I am a Christmas junkie. You all know it by know. As soon as the 1st of December hits, I transform from a normal, although already jumper-wrapped bunny into a Santa Bunny with some snowflake sprinkles on top. Christmas is my jam. But I do have enough empathy – well, I have eyes and ears, which still function so-so – to realize that some people absolutely detest everything I love about this holiday. How can we help these poor souls? Well, I do believe that we cannot just make someone like something and we really should not impose anything on anyone, so… So here I am, cuties, ready to tell you how to survive Christmas. Yes, survive. That is all I can offer.
Wouldn’t surviving be enough though? I mean, it is not as if Christmas is going anywhere. Whether you like it or not, it WILL happen. The entire world WILL go nuts about gift giving, carol singing and weird food eating. You could dig yourself a nice cave underground to avoid all of it, but a. you probably have work or school b. you probably have family c. you would probably would get lonely and d. Christmas probably would find its way down to your burrow anyway. No point resisting it.
Of course, I’d love for all the Grinches to grow their hearts two sizes, but then again, just because someone does not like Christmas, that does not mean they are the worst, most evil, meanest, most disgusting person around. Chances are most of you are very sweet. You just don’t like Christmas. And that’s ok. No need to preach it to anyone.
Let’s get the surviving party started.
You may not be taking over your brother’s kingdom, but being prepared is probably the only fail-proof way to survive Christmas.
The number one problem most people face is gift buying. They all leave it until the last moment, and then spend their precious time and nerves amongst crowds of people like them. No one likes the day before Christmas shopping. Even I don’t like day before Christmas shopping. Don’t do it to yourself.
Personally, I try to get every single gift I need before 1st of December – this way I make sure that a. all deliveries go smoothly b. all the gifts are as cheap as possible c. there are way less crowds around (don’t do Black Friday, of course). But I know that sort of attitude is crazy; a week or two before is plenty.
Same goes, of course, for other things that need to be done before Christmas dinner. House decorating – artificial trees can stand around for ages. Food preparing – gingerbread cookies are better the longer they hang around. Etc. Etc.
The goal is: make everything ready in advance so at Christmas you can just sit back and relax (a bit).
Close your eyes and think of England
Well, not really.
But having a little What Would I Do If I Were Not Here moment can be really refreshing. I know, aunts can be a tad too much sometimes. Getting through all their Why do you look so skinny? or Why are you still not married? or Why don’t you have children yet? or Why do you have children already? Aren’t you too young for that?… Suddenly even jumping out of the window seems like an attractive option.
Whenever we think about other places we could be at and other things we could be doing, we seem to be a tad unrealistic about it. Yeah, we could be at home playing video games. True. But the most likely thing is – if there was no Christmas holidays, we would be at work.
Having a very annoying boss can help you survive Christmas! See? Even (s)he can be useful sometimes.
Give yourself a good runner-up with Kickin’ Country
Back when I was at uni, I used to do plenty of waitressing jobs and one of the things that annoyed me most was just how much country music I had to listen to in one of them. If that was at least, you know, a decent amount of songs… But no. We were stuck with this free radio station that had maybe one CD on rotation and changed it between every six months and never.
From first-hand experience I can assure you that even if you are the biggest hater of Christmas that has ever been, Christmas songs are actually a relief after this torture.
Take dibs on things you are good at
I love Christmas (did I stress this enough already?), but even I would go insane if someone forced me to cook for it – Christmas cooking seems to take all day and be overall the worst thing in the world.
I call dibs on baking gingerbread cookies and tree decorating. These are my things.
The truth is, even if Christmas is the worst day of the year for you, there is bound to be something around that you find slightly less frustrating. Cooking, decorating, cleaning, baking, walking the dog, wrapping the gifts, keeping the kids away from the kitchen, de-snowing the yard… Something.
Just make sure this something is yours. Don’t let your distaste for Christmas land you with your least favourite job. Yeah, you won’t like it anyway. But at least you will not like it a bit less. This can be just less-enough to tip the scales for you and make this particular year more bearable. To make you actually survive Christmas relatively scar-less.
Keep an open mind
Ok, this point will sound like preaching but I promise, I am not up on my high horse, I am speaking to you as a fellow human being full of prejudices.
Because that is what we are, very often. Prejudice hoarders.
I cannot even count the number of times I would not be in the mood for a party but still go, and then spend the entire night stopping the walls from collapsing and moaning about how I wish I was home. The room could be invaded by a horde of pug puppies and I would not care. I was destined to dislike this party before I even got there.
The same can happen to Christmas. Some of us can overhype it and end up disappointed, because nothing can live up to our imagination. And some of us can be so determined to hate it that we miss out on all the fun we could have regardless.
Please, keep an open mind. You may still hate Christmas. Well. Chances are you will. There is nothing wrong with it. But trying to stay negative is not really harming anyone around you – or some imaginary Spirit of Christmas Cheer – it is harming you. At least give it a shot.
Who knows, maybe you won’t even have to survive Christmas. Maybe you’ll learn how to experience it.
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