14 answers

Husband Hates Christmas

Hi. Well, it's that time of year again and instead of having fun with my 6 and 8 year old girls, I have stress and worry over my husband's grumpy mood. Every year for the past 10 years Christmas has just been horrible. This year, I am just miserable. I will, briefly explain. When we were dating, my husband accepted that I like this time of year, even helped me pick out trees, etc. Then we got married. No mention that things would change. The first few years, were ok. We got the tree, trimmed it and that was that. Then one year, he just said no more tree. He attributes it to the verse in Jeremiah where the pagans were worshipping the trees. BTW, he's not thrilled with any of the holidays that are "Christian" so to speak, because they are all based on some kind of idol worship, just an fyi. So back to my story, we don't do a tree. Ok, I have learned to live with that. We decorate, do the Santa letters, do the presents, etc. He barely tolerates it. He likes the Christmas show the kids put on at school, because of the hard work they put into it. But he, for the most part, just makes it so unbearable to be holly and jolly during this time period. Sometimes, he gets down and moody like this around his birthday too, and other holidays, but not to the extent as to Christmas. It's just not fun anymore for me, but my kids take such joy in it, I just feel like I'm letting him bring me down to a place I don't want to be. He is a hands-on dad, helps them all the time with homework, talks to them, takes them places when I can't, helps around the house sometimes, etc...so he's not a horrible husband/father, just has his issues like we all do and I need some guidance on how to get through the holidays without getting more gray hairs than I already have! Thank you. *updating* Yes, we are Christian (non-denominational). We were both raised Catholic and are familiar with all the background of celebrating Christmas. Also, he had a great childhood with lots of nice memories of the tree, etc. If anyone has ideas for me to see beyond his grumpiness that would be welcome! Thanks again moms! *** Another update *** We do not belong to any denomination, Jehovah Witness, etc...strictly Christian. There are no secrets about what he believes. I already explained that. I posted this a few days ago and vented. Don't go off on my husband or suggest counseling. Kudos to the post from Jennifer G.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to the moms who shared their experiences and how they coped with their "Scrooges" :). As for the post from Jena I wasn't sure if I should laugh or what! You're ranting and raving about my husband being anti-Christian was unbelievable. And what are you saying about "promoting" what??? PLEASE DON'T respond, the question is rhetorical.

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Have you ever talked to him about his experiences as a child? I would guess that something happened when he was a kid that has caused this bitterness. Maybe talking about it would help you to have compassion for him. Maybe getting it out would help him to be more tolerant. Communication is the only way to make it better. I think you just need to be open and honest with him.

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Ok, so he's anti-Christian, then what is he for? I mean, can he provide something that he wants to promote? He can't go through life just being anti-everything as an excuse - which is all it is, by the way. An excuse. I come from a devout Christan family and there have never been any eyebrows raised over the tree. Typically church's have them, for crying out loud. Maybe I don't know the whole story, and as a result this may be too firm or whatever, but it sounds like you are stuck with a real life Scrooge and that has to be miserable for you (you said it yourself). I think he definitely needs to find a counselor and work it out. He is projecting his negative nonsense on you and short changing your children out of a joyful childhood. At this rate, what sort of people will they grow up and be? How will they treat holidays? Bless their little hearts... Get your husband some help and shield the children as much as you can. If he doesn't change, you might have to take other measures, but you all deserve...more.

2 moms found this helpful

He sounds depressed. It happens to a lot of people, especially during "the Holidays", including birthdays. Sounds like you don't go to a church; but you can get counselling at any church, social services, etc. or even here on-line.
Pray he lightens up. His actions are selfish.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K. - I don't know if my advice will help, but I feel so bad for you that I thought I would take a stab at it. I see my sister stay cheerful and positive even with negative comments and poor behavior from her husband. Actually, I am using her as an example because I am so impressed with her attitude and ability to not react meanly or defensively in situations where I know I would. I think that is the secret. You can only control yourself and your actions, thoughts, behaviors. It is hard to do. I have trouble with that fact everyday, because I don't practice controlling my reactions and behavior like I should. But I am going to try harder and I think this may help you too. It seems to keep my sister in a better mood, does not cause flare-ups between her and her husband, and everyone feels happy in her home. If you stay pleasant, positive, and up-beat even in the face of his grumpiness (not just at Christmastime, but on a regular basis), it may keep your spirits up and your children's also, and heck it may even get him to act more like you! Please keep us posted. I really hope things go well for you this season. Merry Christmas, sweetie!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried reminding him of what it was like having those great memories and let him know that you just want your kids to be kids and for you enjoying Christmas this way is a part of that. My husband went through a period when he didn't want to get into holidays also (his childhood wasn't so good with an abusive father). But I told him how important it was to me to do it for the kids and that we all love sharing those fun memories. I also said I was going to do it anyway and that he didn't have to take part in it. I let him know that my compromise would be to do it for the kids and not force him to be involved in it. He eventually started getting into it, it's hard not to when you see the joy it brings to your kids. It's so infectious and your hubby will probably come around as well. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I am with him! I have never liked Christmas as an adult. When you see the money, time and ridiculous way ppl act it makes me sick. It's like their brains go into a different mode and blame everything on "the holidays" from Oct until Jan. Let him have his opinion........maybe you can tone things down and make it more about family instead of decorations, trees and presents. That is more of a reality to teach your children anyway instead of expecting things every year.

My husband gets pretty grumpy during Christmas too...I realized that it's because even though he enjoys the overall holiday it stirs up a lot of bad memories of being shuffled between two households who never got along and just not being treated well by either family. I had strong family traditions of Christmas I still like to keep and he doesn't completely understand. I try to make his favorite foods and do something fun. But overall I kind of grin and bear it...it's always a lot of stress and yelling. My hubby is the same way too - great dad, great husband...but the holidays, b-days, etc. bring up old memories...

I kinda hate the holidays, too. Not because of any relegious connotations, mind you, just because other than doing the gift thing, it's a pain. Anyway, I can only suggest that you do the best that you can with what you do have, and maybe just let him know that while you understand,respect and are dealing with his not enjoing the holiday season, that you have always enjoyed it, and to please show you the same consideration. Sometimes a lot of people get depressed around the holidays, if there's no other issues, I don't know if I'd go as far as shipping him off to see a shrink because he's a grinch, but I would try to let his negativity go in one ear and out the other. Best of Luck!

My husband grew up not celebrating Christmas (no tree, presents, etc..) and now he doesn't like the holiday season either. I on the other hand, grew up in a family that really celebrated Christmas. We still exchange gifts now, even when we're older, and live in different countries. My husband dislikes and wants us to stop exchanging gifts, and doesn't want me to cook holiday dinner, etc.. Even for Thanksgiving, he prohibited me getting a turkey, and cooking dinner. It has nothing to do w/ religion, he just thinks it's not necessary, and doesn't want all the food around. So, what we decided to do was go out to eat for Thanksgiving. We went to the Village Inn. My girls and I had Thanksgiving dinner, and my husband had what ever he wanted. For Christmas, I got a small, real, tree from Publix (perhaps 3 inches). I got it by myself and decorated it w/ the girls. I didn't bother him about it, and just got a small tree that I don't need to ask him for help. I might give in on the Christmas dinner, if he agrees to go out for dinner that evening. If not, then I'll cook a small dinner for me and the girls (ham, etc..). I try not to overdue it, but keep it small and simple. I am not willing to give up on Christmas, but want to keep it simple enough where I can do it w/ the girls and leave him the choice to take part or not. As far as exchanging gifts w/ extended family, I talked to them and only give gifts to children. So, I tried the "comprimise" by still celebrating Christmas but keeping it simple so it doesn't bother him, and doing it all by myself and basically leaving him out of it. You actually sound like me :-) I am also a working mom of 2 girls and a grumpy husband :-) How old are your girls?


Have you ever talked to him about his experiences as a child? I would guess that something happened when he was a kid that has caused this bitterness. Maybe talking about it would help you to have compassion for him. Maybe getting it out would help him to be more tolerant. Communication is the only way to make it better. I think you just need to be open and honest with him.

Dear K.,

I feel for you. I have to assume your husband is a good man or you wouldn't still be with him :) Holidays are tough for many people, and even tougher when those having a hard time think everyone else is having a perfect one. I would like to share the way I do things in hopes you can take something from it and maybe make it a little better for you.

As a child I hated Christmas because of my step father. When I grew up I vowed my children would never be miserable like I was. My first husband and I could not see eye to eye on religion so we came to agree that the children would be exposed to several and allowed to choose their own. He too did not like Christmas. We began having "the holiday season" in our house. It begins at Thanksgiving and goes through the new year. We started off with a big Thanksgiving feast and invited anyone and everyone we knew. Next came the tree (notice it was not a Christmas tree) decorated in many themes that represented each of us. We did different activities through the season, baking, crafts, decorating, etc... We made our annual trip to a nearby town for fresh apple cider...we invited friends and other families to join us in our different activities. We made it a time for giving, rejoicing in our family and friends, giving thanks for what we had instead of what we didn't have...We took boxes of homemade goodies to the neighbors...We tried our hand at gingerbread houses...etc...

I was divorced when my three girls were young, but carried on the "holiday season" through all the years of raising them. They love this time of year and share with everyone they know. They are grown, with children of their own, starting new traditions in their own families. They continue to share that holiday joy with others because they love the holiday season so much.

Now I have a five year old and her father was a true scrooge. I understand people have issues, but here is the reality; they are their issues and no one else should have to suffer for them. I told scrooge (who is a good father otherwise) to keep it to himself. He doesn't have to like it, he doesn't have to pretend to like it, he just isn't allowed to ruin it for anyone else. (If you can't say something nice...). On Christmas morning if he didn't want to participate, just stay out of the room and allow others to enjoy. Well scrooge really suprised me this year, he is actually starting to get into it, not much, but any little bit is progress. He actually helped put some ornaments on the tree this year! (He asked if he could help!)

Move forward and don't let anyone take something you enjoy from you. You can't be responsible for his issues, they are his. He clearly does not want to deal with whatever the problem is, don't force it. By the same token you have a right to enjoy the holidays and so do your children.

I wish you the best of luck, and happy holidays.

Yes, I agree with the previous post. He might want to see a therapist just to find out why he hates holidays so much. My husband use to get depressed around Christmas because that is when his mother passed away. However, now that we have kids that has changed.

Do NOT feel alone!! My niece is married to a man much the same as your husband! He doesn't do anything for her birthday, mother's day, etc. He is a really nice guy, a great father and husband. Just doesn't like to make a fuss over things.

That being said...she does not let him squash the experiences in life for her or the kids. She shops, puts up a tree, goes to the parades, and holiday celebrations. He just has to tolerate it, like they tolerate him not liking the holidays!

I see you live in Tampa, you could take the kids to the Gaylord Palms over night (if affordable, they do have specials if grandparents come, check it out), and make it a family tradition just for you and the kids. It would be magical for them!! Sad that he wouldn't be there, but maybe he will come around when he sees you are not going to let him get you down.

So sorry you have to deal with this!

My husband works alot too...I quit waiting around. I just do things and put it on his calendar for him to show up :)

Good luck!

Just ignore him. Enjoy your girls and the Christmas season. I would not let my girls go without a tree no matter what. There was one year that my husband was being a scrooge and said he didn't want a tree. I put it up anyway. Funny how his mood improved when he seen I was going to put the tree up anyway. I would go and get a tree and put it up if it were me but that's your choice. Has something happened on Christmas or around Christmas to change him? He could be influenced by someone at work also. My husband comes home with weird ideas from time to time from other men at work. Sometimes he comes home in a bad mood. I just ignore him and his mood improves. Don't argue with him, don't even try to force him to be happy. You just do what you want to do that makes you happy. If you want a tree then go get one. Why should your girls be deprived because he's in a bad mood. Prepare your Christmas like you want and enjoy...Your problem is you give in and let him have his way...He is not the only one living in the house. Do waht is right for your girls, you did not grow up without a Christmas tree so why are you making them grow up without one???? That is so not fair to them....Stand up for your girls and do what you feel is right. He can get over it.

try counseling. It sounds like there is more to his dislike of Christmas than a passage in Jeremiah. Maybe a childhood incident? God bless and good luck


Maybe it would be a good idea to have him see a therapist and find out why he has such an issue with the holidays. This could eventually have an effect on your children and that is not any fun. This is a joyous time of year. Let me tell you, if it were that way in my home, I would find a family members house a see if I couldn't find a hotel and rent it and make christmas for myself and my children merry and fun that way. You and your children shouldn't be brought down because he doesn't enjoy the holiday. I hope you find a way to get through this.

Good luck.


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