Are you one of those people who just loves Christmas time? Christmas carols bring you back to childhood. Decorations transform your home into your very own winter wonderland.
Finding the perfect gift and baking your favorite cookies fill you with Christmas cheer. But what if your spouse or boyfriend is a true Scrooge, and doesn’t give a bah humbug about your Christmas enthusiasm?
Should you give up this special holiday, or should you both come up with a healthy compromise? Let’s take a look.
Why Does Your Partner Hate Christmas?
If you and your partner are at odds about Christmas, you can probably come up with a compromise that suits both of you. But before you do, you need to know what’s driving their anti-Christmas feelings. Here are some common reasons.
Traditionally, Christmas has been celebrated as a Christian holiday, honoring the birth of Jesus Christ as the redeemer of the world. And even though everyone and anyone can observe this holiday – whether you’re Christian or not – some people feel at odds with Christmas because they practice a non-Christian faith.
Islam, Judaism, and Eastern spiritualities don’t worship the Christian deity, and it may go against their conscience to celebrate Christmas.
Life is a two-way street. If your partner practices another religion, allow them to do that. If you would like to observe Christian traditions, be there for your partner when they honor and observe their respective faith.
Do you have to agree with their religion? No, but try to look past religious differences and look for the common thread in both of your faiths. As the Dalai Lama says, “ All major religions carry the same messages. Messages of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, and self-discipline.”
Try not to monopolize the living room with Christmas trees and other stereotypical decorations. Make sure there’s room for his devotional items, too.
If you like to celebrate Christmas the traditional way, you probably plan to purchase a Christmas tree, decorate your home – inside and out – and purchase gifts for your friends, family, and coworkers.
This adds up and can increase money-related stress and worry. It gets worse when gift-giving is strictly obligatory. This can take the joy away from what can otherwise be a happy exchange.
Set a clear budget with your partner. It may mean holding back from purchasing those enviable presents. But you can make up for it with some savvy creativity on your part. You can try DIY presents, especially if you’re crafty or enjoy cooking.
Another great way to give gifts without breaking the bank is to start a Secret Santa gift exchange with everyone. This keeps spending to a minimum while increasing intentional and quality gift giving.
Commercialism and Materialism
Even if you have the money to spend on a trunk full of gifts, you might not want to get swept away in the materialism of Christmas time. You might feel distracted by all the stuff.
And taking part in all the hype might go against your goals and intentions, especially if you try to live a minimal lifestyle.
Limit gift giving and receiving, and replace it with mindful and intentional practices and activities. Take this time of year to focus on donating to charities, volunteering at a food bank, and engaging in experiences rather than accumulating stuff.
You could go see a Christmas concert or play. You could even focus on doing things together, rather than simply spending money on each other.
In pre-Christian eras, this was a time of year dedicated to new beginnings and light. So, instead of focusing on buying stuff, learn about the spiritual concept that resonates with you. You can then create rituals or home practices that cultivate mindfulness to increase feelings of peace and fulfillment.
You might love the overabundance of Christmas. At this time of year, it’s practically everywhere – in stores, offices, homes, radio, and television. And if your partner hates Christmas, they probably can’t wait to get home to escape it all.
But what happens when your home is yet another form of Christmas chaos? They can grow to resent you and your love for Christmas.
Communicate! As with all healthy relationships, the one and only way to navigate differences and difficulties is to talk about them. This is always healthier and productive than addressing them with passive aggressive and/or emotionally abusive behavior.
Let your partner know what you value most about Christmas and why. Maybe once he understands why decorating and baking is so important to you, he’ll be more inclined to let you do it.
On the other hand, ask your partner what he doesn’t like about Christmas and why. By understanding his perspective, you might be able to be more sensitive to his needs and preferences. You might be able to adjust your holiday festivities without feeling resentful, too.
Negative Family Memories and Dynamics
Ideally speaking, Christmas is a joyful time spent with family. But for many people, family is another word for dysfunction. And all those relatives are the last people you want to get joyful and merry around. This may be a deep-seated motive for your partner’s anti-Christmas sentiments.
These emotions and memories are real, so try not to dismiss them. Instead, try to support your partner in opening up and discussing these hurtful issues. Deep healing might be necessary, and that should take precedence over twinkling Christmas lights and cut-out cookies.
Show Gratitude and Offer a Holiday Raincheck
If you love Christmas and your partner hates it, you may arrive at a compromise so that you get to celebrate a time of year that’s deeply meaningful to you. In the meantime, he might be just surviving and eager for it to be over.
Even though partners should compromise, always remember to show gratitude to him for supporting your love of Christmas. Be vocal in your praise and thanks, and also be sure to give him a holiday raincheck.
Once Christmas has subsided, treat him to a special day. What his raincheck holiday looks like will all depend on him and his personality.
Just make sure it’s something that will make him feel happy. A weekend getaway? A dinner at his favorite restaurant? Tickets to his favorite hockey game?
It doesn’t really matter what it is, but if it’s something he’ll love, it’s a great way to show how much you appreciate him.
Christmas time can be a difficult holiday if your partner doesn’t like this holiday. By keeping these six tips in mind, you can work to create a season that’s meaningful and manageable for both of you.