  66. Thanks so much for your post today, Jenny. Christmas just isn’t ever going to be the same anymore. I’ve been feeling a little sad. Life has changed in many ways in the past year. I really appreciate your toast: it reminds me that in time there will be new traditions. Have a wonderful Christmas! And thank you!

  67. The Man and I read your posts and he’ll turn to me and say “God only knows what that relationship is really like.” And I laugh. Because you know, I reckon it’s a lot like ours — just your comebacks are better. Thank you!

    To you, Victor, your daughter, I hope you find some new magical holiday traditions and have a magical Christmas with all the trimmings!

  68. That got me a little misty.

    I have no living grandparents anymore, and Christmas Eve was always grandparent-centered for me. It’s bittersweet, for sure.

    Here’s a toast to YOU, because there have been several times over the last year or so when you were brave enough to share something about yourself, and that made ME feel less alone.

  69. Thank you for this post, Jenny. This is the first Christmas I have -ever- spent away from the hustling, bustling, chaotic familyfest, and to top it off my husband is working all weekend. It’s just me and the dogs. It is quite lonely, but a little less so now. Thanks again. Merry, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  70. I’m not a Christian but my family is and I love Christmas. For me it’s a chance to show the people I love that I love them, nevermind whether I believe in the religious aspects. On religious terms I celebrate the Winter Solstice this time of year and although the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to have a group to celebrate it with I didn’t when I was growing up. I know how lonely it is to have no one to celebrate with and my heart goes out to people who have to deal with not only that but also the constant barrage of the media telling us how perfect and sentimental out Christmasses should be.

    Happy Christmas (and/or holiday of your choice). I hope you get your happiness and magic.

  71. Thank you, Bloggess… I needed this. I feel very alone. 🙁 It’s my first Christmas as a separated woman and holy cow it sucks. Thank you for remembering that some of us are struggling with loneliness. I wish you the very best this holiday season…

  72. Merry Christmas, Jenny and family,
    Thank you for this lovely post. I lost my Mother on June 1st and my Father on June 8th this year and my husband’s Mother passed away on September 28th. Even though we are both in our early forties, a Christmas without our parents makes us feel a little like orphans. So many good memories that we both share, of laughter, love and joy, but the sadness still casts a dark shadow over any current festivities. Your beautiful words were soothing. Your blog never fails to bring a smile and laugh, and today it has warmed my heart. Thank you. May you and your family have a precious Christmas filled with love and laughter and may the new year bring you all that your heart desires.
    Warmly,
    Michele

  73. I’m drinking white wine in the sun of Brazil. The first time away from my extended family in 43 years. Thanks for the tune. I loved it. Merry Christmas.

  74. Thank you so much for introducing me to what is now my new favourite Christmas song! I love, love, love that song/video. 🙂
    Wishing you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of new years. Thank you for helping to fill my life with laughter.

  75. I am spending tonight and tomorrow morning with my in-laws…who are currently upstairs fighting and screaming at each other, and have been for the last hour. This is so awkward. I am alone downstairs wishing I was with my mom and sister…so toasts to you Jenny for making me smile on one of the most awkward holiday ever.

  76. Dear Jenny,
    I just wanted to let you know how important you and your blog have been in my life- I am 19, and struggle with severe depression and anxiety, especially around the holidays. But reading your blog always cheers me up, or just brings me a little laugh or smile, and that’s enough to get me through to another day. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family, and thank you for being an inspiration 🙂
    Love, Swathi

  77. You normally make me laugh until I’m in tears, but this post was exactly what I needed to read tonight! Merry Christmas to you Jenny!

  78. Thank you Jenny. I’m having this kind of Christmas too — just me, my husband and my one year old who has completely rocked my world this year. I feel so lonely that I’m not with what is left of my family (mom died a couple of years ago)– my siblings are in Paris this year but we just couldn’t make it work. 🙁 but we will start our own traditions and hopefully it will turn out okay. Love you and your honest, funny and warm blog posts. Thank you!!

  79. Aw, you made me tear up. I was supposed to be at my sister’s, but her family has been taken down by a “violent flu”. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

  80. Merry Christmas! Thank you for the wonderful post and for sharing yourself with all of us throughout the year. There are many days when you pull me out of my funk. Happy New Year!

  81. My youngest daughter’s birthday is today… she would have been 11. She only lived for four days. I spent this Christmas Eve as I’ve spent the past ten… just trying to hold it together. Your post made me cry, as so many things do on this day; but it made me smile, too. You’re a blessing in this world, Jenny… to be able to light even the darkest day. Many non-stalkery hugs to you.

    May you and Victor and Hailey have a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

  82. may you christmas be filled with hugs and laughter, and may the coming year bring you good healthy, great joy, and totally amazing adventures. it’s all fodder, and we, your loyal minions, await your reports with great anticipation!

    Happy holidays to you, the hub, and the kid!

  83. Merry Christmas to you, as I raise my cheap beer in a toast to you, the new blogger I stalk. 🙂

  84. Christmas eve pizza has long been a tradition in my family… And this year I am missing it. So I will gladly raise my glass with you! Cheers!

  85. Jenny, thank you so much for this post. I thought I was the only one feeling lonely on Xmas eve. My holidays used to be like yours — family crammed together, for better or for worse, around the table for an evening. Now I am divorced. My 5 year old daughter, the light of my life, is with her father in Argentina — and because our my ex is hostile, I can’t even talk to her on the phone. I had a falling out with my dad (related to the divorce) and haven’t spoken to him in months. My best friends went to Vegas for the holidays for a family reunion, I wouldn’t have fit in. I am alone and sad, but your blog always brings me a little joy. Thank you.

  86. Merry Christmas Jenny! May this time catch you and take your breath away in beauty and majesty. May those memories of old be augmented by the new memories you make. The gifts of laughter you have bestowed on your fans are those that we will hold dear this year. Thanks!

    Scott

  87. Thank you so much for this song. How amazing to find a song that sums up EXACTLY how I feel about the holidays. Thank you.

    This year, I’ve put my conflicts aside about Christmas and chosen to really CELEBRATE because, well, we can. So that means baking cookies with my kids, waffles for breakfast in pajamas tomorrow, and being thankful we’re all still here after a really hard year.

    Enjoy your time together tonight and tomorrow.

  88. Wow that was a first the Bloggess actually made me cry (and not from laughing this time). So well said. So exactly how I feel about the Holidays. Merry Christmas Bloggess.

  89. Wow that was a first the Bloggess actually made me cry (and not from laughing this time). So well said. So exactly how I feel about the Holidays. Merry Christmas Bloggess.

  90. I am the Queen of split families. Just read this post aloud to my daughter, Vanessa, and we, and the other kids, will toast to you and Hailey, while we share our pizza and Christmas Eve events.
    Love and shining memories to you

  91. You are blessed with a masterful way with words, and we are blessed to be the beneficiaries of that. Thank you for sharing YOU with us. Happy Holidays to you, Victor and Hailey, too.

    Patti Daniels

  92. This topped off my night. You have a gift for handing out delight like candy and I am grateful for it!!! HUGS!!!

  93. Thank you Jenny. For this post and your site in general, also for making me laugh like a madwoman when I found metal chickens in my mothers yard and started saying KNOCK KNOCK!

  94. Okay, so THIS made me cry. You summed up so beautifully exactly what I’m feeling this Christmas Eve: warmth and happiness to be with the loved ones who are here tonight, but loneliness for the ones who aren’t. Thank you, Jenny, and merry Christmas to you.

  95. Thank you. “Haunted with the sweet bitterness of things past” exactly describes my feelings today, although I will be lucky to spend tomorrow night with people I love. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

  96. Thank you so much. Your posts always make me feel wonderful, even if sometimes it’s just evil laughter. A very sincere thank you to you, and I hope your Christmas time is lovely.

  97. You hit me where I live today. The family, friends as Tim says brothers and sisters cousins and aunts and uncles my dad and my mum are not here and I can’t replicate even a tiny bit. Things are terribly ordinary.

  98. Thank you so much. This is my first Christmas that I’m not spending with my parents, and it’s been incredibly hard.

  99. Sitting here feeling super shitty about being lonely on Christmas eve. Read your post, and it made me feel a teeny bit better knowing I’m not the only one missing Christmas’s past! Even though sitting here alone right now is sucky, tomorrow morning will be better with my kids opening presents !!!!! Merry Christmas Jenny!

  100. Enjoyed that song very much. I have been alone at home for most of today and will be working tomorrow (yes, on Christmas). So I do feel a little alone. BUT I will be with family on the 26th. And most importantly I will get to meet the first baby to be born in my family in many years (my cousin’s daughter). I can not wait to look into her eyes and see the future. Thank you for making me smile!

  101. Jenny, you’re funny, smart, caring, loving and all around amazing. I read you every time I sit down at my computer because you make me laugh. Sometimes you make me cry. I appreciate your heart. I like being kind of surprised when I come to your blog to read about things that touch you, or things that made you cry, or things that are personal and yet you’ve let people like me (who don’t know you in real life) see into your life. If there’s a thing as virtual friendship, that’s the gift you’ve given me over the past year and a half. You’re one of the people who keep me going, who remind me to not give up or give in, who remind me that even though I think I’m living a small and perhaps insignificant life I MATTER LIKE HELL, and on days when I just can’t manage to work up enough enthusiasm to be “furiously happy” and feel like there isn’t a reason to keep on going…you make me laugh. Often you make me laugh until I cry (in a good way) and then I can’t remember why things were so dark and heavy. This year, this Christmas…I’m thankful for you.

    Cheers.
    Elisa, Matt and Abigail

  102. This will be the first Christmas that my 19 month old daughter and I spend without my husband, who has recently decided he wants a divorce (his girlfriend objects to him being married). We’re with my parents and sister but it’s still hard. Merry Christmas! Thanks for thinking of those of us who are lonely even when we’re with others! May 2012 be the best year of your life!

  103. I hope you and your happy have a very Merry Christmas! I’m so glad I discovered your blog this summer. You have brought me a small piece of joy and laughter in what has been a very difficult and trying year for me. I believe everything happens for a reason, and I believe I found your blog at the perfect time. Thank you for all the laughter and fun, and reaching out to those in need. 🙂

  104. Thank you 🙂
    My family is 3,000 miles away, celebrating the way we always do…and I’m not there. Thanks for toasting those of us who are out of our usual traditions 🙂
    Merry Christmas

  105. This year we celebrate without my mother-in-law who, even though she drove me absolutely, fucking crazy, is missed. She was killed in a freak traffic accident a couple of months ago and we are still reeling. Christmas has been…not feeling so celebratory this year. But still we try, if at least for our kiddos. Toasting you right now with my wine and sugar cookies.

  106. This was the first christmas/christmas eve without my grandmother and It was extremely painful. She’s truly irreplaceable and the hole she left behind is way to vast to ignore. But still, I want to thank you; not only for tonight’s simple yet precious and sincere post; but I want to thank you as well for a year’s worth of laughter, tears, and just pure joy and acceptance

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Merry christmas to you and to your family; and here’s to many, many, many more laughs in 2012.

  107. Tonight, a good friend lies dying in the ICU. Tonight, I realize that Christmas will never be the same. It is the night when one family’s world is torn apart, and the night when the rest of us lost the blessing of having him on this planet. Thanks for sharing, Jenny. Have a glass for me.

  108. Merry Christmas to you! My grandfather’s birthday is today and he died in 2004. I always miss him like crazy on this day.

  109. Thank you, Jenny, for this post. I feel blessed to have discovered your blog this past year and look forward to many more hours of both laughter and tears, as I continue to follow your escapades and listen to your reflections on life, the universe, and everything. My parents are both departed, and the rest of my immediate family are scattered across thousands of miles of oceans and two continents. As I sit alone in my apartment with my beloved cat on my lap, I salute you, and wish you and Victor and Hailey the merriest Christmas and best year ever in 2012.

  110. I follow your blog daily and you have put many a smile on my face. Tonight though my dear Bloggess, tonight you brought tears to my eyes. This is the first time in 9 years that I have been with all of my family. 9 years ago, right after Christmas I lost my biggest hero…my Dad. The family became divided because I think the hurt was just too much. Tonight though we all came together to celebrate this wonderful holiday called Christmas (it was my Dad’s fave). I was flooded with past memories while mingling with his brother’s and sister’s. We have all changed so much in 9 years. I found it really hard tonight to be there with everyone, without him. Thank you for the beautiful post. Thank you for continuing to write. Just thank you for being you!

  111. Wow. It is like you are reading my mind. I not only miss the people who are not with me anymore but I miss what it once was. The laughter, the anticipation and the wonder of it all. I am truly blessed with where I am in my life now but heartbroken for what will never be again. Merry Christmas to you and your family, both far and near.

  112. Thanks for this note, Jenny, and for the link to the song. Even though I am (I like to think) relatively young, all my immediate family is gone — they are for me “the ghosts of the people who made the holidays special.” So the holidays are more often difficult and something to get through than joyful. My husband and I are together with our two dogs, at least, just as we will be tomorrow, so I have more company and love than many, and I know I am lucky. I wish you and Hailey and Vincent a happy time together. Peace.

  113. Spent Christmas Eve with the family as usual. Great time! But now back at home alone, will spend Xmas alone as everyone with be with their spouses/kids/significant others. Guess at least I have the kitties. Just feeling pathetic and lonely so thanks for your post.
    Merry Christmas Jenny and family.

  114. Jenny, Merry Christmas to you, Victor and Hailey! Thank you for all the laughter you’ve shared (and provoked).

    My family is all settled down relaxing after watching our annual Christmas Eve viewing of Die Hard though I really need to get off the computer and finish that last gift for my sister. Nothing like last minute jewelry making. Every damn year.

  115. I found your blog this year and you never, ever fail to either make me laugh, spit out whatever I’m drinking at the moment and bring a smile to my face. I love your blog. Have a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or whichever you prefer with your family. Can’t wait for your book to come out next year.

  116. Merry Christmas Jenny.

    Tonight I am missing the gatherings of Christmas past……before everyone died or got divorced or moved. Tonight at Church it was just my husband and me. I miss when we used to take up two rows. I miss having little ones at home to be Santa for. I miss the choas and the noice. Oh the noise, noise, noise, noise.

    But those memories warm my heart and the new memories we make with our blended family and grandchildren warm my heart too.

  117. Thank you. This post made me realize we are not really alone even if we are far from our family. My hubby and I have each other and really at the end of tonight we are a family, just smaller. Texas is far from both our respective families. Bless you and thank you for reminding me of that.

  118. Thank you Jenny, for being you. You have given me much joy and laughter with your blog and tweets. I hope your frozen pizza turned out as well as mine did tonight.

    Merry Christmas and many blessings to you, Victor and Hailey.

  119. Thanks for this! Love your blog – so funny. I too am far away from my family in Texas. My son is asleep and my husband working late and yes I am eating frozen pizza . . . and pie. Happy Holidays!

  120. This was so sweet. For many years we went to my mom’s to celebrate Christmas and then my brother re-married and she had a bunch of kids and my mom’s boyfriend didn’t handle running or noise so well and they were always late and then my mom just stopped doing all holidays. It hasn’t been the same and it’s probably been 5 or 6 years now. We’ve tried different things but nothing feels quite right and so we just hardly even celebrate anymore. Sometimes it makes me sad but I also enjoy having just a quiet family day without all the hubbub of the holidays. Enjoy your evening.

  121. Jenny, Thanks for making me laugh and sometimes cry and sometimes amazing me with the wonder of life. You make my world funnier and inspire me to look at the wackiness in my own life and say, “What the hell, I’m fucked up, but isn’t this great?!” And chortle and mutter to myself. Which makes the people around me think I’m crazy, but that’s OK.

    I wish you, Victor, Hailey, Beyonce, James Garfield, and all your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Furiously Happy New Year! And enjoy your frozen pizza!

  122. Dear Jenny,
    It’s been a rough and horrible year; I won’t even go into details. Thank YOU for your posts, because it was just about the only thing that made me smile and laugh. You don’t know how your posts affect your readers, but let me tell you, they helped me a lot. Have a wonderful holiday with your family.

  123. A friend posted a link to your post and since she has awesome taste, I read it. As I’m celebrating the first Christmas since my father (whose birthday was Christmas Day) died, this one hit home. Thanks for the post. I’ve been lucky to celebrate with many family and friends, yet I still miss those who are no longer here.

  124. And now I’m crying. This is my first holiday season away from home and I miss every bit of it. I miss the weeks of baking, finding and cutting down a tree, decorating said tree, the party we have every year, and Christmas mornings. So thank you for posting this and making me feel a little less alone.

  125. You are a whole host of outstanding. Not just one night, but all of them. Love and gratitude to you from the balmy midwest. Cheers.
    xo

  126. You have made me smile during the hardest and saddest year of my life. Thank you, Jenny, and Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family.

  127. I get it. We’re unfortunately living at the home I grew up in now, but for the last few years we could never make it for Christmas Eve. I thought I handled it well until after Christmas a few years ago when my sister posted the family C.E. pics on Facebook.

    Holy crap, the REALLY had Christmas Eve without me!

  128. I was at a small gathering tonight, just got home, read your post and you made me cry… THANKS, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW!!! Merry Christmas!

  129. I can now say that separation during the Christmas season and being called a bastard on Christmas Eve) sucks Oh Hell. Thanks for thinking of us with the lonely, broken spaces.

  130. I’ll be toasting you, too, and thanking you for the gift of your wit which you so freely give to the rest of us. I reread the metal chicken post the other day and coffee came out of my nose. Again. Damn you.

  131. Merry Christmas! I hope you feel togethery even if you might not be as togethery as you were in your memories. My family broke apart and we’re in small sects now, so I know what that’s like, but I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have collected the memories I have. Meanwhile, every Christmas seems to be getting better and better anyway because all that togetheriness is spent on a small number of people, so the effect is so much more tangible. <3

  132. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you took a break from the usual funny stuff to say exactly what you just said. You are part of what will ease my soul this Christmas. Sending peace and goodness. And looking forward to all of us getting back to inappropriate humour and homicidal monkeys once we make it through the holidays. xxx

  133. Have to say the tears rolled down my face. Just today I was thinking about my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all together in my grandparents’ home. Filled with marvelous smells and laughter. I miss those days and I miss them terribly.

    I raise a glass to you in hopes that those memories never leave us.

  134. Thanks Jenny, I just needed to read this as I sit here missing my family and feeling guilty for my kids having a little bit of a lonely Christmas whilst all our family on the other side of the world have already celebrated without us. We will have a wonderful day together though and I will be grateful. Raise my glass to you!

  135. My two sons have to leave on Christmas day to go to their grandma’s funeral. So I’m sad on two counts, losing this wonderful woman that was like a mother to me and not having my boys with me on this day. I can’t even go and pay my respects because my ex would have a conniption. Here’s hoping that next year will be happier.

  136. This post is perfect. I’m missing things and a person from the past too. I’m sending a toast to you. Merry Christmas Jenny, you have saved me from insanity many times this year with your hilarious musings.

  137. *Hugs* And wishes of loads of love and happiness is sent to you and your loved ones, Jenny. Thank you for being you! Love yah:)

  138. This post actually means a lot to me tonight. Have a wonderful holiday and post-holiday with the people important to you.

  139. Yeah, I hear ya.
    People put a lot of emphasis on Christmas and the Christmas familial rituals that accompany it – meaning that if circumstances change or loved ones aren’t celebrating it with them (for whatever reason) then it hits us hard. Remember that you are as well-loved and wonderful on the 24-25th Dec as you are every other day of the year. 🙂
    Have yourself a v. Merry Christmas, with lots of my Best Wishes for the upcoming year.

  140. Thank you so much for this, Jenny. This year I just didn’t have it in me to make a little Hanukkah party for the kids, and I feel really sad about that. It’s also the 2nd year since my father passed away, and just a sucky year for so many reasons I am not going to go into. Thank for helping me feel less alone in all this.

    Much love to you and Happy Holidays to you and your lovely family.

  141. Thank You for this post, i am one you toasted and it means the world to me, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  142. To the world you might be just one person,
    but to one person, you might just be the world.

    We never know who we might be saving with one
    kind word, one kind gesture, one smile, one joke …

    Thanks Jenny for everything you do!

  143. Shit. I checked in for some funny and you almost went and made me cry. Almost. Good thing for all of us, I’m tougher than that.
    But serious – I needed to hear that I’m not the only one. That’s one of the worst things about the holidays – the oppressive excessive happy family shit in every direction you look can make you feel like the only freak in town. – Thanks for reminding me that I’m not, and happy pizza

  144. Thanks for this, Jenny. It had real meaning for me because I’m away from my family this week–far away. You’ve often made me laugh, and today you warmed my heart a little.

  145. I woke up this morning to a Christmas morning unlike any others in my past. And then I read this. Although it made me cry big ugly tears for what’s missing, I noticed the smear of eye-shadow on the Kleenex, left over from last night’s Christmas Eve party with good friends. And then sometime today we will go to another good friend’s house and play with their daughter and her new toys. While my family is gone or far away, I do still have people that love and appreciate me. But I won’t let that realization stop me from eating gingerbread cookies for breakfast this morning, perhaps chased with eggnog. No, definitely chased with eggnog.

    Merry Christmas, and thank you!

  146. Happy holidays to you all and may 2012 (or in your case 2011 🙂 ) bring you nothing but joy and good things, Jenny. Your wit and candor are inspiring and you are a very special human being.

  147. Merry Christmas, Jenny. Thank you for a year full of belly laughs, here’s a Christmas toast to you. Seems many of us have in common missing someone this time of year, and nostalgia for holidays gone by. May we always keep those precious memories, but here’s to a kick ass future *raises glass*

  148. My father passed January 10 after a horrific battle with lung cancer. This Christmas is our first without him and our memories are mostly bittersweet from last year, filled with round-the-clock care and a Christmas mostly forgotten except to make it special for HIM because we knew it would be his last. Dealing with the emotions that comes with that, as well as my own mental demons, has made this Christmas one I was most excited just to GET OVER WITH. Thank you for your post. I read it out loud to my often-lonely mother and we cried a good cry. Your words helped more than I can explain. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  149. I loved this, Thank you!

    And then my husband told me he was actually a comedian and not an artsy fartsy musician. And I think that made me love it more. Cuz that means he gets it. And he’s not that downer in the corner at parties.

    A generous serving of truth, with a side of snark, all wrapped up in love. (scuze me, I need to go get more of that spiked cider…I’m getting maudlin.)

    Have a very happy holiday – I’ll raise a glass to you and yours!

  150. I toast you, Bloggess! Shortly after my husband deployed this year someone introduced me to your blog. Thanks to your lovely archives, you and sometimes you alone have kept me smiling through this trial. Until this post, which made me cry, but in a good way!

  151. Ah, Jenny, what a perfect sentiment. I’m in Arkansas with my inlaws and it’s been great to be here. But we all miss my mother in law so much that every laugh is tinged with a little sadness. We’re grateful for what we have and aware of what we don’t and there’s nothing to do about it but have the merriest damn Christmas we can anyway. I wish the same for you.

  152. And I salute you, sweet Bloggess. I’m sorry we’ve kind of drifted apart since the loss of our mutual friend. But I’ll always treasure you and your brilliant mind and your loving heart. Merry Christmas to you.

  153. Wow, this was absolutely perfect for me this year. It’s the first christmas that I haven’t spent with my family. I’m only 17 and currently in France on the other side of the world from my family. I feel so alone even though I’m here celebrating with my honorary family. I miss my own family’s silly traditions.

    So thank you, and Merry Christmas 🙂

  154. My dad always handed out the presents on Christmas Eve. His last Christmas with us was ten years ago, just before he died of lung cancer on January 19th, 2002 (splitting the difference between my sister’s BD January 5th and mine February 3rd; I swear he would be that thoughtful to make sure he didn’t pass away on our birthdays). And, I still miss him and can just envision him handing out those presents, reading our name one-by-one~a special memory I will always have.

    Thanks for your post. You are wonderful in every way.

  155. Happy Holidays to you too! What a lovely little speech. Toasting back to you, thinking of my family who are all in Germany.

  156. It’s hard to express the complex mix of extreme happiness, and also varying degrees of nostalgic sadness that Christmas always brings on me. You have finally given me a way to explain it, and I’m not sure how I can express my gratitude, except to say you always make me a little bit happier, no matter what I’m feeling. So thank you, thank you so much Jenny. I give you a toast of happiness and magic right back, and wish you a very Merry Christmas. 🙂

  157. You’re not a sentimental person? Since when?

    sentimental (adjective):
    of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia

    but that’s a good thing, right?

    Merry Christmas, Jenny and a Happy Magical Christmas Eve!

  158. A perfect post. Christmas is always bittersweet for me – I celebrate with my family who is here around me, while missing my son who passed away from a neuromuscular disease. I hope that 2012 is full of love, laughter, and light for you…and for me too. Merry Christmas.

  159. Apt. Today, you nailed exactly how I feel about this holiday. I thought I was weird. Maybe still weird, but not alone. Thank you.

  160. Merry Christmas right back at you Jenny. I love the “little” family you have created here. I’m 2 family members down this year but thankful for the ones here with me. Thanks for the (very honest) window into your world.

  161. <3. Thank you, Jenny. This is exactly what I needed (even if I read it a day late….) My grandfather passed away yesterday morning, and he's always been a huge part of my life… All of my Christmas Eve memories, which is when we would have the big dinner, sing carols, go to church, involve him. Coupled with being in a different state 800 miles away from all of my family for the first time ever, this year has not quite been the same. I love your writing, and this post in particular really resonated. thank you thank you thank you.~ Kathryn

  162. Merry Xmas Jenny. You are an amazing lady.

    And we certainly did spend Christmas with white wine in the sun over here in NZ

  163. Couldn’t have been a better post at a better time! Thank you! I just started reading your blog about a month ago and I love it. I moved to a city in a new province so I was alone this year. I spent some time with a friend and her family, and while it was a nice gesture, it wasn’t the same. Knowing that I’m not the only lonely person out there makes me feel not so lonely. Thanks again.

  164. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Your blog has really helped me in so many ways. I laugh, cry, smile, and think when I read your posts. You help get me through. I’ll be sending all good vibes, love, and positive wishes your way for a fabulous New Year!

    And I can’t wait to read your book! I’ve got it on pre~order.

    Cheers, Jenny! You are the most fabulous person I know. (Well, ok, I don’t really know you…so you’re kind of like my imaginary friend….but that doesn’t make you any less fabulous.)
    (Hmmm…did that last sentence sound kinda creepy?)

    Bartender!?! Another round!!

    *Cheers!*

  165. Hohoho. Sentimentality, humor and sarcasm. You are the whole package!
    Wishing you and yours a PERFECT holiday balancing happiness/nostalgia.

  166. Hello darling Bloggess. I know blog-peeps have previously mentioned, but did you heat the pizza before consuming? If I can skip that pesky heating step, I will have more time to brood or drink or fart around on the computes.

    I tried that wine business to dull the holiday cheer, but it gave me a headache. I thought about trying to get frisky with the spousey, but not enough desire to muster up the desire. Trying to kick back and appreciate the lovies amidst the plastic toys and all. But duh! I kinda got a glimpse that Christmas to you or anyone is only in your very own heart. So fart on all the other shee-ite that everyone says it should be. It is great when peeps can play nice with family and extended family in the same building and eat and drink and be basically merry, but that is probably the exception. Kiddos, spousey, home, leftovers: I’ll take it. So-what about the extras that some sometimes have. I do also take the religious side of the holiday, but also with some thoughts of doubt. Whatever, that is what *my* heart needs.
    Also, my little girlies gave each other little stuffed animals for Christmas, and they love them. Made me think of project nighty night. Greatness. Thank you. All those nighty night bags you got into those little hands, those are ALL in your heart.
    I am texting your heart a smiley face. I am so sure that your heart will heed my pithy text.

  167. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Thank you for this. Thank you for everything. You bring so much laughter to so many – I hope even a little of our gratitude is conveyed in these comments.

    This is the first Christmas Eve/Day I’ve spent “alone” — home with the dogs and no traditional celebrations. It’s, as you said, bittersweet – but has been quite joyful in other ways, and for that I am grateful.

    Thank you for being you. I hope the pizza was good! Merry Christmas, Jenny! xo

  168. Hello Jenny and Merry Christmas!
    I was introduced to your blog a few months ago and am thoroughly enjoying reading through it. So, Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones and I sincerely hope your pizza was delicious last night and that Santa dropped off something special to you all.

  169. This definitely gave me some tears. I’m having a particularly rough holiday this year, and for the first time in almost 8 years, I’m home sick for the holidays (I work in Antarctica). Haunting is a very good way to word it.

    Bless you for your holidays, and heres to the both of us not being alone.

  170. Thank you for this. I teared up a little, this being the first Christmas without my stepmom, who passed away in April from brain cancer. It’s good to know that those who are not with us are still remembered.

  171. Well, shit, honey! I was all about hating this Christmas until I read your post! God bless you and your sweet sentimental holiday memories. I hope you enjoyed that frozen pizza and Santa delivered the very best presents to you and your family. Merry Christmas, darling… Southern style.
    Jen

  172. How Love and Kindness Grow and Spread:

    I am a member of an online forum with a little over 100 people, most of whom I consider as well-chosen family members. Because of a comment I read on one of your recent blogs I made a “Give a Shit” donation to Oxfam America Unwrapped, in honor of all the wonderful people on that forum who give a shit. Now on this forum, we used to have the ability to both give and take “Karma” points from one another via a process of either “exalt” or “smite”…just a fun little something that had zero monetary value or really any other real value. Somewhere around Halloween, just for fun, our moderators changed our karma points to gummy bears and the process to receive and take them to “trick” or “treat.” As Christmas approached, this process changed to “Naughty” or Nice.” Only one give or take can occur per person, per hour. HIGH numbers for individual gummy reserves on this site normally hover around 45-50, with the record, as far as I know, being around 75. Most gummy bear reserves stay at a lot less.

    Long story short, a few days ago a challenge was raised by one of our members who vowed to give $1 to charity for every gummy bear received between then and midnight on New Year’s Eve. At that time this member’s gummy bears were at -13. Yep, that’s negative thirteen. I suggested Oxfam as the charity and posted their “Give a Shit” video. He looked into the charity and agreed. As of now, in a very short time he has raised his gummy bear points to 235. At this rate he will very likely see 1,000 before it is all said and done. He’s promised to post proof of the donation after he’s made it.

    He’s turned something that was otherwise utterly worthless into dollars for charity. People who like him are giving him gummy bear points to promote this charitable donation. People who don’t like him are giving him gummy bear points in order to cause him to have to shell out more money out of pocket to the charity. In a strange way this has pulled everyone together toward this common goal.

    I think that what he is doing is such beautiful thing, it makes me feel very proud to be a small part of such an occurrence. It’s being left up to him to choose whether he gives a whole bunch of shit, or a cow, or goat, or chickens, or seeds, or tools, or trees, or a jackass, or give a village a well, or, or, or—–there are so many choices of ways to help through this organization. His gift to them on behalf of our forum will go a long way to help people in need. Anyway, I just wanted you to know, since your blog site inadvertently started this.

    And THAT’S how Love and Kindness Grow and Spread.

    Thank you, Jenny. You are greatly loved.

  173. Bless your heart Jenny. Every holiday isn’t always as magical as the last, but it’s always special if you want it to be. I couldn’t think of anything better than spending mine with my immediate family. The rest is just a bonus.

    Merry Christmas to you, Victor and Hailey.

  174. You have this magical power to say just the right thing to make me cry. You’re wonderful like that.
    Thank you for acknowledging the ghosts that some of us (like me) spend out holidays with. I feel less alone.
    Happy holidays to you and yours! May Victor let you increase your taxidermied menagerie.

  175. I just wrote a post about the same thing. It is sad to grow up, and it is sad when things change, but some changes aren’t really all that different when you really consider them. Happy Holidays!

  176. Thanks Jenny, for those kind words. Even though my Christmas was packed with the usual family members, I felt I was celebrating alone. This year on Christmas Eve I witnessed horrible argument that stemmed from years and years of other unresolved arguments in my family and everyone was left hurt. I’m the youngest in my family and it’s been so difficult to watch my family fall apart over the past few years. What’s more, my sister told me (and only me) that she will be cutting down on her time spent with our family as a whole, starting with refusing to attend any of my concerts or musical events. As a professional musician, I was hurt.

    This was the worst Christmas I can remember and I very much felt that I was celebrating alone. Thanks for writing this and always being there.

  177. Merry Christmas Jenny – I love you and I love what you have done to make me happy this year – you say what needs to be said and you rock. my. world. Thank you everso….. xoxo

  178. Merry Christmas! I found your blog this year when someone gave me the link to Beyonce, the best effing chicken in the world. I almost peed myself laughing and almost do again every time it comes around in a “you have to read this” link. Thanks for all the laughs in a time when we can’t laugh enough.

  179. Oh I HOPE you enjoy the heck out of the peace and quiet. But why the frozen pizza? No ham sandwich?
    Love that Tim Minchin gets a run with you…
    We are just finishing Boxing Day Down Under. Totally stuffed. Totally exhausted. Ready for some quiet time now. Hope everyone else out there had some great moments whether with a crowd or not.
    🙂
    BB

  180. Happy New Year and a toast to you, too. Thank you for all the joy and for the moments of melancholy that go with it. And thank you for the song, which I had just heard on the radio, in the grocery store parking lot, getting eggs for a coconut cake….

  181. Thanks for this post, Jenny. My younger brother died when he was 21 (almost 20 years ago…that doesn’t even seem possible), and I always think about our him and miss him tons on Christmas Eve. When we were kids we used to stay up chatting, practically all night, just waiting for Santa and sneaking peeks into the living room to see if he’d made it yet. We were very close and I still miss him terribly. This Christmas it hit me that he’s been gone nearly as long as he’d been on this earth.

  182. Merry Christmas to you, Victor and Hailey, Jenny. I lost both my Grandparents last year just before Christmas, they practically raised me and made me feel so loved and special. I miss them tremendously. I’m crying reading your post, it’s more than a kindness for you to reach out and touch the lives of perfect strangers. You’re amazing and I hope you have an incredible Christmas.

  183. Thank you Jenny! Merry Christmas to you too! I’ve had that song stuck in my head now for 24 hours…I really like Christmas too – and I also have all the usual objections to a 2000 year old dead Palestinian being used to sell Playstations, but I like it any way.

  184. Yes, Christmas is just not the same without family. Since moving to Mexico, we are surrounded every year by my gf’s family – my family still being back home. It’s wonderful, but not the same, sometimes.

    Much love to your families this year.

    Thank God for the interweb of connectivityness.

  185. Jennie, I love you! Well today you made me cry by putting in words exactly how I was feeling. Merry Christmas and Happy Healthy New Year.

  186. I just thought you might appreciate this: at Christmas dinner while my young cousin uncomfortably misinterpreted a story about how her dad tried to choke his baby sister (he apparently tried to pick her up out of her crib, but being three years old, didn’t know you shouldn’t pick a baby up by the neck), my mom chimed in with, “There’s a fine line between a hug and a strangle!” I did my best not to blurt out, “Copernicus!” because I am positive my mother has never read your blog and 99% sure no one else in my family would have known what the hell I was talking about. I’ve already got a reputation as a lush because I enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings, so I figured I better not push it with stories about homicidal toy monkeys. Merry Christmas.

  187. Sorry I didn’t see your post sooner ~ thank you! Wishing you, Victor and Hailey health, happiness and all things good in 2012. xo

  188. As usual I’m a day late with my comment. I feel your pain about the ghosts of Christmases past. I’m 3 states away from my family in Texas and oodles of states away from my in-laws. We’re kind of just stuck in the middle of the U.S. I didn’t even get a call from my dad on Christmas this year, yet somehow I’m supposed think that he and my step-mom and one of my siblings that failed to contact me yesterday, care about me. Pfft. Yeah right! It sucks being the odd one out.

    I did have a nice Christmas morning with the husband though. He makes it all okay, and even though he can be Scrooge-esque during the holiday season, I still got that sparkly holiday feeling because he was here and he cared. Just the two of us together on Christmas morning was special and sort of slow-paced and quiet, except when I squealed over the thoughtful gifts he gave to me. It was nice and I hope my family had a nice holiday too.

    Maybe next year I’ll shoot off fireworks or send a skywriter over my dad’s house that says “I’m still here!” to get their attention. You never can tell what the black sheep may do. *wink*

    Happy Holidays and you’re never alone when you have us!

  189. At this time of year I can’t help but weep for all the Christmas’ that could have been but never happened because I have a really dysfunctional family. Hearing people’s stories about peoples memories of happy Christmas’ with their families make me sad.

  190. I come to your page frequently in hopes of lifting my spirits. Hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday. Ours was very bitter sweet due to recent family quarrels. Makes for a sad holiday. Hoping for next year to be better. Cheers Jenny!

  191. It feels like you were in my head and wrote what I would if I could rub two sentences together. I have a great husband and amazing kids, but I too am haunted by the ghosts of Christmas’ past. I lost my mom 5 years ago on December 2. This time of year is wonderful, magical, and lonely. I celebrate and feel blessed, but I also yearn for the specialness of what once was and can never be again. I feel thankful that my mom got it so right that now matter how many years pass I will always want her and our holidays. I hope when my kids grow they will miss our family Christmas’ also. Better yet, I hope they keep coming back to spend it with us and their families.

    Happy Holidays, Jenny. Thanks for a year of laughs.

  192. Thank you for this post! I know exactly how you feel! My husband is in the military and this past spring we moved to Germany and this is my very first Christmas without my parents or the rest of my extended family and I miss them terribly. Thank you for the laughs, it has made this Christmas (as well as the whole transition to living in another country thing) easier to get through.

  193. I was left out of my family Christmas this year. Why? Because I found out that a relative had sexually abused a child in our family, and I actually had the balls to say something about it. The “I believe the child’s claim, but I can’t believe that person would do this awful thing” morphed into “abusers can celebrate with family, but tattletales not welcome here.”
    Merry Fucking Christmas, Pedobear.

  194. Happy Holidays to you dear Bloggess. I just read your post and couldn’t get through it without crying, but it was goody crying.

  195. From one of those people “who celebrate as you are haunted with the sweet bitterness of things past, and of well-loved places that now only exist in your mind,” I wish for you comfort, peace, and joy this holiday season. Thanks for giving words to my feelings.

  196. The swirl has finally died down and I am reading this…a toast to you, too, Jenny. And I so appreciate the line: “this post goes out to all of you, but especially to those of you who celebrate as you are haunted with the sweet bitterness of things past, and of well-loved places that now only exist in your mind.” It is very fitting for me, and I thank you for it. Merry Recently Past Christmas, and a happy New Year to you.

  197. Dearest Bloggess,

    Thank you for your wishes to all us lonely folk. Your blog has brought me hours of laughter; not an easy task I can tell you (depression).

    So, thank you truly, from the bottom of my fullsized aortic pump. I wish you and your family (including Ferris, the boar’s head and wolf coat oh and humungous metal chicken) all things good.

    Make 2012 your bitch, cuz I plan to.

    Loads of love,
    Chesna (Greece)

  198. That song is my all time favourite Christmas song. I know I’m a little late with this comment, but I wanted te say Merry Christmas to you all!

  199. First Christmas without my son (he’s in Europe enjoying being 21 and an international student) so it’s just the hubs and me … and purposely staying away from my in-laws because of the strife … so it’s quiet and sad … at least we have the pets (7) to entertain us … they’re far more loving and entertaining than family anyway … enjoy your Holidays, you keep us laughing!

  200. This means so much to me. I have shared Tim with many friends but most just don’t seem to get him.
    I am, for the first time in my life, going through my own anxiety issues. I am about a month away from moving ‘down under,’ and far, far away from most everything I know and love. This song shows a sentimental side of Tim that we rarely see but also perfectly describes the meaning of Christmas to one who is not necessarily religious. If I close my eyes I can even see myself on Christmas morning in Australia. That’s what they do, sip white wine in the sun… on the beach… swimming with dolphins, but not at the same time, cause wine and dolphins don’t mix.
    Thanks for sharing. I feel at least someone gets it even though you couldn’t possibly know.
    Merry Christmas belated…

  201. I can’t decide if I want to hug you or punch you, because your post made me weep.
    I guess I want to hug you, because your words are exactly how I felt on Christmas Eve this year.

  202. I discovered your blog over the summer and come back to it often. Thank you for the many times you’ve brought laughter to my life when all I wanted to do was cry. This post made me cry, because you put into words exactly how I was feeling. I am celebrating without loved ones who I’ve yet to meet, and it is rare for someone to understand that kind of heartache. You get it and you were one of the few who made me feel understood this Christmas. Thank You!

  203. Three days later, I’m reading this in the middle of a Big Worry, and feeling like I am the only one who could possibly understand, and then I’m crying in my tea.

    Christmas Eve is magical, but I had to fake the magic this year, which only made the ache bigger.

    Thank you for caring, and saying so.

  204. THANK YOU so very very much. I’d heard of Tim Minchin before, but had never heard him and now this is one of my favourite songs.

  205. I’ve been thinking about this post since my last comment above, and decided to blog about the evolution of traditions. Take the old, add some new. Over time, we drift from our former traditions, even if we cling to a few strongholds that symbolize the core of what a holiday means to us. http://wp.me/p1Mopi-rs Thanks for the inspiration for looking into how my own traditions have evolved now that the place and people who defined Christmas for me are gone. I hope you had a nice holiday. -Kat

  206. So awesome, my fave Tim Minchin and my fave Blogess all on the same page, I refuse to lsiten to this song any more because being 3000 miles from home/family for the 6th Christmas running, it makes me fall apart in a big teary snotty messy heap. So although i love it its just easier not to listen, but i do love that you posted him for others to hear. Hugs to you and yours from me and mine xoxox

  207. Hope you had a great Christmas & have a great New Year! I so enjoy your posts. Sometimes I think we are the same people just living in 2 seperate countries.

  208. Jenny, you always, always make me laugh until I cry, but this is the first time I’ve cried without laughing first. This was my first Christmas without my family (by choice, as family or not, at some point we have to choose to break free from the dysfunction), and while I was happy overall, the nagging part inside did miss them and worried about how my decision was affecting my mom. Thank you for so often writing what I feel. xoxoxo

  209. Christmas makes me feel a little sad. I know I am lucky to have my mom and brother to spend time with, but I can’t help but wish for my own special someone as well as children. I know it is stupid to mourn for a family that doesn’t exist.

  210. For as much as my family and I drive each other crazy it is just not the same being so far away from them at Christmas, and it never gets easier. Thanks Jenny, and a Merry Christmas to you too

  211. I recently got to see Tim sing White Wine in the Sun on guitar whilst Brian Cox played piano. This was after Tim played piano whilst Brian Cox gave a lecture on the origins of the universe. I’m geek-gasming just remembering it. Amazing.

  212. this is exact;y wat I needed to read at thjis moment. it’s perfec.t i’m xomining out of an ambienm hangover annd iit’s all fuzzy a tilting… i’m n0t a;lllowed on thje computer actua;;y. in this condition, i made my husband promise to lock all internet devices into a room because i sent meessatewsa written jut liie this to peoipoe snf iy’d rmnsttassonmmg; snyuwsay, jrmmmym – you make me cryl, loyd og different reasons reallyu, but would take too loing to explain. don’t worry about me being uset and gecomgin yiurs starlker. I LOVE YOU. fuckoimg shit, now i nave the hiccu-[[]”;;;ls too/ ns;

  213. Jenny,

    Thanks for this post. This Christmas was the first one without my two year old niece. She died very suddenly a year ago on January 20th. She was my only niece and we are a very close family, so it was rough on everyone. Most of us were not looking forward to the holiday because it didn’t feel the same. We all had the memories of the previous Christmas, just before she died. Anyway, thanks again.

    Patrick

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