I hate Christmas and I hate that there are a ton of incorrect assumptions about why I hate Christmas. One is that I must be a Grinch a Scrooge or any other well-designed character of Christmas shame.
I’m not alone, there are many of us securely and silently screaming when Noddy Holder sings ‘so here it is Merry Christmas’ in November.
The issue is many of us had traumatic Christmas as children.
One of the aspects of trauma is it can create flashbacks when triggered by similar circumstances. A flashback is a vivid experience in which you relive some aspects of a traumatic event or feel as if it is happening right now. This can even be something as simple as a negative emotion seemingly coming out of nowhere.
Much of my traumas as a kid came around food. I was a ‘fussy eater’. What we didn’t know is I had celiac disease. I have no way of understanding myself or explaining that food made me feel ‘off’.
Arguments would erupt with the ‘you’re not leaving the table until you finished what’s on your plate. With the normally accommodating dog, busting my antics by leaving the soggy sprout on the floor.
Now as a gluten-free adult Christmas events become a million conversations as to why I don’t want any cake ‘come on it’s Christmas, have a bit of cake’.
My traumas around Christmas are relatively mild, not eating a spout wasn’t going to kill me. In other households the message was different.
Christmas is the same every year is comforting to some and for others, a menu of trigger points from the repetitive music you can’t escape to the slightly pungent Christmas box pulled down from the attic every year.
Before you delve into the interrogation of ‘why don’t you like Christmas?’ be aware you might not be ready for the answer.
If someone can make their own choice about how they spend a few days in December, or not going to the Christmas party, let them without question. In most traumas our choices were taken away from us, making choices now as an adult to say ‘screw you Christmas’, can be most healing.