black santa

Yup, for those peeps who celebrate Christmas, it’s time to recycle the gift boxes, wrappings, ribbons, and bows. Don your elastic waist slacks and pretend you didn’t consume as many of those desserts and salty snacks as you did. If you’re returning home later today or early tomorrow, don’t forget to print your online check-in documents. Take back control your TV’s remote, click away from the Hallmark Channel, and return to Netflix, Amazon, and CNN’s harsh realities and ridiculous tweet reports.

The bumpy re-entry into CNN World reminds me that for many people the Christmas season is very uncomfortable. Most of us have experienced at least one or two dreadful holidays, but some folks have endured traumas that linger quietly, semi-dormant for eleven months and then reappear with a vengeance each December, slaying any notion that might resemble the smallest smidgen of holiday joy.

How did you handle the past two or three weeks? Did you feel jolly along with the berry-laden holly, or angry and sad about the twelve days of forced cheerfulness? Was there an isolated moment during which you found solace, smiled inwardly upon recalling a happy memory, finally experienced with crystal clarity your own definition of the holiday season’s meaning?

Please give careful thought to these questions, especially if the days and nights between Thanksgiving and Christmas are your least favorite of the year. Know that there is no law that says you have to remain hostage to the feelings that try their best to smother you with sadness or regrets.

Once again, Christmas has come and gone. In its wake churns the approach of the new year.

Give yourself permission to pour a cup/glass of of your favorite beverage, go into your favorite room, settle into your favorite chair, cuddle with your loved one, your pet, or your reading device/book, and imagine that which will bring you a sense of well-being and personal satisfaction in 2018.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year filled with good health, wise words, and dare I add, a presidential impeachment.

Oh! I almost forgot to say these words: transgender, fetus, science-based, diversity, vulnerable, entitlement, and evidence-based.

May every CDC employee shout and write these words with wild abandon!!


Group of people yelling-hey!!


Renée Bess is the author of five novels, and along with Lee Lynch, the co-story collector of a recently published anthology, OUR HAPPY HOURS, LGBT VOICES FROM THE GAY BARS. Her website link is: Her books can be purchased here:;; and




    • Hello, Owls.
      I know this season is difficult for some of us. When I was a child I could tell that one of my parents loved Christmas. The other was not particularly fond of it. The parent who adored the holiday died when I was twelve. Aided and abetted by TV images of happy families singing Christmas Carols and opening presents under the tree, I was able to cobble together a bit of happiness for myself and hopefully for my younger sister. I learned to search for the joy of Christmas despite the loss of our family’s most ardent Christmas fan.
      May 2018 be a good year for you, one in which you search for and find much joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Happy holidays, Renee. Seeing your black Santa reminds me of my new favorite(or one of them) holiday story, Santa’s Husband,
    written by one of Colbert’s writers after some people lost their minds because Mall of America hired a black Santa.

    May we keep on keeping on and have a happy new-and improved-year.


    • Happy holidays to you also, Sharon.
      It doesn’t take too much for some folks to lose their minds, does it?
      Let’s hope 2018 restores our optimism about America, encourages reconciliation among us all, and restores our enthusiasm for the march toward social justice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am homeless this year… for the first time in all my 48 years…. I have an eternal Joy spring… that even when I feel like I can’t go on another day, hour, minute… something inside me reminds me that I won’t always be homeless and this too shall pass… It was hard this year… mom and I looked at each other the other day and said that this just didn’t feel like Christmas… and yet, we still managed to be grateful and thankful on Christmas Day… For the last 10 months she’s been in a homeless shelter and I’ve been living in my car…. but on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I was able to stay in a motel room… they were lowered to $50 per night and I still have a job… so we found ourselves celebrating Christmas in a motel room exchanging one or two presents and a small present for my cat… who also lives in my car with me. So, to answer your question… I always find a little bit of happiness inside, especially at Christmas time.


    • Hello, Angela.
      I admire your indomitable spirit and your ability to find “a little bit of happiness inside, especially at Christmas.” It sounds like you and your mother are facing very challenging circumstances indeed. For you to maintain any amount of buoyancy, optimism, and determination is miraculous.
      I feel honored that you read my blog, humbled that you answered my question, and blessed to have exchanged words with someone who experiences a little bit of happiness even in the absence of having a home.


  3. My smart Queer friend calls Xmas ‘a capitalist clusterfuck’, which I agree with completely, and love re-quoting. I avoid it completely, & have for years; even my teenage son expects nothing from me (luckily his straight Dad & step-mom do the whole kit & caboodle). I usually try & volunteer at a soup kitchen, or just stay home alone… so grateful I have a home (reading that comment above from someone living in their car!)
    May 2018 bring us all justice and equality 💪🏼🙏🏼
    And I’m still working my way through your Gay Bars collection book, & LOVING IT 🌈 G


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