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I have no choice but to close my positions, and sit out until 30 days later sometime in January.

You don't have to sit on the sidelines, you just have to find alternative investments. Remember, the stock has to be "substantially identical" to trigger a wash sale. That gives you a lot of latitude - you can sell a loser and immediately replace it with a closely correlated (but not identical) stock. For example, take a loss in Exxon, buy Chevron; take a loss in AMD, buy Intel. It's even the case that different classes (Class A, Class B) of the same stock can be sufficiently different to avoid wash problems, say if they pay different dividends, or have different voting privleges. In addition to the Motley Fool FAQ you were pointed to, there's a very readable discussion on wash sales at

But if you've traded heavily in a single stock, or a small number of stocks, throughout the year, then you're gonna be doing some arithmetic in a few months...
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