Do you want to figure out how to quit Christmas?
My family and I don’t celebrate Christmas, and I made the choice to opt out of Christmas for good when I was a teenager. I had to explain my decision to my friends and family back then, so I understand that it’s not as simple as just stopping.
I’m ready to share some ideas that can help you to quit Christmas and make the process easier for your family and loved ones.
We’ll have a look at some reasons why you might want to stop celebrating Christmas, and what you can do to get your gift-giving fix instead.
Reasons to quit Christmas:
1 – It’s meant to be a Christian holiday, but it’s not in the Bible.
The account of the birth of Jesus is in the Bible, of course, but Christmas isn’t.
Jesus wasn’t born on the 25th of December, and the Bible doesn’t tell his followers to celebrate his birth; instead, it focuses on his teachings and actions, and tells his followers to commemorate his death.
Most of the modern Christmas trappings are based on pagan traditions that dishonour Christianity and the vicious persecution that the 1st-century Christians endured!
I’m a Christian, and it’s because of this that I choose not to celebrate Christmas.
But if you don’t really believe in the Bible in the first place and don’t see the big deal in all of that… why on earth would you ever want to celebrate a religious holiday that’s supposed to be about something you don’t believe in?
2 – It’s a commercialised money nightmare.
Even people who love Christmas have to acknowledge that the marketing surrounding it is out of hand, and that the intense social pressure to spend never ends.
Shopping is the main focus of the season, with an array of sales created to build excitement in the preceding months. The consumer receives a steady emotional pummelling as she’s constantly told that she needs to get the perfect gifts, cook the perfect meal and create the perfect atmosphere for this perfect day.
The stress of paying for Christmas haunts many people, with the debt from the previous year’s celebration lingering well into the next year. Traditions shouldn’t be followed out of obligation, especially when they can be financially harmful.
As a money blogger, I turn down the opportunity to make money on pushing Christmas-focused sales because it’s just not something I believe in.
How to quit Christmas but still enjoy giving gifts
Giving gifts to your family and friends is a wonderful practice that does you a lot of good. If you want to keep the gift-giving going without celebrating Christmas, you could either give presents randomly throughout the year, or have an annual present day.
Each has its perks, but giving presents randomly doesn’t generate a sense of community or closeness in the way that an organised event does. If you’d rather give presents spontaneously throughout the year, try keeping a notebook or a Pinterest board with gift ideas for your loved ones and noting any special events that may be coming up in their lives.
If you decide to have a present day, think about how you can make it unique, affordable and enjoyable.
How to have a unique present day if you don’t celebrate Christmas
The great thing about a present day is that you can make it just what you want it to be. Here are some ideas for creating your present day:
Think about the timing
Consider what time of the year you’d like for it to be, whether coinciding with (or avoiding) family anniversaries, or filling a gap between other important events. It’s always good to have something to look forward to, and spending time planning a present day can lift your mood.
Try out a new theme
The only limit is your imagination – choose what you want, and co-ordinate your decorations, wrapping and games. We’ve done Star Wars, a treasure quest, and a game where we each took turns solving riddles that would reveal what our presents were.
Maybe your present day could tie in to a family member’s favourite sporting event, hobby or fandom.
Do it bit by bit
Build a hamper or swag bag throughout the year with cheap gifts for each month. Instead of saving up for a spending spree at the end of the year, you can take advantage of sales whenever you see them, and get that feel-good payoff from doing something for others.
Keep it in budget
Having a present day is fun, but there’s no point in turning it into a Christmas-sized cash guzzler! Make sure to set a reasonable budget, and don’t get carried away.
Involve the kids in the planning
It’s a great idea to get kids into the gift-giving spirit, instead of passively receiving presents or expecting an event to be all about them. Even better is when they can get involved in the decision-making processes too.
How to explain to your family and friends that you’re quitting Christmas
Maybe you want to stop completely, or maybe you just want to take a break; whether your reasons are religious, financial or personal, you’ll need to let your family and friends know.
Do it early
Don’t put it off – the earlier you can let your family know, the better. It’ll give them time to process the news and the alternatives. Some people will find it easier than others to accept, but even if they don’t accept it immediately, you can make your decision easier to understand if you give them enough time, along with a gentle breakdown of why you’ve made the decision.
Don’t berate your family and friends for not “getting it”. That won’t help, and will just generate friction. Some people really respond to the obligatory nature of the holiday, so they won’t feel comfortable with not giving a gift at Christmas time, and that might make you feel guilty about not reciprocating – it’s all part of the weird transition phase that won’t last forever.
Get ahead of things by giving small gifts and writing appreciative cards at other times of the year. That way your loved ones will know how much you care about them, and will eventually realise that taking away the holiday doesn’t take you away.
Don’t just tell them what you think will get you off the hook in the short term – for example, if your reasons are religious, saying that you’re skint this year will only mean that you won’t buy presents, but you’ll still be expected to join in with everything else.
On the other hand, if you’re cutting back to save money, it’s best to say that plainly, so that you don’t find yourself having to cover up for missing other events that may lie ahead.
Is it time to quit Christmas?
If you do want to quit, it’s not as hard as you might think!