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Radical Thoughts About Christmas


At the risk of “coming out” as a subversive, I have something to say to you that might shock you, but I also hope it will help you.

I have seen lots of posts about how to have a simpler Christmas, how to lower stress at Christmas, how to get along with hideous relatives, etc. Apparently, you can get away with only baking three different kinds of cookies instead of seven. You can choose to only go to two different Christmas parties instead of going to all five. You can decorate one room instead of four rooms. You can set up a schedule in which you will go to one grandparent’s house one year and the other grandparent’s house the next year. You can have a special meeting with your family in which everyone agrees to set a spending limit on gifts. But I have never in all my days seen anyone say what I am about to tell you.

[Tweet “You don’t have to do anything.”]

I’ll give you a moment to process what you just read.

It’s true. You don’t have to bake anything. You don’t have to go to any parties. You don’t have to decorate anything. You don’t have to visit your relatives. You don’t have to give any gifts. You don’t have to have any special family meetings. You don’t have to get anyone to agree with anything.

I’ll give you a moment to process what you just read.

Yes, someone may not be happy with you if you don’t bake cookies, go to parties, decorate, etc. Well, they’re probably not happy with you now. Please realize you really are in charge of how you celebrate or ignore Christmas. On the subject of visiting relatives, if you had Christmas at your house, would they come visit you? Would they have a reason not to come? Asking that question may help with the overwhelming guilt that is threatening to engulf you for simply considering not going.

Easy for me to say? Au contraire. I could tell you some Christmas stories that would curl your hair. But I digress. There have been many Christmases when I have heated up a frozen pizza and gone through my files, AND IT WAS FUN! Yes, I am different. And I also love Christmas. I am not against it at all. I love giving gifts, and looking at the lights, and hearing Christmas carols. I repeat — I love Christmas. And I also know I get to celebrate it in my own way, even if other people don’t understand.


Keep breathing.