Some people hate Christmas. They are absolutely fed up with all the rush, excitement and annoying customs. If you are one of those people, you may appreciate a couple of tips on how to survive the season with as little mental damage as possible. Good luck!

1. Avoid1 crowds. The world goes crazy weeks before Christmas. People start panicking, and shopping malls turn into buzzy beehives2. If you hate crowded places, buy Christmas presents in advance3 or use the Internet to get what you want.

2. Reduce your Christmas chores4. Do you get the impression that Christmas is mostly about cleaning, baking and cooking? Well, perhaps it’s the right time for you (or your family) to change your attitude. Try to convince5 yourself (or your family members) that the right Christmas atmosphere can do without spotless6 windows and twenty kinds of meals.

3. Remember the past. Children love Christmas and so did you. Close your eyes and remember what your Christmases used to be like when you were a small kid. What made you happy? What made your Christmas feelings disappear? Perhaps you’ll find the key to get the right Christmas atmosphere back.

4. Help it a bit. If you don’t like colourful decorations hanging from every inch of the ceiling7 and electric lights flickering8 that make you feel sick, it’s OK. You also don’t need to listen to Marriah Carrey all day long to get the right Christmas feeling. How about a tiny decoration on your desk or an unknown Christmas song by your favourite singer to remind you that this is a special season?

5. Do it your way. Christmas should be spent with people you like. Who says that the only way of spending Christmas is visiting Aunt Emily or getting bored by TV programmes? Perhaps it’s time to start a new tradition with the right people. How about a couple of days with friends in a mountain chalet9?
The most important thing is to realize that the real spirit of Christmas is not a big red Santa, a pile of presents under a fancy Christmas tree or enjoying Silent Night and Last Christmas. If the commercial world around you tells you so, don’t believe it! Look for the true message of Christmas and enjoy the great Christmas atmosphere after all!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Read some of the reasons why people don’t enjoy Chrismas. Work in pairs and try to come up with some good advice (if possible).
1. I hate Christmas. I never get what I want. I’m fed up with socks and pyjamas!
2. Our family argues a lot all year long. When Christmas comes, suddenly everybody pretends how happy we are together. I don’t think it’s right and I hate Christmas for it.
3. I think the commercial side of Christmas is disgusting. You can find Christmas stuff in shops starting in October. It’s crazy!

Miroslava Dubanová

Vocabulary: 1 vyhnúť sa – vyhnout se; 2 včelí úľ – včelí úl; 3 v predstihu – v předstihu; 4 pravidelné povinnosti – pravidelné povinnosti; 5 presvedčiť – přesvědčit; 6 bez poškvrny – bez poskvrny; 7 strop; 8 blikať – blikat; 9 [šælei] chata