The Five Stages of Holiday Grief

Dear New Yorker,
Congratulations on taking the first step: recognizing that you need help. The holiday season is hard for us all, and there’s no shame in reaching out for succor. Let us help you get through it. Read on.


Ok, you tell yourself, I’ll spend one day shopping for gifts, one night with my girlfriend’s weird family — featuring the non-communicative brother that calls to mind the psychotic sibling in Annie Hall — then the rest of the time will be mine, all mine. Unpleasant household tasks suddenly become currency against familial and festive obligations. Meet Uncle Morty for tea? How about I reupholster those chairs, mom? Frankly you’ve become pathetic and are in that underrated stage of grief known as bargaining.


In order to progress through the stages and reach ultimate wellness, you’ll need to embrace each stage to its fullest. Here are some helpful hints on how to do just that.

Visual-Kinetic Stimulation
You’re a bit pathetic no? Perhaps holding up a cinemascopic mirror to your desperate ways might help you move on. For an example of another who has compromised themselves in spectacular fashion, we present Hank Quinlan, the overstuffed, morally bereft cop embodied by Orson Welles in Touch of Evil.
Dec 10-11, 6:30pm, MOMI, 35th Ave

Audio Therapy
The landscape of pop music is littered with lovers falling at the feet of cupid begging for a chance to redeem their lost souls. Take inspiration from those who ain’t too proud to beg. ‘Give Me Just a Little More Time’ is a rock/soul classic by the Chairmen of the Board.
Sound Library, 214 Ave A, $25

Alimentary Supplementation
If you were in another culture, you say to yourself, you could handle the whole holiday going experience… yeah… Japan say, or maybe Korea — aren’t Koreans the new Japanese? Head out to Koreatown, that small stretch of glittering Reno-like restaurants, clubs and gift shops.
Cho Dang Gol, 55 W. 35th St.

Oral Meds
“Just one more drink” is the rallying cry of the weak of flesh. “I still have to buy your gift, honey then we’ll meet at home.” Penn Station offers the permanent chance of escape or merely a temporary liquefied one. Tracks Bar and Grill, LIRR concourse Penn Station, Seventh Ave and 34th St.

Real World Integration Exercises
You say you’re ready to be a better man if only you can be spared some of the more unpleasant aspects of the holiday season. Better man? Prove it. Make good on those holiday deals with the big guy upstairs, by paying tribute to the hippified depiction of his only son. A Night of Jesus Christ Superstar features songs from the rock opera. Costumes or toy/food donations earn a discount.
Dec. 17, 10:30pm, St. Marks Church, 131 E 10th St, $8

Holiday Triggers to Avoid
Shopping in Union Square. Mittens and muffins and Dead Sea moisturizers from Israel and Christmas cheer and haggling everywhere! This is really not the place for you.

Signs You’re Ready to Progress to the Next Stage
You don’t even bother changing the station when Christmas carols come on the radio now… And instead of clenching your teeth upon hearing the words “Happy Holidays,” you merely mumble “Hap, holys…” and shuffle off. You sir, are depressed. Proceed directly to Depression. Do not pass Go. Do not collect your Xmas bonus…


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