September 26, 2017

How To Enjoy Christmas... Even If You Hate It

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Many people associate New Year’s Eve with the relentless pressure from all sides to enjoy yourself, but for me, that uncomfortable brand of enforced joviality hits hardest of all at Christmas time. Unlike most religious celebrations like Eid, Hanukkah or Passover, Christmas has become a ubiquitous celebration that transcends faith and has become virtually inescapable with people from all denominations (and even none at all) embracing the holiday to at least some extent. Many Jewish people, for example, give presents on Christmas day without celebrating Christmas proper.

Religion aside, Christmas can be a difficult time for a lot of people. For a variety of reasons, there are some people who just dislike Christmas. Since everything from big box stores to supermarkets start stocking up with festive accoutrements as early as late August, many people begin to experience feelings of dread. If you're reading this and think, "This sounds like me.", then you can breathe a sigh of relief because there are ways to find something special in this contentious time, even if you hate Christmas.

Who could possibly hate Christmas?
Quite a lot of people, believe it or not. Christmas can be a source of anxiety and depression for a large range of people. Parents who wring their hands at their children’s long and expensive Christmas lists, people who’ve had traumatic experiences around that time, people who have depression, are feeling down, anxious and stressed or, of course, people who will be spending the day alone without family and friends that make it such a special day. It can be a wonderful time, but it can also put pressure on people to spend money they don’t have and celebrate when they don’t really feel like they have much to celebrate.

Nonetheless, even if you don’t have the highest regard for the festive season, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy it...

Be open and honest with your loved ones
There’s nothing more counterproductive than keeping your feelings bottled up inside. If you don’t tell your family about any anxiety you may be experiencing around the Christmas period, don’t be surprised if they try a little too hard to get you into the swing of things - and that may make you feel worse. If you tell your family how you feel in advance, then they’ll be better prepared and give you space and/or someone to lean on depending on what you need.

Participate as much or as little as you like
If you want a clean break from Christmas, go right ahead. Although, if this is what you’d rather do, it’s a good idea to give yourself at least something to look forward to (more on that later). If you want to escape altogether, though, be sure to tell someone where you'll be so your friends and family don't worry about your absence. If you’d just like to give gifts for a handful of people then go right ahead. If you’re feeling anxious about what to buy whom, you’re lucky enough to live in the digital age. 

Searching for Christmas gifts ideas 2017 can help you find something for just about anyone. And don’t sweat it if someone buys you a gift and you don’t reciprocate. People genuinely do give for the sake of giving, not because they expect something in return.

Give yourself something to enjoy
Whether you choose to participate or not, it’s important to have something to look forward to. Take a little break away for a few days or simply line up your favorite movies, grab some snacks and hunker down under some covers and relax. Even if you want to get yourself just a little something from you to you, you owe it to yourself to share the enjoyment of the festive period.

 *This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.