Is Christmas masochistic?

So usually we only ever think of the term “Q4” when it comes to work. For most of us (especially for me) the Q4 is the busiest and most stressful time of the work year, it gets busy, hectic, stressful and there’s a lot of pressure. The rest of the entire year build up to this, a crescendo of madness and dreams and all the things that went wrong or disappointed in Q4 last year are going to be bigger, better, faster and simply just awesome this year. Every year.

Which is all fine and good but how about the Q4 of the year in our personal lives?

I personally genuinely absolutely hate Christmas, I hate the build up to it, the actual days and am nothing but relieved when it’s finally over. I really prefer to not have any days off and to work all the time during Christmas – for me it is a time of year that reminds me of painful family situations and losses from my childhood and gives me flashbacks to wonderful hot sunny Christmas childhoods in India with beloved people long lost and much missed. If possible I prefer to spend Christmas working alone or somewhere else alone where I can just hibernate until its over along the lines of “wake me up when it’s over”.

How bad can it  be for other people?

Q4 is when everyone is already stressed at work and then comes the happy happy Holiday Season – just because you weren’t already stressed enough you now also need to organise a big dinner for the family, get presents for people you don’t really know when maybe can’t really afford to and you also need to be really happy about it all.

The impact of Christmas can be profound and not always positive. The effects range from increased stress, family conflicts and alcohol misuse to heightened loneliness, increasing mental health difficulties and domestic violence.

Is it really a surprise that January is actually statistically the busiest month of the year for divorce lawyers?

So it’s stressful for people with families – but what about people without families? Christmas is a time of heightened loneliness for many people. There are over 11 Million people aged over 65 in the UK who are expected to be spending Christmas entirely alone, add to this bereaved people who have lost close loved ones who’s loss becomes especially painful over Christmas and you can see Christmas isn’t really all that fun for a lot of people.

What does Christmas mean to people and how will they be celebrating?

In a survey conducted by ComRes on behalf of Theos in December 2010 the following results were obtained (so yea these figures are old and I imagine results only look ever bleaker in 2013):

51% agreed with the statement “The birth of Jesus is irrelevant to my Christmas”.

18% agreed with the statement “I dread Christmas”.

54% agreed “Christmas is over-rated”.

61% agreed “Christmas is mainly for children”.

62% said they would not be attending a Christmas service.

SO – why do we continue to inflict Christmas upon ourselves and our society? Is Christmas masochistic? Is Christmas merely pressure and Keeping Up with the Joneses?

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