SocietyDecember 21, 2016

I loathe everything about Christmas. How can I cope with my Grinchiness?

Tis the season to be jolly? Oh fa-la-la-la-f**k off. If you hate Christmas, in-house therapist Ms X feels your pain and has some tips for getting through the season.

Dear Ms X,

I simply hate Christmas.

I would much prefer if we went around singing summer songs, instead of carols. How simple would it be to give our neighbours tidings of ‘Yeah nah mate have a Merry Summer’, then see each other for a catch up at the beach, rather than my actual experience this year, an ABBA-fuelled karaoke afternoon (in my defence, Champagne is a helluva drug).

Even the gifts I find a bore. You’ve got to keep that plastic smile on while you attempt to hide the crippling nausea you get when you open a Lynx Africa body wash set.

What kind of Christmas would it be if it wasn’t for the food? But I don’t need a specific day to be a glutton – I eat like its Christmas at least once a week. I find fruit mince pies to be an insult to the classic Kiwi snack food. Worst of all, they seem to sober me up while seemingly doing the opposite and making the ABBA wannabes even more drunk!

And the Christmas crackers are always so shite. The hat breaks as I put it on, the toy is laughable and somehow they collect the cheesiest of dad jokes for a good group cringe.

I hold out for Christmas to be over so I can meet my friends for a proper piss up without all the capitalism, but then yet another f**king carol starts playing.

How can I deal with Christmas without wanting to smash something?

A Grinchy Guy


Kia Ora my little Grinch friend,

I am not the most Christmassy of citizens either, so readers who spend this time of year in a state of Christmas decorating ecstasy better gird themselves for some real talk between non believers.

For me the enforced proximity to mildly to completely vile relatives who are drunk and disorderly, or sober and pedantic, usually means I’m ready to snap like a cheap candy cane and tell my closest relatives to STFU when they start the inaugural “was it NZ or Australia that invented the pav?” debate.

And I am a fully formed adult. With mental health training. Still I don’t like Christmas Day and every year I try to find a way to avoid it. This has included volunteering at the City Mission to cook for other people and doing hospital visits. Yes, I am that arsehole who hates it so much I hide my grinchiness under the guise of being a good Samaritan. Happy holidays!

Before anyone sends a lynch mob of true believers in “Make Christmas Great Again” caps out to get me, I’d like to point out that when you are sweating buckets serving 2 tons of food to the homeless or visiting someone who is 80 and has no relatives, they never want to talk about who invented the fucking pavlova, so it’s nirvana for me. I never walk away holding a Lynx set of products either so win win.

So what is my advice?


And if you can’t then volunteer in the place you have to be. Be the person who does lots of the menial jobs so you can avoid the Christmas carol chorus. Wear discreet ear plugs and wash every dish in the house.

Fill up the kids’ water pistols for them and help construct the toys that require someone who is not pissed to do so.

Be the volunteer/Samaritan in your own house and just work your ass off to get through the day. It means you notice all the stuff that annoys you a lot less.

Then drive away at the end of the day playing whatever cleansing tunes you need to to soothe yourself from the Christmas elves. I like a bit of gangster rap myself, favouring anything with the opportunity to make my hand into a pistol. Last year it was this on repeat:

but also, here is a list of the unhappiest Christmas songs of all time as my gift to you.

Otherwise you could potentially check out joining the Buddhists, the Jews or the Muslims. But I hear they all have some fairly elaborate celebrations of their own so I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

Ms X

Got a question for Ms. X? Send an email to, ideally including key information such as your age and gender.

All messages will be kept in the strictest confidence and your name will not be published. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, consider using a free remailer service like Send Email.

Need help now?

Lifeline 0800 543 354

Youthline 0800 376 633

OUTline (LGBT helpline) 0800 688 5463

More helplines can be found at the Mental Health Foundation’s directory. For a list of Māori mental health services, click here.

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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