You don’t have to be a recluse or a hardened hermit to want to skip Christmas. While some people can’t wait to string up the lights and tinsel and haul in the Christmas tree, others find festive family dynamics and the hectic pace of the season just too hard to handle. If this sounds like you, or if you simply want to enjoy solitude this Christmas without feeling pitied, we have the tips that will help you disappear on Christmas Day.
Hide in a hut
You might think heading for the hills is the way to escape the throngs on Christmas day, but this isn’t always so. You’re not the only one who wants to ditch the commercial side of the festive season which means that if you turn up at a hut on any of the more popular tramping routes on Christmas Day, you’ll almost certainly be dragged into some sort of community celebration. If you really want to be alone, choose a remote hut (this site may help you) or, better still, if you have the necessary experience, pack your tent and, weather permitting, head off track.
The problem with Christmas Day is that there are very few venues which are still open. So there’s no use trying to escape to a day spa, movie theatre or art gallery. Even many tramping routes are busy on Christmas Day. But one thing is sure: day walks are seldom frequented on the 25th of December. Pick a favourite, and pack a book and a picnic so you’re not in a hurry to return, and you’ll very likely encounter no one else on your stroll.
Escaping doesn’t mean you necessarily want to be alone. Many people simply want space from their immediate families on the 25th, which is why volunteering can be the answer. When you put your hand to help a community group serve Christmas dinner to, for example, the homeless, you’re making yourself unavailable to those you would rather not be with (with the perfect excuse for your absence).
For another take on being alone together, nothing beats a retreat in the literal sense. If you’re looking for a time of pure mindful escape, check out retreat centres offering Christmas day courses. You’ll certainly have company, but it’ll be the sort that is happy to leave you alone!
Fly the Coup
Book your summer getaway carefully, and you could find yourself enjoying Christmas dinner, with wine, 12,000 metres up in the longed-for anonymity of a passenger jet’s cabin. Better still, book your ticket so that you’re crossing the dateline and you might be able to skip the 25th altogether!
Dodging Christmas and all that you dislike about it can be as simple as making sure you’re in a non-Christian country on December the 25th (think Mongolia and Morocco for starters). But be discerning. Even in countries that don’t recognise Christmas, trails of tinsel and the odd Christmas tree can still be found in cities. Research before you leave and choose villages over larger towns.