“Christmas Sucks”


If you’ve had the courage to pick up this book, I applaud you. I’m sure there are plenty of holiday shoppers who’ll read the title and think a book called “Christmas Sucks” is blasphemous. They’ll think I deserve a one-way ticket straight to H-E-double toothpicks. I know this because my husband felt the same way when I told him that I’d be writing it. In fact, I was sure my next book would be entitled Divorce Sucks because of the all-out battles we had on the subject. It’s not even that he’s a deeply religious man. It’s just that he believes that certain thing should never be mocked.

I tried in vein to convince him that this book isn’t about religion. It doesn’t tease or put anyone down, except the generic mother-in-law because that’s simply a given. In fact, one of the main points of this book is that we’ve lost the true meaning of Christmas somewhere between the Santa head Pez dispensers and the Nativity scene made in the likeness of The Simpsons.
Besides, I’m no idiot. I realize that religion is a personal issue and as controversial as gay marriage, stem cell research, or who the heck Carly Simon’s secret lover is in her song, “You’re So Vein.” I wouldn’t dare debate such a heated topic, even though doing so may prove worthy of a guest appearance on the Today show.

Instead, I choose to focus this book on the variety of overwhelming stresses that surrounds the holidays, and how to survive each one with your sanity, your family, and your bank account intact. True, with a book like this, I doubt Matt Lauer will beg me to come to Rockefeller Plaza, but at least I don’t have to spend an eternity in hell. I tend to get cranky when I’m overheated.

So, if you’ve dared to read my book this far, perhaps you’ll take a chance and read it further. If you’re like me and dread the holidays despite the homemade cookies and that great version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen, then this is the book for you. In it, you’ll find dozens of tips on how to get through the holidays with enough Christmas spirit left over to bring a smile to your face. And, for no extra cost, you’ll realize there’s no shame in dreading the holidays and that there’s nothing blasphemous about it. If you go to hell, it’ll be your own damn fault.

So here’s to all that is good and true and right about the holidays. I hope that with everything you learn from this book, yours will be a stress-free holiday so you can focus on what this most sacred day in Christianity is all about: Peace on Earth, good will toward men, and that great Bruce Springsteen song!

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Shop ‘’Til You Drop Dead
Black (and Blue) Friday
Baby, Can You Find My Car?
The Early Bird Catches the Inventory
All’s Fair in Love and Retail
Pony-Up Express

Chapter 2: All I Want for Christmas Is My Retirement Account Intact
The Christmas Pad
Join the Club
Teen Trouble
Money Is the Root of All Evil Fighting
A Christmas Tip for You
How to Save Money During the Holidays
Relax and Recoup . . . the Savings!

Chapter 3: Here Comes Santa Claus: Ho Ho Hold Me Back!
You Stupid Dweeb, Virginia, Of Course There’s No Damn Santa Claus
Smelly Claus, Smelly Claus
Secret Santa or Santa’s Secrets
The High Cost of Frame
Stop the InSanta-ty
Christmas Envy
Satan Claus

Chapter 4: The Twelve Days of Christmas Parties
Office Parties
Tree-Trimming Parties
Caroling Parties
Cookie Swap Parties
The Holiday Spread
Ho Ho Haute Couture

Chapter 5: Gifts: It’s the Thought That Counts (Good One, Huh?)
The Impersonal Touch
A Gift That’s Taken Too Personally
Loser Gifts
Uncharitable Contributions
How Rude!
The Rules of Regifting
It’s a Wrap!

Chapter 6: Deck the Halls with Tons of Crap
A Quick History Lesson
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn . . . and in Your Living Room
Faux Christmas
House Lights
Keeping Up with the Joneses Décor
I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas
Where to Store All the Crap

Chapter 7: I’ll Be Home for Christmas . . . If I Can Get Through the F*cking Crowds
Hub Sweet Hub
Upgrade Your Trip
Traveling with Kids Sucks
Car Trouble
Once Is Always Enough
Check Out Ways to Check In Easier

Chapter 8: Family Squabbles: All We Want Is a Silent Night
The Explosion of the Nuclear Family
Holiday Hilton
Mom and Pop Quiz
Reconcilable Differences
Porn for Housewives
Too Much Quality Time with Your Kids

Chapter 9: It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas
What’s Cookin’? Not a Damn Thing!
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cured Meat
It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To
Damn That Martha for Making It Look So Easy!
The Most Fearsome of Feasts

Conclusion: The Big Day!

Resource Section


4 responses to ““Christmas Sucks”

  1. Dear Joanne,

    I bought this book a week ago when I was out shopping for maternity clothes for the first time, well, the second time, but the first time when I really meant it because all of my clothes have become tight and uncomfortable. I was feeling sick, tired, and hormonal in any number of ways. When I got home, I sat on my bed and read your book along with the “What to Expect…” fiasco. I loved yours, hated hers. Sorry, but she seemed like the kind of neighbor whom I’d probably not like, with impossible standards for all around her. While reading your book, I started laughing hard for the first time in about 6 weeks (since I discovered I was pregnant)…then out of the blue, I started crying! What a freak! I’ve never experienced that before and can only attribute it to hormones. Anyway, I still started out laughing, and have laughed several times in the past week while reading it. The fact that it’s honest and personal, rather than…authoritative, is refreshing. Thanks so much for writing it!

  2. Dear Stacy,
    I’m so glad that you both laughed and cried while reading Pregnancy Sucks. I’m especially glad that you didn’t pee on yourself while doing so (oh, the joys of being pregnant!). By the time you deliver, Breastfeeding Sucks should be hitting the shelves so if you plan to nurse, I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any special pregnancy ailments you need help with.

  3. Joanne,

    Thanks so much for replying. See, I did come back to the blog, so blogging doesn’t suck completely. I’m tired of lesson planning (I teach high school English and the school year is wearing very thin these last two weeks, especially since I’ve been pregnant all spring semester). I’m getting ready to go to bed too late, but must divert my mind from grading term papers…so here I am looking for a little diversion at Pregnancy Sucks. I’m not sure if that’s flattering to you or not, but let’s just say it is, in that I wanted to lighten up, so here I am.

    By the way, I had another laughing-into-crying episode yesterday; it was the second time. I have to say it’s a bizarre feeling. There I was, crying for no reason I could understand. Maybe it was the annoyance of grading a kajillion term papers? I don’t think so. It was just nonsensical. Pregnancy not only sucks at times, it’s just weird.

    Thanks for the diversion! I’ll look for the new book in the coming months. My son is due in October. I may be too out of it to actually read at that time, but maybe not.

    Any chance some of these books will come out on audio? I know I said I’m an English teacher, but we all need a break at times.

  4. Isn’t vain spelled “vain”?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s