There Is Nothing Sadder in This World Than To Awake Christmas Morning and Not Be a Child

Erma Bombeck? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The popular humorist Erma Bombeck once wrote about the melancholy feelings of some Christmas celebrants when they leave childhood behind. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1967 Erma Bombeck wrote the following in her syndicated column, Emphasis added to excerpts: 1

There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.

Not to feel the cold on your bare feet as you rush to the Christmas tree in the living room. Not to have your eyes sparkle at the wonderment of discovery. Not to rip the ribbons off the shiny boxes with such abandon.

One more citation and a conclusion appears below.

In 1973 Erma Bombeck published the collection “I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression” which included a reprint of the piece containing the quotation. 2 In conclusion Bombeck should receive credit for this pensive statement.

Image Notes: Blue Christmas tree from geralt at Pixabay.

(Great thanks to the anonymous person whose inquiry led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration.)


  1. 1967 December 22, Courier-Post, Where Was the Wonder Lost: Joy to the Little Ones: You Can’t Take Child Out of Christmas by Erma Bombeck, Quote Page 19, Column 1, Camden, New Jersey. (Newspapers_com)
  2. 1973, I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression by Erma Bombeck, Chapter: But Seriously Folks, Quote Page 186, Fawcett Crest Books, New York. (Verified with scans)