How to Cope with Holiday Cheer

This time of year, you hear many people saying things like “Happy holidays!” and “Merry Christmas!”, usually with big grins and sometimes wearing floppy red hats with pom-poms on top. You also hear lots of happy, wintry, Christmas-y music playing over PA systems in stores, and you might even find yourself surrounded by carollers who serenade you with joyful songs that bring back fond childhood memories.

So how is one to cope with all this “holiday cheer?” Some people try over-eating and drinking wine, beer, or eggnog to excess. However, these activities are not recommended as they often involve joining in with the “fun” and merriment, and can even make you feel a bit of cheerfulness while you are engaging in them.

Instead, it is best to just think unhappy thoughts. Think of all the worst presents you received as a child, and all the toys your younger brother broke; think of the time in high school when your best friend stole your girlfriend; of the year your own mother forgot your birthday; of how many things are currently broken in your house; and of just how much you hate your job, whether it’s your boss nit-picking every little thing you screw up or your office mate’s nervous twitch that bothers the heck out of you.

To ward off those happy people, you may try using the phrase “Bah! Humbug!” whenever you receive one of the typical holiday greetings. You may also send cards to relatives and friends with a message such as “There’s nothing like a cold and dreary winter,” and recounting some of the worst things that happened to you this year, like when you had to spend £700 ($1100) on a new head gasket and when your heat pump failed in the last week of November.

As for the carollers, you could counter by screaming Nine Inch Nails lyrics back at them, or better yet, carry a boom-box1 playing death metal wherever you go.

If none of these solutions work, you might also try hibernation.


“Ship of Fools,” by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450–1516). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Do they still make those things?

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