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Inclusive festivities: What if you don’t celebrate Christmas?

As soon as December 1st hits, we see Christmas lights galore, baubles and tinsel decking the halls and carols echoing through our streets. It’s safe to say that we tend to go ‘all-out’ as a society during the festive season. Now for people who don’t celebrate Christmas, that might be a handful to cope with! So if you’re someone who doesn’t celebrate this time of the year, read on to find out our top tips for dealing with the festivities.

There are many reasons why one might not celebrate Christmas. Whether it’s religious, cultural, personal or any other reason, know that that’s okay and your experience is valid.

Making a decision that goes against the norm is tough, so firstly congratulate yourself for setting that boundary and sticking to what you believe in. However, it might be tough when it’s all anyone talks about for the next four weeks!

This time of year, we’re constantly being asked about our Christmas plans, what we’re asking Santa for and how we’ll be celebrating the big day. This can be difficult to cope with whatever your reasons are for not getting involved with the festivities. If you’re unsure how to respond when the inevitable question is raised, don’t worry - we’ve got you covered.

Here’s 5 things you could say when people ask about Christmas:

  1. I’ll be spending time with family and friends.

  2. I’m taking some time to reflect on the year and set some goals for next year!

  3. At Christmas time I like to switch things up and find different things to do.

  4. I’ve decided to take a trip this year!

  5. I’m catching up with family in the New Year to better fit our schedules.

However, if you do feel okay with telling people you just don’t celebrate Christmas - that works too! Honesty is the best policy after all. But know that whatever you are doing over the holidays, you don’t need to justify this to anyone or compare it to what others are doing. That applies to everyone! If your Christmas tree is leaning to the right, there’s pine needles all over the carpet and you get your wrapping done on December 24th… embrace it! And if your Christmas is just another day of the year spent doing laundry, watching Netflix or going to the cinema (it’ll be so empty!), that’s fine too. It doesn’t need to look perfect for Instagram or tell a beautiful story. It’s your day to do whatever you want!

Ok, but what about on the actual day?

When it comes to Christmas Day, you might wonder how you could spend it if you’re not celebrating it. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a day where most people are indoors! There’s lots of options, and it’s important - as always - to do something that feels right for you, and makes you feel good. Although if you’re struggling for ideas, here’s a few we would recommend:

Go for a peaceful walk. Grab the dog, your woolly hat and gloves and go to your favourite place. Whether it’s the beach, the mountains or the local park to feed the ducks, everywhere will be super quiet and will give you space to really enjoy being wherever you are.

Volunteer. If Christmas isn’t for you (and you feel up for it) why not help make someone else’s day? There’s no better feeling than putting a smile on someone’s face and offering your kindness. Many people experience loneliness over the holidays, so why not offer them a helping hand and a bit of company?

Create your own traditions. Maybe you try a recipe of your own each year, or binge watch the entire Harry Potter series from 23th-26th December? Find something you will look forward to each year - even if that’s eating pizza for breakfast or having chocolate for all three meals of the day.

Get moving. Celebrating or not, our body is always in need of movement, however big or small! So why not use this time to train for the next marathon (too ambitious?) or perfect your handstand?

Start a project. Whether it’s a work project you’re keen to get started on or finally painting the living room walls, tick off those projects you meant to start in January, or make a plan for some you’d like to start in 2023!

Reminisce. Print out your holiday photos or start a scrapbook of all the things you got up to throughout the year. Reflecting is a great way to assess our progress in multiple areas of life, and remind us of what’s important, or what goals we’d like to achieve for next year.

And finally…

Take care of yourself: Whatever you end up doing on December 25th, know that it’s your day to do whatever you want. Try not to feel bad, it can definitely feel like Christmas is everywhere at this time of year. Look after your wellbeing, check in regularly and do things to help you feel grounded. And remember, you don’t have to justify not getting involved in the festive season, to you or anyone else.




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