• You see, even if you loathe Christmas, or just resent its imposition, you must move past this resentment. (Archive Photos Creative/ Getty Images)
A step-by-step guide to breaking the oppressive Christmas wreath.
By
Helen Razer

13 Dec 2017 - 7:15 AM  UPDATED 13 Dec 2017 - 7:15 AM

Christmas is a time for giving, receiving and celebrating universal human love through the medium of tinsel.

It’s okay. They’ve gone now. All those people who love Christmas well enough that they seek to inflict it on others are asleep. It really doesn’t take much to send them off. If you ever find yourself irritated by the pro-Christmas propagandist, the joyful human bauble who believes (a) human generosity should only be practiced once annually and/or (b) the birth of a particular prophet should be acknowledged even by people who never heard of the guy, the best strategy is to agree.

Even get in early, as I did. If you spot a friend in antlers or you sense your boss is about to belt out some noise concerning the fates of Ye Merry Gentlemen, quickly prepare yourself to say, “God bless us, everyone!” or, “It comes but once a year!”. The Christmas propagandist, accustomed to making such claims first, will be so pleasantly surprised, they will fall into a deep but pleasant coma where, hark, the herald angels croon/glory to a dreary tune.

You see, even if you loathe Christmas, or just resent its imposition, you must move past this resentment. 

You see, even if you loathe Christmas, or just resent its imposition, you must move past this resentment. I mean, yes, of course, there are plenty of reasons to hate the thing which start with Christian cultural imperialism and hardly end with the seizure by companies of a ritual that some folks actually derive genuine spiritual comfort from. I am from a Roman Catholic family and remain close to relatives who experience Christmas as a truly holy occasion. Their church and their prayer bring them intimate peace. But, even these guys get the irrits with the way in which the Lamb of God is cooked to a crisp by retail.

Even serious Christians can be very Bah! Humbug! about the whole deal. Many folks from other faiths and traditions I know are just as frustrated with the Vast Noël, but feel reluctant to express it. Western atheists may dislike it for other reasons—with the notable exception of Tim Minchin—and there are now so many of us who face the sort of poverty that makes a time that revels in abundance feel like a slap to the face with a very empty stocking.

All of which is to say, while those propagandists are enjoying their deep sleep in pine needles: many of us would prefer to avoid Christmas. I am one of these people. As I have been developing my Christmas Relaxation and Avoidance Practices (CRAP™) for some years, I am able to give you a special non-Christmas gift.

A good initial step in breaking the bonds of the oppressive Christmas wreath is to say, “Happy Christmas” at every opportunity.

The first lesson of CRAP™ is, quite possibly, the hardest. But, we have already begun to broach it. To avoid Christmas is to let your revulsion for it go. The Bah! Humbug! type is not avoiding Christmas at all, but is entirely caught up in its garlands. The graduates of CRAP™, however, are free.

A good initial step in breaking the bonds of the oppressive Christmas wreath is to say, “Happy Christmas” at every opportunity, and yes, this does include all opportunities in all calendar months. My more advanced students sing carols in April. Our CRAP™ method here is to make the signs of Christmas so usual, they do not bother us at all when they actually arrive.

As there are but a few days of “joyous celebration” and “good will” remaining, you will not have time to complete the full complement of CRAP™ study. For you, we at the CRAP™ school have devised emergency measures.

Our quick fix program of Festive First Aid will soon be available as a free app which locates restaurants in real time on December 25 that are both open for business and bare of decoration. We plan to vet streaming screen entertainment that makes no reference, no matter how small, to Christmas. A future development will see customised Christmas pretexts produced for those invited to Christmas dinner.

I’m truly excited about this CRAP™ initiative, and I can’t say too much about it. I will say, however, that our beta-tests are promising and it shall not be long before we roll out some very convincing images of persons in the “not-fatal but totally infectious diseases that tend to occur in late December and never last until New Year’s Eve” ward of a very realistic seeming hospital.

While you await these advancements or your learning at the Institute for CRAP™, I wish you a Merry Christmas. 

Festive reads
Giving your kids a dud Christmas gift might be preparing them for real life
Ian Rose frets about being even-handed with presents for his kids. And hopes he’s not gift-wrapping them a sense of entitlement.
Ditching Santa and consumerism: what happens when you don’t celebrate Christmas
From a personal stance to religious beliefs, how do those who don't believe in Christmas navigate the holiday season?
Top your tree with an inspirational woman this Christmas
"Christmas tree topper, angel or fairy... now she's a woman to look up to."