Christmas Isn’t Just For Extroverts

Well the extrovert uberlords seem to have taken over the world this December. I can’t walk through town without being blasted by ‘Frostie the Snowman’, the shops are packed with crowds and hanging decorations and stocked to the gunnels, everywhere you look something sparkles or shines or emits noise. The pubs and restaurants are full to bursting of carousing parties. If I turn on the television it’s a visual riot with people screaming and laughing, and anything nominally slow or tasteful is in fact designed to rip my bleeding heart from my body and roast it over a spit. You can sob or you can laugh at Christmas it seems, nothing in between. For those of us who are over-stimulated quite easily, it’s exhausting just being alive at the moment.

peaceful winter scene 2

But I’m taking a polemical stand on this blog today and saying that the festive season isn’t meant to be so noisy. The original blueprint was ‘Peace on earth, goodwill to all men,’ right? And that included something for everyone: peace on earth for the introverts, goodwill to all men for the extroverts. Some sort of yin and yang balance was intended. So where has all the peacefulness gone? Where are the moments of quiet contemplation, the still and silent communion? You have to fight quite hard to get restfulness factored in, and barely five minutes later, it’s ruined by some idiot with a party popper.

lake at winter

So, introverts, we are going to have to put our backs into this. We’re going to have to be quiet like we’ve never been quiet before, if we’re to bring any balance back at this time of the year. We’re going to meet a lot of resistance from people determined to make us party, and we’re going to have to stand very firm. And still. Someone has to contribute to the sum total of peace on earth, and we’re the ones best qualified to do it.

And extroverts? Let us have a fighting chance. Allow your loved introvert to sit alone and quiet sometimes, give them the gift of leaving the gathering early, and know that we are relating to you in significant ways even when we are reading a book. In fact, especially when we are reading a book. This Christmas, do your bit towards equal rights for different pleasures!

monet winter

24 thoughts on “Christmas Isn’t Just For Extroverts

  1. You can perhaps take a little comfort from the news that *Silent* Night has replaced Angel *Voices* at the top of a poll of the UK’s favourite Christmas carols. Silence is winning there at least.

    I braved the shopping crowds myself today, never something I enjoy at any time of year. Moving along a pedestrianised street, it felt as though everyone was going the opposite way to me – most uncomfortable to someone used to quieter pavements and being able to walk around quite swiftly. On the positive side, you will be pleased to hear that Liverpool’s Waterstones was doing very good business this morning. Books make such good presents. Whilst more regular readers and book shoppers may yearn for the days when we can browse again in a less crowded setting, it is probably worth remembering that it is the sales around now that keep the book trade afloat for the rest of the year.

    Wishing you a happy – and peaceful – Christmas.

  2. I *so* agree! All I want is a peaceful corner with a book, not loud craziness. As for TV – pah! I avoid it like the plague! I hope you have a happy and peaceful one!

  3. I do agree with you! Luckily I don’t see it celebrated noisily around here. In Switzerland it’s a very introvert, quiet holiday. Shops are shut for three days. It’s the buying and gift frenzy before Christmas that’s noisy but other than that it’s rather peaceful.

  4. Hear! Hear! Even church, where one should always be able to find peace and quiet, is a riot for all the senses this time of year. The library, on the other hand, has a lovely Christmas tree to stare at in a quiet place, surrounded by all those quiet best friends of yours sitting on its shelves, who would never think of doing onbnoxious things like putting a microphone in your hand and expecting you to give a toast, or (worse yet) sing along with some machine.

  5. Even in a family of introverts, it’s hella hard to find peace and quiet around the holidays. People come into town! If you don’t hang out with them you are a jerk, but then it is all socializing all day every day. I am currently sitting home quietly for probably the last time before New Year’s. I love Christmas, but bah to all the socializing.

  6. Go visit a homeless shelter, nursing home, or animal pound. The silence from the absence of compassion is the loudest sound in the world.

  7. This is the season where the TV people think they can throw any kind of rubbish at us providing it comes with the tag of Christmas Special. The people I feel so sorry for in the commercial world are the staff who have to endure endless loops of crap songs for weeks. All they get is a measly day off but even that is ruined by the thought they have to get up at an ungodly hour the next day because someone decides the shops have to open at 5am so someone can buy a reduced price leather jacket they don’t really need. Bah humbug….

  8. Oh, I dunno. I’m pretty quiet…and I am legendary in hating the putting up and taking down of a tree (although I think if I didn’t do it I would wallow in regret), but there really is something special about all the bell-ringing and “Merry Christmas” wishes and the decorations on the houses that I find warming and welcome. P.S. I could, however, do without the car commercials – the ones that show a shiny expensive car on a driveway with a big red bow. Hep, makes me want to run out and buy several. Merry (quiet) Christmas, Litlove!

  9. I’m almost too introverted to leave a comment. I can hear you questionning “Annabel, introverted?” – but here am I amongst friends and am able to let myself go just a little. However, I do like episodes of peace and quiet in between the festivities! Merry Christmas to you and Mr Litlove. xx

  10. Christmas has always meant quiet pondering for me. Looking back to that first Christmas, the only sounds were the neighing of horses and sheep probably, the only party was held in the sky by the heavenly hosts. How majestic and serene at the same time. I long for that kind of a Christmas. That’s why I appreciate your post so much, litlove. I enjoy an introvert Christmas every year, actually, no parties, and quietly slip in my annual Reading the Season post and pondering. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, litlove, you and your loved ones!

  11. Amen sister! This is the time of year when I am most glad I live far away from family. Also, my friends don’t throw parties and if they do, they haven’t invited me and that is just fine. Hooray for quiet contemplation!

  12. Poor LD#1, I really relate to the ease with which she is overstimulated. We went to Paris for a few days, which is partly why I have been so quiet, LD#2 and I had a whale of a time, but the poor LD#1 refused to come out with us the second night, she had had enough. And yes, I do tend to feel a bit exasperated that she isn’t as excited as the other two of us, but you are right, it just depends on how we see things from the inside.

  13. This is one of the many reasons I love your blog so much; you say exactly what I’m thinking in the words I can never find. I’ll unite with you any day, any time, any where. We’ll put our backs into finding the peace and joy, to sitting in quiet contemplation. We’ll return to the stable where all was still.

    “Merry Christmas!” whispered lightly into your ear with a hug around your shoulders.

  14. I am fighting the good fight with regards to a quiet Christmas, and I am winning. Right now, there’s only me and the cats, I’ve spent the morning reading and the radio is on low in the background. Hark at that peace and quiet.

    May your loved ones give you time to slip and away and be quiet.

  15. Hear, Hear! I’m with you on that one! I took a quiet walk this morning (complete with sunshine after a run of at least a week of grey skies) and enjoyed not seeing anyone about and hearing only birds chirping! I do hope you have been enjoying a peaceful and happy Christmas with at least a few snatched moments to sit alone and recoup your equilibrium! I am a little late, but best wishes to you and your family this holiday, Litlove–I have been thinking of you. Another crazy holiday is almost at the end and then we can enjoy the next few days in peace, right?!

  16. By some remarkable miracle, my family Christmases have gotten much more introvert friendly in recent years. It used to be that everyone would descend on my dad and step-mom’s house, bringing loads of chaos and noise for days on end. Now we break it up into smaller gatherings at different homes, with people coming and going on the schedules that work for them. I get to see most everyone over the course of the holiday, but the number of people at any gathering is small enough that one-on-one conversations are much more feasible. It helps, too, that more of the kids are old enough to amuse themselves. And I try to always get a day or two at home on my own during the season so I don’t go back to work exhausted.

    The tricky part remains convincing some family members that sitting down with a book is not an invitation for conversation, but I doubt that battle is ending anytime soon.

  17. Well said. Gaudy colours and excessive noise spoil Christmas. I wanted to buy a Christmas bunch of red tulips for my mother in law and I could only find tulips sprayed with glitter! Why would you spray glitter on a tulip?

    Anyway, Happy New Year!

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