young woman facing camera in furry hood with sparkler
The Season is upon us. Image by Freestocks, public domain.

Dear Prudence: Christ-miss


Dear Prudence,

The Season is upon us, ready or not. There are Christmas carols in every shop. Everyone has forgotten basic manners towards their fellow frantic last-minute shoppers. I’m not saying it’s the endless renditions of “We wish you a merry Christmas”, but I’m not saying it isn’t, either. However it may be, the excitement or apprehension or mix of both is in the air. Everyone is decorating trees and buying gifts they can’t afford for people they don’t always particularly like. Call me Scrooge, but the whole thing drives me up the wall.

Not all of us celebrate, of course. But even those of us born into families that do, don’t necessarily buy into the whole Christmas thing. To my mind, nobody should be forced into holiday cheer just for the sake of tradition. Many people simply can’t afford the extravagances of the season. Most of us are absolutely exhausted by this time of year and could really do with a little less of all of it. The shopping, the carols, the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day plans.

woman's legs in socks from elevated view next to gifts
I’d like an off day to read and snooze and eat whatever I please. Image by Thought Catalog, public domain.

How do I tell my friends and family that I really just want to have the day to myself? To not make a big whooha of it, just an off day to read and snooze and eat whatever I please? That, in my book, would be the best gift they could give me.

Please, dear Prudence, how do I tell my family that I don’t care to celebrate Christmas?

Not because I’m depressed, or sad, or opposed to the idea of family celebrations. I’m just tired, and not religious, and not willing to be swept up in it all just for the sake of appearances.

With thanks and appreciation,




Dear Scrooge-ish,

I applaud your honesty. I think many of our readers will secretly agree with you. But, as you so eloquently stated, we simply can’t admit to friends and family that we don’t particularly like the season.

close up of kitten in woman's arms in front of Christmas tree
Simply tell everybody that you’d like to have the day to yourself. Image by Jeffrey Buchbinder, public domain.

I am tempted to advise you to be brutally honest and simply tell everybody that you’d like to have the day to yourself. But I’m aware of the outrage that would cause. Perhaps a phone call on the morning of the dreaded day (suitably husky, of course), claiming to have caught a cold and not wanting to infect everyone else? You can then make plans for lunch or something later in the “week between the years” and everyone will be happy.

Of course, lying to your family is definitely not in the spirit of the season.

White lies to protect the feelings of those we love has always been a bit of a grey area for me. If you’re found out, of course, there will be even more drama. So you need to decide how much drama you can handle. As far as I’m concerned, you have four options here. First off, you can suck it up, go to Christmas, and leave early. Your second option is to tell them straight out and deal with the ensuing wails and worries. Option 3: Use the “sickie” white lie and deal with the vague sense of guilt (and the HUGE drama if you’re found out). Lastly, my personal favourite: take out a bank loan and fly to Fiji for the holidays, telling nobody. Deal with the recriminations when you get back.

My apologies for the cold comfort I have offered you here. It is a topic I wrestle with every year and I still have not figured out a way to do it.

Best of luck,

Leipglo's oracle of wisdom and wit, Prudence le Pomp, answers your burning questions about life and love in Leipzig. Email with your questions.

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