What do people do if they don’t celebrate Christmas? Why escaping the festive season doesn’t make you a bah-humbug.
Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year, in fact, with over 2 billion of us celebrating it every year, it’s difficult to imagine not being a part of the festive fun. It may be a shock, but the holidays don’t always have to be spent in the good old-fashioned way, rocking around the Christmas tree, and roasting chestnuts on an open fire. It may be for religious, cultural or even personal reasons that some of us choose to opt out of the celebrations. But what else could people possibly be doing at this time of year other than stuffing our faces with mince pies or fighting the Christmas shopping queues? Here are some of the things that people do to escape the Christmas traditions.
Well, it looks like Santa might not be the only person flying the skies this Christmas. Research has suggested that almost a quarter of Brits head abroad for Christmas, with the majority saying that they would prefer to go somewhere hot rather than seek the perfect white Christmas. If it’s anything films like The Holiday have taught us, it’s that Christmas isn’t always best when it’s spent doing the same thing at home. If you’re really looking to escape, some of the best non-Christmassy destinations include Morocco, Japan and Thailand.
However, it’s sometimes easy to forget the true significance of Christmas, as we become absorbed in Christmas shopping, buying the biggest turkey and wondering whether Santa will be good to us this year. It can therefore slip our minds that some religions don’t celebrate the traditional Christian festival.
For Jewish families, Christmas can be a time to reflect upon how society has influenced and shaped religion, culture and identity. Christmas has also been merged with Hanukkah, the traditional Jewish festival of lights, which celebrates the victory of Jewish rebels in 164 BCE. This association to Christmas became prominent in the beginning of the 20th century when Jewish immigrants came to America, and Christmas became more of a national rather than religious holiday. Yet what is there to do when everywhere is closed on Christmas day?
Well, it might surprise you to know your nearest cinema could be open- that’s right, what better way to escape the festive cheer than as to sit back, relax and let a film transport you into another world. it is also important for us to remember that although Christmas is a time to be with family and loved ones, for some of us it can bring a time of loneliness and sadness, a reminder of what we may be missing in our lives.
It may be difficult to join in the jolly festivities and see everyone else having fun. Sometimes it may feel better to do something completely different and rewarding. One of the most fulfilling things to do at Christmas is volunteering. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adults volunteered over Christmas last year, according to the Royal Voluntary Society. There are plenty of opportunities in England, from volunteering at animal rescue centres, to helping answer the phones for Samaritans at a time when it is most needed. If you’re wanting to escape Christmas at home altogether then volunteering doesn’t just stop in England; there are plenty of opportunities abroad too, including wildlife conservation projects in Botswana and helping local communities in Peru. Volunteering abroad doesn’t have to be expensive either, many opportunities include accommodation and food.
Christmas shouldn’t always need to mean the same thing every year. So, whatever you choose to do over the festive season, wherever you choose to spend it, or whether you choose to celebrate it or not, I hope it is filled with joy.