Life & Travel

How To Have A Truly Wonderful Christmas (If It's Not Really Your Thing)

A couple of weeks ago, someone decided to give me a mini-sermon about why I should make a bigger deal out of Christmas than I do. Chile. Let me just say that since I’m an origin person, I’m at perfect peace with holidays not being “my thing” — and no, I am not a Jehovah’s Witness. I just like to do research and I also watched pretty much every episode of The Boondocks…including when Huey broke Christmas down.

So, while I’m not out here protesting the day or thinking that folks are crazy for observing it…I am totally at peace with my own stance. Plus, as people who are all gung-ho about it worry that I am feeling lonely and depressed by skipping out on the festivities, years of not doing so have actually made Christmas become one of my favorite times of the year — just…in a different way…and for a whole ‘nother set of reasons.

And that’s what inspired me to pitch and pen this particular piece. Because, although there may not be a ton of people who think like I do, I have run across enough of them to know that some folks just don’t do Christmas “like that,” for whatever their personal reasons may be. And so, if you happen to be one of them, one, I wanted you to not feel alone (you are absolutely not) and two, I wanted to offer up a few ways that you can still have a wonderful December 25…anyway.

1.Take a Trip


Do yourself a solid and get away for a little bit.

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Again, even though Christmas ain’t my personal get down, it’s not like I’m a Grinch or anything. In fact, when it comes to these first two points, I actually feel kinda bad for the fact that I can recommend them — because that means there are individuals who will be working on Christmas Day. Yet, that’s the way our society is and so yeah…if you don’t plan on observing this year, one thing that you can do is go on a quick trip because two things that will be open on Christmas are airports and hotels.

Now in order to do you a solid, I did some research and it appears that Fridays are pretty much the worst days to travel, period, as far as crowds are concerned. And since, this year, Friday is just a few days before Christmas (because Christmas falls on a Monday), it will also be the most expensive. So, when is the best time to go? Christmas Eve, believe it or not. Most people will already be where they want to go and, since you couldn’t really care less about Christmas anyway if you happen to arrive somewhere late — it doesn’t really matter.

And what if you’d prefer to drive a rental car? Rental car companies are open too although it’s pretty common for no rides to be available. This means that you need to look into booking one NOW. You could be stuck and pissed otherwise.

2.Or Have Your Own Kind of Staycation


If you don't travel far, switch up the scenery by having a staycation.

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What if you’d prefer to stay closer to home yet would still like to have a change of scenery? Why not go the staycation route and book a hotel room in your own city? One of the best things about this option is that many hotels have deals on Christmas Day. Plus, even if Christmas isn’t your thing, there is still something pretty about the décor — and a lot of hotels go all out. Not to mention the fact that they oftentimes take their menus up a few notches if they happen to offer room service or there are restaurants attached to their establishment. Some of the best hotels in the country for this time of year are located here.

Or you can just stay at your house and do absolutely nothing. I’ve done that many times and when I tell you that it’s especially relaxing on Christmas because the world is so quiet? It really is top-tier. No one is calling you. No emails are coming through. Throwback movies are on TV all day long. Chinese restaurants are yours for the taking (LOL). You can sleep in all day and night if you want to — who is going to notice or care? I’m telling you, a Christmas staycation? Very few things in life will ever top it.

3.Order Takeout Beforehand


Take some of the holiday pressure off by ordering dinner ahead of time.

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For those of you who do observe the holidays, dinner will probably have you working in the kitchen. Yeah, let’s not even talk about how much Christmas isn’t much of a day off for those who celebrate it. For those of us who don’t? We don’t have to get out of the bed or off of the couch, AT ALL, if we don’t want to. Just order some takeout and call it a day.

That said, although it’s not a lot of stuff, stores like CVS and Walgreens and y’all’s almighty Starbucks (although it is slated to close early) will be open on Christmas Day. So will IHOP, Domino’s, and, of course, McDonald’s. Other than that, though, if you’re looking to do some shopping or eating out on Christmas Day, you really need to plan ahead.

Shopping-wise, get whatever you need, I’d say before noon on Christmas Eve. And if your plan is to order food, get it delivered to you either on the 23rd or by noon on Christmas Eve. I mean, you do know how to warm stuff up, right? And make sure to tip big. Folks deserve a shout-out for working on Christmas Eve. No wiggle room on that.

4.Totally Unplug


Opt out of being plugged in, and opt into unplugging.

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A few years ago, I penned an article for the site entitled, “8 Solid Reasons To Put. Your Phone. Down.” When you get a chance, check it out because there are so many benefits that come from “fasting from your phone” every once in a while. And what better day to put these points to the test than on Christmas Day? Because really — other than maybe your mama or grandmama, who’s going to be calling you anyway?

Usually, what I will do is discipline myself to stay off of the phone and off of my PC. Whatever is happening, it can wait. And not being “plugged into” stuff means that you can read a book, binge-watch a show (Okay, that’s technically using an electronic but…), or play some of your favorite music while sitting in the tub and reheating the water for a couple of hours.

As someone who is personally becoming more of a minimalist by the second, one of my favorite sites on the topic said that unplugging (especially from social media) can decrease feelings of jealousy and loneliness. How ironic is it that, by getting away from all of the noise of phones and the internet, on a day when so many people are spending time with others, you can be alone and NOT feel lonely? I’m sold.

5.Get Yourself a Present


Treat yourself with a Christmas gift this Christmas.

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If there’s one thing that I’m gonna do, it’s give. Everyone in my world knows this about me. And no, I’m not going to wait until a special occasion to do it. If you’re my peeps and I see something that you might like, it’s as good as got. My 12-year-old and four-year-old goddaughters know this about me as well. They also know that I couldn’t care less about Christmas — so no one is asking me to do anything on or for that day. This means that my money is totally freed up to — hallelujah! — treat myself and that’s exactly what I did this past pay cycle. When I tell you that there is a leather bag from overseas that I’ve been eyeing for a few months now…and since there is no Christmas present pressure looming over my head, I just bought it? Talk about joy unspeakable! (LOL)

I don’t look at it as a Christmas gift for myself. More like a “I won’t go into debt buying it this month” type of token. Anyway, I encourage you to have a similar frame of mind. Just because Christmas may not be your thing, that doesn’t mean that you can’t splurge on yourself a little bit. We all should prioritize that a few times a year. Why the heck not? As the throwback L’Oreal ad used to say — you’re worth it. TOTALLY.

6.Do Some New Year Planning


You don't have to wait for the New Year to start planning and organizing.

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Personally, something else that I’m not really big on is New Year’s Resolutions (check out “Forget New Year's Resolutions, Try This Instead.”). My main reason is that there is nothing supernatural about January 1. This means that whatever you’re waiting until then to do, 9 times outta 10, you can start doing it right now. However, if you are someone who waits until the turn of a new calendar year to make some new (or different) things happen, you can get a leg up on Christmas Day. Because let’s be real: I’m not sure that any week moves faster than the one that is in between Christmas and New Year’s Day and so, what’s the point in pressuring yourself to set some short or long-term goals (check out “Here Are 10 Personal Development Goals We All Should Make”) if you can plan them ahead of time with as little stress as possible?

Whether it’s jotting stuff down, creating a vision board, or doing a bit of home office organizing — if Christmas isn’t a big deal to you but New Year’s Eve and Day are, you can enjoy them fully without any resolutions pulling at you. You used Christmas to knock those out. “Problem” solved.

7.See People on Boxing Day Instead of Christmas Day


Celebrate an alternative version of Christmas through Boxing Day.

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It’s actually a friend of mine who’s from Bermuda who introduced me to the concept of Boxing Day many years ago. Long story short, back in the day, the day after Christmas was when servants got off to spend with their own families. It’s also when rich folks boxed stuff up and gave it to the poor. Fast forward to now and, for many, it’s the time when they will take gifts to people who aren’t their relatives (or aren’t the ones who they spent Christmas with).

Where am I going with all of this? Whenever people ask me if I ever go to visit folks at all on Christmas, if I choose to, it’s usually on Boxing Day. I like for folks to spend time with their families on Christmas. However, since a lot of them typically take the following day off too, Boxing Day is a cool time to check in without any extra Christmas rah-rah or them feeling pressured to have a gift waiting on me like they would if it was Christmas Day. As a bonus, there are leftovers for days — so it’s a win/win all the way around. Trust me.


Whether it’s your first year laying low on Christmas or you’ve been doing it forever, just know that I see you and it’s all good. You don’t have to observe the day to make it a good one. So please, sis, make sure that you do.

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This article is in partnership with SheaMoisture

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