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DOES FESTIVE TOGETHERNESS PULL US APART?

We all have the best intentions at Christmas and New Year, but things rarely run smoothly.

Festive froideur

Before we turn our backs entirely on 2022, I think a little festive de-brief is in order. I couldn’t help but notice this year that there’s something rather paradoxical about the festive period.


Yes, it’s celebrated as a time for togetherness, but the fact is that it often pulls us apart. All our well-meant attempts to come together in peace and love over Christmas and New Year have a tendency to create problems that leave us feeling less fond of each other than we did before.


Take the classic family Christmas, for example. It’s held up as the ideal scenario – everyone gathered around the tree opening their presents in a shared flurry of festive joy; or, the whole extended crew sat around the heaving table, feasting merrily away until they achieve a collective stupor. Nice images indeed, as every Christmas film illustrates. But the truth is never quite so rosy. Behind the smiles and indigestion, there can often be a whole realm of hurt feelings and distress. The issues range from the minor, such as having to bite one’s tongue in the face of provocative political opinions, to the major: full-blown family bust-ups that won’t be resolved for years to come.


Sometimes, the problems even start before Christmas has begun. Friends of mine who got hitched recently faced, for the first time, the dilemma of whose-family-do-we-go-to-for-Christmas? Weeks of diplomatic efforts with both sets of parents throughout December resulted in unsatisfactory compromises and feelings of resentment all round. A falling-out over a coming together! What festive irony....


Read the complete article at Menswear Style, an online men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine and one of the leading digital publications in the UK.

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