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CreativeInfluenza
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24 Dec 2010, 7:48 am

I'm going to sound like the Grinch or the Kranks or our humble Oscar the can-dwelling Grouch here, but I just needed to communicate with somebody out there how much I have grown to absolutely dread Christmas. I am an adult still living at home with 3 other adults. Every year my parents decide they're too bored to just spend a quiet Christmas with their kids and they look around for friends they can visit who won't mind having an extra family addition to their party, and they insist on their kids (that's me) accompanying them. These are people I hardly see at all other times of the year....

... The unrecognisable faces... The loud voices.... The stares... The squishy hugs and lips and alcohol breath and garlic smells and comments and chaos and kids and smells and cramped bloody spaces..... they all drive me crazy. The worst thing is that I'm always expected to just blend into such gatherings as if I've always been there and seemlessly start up conversations with people about sh** I don't give a sh** about. If I don't, I get reprimands that leave me feeling like a 6-year-old. Needless to say, I always leave an event like this feeling like I've just sat an exam. It's an accomplishment!

But how does one avoid such a dreaded situation every year? People seem to think being alone at Christmastime is as perverse as loitering around a schoolyard with a camera. I think volunteer work or joining a monastery are probably the only viable options.

Does anyone out there know what I'm talking about? Do you dread Christmas? Do you hate the extra crowds at the shops, having to stock up on food as if a nuclear winter is coming because the shops will be closed/empty for a few days, or the awful carol music with a modern spin that constantly blares out through the speakers at the shops which you can't hear anyway over the screams of spoiled little kids whacking their parents into buying them more toys? Do you wish you could just go to a place where you can be with other sane people who just want some peace and quiet and a special retreat to do what THEY love at this 'special' time of year? Because if this is supposed to be a happy time, we should ALL be happy, right? Anyway, please share your angle, I'd love to hear it. I need some real cheer this Christmas time. :)



faithfilly
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24 Dec 2010, 9:19 am

I avoid Christmas. I don't buy presents. I don't decorate. I don't do anything other than send a few Christmas cards. I am a seriously devoted Christian to my faith, but I stay far away from churches (I've spent decades going to them and I never found one which had members who accepted me as an equal to the others in the congregation). I'm also a grandmother of three small grandchildren who live a 12 minute drive away. I won't have them come to visit me until Christmas is well over. I don't want them to expect anything from me like what they get from their other grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. They don't need me in order to enjoy Christmas, because they 'get' me throughout the other times of the year and they get me in my more cheerful state than how I'd be if I did the Christmas stuff with resentment.

My two children are grown up. When my children were little, I did the Christmas stuff (like decorating, gifts, etc.). When I was little, I was dragged to relatives' homes. Now that I'm 56, I claim the right to retire from Christmas and have finally earned the respect to do so! It's wonderful! The best part is I don't care what other people think about it!


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ruveyn
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24 Dec 2010, 9:28 am

No. I suffer Xmas. It comes and it goes. Fortunately it comes only once a year. I would prefer once a century.

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QuelOround
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24 Dec 2010, 9:58 am

I dread any large family gatherings. The annoying questions, the stares, the judging eyes.... I'm bracing myself for tonight. My family is used to me showing up just for a little while then having to bail after midnight. Once its officially Christmas and I've handed everyone their presents I leave before people get loud and annoying.



Epiphany28
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24 Dec 2010, 10:49 am

I love Christmas.... but I hate the gatherings. I wish I didn't. I really do.
I'm completely beat by the time I get all my shopping done for my son's birthday and Christmas and after decorating. That's enough to make me shut down 10x's over. THEN I have to travel 4 hours home on a scary road with insane drivers. THEN I have to go to the inlaws house. THEN I have to go to my parent's house. Then drive home. (not forgetting to mention what me and my son have been through with his diagnosis this year and that HE, too, gets overstimulated this time of year and it's a mess)

My husband kept me up all night last night because he was excited to see family. Ive had an attitude the past several days all because I want to stay in my quiet home and be with my little family and animals.
Soon as the fog clears, we're heading out. 7 day trip.
I'm definitely bringing beer to help get me through this! lol :D


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OuterBoroughGirl
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24 Dec 2010, 11:15 am

Wow, reading this thread, I feel very lucky that my family is very small, quiet and low-key. We don't "do" large gatherings, as we don't like them, and there aren't enough of us for that sort of thing anyway. Additionally, I'm from a dual faith family. My mother grew up Jewish, and my father grew up with a Jewish father and Lutheran Protestant mother. Thus, my family also doesn't "do" organized religion, and really doesn't get into holidays that are part of an organized religion. Thus, we don't do much at this time of year. My parents and I exchange gifts, and on Christmas day, we go to a diner for a semi-special meal. A Jewish friend of mine will often join us. That's pretty much it.
I have to tolerate enough holiday cheer from my co-workers at my job. If I had to go through that with my family, too, I think my head would explode. It's times like these that I really appreciate the family I have.


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markko
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24 Dec 2010, 11:24 am

The only thing about Christmas that I have a problem with are the salutations. I find it very hard to say, "Merry Christmas," to people. In addition, I always have had trouble addressing people using their name. Therefore, me saying, "Merry Christmas, Bob," without a ton of anxiety is out of the question.



Epiphany28
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24 Dec 2010, 12:07 pm

I haven't left yet. Procrastination, no?

But I can't stop thinking about all the awkward hugs I'm going to have to give. lol Hate that :P


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Cornflake
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24 Dec 2010, 12:19 pm

The whole "family gathering" ritual makes me very uncomfortable and much more prone to shutting down. There's far too much going on and I cannot handle it.

They all talk about nothing and STILL expect me to join in, but I can cope with neither. I feel like a 6-year old parked in the corner "while the grown-ups talk". If I do try talking about a special interest then I'm looked at like I've said something really disgusting and the conversation stops. And normally, around that point, I stop too so I therefore tend not to try and start a conversation.
If one of my nephews talks to me about photography (a special interest) then that's fine and I can function normally - until someone comes out and drags him away "back to the party".

I get accused of being weird or a spoilsport because I refuse to wear a stupid paper hat "like everyone else" and it really hurts that they do not/will not understand how I cannot tolerate things on my head and instead, make fun of it.
All the false & noisy chatter drives me mad so I usually go to another room & play with the dogs instead - which, I suppose, only "confirms" to those I've left that I'm distant and aloof.

By the time I get home I always feel like I've been violently physically shaken and every year, I wonder why I put myself through it.


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Pandora_Box
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24 Dec 2010, 12:33 pm

I hate Christmas. Okay, I don't really dislike the holidays its the practices.

But I won't get into that because I fear I'd get bashed or some people may get upset and extremely angry at me for what I believe.



Peko
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24 Dec 2010, 1:32 pm

I hate christmas and pretty much every year get depressed & honestly the closest thing I ever get to suicidal.


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Narkito
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24 Dec 2010, 1:39 pm

The huge gatherings are bad. The Christmas-y songs everywhere are annoying. People rushing in the streets to go buy things is like watching very chaotic stampedes. But what really kills me it's the presents. I don't get the idea of giving gifts at a particular date. And I hate getting presents in general, 'cause most of the time, they're not things I need nor I want, noooooo, it's stuff other people bought because they HAD to, 'cause I'm their dear cousin's daughter, or their niece or what have you..... so, the 25th I end up with a pile of useless things I have to figure out how to pass on to people that might actually need them or want them.

On the other hand, people like my girlfriend or my grandmother, have the very best intentions; so they go out and go from shop to shop finding something I might like and they go ahead and buy it for me. But the most likely outcome is that I won't like it. So it stinks 'cause I can't just say "oh, thanks, but I don't want it" because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I can't really use it 'cause it doesn't fit my criteria of usable things. It drives me mad and puts me right on the edge....

I thinks Christmas has too many elements that I find downright exhausting or silly for me to actually enjoy it :? (not to mention the sensory overload).

[Grinch Mode ON]


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Mindslave
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24 Dec 2010, 1:41 pm

I'm dreading Christmas right now. I can't wait for my family to get here in 2 hours. Then the festivities will start. At least my family was never in the double digits, cause then it would be worse. I just wish everyone would shut up and eat.



Arminius
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24 Dec 2010, 1:45 pm

I hate it. It is a highly social holiday that requires a lot of smiling. It falls right around the aniversary of my maternal grandfather's death. He was one of the few who gave me unconditiona. love when I was a child.



Kon
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24 Dec 2010, 1:47 pm

CreativeInfluenza wrote:
I'm going to sound like the Grinch or the Kranks or our humble Oscar the can-dwelling Grouch here, but I just needed to communicate with somebody out there how much I have grown to absolutely dread Christmas. .


The Grinch was my hero. I think a lot of people feel the same way. I hate Christmas for many of the reasons you mention. It has become more of a forced formal obligation than a true spontaneous joyous time. Joy has to come about naturally, spontaneously not because some idiots say, it's time to be joyful.



kittykate1979
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24 Dec 2010, 2:30 pm

I agree, i'm dreading Christmas too :(

I have a daily rigid routine and the stress of having to deviate from it at Christmas is driving me to the depths of depression! I hate the different smells and food around the house, and wish I could just take a pill and sleep til the New Year.

I'm 31 and live at home with my parents, and having to be in such close proximity with them with no escape is stifling at Christmas.

I hate the Christmas music, I can't bear crowds and bustle and other people make me uncomfortable!

I can't wait til it's all over!