Squashing the bug in ‘Bah, Humbug!’


Is Scrooge your hero?

Which camp are you in?  Camp 1:  “I love Christmas!”, or Camp 2:  “Bah, Humbug!”.

If you are in Camp 2, why is that?  It’s actually interesting to have a look at yourself to see why you don’t like Christmas (Hanukkah, holiday season, or whatever you recognize). As you may know, ‘Bah, Humbug’ comes from the classic story ‘A Christmas Carol’, where Ebenezer Scrooge declares that Christmas is a fraud and nonsense, but is shown how he is negatively impacting people’s lives and will die alone and miserable unless he changes his ways. Check out a well done Charles Dickens’ website about A Christmas Carol.

There are many reasons people don’t like Christmas – the stress of shopping, a reminder that a loved one is no longer with us, feeling too alone at this time of year, it brings up unpleasant memories, the list goes on…

So how might you squash the Bah, Humbug?  Maybe you don’t want to squash it; maybe you like to feel crabby and want to tell people how much you hate Christmas.  If so, this is your choice.  But I decided that I didn’t enjoy being stressed out at Christmas, so I adopted a changed perspective – I choose to celebrate life, take time to reflect on what I’m grateful for, and I consciously choose not to bring in any self-inflicted stress.

Here’s how:

  • Enjoy what is lovely about this season – the lights, the Christmas songs on the radio, the rise in energy of the city.
  • Christmas shopping – if you’re going to do it, don’t put any pressure on yourself to get the ‘perfect gifts’. Buy things that are generally liked, or ensure it is returnable!
  • If you are sad because this season reminds you of missing someone special, allow yourself to have a time of sadness. Don’t suppress it. Go ahead, feel it, emote it and cry if you want to.  Then afterwards, recognize that you are OK, and that you have honoured and remembered that person. Send their spirit love.
  • If others are putting pressure on you, like “you have to come here for Christmas”, make the decision that is in your highest good, and if you do not want to go, respectfully and lovingly decline.
  • If you have time off work, do something that brings you joy that you don’t normally get to do. Cook, bake (my next post will give you a yummy recipe for home-made almond roca!), go for walks, visit people, visit Christmas markets or just curl up with a good book.
  • Don’t get all worked up about ‘the meaning of Christmas has been lost and it’s all about materialism’.  Even though I agree with this view, I choose my experiences and thoughts, and don’t let this bother me.
Happy Scrooge

Scrooge is happy now

If you have ways that have allowed you to swing over to the positive side of the Christmas season, I’d love to hear about them.

Happy Holidays to you.

5 thoughts on “Squashing the bug in ‘Bah, Humbug!’

  1. Hmmmm….. This one really spoke to me…. I think a lot of people that know me, know that I sit on the Bah, humbug side of the fence. I have tried hard this year to be in Camp 1, trying not to make it so much about my feelings but remembering the most important things in my life and their feelings towards this time of year. It’s not an easy switch though.

    Thank you for your blog Wendy.

    Merry Christmas

  2. I think the bah humbug thing is sometimes a rejection of the commercial highjacking of the season by marketing and spending, and I know a lot of people are increasingly opting out of gifts for adults among family and friends as Zdenek mentioned. It’s more about getting together with family. People in northern latitudes have been storing up for the winter, gathering with family and feasting for as long as there have been people. Those that didn’t, didn’t survive to perpetuate. I think we are wired for getting through this period of the shortest days and long cold nights – through the winter solstice – in tact and with a healthy and stable family and community.
    To me, this time of year is a special opportunity to spend time with friends and family, but I think that special cheer in the air, that ‘Christmas spirit’ is something very deep in us as a species. It is a recognition of our interdependence and community. Happy holidays everyone!

    • Nice comments everyone! Actually Ken, your comment makes are realize that without the Christmas season, the winter would be terribly dark and dismal! Christmas activity and spirit helps get us through the dark time of the year.

  3. Thanks for the ideas.

    I am not sure why adults are giving each other presents. I thought Christmas is about buying toys for kids? Adults can buy themselves what they need. If you want to make other people happy, get together and have fun. If you want to spend money then donate the money to less fortunate =)

    For kids, I usually order toys online at Amazon.com to get better prices, larger selection, product reviews and fast service. You can save lots of time and money for better toys than what local Toys R Us carries.


  4. For me Christmas is such a special time of year. My wife and I have a special bond due to this. Our children both have middle names reflecting the season, our son Nicholas and our daughter Noelle. It has never been about what is under the tree for us but who we get to spend time around it with. It is just nice to go walk around and see most people smiling just a little bit brighter. I hope everyone can focus on what is right and wonderful in there life and you only need to remind yourself what Christmas is like for people in other parts of the world were they don’t have the time to think about getting things they are too busy just getting on with there lives and surviving. So go out there and hug a friend, kiss a family member, tell someone that they are truly appreciated.

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