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"Fuck. Does this mean I'm not normcore?"Curb Your Enthusiasm / HBO

Larry David reveals why he finds Christmas ‘intolerable’

The Curb Your Enthusiasm star has written an essay for Air Mail detailing everything he despises about the festive season

It won’t come as a surprise that avowed misanthrope Larry David hates Christmas, but a confessional essay detailing everything he “detests” about the festive holiday has come as a bit of an early Xmas gift for Curb Your Enthusiasm fans.

“A Very Larry David Christmas” appeared recently in an issue of Air Mail, the digital newsletter launched by New York Times journalist Alessandra Stanley and former editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter. The article takes readers through David’s life-long dread of the holiday season, in which the imminent “prospect of close social encounters with what seemed like hundreds of relatives” kept him awake into the early hours. 

The Seinfeld creator goes on to dissect his discomfort with what he characterises as the “faux bonhomie” of the Christmas spirit and the season’s attendant obligation to give and receive gifts – a ritual he describes as “an environmental disaster simultaneously taking place in living rooms across the country”.

Curb viewers will recall the countless storylines which pivoted around the social minefield of present-buying. In the hapless world of Larry David, not a single gift-based interaction goes to plan… from his thwarted attempt to buy a bracelet for his wife Cheryl (which ends in a tussle with his friend and fellow comedian Richard Lewis), to the ill-conceived pink sewing machine he buys for his girlfriend’s seven-year-old son (which initiates a tense argument about the child’s burgeoning sexuality and results, in a characteristically circuitous way, in him decorating pillows with swastikas – also blamed on David). 

While assassinating the Christmas rituals he loathes, David also gives us an insight into how he evolved a holiday routine that’s tolerable. By systematically offending everyone he knows and radiating a sense of general Yuletide scepticism, he found the invitations and obligations eventually began to wane. Spending the day alone was everything he hoped it would be. He recalls his first solo Xmas: “Except for running out of avocado, my first Christmas alone could not have gone better.” 

“A Very Larry David Christmas” culminates in what, for him, constitutes a Christmas miracle – total solitude, a reprieve from the festive edition of the neurotic, hypochondriac fantasy he’s regularly gripped by, and the blessed discovery that his local Chinese restaurant is open. Amen.