I get depressed anticipating being around my family and then afterwards I get into a big funk reliving the day. I'm thinking this year I am going to skip it altogether. But am wondering if there are others out there who feel as strongly about this as I do and how do you handle it.

Let me add that I do strongly believe in God and think sometimes that is why I hate Christmas so much cause it's so commercial and the ads on t.v. and the Christmas movies make me want to gag.

You have company. I hate Christmas, the greed, the expectations to spend money they don't have for gifts they can't afford to give to people they may not even know that well or even like. I'm an atheist and I get tired of christians talking how it's a Christian holiday when it's really based on pagan holidays.

I hate hearing the music till a few days before the day. There are a lot of the songs that I appreciate the music.

Since Mom died this April and my three sisters' horrible treatment of me resulted in my going no-contact, I plan on this Christmas for once being my way: quiet and relaxing and only doing I want.
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Reply to MountainMoose
BlackHole Dec 17, 2018
Craft a perfect day for yourself on 12/25, Mountainmoose. You deserve to heal and restore on your own terms.
No, do not like it. I took a step in a new direction this year and volunteered to serve meals at a local soup kitchen that day. It will get me away from family who only condemn me, get me away from situations in which I am only set up to fail at, and I might feel like I'm part of something good if even in a small way.
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Reply to GingerMay

HEAVENS NO! You are NOT wrong in your feelings. If you see Christmas for what it really is, you can understand your feelings better. I used to work for a retail store that was owned and operated by a large Jewish family. As we all know, Jews as a group do not celebrate Christmas. I was one of the few non-Jews that worked there. The big joke among them was that they would all gather around the cash register on Christmas morning and sing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
The fact is that Christmas has become concept with so many hidden agendas - one such agenda is to drive the economy and another to combat depression during a time when the days are getting shorter and most of them are gray and either rainy or snowy. This is a false concept because after Christmas, the nation's suicide rate soars as people discover that they are in deeper straits than before, having spent money on gifts and revelries instead of paying bills and keeping previous debts under control.
In addition, it is an excuse to party and a way for many people who have zero piety, to "pretend" to be good Christians when they do nothing Christ-like the rest of the year.
When we also realize that Christmas is not really about the birth of Jesus because we can simply do the math and see that he was not born in December. Instead it is a continuation of the celebration of the rebirth of the pagan sun god Ra and re-labeled as something supposedly good for Christians. This association with the rebirth of the sun is the reason that it comes two days after the winter soltace. This was the first day of each year when early astrologers could first notice that the days were finally getting longer again. I have always felt that this association with paganism must surely not make God happy. I mean, how would you feel if all your friends and family told you that they were not going to celebrate your kid's birthday on your child's actual birthday. Rather, they wanted to celebrate your kid's birthday on Adolf Hitler's birthday. How about that? They would reason that you shouldn't mind as long as they were indeed celebrating your child's birthday... right?
No, you are not wrong to hate it! I hate it too. It makes me feel like a hypocrite!
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Reply to WoodenBoat
cak2135 Dec 20, 2018
If I play my cards right, Jesus began life as a Jew. I don't care for the holidays as I never married nor had children. A lot of my family isn't speaking to me anymore, either they have gone their own ways or they have died. And this, too, shall pass
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Yes, Christmas has been a struggle for me for years. I too am Spiritual and love the decorations, a few of the carols, attend church. But the family dysfunction, debt, cooking, cleaning, driving across the state twice in one week to attend not one but two Christmases. It is so easy to get caught up in pleasing others that you make yourself miserable. It took me 3 days to recover from the chaos.

At 55, I declared that is enough. The running nonstop on the hamster wheel was over. I now send Christmas cards but no longer attend large family functions. On Christmas day, we go to a movie, a park, take a walk, a bike ride, go to church service. We try to make the day as tranquil as possible.

Peace and Joy to you all.
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Reply to Hugger1

Your not alone, Christmas has become over rated. The stores have over rated it because they make money. I even saw Christmas things on sale in September at my local Rite Aid pharmacy they put Christmas things out on shelves right before Halloween. Ridiculous. I didn’t even put a tree up this year. Nor did I buy gifts. I bought one gift each for my step grandchildren and going to give them money cards. (Visa) last year we spent way to much. They have Christmas five times in the week of Christmas with their other relatives and get way to much. They just grab a gift un open it and throw it to the side and want another and another. My children and grandchildren live out of state. So that is very hard for me. I also lived in a disfunctional alcoholic relationship and grew up like that so Christmas wasn’t a very happy time for me at all growing up. Also some men think we can do it all. Shop for presents and cook all the goodies and set up the house and tree for one day of a chaotic glandure. Then clean up the big mess after it’s all over. Also yell at you for spending to much bloody money. Yup your not alone. I wish Christmas was like thanksgiving were we all got together and each of us had to make someone something that didn’t cost money to make. I think Christmas should be for children like Halloween. But the stores and big companies took off and ran with Christmas and ruined it all for most. Happy holidays ba hum bug.
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Reply to DeniseMiller
PrivateCitizen Dec 21, 2018
The OP expresses the steep emotional ups and downs that happen due to too much build up of the 'big day'. Friends in other Western nations- Germany, Denmark do NOT blow out with tackle excessive 'decorations' for a month, spending a fortune, beefing up expectations it will be 'perfect'. They celebrate quietly, with a simple diner together, going to church that eve, and simple, simple. I am never going to blame Americans for celebrating and spending with love towards others, but the 'goodwill' rings hollow often because no one donates or volunteers 2 days later. And the biggest problem I have seen over a lifetime is family forgetting reality of dealing with a crowd of people you don't see often, expecting ideal behavior, and getting the usual, often snarky, or indifferent, or braggy, or drunk behavior. So it seems to me some families avoid the overspending and excess that is getting them in $$ trouble, and celebrate more in the real meaning of the day. The reason why the celebration happens is lost in the modern day affectations. I do know i MOST enjoyed the 'poverty' years when me and DH were in college together, paying for it ourselves, working side jobs, living in a tiny 1 bd apt, and MAKING the gifts, all with thought, and the joy, then driving 9 hours to get there, excited to see who liked what I made. the 'journey' was always the best memory, Too broke to buy a tree I dragged home a huge arching Manzanita tree branch with straggly little branches all over, painted it gold, hung our few bulbs and tinsel on it..that 'tree' I remember most! but as we got real jobs, and too busy and rushed, I was stuck for a few years buying $$ at Macy's not caring much JUST to meet the obligation of a good gift. I MISSED sewing bathrobes, or hand making beautiful clove studded oranges, tied with velvet ribbons, and placing in a huge wicker basket, carrying it to each person to choose one. Then as his sisters married and had babies-- it became awful massive heaps of presents the kids TORE thru, barely looking, and grabbing the next. To the point of crying and insisting poor 90 yr ol grandma let them open HER few gifts..and the pious mother LET them. There was a 'teaching' moment there that she just overlooked as tears and whining began at being overexcited and allowed to do as they want...because : Christmas. I know everyone with a negative Christmas history has many different experiences- from standing in long lines at the cheap stores to save a few $$, tired and stressed, to hidden anger and being overheated and rushed to keeping everyone happy. and worse.
I don't hate Christmas---I just feel that it is the LEAST Christlike way to celebrate HIS birth and ministry.

Also--I have to do "all the things" alone b/c hubby inevitably has last second job related issues that MUST be dealt with, Most years he "forgets" to shop and he runs to Walgreens at 8:45 pm and is frantically scouring the shelves for ANYTHING. It's sad for me, as it says to me "You;re not important enough to PLAN for". This is MY problem and you'd think after 42 years together it wouldn't bother me. What I REALLY want is my family around me and for him to stay awake all day and engage with the family,

Mostly, I want it to be over with. We lost 2 lovely family members at Christmas and this does come to light, the memories, as they were sick and dying during the holidays. I know everyone probably has that to deal with, It just is what it is.

I just try to make the other 364 days of the year "Christlike"....and quit pretending that Dec. 25th has anything to do with out Savior's birth.

Works for me.
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Reply to Midkid58
Riverdale Dec 20, 2018
I feel I share so many of your issues. Some people are not good present givers. I have always given it so much thought but I just don't care anymore. I am your age married for 39 years. This year as so many others we have some other business related issues creating alot of stress. That always takes precedence. The greatest gift to me would be for this business issue to be resolved. I am looking forward to seeing my 3 grandchildren who live in different states. I can't imagine what it would feel like to feel real holiday spirit.
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,My Mother was a "Holiday MaMa"and Christmas was her favorite.
All 3 of us "kids" were born Christmas week.3 years ago now,on my 55th Birthday,my dear Mother died.She tried so hard to hold on for Christmas and did,but then died hours later,so I have a lot of mixed emotions about Christmas time.Mother joined her loved ones,but I lost her and nothing,especially the holidays are the same.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to luckylu
Jellylava Dec 21, 2018
I'm sorry that your mother's death will always be linked with Christmas. Perhaps you can create a photo album with your siblings to celebrate all the Christmases she helped to make special for you. If you can find a way to bring the happy memories to the fore when are missing her it might ease the pain a little. My Dad died in 2015 and I think of him most when I see a silly cartoon or joke I might have shared with him, or a book is published that I know he would have liked. The things themselves are insignificant but they were the things with which we bonded.
My mom abandoned me, my sister and my dad on Christmas Eve, 1978 for another man. Best, yet worst Christmas ever.

Because I was a juvenile, I HAD to go to her house for Christmas. She was a drunk, a Narcissist and a bully.

As an adult, living now just a few hours away, I went to her house every Christmas, but hated it. It wasn’t until she was riddled with dementia that I didn’t feel intimidated by her anymore.

She passed in August and we just got her ashes back last month. We buried her in November.

I don’t have any family left, except my estranged thieving sister. I wasn’t invited to her house and wouldn’t go anyway.

Church at midnight to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, a frozen pizza, a glass of vino, and a nice bubble bath. I bought myself a 23 and Me kit to see if I can find some extended family. That will be exciting waiting for the results. Wish me luck. It’s lonely and depressing and I feel I have no place to fit in now that everyone is gone.

I know that’s not sound advice, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone with your feelings.

Peace and Gods blessings.
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Reply to JFJINAL729
Gershun Dec 22, 2018
I hope you do find some extended family. Until then feel free to consider the people on this site your cyber extended family. We'll try not to disappoint you. ((((Hugs))))
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I'm sorry you are struggling with the season. I believe when one person is struggling we all are struggling. I've learned to re-do Christmas. My first step was to stop exchanging gifts with family. At first it made the family gathering more pleasant, and when it went back to stressful, I stopped going to the gatherings. It made me have all kind of self doubt feelings, like guilt, shame and pride, until I realized I was looking at myself through others eyes. Now I exchange a few baked goods with friends and neighbors and buy myself something so I don't feel deprived. I avoid shopping and church, eventhough I'm a Christain. I also plan the day to do something I've been wanting to do, but don't otherwise make the time to do. One year I cooked a wonderful meal just for myself. Another year I read all day. Another I made curtains. You get the idea? When people asked my plans for Christmas, I learned to tell them I would spend it alone, but I was making a special day for me to celebrate. I can actually put on Christmas Carols and enjoy listening, once.
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Reply to Fr1end

I can relate to the reply from Hugger1. I prefer to be away from the chaos and stress of the Christmas shoppers. And I also understand your feelings. As I have grown up, wised up, and grown older over the years, I have given up on the Christmas shopping. It has always lead me down the road of debt and stress. It really irks me that Christmas decorations in the stores are on display before Halloween. And I like it when people say "Merry Christmas" to me instead of "Happy friggin Holidays". Political correctness is getting beyond absurd. So now my family just gets together for dinner if we're lucky. This year my son and I are going to work at Salvation Army on Christmas day and then probably go out for Mexican food. We have great Mexican food in our town.
I used to have the seasonal depression around the holidays but they seem to be fading the more I let go of the stress.
I would suggest as other people have, to do something that makes YOU happy.
Hugs to you!!
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Reply to Number1daughter

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