Student Columnist Hates the Holidays: Stop Looking at Her Like She Has 3 Heads

University of Virginia student Katherine Ripley is not shooting for a comparison to Ebenezer Scrooge. She simply hates the holiday season.

As the third-year English and politics major writes in a column for The Cavalier Daily, UVa’s campus newspaper, “I hate the Christmas music playing on the radio. I hate the shopping malls that reek of American consumerism. I hate the cheesy Christmas decorations on houses. I hate tacky sweater parties. Every year around this time, I get into a funk. As all of the people around me seem to get happier, I become farther removed from all the ‘holiday spirit.’ … You can call me a scrooge if you want to. But I know that I’m not alone in feeling this way.”

Yet, Ripley hates how she is often made to feel alone just because she does not buy into the spirit of the season.


“I’ve gotten so tired of feeling like I need to explain myself to people, when I tell them that I really don’t enjoy the holidays, and they look at me like I have three heads,” Ripley, 21, from Ocean Township, N.J., confesses. “Fed up, I closed off all of those negative emotions and put up a facade. I tried desperately to pretend that I was having just as much fun as everyone else. It didn’t work. And all those years of trying and failing are what’s made me cringe and brace myself every time the calendar gets close to December.”

In a quick Q&A, Ripley shares more about what exactly makes her cringe during December, how her holiday indifference first formed and one tiny slice of the season she actually enjoys.

From your perspective, why is there so much pressure on everyone to be especially cheery during the holidays?


Katherine Ripley. Photo by Marshall Bronfin, The Cavalier Daily.

Pop culture contributes a lot to the pressure to participate in the “holiday cheer.” Every year, a new cheesy Christmas movie comes out, and all of them have corny happy endings. Radio stations play Christmas music nonstop, and every year they start earlier and earlier. TV channels will have Christmas specials, like ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas. And you can be sure A Charlie Brown Christmas will always be airing somewhere.

So the pressure comes from all of these media outlets, but then arises the following question: Why does the media produce all of this content that endorses holiday cheer? The easy answer is demand, but I don’t think I could come up with a good explanation for such a high demand of holiday-themed entertainment.

Perhaps someone who has an easier time getting into the spirit could explain it to me.

To read the rest, click here or on the screenshot below.


One Response to “Student Columnist Hates the Holidays: Stop Looking at Her Like She Has 3 Heads”
  1. WahooWa says:

    judging others who are genuinely happy? count your blessings, missy. maybe then you’ll be happy. [& shame on the CD for publishing such a whiner]