I Stopped Celebrating Christmas

and here's what happened

Melissa Steussy


Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

My stress decreased

I felt more joy and less pressure this time of year

I could slow down and relax

I was in less of a frenzy

I was worried less about finances and finding that “perfect” gift

I wasn’t stressed about family interactions and awkward gift exchanges

I didn’t need to “plan a meal” and get overly focused on what we would eat

I could still have a tree and look at the lights.

I could still listen to the music if I chose to but there is no pressure to “get into the spirit of Christmas.”

I could buy things for my family and friends if I wanted to throughout the year or when I felt the desire to show my appreciation for them, but it didn’t feel contrived.

I no longer had to wonder what a teenager might like or buy things for people that have way more money than I do.

I no longer have to feel immense grief around others’ perfect Christmas cards and family photos where they are chopping down the perfect tree or having the ideal family dressed in the same jammies.

I haven’t found myself in a harried line at TJ Maxx, or Target trying to get the best wrapping paper and bows. I haven’t been tantalized by the sales aisles or little things I just need to throw in my cart at the last minute.

I also decided to jump off of social media this December so I could see less of the frenzy and have a peaceful December leading into the new year.

So much of this is marketing telling us we have to have the newest phone and many of us buy into the lie that these items or gifts will bring us the joy we have craved. To be honest, Christmas is a huge letdown each year and the promises of joy we are supposed to receive are not wrapped up in a box.

This year with the money I may have spent on Christmas in years past I am taking a trip with my family to a tropical climate. I plan to enjoy my time with them and take morning walks on the beach counting my blessings and thanking the one whose birthday we are really supposed to be celebrating.