My experience of the fear of Christmas and the Christmas celebrations involved. How I cope with Christmas
Christougenniatikophobia. Fear Of Christmas
The fear of Christmas is Christougenniatikophobia. I had a fear of Christmas time and a fear of all that Christmas involves. I did not want to the see the decorations, the lights. the chocolates piled high in every shop, the crackers or the tree, the baby Jesus in the crib. I did not want to hear carol songs. Anything to do with Christmas, except for mince pies, made me feel sick, stressed and distressed. I used to have panic attacks around the Christmas period.
Just the thought of Christmas left me feeling like I wanted to run away and hibernate until Christmas was over. I felt stressed, guilty, depressed and lonely around Christmas time and I know it is a lonely place to be.
If you are dreading Christmas and everything to do with the festive season, you are not alone. This is my experience of Christougenniatikophobia and how I learnt to deal with the fear that I felt at Christmas time.
Developing Fear Of Christmas
I developed my fear of Christmas at an early age. I believed Christmas was a time of fear and drunken violence. My alcoholic parents used to fight a lot at all times of the year but I remember an horrific memory from Christmas, when I was very young. The trauma left me with a sickening fear of a time meant to be celebrated.
There are children who will be in that position this Christmas. I feel for them because as a child, I was one of those who had a bad time at Christmas.
I have known how it feels to have nothing at Christmas. No money for food or presents. No money to celebrate when everyone else is celebrating. I know there will be others in my situation, with nothing at Christmas, and I feel for them.
I know what it is like to be in abusive relationship at Christmas. Statistics show a worrying rise in domestic violence during the Christmas period. Someone is going to be beaten this Christmas unless they can change their inner beliefs about themselves because no one deserves to be beaten.
Christmas Past Experience
Some might develop a fear of Christmas because of bad memories of traumatic events. I have few memories of childhood Christmas's and the memories I do have, I would rather not. Presents were rare and the present's I do remember getting was a golliwog,that frightened the life out of me, and a xylophone.
I remember my mother stole baby Jesus from the crib in the church at Christmas in 1968. Mother thought it was a real baby and she hid it under her coat trying to keep it warm. She got arrested on Christmas day for stealing Jesus.
A strange thing happened last year in 2018. My granddaughter was watching a new cartoon film on television. I was gobsmacked as I watched and listened to this film 'Angela's Christmas'. It was about a little Irish girl who stole Jesus from the church because she thought the baby was cold. It was my life experience but made into a lovely experience. I have put a link in the bottom of this article to 'Angela's Christmas' which is a beautiful story.
So many families will be going through some trauma that will give them a fear of Christmas. My heart goes out to those families whose Christmas will full of fear and violence.
I remember as a child, how horrible it must have been for the poor turkey at Christmas. I remember and befriended the turkey being fattened, killed, plucked and cooked and I felt horrified. I was consumed with guilt for eating that turkey so spent my childhood not enjoying Christmas Dinner. I could only eat it if I managed to convince myself I was eating something else.
Popular Christmas Rhyme
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat (nice),
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha-penny will do
If you haven't got a ha-penny than God bless you (good)
Last Christmas Dinner
As a younger adult I felt that it was my role and duty to go to a Christmas dinner whether I wanted to or not. I used to dread going to the inlaws for Christmas.If I did not go there would be trouble so I used to go for the sake of piece. One Christmas at the inlaws, a flock of geese landed in the field at the side of the house. I smiled as I listened to them geese all excitedly honking to each other about the journey a head of them, as I imagined they were doing.
Eventually the family gathered in the dining room and sat at the dinner table. I asked my father in law if he had seen the geese land in the field earlier in the day. Hmm! He nodded, with his mouthful of food. As we ate our dinner, I was explaining to one of my children what it meant for geese to migrate. Eventually, the father in law suddenly started speaking. 'Yes! I saw the geese, that's what we are eating'. He then went on to explain how he had grabbed and killed the goose when it landed in the field. At that time I was half way through my dinner and in shock of what he was telling me. I divorced their son. This dinner was the last Christmas dinner I went to, unless I truly wanted to go.
Flock Of Geese
I used to feel and believe that I had to go to these dinners and sit there feeling as miserable as sin. Now I know I do not believe I have to go anywhere I do not want to go.
I had many negative beliefs about myself and of what was expected of me at Christmas. To change what parts of Christmas was upsetting I had to identify what I was feeling and put a name to the feeling.
I changed my beliefs about Christmas by asking myself what I was afraid of? By being honest with myself about what I really wanted to do about Christmas. I dealt with what answers came up for me and stopped allowing my negative beliefs to dictate my life for me.
Not Enjoying Christmas
When my children were younger I really struggled with negative emotions around Christmas. I dreaded everything about it. I would feel more anxious and depressed. I would pretend to be happy for the Christmas period for the sake of my children and grandchildren. It is not a good idea to pretend around kids, I know that now. I used to smile instead of showing how I really felt, like a lot of us do.
Now I see my children and grandchildren on another day than Christmas day. Now I spend my Christmas days doing what I want to do and not what is expected of me. Now I spend Christmas day relaxed and at ease instead feeling full of anxiety.
First Recorded Christmas
Why do we have a Christmas?
In 336 AD during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, we have the first recorded Christ-Mass celebrated on the 25th December.
The original name 'Christmas' comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass or service is where and how Christians remember that Jesus died for them. The people of the time were only allowed to take this service after sunset and before sun rise the next day and so it was taken at midnight. The Christ-Mass service was eventually shortened to Christmas.
It is believed that early church leaders, during the time of Constantine, settled on December 25th as a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus to coincide with existing pagan festivals of the time. Before this time at the end of the third century, they likely wanted the date to coincide with existing pagan festival of Saturnalia where they honoured Saturn, (Saturnus) the Roman god of agriculture. This was a safer and an easier way of convincing Rome’s pagan subjects to eventually accept Christianity as the empire’s official religion.
Jesus was not really born on the 25th of December so we do not have to feel guilty for not celebrating his birth on that day.
First Christmas Card In England
The first Christmas card that was ever sent in the UK was sent by Sir Henry Cole in 1843. Sir Henry, who was also involved in the reforming of the postal system in England, thought of the idea of Christmas Cards along with his artist friend John Horsley.
The card portrayed people caring for the poor. The outer two panels showed people caring for the poor and giving of charity and the centre panel is said to depict Sir Henry's family eating a large Christmas celebration dinner. The card shows the family celebrating with wine and even allowing children to drink it.
I used to have my own business which was supplying greeting cards. I could cope with the cards, any card without any emotional feeling but when I saw a Christmas card I felt anxious. I did not carry on with that business for too long.
I worked on all my negative beliefs about Christmas through keeping a journal. I write about what I think is making me feel bad and I identify the negative emotion through writing about how I feel.
When we feel bad, angry, hurt, sad, unloved or any other negative emotion, we have connected to a negative belief.
When we write the negative story that is running around in our head, we are able to identify our negative beliefs and change them.
I write about the things that make me feel bad or negative and in doing so, release the negative energy that is fuelling my negative belief.
After a few minutes of focusing and writing about negativity and all things negative, I change my focus and write about all positive desired experiences. I write better feeling thoughts. I imagine better feeling scenarios that I can write about.
I ask myself what I want to feel like? I write my answer as if I am experiencing my desired feeling. I have to imagine my desired state and then write about it and then my energy state changes from negative to positive and the negative belief is disconnected.
My fear of Christmas is in the past. By working through my negative beliefs, I am past caring who will think badly of me if I politely refuse a Christmas dinner offer. No more feelings of guilt for not celebrating Christmas.
I avoid the shops and all the decorations. It is too cold at this time of year to be bothering with shops, so I don't bother Christmas shopping.
I make sure I have dinner or lunch with my children as often as I can and want throughout the year. Christmas day is just another day to me.
My Life Story Of Negative Beliefs
- A Life Worth Living; Chapter One
Born into a violent home, I was given last rites within hours of my birth. My first day of life was a battle to survive and there were more battles of survival to come. This is my journey of survival.
To those who love Christmas and the celebrations, I wish you a Merry Christmas.
Louise Elcross (author) from Preston on December 08, 2019:
Atcelle. Thank you for reading my hub and leaving a comment.
Atcelle on December 08, 2019:
Such precise format of knowlege, Thank You for sharing Louise :)