Spending Christmas Alone: my Experiment

December 25, 2018

This year I decided to spend the end of December in South-East Asia.

The first thing I notice is that Christmas is celebrated here out of sheer western influence. There is no particular reason why people do it, except maybe for advertisement and social pressure. Santa sells more than it gives. The Christmas Spirit feels fake. Yet another attempt at pleasing tourists. This is why I don’t miss Christmas these days. It just doesn’t feel right. One week ago a sad looking middle-aged Bengali waiter served me food while wearing a ridiculous Christmas hat. He immigrated from Bangladesh to Malaysia to support his family and won’t see them for Christmas. I felt bad for him.

I am far away from family and friends as well.

It is not that I don’t love them. It is about training the mind. Everyone fears loneliness. I included. Yet I believe loneliness to be a part of life you need to face head-on.

I have friends who can’t get things done by themselves. This dependence on external motivation is toxic. It doesn’t mean you should be a loner. It means you have to learn to be self-reliant to enjoy community life to its fullest.

I am lucky to have loving parents and an incredible brother. I am grateful for my family and my friends. But one day we will all die. I can’t take anyone for granted.

This experience of loneliness is part of my “death conditioning” process, as it is described in the dystopia Brave New World. Except that in my case it is not an attempt at escapism, but rather a jump into a cold reality that strengthens the mind and heightens the senses. When the worst will happen, I will be a little more prepared (you can never be prepared).

I choose to be alone this year. I won’t do it willingly again. It is a catharsis to re-learn that those holiday celebrations are all about cherishing your loved ones. Today I am stronger, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas.