Like turkeys voting for an early Christmas

If you’re like me, you’ve been spending the last two weeks in a feverish race to finish end-of-the-year work projects, purchase Christmas presents, and get everything sorted so you can enjoy the most Martha Stewart-worthy holiday. The result: not enough sleep, short tempers, and general humbuggedness.

Perhaps we are like turkeys voting for an early Christmas.

This is my favorite Christmas-related idiom. As the second edition of the Cambridge Idioms Dictionary explains, this idiom is used mostly in Britain and Australia (where the people tend to have a perverse sense of humor more aligned with my own). To explain this idiom: if a person is like a turkey voting for an early Christmas, they accept a situation that will yield very bad results for them. The saying uses turkeys because they are a favorite cooked dish at Christmas dinners. Get it? Like turkeys voting for an early Christmas. Ha!

Since this common pre-holiday rampage so many of us get involved in tends to yield the bad results I mentioned earlier, I think it’s fair to use this idiom.

Here are more turkey-ish examples:

When Zowie signed up to organize the humongous family reunion, she was like a turkey voting for an early Christmas.

The exasperated science teacher signed up to take on two more classes. Boy, he’s like a turkey voting for an early Christmas.

Santa has been too busy drinking spiked eggnog to make his lists and check them twice—just like a turkey voting for an early Christmas.

So, are you feeling like a turkey this time of year? Maybe using this idiom (and perhaps shouting it very loudly in crowded shopping malls) will make you feel better. Otherwise, you can always feel free to vent to me.

5 thoughts on “Like turkeys voting for an early Christmas

  1. I love this phrase but I never have heard it before. I’m definitely going to try and work that expression into more conversations this Christmas season in hope that in some small way I can help bring it into comman American usage. But I wonder if I can get away with it. It might end badly.

    For example, it might go a little like this:

    Boss: Can you sign-off on these estimates?
    Me: That would be like a turkey voting for an early Christmas.
    Boss: You mean you can get all this done before Christmas?
    Me: Saying that would definitely be like a turkey voting for an early Christmas.
    Boss: What are you talking about? I’ve had enough of you. Maybe you need to go home early today. I think you might need a bit of a rest.

    Bartender at bar on the way home: I think you’ve had enough. You look pretty fucked-up to me.
    Me: Turkey Christmas voting enough… [runs to men’s room to vomit]

    Girl at video store I stop at after bar: Why are you staring at me? Are you okay? You look a little pale…
    Me: voting early turkey… [passes out]


      • That sounds like a nice vow but I’d rather take a vow to never work an honest job again and to live off of a special type of stew made of dreams and lamb. Anyone want to join me?


        • I always love Christmas and all the deiarotcons. My husband is the one who gets super excited about it though and hauls all those bins down from the attic and up from the basement even before Thanksgiving. It always brings back fond childhood memories when I hear certain songs on the radio. Great time of the year!


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