How to Be Less of an A*shole During the Holidays

Sure, it’s easy to get “that sentimental feeling” this holiday season, thanks to everything from nostalgic Christmas movies and songs, to the kindness of others, and spending time with loved ones.

But it’s funny how quickly that feeling can fade thanks to the a*sholes among us.

It seems that everyone gets so caught up in the holidays that, for some, any sense of awareness goes out the window as quickly as Santa can make it back up the chimney.

1. Don’t be THAT Holiday Shopper Who Everyone Wants to Kill
Especially this late in the game, there’s nothing particularly “joyous” about sweating to death in your parka as you try to navigate an entire jam-packed shopping mall of slow walkers, screaming kids in strollers, and impatient people in a rush. It really comes down to an awareness of your physical space. For starters, if there was ever a time not to walk and text, this is it. The same can be said for following the universal escalator rules of “stand right, pass left.” Seriously. Children shouldn’t be allowed to run free through the mall, either. Finally, don’t make like they do South of the Border in a Walmart on Black Friday – have a little patience while scooping up those hot Boxing Day deals.


Image: Urban Toronto

2. Don’t Be that Social Media-Fuelled D0-Good Person
The holidays are about kindness, spreading joy and helping the less fortunate. This year, we have indeed seen some beautiful displays of bighearted people turning the holidays around for those in need. But, I know I am not the only one with a Facebook feed peppered with statuses, some accompanied by photos, of “friends” sharing their good, charitable deeds in what seems more like a quest for their own validation more than anything. At the end of the day, it’s pretty obvious that you’re driven more by an accumulation of “likes” than helping others.


3. Remember that the Holidays are Super Rough For Some of Your Friends
Of course, everyone deserves to be happy, peaceful and healthy during the holidays, including yourself. But the holidays can also be extremely rough for some of your friends while you blindly bask in the glory of your rum and eggnogs and turkey. For some people – particularly those who have lost loved ones this year, or are dealing with a depression much deeper than your disappointment about Trump – the holiday season is actually hell on earth right now as opposed to anything joyous. Check in on your friends who may not be having as great of a time as you are. One phone call, message or an invite to a family dinner matters more than you know.


4. Don’t Fill Your Social Media Feeds With All the Gifts You Got for Christmas
Of course, giving and receiving gifts is a major part of the holiday season. And we don’t want to be such a Grinch about it. But posting all of your lavish gifts on social media can get a bit much. I am not saying not to share at all. In fact, doing so will probably make the person who gave the gift feel pretty special. But there is a fine line between posting a few and saturating your feed with an overflow of expensive new gadgets, a pile of empty designer boxes under the tree, or self-serving status updates claiming how “spoiled” you were this year. While it may make you feel good, it can easily ruin someone’s own holiday vibe.


5. Don’t Show Up Empty Handed
Whether it’s an invite to a boozy cocktail party or a big family dinner at a friend’s place, it’s never a good look to show up empty-handed. Honestly, you’re probably better off not showing up at all. If your wallet is a little light this season, it doesn’t have to cost you a ton either. Your gift can be something as simple as homemade holiday cookies, a bottle of wine or a coffee table book. Just bring more than yourself.