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Old 16th December 2017, 11:28 AM
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Default xmas and mental health

I think this is my 3rd xmas on the AFA forum and i've previously been very Grinchy about the day, i hate the whole thing. The three most distasteful aspects are firstly, the religious undertones of the day, secondly the crass pressurised consumerist orgy and thirdly the vile food (i'm vegetarian and avoid sugar...so)

People in response tend to recommend Tim Minchin's wonderful 'white wine in the sun,' as a representation of what is good about the day...family. Thing is, i hate that aspect of it to!

Not that i hate my family, i love spending time with my favorite people but xmas ruins even that. The weird formal arrangements and traditions that have to be followed, from exchanging gifts to sit down meals and those stupid wasteful cracker things with their terrible jokes and tiny tacky figurines. Xmas somehow plasticizes the experience of being with one another. It invades even our the best relationships with its conventions and demands, it's an obscene day.

But this post is not intended as a grinchy moan, actually its the opposite. For people who are alone on xmas, not by choice but by circumstance, the day can be deeply depressing or heartbreaking. As it is for people who have lost someone close during the year, someone whose absence on the day brings tears, how the missing weigh the day down. Or people already under sever financial stress, think of what xmas imposes on them.

My view is that its ok to hate xmas and its ok to be alone and sad and depressed on that day, it doesnt mean anything. It doesnt mean you're a bad person or a failure or the hopeless victim of providence. There is no humiliation in sticking your middle finger up at the day and once you've done that do something good for yourself. Do whatever is the most fun thing you can do because that is the best way to forget what day it is, in my opinion.
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  #2  
Old 16th December 2017, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: xmas and mental health

Bunkered down and hunkered down until approximately 02 January.

Occasionally I come up for air and emit sardonic bleats re Bah, Humbug, or a combination of both.

Red wine in the shade works fine. TEVW and Dog v2.0 as usual.

Avoidance by family is the most beneficial side-effect of my recovery from religion.


The whole thing is really a lot of balls.

Enjoy it if you like, but for the wellbeing of both of us, do it at a distance from me.
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Last edited by The Irreverent Mr Black; 16th December 2017 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 16th December 2017, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: xmas and mental health

I focus on creating memorable and positive experiences for my kids.

A Xmas without meat and sugar would be depressing. I usually cook turkey at least 3 times for different groups of people. And pavlova. Xmas without meat and sugar would be challenging.

This year my wife and kids will be away (for 6 weeks) but a special request was put in and Santa Claus dropped off the presents this morning. My daughter still thinks I am very, very silly for not believing in Santa Claus. But next year she will be ten years old and I strongly suspect that this is the last year when at least one child in the house will believe in the magic of Xmas and, as much as I try to tell myself that's a good thing, I tear up just thinking about it. It's amazing how wonderful a tacky $5 toy from K Mart can be when you believe that it was actually made by an elf in Santa's Workshop.

I also loathed Xmas..... for 3 decades straight. It surprises me how much I enjoy it now.
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Old 16th December 2017, 02:39 PM
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I like it. Mostly because I like Christmas lights, the flashing colored ones. And hanging out, I like that too. This year will be the banks of the Yarra, BBQ, cheese platters and no fuss. There may even be a guitar or two.
Feel free to drop by pip, my SIL will probably have her famous vegan chocolate cake made with quinoa, beetroot and no sugar. Itís amazing.


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Old 16th December 2017, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: xmas and mental health

We hang out with Mr Two Dogs and some nice beer and a nice beach. Been doing it for a few years now. And it is invariably a lovely day.

Personally I hate the whole month. I'm busy as fuck with work and really stressed. But the couple of days off I get I really enjoy.
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Old 19th December 2017, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: xmas and mental health

I used to like the carols in the Domain and even sang joyously along with a lot of the songs. This year was different. I couldn't stop thinking that this is so wrong. So plastic, so deluded, so indoctrinating. We still decorate and do the lights for the house and the garden. Love the break, love the family stuff. Hate the background now.
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Old 19th December 2017, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: xmas and mental health

The consumerism and religion are vile, but if you step back, you can enjoy watching them devour each other. A lot of the traditions are secular or pre-Christian, and the religious takeover has only been partial. It's also in retreat in a lot of areas. My kids and I got a kick out of seeing Xmas lights of Santa exposing his buttocks, another one had Santa taking a piss, with a golden rope light hanging from his groin all the way from the roof to the ground. This is the new spirit of Xmas, funny, irreverent and no sign of Jesus.

I like listening to Phil Spector's Christmas album because all the songs are secular, with the exception of "Silent Night". It's the only one that Phil himself appears on, which is pretty funny, because he's Jewish. He not making a Christmas album for Jesus, it's just another glorious brick in the wall of sound.

Last edited by stylofone; 19th December 2017 at 07:36 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 19th December 2017, 10:11 AM
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Iím thinking I may be possibly rather less evolved than many others. I understand that as a society we put enormous pressures on people at Christmas via the rampant consumerism and the expectations that go along with that. We have been the family that couldnít afford Christmas for the kids, and the unexpected unsolicited help we received from the most diverse places made it one of the most memorable Xmas times ever. Not saying it wasnít stressful, it was.
Then there was the one where we had a few gifts, but honestly no cash left Xmas eve for wrapping paper. But we did have huge garbage bags. Problem solved. Thereís were small glitches compared to what others go through at this time of the year. I wish everyoneís stress could be as small as this.
Being raised with the nativity story being in the same part of the book case as Grimms Fairy tales, Enid Blyton, and the Billabong books gives my brain a weird disconnection, where it doesnít even associate the whole thing with religion. Itís just a story, that gives rise to a day, like many do. Having pagan origins makes it no different. Still stories. So we donít do religion at Xmas, but neither do we actively avoid it. Itís just a story
What I do actively avoid is most of whatís left of my immediate family siblings. The good ones are dead, the rest, a mixture of believers and atheists, are toxic. Thereís a lot of us.
Bring the Nonna now I get to make the rules, ( yes I do) and it is made very clear to my kids partners that nobody will spend the day tearing about like mad things trying to see everyone in one day. They go where they need to and come to us when they want to. And no crazy 3 days of cooking stuff nobody eats.
Stress levels need to be as low as possible, so no expectations.
I wish everyone could have an easy time.



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Old 19th December 2017, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: xmas and mental health

My nativity scene is the best.

Our two butcherbirds just brought their latest little one over for a first meeting.

I can be happy for a while, at the cost of a couple of blobs of mince.
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Old 20th December 2017, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: xmas and mental health

Quote:
pipbarber said View Post
i hate the whole thing. The three most distasteful aspects are firstly, the religious undertones of the day, secondly the crass pressurised consumerist orgy


Quote:
pipbarber said View Post
The weird formal arrangements and traditions that have to be followed, from exchanging gifts to sit down meals and those stupid wasteful cracker things with their terrible jokes and tiny tacky figurines.
Yeah and when your brother in law is a rabid catholic who has never even read the friggen bible it is a shitty day.

At least for years we had no gift giving, until my brother instituted a kringle type deal (random picked family member). I rigged the hat draw and gave him a completely inappropriate gift and problem solved, no more gift giving ever again..
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