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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 124 Too Much To Do? > I’m dreaming of a quiet Xmas

I’m dreaming of a quiet Xmas

A month of wall-to-wall parties followed by the big family gathering – December can be challenging for introverts. Fear not – Rosie Ifould’s survival guide will restore seasonal cheer

This year, I got my first invitation to Christmas drinks on the August bank holiday. By mid-September, all my December weekends were booked up. There’s a house party with uni friends, a pub lunch with another group, a carol concert that’s usually followed by ‘Christmas cocktails’, then a party for some of my son’s friends at which the parents are expected to stay and mingle. That’s before we’ve even got to work parties and family gatherings.

Can you tell, from my tone, that I’m less than brimming with Christmas spirit at the thought of all this merriment? Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely like – and in some cases dearly love – the people behind these invitations. But there’s a good reason why I’m not looking forward to seeing them. I am an introvert. I like going out, but I don’t like staying out. There’s only so much socialising I can take. I once fell asleep in the toilet of a club in Islington, because I’d been hiding out in there for a little too long. (In my defence it was a really nice, exceptionally clean cubicle.) You will always find me in the kitchen at house parties, not just because I’m greedy, but because years of experience have taught me that kitchens are where the quieter people hang out and have conversations. There, or on the stairs.

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