The Thing About Christmas

The thing about Christmas is…well, quite frankly, we’re over it.

That may sound like a harsh proclamation to make, but it’s the truth. Albeit, one we didn’t come to lightly.

For the past few years around this time, we’ve found ourselves in far flung corners of the world – Argentina, Honduras and Spain – where Christmas is a much more muted event. Where decorations aren’t brought out in October, where roads don’t congest around shopping malls for the entire month of December. Where it exists in a more pure form of it’s intent – celebrating the birth of a religious icon and spending time with loved ones.

Christmas in MendozaI didn’t miss the spectacle of festivity as I thought I would – instead, we both found it quite refreshing. Not only for the break from hearing a heavy rotation of Elvis Presley carols, or the fact that we aren’t religious in the slightest, but why should valued family gatherings be restricted to one time of the year anyways? (As avid travelers who visit family at odd times of the year, we have since come to create our own annual celebrations.)

Because the thing is, when Christmas is ‘blown out’ as it is in North America, when there is the expectation to create one perfect day in which spiritual homage and family love conquers all, gigantic pressure comes with it. We’ve previously spent oodles of money on celebrating that one day, and on useless ‘things’ in the name of giving and defining affection, when in reality most gifts were shortly forgotten or discarded. After the tragic events or our lives in 2007, both our families came together to drown in masses of gifts, spirits and fatty/salty/buttery treats, believing they would numb and heal us from what occurred in the twelve preceding months, but all I noticed were the two empty chairs. And the following year, when this hostess spent weeks preparing for a ‘perfect’ Christmas, hurtful comments by family members about the inadequacy of dinner ensured that I spent most of that blessed time hiding or crying.

Incidentally, it was that first Christmas that sprouted our idea to travel. The second ensured that there was no turning back. It was not out of any lessening of love for our family members, but instead the hard reality that our family, as we once knew it, would never be the same. It was time for us to make our own traditions.

So we hit the road. And when Decembers rolled around, we found ourselves in places that celebrate the season in a much more subtle way. A few red bows could be seen decorating a few trees, but it was far from the overwhelming customs we had known. (Also, it should be noted, that we were sometimes in places where the amount we previously spent on one Christmas meal could have fed a local family for several months.) We held onto a few traditions – we bought a bottle of Baileys to enjoy in our coffee, and we made sure to watch a couple of our favorite seasonal movies. We called home to recount with our nephew and nieces everything that Santa brought for them. But that was it. And we were happy.

Being back in North America for this December, and in a house just begging to be decked out in holiday decor, I tried. Or at least, I wanted to try – I wanted to see if I could recapture or rekindle the Christmas spirit of my youth. I wanted to remember those times as a kid when I would get swept up in the warmth of the season, bewitched by sparkling decorations and repetitive music.

Christmas Decorations

Photo by Flickr user Pimthida

Last week, Pete and I went on a tree-hunting mission. He had never cut down his own, but I had many times in my youth – this would be the start of the rekindling I had hoped for. We found one and then another and another, each time we quickly established a reason to dismiss it. Too thin, too tall, too short. After awhile it became quite discouraging – we were both irritating and irritated. We returned home.

I sat on the couch and cried, and couldn’t explain why. All I knew was that I didn’t care if we had a tree, I didn’t care of decorations, or anything else that had to do with the holiday season. A swarm of humbugs encircled both of us.

Those previous stresses and ill memories obviously still lingered. Or, it was my subconscious way of rebelling against this return to a former lifestyle. All I know is that since I released myself of the pressure of decorating, purchasing, or any other typical Christmas traditions, there have been no more tears. Relief has been granted, a heavy burden purged from my mind.

Over three years on the road, three years of bucking tradition in all facets of a “normal” life, and we still struggle with releasing ourselves from certain expectations. And while we are happy for those that do find solace and joy in the season, we think we are finally okay with proclaiming that it just isn’t for us. There will be no tree and no presents to unwrap – having learned long ago that demonstrations of our love and affection for each other need not be encased in a pretty bow. We’ll sip our Baileys and enjoy watching Elf, we’ll connect with our families, but that will be it.

And that will be our very merry Christmas.


74 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • December 19 2012

    You’ve been through so much… Like you, I needed to process things from 2007 (surgery, you may not walk again, lawsuits, etc. etc.) and that’s why I started writing. Life is a roller coaster sometimes. Have fun going up the hill with your hands held high.
    Lane recently posted..Breckenridge: In Several Bottles

    • December 20 2012

      Thanks. 🙂 That’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do. 🙂

  • December 19 2012

    Oh, I hear ya! I just don’t know what to do with Christmas. I find it’s like one of these christmas tree ball ornaments, so shiny and sparkly that it blinds the hell out of you and you are stunned and bedazzled and deeply want it, but it’s merely hollow, apart maybe from the contradictory fillings of consumerism, pressure and disappointment. Man, the one day that was bound to be horrific back when I was a kid/teenager, was Christmas – because everyone had such high expectations and everything had to be perfect and of course, nothing was. Christmas for me is that backstabbing thing, that tricks you into believing it’s all about love and harmony and contemplativeness, while everyone is terribly stressed, eats way too much and just wishes the whole thing was over, for which one then feels guilty about. It’s just really hard not to feel you’re missing out on something when you turn away from Christmas – but it gets better with the years, I find. I still haven’t found the right attitude towards it, but Baileys&”Elf” sounds good:) In the end, we’re all free to create some kind of holiday WE enjoy – mine would definitely include waaay too cheerful X-mas songs and mulled wine- and I hope indeed that you guys will have a very nice time – ho, ho, ho!
    Vera recently posted..In photos: Munich

    • December 20 2012

      It does get better with the years, which is why I actually feel quite happy this year, because it is all a manner of just finding out what works best for YOU, and I think I’ve finally found that. It will never be as we had it in our childhoods (of course it won’t be, why would it?), so it’s all about just making it work for us today. I hope you get to enjoy plenty of mulled wine! 🙂

  • December 19 2012

    Oh dear. Why does this post make me sad?

    g-knows our mutual continent has surely gone waaaay over the top N.U.T.S. with the whole spend, spend, spend of it.

    But YOUR holiday needn’t be that way.

    It just makes me sad to think you two can’t feel that child-like wonder at sparkly lights and Christmas carols.

    I guess I’m just a hard-core romantic (heck, a smidge of me still halfway believes in SANTA CLAUS!) 😉

    But seriously. Though I may be sitting here in the middle of an Asian rice paddy (well o.k. my beloved French hill town in Dalat, Vietnam) but… you can bet I have a wee Christmas tree sitting on my desk as I peck here – strung with bitty blue lights and it’s oh so pretty. And my porch? Why strung with more bitty lights – purple and white.

    Furthermore, my dear landlady Mai has tucked an entire nativity scene (this in a land that’s 85% Buddhist!) in among the flowers in the garden.

    Nope, I won’t be hitting Target for a boatload of gifts for family and friends this year (though I DO hope to somehow snag a sturdy step-stool for Mai, so she doesn’t break her neck wobbling on her old rickety one whilst stringing lights next year).

    I guess what I’m saying is… I understand that it might well be far different for you, but do try to find just a little bit of that childhood magic in the season (maybe just a snowball fight with Frosty the Peteman?)

    In any case, I wish you both a most lovely holiday this year!

    • December 20 2012

      Oh Dyanne, don’t feel sad for me, please – this is the first time that in awhile that I actually feel HAPPY about it. That I can finally realize and state my true feelings on the subject. And that, as you can guess, is very freeing! This is the best I have felt about Christmas in awhile because I have finally defined it for myself, and I can dispense of all the expectations and wondering. I feel really good (and NOT just because I have already thrown a few snowballs in Pete’s general direction – I have terrible aim)!

      All the best to you! 🙂

  • December 19 2012

    I’ve allowed a lot more space for myself this year to decide what to do and not do to celebrate Christmas. I am a practicing Catholic, so it’s more for me about the celebration of the birth of Jesus than about all the commercialism. However, I do still enjoy the Christmas lights. 🙂 Being a particular difficult year for my family, we’ve opted to do some things differently. Since I’ve basically given myself permission to not do anything I don’t want to do, I’ve found myself enjoying the season a lot more. It doesn’t hurt that we really don’t want anything since we’re in heavy savings mode for travel. I just feel slightly more at peace with not sending out cards and worrying about shopping, even in a time of personal grief. It’s kind of a mystery to me why I ever worried about that stuff in the first place.

    • December 20 2012

      Sounds like, even if for different reasons, we are having similar revelations about the season. I think about that now too – why did I ever worry about such things? I’m glad to hear it is working for you, and in your time of grief, I hope you are getting all the support you need.

  • December 19 2012

    Now that my sister and I are adults my family has slowly been changing our traditions. Fewer presents, less money spent. We focus now on the fact that everyone is home at one time and “games night” and movie marathons are much more important.

    If it were up to me we wouldn’t exchange presents at all and just head South for a week. I am slowly working on that.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Bacon is Magic in any language

    • December 20 2012

      Ohhh, I wish I could get our family to do that too – an annual vacation would be much better! 🙂

  • December 19 2012

    Right now I’m experiencing Christmas differently because we are living with my sister and my very cute niece. I think I’m into it due to the ritualistic part of it. I know this time of year has come and I’m reveling in it.

    • December 20 2012

      I’m glad Erica! It is always a lot of fun with kids. Enjoy!

  • December 19 2012

    I admit it — I am a shameless holiday lover. I love to bake, decorate, wrap and give gifts. I think I was a 1950’s housewife in another life. I missed “my” Christmas dearly last year when I spent it in Thailand.

    This year I’m back in New York (leaving again for Thailand on the 26th!) but stress is taking over Christmas cheer at the moment. The money spent on the holidays and the lack of time to enjoy it all is getting me down a bit. Glad to hear you’ve found a way to make it work for you!
    Alex recently posted..Conquering Vegas, Cosmopolitan Style

    • December 20 2012

      Thanks Alex, and I hope you find a way to make it work for you too. Baileys helps. 🙂

  • December 19 2012

    Nothing at all wrong with that!! I agree Christmas is, well…silly, in so many ways.

    I’m spending the holidays this year by volunteering at a homeless shelter. Long hours and and a lot of unknowns. But I have a feeling it will be the best holiday I’ve ever had!

    • December 20 2012

      Good for you! We’ve been looking into that around here with little success, except for one dinner we helped at last night.

  • December 19 2012

    North America is brainwashed to accept Christmas as a time of spending more than what you make, eating more than what you need and forgetting the real meaning, whatever that is to you.

    We need to wake up and stop sitting back while this happens.

    Good post!
    Jeff Cruz recently posted..Help-Portrait 2012 | Thanks Vistek

    • December 20 2012

      Thanks for your comment Jeff – you’re in the heart of it in Cowtown (speaking of a spend-spend-spend culture). I hope you are enjoying the holiday seasons nonetheless! All the best to you!

  • December 19 2012

    Ba Humbug! Kidding, of course.

    A couple years ago we decided to not buy each other gifts, instead we sponsored a single mom with 4 kids and bought the family presents. It was a wonderful Christmas and reminded us what’s truly important – each other.

    We love Christmas. We love the excessive amounts of food and beer. We love spending time with family and reflecting on another year. We love watching the Canadian Junior plays hockey on boxing day. We don’t spend lots of money on gifts anymore, instead we fill each other’s stockings with little inexpensive gifts.

    It’s true, a commercialized day should never dictate the time you spend with family, but it’s a time when everyone commits to being together, without stresses of work or daily obligations. Everyone seems to be so busy nowadays, so it’s a time we look forward to it each and every year!
    Cam @ Traveling Canucks recently posted..Our 10 Most Memorable Travel Experiences of 2012

    • December 20 2012

      All very good points Cam, and thanks for rubbing it in that we’re going to miss out on the Cdn Juniors (that is one thing we DO miss)! So glad that you guys have found such meaning in the holidays, good for you! And how much fun is it going to be now with the babe – Christmas is only going to get more fun the older he gets! Enjoy!

  • Chrystal McKay
    December 19 2012

    I think your reasoning for disliking Christmas is a good one and I understand why you’d decide to shun the holiday or opt out of it in your new lifestyle. But I also think it’s wrong to declare that the way others celebrate (even if its your own culture) is ‘blown out’.

    Yes, we definitely do go all-out over the holiday season, but for me, it is the reason I decided I would return to my family and Canada each holiday season. I love decorating the tree, going cross-country skiing and snow shoeing with family members I have’t seen all year, the food, the carols, the general feel of joy. It isn’t just one day, at least not with my family, it is an entire month of being together. The whole month of December in Canada is by far one of my favourite times of the year and I will be singing Christmas carols on repeat because I simply love doing it. 🙂 So I don’t think its excessive – I think its fun.

    But the gift of giving just to be giving is not right. I agree to that. I tend to only give practical gifts because I always like receiving gifts I can immediately use.

    • December 20 2012

      Chrystal – I am glad that the holiday season is so special for you, as I am sure it is for many others. My statement of it being “blown-out” is not a judgment on those who enjoy it, it is a reaction to the hyper-consumerism that plagues this time of year and tends to shove it down everyone’s throats. This season does not spell happiness and joy for everyone (obviously), yet there is no way to escape it in North America. What is fun for you may not be for me.

  • December 20 2012

    Last year we decided not to exchange gifts and instead spend what we normally would have on travel. Instead of some gift we won’t even remember later, we’re making memories that we’ll treasure for a lifetime.

    Some may not understand it, but to each his own. You do what makes YOU happy!
    Jennifer recently posted..Santa Claus’ Main Post Office

    • December 20 2012

      Good for you guys Jennifer – that is exactly what we believe in, making memories instead of getting something useless. Enjoy the holidays!

  • Genevieve Ross
    December 19 2012

    It snowed big time today in Mission BC, my current house sitting location. A flood of Christmas memories came rushing in with the weather front. I get what your saying… but I’m not giving up my once a year gorge on fruitcake!

    Happy Every Day to you and Pete, just hang on to the good memories. If they happen to stem from this time of year, so be it 🙂

    • December 20 2012

      Thanks Genevieve! All the best to you too…enjoy your fruitcake! 🙂

  • hayley
    December 20 2012

    Christmas is probably the trickiest time of year in terms of how it can make you feel, which in itself is a minefield as that will impact how others close to you feel. I have taken some measures this year to de-stress the occasion for me and I implicitly know that this will have disappointed some family members. But, maybe selfishly, that is a lesser concern. People should celebrate – or get through – Christmas in the way that best suits them.

    • December 20 2012

      Well said Hayley. Like most everything in life, you need to make it work for you personally. Maybe your other family members will begin to see it this way too. I hope you have a stress-free holiday season.

  • December 20 2012

    Your comments hit really close to home. Christmas stopped being magical when my grandma – with whom we spent all of our holidays – passed away during the season, and her husband followed a few years later. It forced my family to step back and re-examine our long-standing holiday traditions because, as you said, you notice the empty chairs. My mother tried to mask her sorrow for years, but usually broke down at the dinner table, aggravated by the added pressure of having to clean the house, trim the tree and do all of the shopping.

    So, we changed out Christmas traditions. When I moved to Spain and started teaching little kiddos, I learned about their holidays and saw how magical the season is for them while they await the Reyes Magos and their camels.

    …and then my family came up with the brilliant idea of traveling over Xmas. We’ve been to Ireland, Spain, Morocco and China during these jaunts, and we don’t really seem to miss our age-old traditions.

    Wishing you both the best from Spain for 2013 and beyond.

    • December 20 2012

      Cat, thank you so much for your comment. What a great tradition you have with the family now! When somethings aren’t working (like they obviously weren’t for everybody) – good on you for not forcing it, but finding out how to make the season work for you guys. Wishing you all the best!

  • December 20 2012

    My mother is the only person I buy gifts for at the time of year – heaven knows that woman deserves them *grin* everyone else gets a favor. I’ll help with a project, treat you to coffee, feed your fish while you’re away for the holiday. I find those actions to be more fun.

    • December 21 2012

      What a great idea Maria! You must find yourself quite busy at this time of the year!

      • December 21 2012

        NEVER too busy to keep up w/
        “Hecktic Travels” *grin*

  • December 20 2012

    Wishing you the very best this holiday season, but I could never give up Christmas. I love everything about it, including our own traditions that we’ve added to the holiday. We can’t get together with family anytime we want – the holidays are just about the only time everyone has off from work. With the restrictions of 2-weeks-of-vacation jobs, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that so many people are smitten for Christmas. It’s something to look forward to after a long year.

    • December 21 2012

      I’m glad that Christmas holds all of that for you JoAnna – enjoy!

  • December 20 2012

    I’m with you on this one. I haven’t been traveling as long as you have, but being back in the states for the holidays has been incredibly draining. We all know we’re a consumer culture, but once you leave for more than a month or two (and then return), it becomes really painfully clear to what extent. Particularly if you return right in time for the holidays.

    • December 21 2012

      Isn’t that the truth. And I’m not sure we ever would have felt this way had we not been traveling this way. How life changing it has been!

  • December 20 2012

    Cheers to new traditions! After years of seeing just bits and pieces of Elf, I finally saw the whole movie last night and loved it. 🙂 I like your tradition with Bailey’s too, think I’m going to give that a go this Christmas.
    Randy Kalp recently posted..All The Beautiful Children Of Panajxit – A Photo Essay

    • December 21 2012

      Really, Baileys is good at ANY time of the year, but Christmas is just a good excuse to have it daily. 🙂

  • Christine in Spain
    December 20 2012

    I think it’s key to allow ourselves to not be restricted by what we think Christmas “should be”. Props to you two for being flexible and not getting caught up in tradition. Sometimes it’s just as good to make new traditions!

    • December 20 2012

      Like most things in life, we have to give up the “should”! Always surprises me that we still have to learn that lesson. But, we’re happier for it. 🙂

  • December 21 2012

    Not all countries celebrate all festivals with the same flavor. And there is nothing wrong if you have got over the Christmas hum drum!! Enjoy your holidays Pete and Dalene 🙂
    Arti recently posted..The Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan

    • December 21 2012

      Thanks Arti! Some people think that there *is* something wrong with us, but I’m okay with that! We all must live life in our own way. 🙂

  • December 21 2012

    We feel the same way about consumerism, we don’t buy many gifts and the ones we do buy have a lot of thought put into them.
    This will be our first Christmas at home in 10 years. I hope I don’t miss the buffer too much. Wish us luck 😉 Merry Christmas to you both.
    ACook Not Mad (Nat) recently posted..Amsterdam: 48 Hour City Card

    • December 21 2012

      Haha, good luck Nat! Will be interested to hear how it is for you after being gone for so long!

  • December 21 2012

    Nice post Dalene, I hope you enjoy Christmas, one way or another.
    I think Christmas is a very trying time for everyone, there is this obligation to buy presents for everyone and be happy happy, it is also a personal time for many people and a time of reflection.
    One thing we must remember is it’s really about children, besides the obvious religious association, we all want our children to be happy at Christmas.
    p.s. I’m the only Christian in my house, my wife and 2 children are Buddhist.

    • December 21 2012

      Having children would definitely make us look at the season differently I am sure (though we can’t say from experience)! The only thing I would be concerned about for ourselves would be the display of excessive consumerism that goes hand-in-hand with Christmas. Gift giving can be such a beautiful thing, but I have personally seen too many children just have the attitude of “more, more, more!” Anyways, thanks for your comment, and all the best to you and your family this Christmas!

  • Abby
    December 21 2012

    As long as you have your own personal holidays and times of reflection, you absolutely should not feel pressure to celebrate something you don’t connect to! Me, I have been working 12 hours a day or more for months and can’t WAIT to be with my fam, not work, and not have to put makeup on. I feel no pressure at all to spend money, etc., but I did grow up Catholic and love the traditions that my family has around Christmas time.

    • December 24 2012

      Sounds great Abby! Enjoy the holidays with your family!

  • Hi Dalene and Pete,

    Oh how we we relate to this post. We would love to “not” celebrate with you some time. Events in our more recent life have muted the joy of the holiday season. Last year on our RTW we specifically went to a country that would not be celebrating it, Indonesia. As kindred spirits you might be interested in what we wrote about Christmas last year.
    Larissa @ Changes In Longitude recently posted..Free things to do in Barcelona

    • December 24 2012

      Perhaps next year we should plan an ‘unChristmas celebration’. Somewhere hot, of course! 🙂

  • Emily in Chile
    December 23 2012

    I have to admit I miss the big family Christmas. I feel like here, there’s the same stress and consumerism now, but there isn’t as much general Christmas cheer. Plus it’s hot, which is just wrong. I definitely agree that the most important thing though is finding what works for you, and the Baileys and Elf night in sounds pretty good!

    • December 24 2012

      I will admit that I do miss the big family Christmas too – we had some great ones! But, and maybe it’s also partly because we’re older and have been through so much that it has just lost it’s magic. So, why try and force it? Hope that this one is good for you in Chile, not too hot, and with just the right amount of Baileys. 🙂

  • December 23 2012

    I’m not celebrating christmas either… I’ll be just eating lots of good food! 🙂
    No presents and only meeting up with family to have some fun days.
    Melvin recently posted..Four Out of This World Winter Vacations for Snow Birds

    • December 24 2012

      Sounds great Melvin! Enjoy, and we’ll see you in the new year! 🙂

  • December 24 2012

    Elf and Bailey’s seems like an excellent Christmas to me! Though you really need to add some bourbon and Love, Actually to the mix, and then it will be perfection 😉

    • December 24 2012

      More booze and more movies! Sign us up! 🙂

  • December 25 2012

    I totally get this. I have been “over Christmas” for the past 5 years. I have been out of the country the previous 3, so I didn’t have to be confronted with the standard stresses of the holidays. Now I just cannot understand why everyone gets so crazy.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Bierberg: traditional German Christmas cookies for four generations

    • December 27 2012

      I’m glad we’re still able to be pretty removed given our current location, I can’t imagine being back in the thick of it. I hope we can keep our “evading” tactics up. 🙂

  • Caro
    December 26 2012

    I’ll be honest, I do love Christmas. But I hate the forced sentimentality that comes with it, kind of makes me uncomfortable. Matt and I just spent our 1st Christmas abroad, on our own and it was an interesting experience. We didn’t get each other anything, we ate the same old Thai food we’ve been eating for the past month and it was SO refreshing!

    We skyped with family back home and it was the biggest disconnect possible. They’re into it, stressed out about food, gifts and we couldn’t even hear each other through the computer there was so many of them. So as much as I do like the holidays, it’ll certainly be odd the next time we’re home for them. Thanks for this post!

    • December 27 2012

      Hey Caro, glad that you’re first Christmas away was enjoyable, and yes, it will make the next time at home quite odd. Best to just keep traveling – ha! 🙂

  • December 26 2012

    I don’t celebrate Christmas either, too many disappointing years with family.

    My best Christmas ever turned out to be two years ago in Europe on one of those ridiculous 5 cities in 10 day tours. I randomly ended up salsa dancing with strangers in Vienna on Christmas Eve and never had so much fun!

    Back home again last year, I suffered the usual dismal Christmas. So this year, I chilled alone and felt perfectly content eating pizza and watching movies. 🙂

    Hope you both had a wonderful holidays together celebrating your own way. 🙂

    • December 27 2012

      We did Cheryl, thanks! Glad to hear you did too. 🙂 And isn’t that funny, our first Christmas away from home was exactly the same thing – one of those crazy European tours! It set us on our traveling path I think…

      • December 28 2012

        Glad to hear you did as well! 🙂

        And great you guys did one of those tours too. A lot of people knock them (esp travel bloggers), but I had such a good time. The other people on the tour were wonderful and exloring each of the cities was fun. Came away with such great memeories.

  • Ali
    December 26 2012

    Sometimes it’s a struggle between what you actually want and what you’ve grown up with. Andy and I aren’t big on gifts, and we were more than happy to not deal with a tree and decorations. Kim and Brian (from were here with us for a couple days, and it was fun to hang out with friends, but it could’ve been any other day, except for the massive tins of Christmas cookies Brian’s mom sent. I just don’t need it either. In Germany we have the Christmas markets, and that’s a lot of fun, though admittedly that is mostly due to the Gluhwein. The stores are certainly more crowded the last week or so before Christmas, and there are decorations around town, but it’s much more subtle. I like it that way a lot more, and it’s kind of a relief.
    Ali recently posted..Bathroom Travel Hassles

    • December 27 2012

      That’s the struggle exactly, breaking away from what we grew up with. Isn’t that always it? Not sure why it is so hard to come to terms with that, but at least it means we’ve given it careful consideration.

      You and Andy are so suited for each other in so many ways! 🙂 And so glad that you got to host Kim and Brian, we really hope to cross paths with them one day.

  • Rob
    December 30 2012

    Years of bad things happening at the end of the year have made me bitter and twisted about xmas and the celebration of it. That plus I’m an atheist and really don’t care beyond the fact that it marks the days getting longer.

    I successfully ignore the whole thing most years, with the occasional party but mostly some down time when everyone else is doing the xmas thing.

    Next year I think I’m going to try to be somewhere else. South America perhaps. Or visiting friends in Europe.

    • January 1 2013

      We made that decision a few years ago – that from then on, Christmas’ would always be somewhere foreign. Much easier. Hope you get there next year! 🙂

  • January 8 2013

    I liek Christmas because of soem of the traditions my family has, but for me it’s mostly a time of ‘having to’: having to see certain people on certain days (I love most of those people, but don’t want to fele obliged), having to find that perfect present (I love giving presents, but when I stumble upon them, not when I NEED to have them), making sure you don’t forget anyone…

    Actually, I love most of the activities that happen around Christmas, I just don’t like it that they HAVE to be around Christmas.

    I don’t know if this is clear or if I’m just rambling:D

    • January 8 2013

      Just a bit of rambling, but I totally understood. 🙂

      • January 8 2013

        Darn I just now see how many typos I’ve made. Sorry ’bout that:/ I’ve written that comment in a quicky.

  • Jacquie
    January 10 2013

    I watched Elf and thought of you the whole time!

  • January 11 2013

    Nothing wrong with that at all! Last year, in an attempt to avoid all the pressures of family and the insanity of it all, I dragged my boyfriend on a trip to Prague! Sadly, I had to drag him and he has since declared that he will never travel at Christmas again. Don’t get me wrong, he had a great time. It is just that his family didn’t forgive him for an entire year!
    As for Prague – I was in heaven! A huge fan of all the decorations, I basically landed in decorations on steroids! Loved the Christmas markets, mulled wine and laid back life of Christmas in Europe! I believe right here is a commitment to myself to do one year in Europe and one year at home….the compromise! Will be heading back to Europe for Christmas in 2013 – I already can’t wait!

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