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I Don’t do Christmas Anymore

I Don’t do Christmas Anymore

I’ve taken a strong and unpopular stance regarding Christmas.

I don’t do it!

When I say I don’t do it, I mean I don’t give gifts, I don’t put up decorations, I don’t send cards, I don’t get gifts, and most of all I don’t run around like a fool trying to make magic happen….anymore.

I’m strong in my belief that Christmas has turned into something I don’t want anything to do with. At least that’s what the world looks like through my eyes.

And before you go thinking I’m non christian, a scrooge, someone lonely and without a family, perhaps even clinically depressed or maybe economically down on my luck so the season of “giving” presents challenges I cannot meet.

You’re wrong. I am none of these.

I was raised in a Christian household, went to church and even though I do not attend a church now, I believe there’s a heaven.

Unlike scrooge, I believe in treating your fellow man (women, children and dogs too…..I’m not really a cat person, however) with love and respect all year.

I have a lovely family. Two wonderful grown children that have given me 5 beautiful grandchildren. They call me Honey! I believe they are so inundated with “stuff” from other grandparents and family members that anything I could give them would be leave little to no impression. I believe they will remember and cherish the time we spend together long after their set of legos gets busted.

And nope, not clinically depressed either. Christmas doesn’t make me sad, unless that is, I’m forced to participate in something I choose not to and that makes me sad weather it’s Christmas or not. I don’t sit in my house and mope around. I don’t wish the world would stop celebrating Christmas. I do wish the world would stop thinking it was just a magic time of year to get gifts.

Compared to the rest of the citizens in the United States, we’re probably doing OK. Of course, we’ve had to downsize, we’ve had our share of economic set backs, but comparatively speaking, a lot of people would envy us. We have almost every electronic gadget known to man and we don’t want for much.

A popular You Tube clip being passed around features a little boy going crazy (and I mean in appropriately crazy) after receiving an iPod. The clip didn’t fill me with Joy, it just made me feel this kid had gotten what he wanted. Is that what this holiday is about?

Have you ever given a list to someone for their Christmas Shopping for you?

One of my favorite people posted on their Facebook status on Christmas Afternoon “…Gift giving is the purest form of friendship…” I thought, Really? I thought my time and attention would mean more to you than something I ordered off the internet.

I worked in a couple of high end retail locations for just a couple of years. I sold the latest and greatest gadgets that everyone wanted. I saw very little joy in the eyes of customers buying these gadgets. What I did see was credit cards being rejected, cranky people that were obviously at the end of their ropes and trying to create a holiday by pushing out all the emptiness in their lives by buying things. Buying things so people would love them.

As an adult, I have always had the feeling of dread when even the mention of Christmas begins.

I remember going to see the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” with a friend when it came out so many years ago. It opens with a house decorated in Christmas lights. I turned to my girlfriend and said “Jesus, I didn’t know this movie was about Christmas, let’s get out of here”! She of course, looked at me like I had lobster crawling out of my ears.

We stayed through the movie, but having coffee after she asked me why I hated Christmas. No one had ever asked me that before, and I had never known that I did. She asked me what Christmas was like as a child.

I remember nothing of Christmas as a child. Just a feeling of dread.

When my kids were little and all through the years, I tried to fake it. They were always to have 5 presents. They would always have the same monetary value and same perceived value. I used to drive myself crazy with this. Because I didn’t remember Christmas I had no tradition to continue, so I tried various things to start my own and they all failed miserably. I just couldn’t manufacture the joy I saw in all the movies, TV shows, etc. My ex-husbands were both pretty much hands off kind of guys, especially when it came to the holidays. If I made the magic happen, they’d attend, but that’s as far as they’d each go. I think most men are that way, at least the ones I know. It’s not magic if you have to provide a list.

My Mother would always send a check for the kids presents and I would knock myself out trying to find something for them and pretend Grandma cared enough to pick it out for them, wrap it and get it delivered by Christmas.

As a young single Mom and even when I was married Christmas was lonely. There was no magic! I worked so hard! There’s no magic.

At first the withdrawal from Christmas was horrendous. I was overridden with guilt.

Now that I’ve sworn off Christmas, and after a couple of years no expectations of Christmas, I feel so much less stress. There are no more knots. I don’t rush around during the holidays. I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. I send no gifts.

I have to tell you, not partaking in Christmas, however, is a little like being the only one not drinking at the company party.

Everyone wants to cajole you into taking a sip, dig deep into your psyche to find out why you’re not partaking, provide peer pressure to get you to play along and offer up some other form of holiday greeting.

“Can I at least say Happy HANUKKAH to you?” God!, just because I don’t fall into the trappings anymore doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate someone wishing me a Merry Christmas!

Now, our Christmas consists of a well loved tradition.

Watching my favorite movie “The Sound of Music” on Christmas Eve and eating some well orchestrated appetizers as our meal. No big meal to cook or clean up after, just eating some favorite foods in front of the TV and singing (also making fun of the Baroness, she’s such a bitch!)

On Christmas Day, a slow and very quiet start to our day with many cups of hot coffee in bed. A very cold but brisk walk with our dog Ed. A perfectly cooked Beef Tenderloin with all the trimmings. Screw the diet! A Lovely dessert of some kind (I’ve even been known to eat that before dinner!). Video chat with the kids, talk with the rest of Kelly’s family and sometimes we might even take a drive around town to see what life there is out and about.

I don’t write this to encourage anyone to abandon Christmas. If you TRULY love Christmas, then celebrate! Make the magic happen and pass on a tradition of love and joy!

Please indulge me for not seeing it your way. See my follow up post on middlesage


  1. I hate Christmas too. I’ve not done away with it, but I’ve scaled it way back. I’ve skipped the tree some years, but some years I just feel like putting up the lights because of all the seasonal darkness. I’d love to take a vacation over Christmas instead of going to my husband’s mother’s (she can come too!), but no one else is convinced. I haven’t been to my parents for the holiday in 13 years. Thank god.

    I can’t wait for the old bat to die. It doesn’t matter that I don’t see her — her evil can be felt even at a distance.

    • barbara joy

      18 June

      Yes, opting out, or rather giving myself permission to stop pretending during Christmas and Birthdays has been helpful for me. Since my Mother died almost a year ago, I haven’t had to take 1 single anti depressant, and I had been on them for over 20 years! That really got me thinking, it wasn’t chemical! It was emotional, I could control it. Which meant for me, I could have had the power to do to it along time ago. I’m hoping that with practice I can become good enough at story telling and writing to help others get to a place where they can find the same peace I have found and not wait till their “old bat dies”! You really do have the power within you! As the saying goes holding on to resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. I didn’t want to give my mother that much power.

      • Just ceasing to feel like I needed to honor my parents or spend time dealing with them has freed me. I still have issues to deal with — self-confidence and belief that I deserve good things, which will take time and effort to resolve — but I am doing it and feel do much gratitude that I otherwise have built an amazing life for myself.

        I’m glad to have found your blog. Those of us unfortunate enough to have betcusdustic parents really need to see we are not alone because, as you pointed out in another one of your posts, half the battle is realizing we’re not to blame and not crazy. 🙂

    • Anonymous

      16 December

      I can’t wait for the old bat to die- thanks for the honesty, makes me feel better about my own situation.

      • Pam

        25 December

        Exactly…I am waiting for an old bat to die as well, even though I have had nothing to do with her for a number of years now…the lack of ‘toxic shock’…is most enjoyable. That said ‘she’ always hang over my head.
        I hate Christmas now and loved it until I saw how exhausted I was every year and how little thanks there was in doing it all…lol

  2. JM

    30 September

    I have my hesitations to celebrate Christmas, but I do celebrate.
    My birthday was next to Christmas, too, so it was a double disappointment. Sometimes one gift was “for Christmas and your birthday”. I never had a real birthday party.
    I would receive a few gifts and then I remember my mother saying “Well, are you satisfied?” My sibling and I would dutifully answer “yes”. One year I remember stacking up the things that were for me, after opening them, and we were expecting some relatives over. My mother said “Don’t stack your stuff all up in one spot. Spread it out so it looks like more.” My stacking was like hoarding I guess, because I didn’t usually receive much for material things.

    • barbara joy

      1 October

      Hi JM, I hear you! The only thing I hate more than Christmas is my Birthday. Growing up both of those occasions were marked by my mother’s obvious distaste for me. Opting out of both holidays hasn’t lifted all of my inner turmoil, but it has greatly reduced it. I figure it’s all about going forward instead of getting stuck in the past. Keep in contact with me over the upcoming holidays and we’ll support each other!

  3. JM

    1 October

    Wow! I just read “A Little Bit About Me”. Hmmmm….I also did typesetting for 4 years. Among other things, and job losses, even though I always worked as though my life depended upon it….my last job was 7+ years at a non-profit! Never have I seen such chaos in record-keeping, high expectations, which could only be met by going in an hour early each and every day, and the employees—I think they hire anyone….and they put up with all employees’ disfunctional ideas, tears, and bizarre lives. I attributed that to the fact that a non-profit program is in the “caring” business. I don’t know. Now I’m retired and can do as I please for the first time in my life. Ahhhh..

    • barbara joy

      1 October

      Ha! It seems we have much more in common than just one miserable birthday and Christmas after another along with an incredibly mean spirited mother. I hope you are now able to enjoy your retirement time – I think we both deserve it. I relish the time I have to find my own fulfillment, my purpose and to make sense of the journey I’ve been on thus far.

      Your take on non profits and why they are such a dysfunctional place brings back so many memories…..so many struggles….with such a strong need to win everyone’s approval I found myself always feeling defeated…kind of like my relationship with my mother. I couldn’t wait to get out….I now realize the importance of running TO something rather than AWAY from something.

      I’m still a work in progress…..and I don’t mind it.

  4. […] I’ve been very clear about my dislike and withdrawal from the Christmas holidays.  Christmas was just never a happy time during an abusive childhood, and then as a very young mom, I tried to create magic every year only to  be left with a feeling of failure.  I wrote about it in my other blog; onbothsidesnow […]

  5. debby

    24 December

    i don’t hate Christmas, i enjoy it when i can be me. now that my parents are dead, i’m divorced, i have been trying to come up with lies to tell me best friend why i don’t want to come over for Christmas. i decided early this am that i would just try to get her to understand i don’t want to be in the middle of choas of dinner making for hours, just to bury my face in food for 10 minutes.
    my mother would start planning meals in July, for Christmas. even though every year was the same, same food, same decorations, she slaved to get the praise she so sorely craved. Too much trouble for me!!

    i started my own tradition to get away from Thanksgiving, for the same Christmas reasons. i would go scuba diving, go to a casino, go anywhere to get away. Christmas was harder being married because he cared about the whole mess. One Christmas was the best. i had surgery earlier and really couldn’t get around so i told my husband to go and i’d stay home. that was the first best Christmas EVER!! i tinkered with crafts the entire time. and i didn’t know why it was the best until i read these posts. now i know why i have been in a hyperventillation mode at anyone’s Christmas dinner table!

    i’ve only had one Christmas with no parents and no husband and i truly enjoyed heating my pre-smoked turkey, eating what i want, no one telling me to try this dish or that one, i enjoyed watching whatever i wanted on TV, murder mysteries or romance. tomorrow will be my second Christmas all alone, but i love it and no one understands it. me, the dog, no mess in the kitchen and no place to go and do whatever i please.

    i’m not a total scrooge, i do decorate, because it’s fun and pretty to look at, i used to write Christmas cards, too. Just set me free from the chaos of the day! i don’t buy gifts and i don’t get any, but it sure does reduce the stress of shopping. ugh!

    Deborah Van Den Berg authout of “HEART MATTERS – losing everything and moving on”

  6. barbara joy

    24 December

    Debby, check out my follow up post… http://www.middlesage.com/tidings-of-comfort-and-joy-bullshit/. I, for the first time, began to enjoy Christmas this year. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t take part in ant decorations, gift giving or tree rituals, but I have come to appreciate our new rituals we created. Great food, a nice quiet day away from any responsibility, no chores, a good glass of wine (before 5 even!) and most of all the feeling of peace. I know you’ll get there…as far as excuses go…don’t make any, be yourself and tell your friends to respect your feelings…you’re entitled to them. And the last I checked Christmas wasn’t a forced state of mind! Happy holidays!

  7. debby

    26 December

    barbara, i LOVE this site!! i never knew anyone, including myself, that had a narcissistic mother until the Dr. Phil show, maybe a month ago. since then, i bought the book “Will i Ever Be Enough?” and almost finished. Reading the posts on Christmas made me feel like i wasn’t alone and i understood, for the first time EVER!

    my friend did accept my reason for not coming, that i just preferred being alone. she finally understood and i felt liberated!

    i had a great time fixing my garage door and working outside. i absolutely loved it!

  8. Ronnie

    10 November

    I know this a seriously old thread, and I really hope you get to read this…….

    …..thank god, I thought it was me. I don’t like Christmas either, I used to, when my folks were alive, now I don’t.
    I tried to tell the rest of the family (I’ve go no kids) last year, my god, it when down like a lead balloon.
    I said, I’d gladly give the really young ones a gift, as they still believed in Santa, but not the Older ones and by older, I mean 24 and 21.

    I was messaged by my sister, how horrible I was leaving out the elder kids, even tho they were adults!!! and got brow beaten into buying them a gift. I never got even got a thank you either.

    This year, I’m having another go…..wish me luck……

    • Barbara Coleman

      10 November

      Ronnie, I feel your pain. All I can say is be true to who you are, what you feel and what you want out of life. Be the author of your own life. Take the older kids out for a beer or coffee and tell them how you feel if it’s important to you. They’re old enough to understand.

  9. R

    16 November

    It’s crass and mindless, and as far as possible I simply ignore it. Preferably on a beach somewhere with a book.

  10. Anonymous

    17 November

    I send xmas cards and hang alittle wreath on my door… that’s it. I just tell people I don’t do xmas and I don’t feel bad it either. If they don’t like it… their problem.

  11. Nick Ricketts

    24 November

    This article may seem so alien to many but I whilesomely agree. I don’t have family. I have very few friends. I am even working on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I don’t buy gifts for many people, if any. I like the thought behind giving and being kind. I don’t believe that we should buy because society and retailers say we have to.

  12. Jessica Martin

    4 December

    My feelings exactly right now. This will my last year partaking in celebrating Christmas, just don’t sprituality feel like recognizing this man made tradition anymore. I truly feel deep in my heart that not celebrating Christmas does not make you or I less Christian, it is my belief that it makes makes us more Christian. Christmas has nothing to do with God and Jesus.

  13. Francie Colby

    13 December

    It does take fortitude to be yourself! I do not want to send cards, or give gifts! It is all cr*p! OK for little kids, simply not for adults! We all can get what ever we want! Unless people do not know that it is OK to be good to yourself , or they think it is selfish to take care of yourself?? EEK!! The world just goes crazy at Christmas!!

  14. Anonymous

    19 December

    I LOVE this article. Thank you! I feel liberated. 🙂

  15. Anonymous

    22 December

    Your article was a great one. I have a huge family that get together every Christmas Eve.
    It’s loud and crowded and actually no true personal connection. I find it hard to be in fully into the gathering when you might see or even talk with anyone maybe once or twice a year. There is no more baby Jesus present in this event. I’m a Christian and do celebrate the birth of Christ, just don’t believe it’s about a tree lite up in your house or a room full of people whom never really show caring the rest of the year. I do love giving my children gifts that I know they will enjoy and need. I love surprising them, I have never went off a list for them. I like paying attention through out the year. To my surprise I have no tree up this year and my kids don’t seem to mind. They regret Christmas Eve. This I just found out. But they love hanging together that whole day and eating the traditional orange rolls, before our real breakfast. So I’m glad to see that they are just truly grateful just to be together and laugh with each other. So we will not be doing the “traditional Christmas hoopla” but we will be together and rejoice the birth of Christ. This was hard for me because I didn’t want to burst my children’s Christmas or be a grinch. I’m happy to know that they feel the commercial aspect is Ridiculous, my extended family thinks I’m so wrong and or down. I just want to enjoy and relax not run around like a crazy person

  16. Anon

    27 December

    Thanks for the article. I didn’t find the cureall for getting along with Christmas in was googling for but I already got more gifts than I wanted this year.

    In my experience, Christmas’ damage cuts deep. Across several relationships over a few decades, I’ve seen how Christmas is a time for emotionally needy adults to stake their claim on grown children who have flown the nest. Or worse, a time for grandparents to hijack relationships that would form between two adults and a child (or children), tilting the center of familial gravity back toward grandparents on one side of a family…grandparents who otherwise have enjoyed their day on center stage but cannot surrender the mantel to a new generation.

    Even when it’s just me and a significant other, the pressure to meet another’s traditional expectations for Christmas can be daunting. That can be especially true if for them Christmas was among the few bright spots in an otherwise sometimes painful childhood.

    I try my best but entertaining others and faking my own can be emotionally difficult. Cracks can appear.

    I have spent many, many Christmases alone and had little since of melancholy or remorse not celebrating. It is those where I try to carry someone else’s candle that are so hard. Its not that I am a stooge or wear my disinterest for the holiday on my sleeve. To the contrary, it is those where I try to join in that leave me weary and emotionally drained.

    • Karen Hanzel

      10 December


      “…but cannot surrender the mantel to a new generation.”


      So that is what I have been living under…now I have words to express it!

  17. Ayshea

    29 December

    I feel like you have articulated every single feeling, thought and reaction I have to Christmas. I am not anti-Christmas at all but there is no joy in it for me with all the obligatory activities. I wish that my family would just get it. I actually dread the holidays now!

  18. Cathy ORourke

    30 December

    I would just like to say that is the best, most real and reassuring piece of writing I have read for a long, long time! I agree whole heartedly with every single word. Ireland gets worse and worse every year as people stress themselves out trying to have the “perfect” Christmas. It’s a load of crap and taken over by big business. Thank God for you “middle age sage” – I’m not alone a world that’s gone mad!

    • catty ellis

      29 November

      I know that Ireland and the Uk are bad during Xmas and that is the one thing putting me off living in Ireland.
      But if I do I will make the best of it or get to Spain when this pandemic ends.In Seville one can walk around on Xmas Night and promenade with the city and hear the guitar and flamenco. Marvellous.Though that may have changed.I think a celebration that makes so many people feel a sense of failure if they do not fit into the normative family structure cannot be a good thing.Parents spending 300 quid on each of their kids? Why? It was a lockdown for the lonely for many years before covid and they all bang on about Xmas endlessly.Ghastly.
      Id open my doors if I had doors to strangers who felt alone….family is not always what makes one happy.

  19. Chris

    13 October

    I am glad that I have discovered this article as I have decided this year and from now on I am abstaining from Christmas!

    When I was a kid, I used to love Christmas. The lights, the different smells, the nice food, seeing family and of course the gifts! As I got older it became less exciting but still loved it and when I was in my first job it was the nicest and loveliest thing to get my family gifts as they had done for me since I was born.

    As I’ve creeped towards middle age (I’m 41 now!) I feel it has changed so much. My sister is always trying to “outdo” her snobby neighbours. I have a 7 year old nephew and loved watching his face light up when he opens his gifts as mine used to when I was his age.

    However, last year my sister announced that she didn’t want us to buy him gifts anymore, she wanted us just to give them the money and they were going to put it towards a little car thing that he wanted. I discovered that actually he didn’t want that and she was only getting him it to get one over on the neighbour who had got their son one the year before. So I refused and said, no, I want to get him gifts as i always do which led to a huge family argument.

    So I’ve decided this year, I’m staying at home, on my own, in my PJs with a bottle of rose and a tin of celebrations and the Telly. I will get my nephew gifts and send them round there of course but I’m just fed up of the hassle of others who have forgotten the true meaning of it being a special time for the family and it being more materialistic than it should be.

    End of rant!

    • Iris

      29 December

      My son is 14. Christmas is about him getting the latest Iphone / Iwatch or whatever.
      I was originally going to wait until he was 18 and tell him that from my perspective, i was withdrawing from Christmas.
      But this year it was so sad, and pointless, and he was disappointed in getting things other than the latest gadget that I decided abstinence can also be a form of education.
      So This was our last Christmas. I also love the lights, and will always enjoy seeing them. But all the forced laughter, expensive lunches, useless presents… Next year I’ll take your lead : Pjs, a good bottle of Red, a movie and an early night.
      That is also how I spend my New Years’ Eves (with my dogs, away from fireworks) and we all love it!

  20. Barbara Coleman

    13 October

    I hear you! The power lies within us to be the author of our own lives – make the story as you like it! Thanks for reading

  21. SusanB

    21 November

    Funny, I googled “I don’t do Christmas anymore” and I guess I’m not the only one. The problem is, I still do Christmas to keep my 93 year old mother happy but I’d be happy to skip it. In fact, I was just rehearsing what I’ll say to my family if I can get up the guts, and I think it will go something like this: “Hey folks, I love you and all that but I’ve done 57 Christmases with you. I don’t have children, I don’t have a husband, I have a Jewish boyfriend and frankly I am really concerned about how consumerism is ruining the planet as well as humanity. Also, I hate being judged by what kind of stuff I have, what kind of gifts I give, and frankly, since my boyfriend is not Christian I’d rather stay home with him and watch Netflix. So, have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

    My mother holds tight to traditions, hates being alone and not only do we have to hang with her on Christmas day, we also have to do Christmas Eve. She will lament that her children no longer go to Catholic mass (another obligation I let go many moons ago). Mom also is not the type to say she doesn’t need anything. She always wants new clothing even though she has dressers and closets bursting with clothing. She has even said in years past “I know I want things but I’m not sure what they are”. She is a needy person, always has been and always will be.

    I do enjoy some of the traditional music, and I kind of like seeing friends and having a holiday drink, but I refuse to buy gifts for people simply because that’s what you’re “supposed to do” and that’s what everyone does. When I was much younger I used to really get stressed trying to figure out what to buy people. Now I just don’t do it although in my family, I will feel pressure to buy gifts for the little ones. Black Friday is pure insanity. The holidays in essence feel like forced obligation and pressure. I would be happy to never do another Christmas for the rest of my life.

    It is encouraging to find some kindred spirits here!

  22. Julianna

    26 November

    Thank you!! thank you!! I have dreaded this time of year for well over a decade. It should be Halloween…where everyone puts on a mask and tries to be nice. Come January its same ol, same ol. I have two grandchildren and a husband who loves Christmas and all the fa-la-la-la-la-la that goes with it. Christmas growing up was great and predictable. It was the 60s and 70s, Italian family, food, attitudes, and “obligations”. I didnt know it then, but looking back, everything was carefully choreographed like a musical. Everyone had their parts to play, and knew who had the solo parts that everyone fawned over. As a kid, it was fun every year. Looking at it from an adult POV was something else entirely. Moving to a southern state in my late teens, my family experienced Christmas “southern style”. Again, things were choreographed and as we were new to the southern Christmas experience, we were handed our parts to play. No solos in this play. Dinner was at our house, and we visited or my mothers family visited for dinner, or dessert. Actually, every year was a bit different depending on who was or was not speaking to whom, or whatever seasonal disease my grandmother happened to say she had that Christmas. Food, yes, plenty of it just like up north and the tree, the wreaths, the food, the desserts that everyone made from scratch. When I and my siblings married had children, dinner was at my parents house, and cousins visited for dessert. Not as choreographed, or parts assigned, a little more free form. My sister hosted a few at her house. My husband the kids and I moved a state away, and it was over the river and down I95 to Grannys house we go. I had teenagers who lost their joy and no longer wanted to put the lights outside, make cookies, or help get the tree down from the attic. I think that is when I started feeling it…that dread…that creep. I dismissed it, because that’s not nice, everybody loves Christmas after all. Right? Everybody? My kids are 35 and 33. My mother is 89, and she isnt speaking to me going on 2 yrs now, (it’s a southern thing). My dad passed away over 10 yrs ago. My DH parents have bern gone over 20 yrs. My sister moved to the southwest, my brother still lives close to my mother. But at 60, I’m tired, just tired. I would like to forgo the tree, but jolly old St Scotch-Irish isnt going to allow that. Thank you for letting me come here and read this. I’m not alone, I’d like to be sometimes, but with retirement 2 yrs away, I must wait a bit longer. I’m gagging at the cinnamon scented melts my DH keeps turning on and turn off. Maybe I’ll hide them, and put the summer citrus in instead. Looking forward to summer.

  23. Anonymous

    30 November

    Yes I agree with you, I am glad I am not the only one, I love that children are excited and there is magic in the air still, but it is a false light, much like spirituality has become, we gravitate like moths to a flame to anything that has a grain of light in it , only I kept getting burnt,until I noticed it is best to keep my distance, avoid disappointment, avoid seeing the truth the false light makes you see. I believe there is a heaven, I believe there is light, but this false light shines so bright we don’t seem to see the glow of the true light, I hunger for that elusive light. Our collective consciousness must know it is there, we try so hard to create it, but we keep failing, time to stop feeding the false light, then it will dim and we will see the warm glow of the true light .

    • A Non Christmas Mouse

      3 December

      I’m happy that we’re not the only ones that left Christmas behind…. only we did it when the kids were really young. They don’t remember putting up the tree and the presents etc. I worry that our kids missed out on Christmas morning and opening up the presents and the house all decorated but ultimately, it’s just not worth it to me. It’s not real, it’s a fantasy and I know that it is never perfect enough and you never find the perfect gift to give… it’s just more stuff that nobody needs or wants ( also why December 26 is also a huge shopping day… everyone is returning the gifts they didn’t want for the stuff they did want). It’s just gluttony wrapped up in guilt… and it isn’t even Jesus’ birthday.

  24. Anon

    16 December

    Strongly considering and I’m a devout Follower of Christ. I’ve had so many negative experiences associated with this holiday that I just don’t see the point of being reminded of painful memories year after year. I had some amazing moments with my kiddos over the years but they’re almost grown now. Not to mention my mother in law has narcissistic tendencies and uses Christmas as a way to try to bring division and chaos to our household by pretty much inviting herself to our home to stay for days on end. Giving me just more work to do, displacing one of my kids from their bedroom, spreading poison, and making me play therapist for a week. The worship of Christ isn’t even in the forefront anymore. It’s about everything else, literally.
    Husband is a Christmas worshipper bc of his mom’s narcissistic behavior about it throughout his life, so he acts like life ends and begins with Christmas. So, I may have to let Christmas go, all by myself. Not sure what that would look like, but it’s gotta be more peaceful than it’s been for the last 17 years of our marriage. He and his mom can have it. I’ll take the kids on a trip somewhere. They aren’t that moved by this holiday anyway. We worship our Lord and Savior daily so this is just another day to us.
    Thank you for your lovely post.

  25. cherryblueberry

    24 December

    What I love about Christmas are the lights at night…they are so magical! but the rest of it? Meh…not so much. The overly commercialized message…the endless adds cajoling you to SPEND, SPEND, SPEND….the business news going on and on about how great Christmas is for the retail industry…(like that’s all that matters any more…the happiness of Walmart)…how is all this good, I wonder? Spending tons of money on a tree that just gets thrown out after 2 weeks…feeling bad because your celebration doesn’t look as pretty and fun and happy as the ones on Facebook or on those annoying endless commercials….kids complaining that they didn’t get EXACTLY what they wanted….what the heck are we teaching our children with this useless tradition, anyway? How to be as materialistic possible? That only THINGS can make you happy? To grow up and be good little consumers and feed the big corporations? The stress, the competition, the endless WORK of it all (which usually falls to us women)…maybe this explains why MY favorite Christmas movie is Christmas with the Kranks! (Or maybe Christmas Vacation which proves just how awful Christmas can be..ha-ha). Anyway, I think it’s time to CHANGE this holiday. Let’s just call it TWINKLE DAY, or something else…and it will be all about the pretty lights and feeling happy and maybe having some wine and cup-cakes with glitter icing… Who’s with me?

    • Jared Reed

      1 January

      Twinkle Day! I love it! The lights are my favourite part too. So dark up north here for so long, the many splendid lights help the mood. Treats and wassail sound wonderful.

  26. Nadalee

    24 December

    My husband and I have given up Christmas, and we couldn’t be happier! Last year, we watched a Star Trek Voyager marathon for the entire day! It felt decadent…and rebellious. I loved it! There was no stress; no disappointment, no depression after “all the presents are opened” and all you are left with is a big fat mess to clean up! Of course, our daughter is grown (and she understands how I feel!) so we can get away with doing this. If you have young kids,it would probably be a lot more difficult.

  27. Kitcat

    23 December

    Christmas has become so over-rated and seemingly bigger than life itself! And that’s just not what it should be about. I too am not a Christmas lover and never really was. I too dread the very mention of the word “Christmas” and nowadays it seems that it’s mentioned earlier and earlier at least by retailers who are interested in one thing only: Their bottom line. Let’s face it if the retail industry was not just about the biggest part of Christmas, much of the hoopla surrounding it would disappear. People put themselves under way too much stress at Christmas trying to make everything perfect for them and their families. It’s as though it’s okay if imperfection is around for 11 months out of the year but when December comes around, everything is supposed to be perfect and we’re told we need to work ceaselessly to make it that way; many headlines read: Make this the BEST Christine ever! That is really an impossible task to try and right everything in one’s life for one month out of the year. Many feel they’ve failed if they haven’t done so and that just adds to the stress and often, the depression many feel at the Holidays. We all ought to tone down Christmas to a more manageable and enjoyable holiday instead of the Stress Fest it’s become.

  28. karen

    24 December

    Oh, the internal, silent bliss of bypassing the Christmas holidays. I’m early 50’s, single and no children…. and very content to bypass the entire ‘holiday’ craziness. In my 20’s and 30’s, I spent many years showing up at my grandfather’s house for the annual family Christmas dinner. And how I dreaded going. My family has been plagued with dysfunction since as early as I can remember. A forced marriage of my parents in the 1960’s due to an unplanned pregnancy and two more children … and wow-la… two completely polar opposite families (my mother’s and father’s families) joined together for decades living in a perpetual state of unhappiness and conflict. The holidays just emphasized this ‘unholy’ merge of families. Once my grandfather passed away about 8 years ago, I felt like I was finally released from my obligation to him to act as if I wanted to engage in the decades-long holiday traditions. I dearly loved my grandfather. We had a wonderful relationship and were very close, and that was the only reason that I continued with the Christmas obligations.

    I gave up buying gifts for anyone about 10 years ago due to not supporting the over indulgence and sense of obligation to follow what the majority of society is doing. I laugh out loud the first week of January when every news outlet talks about the high level of consumer debt and offers suggestions on how to get a handle on it. Seriously?? Just stop spending money the month before!! It’s not rocket science people. No sympathy on my end. I live on the other side of the country from all family members and no longer spend over $1,000 on return airfare to go back ‘home for the holidays’. ( More like home for a reality check). I have not for years, by choice, had a relationship with my mother or sister. I am so done with pretending that I love certain people, that I respect certain people, that I want to spend my time with certain people and that thinking I am obligated to spend my hard earned money on useless gifts for people I have no interest in having a relationship with.

    I am at peace now after suffering many decades of a deep, hollow, empty, painful yearning for ‘something’ that only existed on Little House on the Prairies or The Waltons.

  29. Kaitlyn

    6 December

    I don’t understand why I don’t like it because I used too but something happened and now I just can’t find joy in it anymore I guess I grew out of it which kind of sucks because now I feel like the grinch and that I’m bringing the mood down. The decorating, the movies, the music just doesn’t excite me as much as it used to. I just don’t feel happy with it anymore. Despite not liking Christmas I do still feel the same love for God and Jesus, I can celebrate Jesus’s birthday just the same even without decorating and dressing up.

  30. Christopher Paul Wibberley

    24 May

    I feel Christmas is a crock of shite as are birthdays,voting,going on holiday ,anything after 1936

  31. Darlene

    7 December

    I jus read your article and realized I have felt the same way for quite a while and the pandemic actually gave me a way to not celebrate Christmas. I have been a much happier person and plan on not celebrating it anymore. Your article really resonated my feelings so thank you!!!

  32. Madbluejay

    11 December

    Christmas is a commercialized occasion to plant a big guilty trip on the people that let themselves get trapped by the whims of consumer economy. I never really liked the falseness of Christian Christmas always cemented on that fat grotesque Santa. As a kid I did watch and enjoyed Rudolf the Red Nose Deer, but I stopped watching by age 12. We, my sisters and myself, the sole boy in the 4 kid family always got something, but there was no happiness at home. There was financial stress in the air that your could cut with a knife. Also that sense of guilt for making your parents spent money they didn’t have, only so we could be like the Joneses next door. My ex and I only had one child and we gave him it all, because we could. I didn’t want him to feel the way I did as a kid. We made sure he didn’t become a spoiled brat. He realized we were not “rich” at around age 15…well, perhaps not rich, but certainly not poor. After my divorce (30 years marriage) I stopped feeling pressured to partake in the fake ness of Christmas and every other made for commerce holiday. I only celebrate every Sun rise.

  33. Heidi

    25 December

    It’s Christmas day and I feel so tired of it all. It’s not the pandemic at all for me it’s years of “doing it all” with not a thank you. I can relate so much to this and see myself in so many ways. I have decided next year I am not doing Christmas the traditional way. I’m going to forgo the gifts. In 38 years my husband has only bought me one…..a Frying pan for our first Christmas which I was absolutely gutted over, I mean come on a frying pan? So he said I “ruined” it and never bought me another gift, said I was “too picky.” Yet every Christmas I put so much thought into getting him things that he would like or are useful and several. I buy myself things and put a tag from him so the kids don’t know he’s a scrooge, conveniently. I love to garden, I love books and he could easily go to a book store and pick out a lovely book for me. Anyway…..it’s not even that, it’s partly that my parents are gone, my siblings are gone and it’s just me and the kids and my dogs. So next year I am booking myself and my kids and dogs into a cabin up north, I will just enjoy the day without any pressure or care other than to just enjoy nature. I would invite my husband but he is just too far gone and would complain the entire time that it doesn’t have a TV. I will make sure it doesn’t. I need to just enjoy my life….heck I’m looking for a cabin right now to go off to after Christmas, maybe in January to be by myself with my dogs. Now that’s Christmas to me!

  34. Brenda

    25 December

    I took this stance this year and I can’t believe the persecution I’ve received from certain people, especially my husband! Come on! Don’t you want to remember Christ’s birth? Other than his mockery, I have never been more at peace at this time of year!

    • CityGirl

      31 December

      Tell him that Christ was not born in December. He needs to go do his homework. Many Christians do not support Christmas for this very reason. Tell hubby to go google it!

  35. Iris

    29 December

    I hate Christmas ; I hate the fake joy, the expectation (of more fake joy), the disappointment of unappreciated gifts, the demands (of more and more expensive, and unnecessary gadgets)… After this last Xmas i have finally decided to pull the plug. We are not Cristians, Christmas has been bestowed upon us by social expectation an on my teenage son as a time to get (and never give) more “junk”. His birthday is in January. As of today, Xmas is going to be just another day (or, if circumstance permits, volunteer work but even so, I believe that One-day a year volunteering is just a lottery ticket for our conscience ; why not volunteer all year??) – I will engage in celebrating my son’s birthday, make it about HIS special day, share it ith him and whom he choses to spend it with. But, I am done with Christmas. And feel so much better about this decision that has been years in the making! Blessing and Happy New Year

  36. CityGirl

    31 December

    You are so not alone. Drives me nuts. It’s really as fake a holiday as Kwanza. It has morphed so many times into various things to become what it is today. All out of the Winter Solstice.Christ was not born in December, Santa was invented by Coke back in the early 20th Century and the gift giving and cards all grew from marketing. People are manipulated and I refused to be. Christmas Carols drive me nuts and I will throw eggs at you if you come to my house and annoy me. It was easier to deal with when it started at Thanksgiving and ran through New Years Day. But now it starts Labor Day Weekend/ Christmas deisplays near us go up end of August. If you want to see your family and friends do it when you can. No one is promised tomorrow or next Christmas. If you see something that someone would like, pick if up for them then and there and give as a I WAS THINKING OF YOU gift. vs having to play the holiday bull crap game. Most of all people need to stop trying to force others into the “SPIRIT”. Sometimes people are dealing with bad stuff, death, illness or other issues that don’t make them feel JOLLY. Maybe it’s the anniversary of something tragic. Maybe you are Jewish… Muslim, Buddhist whatever… don’t force people to be part of it who don’t want it. Just say BEST WISHES FOR THE UPCOMING NEW YEAR and leave it at that!

    • geneva rivera

      14 November

      amen well said!!

  37. geneva rivera

    14 November

    I agree 100% I dont hate Christmas I just do not want to be sheep I want to relax on my day off and enjoy me I love my own company !

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