I was scared to write this post before Christmas Day itself because I wasn’t sure I would follow through with my plan. Maybe I would turkey out at the last minute and go to my parents’ house, or buy myself a microwave Christmas dinner for one?

Don’t get me wrong — this was not about hating on Christmas.

But in a year of running experiments (therapy, going on retreat, writing from the gut, being more honest than I’m comfortable with) giving Christmas a miss seemed like an interesting way to finish things off.

The less Christmas-y things I did this month, the more I noticed how people around me were only doing things because they felt they had no choice. Christmas parties, getting pissed up for 5 or 6 days on the trot with work colleagues they didn’t even like, that kind of stuff. And you know what, why do things you don’t want to?</p>

Christmas Jumpers: from ironic to moronic

Perhaps it’s just me, but they seem to have they reached a new low this year. With everyone wearing one, they don’t seem so funny any more. Looking at Google Trends, Christmas Jumpers haven’t been funny for at least A FEW YEARS now. Ok I admit it, this is the one bit of Christmas I am hating on…

It's Christmas, can't we all just get along?

Although I love them very much, my family as a collective unit can be hard work to spend time with. And the pressure for everyone to “just get along” on Christmas Day tends to make things even worse. If I had my own family it wouldn’t be a problem if I wanted to spend it with them — so why should that change because I’m single?

I don’t think I want to never have a family Christmas again, and I certainly don’t think spending Christmas alone was an ideal solution. So maybe next year I’ll find some like-minded souls to spend a non-Christmas with. Or maybe I’ll spend it with my family. I don’t know yet.

The gift of me-time

After almost a month of 7 day weeks to launch CycleLux in time for Christmas, I needed to slow things down.

So I started my non-Christmas Day with an early morning bike ride. I was supposed to meet up with a bunch of people going on a ride — although a puncture put paid to that. But it felt good just to be out in the crisp early morning, cycling on almost-deserted roads, so it worked out fine in any case.

Solitude is a fine gift to give yourself, once you get over the initial stab of fear.

Why am I on my own? Do I have any friends? What the fuck was I thinking skipping Christmas? (This did go through my head several times on Christmas Eve).

But as Leo Babauta recently wrote:

The quiet of being alone is joyful. We tend to see aloneness as bleak, depressing, scary. But it can be seen as freeing, as an opportunity for growth, an opportunity to get to know yourself.</p>

Whatever time of year it is, try taking some time out for yourself. You don't have to travel abroad — you could just leave your phone at home and go for a long walk. Me-time is a luxury that is worth investing in.

What pushed me over the edge

Coming up to Christmas I was around £6,000 in debt. Whilst that doesn't bother me too much usually — I'd rather be independent and paying some interest on my credit card than stuck in a job I find spiritually malnutritious — it did make Christmas a less appealing proposition than usual.  I had (and still have) boxes of unused items all over my bedroom. I just didn't need more stuff, nor did I have money to buy any for other people. By opting out of Christmas I knew I wouldn't be receiving another stack of things I didn't need.  So this year I decided not to do the whole celebration of excess thing. With or without the complication of any religious elements you care to throw into the mix on top of that. "Retail holidays"? No thanks.

Posted to life in 2013.

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