No Post Day | Getting Gave Got

Despite a commonly held myth that the Christmas season has the highest suicide rate of all the seasons, studies have proven that across North America, suicide rates are actually lower at that time of year. Studies suggest that while the holidays can bring up some very difficult emotions, they also tend to evoke feelings of familial bonds and these feelings may act as a buffer against suicide.”
The Canadian Mental Health Association

There’s a YouTube here of Billy Idol. If you can’t see it please reload,
then contact Google and tell them to stop being evil.

We’ve had a lot of different Christmas traditions in my family. They actually seem to change every five years.

When we actually started to celebrate Christmas on the day itself we would travel into the mountains to my grandfather’s “hobby farm”. We’d go skiing, visit with the neighbours — one of whom was a girl I had a crush on from when I was about seven until… well, it technically hasn’t stopped yet.

We’d kill a tree, decorate it and when my brother and I woke up there’d be presents and bacon.


Five years later the whole show got moved to my grandfather’s cottage, even further back in the mountains. I think I’m still sulking about the move. Everything was pretty much the same, except the tree was always ready when we got there.

Five, or so, years later we moved in with my mother’s boyfriend (now husband of 16 years) and Christmas became something we did at home, and the old people came to us. My step-father started a boot-hockey tournament in the large parking lot across the street from his place.

Every Christmas morning, after the presents were opened and after a quick lunch, we’d play hockey for a couple of hours. Whoever was there would join in… girlfriends, the grandfather’s, my uncle. Usually some of the kids from the neighbourhood would play.

That lasted about six years… maybe a bit longer. But there were two or three Christmases in a row where it was too cold, or there was no snow, then the grandfather’s got too frail.

Something my parents have been doing since they met is attending late night Christmas mass. But it’s a French service so I’ve never gone*. When they were going to the church in town we’d meet afterwards at my grandmother’s house for coffee and cookies. But this year they’ve switched churches and now I’m not sure what’s going on.

*…I was dating someone for the first three years after they started the tradition, and the two hours my parents would be at church gave us the perfect opportunity to raise several joyful noises unto the Lord.

A few years ago we switched the venue around completely. Instead of opening gifts Christmas morning in my parents living room, they rented a local B&B. So the owner cooked and served dinner, then we opened presents in their living room. I understood why my parents did it… they wanted a break from the X-Mas hassles. But I found it extremely awkward. We did that two years in a row.

Thankfully we’re back to my parents’ place. But Christmas has never felt right to me.

What I do know is tomorrow (later on this morning) at ten we’ll have breakfast, then open presents and have lunch before going our separate ways until supper… which is when my grandparents will arrive for Christmas dinner, everything will be just about perfect but my mother’s mother will complain about the stuffing. Then, after my grandfather passes out on the couch after looking for a hockey game to watch, my grandmother will hand out some socks still in their plastic bag from Sears.

There’s a YouTube here of my family waving. If you can’t see it please reload,
then contact Google and tell them to stop being evil.

Merry Christmas

So, on this most festive of No Post Day’s, these are my questions for anyone willing to play along… remember, Santa and Jesus will hate you if you don’t answer.

What’s your favourite family Christmas tradition?

What’s the absolute coolest present you ever received/given?

What did you give/receive this year?

Was it worth the hassle?

The coolest ever was when my grandparents and mother teamed up when I was twelve to give my brother and I a Commodore VIC-20. Second place would be last year when my mother gave me a pocket-sized digital camera… in third place would be “a mother’s love”.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar, BiPolar Christmas, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Christmas, crazy people with no pants, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, No Post Day, Old men in red suits. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to No Post Day | Getting Gave Got

  1. thordora says:

    No traditions, and trouble making them. Coolest gift was Wonder Woman tattooed on my arm this year. 🙂 Gave my husband an ipod dock and DC encyclopedia-got Lush box, books-and some weird hydroponic garden thing (my father gets me the oddest things.) Small but happy Christmas.

    We had a small Xmas on purpose for a few reasons-we do much of our shopping online to avoid the mall, and try to give money to smaller retailers. Watching VIvian FREAK the fuck out when she saw her T-Rex Playmobil this morning-it’s worth it.

    The whining now however….not worth it. 😛

    Happy Day Gabe.

  2. fridaluv says:

    I got two Wonder Woman bracelets from my mom last year to fight off the forces of evil. Cha-ching cha-ching-evil just bounces off of me whenever I wear them. This year one of my friends gave me a mousepad with a picture of my baby niece on it. She totally surprised me and knows how much I miss her so it is a really special gift. Happy day to everyone.

  3. bipolarlife says:

    I did NOT receive any Wonder Woman stuff and am feeling a bit jealous about those bracelets!

    My favorite Christmas tradition is Christmas eve dinner with friends. We’ve been doing this for 16 years. We eat and drink too much and give each other little gifts. This is what I look forward to each year and yes, it’s worth the hassle.

    The coolest gift that I ever received was two tacky lime green Asian inspired 1950’s TV lamps given as a gag gift. I love them.

    This year I gave little scented candles and food. My mom sent me a thick bathrobe that only comes off when I go outside.

    Merry, merry to everyone.

  4. giannakali says:

    no more traditions anymore…but growing up we made homemade tortellini…dad made the filling, mom made the pasta and the kids made the damn tortellini all fucking day long…we hated it but they tasted damn good and I miss it now. (yes, we’re full on Italian…first generation American us kids)

    Can’t think of an absolute favorite gift…I’m not all that into gifts…my husband brought me dozen red roses last night…the first dozen red roses I’ve ever gotten…so maybe it was last night.

    I gave presents to all my nieces and nephews…no presents for anyone else…though I did get the kids families an ice cream maker each as well.

    no hassle…all done online…never left the house.

    we’re also not seeing any family…it’s just me and the good husband this year.

  5. qweenminx says:

    Merry Christmas, my beautiful friend.

    Hope you’re wearing stockings today… on your mantlepiece of course… although… hmm… (lemon pictures gel in stockings – it’s a far more attractive image than ‘you’ might imagine)

    You’re lucky kiddo, bet you’ve got snow… very limp and damp over here in England.

    Bless you my love… with new hope for the New Year.


  6. The Billy Idol video tells me it is private.

    I got Rock Band 2 this year. I am happy.

  7. Gabriel... says:

    The Billy Idol video should be viewable again. Due to a contract dispute Warner Brothers has told YouTube to remove all of their videos, so Billy was a casualty.

    Christmas Day went really well… dinner was great, and people brought the side dishes so my mom could concentrate on the turkey and the stuffing and not getting exhausted.

    I was given fourteen pairs of black socks, so I don’t have to do any laundry until March. And my grandmother gave me new cutlery to go with the new dishes my mom gave me. Which means I don’t have to bother washing the ones I have now.

    I also had a chance to see all three of my closest cousins… it’s pretty rare to get the three of them in the same town, let alone the same room.

    My brother comes up tomorrow with his fiancée… so I’m looking forward to that.

    …I should have asked about favourite Christmas movies. I just finished watching Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night” (1934) with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert… who looks suspiciously like Marlena Dietrich, but I missed “It’s A Wonderful Life” this year.

    Capra’s “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” (1936) is on now… other than “High Noon” I’ve never been a big Gary Cooper fan. Best movie I’ve seen this week though was “The Philadelphia Story” (1940) with Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

    I still think the greatest Christmas movie ever made was Die Hard.

    So… Merry Christmas, and thanks for playing along. I hope everything went off the way you wanted.

  8. kim says:

    hilarious post.
    for many, many years it was always the same. open one gift on christmas eve and then wake very early to open the rest. eat waaay too much and then nap.

    the past two years i have spent alone with my husband and it’s been nice and peaceful. my favorite gift this year (we couldn’t afford much) came from my husband…a bright orange sweatshirt with a poem from “Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.” One of our favorite films. on top of the sweatshirt was a post-it that read, “Meet me… in Montauk”…. i cried. truly special.

  9. Every year, we sit around and watch the Griswold’s family Christmas, as it bears a striking resemblance to our family.

    Best gift ever received? At the time? Glow-in-the-dark gimp and a Talk to the Disney characters! phone – I was on the phone chatting with Goofy for months on end after.

    Best gift given? A signed copy of the shooting script of Seinfeld (The Soup Nazi episode) for my older brother. All four signatures on it.

    P.S. Great mass alternative you had there(!)

    P.P.S. Thanks to your Die Hard mention in a previous post, we totally brought out the DVD and watched it. Man, you’re right – that is the best Christmas movie – That scene with him and Hans pretending to be an escaped hostage? ‘Bill Clay’. So well done.

  10. alruiceis says:

    Hello and belated Merry Christmas 🙂 Sorry for being criminally absent here. I have a lot of catching up to do.

    My favorite christmas tradition is the one where my family pretends that christmas isn’t really happening and we all go off and do our own thing.

    Coolest thing has got to be my Domo-kun doll. His little arms are so cute!

    I gave some Fred and Ginger customized earrings and a set of juggling balls among other things. Totally worth the four hour trip to all the vintage shops and quaint boutiques in the city to track down some interesting gifts.

    Thanks again for helping me out. Good tidings for the New Year 🙂

  11. Kitty says:

    Hey Gabriel, I meant to come here and wish you a merry merry.

    My brother did that a few times when we were kids, he’d go out in the woods and chop down a tree so we could have one. Those are my favorite Christmas’.

    My favorite gift ever received was a couple of years ago, I got my first DSLR. I have been obsessed with that thing ever since.

    My favorite gift given was a car we gave to my mom a couple of years ago. Not because it was the biggest gift but because she needed it so badly and she continues to make good use of it.

    We have the usual traditions, I spend two days cooking for the feast and we open presents on Christmas Day. Something new we’ve started is an all day video game marathon.

  12. XUP says:

    I think having different Christmases every year is fun. That’s what I’ve been doing with my daughter. Sometimes we have a tree, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we visit family, sometimes we visit friends, sometimes both, sometimes neither. Sometimes we open gifts on Christmas Eve, sometimes Christmas morning, somtimes both. Sometimes we have a big feast at noon, sometimes at night, sometimes we go out for Chinese. It’s always different.

  13. dumbwaiter says:

    I’m simple, so the best gift ever was the Spice Girls poster, then my little red skis, then the PS3 i gave myself last year.

    it was good to see you again.

  14. Gabriel... says:

    It was good to see you as well, little brother. Mom told me a couple of weeks ago one of her favourite memories is of you and those red skis teaching yourself how to ski at Bud’s farm. I think you would have been nine or ten. She was, and remains, very proud that every time you fell down you got right back up and kept going… which actually works like a metaphor.

  15. animar says:

    Kill a tree and get gifts- I will never look at XMAS the same again, which is probably good because I’ve been Grinching it for a few years now.

    HOWEVER, my favorite present ever was a bike that I got when I was nine- it snowed that year and along with THAT I also got the chicken Pox and a sprained ankle and I nearly cracked my head open on the street and yes those events were all connected.

    Like I said, it was my favorite present and best Christmas ever.

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