It’s Not too Late to Skip Christmas

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Lately I’ve been getting a fair number of search engine hits from people looking for ways to skip out on Christmas altogether. I’ve also been getting visitors who want to celebrate this holiday without exchanging presents for it anymore.

In the past, I’ve blogged about alternative ways to celebrate Christmas if you’re only interested in bowing out of the gift exchanges.

What should you do if you want to stop celebrating it altogether, though? It can be harder to turn down an invitation for a meal, get-together, or festive performance than it is to say you’re simply bowing out of the present exchange. Sometimes people who love this holiday have a hard time understanding why anyone wouldn’t want to celebrate it.

With that being said, there are some reasons not to celebrate this holiday that are hard to argue with.

Travel

There have been times when my spouse and I travelled over the holidays. Some airlines have started to crack down on people bringing overstuffed or over-sized carry-on bags with them.

We’ve travelled with other airlines that have strict weight requirements for everything you bring with you. Going over those limits can be expensive, so you have to be careful about what you do and don’t pack.

The other nice thing about travelling is it nearly impossible to pressure someone into participating in a specific event when they’re hundreds or thousands of miles away at the time. At the very most, you might have time for a breezy conversation with them before returning to whatever agenda you’ve set for your day.

Grief

While grief isn’t one of the reasons why I don’t celebrate Christmas, I have known people who changed how they celebrated the holidays after the death of a loved one. In some cases, this can mean toning down those celebrations or even not having them at all.

No kind or reasonable person would guilt-trip someone into celebrating something that reminded them of such bittersweet memories.

Minimalism

This may be confirmation bias on my part, but I keep meeting more and more people who are interested in paring down their possessions and simplifying their lives.

Minimalism can be a great reason to cut back on all kinds of holiday stuff. Why not leave the Christmas decorating and event-planning to people who genuinely enjoy them?

It doesn’t make any sense to buy things you don’t like with money you should be spending elsewhere simply to impress people.

Nearly everyone understand what it’s like to feel tension between their values and what others think they should be doing. Framing the conversation this way can earn you supporters that you might not have otherwise had.

Religion

Christmas is a deeply religious holiday for many of my relatives. I’m planning to blog about some of those experiences later on this year, but it can be hard for my mind to tease out the difference between the kinds of Christmases I had growing up and the secular version of this holiday that some people knew.

They are tightly bound together in my mind.

It would be quite strange to insist on celebrating Eid with someone who wasn’t Muslim or Yule with someone who wasn’t Pagan, after all.

I see the religious celebration of Christmas as the same thing. It’s great for people who are part of that religion, and it’s fine if outsiders want to respectfully experience it as well. It is incredibly bizarre to pressure non-believers into celebrating a faith they don’t have, though.

No

Sometimes you don’t have to give a reason at all. While I generally do try to explain my decisions to people who ask, there are times when this doesn’t work so well.

“No” can be used as a full sentence if you’re having a conversation with someone who is going to pick apart any answer you give to them.

Respond

If you don’t celebrate Christmas any longer, how did you come to this decision? If you’ve never celebrated Christmas, what other holidays have you celebrated and how do you feel about them? If you’ve changed how you celebrate certain holidays, what kinds of changes have you made?

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