The C-Word: Surviving Christmas when you hate Christmas

Do you find the sounds of children’s toys grating? Do you groan when you hear the out-of-tune warble of the local carollers? Are big, noisy family get-togethers your idea of a bad time? Then this blog is for you.

Simultaneously, 2020 has felt like the longest and shortest year that has ever happened. Everyone is both surprised and thankful that December is here and finally – FINALLY – we’re getting to the end of this decade. However, with the end of the year comes the final hurdle: Christmas.

Christmas is a joyous, colourful and wonderful time. It’s a time to love those closest to you, enjoy each other’s company, and support local independent businesses in your gift buying.

But for some of us the hustle, bustle and noise of Christmas is just a little, well, overwhelming. So, with that in mind, here’s some tips for surviving the holiday when you hate the holiday.

1) Don’t get blind drunk

The old adage is that if you drink enough you can get through anything. But aside from the banging headache you’ll have on Boxing Day, is it really worth the risk of embarrassing yourself and upsetting your grandma, and not even being able to remember it? Of course, we’re not saying don’t have a drink (if you choose to), but be responsible. Remember, excessive alcohol consumption can worsen anxiety and other mental health issues, so better safe than sorry.

2) Have an exit strategy if you need

If you know you might find Christmas overwhelming for any reason, try and set an opportunity for some time away. Set boundaries with whoever you’re celebrating with and let them know you’ll be taking some time to yourself. Some people find that going for a walk after the main Christmas meal is a good opportunity to reflect on the morning and rebalance their emotions. Alternatively, maybe you’ve got pets who need company back at home, or you decide to spend the afternoon with friends. Maybe you just want to slink off for a nap. Especially after this year, self-care is more important than ever, so make sure to take some time to yourself.

3) Your time is worth more than your money

We spent more time away from our loved ones in 2020 than I’m sure anyone ever expected to, and even if this isn’t the case, the mandate that we couldn’t see our friends and families hit people hard. Spending time together, either utilising the lockdown lifting or through video calls, is worth more to the people you love than some trinkets they may forget about in two months’ time. Don’t bankrupt yourself. It’s about your presence, not your presents.

4) Put yourself first

Lockdown restrictions will be lifted over Christmas, but if you don’t feel comfortable partaking in the festivities, don’t force yourself to. You’re not letting anyone down by putting yourself first. If you’re going to go out and see family, make sure you take all the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others as safe as possible. If you decide to stay in the whole day and play games or read books, that’s fine too. Do what’s best for you.

Christmas can be tough for a multitude of reasons, and you’re under no obligation to celebrate a certain way. Whatever you decide to do, have a great time, enjoy what you can, and reach out if you need to.

Blog post author: Caitlin Dalton

Like many twenty-somethings, Cait graduated in 2020, probably the most challenging time to ever graduate. Based in the South West of England, Cait is passionate about writing blogs for Talk Twenties to shed light on issues faced by today's twenty-somethings.

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