Am I the only one???

Sometimes it seems like I am the only person who truly dislikes “the holidays”. I am so miserable during the months of November and December, that I have to take medications during those two months.

While everyone else I know is happy about getting together with family and friends, I retreat into myself. When people are excited about shopping for gifts for others, I avoid malls and large box stores from Halloween through New Years Day. As others are planning grand meals and get togethers, I make a point of doing my “spring cleaning” and catching up on my reading. And don’t get me started on Christmas trees and other decorations!

Although everyone else seems to love the various Christmas Masses, I prefer to sit in the chapel (alone) during Advent and Christmas so I can focus myself on what the season is really all about. It feels as if a great weight lifts off of my shoulders the first week of January (after most of the hoopla of the various parades and college football games is over) and life gets “back to normal”.

Am I the only one??? :blush:

No you are not but you are probably one of the few courageous enough to say that.

Nope, you’re not! I cannot stand having to exist through the holidays, and if I could sleep from Thanksgiving through mid January, I would.

There is always drama in my family around this time, and I just have such a difficult time dealing with it. Like you, I prefer to pray and meditate on the real reason for the season - without all of the extravagance that usually goes with it. You are not alone!

No, you are NOT the only one. I really hate Christmas. My last good Christmas was 1976, from that year forward it have been a nightmare, I did took some joy in watching my own kids at Christmas but…

I will not tell you the whole story, but as much as I think you want to read/know. When I was married we always went to my in-laws and there was the whole family, lots of noise and always the same thing, everybody did get presents except me. (I know this sound childish) One Christmas though when I sat with my “present”, the cheapest slippers and a no-win raffle-ticket feeling bad and sad trying to look happy my x-wife’s half-sister, a long story, had bought me a book. I can say that it was the best Christmas since 1976! She really did care, something my x-wife never did, sometimes I think I was only a man who did father two kids more for her. But no, I don’t like Christmas but I love the fact that I can celebrate it as I really want to, me and my dog, a bit of turkey and no Christmas tree and nothing like that, so I reckon I love Christmas the way I spend it now, but the “traditional” celebration, no, no and NO!

No,you are not the only one.It is not that i dont like the holidays or getting together with family,but more my aversion to shopping or trying to find gifts that people will like. I used to agonize over finding just the right gift and sometimes making home made things just to find the recipient did not like it. I just give money now which may seem a bit lazy,but it is also the gift of my time.

Since no one in my family is Catholic I also attend Mass alone.

Couldn’t have said better. If humans could hibernate I would choose December, 15 to January, 15. Normally I get a strange escalating anxiety during that period with the peak on New Year’s Eve.

This year, I can’t complain though. I have been alone overseas, so it was one of the best Christimas (after grown up), silence at home, the same food I would eat any other day. For the first time the focus was all in Jesus. :heaven:

I have to admit that I am becoming a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. Not that I don’t enjoy the season, but I hate all the WORK involved. We are soon to have 7 kiddos under 12. All but 2 believe in Santa. It is a huge job to find the perfect gifts for these kids, hide them, secretly wrap them, and then somehow mysteriously get them under the tree Christmas Eve. Then you have all the teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, school gift exchanges, etc. I feel it is a never ending list to buy for. I love Christmas decorations when they are all put up but again a lot of work to get there. I didn’t do Christmas cards this year. I like the idea just not the time and expense!! Getting my crew nicely dressed for Christmas mass is another big job!

Everyone always says Christmas must be so much fun at our house, and I guess it is if you like getting up at 6 am, trying to hold kids off until 8:30 to unwrap presents, and then the aftermath. A mess of a house and putting together toys all day - many of which never work as they are supposed to.

I always like it when everything is put away for the season and I can start looking forward to spring!!

This year my wife and I did without presents and focussed on pthe people in our life. It was much better. So…no you are not alone.

Seven kids? Wow! I feel deeply for you, a real hero and sane enough to write something that make sense. I so love spending the holidays with my dog, big time, take care, and it is only about 360 something shopping days before next Christmas so you have time to think of something…

maybe, i’m a little bit different with most of you, i like hilarious, sparkling, euphoric, cheerful things. on 24th, i go out with my female friend, and on 25th i hang out with my friends again to have fun :smiley:

Agreed. Christmas is just too much work. Every year I threaten to just put up a manger scene and forget the hassle of the tree, the decorations, and baking, baking, baking, cooking, cooking cooking, and cleaning up (repeat the cleaning up words 20 times!)

I was looking forward to after Christmas when I could just relax for a while. How long can I keep the tree up before I have to take it down again and put all the decorations back, and re-clean the house???


You are very much like me if I had my rathers. Since 1984, our home has been party central for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It has been a pleasure, but exhausting. I did focus some on Advent with extra reading and prayer time. My wish for everyone in the New Year is that we will grow in love of God and for one another, through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Of course you’re not the only one.

But a couple of precautions, if you don’t mind.

  1. It’s ok to be “different” during the wonderful holiday season, but please don’t get the idea that you are “superior” to the rest of us who love the hustle and bustle, who eat too much, spend too much, laugh and cry too much, and sleep too little. You’re just different, not better. Take a really hard, honest, searching look at why you are doing what you are doing, and make sure it isn’t because of some cynical “They’re so foolish and I’m not” attitude.

  2. Are you like this all year, or just at during the holidays? If you are happy and outgoing during the rest of the year, please be careful to discern whether something has happened in your past that has made you withdraw from society during a time when everyone else is getting out of the house to volunteer at charitable events, sing in choirs, ride sleighs, go ice skating, and most of all, participate in joyous celebrations with family and friends. It is not healthy for you to suppress past tragedies. Get some counselling.

  3. No matter how you choose to celebrate giving thanks at the end of the harvest, and celebrating the various feast days in December, especially Jesus’ birthday, please don’t become a misanthrope. You probably do more good for mankind by praying for us than many of us do with all our busy-ness. That’s good, and I’m thankful for you! But don’t become closed off from mankind, hide away from them, and grow estranged from them. Christ loved us so much that He became one of us. We should not despise our fellow human beings. Find someone to enjoy Christian fellowship with during the holidays. Upon reading this thread, you can see that there are plenty of people who share your approach to the holidays–find them in your real life and be with them.

There are probably a lot of people in monastic life who feel just as the OP does. There is nothing wrong with preferring a simple and contemplative life, provided the temptation to look down on other temperaments is avoided. That goes both ways, though. If you prefer a quiet and simple season that is free of extravagant social events or one that is only bountious in spending on almsgiving, don’t accept guilt trips trying to turn you away from that. The desert and the jungle are both beautiful to the one who created them, but there are few creatures suited to both. That is OK. This variety is intended by the Almighty, and it is good.

I know many parents, mothers especially, whose favorite day of the Chtistmas season is December 26, not the 25th!

It isnt the holidays themselves that I hate…its the secular hooplah over them. As far as Thanksgiving goes (and other holidays where family get togethers are pushed) I learned early on that its not the actual holiday that counts, its when you can spend time with your family. My husband was in the Coast Guard and rarely home for the holidays. We celebrated when we could actually get together(extended family included).

As far as Christmas goes as long as I can get to Mass Im good. Im tired of the pressure of finding gifts for people who dont need anymore gifts. I would much rather spend my money and time on giving to charity where it is needed. Sometimes I feel rather “bah-humbugish” but I just want the beauty of the season back :slight_smile: This year it was just my immediate family and I SO enjoyed it. We didnt do the giant extended family gift giving. What a relief. I would be good with us just getting together to enjoy each others company. Nothing fancy, nothing grand.

Often I feel like that too. This year I had trouble getting into the holiday stuff so I just took out my little stuffed Grinch that I bought one year as a joke and set it out. I did go to a friend’s house for Christmas, so I wasn’t totally out of the holiday celebration thing.

This is loads better than an empty house and nowhere to go with no presents to open.

You do notice that most of the people who have written on this thread are parents with family responsibilities. That does make a difference!

My Christmas “liberation” came when I realized I cannot control the holiday madness around me, but whether I CHOOSE to be a part of it.

For many of us this means setting up boundaries – it may mean no gifts for people except for a few (like children in the immediate family), less cookies (or none) baked, and your house is no longer confused with Grand Central Station. It is hard, but it can be done.

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