Deck the Halls with Bitterness. Count your burdens. Harvest bitterness. Take out your internal struggles on your once beloved baristas, or better yet, direct your seasonal angst at your own kin. Disregard your blessings. See only the things you don't have. Cling to consumerism. Bask in materialism. 'Tis the season to spend all of your money, after all.
Rush Through the Winter Wonderland. Huff and puff while you're waiting in line at the grocery story. Anxiously pace back and forth at the post office, as you prepare to mail those last minute gifts to long lost family members you may never see again. Weave in and out of traffic, throwing your hands up and honking your horn at anyone who is taking their merry time. Don't they know you have places to be? Rush around from holiday party to holiday party, feeling annoyed you must fulfill so many social obligations. At each party, skip the socializing and head straight for the alcohol so the night becomes a fuzzy mess and distant memory.
Come Thou Long Expected Gifts. Forget all about that sweet little baby in the manger. Toss out your menorah. Make your holidays all about the gold and the gifts. Put pressure on yourself to find everyone in your life the perfect present. Spend all your money in the process. Maybe even get in a fistfight or two over the latest and greatest toy for that child on your list. When it comes time to unwrap, feel inadequate when someone gives you a more expensive gift than you've given them. Beat yourself up over the fact that you spent all your money and still came up short. Or forget gifts for others all together and give unto no one other than yourself this season.
Imbibe Alongside the Familial Beasts. Feel pressured to make sure the whole family is together, no matter what it takes. Spend the entire time you're together playing on your phones, while sitting side by side. When the silence becomes deafening, pile in the car and go out for festive libations. After you are a few drinks in and your inhibitions are low, be sure to bring up grievances that ought to be long forgotten. Make everyone feel bad, including yourself. Then drown your sorrows in food. Eat lavishly. Eat yourself sick. Eat so much that you hate yourself. Become convinced that no matter what resolutions you set for yourself come January, you can't possibly undo the damage of December.
Hark the Feelings of Defeat. Feel exhausted and frustrated. Accept the fact that a season that once symbolized a time of togetherness, joy, and wonder, has been overtaken by manmade myths and weighty demands, and has become all but ruined by modern society. Decide you hate the holidays. Or maybe just decide you hate the person in the mirror for being such a scrooge. Give up. Bow out. Or just give in and do it all over again next year.
Sarah McCartan is a writer, runner and vegan foodie. Follow along with her veg-escapades at veganontherun.org.