PRATIE PLACE

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My sentiments: more ways to avoid Christmas

I've been building a cathartic page called How to avoid Christmas and this is perfect for it...

scary santa claus
Extracts from
Saying No, No, No to the Ho-Ho-Ho
by Hilary Stout for the New York Times, December 23, 2009


"Instead of buying stuff for people who don't need it and will probably return it anyway, I'm going to take all the money that I would have spent on presents, find some needy people — not a charity — and give the money directly to them," said [a man who plans] to spend Christmas Day working on his Web site, trolling Facebook and taking an elderly woman who lives in his Manhattan apartment building out for dinner.

A media consultant and ... his partner of 20 years have long celebrated Christmas elaborately. But 2009 was so disappointing economically, politically and spiritually, he says, that the holidays aren't worth celebrating. The couple will spend Christmas Day watching "I Dream of Jeannie" episodes on DVD and taking dips in their pool in La Quinta, Calif.

[Another couple plan] to wake up in their Christmas-tree-free home, get in the car, drive to a mountain and go for a hike. They hope they won't see another soul on the trail. They'll have breakfast at one of those chains along the Interstate, probably the only culinary option open on Christmas Day in Georgia. In the afternoon, they'll go to the movies.

A survey, commissioned by ... a residential program for adults suffering from drug and alcohol addiction as well as dysfunctional family situations, found holiday stress to be almost universal — 90 percent of respondents said they suffered from it — but that this year the feeling was amplified. Thirty-eight percent of the people polled said they expected to feel more anxiety this holiday season than last. Most blamed the economy, but 77 percent also cited family conflicts.

"There's a lot of pain associated with Christmas," said Hank Stuever, the author of a new book, "Tinsel: A Search for America's Christmas Present" ...

In recent years the movie industry has saved some of its biggest releases for Christmas Day, recognizing that the classic Jewish practice of going to the movies on Dec. 25 is catching on with gentiles looking for a break... Another American Jewish tradition, going out for Chinese food on Christmas, may have crossover appeal as well.

[Another plans] to drive eight hours to the Grand Canyon... "We'll do some hiking and sit in the hot tub." They're taking wine and their own wineglasses. "We'll sit in our room and enjoy the view and have a unique Christmas. And not feel guilty about it."

[A new widow] said, "I decided not to stress myself by conforming to some tyranny of the 'shoulds.' " She's decided to spend Christmas Day stripping wallpaper.

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