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Why We Need To Stop Assuming That Everyone Loves Christmas

16/12/2017

I’m not usually one for posting rants on my blog; I generally like to keep this a positive place where I can, but this is something I’m getting sick of seeing and I can keep ignoring it. If you’re looking for a really happy and lighthearted post then I’d suggest checking out my What I Love About Christmas post from last year, as this one is probably going to get a bit deep.

You see; not everyone enjoys Christmas.

I’m sick of seeing comments on social media calling people a Scrooge/Grinch/killjoy/whatever because they don’t enjoy Christmas as much as other people do. At the end of the day, you don’t know what’s gone on in people’s lives; they could have had a traumatic event happen around this time of year. Perhaps they have no friends or family to celebrate with and feel alone and depressed. Maybe they have a mental or physical health condition that is made worse this time of year, such as an eating disorder. Or they belong to a religion/culture that doesn’t celebrate it.

This is what happened to me; everyone except myself and my parents are Jehovahs Witnesses. Now for those who don’t know, they don’t celebrate anything; Christmas, Birthdays, Easter…all of that is “sinful” and “pagan” so you can imagine how much fun they are this time of year.

My dad hates his birthday and Christmas; his parents joined the religion when he was about 7 years old and up until that point he’d had a fairly normal life. But then suddenly he was been dragged to the meetings twice a week without been asked if he wanted to go, forced to dress in a suit and sit still and silent for hours at a time (something he can’t even manage at 50!) and told he was no longer allowed to celebrate his birthday or Christmas.

As you can imagine, he was a bit pissed off and confused!

He hated the whole religion and left the second he turned 16, but by that point the damage had been done. When he met my mum and later when he had me, he would put on a show for us; he’d pretend to be excited on christmas morning, running up and down the stairs shouting “he’s been” and basically making me as giddy as possible, but as I got older most of that stopped. He no longer needed to put on an act because, by the time I was a teenager, I had started to dread this time of year too.

Not because I don’t particularly like it; I love putting the decorations up with my mum while blasting out our favourite Christmas songs and dancing around the room like idiots. What I hate is how much emphasis is put on family at this time of year. How all the adverts show big happy families meeting up for Christmas dinner, drinks and playing games.

It’s everywhere you look and if you don’t have that, its easy to feel left out and depressed.

I remember as a kid being really upset because I’d get snide comments from people in the religion because we celebrated Christmas. They’d encourage me to tell my parents I didn’t want Christmas and I was told to try and make them come to the meetings so often that I could hear it in my sleep.

I can probably recite from memory the yearly tirade I get about how celebrating it makes me a pagan and a sinner and all the rest of that crap. And I’ve had this every year for the last 20 years!

So as you can imagine; this isn’t really the wonderful time of year for me and my parents that it might be for other people.

But that doesn’t make us “Scrooge’s”. It doesn’t give people the right to message me telling me to “cheer up” or “get more festive”.

We need to get rid of this belief that we have a right to comment on someone else’s life. We don’t. Some people are Christmas mad, others cant stand it and go out of their way to avoid it. Then there are the rest of us who are somewhere in between.

No matter how you celebrate Christmas (or don’t!) as long as you are happy, that’s all that should matter.

On another note; I’m not sure if I’ll be posting again before Christmas, I have some posts drafted out but I kind of want to take a step back from the internet and spend time with Chris and my parents for the next week or so. I might make my round up of 2017 my final post for the year- seems kind of fitting.

Until then I hope you have a fantastic festive period- however you decide to spend it!

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8 responses to “Why We Need To Stop Assuming That Everyone Loves Christmas”

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must have been for you and your family. This post is really important. There are so many reasons why people don’t like Christmas and they are not a grinch!

    Fix Me In Forty Five – A Mental Health Blog

    xx

  2. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much hun! I was scared of posting this actually as I thought I’d end up getting some nasty comments on it so I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 and exactly! If everyone was the same the world would be a boring place!xx

  3. Erin Yarnell says:

    Thank you for this sensitively written and balanced post, Jade!

  4. Jade Marie says:

    You’re welcome Erin!

  5. Angela says:

    Wow.. I totally get why christmas isn’t ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ for you and your family. It must be really hard. It’s your right to not enjoy christmas if you don’t. To everybody their own, right? It doesn’t make you a scrooge. I absolutely hate that when people say those stuff. When I was younger I hated christmas too. Mainly because it meant I had to sit down with my family (I come from a gipsy family, like the my big fat gipsy wedding ones) and had to hear again and again how I should lose weight (I was overweight at the time), how I should get myself a boyfriend, that I should start thinking about a family and get critic thrown at me because I didn’t dress and acted like the rest of them. I am so getting this post that it actually nearly made me cry. Not everybody likes christmas and that’s ok. I started liking christmas when I actually got a boyfriend and when we had a small group celebrating it. I still go to my family, but it’s only my mom, grandmother & my little sister now. It’s more managable. Thank you for sharing this post. More people should realise that not everybody likes christmas. And it doesn’t make you a scrooge, grinch or killjoy. You’re still you, you have your own opinion and feelings. People should respect that.

  6. Jade Marie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that! I never watched the show unfortunately and I know only a little about the culture but to have to go through that every Christmas and hear such horrible and damaging remarks must have been horrendous! 🙁 I’m glad you’re starting to enjoy Christmas more now! Thank you for sharing your story too, it’s sad to know how many of us have bad stories surrounding Christmas 🙁

  7. Jade, this post is amazing. Thank you for sharing your story and painting such a powerful picture for us of your experience and your Dad’s experience with the holidays. It’s not the best time of the year for everyone even though the world tries to tell us it is.

  8. Jade Marie says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it! The world is always trying to tell us that Christmas is fantastic and how we always need to be happy and love it, but not everybody does so it can be a really hard time of year for people. Hopefully people will start to realise and accept that soon!

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HI THERE!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m a twenty-five-year-old digital media graduate with a passion for writing and a desire to change the way we view mental health and autism. I’ve owned jademarie.co.uk for nearly two years now, and its slowly changed from a place where I would brain dump whatever was going through my head that day, into a place where people can come for help, advice and hopefully a bit of a laugh. I do occasionally come out with a witty sentence or two. Mostly by accident.

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