FREEDOM: 12 Tips For People Who Hate The Holidays

OK. I’ll admit it. I really have a hard time with The Holidays. And from what Ican tell from talking to people recently, I am not alone. Go ahead and admit it. You’re starting to get that sinking feeling again. The Holidays Are Coming…..

So, here are 12 Freedom Tips for People Who Hate The Holidays:

1.  No one really enjoys The Office Holiday Party. We work with these people every day. Now I have to do it on my own time?  I wish The Boss would scrap the Office Holiday Party and just give me the five hours as paid time off so I could have my own party. Hey. Even a token gift card from The Boss instead of a party would work for me.

2.  What is the actual limit on the number of times you can “re-gift’ those absolutely awful, totally useless, “this (whatever) is SO not me!” presents? And along the same lines, what is the official response when my “re-gifted” item is “gifted” back to me? Does anybody know?

“Survive” by Derek Mueller (


3.  In fact, This Holiday Season, don’t give gifts. Don’t shop. Don’t do anything for anyone. Take all the pressure off. Give yourself the gift of freedom from care this holiday season. You just took yourself right off the “Holiday Consumer Treadmill.” What a concept huh? Funny thing too: It might surprise you how bright, and dare I say “cheerful?” all those holiday lights might start looking.

4. When you are sitting in the airport waiting for your delayed flight or stuck in a traffic jam en-route to visit family for The Holidays, you always wish you had – just – stayed – home. How about you just – stay – home this year?
5.  When you are sitting at The Holiday table listening to “Aunt Jo” tell the same story for the five hundredth time, you might consider screaming, “OH! Put a sock in it!” as you imagine stuffing a turkey drumstick or a Christmas stocking down her throat. Instead, offer her another seriously spiked egg nog. Maybe she’ll just pass out and finally stop talking after all these years.

6.  Do I reeeeally have to play “Secret Santa” again this year? Reeeeally?

7.  Statistics show that “the average person gains five pounds over The Holidays and never ever loses them.” What if we just skipped all the food and special treats this year, gave the money to charity that we would have spent on all that unhealthy food and then went to a fun movie and ate popcorn instead? OK. So some people think even popcorn is unhealthy. But c’mon people, at a movie, popcorn is a must and we can even overlook the “add extra butter” calories too. It’s The Holidays after all!

8. No one really enjoys visiting The Family over The Holidays. Especially if you have to eat four turkeys at four separate houses with four separate families a la “The Four Christmas’s.”

9. Avoid The Holiday Music. Everywhere. It’s seriously contributing to The Collective Holiday Hypnosis which suggests we must go out and buy more stuff, get into tedious conversations with people we really don’t care about, be cheery at all times and hum along with The Holiday Music with a smile on our faces, no matter how we may really feel at any given moment. Wagner’s “Ride Of The Valkyries” would be a more appropriate musical choice for surviving The Holidays. (go to: to get my drift here)

10.  Remember humor can be used as a weapon especially when alcohol enters The Holidays. Someone always gets drunk and offends someone else. And that someone else usually leaves The Holiday gathering hurt or in tears. Don’t let this happen to you! Put on and wear your Emotional Body Armor at all times. This Holiday Season when someone hits you with an alcohol induced jab or you see that ol familiar poisoned verbal dart coming your way from that obnoxious relative, you can just let it blow on by. With your Emotional Body Armor on and humming “Ride of The Valkyries” you will emerge victorious instead of your usual emotionally bruised and physically battered post Holiday Season Self.

11.  And by the way, feel free to ban whomever you want from your own home during The Holidays. It’s your right.

12.  During The Holidays, always do your best to smirk to yourself in private. Just think of all the awful things you reeeeally could say at any given moment during The Holidays, but so thoughtfully keep to yourself. That’s right. You deserve a medal.

From Me To You:

The Holidays are just plain stressful for most people. For the past few years since I moved out of the United States, I have chosen to just to an easy take out dinner for The Holidays and removed all the stress of all those hours I used to spend slaving over what would turn out to be a less than an hour dinner experience. Sure, it has been a little bit strange not to go along with what everyone else is doing, but it has been a whole lot less stressful for me as a result.

So what’s your own personal favorite “Nightmare Before Christmas?”  We all know that The Truth is stranger than fiction, especially when it comes to The Holidays. We’ll all feel a heck of a lot better if you air out just a little bit of your “Bah Humbug” before The Holiday Season officially starts this year. So go on. Let ‘er rip! And for those of you who truly  LOVE The Holidays, what’s your secret? Inquiring minds wanna know!

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    • Dave
    • November 10, 2011

    As a kid growing up I was from an extremely underprivileged background, as a result the holidays were always a time when I got to look at all the cool new things my friends got while I was walking around with shoes that were either taped together or had newspaper in the bottom of them.

    Growing up and watching the capitalism transpire around me I learned to loathe and despise the holidays. From Thanksgiving to Christmas I’d watch as people lost their minds trying to buy the ‘Perfect Gift’ for everyone they know. I put up with it for years and years and when I was in High School, attending two schools and working full time I finally decided that it was time that I started calling the Holiday season what it really is, Hallmark Holidays.

    Eventually I got older and married and of course, my spouse and her family LOVE the holidays… which of course means that I am required to ‘LOVE’ the holidays and endure 3:30 am Wake up on Black Friday, crowds of people fighting over the last overpriced piece of plastic that was made over seas for $0.03 but is now available at the local store for a 1 day only sale price of $499.99. Not that I’m bitter mind you…

    After all that misery and torture every year you know what I’ve found to be the tried and true secret?

    A dark room, and a very large bottle of some fine Kentucky vintage.

    Failing that turn presents opening into a drinking game, every time a present gets handed out take a shot. That’s right a shot, not a sip.

    This will ensure that:
    A) you are wildly entertained at the piles of wrapping paper being strewn about the living of the family member you happen to be visiting this year,
    B) you remain blissfully ignorant of all the jabs, jibs and other insults
    C) and of course finally if you drink enough to feel the need to “Orally Relieve” yourself (also know as going off on someone) you can blame it on the booze!

    If that is not enough, as an added bonus you won’t have to worry about being dragged out to that family members house next year, and if your really lucky they’ll tell everyone else about it for you. So next year you can save your money, stay at home and watch football like you really wanted to in the first place.

    Cheers and happy (drinking) holidays

  1. @dave Way to go on The Bah Humbug! I LOVE your response! Thanks for sharing! Great tips for the rest of us. Anyone else wanna square off with Dave and give us some other wonderful insights as to how to survive The Holidays?

  2. Thanks, Mary Anne, for posting my painting. I really appreciate your sense of humor here about the holidays, and YES, for me too the holidays can be a drag. They serve to remind me how QUICKLY the year went by since last Christmas – and that’s kind of scary. I generally try to ignore their existence entirely and keep to my same routine instead. What I DO like to do is take the opportunity to be truly thankful for the things I do have (like my life and my health – no small gift) and to show love and caring support for those closest to me who truly deserve it. Once again, congratulations on your wonderful book. I have enjoyed my own copy of it immensely and find your stories of love and courage to be directly applicable to my daily life. You have given me a new way of looking at how I process events and circumstances and this gives me hope for a much brighter future. To you,
    I am eternally grateful.

  3. I avoid malls the entire month of December. I host a casual get together for all of my friends who don’t have families to visit, and feed them insane amounts of good food, especially latkes. Although I’m Jewish, I buy a great gift for Jesus every year: 1,000 pounds of dried beans and rice donated to my favorite soup kitchens, seeing that Jesus loved to talk about taking care of the poor. I count my blessings and appreciate what great friends and family I have. I go the Calistoga for New Years to wash away the old year and welcome the new one. I throw an end of January clearance party to clear out the winter blahs so my friends have something to look forward to after the holidays are over.

  4. @Jasmine Thanks for your wonderful suggestions! I especially love your idea of a post Holiday, “January Clearance Party” to chase away the Winter Blues! I think I will start my own up here in Seattle! I really love how you are able to speak to BOTH sides of The Holiday experience. Your words are wise and comforting as well as honest. On behalf of all the readers here, thanks for that. – MA

  5. @ Derek You are most welcome! I have always loved your paintings and your work as an artist. You totally inspire me! And, I totally agree on being thankful for my many blessings and how quickly the years turn! BTW, thanks also for your comments on my book. It has been a true labor of love and kept me alive, always giving me something to look forward to while I was dealing with cancer. So I truly hope it helps others to find their way through any Dark Day of their lives too! Again, thanks for allowing me to post your painting “Survive” on my blog today and for your meaningful comments. I really appreciate your taking the time out of your very busy schedule to post your thoughts. – MA

    • Charles Louvau
    • November 11, 2011

    It is OK not to be sucked into or imposed upon with the peripherals that rob healthy relationships. I do like the soup kitchen idea. I do like people-really! But sometimes I think I love silence and solitude more. I appreciate your humor and honesty!

  6. @Charlie I know what you mean about enjoying silence and solitude! I do too. What in particular do you like about people?

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  12. @filmovi Glad you have enjoyed this content. I was a bit worried people would not find it funny as I was quite sarcastic in this particular blog and not very inspirational except that I hoped it would be a welcome relief for people who were finding The Holiday’s difficult. I’m curious. Can you please clarify your comment on my position towards the “bottom line” and whether I am “positive in regards to the source.”? I want to be sure I understand your question before I comment on that. Thanks.

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  32. @ Diedre – I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. I took a big risk to say out in public how I felt about the holidays. I had no idea that the response to this blog would be so great. Seems like there are a lot more people feeling the same way as I do- certainly more than I realized!!! As a result I have been rethinking my position on the subject. I am working on a new blog that will talk soon about “How To Handle The Bah Humbugs!” In the meantime, there is a new post from today: WISH- It’s More than Rubbing A Lamp. Hope you enjoy that one too!

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  35. I Dont Like Any Holiday Since My Mom Died When I Was Only 10. I Am 52 Now. Plus I Have A Hideous Eating Disorder But Years Of Recovery. Still Food Food Food Everywhere. bah

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