Christmas is Annoying

But it doesn’t have to be…

Kayla Douglas
Dec 4, 2019 · 3 min read
Bangkok, Thailand December 2018 (photo by author)

The Christmas music has started. In the past, I would have put in some earbuds and made sure my music was louder than the joyful tunes. When I first heard it five minutes ago, I thought, note to self, pack my earbuds to have in my purse at all times. Let’s face it, I’m a bit of a grinch. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

What’s the point?

But then I asked myself, why? Why do I find Christmas music intolerable? And for what purpose would I choose to continue to hate it?

I’ve only recently realized I could pick and choose what I want to like and hate. I used to believe this was out of my control, either you like something, or you don’t. I’ve come to understand that there are more complexities than that. There are things we ‘learn’ not to like for particular reasons throughout our lives.

‘Learning’ what to believe

Some things we are conscious of being a product of our experiences. For example, I don’t like to eat salmon because once I got sick after eating it. Ever since then, I haven’t put a piece in my mouth. Most people would tell me that it’s understandable.

This type of aversion is meant to protect us from repeating an unpleasant or dangerous experience. But we can certainly change it. The past doesn’t equal the future. So, it’s easy to eat salmon again, have a pleasant experience and thus reverse the belief.

Changing Beliefs Based on Experiences

We can change beliefs about anything, not only food. Sometimes, the change comes from our experience rather than a decision. When I was a child, I loved rainy days. I would go out and play in the huge puddles in the grass with my siblings. In some parts of the yard, the water collected so it was up over our ankles. We would run around barefoot with the mud between our toes, splashing each other and making up games, it was a great time!

Once I reached college, I hated the rain because it meant having to wrap my laptop in layers of plastic bags before setting out across campus for class. It meant carrying an umbrella that might be useless if the wind picked up, and wearing wet soggy jeans and socks in class. The rain was awful based on my experience.

Change Your Mind, Not the Experience

Where I live now, it’s rainy for 1/3 of the year. This time, I’ve decided to love rainy days. Even if it means wading through gutter water on my way home from the store. I love the rainy days even if I sit in traffic while flooded roads divert everyone to a few streets. It’s not that the rain is convenient for me, but I choose to like it anyway.

We can make these decisions for anything in life. We don’t need to change our experience to change how we feel about something.

So does Christmas have to annoy me?

I don’t have to avoid Christmas songs to remain happy. I have to decide that I like them! My experiment for this holiday season is to practice gratitude each time I hear such a tune and recondition myself to enjoy the holiday music. Let’s see, by January, I might even be singing along.

Although I have no plans to celebrate Christmas this year, I do plan to be more accepting of the season. If all these lights and songs are meant to bring cheer and good vibes, I will let them.

Kayla Douglas

Written by

Life Coach, author, lifelong learner, travel enthusiast, narcolepsy advocate, living in Myanmar, she/her

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