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10 Things I Don’t Want for Christmas

10 Things I Don't Want for ChristmasWhile everybody else is busy publishing their “Top 10” lists for Christmas and year-end, I thought I’d do something a little different… So here’s 10 things I don’t want for Christmas.

10. Excuses. I’m so sick of hearing excuses from people, rather than results. All the time you spend explaining why you didn’t do such and such or couldn’t find XYZ could’ve been spent actually doing such and such or finding XYZ. I think sometimes we all have had our share of hearing enough excuses from others.

9. Endless war and death. Apparently some of our most recent presidents here in the U.S. haven’t been very avid historians. I think it should be requirement of a politician for higher office that they must pass a minimum set of world history classes, because even our current leader seems to believe that an extended conflict in Afghanistan is “winnable.” Talk to the Russians — they’ll tell you otherwise. War and death are two things we all could use a lot less of. (Sorry to get political there for a moment…)

8. Anger and angst. We spend a lot of our lives being angry at others, holding grudges (that in some cases go on for years), or just getting upset about silly things, when we step back and put them into some perspective. I could do with a lot less of those two things, both on the giving and receiving end of them.

7. Materialism during the holidays. I, like many others, get tired of the endless commercials and attempts to prey upon our more materialistic instincts at this time of the year. I fight these urges by turning off the TV, throwing out the holiday catalogs, and donating as much as I can — in either time or cash — to my favorite charities. They need it more than ever and it helps promote my own happiness, so it’s a win-win!

6. Doctors or therapists who are lousy at communicating. You know who I mean — the ones that you try and talk to about your condition or concern, and they either nod their heads and go, “Mmm hmm, I see. So tell me how that makes you feel?” or the ones who explain themselves by circular reasoning, “Why did you change my prescription, doc?” “Well, the prescription you had was working too well (I kid you not), so we needed to take you down to something that will work better for you.”

5. Insurance company greed. I don’t want insurance companies to take advantage of loopholes in laws. See this recent entry about how insurance companies use the term, medically necessary, in order to deny treatment reimbursement for mental disorders in California.

4. More complexity. You know the old saying, “The simplest solutions are usually the best ones”? Well, this works for nearly any component of your life. Feeling harried by having committed to too many organizations or groups? Cut them down to one. Seriously. Have 40 different ways to communicate with a small group of people? Cut them down to one. Trying to update your statuses on 12 different social networks? Cut them down to one. Are you beginning to see a pattern? Trust me, your life will be simpler, you’ll be less stressed, and you won’t notice much difference in the quality of your life.

3. Family squabbles. The problem with family is that we all know each other all too well, so if there’s a button we want to push, we know how to push it. This Christmas, I’d like to leave the squabbles at home and bring only peace to the table. Well, peace and my appetite. Someone’s got to eat the pie.

2. Close-mindedness. It’s so refreshing to talk to someone who is open to new ideas, who accepts you for you are and what you bring to the table, and doesn’t bring preconceived notions into the discussion. We would all be better people if we could put aside the prejudices hammered into us throughout our life and try to keep a more open mind.

1. Hate. Okay, so this may be an obvious, easy pick, but how much better would our own little world be if we could learn not to hate others — and then just did it? We don’t have to love them, but not hating them could still make a world of difference. In my own world, there’s really no one I hate, but I know people who do hate others, and it makes their lives pretty miserable when it comes up. I see it online all the time, too, and I just have to wonder how much better a place the world would be if we took up all that time and energy we use for such hate and put it into better things.

10 Things I Don’t Want for Christmas

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). 10 Things I Don’t Want for Christmas. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 16 Dec 2009)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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