There are those who say I have no sense of fun (untrue) and others who say that Christmas is for children (it's not) but I am accused constantly at the moment of being Scrooge-like with my aversion to Christmas and its distractions appearing earlier each year!

Let's just put the record straight – I LOVE Christmas!  It is the one time of year when I guarantee myself a break from work.  I refuse to work over the Christmas holiday and so enjoy spending time with my family and friends in a work-related-guilt free environment.  But there's the rub ... Christmas starts for me on 24th December, when I finish work and do the ‘Santa trip’ with my husband, delivering pressies.  We then have a relaxing break and feel refreshed for the start of the new year.  So, what's wrong with that? 

Well, everything, it would appear.  The fact that I don't 'ho, ho,ho' my way through December (and worse still, November) is seen as 'bah humbug' by colleagues and I am regularly asked 'Don't you like Christmas then?' when actually the opposite is true.

By way of illustration, I am running 2 customer care workshops in December – the first being next week (8-9 December) and the second being Christmas week (21-22 December).  When these were planned, I was told categorically that no-one would attend the second workshop so there is no point in planning it.  Despite these reassurances, I went ahead and did so and find that almost double the first workshop attendees are attending the second workshop.  It appears that there is an appetite for work in the run up to Christmas after all!

Why, then, am I expected to feel bad about my attitude to work in the run up to Christmas?   Is it me...?

Comments (9)

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  • 1
    Shirley Zinn wrote on 3rd Dec 2009

    If it's you, then it's us... Why are we judged on the volume of time we spend endorsing Christmas in the weeks before instead of the quality of things we do?

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  • 2
    Chris wrote on 4th Dec 2009

    Jooli, I personally hate Christmas because of the fact that it does seem to get earlier and earlier every year. Thankfully I'm out of the UK in the build up and return Christmas week. I think if everyone had a similar approach to you, many more people would actually enjoy the festive period between the 24th and the 2nd.

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  • 3
    Philip Anderson wrote on 4th Dec 2009

    I'd say that the popularity of the pre-Christmas workshop shows an appetite for a break from the routine in the run up to Christmas, rather than for work as such - it's time out of the office, less stress, more stimulating, and probably more useful (like having a quiz in the last lesson at school, instead of a normal class). You're the Christmas entertainment, Jooli! But I'm puzzled that Christmas starts with delivering presents - surely they have to be bought first?

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  • 4
    Alex Chaplin wrote on 4th Dec 2009

    I live in the US. Christmas items appear in the stores before Halloween, which is big here. Thanksgiving is a major family holiday on the last Thursday of November. Thanksgiving dinner is very similar to Christmas dinner. Many families start putting up their Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, which was the 27th November this year. I observe the tradition I grew up with in England of not putting up decorations until a week before Christmas (is that the first day of Christmas?) much to the annoyance of my American born children.

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  • 5
    Peter & Janie wrote on 4th Dec 2009

    Jooli, we both agree with you, by the time it gets here we are thoroughly Christmassed out. It is a commercial ploy to get people to spend more money.

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  • 6
    Jane wrote on 6th Dec 2009

    Totally agree with you. I enjoy Christmas, which lasts for 12 days, starting on the 25th of December. Christmas Eve is also an enjoyable bit of preparation/anticipation. The month before that is known as "Advent", not Christmas, and an Advent calendar is more than enough to mark it. Yes, you need to do your shopping in advance, but extending the celebrations for ANYTHING backwards by an entire month is ridiculous!

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  • 7
    Pat wrote on 9th Dec 2009

    Jooli - I too love Christmas - but working in I.T within retail I need to keep two heads, one to plan months ahead ensuring that all of the company's systems are in good shape for this busy (hopefully profitable) time, with strict change processes, monitoring critical schedules and applications etc. The other head is kept Christmas-free until it actually happens. It gives the impression to friends and family that I am totally disorganised – but is all deliberate – honest……

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  • 8
    Mark Wright wrote on 10th Dec 2009

    I agree with Jooli - Christmas should start on 24th Dec at the earliest! As each year passes we get Christmas thrust upon us earlier and earlier to the point where I do not look forward to it like I used to. I still enjoy it when it arrives but by then I'm usually so sick of christmas songs and all the fuss that has been made over the previous months that my enjoyment comes from being able to shut myself away with my wife and get away from the commercial nightmare that christmas has become!

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  • 9
    Ian Thompson wrote on 11th Dec 2009

    No it is not just you. You fall into that group including restaurant cooks who will not have turkey on their menu; the artists who invited to decorate the Tate Modern Christmas tree have, until this year, used an anti Christmas theme. I urge all of you to find some desolate corner of this Island, celebrate the recession in the best way you know how, pray at the shine dedicated to Scrooge, frequently punctuate your conversation with humbug, pontificate how superior you are over the rest of us shallow enough to enjoy the festive spirit, and leave us alone to make the season merry.

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About the author
Jooli Atkins (FBCS, CITP) has been involved in the IT profession for the past 25 years, mainly in Learning and Development. She is the Chair of the BCS Learning and Development Specialist Group and CITP assessor as well as being an accredited SFIA consultant, specialising in Business Change.

See all posts by Jooli Atkins

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