Here’s your yearly PSA: Not all students celebrate Christmas
But you don’t need to feel sorry for us
Christmas isn't utter shit. I quite like the nice festive feelings. I love a good mince pie and mulled wine. And Christmas music, although a little grating, is on the whole quite uplifting and fun (although quite why The Pogues are so popular baffles me….)
No, I'm here for that yearly reminder that not all students, or all people for that matter, celebrate Christmas. It's estimated that 10 per cent of people in the UK don't celebrate Christmas at all. That's not a huge number, but not insignificant. It means that about one or two people in your seminars won't be getting presents on the 25th December.
In this country, of course, most people celebrate Christmas. We are, after all, a Christian country. But we are nonetheless multicultural, so Christmas can mean absolutely everything to one person, and absolutely nothing to another.
What does this mean in reality? It might mean that your flat Christmas dinner is somebody's first ever. That was the case for me last year. We did Secret Santa too, and I loved the atmosphere because it was a whole new experience for me.
But just because I did it once, and I want to do it with my housemates again, doesn't suddenly mean I'm desperate to celebrate Christmas.
We're not deprived of fun or joy in our lives, just because we don't celebrate Christmas. For most people, it's a choice about what they want to do on Christmas Day. And we could celebrate it if we wanted. And just because it is fun, or enjoyed doing something nice at uni, doesn't mean we want to.
Christmas means different things for many people. For some people it's about family, food, presents, winter, religion or more. For me, and perhaps I'm old-fashioned, I associate it with its religious roots.
I'm not asking for pity. Just because I don't celebrate Christmas doesn't mean you should feel sorry for me. I do appreciate it, but it is my choice and I'm very happy with the choice I've made.
Christmas is great fun, there's no denying that. It's one of the best times of year – people are happier, in better moods, and the atmosphere is festive. But when you're enjoying it, just consider that not everyone celebrates. That doesn't mean don't celebrate. Enjoy it, be loud and proud and happy and excited. But just because we don't celebrate, doesn't mean that we're jealous or want your sympathy. We have our holidays, and you have yours.