I like spending Christmas Day alone - should I feel guilty about that?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by BassyBill, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Over the years, in several relationships, I always hated the social expectations at Christmas. Go to meet folks, visit relatives, go for lunch, be at such and such party - just generally a hectic day of feeling obligated to please other people. Note that I'm talking about Christmas Day itself here alone, not the entire season.

    Since I've been single again, I've enjoyed the luxury of being able to do exactly as I like, on my own, on Christmas Day. It's just about the only day during the whole year where I can choose to do that and I defend that independence quite strongly nowadays.

    Even so, I get pressure, particularly from family, to do otherwise. It either takes the form of some warped form of pity (THEM - "You really shouldn't have to spend the day all alone"; ME - "But that's what I want to do!") or a guilt trip ("We thought you'd come and see us on Christmas Day, of all days" - this often comes from relatives I see just about every single other day of the year).

    Christmas Day is a special day for me because I get to be peaceful by myself for once. Is that really a bad thing?
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I don't think so. I am a very social person, so I don't like to be alone, but I can understand and respect those folks who prefer the solitude.

  3. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I tend to do the Jewish Christmas. Asian dinner and a movie.

    Great Malaysian restaurateur Grand street a block or two form Center Manhattan. And the Film Forum always has something good. And the Blind Tiger has possibly the best beer selection NYC.

    But this year I'm being quilted into doing the Family Feud thing. I guess this year we're talking

    I can never track of that.
  4. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    When I was a kid, that's how our Christmas's were - just a hectic blur of visiting one relative, then another and another, x 10.... to be honest I hated it. Once I got older I cut back to just visiting the parents and grandparents. Now It's not even that. Christmas eve we're going to visit the wife's family in Philly, then Christmas Day will be just my sons and I with parents stopping by in the evening. Informal, quick and easy. That's just right for me.
    Nothing wrong with wanting a day of peace and quiet, I'd think.
  5. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I spend Christmas with my wife and kids. Thats it. I just got a call from a work mate inviting us to his house, here is x and z and Y...no thanks, Christmas is a very very special day, either I spend it with my family or my real friends.
  6. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Thannks for the responses.

    I'm a pretty social person too overall, but this is one day out of the whole year where I like my own company. I know it's a little selfish, but hey, surely I'm allowed to be selfish one day a year?
  7. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I've never really been into big family get togethers, so I've never been into the family dinners and what not. I'm usually the one getting into the wine to make it through those things. :D I really haven't associated with my mother's side of the family ever since she and my one aunt passed away. I'm with you, Bill, on the whole hating the social expectations that come with holidays. But I'm not a big holiday person to begin with. It's not that I hate being social on the holidays; it's that I hate being social with people I really don't have anything in common with other than a bloodline or because someone married someone else.

    For last year's Thanksgiving, my father, his girlfriend, and I ended up going to a truck stop for our meal rather than going to someone's house. I honestly really liked that Thanksgiving (and I could eat exactly what I wanted rather than force myself to eat something someone else made).
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Thank you, you get it. It's really weird to me how much people want you to do particular things on this one day and get upset if you don't.

    For example, my Dad responded almost like I'd kicked him when I tried to let him down gently about me not being at the big family lunch tomorrow. But I'm with him pretty much everyday - I was there for four hours or so this afternoon.

    Yeah, I can see two sides to this discussion. But that seems to be twice as many as other people see at times.
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    This is the first time I spend Christmas eve with just me and my son.
    I don't really mind but I feel guilty toward him. He's used to a big family meeting.
    In the end, he doesn't mind the least and after a nice but quick dinner we fixed together, he's back playing games on the computer.
    Tomorrow we see my mom.
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You're not alone, Brother, you're here with us. Now I must round up the family, grab the cauliflower casserole I made this morning, and head out into the sticks to my sister's house to hook up with the rest of the clan.
  11. Sounds perfectly normal to me. I used to get forced into visiting people and going to breakfast or dinner on Christmas, and I hated it. It's nice to have peace and solitude.
  12. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I'm glad I'm not the only one and that other people seem to understand this.

    If I want company tomorrow, I'll take a stroll up to the pub. ;)
  13. Dmwphoto

    Dmwphoto what does this light/\ do?

    Nov 27, 2013
    Richmond va
    I get that and think there is nothing wrong with it. in fact I like it.
  14. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Bill, If you have no affiliation to Christianity you have no obligation to celebrate a Christian feast. If your family doesn't respect your decision and desire, that's on them. Just be truthful in your explaining to them. If they aren't aware of your position on it, then it's on you to explain.

    If however they have no affiliation and just go through the motions, perhaps they should give it another ancient name and celebrate it that way as a solstice feast and drop all the Christian trappings.

    Happy solstice and best in the new year.
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I tend to disagree 96. There is much, much more to Christmas than christianity.
    It is a symbol for solstice indeed, renewal of life and light.
    Jesus's birth was stuck on it because it was convenient and made perfect sense.
    It is an important day to celebrate because it is a beautiful symbol and natural event.
    If one enjoys spending it alone it is fine but restricting it to a religious day is wrong.
  16. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Oh, I am honest about it. And hey, don't get me wrong - everybody needs a day in the winter, near the solstice, where they stop and mark time. The day is a special day for many of us, including me. That's why the ancient holiday got appropriated by Christianity in the first place, I think. None of my family is Christian - there's a lot less of you over here ;) - and the only example of "trappings" really is in the name.

    I know the day has serious implications for people of faith, but that's not really the issue for me or mine. And non-Christians attach their own significance to the day, it's certainly not a queston of just "going through the motions" for most people I know. It's special to many, for any number of reasons. And it's no certainly less special for us godless types than it is for you. It's a day for everyone.

    So, Merry Christmas! I call it Christmas even if that seems a bit incongruous. I'm sure that won't offend anyone.
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Or come visit us in TBOT. No obligation to interact with anyone, and you don't have to worry about driving/walking home when you're done. :D

  18. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Don't feel even remotely guilty. Put your feet up, pull that acoustic bass off the wall, and have a little noodle whilst enjoying some great telly :D
  19. Not selfish at all.
  20. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I like it.