313. Ghost of Christmas pudding past (12/14/11) - Anderida, London, England, Age 52
After a divorce and losing my job when I became disabled, I have been living alone. Last year I promised myself I wouldn't spend another Christmas on my own - death would be preferable. But here I am and still I have no partner (being nearly housebound doesn't help with dating!), and I will be alone again. The first Christmas after my divorce I ordered my groceries to be delivered (as I can't get to shops). When I took out the individual-size Christmas pudding and saw how pathetic and small it was I burst into tears. I'm haunted by that memory. I'm a nice person and it wasn't my fault I got divorced or became disabled or that my friends have their own families to visit at Christmas. Yet I feel I'm being punished. I don't know how I will face Christmas this year.
312. Wicked stepmother (12/14/11) - Gina, New Jersey Age 34
I decided to spend Christmas with my father and his family and my fiance from Europe. On Christmas Eve we ordered in because my stepmother did not want to "lift one finger" all weekend. On Christmas, she spent the entire day in her bathroom getting ready for her party. She did not do anything to make Christmas special for her two young sons, and I ended up making breakfast for everyone.
For Christmas dinner she hired a staff of 10 people to serve lunch to 12 people. She told my uncle and one of her sisters that they could not come over until after dinner. She then proceeded to get extremely drunk.
I hand knit her a scarf as an act of love. Her gift to me was a wrapped pair of my own boots that I had left at their house and a pair of used isotoner slippers filled with dirt. A beautiful necklace given to me by my fiance disappeared from the sofa, never to be seen again. My fiance was pretty appalled, and we spent the next Christmas in Europe with his family, which was nearly as bad.
311. Like I didn't exist (12/14/11) - Vannessa, Ventura, CA, Age 16
Two days before Christmas I got in a huge fight with my parents. I was so mad I decided to sleep in my car that night. The next day (Christmas Eve) I went back home hoping for forgiveness from my parents, but instead they kicked me out and told me to take my stuff. I had nowhere to go so I spent those nights walking around my home and sleeping on the ground outside my house, hoping to reconcile with my parents. The next day on Christmas I watched from outside a window as my parents and relatives celebrated and opened gifts - as if I didn't exist.
310. Sentimental socks (12/14/11) - Elizabeth, California, Age 14
Whenever my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I'd say, "I don't know." They'd say, "Don't complain when you don't get anything because we don't know what the hell to get you!" I'd cry in my room every year. I got nothing except a pair of socks. I told them, "I hope you both die!" Two weeks later, they were killed in a car crash. The only thing I have to remember them by are the socks.
311. Brother's health crisis (12/14/11) - Sarah, Australia, Age 19
Christmas in our home is a time for family and love. It is one of the few times every year we are all together. The third day of Christmas: My 16-year-old brother has a stroke. He is my world, my everything. He is airlifted to Sydney Hospital. I sit beside him. Staring into the courage in his eyes, fear but optimism. No one knows why. He is not sick. He represents Aus in Footy. Second day of Christmas: Reason behind stroke - he has leukemia. That's OK, we can handle that. Two years of chemo and six months of radio. He has had lots of brain surgery today to fix what they can. He never once cries. He held my hand and said, "This is my destiny, make what you can of yours." Mum and Dad arrive to Sydney that afternoon with my Nan. Christmas day: With tears in her eyes the doctor tells us how it is. That Christmas at 12:01 p.m. I held my brothers hand, his head resting in my arms. I watched him fall asleep. Now I am living day by day the best I can.
308. First and last Xanax (12/14/11) - Sue, New York, Age 46
It was December 23rd and we were having a big stupid crazy party with friends. Woke up the next morning and continued to party in the jacuzzi...drinking. I fell asleep in my boyfriend's bedroom, woke up later and was having these crazy heart palpitations. I had just lost my brother suddenly at a young age and I thought I was flipping out so I took a Xanax. Sometime during the night I got up and passed out, split the back of my head open and then fell forward and smashed my face on his indoor jacuzzi. I proceeded to vomit profusely and then cleaned it up with a bleeding head and serious injuries because I knew the asshole would bitch at me. I went to bed with my head bleeding on his bed. The next day I got up and drove home, I don't know how.
Later that day he called to bitch that I didn't clean up his smelly-ass house. I was in a dead coma-like sleep. Next thing, I have to drive out of state for Christmas because my brother just died and we were gonna do it at my sister's house this year. I realize that I can't even stand, let alone drive, so I get one of my sisters to drive me to New Jersey. She sees my face and is like, "Holy shit." We get to my other sister's and her husband is a doctor. When he sees me, he's like, "I need to take you to a hospital."
So I end up in a hospital Christmas Day with broken bones in my cheekbone, and a gash in the back of my head that should have been stapled. I go back to their house with a concussion and little kids screaming over gifts and all I wanted to do was sleep since my head was killing me. Well, that was the first and last time I ever took Xanax.
307. Loser father maxed my credit (12/14/11) - Jack, U.S., Age 26
My father is a loser bum that invaded my life and maxed out all of my credit. He was taking care of his senile mother for five years. When she died I asked him to move up here with me and my family. He said OK and was "supposedly" saving up money for a year after she died so he could get on his feet when he moved out here. Finally when he was ready to come he told me he needed to borrow my debit card to pay for the airplane ticked because all he had was cash. I forked out $650 and that's where it all began.
When he got here he had $40 to his name. For the next four months I paid for his and his wife's food, electricity, water, even cigarettes. He never found a job and we ran up our debt to keep him afloat. Finally in September I decided we had to get rid of him. State law required that I give him a 30-day eviction notice filed through the courthouse and the courthouse takes 30 days to file. My only option was to rent a car and drive him to a friend to move there. So another $1,000 later, my cards are maxed out and I can barely afford to breathe. I was relying on my school check to come two weeks ago and a glitch in the system made it so that my check won't arrive until after Christmas. No presents for the kids. No dinner. I don't even want to put the tree up because I don't want them wondering why there aren't any presents. I will be lucky if I ever get my bills paid. Can't wait for tax returns.
306. Occupy Christmas (12/14/11) - Anonymous, Winnipeg, Age 34
Christmas has been nothing more than a nightmare to me. I was laid off from a great job last year, got screwed from the severance pay and didn't get it until after the holidays last year. Got chewed out for not having money for Christmas and even worse for not getting my folks the presents that they wanted. This year in November I've been to six family-related funerals. My folks complain about having no money even though they went away on a hunting trip, I work at a retail store and just started getting some decent hours, and now the manager is cutting everyone's hours except her friends', claiming they "don't have the budget". How does a major retail store that makes billions not have a budget for workers for the holidays?
Christmas is nothing more than a corporate fat cats' game. No really, it is. While bailouts were given to businesses and banks to save them, they decided to keep it for themselves and said "Fuck you" to everyone else. Michael Moore got it right with "Capitalism: A Love Story". Christmas is just another way of milking the poor masses even more.
305. Coming out for Christmas (12/14/11) - Lauren, Kansas City, MO, Age 26
Christmas sucked last year. I told my family I was a lesbian. My mom cried, my grandma choked on her ham, my uncle laughed and got slapped by my aunt, and then my dad cussed out everyone and drove off in his Mercedes, which he wrecked by driving into a light pole. That's the first time I saw my family open a third bottle of wine.
304. Lying boyfriend's Ex-mas (12/14/11) - Jamie, U.S., Age 50
I am a single mother with two children in their early 20s. I had a boyfriend who gave me an unromantic gift of lamps for my living room from the same store in which his ex-wife worked. Then he told me that he was going out of state to have Christmas with his mother. He didn't go out of state, but skulked around town and hid from me while I am pretty sure he spent most of the time with his ex-wife. It was mean, cruel and humiliating. What type of person lies and does that to another? The pain was acute. I will never let someone treat me like that again.
303. No money, no presents (12/14/11) - Holly, New York, Age 18
I'm 18. I have a daughter. She is 4. My two brothers are handicapped, ages 16 and 29. My mother is disabled. I'm in my senior year. No money. My kid's father is in jail and mine doesn't care. So, no Xmas this year. No money for presents or anything. So that's life!
302. Jingle brawls (12/14/11) - Anonymous, Los Angeles, Age 30
I hate Christmas. Every year I spend it alone, hated by my family for a bullshit setup I'd rather not waste time talking about. The only good thing about December is that the cold-weather homeless shelters here in L.A. open up and I have another place to spend Christmas. Only, I can only go to one, since some homeless crackhead asshole jumped up in my face at one shelter, threatening me, and I pulled a can of Campbell's soup out of my bag and cracked his face. He started to talk more shit, then sank away into a heap of unconsciousness. As I pushed through the huddled masses of stinking, wasted, lice-infested meat to get out of there to escape arrest (getting body lice in the process), the staff told me I could never come back. So it's either Christmas here alone in my parents' garage, at another stinking shelter I also got into a brawl at, or on the streets. This holiday will ALWAYS suck ass.
301. Christmas toast (12/14/11) - Eric, Ireland, Age 22
My grandmother died a few days before Christmas from breast cancer, which we - the family - thought was going to be successfully defeated. So, I decided to put my sadness away by getting drunk, but my friend replaced the vodka with vinegar. I spent about 30 minutes vomiting in the toilet. I spent Christmas just having a quiet time with my family, even though my mother was depressed and my girlfriend felt awkward with the situation. We had toast for dinner.
300. Psychologically scarring Christmas (12/14/11) - Anonymous, U.S., Age 16
My mother was a schizophrenic. What I initially thought was intense, uncontrollable anger was actually her schizo outbursts. She never escalated to physical violence, but came close a few times. Her psychologically torturous outbursts have left a strong emotional impact on me.
I'll never forget one particularly scarring Christmas. I had received the (old) video game console I wanted with a game in it (my mom was unemployed and we had to rely on the money my father sent us). As soon as I woke up, she began shouting. The entire time we were setting up the console she was yelling in this demonic, profanity-laced tone about all sorts of things, including how old it is, and I should've had a PS3 if we were with our dad, blah blah... The sheer tone and nonstop onslaught of it all drove me to tears. At some point, she forced me to play on the console, even after I had enough. I decided to eat my candy, with predictable results (her calling me a pig, etc.) Finally, we went out for a walk. Same thing the entire time. We saw the principal on the street and she bashed her behind her back.
She didn't stop for the whole day and I cried myself to sleep. Other Christmases were mediocre as well, but none like that. She died last year. Jesus can burn, for all I care.
299. She decided to rediscover herself (12/14/11) - George, U.K., Age 49
Came home on Xmas Eve and found my wife and three kids gone. She decided to rediscover herself. Fine by me, but leave the kids. No - the kids went with her. Over the last few years she has made it too difficult to see my kids. I hate Christmas!
298. Dad's little joke (12/14/11) - Sam, England, Age 21
When I was about nine - Christmas 1995 - all me and my brothers wanted was a PS1. We weren’t exactly rich, living in a rough block of flats in South London, so my stepfather in the last few weeks before Christmas teased me and my brothers with glimpses of a PS1 box, hints and promises. The big day arrived and we all rushed into the living room from our shared bedroom with four cots packed into it. Ripped open the packaging to find our brand new PlayStation. We almost fought each other to get it open. Inside, the box was totally empty except for a manual. Apparently dad thought it was a classic joke and proceeded to tell us that we were ungrateful little shits and we would get nothing but disappointment. I'm now married, older and wiser. Dad died of alcohol poisoning, alone and cold. I don't hate Christmas - I make sure that for my family it is a truly magical time of year and something to make those long cold months a little more bearable.
297. He chopped up the tree (12/14/11) - Anonymous, Las Vegas, Age 12
Five Christmases ago my dad was really mad at me for almost breaking his favorite ornament and torched for the rest of the night. The next day I thought I'd be funny and almost break it again, but when I did that he ended up running out of the house somewhere and came back with a knife and chopped the whole tree to pieces.
296. I'd like to smash his teeth (12/14/11) - Anonymous, U.S., Age 32
My boss decided that he can't pay me anymore because the NGO we work for no longer has funding. However, he wants me to continue working as a "volunteer" rather than an "employee." My birthday and Xmas are only a couple days apart. I have a pregnant wife, a car I'm paying for, a house I'm trying to fix and a crappy overpriced apartment that needs rent money. I've got medical bills for my wife, cell phone, car payments, internet bills, and a million other things. I was only hired 2 1/2 months ago. When my boss hired me he filled my head with how financially stable and efficient this NGO is, how there's a million projects going on and that everything is great....Now I'm not getting my paycheck. I still haven't bought my wife's Xmas gift yet. She's a doll, a total sweetheart and deserves a good Xmas. Unfortunately, this Xmas is going to suck. I'm so mad, I'm ready to smash my boss's teeth.
295. I’d rather have the runs (12/10/10) - Mechelle, Ohio, Age 23
I get to spend Christmas day with my husband’s insane family, who think my adult children are still little kids. This year will be a lousy one with them. My husband has been laid-off from his job for about nine months -- and he worked at his sister’s place of business! She called everyone back to work including the guy who was hired just before the layoffs. When my hubby asked when he would be called back, they told him never. How can I spend Christmas with these idiots and keep my mouth shut? I told my husband I am going to say something about it and I get the “You will put my mother in the hospital” speech. I would rather have a bad case of the runs and be out of toilet paper than spend Christmas with these people!
294. GF hooked up with ex (12/10/10) - Frank, Finland, Age 24
I was going to spend a nice Xmas eve with my girlfriend and her kids. It all went to hell when she was getting drunk with her friends. She was acting weird, getting long phone calls in the other room and not telling who it was. Then she said she was going outside to see an old friend, and that I couldn't come. At this point I had my doubts, but I didn't want to say anything, as it would have ruined the night even more. Then she asked me to go and get few of her friends, since I was sober and had a car. When I was driving back she called and said that her ex showed up. I said I would be there soon to get rid of the abusive psycho. Then she said, "Umm, yeah…We are getting back together. Don't come back here."
I went to get some of my stuff from her car on the 24th, and there he was, the fucking wanker, gazing out the window drinking coffee and having a nice fucking Christmas instead of me. That little fucker. The only comfort is that they did not get back together after all.
293. Eggs & toast for Xmas dinner (12/10/10) - JP, New Jersey, Age 29
This year we have no tree and our daughter won't be opening any gifts because we have no money to spare. The bank has decided that we don't need the money and that it will make better sense to give it to them to pay the mortgage. Even though the mortgage is 70 percent of our monthly income, they are taking their time to modify our loan because they have better things to do. Meanwhile, our account goes into the red because we have to pay our electric and gas bill, and every other bill. Oh yeah! We also have to buy groceries and gas for the car -- forgot about that. We'll be eating eggs and toast this Christmas because we can't afford Christmas dinner.
292. Just another miserable day (12/10/10) - Dave, U.S., Age 50
I had great Christmases when I was a kid. But I became estranged from my family years ago and have isolated myself from the world. I never got married, never had kids, never traveled, never lived. Now, on the eve of this most wonderful of holidays I am sitting in this dark room by myself just like every other day and will have no celebration. No gifts, cards, or parties. It's just another miserable day. Such terrible torture knowing you have family out there, but they have kicked you to the curb and drove away.
291. Christmas on crack (12/10/10) - Jenna, Ontario, Age 25
I will never live down the Christmas I ruined. I had a bad crack addiction, and one week before Christmas '07 I went M.I.A for days, smoking crack by myself in my car. I finally dragged my ass home at my mother's pleading, and then my family checked me into a rehab/detox centre. I spent all my money, lost my job, my self-respect and any trust my family had left in me. They checked me out Christmas Eve, and I spent that Christmas alone in my room crying. I'm off crack this Christmas, but this year I'm working till 11pm Christmas Eve, while my boyfriend is doing coke with his drug addict uncle and will probably drive home drunk, if he comes home at all! I need a drink....
290. I wish my suicide attempt had worked (12/10/10) - Anonymous, Florida, Age 23
Christmas Eve, I woke up in my normal depressed state, tried to go to the gym, but it was closed, went to the store and got caught shoplifting, came home to binge and purge, and am now sitting alone, miserable, and wishing my suicide attempt 3 weeks ago went through. I am broken, a waste, and worthless. Stealing bullshit I don't even want, overwhelmed by my eating disorder, a fucking flake, and a loser. I not only hate Christmas, I hate my life.
289. Just want the pain to stop (12/10/10) - Ashley, Ontario, Age 26
I was in a car accident a while back and still have difficulties from my injuries - it has affected many parts of my life, not just physically. My back, legs and other appendages are usually in excruciating pain. Right now if I had a chainsaw, I would try to cut off my own leg. Honestly, I just want the pain to stop. I am tired of living with this pain and the other problems like parts of my body going numb. I hate myself, never used to, but with all of these problems I now do. I have young children and it is very hard to enjoy times like Christmas when I feel so awful.
288. Nothing makes a difference (12/10/10) - Julie, U.S., Age 25
I came out to my parents when I was in my young teens and they've never recovered. This year, they spent a lot of time and money on my partner’s gifts and got next to nothing for me. I'm not even sure how that makes sense. She feels guilty, since her parents got me two oversized sweaters, so maybe mission successful -- it's putting a strain on our relationship. It just makes me mad because I'm going to a top law school for environmental law, I'm much more high functioning and successful than my parents, I volunteer and I'm active in our local church, and I know that in the end nothing will make a difference. I'll always be the daughter who never should have been. It doesn't make me want to be straight, it makes me want to kill myself.
287. He smokes crack, I’m alone (12/10/10) - Stella, New York, Age 23
I hate Christmas and every other holiday. It’s Christmas day today and I am alone in a room, nothing to eat, and I got a crack-head man that sells everything that he can get his hands on. So far, on December 23 he pawned all my gold jewelry, so I punched him. December 24, we didn't really make up but he sent a flower to me at my job. Then he went and smacked one of my co-workers outside the job and I got fired. (It wasn't the first incident with him getting me into trouble at my job.) Now it's Christmas day and this man has been outside all day smoking crack, and I am all alone.
286. I thought Dad would hit me in church (12/10/10) - Jaime, Michigan, Age 21
I thought having to work Christmas Eve would be the worst of my troubles. I was already in a bad mood, then my sister stole my phone that morning so I was late to work. Later, when I came home and went in the bathroom, I found a cap to a needle and cotton (my sister’s a junkie). Not really concerned, more like trying to prove to my parents she was still using, I called to tell them, and they started yelling over the phone that I'm ruining their Christmas, and I don't know what I'm talking about. I hung up. Then they called back to tell me they were going to midnight mass. I drove up to church, found my family and verbally had it out with my sister. My dad was pissed and I thought he was going to hit me in church, but he waited till we were home to do that. He pounded my face against the floor repeatedly, and now I have a black eye.
285. Happiness is delusion (12/10/10) - Anonymous, Chicago, Age 23
I spent Christmas and New Years last year in a mental hospital. My wife and my doctors were so afraid that I'd commit suicide that they had me committed. A few days before Christmas, I was given an antipsychotic and had such a horrible reaction to it that I nearly died. I tried my hardest to believe in God and at least hope for a positive outcome, but six months later I was having round after round of electroconvulsive therapy. Later I realized I was a rabid anti-theist, I've given up on my medications and have adopted the motto "happiness is delusion." It's a year later, and I thought I was getting better, but here I am home alone on Christmas, hating Christmas and Christianity more than ever. All I've got is a bottle of Jagermeister, a frozen pizza and season seven of the Simpsons to keep me company. Like I said -- happiness is delusion. Here's to another shit year.
284. She said, “We need to talk...” (12/10/09) - Myke, Oakland, Age 39
Christmas has always sucked for me. Something always goes wrong, the worst case being my Father passing away a few days before Christmas a couple of years ago. This Christmas was no exception. My girlfriend and I recently moved in together in a new town, and she just went on a road trip the week before Christmas. The night she came back, we had awesome sex. Sounds great, right? I come home from work the next day, and she says, "We need to talk," which is never a good thing to hear. So on Christmas Eve, she tells me that she still loves me but "needs space", and that we can't live together anymore. One of us has to move out. Let me point out that I've been out of work for 5 months, and just this week started a new job, and am flat broke. Then she took off on another road trip and won't be back until January 3rd, so I'm here, in a new town, alone with no friends, no family, no car (we "share" this car she's going on road trips with), no presents...you get the picture.
283. Disappointed every time (12/10/10) - Ron, U.S., Age 38
When I was 10 my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I spent the last night of his life with him. It was before Christmas. After that, my mother and I became somewhat tight. Years later, again before Christmas, my mother was hit and killed in a cross walk on the way to church.
After that -- my family never hangs out -- I have spent almost every Christmas completely by myself. It's become a day of running around only to find all the stores closed and trying to make the shitty holiday go away. I have tried everything including drugs and drinking too much, and that doesn't help at all. Now I just deal with the empty feelings. Attempts to reconnect with the family always fail. Everyone else has moved on -- has grandkids etc...except me. I always have high hopes for this day, and am disappointed every time.
282. Humiliating Christmas charity (12/10/10) - Willie, U.S., Age 39
When I was 9 years old, my parents were broke. As Christmas approached, my mother would ask questions such as, "Wouldn't you rather skip Christmas and get things throughout the year?" in an attempt to somehow soften the blow of the non-Christmas that was to come. I was a pretty savvy 9-year-old. I didn't mind not having Christmas nearly as much as I did them making an issue of it. After all, even children at that age have their pride. Just a couple of days before Christmas, an old couple that lived across the street apparently heard of our "plight" and gave me an ugly used bicycle, a bag of that hard, shitty Christmas candy, and a shirt. I didn't particularly like charity and felt more humiliated than I would have if the issue had just been ignored.
281. She slept with my best friend (12/10/10) - John, U.S., Age 26
I got completely drunk Christmas Eve and didn't go to sleep because I was so depressed that I wasn't going to get to see any of my family on Christmas. My mother killed herself when I was younger and her family blames my father for her death. I called my grandmother on Christmas day but she wouldn't talk to me. So I had Christmas dinner and went out the next night to get drunk again without family.
There is this girl that I really, really like and thought I maybe would have a chance with her. She came over to my house that night. I woke up the next morning and she was in bed with my best friend. When I went to go to sleep the next night I looked at my sheets. There were semen stains all over my pillow. Merry Christmas.
280. Mom smashed the ornaments (12/09/10) - Scarlet, Seattle, Age 37
I'll never forget the Christmas when I was 17. My mom smashed the Christmas ornaments as we were decorating the tree because I didn't know what she meant when she said the "open face" ornaments. Then on Christmas Eve she barged into the living room and said, "I have something to tell you. Your father and I were never married." My dad groaned. The words made no sense to me. Aren't moms and dads married? Guess not all of them. I fled to my best friend's house and contemplated the word "bastard". Christmas Day was pathetic but my mom cooked the goose as usual and we ate it in silence. Then my dad decided that I should call the local psychiatric hospital to see if they thought my mom was nuts. That was my last Christmas at home. I still freak out as Christmas approaches. Wonder why.
279. Hard to please parents (12/09/10) - Rock, U.S., Age 35
It was Christmas of '96. I had fucked up the Law School Boards and was on pins and needles waiting for an acceptance. Santa Clara Law School (third tier) let me in early - but obviously my achievement-oriented parents were not satisfied. We went down to Santa Clara to check the campus out on Dec. 20. Mom looked around at the buildings and mentioned that it was a bit like Stanford. On the way up back north, we passed by the freeway sign that said Exit Palo Alto - Stanford University. My mother broke down crying in the car, saying other people's children exerted more effort.
Four days later, on Christmas Eve, a letter arrived from Columbia Law School saying I was waitlisted. We had Chinese takeout that night. I tried to lighten up the mood at the table by mentioning our cousin Andrew who was in hiding after some girl accused him of knocking her up. My mother exploded, saying, "You can't get into Columbia and all you can still talk about is Andrew?!" She stormed upstairs.
My dad, who had his customarily miserable look on his face, went into the fridge and took out a six pack of beer which he proceeded to consume. He then broke down crying and announced he was going out to sing Christmas carols. He headed for the door drunk and singing, wearing his underwear. I had to struggle with him just to prevent him from leaving the house.
I was accepted to University of Minnesota for Law School the following May. It was a relief not to have to stay in California - I have hated Christmas ever since.
278. I'm getting my dead brother's Xbox (12/09/10) - Emily, U.S., Age 16
Earlier this year, in February, my 18-year-old brother died. We had become best friends the year before his death. He loved videogames and that's what he wanted to do with his life. His birthday is on Christmas, and it's going to suck really bad. Plus my mom is giving me his Xbox. I feel so wrong.
Share your most miserable Christmas experience, or why this Christmas will be miserable, or why Christmas sucks in general. We will post the best submissions here. (please try to be brief):