How to Survive Christmas If You’re a Grinch

By Sara Cepollina

Pho­to Cred­it: “The Grinch (right) with his dog Max”

Every­one has a friend who hates Christ­mas. Guess what? I’m that friend. The first time I told a friend of mine that I dis­like Christ­mas, I could see pure con­fu­sion in her eyes. She start­ed ask­ing me why, what hap­pened, and if I had any trau­ma. At first, I thought that not lik­ing it was wrong. I mean, how can some­one not like the most won­der­ful time of the year? Then, I came to a con­clu­sion: it’s because of soci­ety. Have you ever noticed what hap­pens after Thanks­giv­ing?  

When Thanks­giv­ing is over and you’ve thrown out all the fall dec­o­ra­tions, the Christ­mas mad­ness starts with your grand­ma ask­ing, “What do you want for Christ­mas?” I’ll nev­er quite under­stand why peo­ple are in a hur­ry to buy gifts. I hate buy­ing presents, not because I’m not good at it, but because I want to find the per­fect ones for my friends and fam­i­ly. The main prob­lem is that I try not to think about Christ­mas until Decem­ber, and on Decem­ber 1, I real­ize that I’m already run­ning behind. This usu­al­ly leads to a spi­ral of des­per­a­tion and pro­cras­ti­na­tion and ends with me buy­ing ran­dom and awful gifts three days before the big day. 

I have to admit that presents aren’t the worst part of Christ­mas. That role belongs to the long, bor­ing, and stress­ful Christ­mas lunch. Rel­a­tives that you’ve nev­er seen in your entire life come to your house to have an amaz­ing time filled with the Christ­mas spir­it. That’s when you real­ize that in anoth­er life you must have been an actor because when you say “It’s so good to see you!” the only thing you’re think­ing of is, “Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house?” But the show must go on, and you have to pre­tend you’re hap­py and that your life is incred­i­bly per­fect, even if every­thing is falling apart. 

When lunch starts there’ll always be some­one who looks you in the eye and says: “Are you still sin­gle?” “When will you grad­u­ate?” and “Have you found a job yet?” That’s a thing I’ll nev­er under­stand. What makes peo­ple think ask­ing these ques­tions is a good idea?  

After years of fak­ing it, I real­ized that you don’t have to pre­tend that everything’s per­fect and that you’re hap­py to see rel­a­tives you didn’t even know of. You can be grumpy and say the truth about your not-so-cool life. 

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Sara Cepol­li­na is a stu­dent at Genoa Uni­ver­si­ty, where she stud­ies for­eign lan­guages. She doesn’t know what to do in her future yet, but she’s 100% sure of which book she’s going to read next or which Mar­vel char­ac­ter is the best.