Monday, 10 December 2018

5 Reasons I Hate Christmas

I don't want to alarm anyone, but in two weeks time Christmas Eve will be upon us. The festivities will be well under way. And all across the country, families will be coming together to celebrate the festive season. 

But for some, Christmas can be a challenging time. For the introverts, it can be a stressful time full of parties, gatherings, friends and family. For anxiety sufferers, it can be a season fraught with pressure. The pressure to see everyone, to buy everything, and to enjoy every minute. 

So today I thought I'd share with you just a few reasons why I think Christmas can really suck. Because I'm one of those people who find Christmas a really challenging time. And I'm hoping there are others out there who feel the same way. 

1. Forced merriment. There's a lot of pressure at this time of year to really enjoy every minute. And if you're feeling anything but merry, then you're made to feel as if there's something wrong with you. This can lead to feelings of guilt, remorse, anxiety and FOMO. And that can make the festive season a really tough time.

2. Socialising. Christmas always sees a massive increase in time spent socialising. Christmas parties, catching up with old friends, and time spent with family. It can be a super busy time of year for many. More often than not, Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day are spent with family. Which is lovely, but all this socialising can be really exhausting and very draining. 

3. Financial pressure. As well as socialising, Christmas sees a massive increase in our spending. On average, we spend around £400 on buying presents for our nearest and dearest. That's just money spent on gifts. There's still food, decorations, and money for all those Christmas parties. The festive season often sees us dipping into our overdrafts or whipping out the plastic. And that expectation to buy all the things (because if you don't are you even celebrating Christmas, right?) can put a huge strain on people as they start the New Year with debt hanging over their heads. 

4. Memories. This time of year can be very hard for those who've lost a loved one. I consider myself incredibly lucky; all those I love the most are still with me. But for many, Christmas can be a sad time as they reflect back on those who are no longer around to celebrate the Christmas season with.

5. Christmas everything. From the day after Halloween, Christmas is shoved right in your face. Suddenly the supermarkets are packed with all things Christmas themed, the TV is showing only Christmas adverts, and everyone's houses are filled with glittering, twinkly lights and Christmas trees. Your favourite crumpets are now Christmas tree shaped, your chocolate come only in sharing tubs, and every single sandwich in the chiller section of your local supermarket includes turkey. It can all just be very overwhelming. 

Whilst Christmas may not be the easiest, or the most merry, of times for some of us, there are a few ways to make this time of year a little bit easier. Here are my five tips for making Christmas that little bit more enjoyable. 

1. Don't let anyone tell you how to feel. Don't let anyone put any pressure on you to feel anything other than how you're feeling. Feeling merry? Great! Feeling miserable? Great! Well, not great. I don't wish anyone to feel miserable, at this time of year, or otherwise. But you feel how you feel, and the time of year or festivities abounding should make no difference. 

2. Make time for yourself. I make sure to keep at least one day of the week, each week, totally free to indulge in a little alone time. It's basic self-care. If you're running around here, there and everywhere, seeing everyone and doing all the things, you'll burn out so quickly. So take a day just for yourself, and do a few of your favourite things. 

3. Stick to a budget. Before you start your Christmas shopping, take some time to work out what you can realistically afford to spend and what you really need to buy. Without dipping into your overdraft or using a credit card. Then stick to it. And remember, your family and friends will value your time and thought far more than any expensive or flashy gift you can buy.

4. Memories. You'll always feel the loss of someone you loved. And it's so much more keenly felt at Christmas, when we like to spend time with those we love. But try to hold on to the positive memories of your departed loved one, and imagine how they would be behaving and what they would be saying were they with you. Because they are, in spirit. 

5. Christmas everything. It can be hard to avoid the onslaught of Christmas. Whether you're grabbing some groceries, catching up on your favourite TV show or popping out for your favourite take-away (even Maccie's have gone all festive!), there's really no way to completely avoid it. Your best bet? Avoid the seasonal aisle at your local supermarket, record your favourite TV shows and fast forward through the adverts, and choose a takeaway that hasn't created a whole new festive menu. 

I hope with my tips you'll be better able to enjoy the festive season. And if you, like me, think Christmas really sucks, I'd love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below!

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