I’m not a total Grinch, there are parts of Christmas which I enjoy despite it being a stressful and sad time of the year. I like that when I buy something in a shop, the sales assistants usually say, “Merry Christmas.” I like that I can hear Christmas carols at night and sometimes during the day without even having to leave my apartment. I like decorations and the smell of Christmas trees. If Christmas could be more about everyone being kinder and everything getting covered in tinsel and lights, I would love Christmas. It’s the getting together part which I dislike. Add in the busy shopping centres and the financial strain of buying presents and my Grinchy side comes out.
Aside from the benefit of having family who want to see me and give me presents there are some other parts of Christmas which are beneficial to me:
- Free stuff: I got a free candle the other day just for looking at a display of candles! I take any candy which is left out (most likely for children) in shops because it is free. Even if I don’t want it or need it, I feel compelled to take free things. I got a paper bag with balloons, a mouse pad and a keyring torch from a Virgin Mobile stall and I wasn’t even a customer. Free stuff makes Christmas shopping more bearable.
- Weight loss: Many people gain weight over the Christmas period but I seem to lose it from stress. The volume of my anxiety gets turned up and I lose my appetite.
- People are busy: This means that apart from the obligated family gatherings, I don’t really have to worry about seeing anyone. Everything closes for a while so I don’t have to go to any groups or appointments. I am free to do stupid stuff like attempt to temper chocolate. I can also use Christmas as an excuse not to do things. For example, “Ugh, I am sorry, I can’t meet up because I have to pick up some sort of forgotten and rare Christmas item!”
- Empathy: Everyone else becomes quite stressed too, which gives them a taste of my everyday life. I get to sit back and see how others handle situations and sometimes this gets the attention away from anxious me.
- Time: As others sit around eating Christmas lunch and enjoying the occasion, I will be thinking about how it is the longest possible time before we have to celebrate Christmas again!
Always look on the bright side! Heh.