‘Bahhumbugophobia’ - 12 Fears of Christmas
Is it the 4th January yet?
Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be an official name for the fear of Christmas, so lets invent one - ‘Bahhumbugophobia’. There is names for the fear of Christmas trees and religious festivals, but not it seems for the actual fear of Christmas itself. Yet to many, Christmas can actually be an annual living nightmare. Are you one of those people who dread the first signs of Christmas in late August/early September? Do you wish you can skip Christmas altogether and jump straight to the January 4th, when the world gets back to normality? Does the word ‘Christmas’ instantly get your blood pressure up to boiling point?. Don’t worry, you are not alone. While Christmas brings pleasure to many millions, there are millions who dread the ‘C’ word.
You can pretend Christmas is not happening, but its very difficult to do. You can avoid it by getting thrown in jail or leave for a non-christian country for the festive season. But, for most, its a case of simply grin and bare it. Some people may just be out and out Scrooge’s, but others just hate Christmas for many other reasons.
‘Bahhumbugophobia’ can be split into 12 sub-phobias :
1) Hohohophobia - a fear of big bearded men in red suits, black boots and a whip. Ho Ho Ho, have I got a surprise for you. Not only do you have this old man crawling around on your roof on Christmas eve, and breaking and entering your home, the red suited guy is every where for about four weeks before Christmas scaring the living daylights out of young children. There is only one Santa, so why is there so many want to be Santa’s out there? It’s a nightmare when you have young children. You spend hours having to explain why there was a thin Santa at the supermarket, then two blocks away, a fat Santa is working in the local gas station. Then, when you have almost got them satisfied with your excuses, another Santa drives past in a car.
2) Havingtokissgrannyophobia - that annual kiss from a relative, work colleague or a boss strikes fear into many. You fear that knock at the door on Christmas day, and find granny standing on the door step in her Sunday church clothes, best false teeth and her thickly lipsticked coated lips, hiding hundreds of wrinkles from decades of heavy smoking, pursed for that dreaded Christmas kiss. As she moves closer for the ‘kill’, you notice her moustache, but its too late to retreat, she has got you in her death grip. Before you can recover, granddad has moved in for the annual white knuckled handshake that leaves your right hand paralysed for hours. In the office, many women have to hide in the toilet on the last day of work before Christmas in fear of being caught by the boss for the annual Christmas ‘kiss’ that remind them of a scene out of the Alien movie.
3) Officepartiesophobia - The annual office bash can turn into an embarrassing post-Christmas nightmare for many. Oh dear, office parties cause all sorts of problems which can include loosing your job, going to jail for drink-driving, getting pregnant or even divorced. People just go mad and do things that they would never do on a normal day at office parties. That quick drunken fumble in the supplies cupboard with boss’s PA or photocopying your naked wobbly bits can lead to a shame that can last a lifetime.
4) Istheturkeycookedophobia - Cooking that big bird successfully can be a living hell for many. A lot can be said for a bought pre-cooked turkey as you virtually can’t go wrong. However, cooking your own turkey can often be a recipe for disaster for many. A turkey is a really big bird, and most domestic cookers struggle to generate enough heat to cook this monster right through. Clostridium Botulinum bacterium or food poisoning is often served at many Christmas dinners too. On your Christmas shopping list, you need to add extra toilet paper, just in case. It’s not traditional, its not turkey, but a big lump of roast beef is a much safer bet if you are never sure if your turkey is properly cooked. And never buy a frozen turkey, these birds, which are colder than your spinster aunty Betty, can take weeks to thaw out.
5) Christmascardcountophobia - keeping control of who has and hasn’t sent you Christmas cards this year can get people really stressed out. Are you one of those that keeps a strict record of Christmas cards sent and received? Keeping track of those darn cards can be a real stress. Do you send a card to people who didn’t send you one last year? Do you give them one more chance? And the real stressor is the Christmas card that every household gets annually that simply says inside “Love Joan, John & family’. Who on earth is Joan, John & family? There is no return address, and nobody in the family knows who they are. But, despite not getting a card back, Joan, John & family are firmly committed to sending you a card every year - God bless them.
6) Presentvaluingophobia - This a big one. Are you one of the people who have a mortal fear of spending more on presents, than the person that you are receiving one from. As soon as the presents are unwrapped, the old mental calculator is at work. Did they spend more or less than you? If they spent less than you, you are annoyed for spending more than them. Of course, if they spent more than you, you feel like a right cheapskate. The dilemma and stress of Christmas. Even worst is keeping a list of presents received last year and how much they cost, so you don’t overspend this year. The ultimate Christmas crime is trying to take un-wanted presents back to the shops in January in a hope of getting a refund.
7) Christmaslightsophobia - covers many fears to do with Christmas decorations in general. The mention of Christmas decorations going up puts many into a stressful state almost immediately. It’s not just trying to get those Christmas tree lights to work, it’s trying to keep up with the Jones’s, who have cover there house in thousands of lights, which is so bright that it can be seen from space. Whats wrong with a simple tree, a few decorations and a nice wreath on the door, which has been traditional for centuries? Why do you have to make your house into a miniature version of Las Vegas? A least all the power supply companies have a nice and profitable Christmas.
8) Adventcalendarcountdownophobia - Not only do you know that Christmas is coming, they even count it down to the dreaded day. How many sleeps is it to Christmas? Shops start the countdown to Christmas in the middle of the summer. Many dread Christmas without having a daily countdown to remind them the event is approaching. At least keep Christmas in December please.
9) Xmasshoppingtrollyophobia - Shopping just before Christmas is a living nightmare, where normally composed people go on a rampage in an orgy of anarchy. Supermarkets just before Christmas need to be avoided like the plague if you want a stress free festive event. Fights over the last turkey in the shop can lead to actual punch-ups. Trolley rage is the norm, and checkout queue stress can be fatal. Why does this happen as the darn shops are only closed for two days? People shop as if there will never be anymore food. Again, if you missed it the first time - the shops are only close for two days!
10) Knittedjumperophobia - Everybody has this major fear. Great aunty Edith has arrived with several large Christmas presents, and you know (probably from previous years) that she has spent the other 364 days of the year with her knitting needles out. As you slowly unwrap her present, and find its yet another homemade knitted jumper with arms long enough to fit an orangutan, you cannot contain your excitement. Even worse is that fact, that for the rest of the day, you have to wear this jumper. Fortunately, everybody else have to wear their jumpers all day as well. You love her to death, and admire her commitment to knitting, but please no more jumpers. It could be worse, she could have knitted you a pair of matching socks too.
11) Wizzardofozfilmagainophobia - with Christmas dinner out of the way, the family sits around the TV in anticipation of watching something entertaining, while as that under-cooked turkey starts to fight with their stomach juices. As the TV guns into action, there is a massive groan that resounds around the room. Nope, its not the turkey, its yet another showing of that Christmas classic film - the Wizard of Oz. It’s been shown on Christmas Day for the past 50 years at least, and now they have released it in high-definition too. Why do they show the worst films and programmes over Christmas?
12) brusselsproutophobia - You are all seated around the table with the family and friends, ready to demolish a huge Christmas dinner. Everything is perfect until you notice those miniature cabbages on your plate. Yes, the Brussel sprouts have arrived. The dilemma is do you be brave and just leave them on your plate untouched, but face those looks from the person who cooked the meal all day, or do you bite the bullet and swallow those darn vegetables and suffer the consequences later on or the next day in the bathroom. The weather people have already issued a weather warning for Christmas day - high winds!
So, is it the 4th January yet?
© David Lloyd-Jones 2010
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