50 or 100+ years ago when most people weren't very well off financially and there was also a lot less selection in what they could buy for most of the year, the traditional Christmas dinner and all the trimmings and presents was probably something to look forward to as a break in the middle of winter and little time to relax from a much more physically demanding life than most of us know today. Most ancient cultures had some form of mid-winter feast which pre-dates Christianity. Yet today, most of the population can afford to eat reasonably well all year round, the sort of things once considered Christmas treats are usually easily available all year around, most of us have all that we need and are usually given presents we don't even want or need we persist with this tradition. I spent yesterday with my family. I don't particularly get on with my family but it was okay, they weren't the problem this time; but I experienced little joy from the whole thing. I made one of my infrequent visits to church in the morning which I did enjoy as I caught up with people I rarely speak to nowadays. But afterwards, a house full of all sorts of food and drink, nothing particular to do but over-indulge so I did, just like most of the population. A day spent feeling shoot with no energy or inclination to do anything other than lie half-asleep on the sofa half-watching the drivel on the sofa that the TV companies consider entertainment these days. I don't feel entertained at all, which is why I choose not to have a TV in my own home. Where does the joy come into it? It was the most mind-numbingly pointless day of my life since last Christmas. Counsellors, therapists and self-help books will often give some variation of "do whatever makes you happy." Stuffing my face with food might bring some sort of temporary enjoyment but leaves you feeling lethargic and wasted. It certainly doesn't make me happy. I'd prefer to go out hill-walking, cycling or something but the reality is that after eating so much it is a struggle to find any kind of motivation, yet any attempts to say no to any of the things my mother has cooked or baked is met with "it's Christmas, you need to enjoy yourself!" I don't. I like and enjoy feeling fit and active, not feeling like I've inflated my stomach with a bicycle pump.