How do you feel about Christmas?

I find December a weird month; if I was living in a bubble with just Hubby and I, we would probably forget it is Christmas. The festive period just doesn’t mean anything to us – well, apart from the fact that Husband gets a few days off and we get to hang out together, which is always lovely. But we don’t do presents, we don’t have a tree or any festive decorations, and we only send cards to those people who would never forgive us if they didn’t receive one.

But I don’t live in a bubble: I live in the city centre and Christmas is forced down my throat from September. Between September and December, town gets busier and busier with ‘Christmas’ and people buying ‘Christmas’. As I try to get on with my normal life, Christmas, quite honestly, just gets in my way: popping into M&S food department is now a major task, as old ladies hog the aisles, weighed down with tins of biscuits; meeting a friend for coffee is now a logistical nightmare, as Christmas shoppers stuff their weary faces with mince pies; hairdressing appointments have to be secured weeks in advance, because suddenly people care what their hair looks like (God knows what they look like the rest of the year…)

Maybe I’d feel differently about Christmas if we had small children, or there were small children in our family – clearly it is a magical time for those lucky enough to believe in Santa, or entertain proud parents with their oscar worthy nativity performances. But without children, or religious reasons for celebrating Christmas, I struggle to muster up much – okay any! – enthusiasm for it all. I think you should be kind to people all year round, send cards to people when you have something lovely to say, buy presents because you want to make someone feel special, get together with people you love whenever you fancy – not feel forced to do these things because, well not sure who to blame, but confident this is not how Jesus thought the whole thing would pan out.

And as I walk round town people look so miserable and stressed, in their supposed attempt to spread joy and happiness they seem only to be spreading sad faces and short tempers; the poor retail staff bearing the brunt of grumpy Christmas shoppers. I was chatting away with a young guy working in a shop the other day, laughing and joking with him that not all customers can be that bad, he said most customers don’t even look him in the eye. As I walked away, I heard him say to his colleague ‘she made my day’. And whilst part of me was chuffed, part of me was sad: that poor sod is dealing with miserable people all day, every day.

And let’s not forget all the expectation that comes with Christmas. Both of our families live quite far away, so juggling family time brings its own challenges. In an ideal world we would choose to go away every year, but of course that’s not always possible. But it is this year: we had a big family weekend a few weeks ago, so Christmas is officially ours. We are off to Northumberland for long walks along the beach, snuggling on the sofa watching DVDs, curling up reading our books, eating delicious food, drinking fine wine and basically avoiding Christmas!

People always seem surprised that someone bubbly like me doesn’t like Christmas. But I was never very good at being told what to do, and someone (again, not sure who!) telling me how to celebrate Christmas seems to get my back up.

I love my life, and I love all the wonderful people I have in my life, but I love them all year, not just for Christmas.

How do you feel about Christmas? Bah Humbug or Christmas Fairy?

21 thoughts on “How do you feel about Christmas?

  1. I’ve always been a Christmas lover but find I’m struggling a bit this year. I just can’t get into it like “normal for me.” And so I’m enjoying the little things…

    – Putting up a tree for my mother-in-law last night. It’s our first Christmas without my husband’s dad and we’re all a bit sad.
    – Enjoying an eggnog latte, watching people scurry about.
    – Buying my sister the perfect gift. (now I’ve just got to get myself to the post office to send it!)

    But mostly, I’ve avoided the hustle and bustle. It’ll still be there next year if I change my mind 😉

  2. I like the idea of Christmas – generosity and giving freely are great things.

    I loathe the crowds (I don’t like shopping much at any time – at Christmas it is far worse).

    My partner and I avoid the family do’s – we go away by ourselves. This works well for us.

    We don’t do cards or presents – no one has protested to either of us about this (maybe this means that we have weird friends).

  3. Hi karen,

    For all the reasons you already stated, far better than I could. I 100% agree. I too don’t do religion & if I “celebrated” christmas I would be a hypocrite.

    As far as what I means to me, well, as part of my job is designing/selling cards important time to earn a living I hope! …….After all the orders have died away I just need a break from it! After all I have “done” christmas for 3 months!!

    It reminds me of when I was a kid & we all got together (not as I was over keen at the time) But looking back to the relatives I miss as they have passed away now. the present day family all live in their own “little boxes”, On the whole its quite a sad time for me and feel somewhat lonely tbh 7 quite glad when its over!…….New year is worse! hate that!

    So yes, I really am a bungle of xmas joy aren’t I?………I will however try to make the most of it! 😉 xx Rog.

  4. Hey Rog

    You have been a Christmas Elf for three months, now that is enough to put anyone off! But by the sounds of it, your health must still be rocking, which is fantastic. And hey, who needs Christmas presents if they get their health back – that is worth at least a million presents.

    If I remember rightly, Christmas Day involves a trip to the pub and buying the young barmaid a drink. Now this sounds like a good tradition!

    I hope you’ve made loads out of other people’s love of Christmas, and don’t get too lonely over the festive break (I am sure a lot of people find it a lonely time of year).

    So yes, you may be a little Bah Humbug, but you are so joyful the rest of the year I think we can overlook it! Xxx

    • Your absolutely right Karen, re-health I would have gave anything to get it back! & if i feel a moan coming on I feel guilty as hell. My!! you have a good memory!, I decided to cycle to town last xmas day, I remember my legs were still a bit weak! I was amazed to see the Wharf Bar open, the snow was deep, the canal thickly frozen, fed the ducks & swans. Then called in the pub took a seat & thanked the girls for looking after me for the year :-)……….& you remembered! Shows how often I open my wallet ah? 😀 xxx

      • Aah yes, I get that – I always promised myself when I got well I would never moan again and walk around in a permanent state of happiness. Hehe. But guess what: we’re human!

        Here’s to getting the wallet out for Christmas 🙂

  5. I’m struggling with my answer. I’ve been thinking about this one for years. When I was a kid I loved Christmas. My Mom made it special and then when I was a teenager my sister and I used to gang together to cook and shop and decorate the house. I loved it and we had a great time doing it.

    After getting married I lost this. Hubs was too busy mourning the loss of his dad to enjoy Christmas very much and he never caught the Christmas bug the way I had it. After years of trying to do everything on my own I finally said fuck it and didn’t do anything other than buy a few presents. I even stopped getting a tree and started using one of those metal lawn ornament trees instead so I didn’t have to deal with ornament packing/unpacking. Even my kid wasn’t interested in helping. So bah humbug.

    Since I’ve been sick with CFS (this will be my second Christmas with it), I’m finding it special again. I’m happy that I’m home and not in hospital. I’m happy that my husband and kid can be here with me. I’m happy with the few decorations that get put up as that is now a major accomplishment. I’m happy that a few presents get put under the tree (they may not be the fancy expensive ones but hey I managed to buy something). I’m appreciating it again and now hubs is helping out without complaining about it. He even put lights in the tree outside my bedroom window so I can see them while I’m resting/stuck in bed. I’m not in full blown commercial Christmas mode but I’m counting my blessings and am taking time to reflect on my spiritual wealth.

    BTW, I’m not Christian but Buddhist. I celebrate Christmas as the winter solstice and I feel a deep connection to the pagan mid winter celebrations. The Christmas tree was around long before the birth of Christ.

    • Hi Lovely

      It was so interesting to read your response – thank you for sharing.

      How wonderful that CFS has brought something so positive into your life. I completely understand how after (or during) illness we learn to appreciate life differently, and appreciate small things we were always too ‘busy’ to appreciate before.

      The tree outside your bedroom window sounds gorgeous.

      I hope you have a lovely, relaxing festive break…xxx

  6. If I ever find that Cliff (Hi Fans) Richard bloke I could tell you what I’d like to do with that Mistletoe (but i will keep hold of the wine).

    I used to LOVE Christmas because of my family’s sheer dysfunctionality. There would be shouting and arguing and it was never the “perfect” Christmas but it was our Christmas. My partner has three kids so I’m able to get into some spirit but I do find it very stressful. I heammorage (sp?) money every year and while I love giving gifts to people, the magic of just giving something has gone.

    So maybe in a few years time I can escape to a coastal cottage where I can just eat good food, drink some nice wine without feeling like I have to be part of something that I don’t really believe in wholly. Saying that, I’d just love to say goodbye to this year because it’s been a big pile of arse.

    And on that note – enjoy whatever time you manage to get with loved ones because, lets face it that really should be the point of this whole show. Time for you, time for the people that really count and a chance to breathe some life into the New Year.

    • Oh Jo, you always make me smile (I suspect, even when you don’t mean to!)

      Aah yes, cost and expectation – I am sure a lot of people can associate with that.

      And as for your very eloquent description of 2011 being ‘a big pile of arse’, let’s hope 2012 will be better for you. Maybe ‘a big pile of boob shuffles’?!

      Here’s to breathing some wonderful, energetic, pain free life into Jo for the new year…xxx

      • Ok so Big Pile OF Arse wasn’t exactly my “Jane Eyre” moment haha!

        2012, indeed a pile of boob shuffles and more wonderful musings from you, I hope 😀

        Best wishes to you xxx

  7. I’m definitely not in the Christmas Fairy camp! But it did feel so sweet that my sister sent me a Christmas stocking this year. Like you, I do the least possible. And wish that the holidays actually bring people joy rather than stress.

    • Hi Sandra

      I am loving your simple philosophy – let’s say yes to joy and no to stress!

      Thank you for coming by and taking the time to comment; I believe our paths have crossed on Twitter before but it’s nice to meet you ‘properly’.

      Wishing you lots of joy…xxx

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