You have permission to be a Scrooge. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh because the last thing I want is to see you on the evening news running through a department store yelling “Bah Humbug!” But – you are allowed not to buy into the holiday cheer. You are allowed to treat the holidays like normal days. You are allowed to celebrate in a soft and quiet way. You are allowed to preserve your energy and not spend it on cooking large dinners, or spending hours shopping, or driving yourself crazy trying to find the perfect gift, or decking the halls with boughs of holly.

You don’t have to paste on a fake smile and struggle through it.

If you want to bake cookies by the dozen, decorate your house like Santa’s workshop, and make a Thanksgiving feast that makes Martha Stewart look like an amateur, that’s awesome. But it’s not a standard that you have to live up to if you don’t want to.
Do what makes you happy.

I don’t particularly like the holidays.

When I first moved out of my Mom’s house, I was so excited to do my own holiday thing, to make my own traditions, and to have a wonderful time doing it. I quickly learned that I liked my Mom doing holiday stuff for me, I didn’t care to do it myself! Ha! It became something I was forcing myself to do because that’s just how people celebrate holidays, that’s what I was supposed to do. It made me unhappy. It stressed me out and I never had much fun, and I tried to, I really did, because it was supposed to be fun. You shouldn’t have to try so hard. Over the years even putting up the Christmas tree became a chore. Secret: it hasn’t left my closet in two years and I’m okay with that.

The holidays are about enjoyment, love, family, and warm fuzzies.

It doesn’t take all the trimmings to get into the holiday spirit. My ideal holiday celebration involves relaxing, watching a few holiday flicks, listening to a bit of Christmas music and consuming hot chocolate. The people I love get gift cards, and they still know that I love them, because I show it all the other days of the year.

Energy is limited, spend it where it needs spending.

Pay attention to where your energy is leading you this holiday season. Don’t run yourself ragged trying to be or do it all. Get things done early and don’t wait until the last minute. Learn to say no to the things that don’t make your heart feel good.

This is a time for celebration. Celebrate.

In your own way, doing your own thing, with the people who make your life awesome. Don’t lose the spirit of the holiday because you’re stuck on the image of what you or your family expect you to be.

  • Sibylle

    Lovely article. I have long stopped celebrating christmas (there's no thanksgiving where I live) and I don't engage in the gift-giving madness. Instead, I celebrate life and the people I love whenever I have a mind to do so, and give gifts whenever I stumble across something that has a loved one's name written all over it. Nothing wrong with sticking to the actual holidays if that's what someone likes, but for me, my own way works <3

  • Dawna Kreis

    (Please forgive me if this is my second comment. Disqus confused me…) I just wanted to say that I LOVED this post! It is funny how we feel the need to get permission NOT to live up to the expectations of others, that personal permission from ourselves is seemingly not enough. This year, I'm definitely going to keep this in mind and go where my Heart and energy leads me. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Lynne Learmonth

    Thanks that helped me see where my sister was at and accept her choices not to celebrate Christmas with me. I love the run up, I'm one of those who feels I have to provide the perfect traditional Christmas for my extended family. Yet it's just a day really. It's OK for my sister to do as she wishes and it's OK for me to do what I want. Thanks for the reminder of those permissions. I may not always comment, but I appreciate your messages. Lynne x

  • Dominee

    Thank you Lynne and welcome! I'm happy I could help you see the other side. I hope that you have a WONDERFUL holiday season and enjoy every minute of it!

  • Dominee

    Thank you for commenting! I hope that you have an amazing holiday season that fills up your heart.

  • Dominee

    I like your way! I'm pretty much there myself and I don't feel the loss of it.

  • Billie

    I don't care for the holidays much, myself. Everyone is in the holiday spirit, but I just don't get it. I'm not a fan of putting up a tree and I could do without the stress of finding gifts. I feel I have to put up a tree since we celebrate Christmas Eve at my house, but honestly, I don't feel like it! Thanks for this post, I'm relieved to know I'm not the only scrooge! By the way, I love your website!

  • Mollie

    Hallo from ABLA! 🙂 What a timely post! The winter holidays are usually my FAAAAVORITE time of year. I don't know if it's all the challenges we've faced as a family this year, but something about this year has resulted in a wee case of the Scrooge-y feelings. One of my mantras this season is "Celebrate little things".

  • Dominee

    Scrooges unite! I totally understand!
    Thanks for the sweet comment, I'm glad you're liking the website!

  • Dominee

    Hello and welcome! I love that mantra. I try to be about that every day!