It’s that wonderful time of the year when everyone’s dressed in green and red, talking about holiday plans, and dreaming of being kissed under the mistletoe. Everyone except for you, that is. It’s hard celebrating Christmas with your friends when you’d rather throw a tree than decorate it. Here’s how to make it through the holidays when you’re a bit of a Grinch:
Limit your parties.
I’ll admit I really didn’t feel like being social, especially with cheery holiday music blasting. I used every excuse I could to limit how many parties I had to go to. I still saw everyone, but only went to a few parties. Pretending to be excited at only a few events is much easier than doing it at more than a dozen.
Do it for them.
As much as I wanted to just shut myself away, I knew I couldn’t. I’m usually not a big fan of faking it, but in this case, do it. Your friends want you around. Just pretend it’s a normal gathering that has nothing to do with Christmas. Think of it as your yearly good deed.
Suggest something non-Christmassy to do.
Don’t want to dress up in ridiculous ugly Christmas sweaters and go caroling? Suggest bowling instead. The less Christmassy the event is, the less pressure you’ll feel to have spirit when your inner holiday cheerleader is taking a vacation.
Don’t ruin things for them.
Whatever you do, don’t ruin your friends’ celebrations. Going in and saying “I hate Christmas” isn’t making things better for you or anyone else. They’re your friends and they deserve better. I’m sure they’ve done things they didn’t like for you.
Skip Christmas unless they’re around.
No one says you have to celebrate Christmas at home. Embrace your inner Scrooge when you’re alone and turn into Santa when your friends come around. It’s only for a little while. I know you can survive it.
Just focus on your friends.
At the heart of your friends’ plans is the desire to spend time with the people they care about. Ignore the decorations, music and festive attire. Just focus on hanging out with your friends. Sure, your cheer might be low, but a little friend time might just boost your mood a bit.
Take some down time for yourself.
I had to make sure to schedule some down time for myself before and after any get-togethers. I needed to prep myself and then decompress afterwards. It’s the only way I could find peace when I honestly didn’t care if Christmas came or if Santa crash landed on his way out of the North Pole.
Have an out ready.
If a party gets to be too much, have an out prepared. Say you have an early day tomorrow or you’re not feeling well. Have a valid excuse ready so it sounds legit when you have to lie to your friends. There’s no shame in cutting out early if you’re not feeling it.
Talk to a close friend about it.
Talking about how you feel with a close friend might help. You might not have a Grinch moment where your heart grows three sizes with all the Christmas spirit, but at least you’ll have someone you don’t have to fake it with. Plus, they’ll help you get out of events and be your alibi for any excuses you make.
Don’t take the holidays so seriously.
I stressed myself out so much about not feeling Christmassy, that I only felt worse. At some point, I realized I needed to stop taking everything so seriously. It was just a day. I felt goodwill and joy at other times throughout the year. Why put so much pressure on myself now? Once I relaxed a little, I was able to enjoy being with my friends more.
Let their mood take over.
There’s something about being around a bunch of happy people that tends to make you feel just a little better. I’m not saying your spirit will return completely, but you will be happier if you just let go and embrace their mood.
Find one thing to be excited about.
Okay, so you’re not excited about Christmas itself, but there’s got to be something you’re excited for. Focus on that one thing. It could be an upcoming movie, a gift you want or getting time off from work. Focus on that and you’ll be fine.
Make after-Christmas plans.
I started making plans for after Christmas so I had something to look forward to. I went on mini-vacations right after Christmas and treated myself to a spa day. Every time all the celebrating go to me, I reminded myself it was just like a job – get through it and you get to the fun stuff faster.
Think about the food.
It’s hard to deny that Christmas is full of great food. Even if you can’t stand most of the people you’re around, you’re getting free food. If you don’t celebrate for any reason other than that, it’s one damn good reason. Focus on the food and your friends won’t even realize your have zero Christmas spirit.
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