The Reason Why Most Narcissists Hate The Holidays


As the holiday season draws near, many of us get into the “holiday spirit” with anticipation. The end of the year brings a hectic pace with it as people celebrate joyous occasions like Thanksgiving with loved ones, then quickly start planning and preparing for the festivities of Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, topped off by ringing in the New Year on New Year’s Eve.

For many in the United States, as the month of November approaches, their spirits begin to lift as they start to prepare and decorate for Thanksgiving and they reflect on the blessings that they are grateful for.

In December, the holiday songs, decorations and white-bearded guy in the red suit remind everyone to spread goodwill and cheer to others.

The holiday season has a much different effect on most narcissists. Their mood is not lifted by all the happiness and anticipation swirling about. They want to be the center of attention and the holidays overshadow their presence.

The partners and family members of narcissists become less focused on them during this time, and so like an addict withdrawing from a drug, the narcissist will do anything to gain access to what they are craving, which is attention fixated solely on them.

To counteract the diminishing sources of narcissistic supply, narcissists tend to stir up and create a lot of drama and chaos amongst those close to them to redirect attention back to themselves.

They seem to “act up” more during the last two months of the year, wreaking havoc, triangulating family members, discarding partners, and basically behaving like a needy child.

Narcissists aren’t capable of feeling the joy that is associated with the season. While the holidays are a magical time of year that represents connectedness, giving, loving, and gratefulness to many, this is not the case for narcissists.

Since these kind qualities are not inherent to narcissists, they abhor those that feel them and despise those that feel boosted by the season at all. Because narcissists can’t feel these emotions for themselves, they make themselves feel better and superior by taking away happiness from the people around them.

Narcissists want to make sure that they are the sole source of joy and if they can’t be, they will be certain to be the cause of pain and angst.

One way narcissists get a little more bang for their narcissistic buck is to discard their partners during this time of year. They revel in watching their partners come down from a holiday high as they drop into the pits of a post break-up depression. Additionally, the secondary gain of breakups is that attention is now focused back on them.

Another common way narcissists deflate holiday bubbles is to buy the worst gift imaginable or cry “poverty” to get out of having to purchase gifts at all. Many narcissists will even purchase something they purposely know won’t be liked, only to delight in the disappointed expression on faces as the gift is opened.

I have even heard stories of some narcissists that have bought their partners or family members the identical gift that they purchased the previous year.

Why would they do this? Could it have been an innocent mistake? Absolutely not! It’s a setup. Believe me when I say they are anxiously awaiting the question of why they would buy the same exact gift as the previous year so that they can excitedly seize the opportunity to accuse the recipient of being unappreciative. Talk about a holiday buzz kill!

holiday bubble

There are many survivors that are still with a narcissist, as well as many who spent years with a narcissist that suffer from anxiety and C-PTSD due to the bad memories of holiday seasons past.

While their old outlook may have been filled with “Joy To the World,” it becomes replaced with “Mr. Grinch.” Next year will not be any different. Nor will the year after that.

Don’t let the narcissist take any more joy from you than they have already. You don’t want to look back and reflect on ruined holidays that only occur once. Removing the narcissist from your life can be the best present that you’ll ever give or receive.


Copyright © 2015 Bree Bonchay.  All Rights Reserved.


breeheadshot1Bree Bonchay is a Los Angeles based licensed psychotherapist who believes relationships are the currency of life. She’s  dedicated to helping people heal from break-ups, recover from toxic relationships with narcissists and sociopaths and to never settle for a life less than the one they dreamed of. She is a Blogger, Advocate, Facebook Toxic Relationship Recovery Forum Administrator, Radio Guest Expert, and is the Author of the book, I Am Free.

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Suffering from narcissistic abuse? Join Narcissistic Abuse & Toxic Relationship Recovery & Support Forum on Facebook by clicking the link.



39 thoughts on “The Reason Why Most Narcissists Hate The Holidays

  1. Two years ago my witch sister gave me a gift. It was a 4 sided picture frame. It had a picture of her in the frame.. She said ” I do not know how I got this but this is for you” I recognized this frame was actually mine, I had it stored away. I was wondering “How did she get this”? But I did not say a word..
    I actually waited ONE Year, and finally said to her “That was such a beautiful picture frame you gave me last year….where did you buy it????””” Her reply “” I bought it at macys department store”” !!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this holds true every year for the last 25 years! My Narc ex gave us (myself and our 2 daughters) free hockey tickets last year for Christmas. A sponsor he advertises with gave them to him gratuitously and they actually stated on the face of the ticket “$0.00” value and did I mention, we have never been to a hockey game or held any interest in the sport! The year before that it was a “grab bag” of stuff from the dollar store, including, YES, a copy of a DVD our Daughter had given him 3 years earlier. All the while we go to great lengths to find just the “right” gift that invokes a sense of sentimentality and joy to the recipient and he is always the first in line to receive his expensive, well thought out, heirloom worthy gift. It used to be a disappointment, then it just became an expectation. Reading this article just solidifies for me the act that it is not the sense of gift giving at stake but rather the shock value to bring the attention and focus back to them. “It’s the thought that matters” he always said and of course, nothing but negative thoughts towards us went into his “selections”.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Since 2003, my holidays have been good for the most part. That’s when I finally got off the repetition compulsion my adult relationships, thanks to some good therapy and reading a ton of pertinent self-help books.

        The more we learn about narcissistic abuse, the more we heal. Thank you for being a light in the darkness. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Just for the record…..I NEVER RECEIVED a gift for Christmas or birthday…..not even a card. My parents were financially comfortable…..Never a baby doll, a dress, purse ? Never happened. Never received a gift from my witch sister…….birthday or xmas ! Hope they all burn in hell

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My parents and sister were just evil people. On November 11th, When I was 13 years old, I woke up at 1am to the sounds of screams. I got out of bed went to the kitchen, found my mother on the floor in a pool of blood. I called 911. Ambulance came, I rode in the ambulance with my mother to hospital. My father was no where to be found. When my mother was admitted to hospital, the police officer took me to his police car and took me to police station. There was my holy father. My father, dragged my mother 75 feet in the snow, stepped on her, broke her collar bone, and dragged in back into the house by her hair., and threw her on the kitchen floor.
    The police officer then gave me to my father, and my father took me home !!! There was Never a word said to me by anyone after that incident. Nothing. My mother returned 8 months later.
    Since I have been studying neurology, I now understand where the VISUAL Flashbacks come from. .My witch sister lived only 2 miles away——-she never invited me to stay w/ her during that time or even gave me a Christmas present that year. disgusting people.


  5. My ex fought me right before Xmas until 2 days before we left for Florida to see his family . We bought his whole family wonderful gifts except for me.
    He said we will exchange one we get back home. When we got back home I had 3 really nice gifts for him . He gave me NOTHING and said ” I figured the Florida trio was your gift”. The trip was his idea to visit his family! He never presented it the trip that way and makes pretty good money plus the flight were free!! So he could have gotten me a $25 gift card just so I had something to open . I was so hurt. On Valentine’s Day he fought with his brother and decided to send me the strangest text about their fight a few And wrote “if you can handle it this is who I am don’t be with me ” . We went to dinner but never presented me with anysoet of a gift ever ! The closest thing was he sent flowers to my house. A year of dating that was the ONLY thing he ever got me gift wise .


  6. My husband would not celebrate holidays inside our home. But he would spend hours stringing lights on the outside of the house for the neighbors to see. They thought he was the greatest, until I went to one of the wives and asked for food because I was so hungry. She secretly fed me everyday and helped me.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Geeez. I never thought about it. He loved his birhtday which came first, 3 weeks after we married — Went to a very nice Beverly Hills restaurant, gave him a gift. He hated my birthday, no gift, barely dinner. Hated all holidays, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chhristmas – he got me no presents, I got him a nice one. – This was the only holiday he remotely participated in by coming to dinner with my family – of course it involved gifts for him form my family. All the rest he refused to participate in…. New Years we didn’t spend together. He hated New Year’s Eve like it was torture – of course he went to a party with a simultaneous victim. Valentines morning I found condoms falling out of his jeans pocket. Easter he refused to participate in. And I kicked him out April 13. – I was only with him thorugh one cycle of holidays: 10 months of life together as “amn and wife”. Gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup ! Sadly! for my exs bday it was an all out weekend event, a ski trip he wanted to go on for his bday. which I had to buy myself ski clothing $500, I bought him $400 camera to take on the trip after he gave me a hints for his bday. . He ignored me the whole trip and pushed me down in the snow , he also made jokes embarrassing me in front of the other couple who came with us. Yet still I paid for the dinners during dinner he would ignore me when I tried to Make any type of conversation. I barely make a quarter of his salary, I was left broke after the trip . He made me feel unwanted the entire weekend . On the flight home he ignored me when I finally confronted him , he literally called ME “ungrateful” since he invited ME for his bday weekend that ended up costing me over $1200! I did ALL of this for him even though 2 months prior he didn’t buy me one thing for Xmas! I was such an idiot for thinking he would appricate what I did. He was the most selfish guy I ever dated .

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tt, Selfish, entitled and totally unappreciative! You can do 100 things for them and they will sulk or guilt-trip you about the one thing you didn’t. They’re never happy or satisfied and leave their partners drained and depleted. Good-riddance. P.S. You weren’t an idiot!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, just wow. HE’S the idiot, not you.You did all that for him. Any guy who deserves you would be spending hours trying to buy you the perfect gift and praying that you’d love it after you did all that for him. If I had a boyfriend or a husband who’d try so hard to please me like that by doing things I’d like, then I’d be thanking him and would be spending hours trying to make sure that he loved his gift. That guy is garbage. I’m so glad that you got over him.


  8. It makes perfect sense…it’s all clicking into place! I think this explains the hoovering I received last Christmas Eve, after about half a year of not hearing from him…trying to ruin my holiday. Thankfully, it backfired!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Bah humbug! | Knowing the Narcissist

  10. Reblogged this on hurdygurdygurl's Blog and commented:
    Ho! Ho! Ho!
    And a bottle of rhum.
    Mr. Narcissist Grinch,
    You are no fun.

    ‘Tis the season,
    To be merry!
    If you cling to narcissism,
    You’re going to get scary.

    Coal in the stockings,
    That you fill!
    Mr. Narcissist Grinch,
    You’re a natural born Holiday Buzz Kill.

    If you read this blog,
    And disagree.
    Then, it’s not about you,
    And it’s all about me.

    Happy Holidays, everyone!
    Be good one to another.
    Cheers with eggnog.
    Or a fine bottle of rhum.

    Love and cheers,
    Jennifer Steel
    Burnaby, BC, Canada
    Sunday, December 6th 2015

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I got my wife jewelry and unique gifts for Xmas. She was a stay at home mom while i worked to provide her with a great life or so I thought.

    Every year she gave me underwear and socks, underwear and socks.

    It took ten years but I finally left the narcicist. No contact.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you so much for this! It’s so encouraging just to know why this is happening to our lives. I’m stuck in a counter-parenting situation with my diagnosed NPD ex. It’s pure and unending anguish for my teen and I. It helps to be able to understand the reasoning behind their behaviors. You’re spot on with this article! And so timely! Thank you again. Blessings to you and every other person here who’s also being or have been victimized by an NPD or SPD. If you’re trying to co-parent with one just remember, we’ve got one powerful tool on our side…time.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Every article I read about N/SPs hits a little more close to home than the last. At first, reading the BIG traits of N/SPs was like an epiphany. Things like silent treatment, projection, inappropriate anger over insignificant or even contradictory things, those all snapped me out of the low self-esteem and self-blame for his cheating. They explained what I had gone through all these years, and confirmed that I was not, in fact, as “psycho” as he told everyone I was, and I never “abused” him (he tells people I “hit” him once, when he was drunk and went to hit me and I put my hand up to push him away), though he is telling everyone who will listen that I was abusive. Now, though, I am seeing the “little” things that add up, that offer even more proof that I really had suffered from N/SP abuse all these years, that I wasn’t “psycho,” or “a mess,” or “a shitty wife,” among other things. Recently, I read one that said “People who don’t dream tend to have personality disorders.” That clicked; he told me early on that he didn’t dream, and he thought that made him special in some way. Every article I read reveals another small common bond that they all have, and brings memories flooding back, almost always along with the thought, “I WASN’T wrong that time. It WASN’T my fault he got mad at me over that.” In this article, the two things that hit me the most were the “discarding during the holidays,” and giving the “worst gifts ever.” He left for good on January 10, but not before carrying on his affair that he promised he had ended all through the holidays. But the gifts, OMG the gifts; when he was “love bombing,” he picked some great ones, but after we got married, the awful gifts started. One year, I got a bottle of diet pills, windshield wipers, and a pen. I got a vacuum for another Christmas. The last two Christmases were the worst, though: Two can openers, an electric one (that I had told him I didn’t want) and a manual one, and after that, some $6 Walmart wine glasses. Video game controllers for the Wii (that the kids use, but I don’t). A gift card to a coffee shop that he knew I disliked. I always thought that he just wasn’t good at picking out gifts, but this article opened my eyes.


    • Your response to this makes me feel so good because I self blamed for so long . See my comments in the earlier thread. The projection, silent treatment and anger over the most minor things! Gifts were the worst for me too being that my ex made a very generous 6 figure salary, while I struggled making $40k. He Fought with me the enter week of Xmas. He planned for us to go to Florida to visit his family the flights he told me be for for free using his air miles and we stayed free at his dad’s house. So the day of, I sat there on Christmas watched him present everyone with great gifts and not a thing for me ! When he opened my gifts ( new sneakers and new designer sweaters) he said “well the trip was your gift”. The trip was his plan and was free! He didn’t spend a time! I was so hurt he didn’t even think to get me a small gift just to open under the tree. I would have been happy with anything thoughtful I was crushed! My birthday was a Broadway show which the tickets again were free because his client gave them to him which he told me about . Sadly He would brag about his huge salary and huge bonus, but never ONCE bought me a damn thing after one year together . Funny thing is his family said they never seen him so in Love with anyone before me he never took any girl to meet his family. . I can only imagine how he treated the ones before me I heard it was pretty bad. I’m still angry at him and angry at myself for not walking away sooner . I let him take and take from my heart and soul until I was left devistated when I caught him cheating with another girl . I hate his guts!


  14. For the past 6 yrs. my narcissistic husband would begin the silent treatment by Christmas Eve, with the silence ending about a month later. This season, he is still pulling the silent treatment. He did buy me a gift this year, which was an ugly framed game board (similar to one on a gambling machine). I don’t gamble or play casino type games. So obviously, he was shooting for disappointment on my part. Fortunately, I opened this well after Christmas, and not in his presence. With all that I read about the Narc. Personality, he fit the mold to a tee. Holidays are miserable with this immature 50 year old man. Life is too short to cater to nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Get this-at Thanksgiving dinner she introduced me as her boyfriend and flirted with me in front of her family. She put her hands on my shoulders while she blessed the food. With her voice breaking, she thanked God for “a second chance.” (She almost drank herself to death once). I kissed her hand when the prayer ended. I offered to drive her father home because her nephew wouldn’t. When I returned, she had been drinking. As we laid in each other’s arms, she told me: 1) We have the perfect relationship; 2) I didn’t have to ask to stay over, it was assumed.

    Later that night, she mentioned that, the whole evening, she had been waiting for another guy she had invited.

    The guy called her at 10 p.m. (Yeah, I know what that means). She took the phone into the bathroom, because she didn’t want HIM to hear ME. She didn’t care whether I heard their conversation. She told him he couldn’t come over because she was too tired (not because her “boyfriend” was lying in her bed). He must have asked if he could call the next day and she replied “Please do.”

    I, of course, ended things. For all I know, she made a passive-aggressive move to make me end it. Now she’s mad at me and giving me the silent treatment. Meanwhile, I’m trying to stop missing her and sometimes wishing it could be like it was in the beginning.


  16. My ex absolutely abliterated my Christmas just gone, it started Christmas Eve and hasn’t ended . For over a month now I have had hell, Christmas Day he was intolerable and I had to ask him to leave because of his behaviour I front of our two year old son frightened me. Before he left he said “I had got what I wanted ” this was devastating. Only two weeks ago he assaulted me at my front door when he came to pick up our son , all I did was stand up for myself and ask him to never speak to me like he did again as I have been treated worse than a dog . I feel like I’m starting all over again , this is the third time I have been discarded and made to feel like villain. But I know deep down that it’s him . I’m taking the only the peice of sanity I have left and I’m not going back. :0)


    • Bethany, stay strong my friend. They all have to paint their “victims” as the villain when the relationship ends. Just remember it’s not you. Healthy people take their share of accountability for relationships not working out and don’t feel the need to paint their ex as the villain every single time. Peace & Happiness! ~ Bree


  17. Wow! 7yrs and 3 kids to a narcissist… horrible experience, the special day grinch absolutely, he hated me buying presents or easter eggs, birthday presents and would hate the spotlight being off him and last christmas bought me a gift he knew I wouldnt like! When I have cooked Christmas lunch he took himself to bed so I ate on my own and then he had a go at me for not waiting for him!!! He was even verbally abusive when I asked if a missed birthday or mothers day would be celebrated with ‘oh get over it, it’s been and gone now’
    So pleased I’ve finally ended it, never to go back! now I can celebrate all the special days the way I want too with my kids! No more grinch in my house!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I lived with mine for 42 years before I’d had enough. He died 2 years ago and was in a nursing home 3 years before his passing. I know it was all him but that many years I feel lost and empty. The last 2 years I lived in the garage to stay out of the way. Now I have to live in this home with all those memories to haunt me. No one understands my depression. I’d been with him since I was 14. It’s all I know. How will I ever be normal again. I don’t really know what that is. My youngest daughter is just like him and bullies me every chance she can. I will never escape it.


  19. I so resonated with this. My ex was a mean miserly grin he. He refused to celebrate any holiday. No birthday, valentines, Christmas nothing. When we first were together I got so excited about decorating, putting up the tree and somehow he managed me down to forgetting about any holiday, I suppose because it was always disappointment. He chose Christmas eve to cruelly discard me just hours after us told him my mom was in ICU. Now he acts like the decade we were married was all misery for him rewriting history and making himself out to be this downtrodden victim to anyone who’ll listen. I’d found out he joined this online political group where he obtained a lot of new supply. I may have had to go through this experience but I’ll heal and get my life and happiness back and he’ll still be the miserable narcissist.


  20. Oh My God! I finally understand why the exN would literally make holidays a living, f***ing hell. One Thanksgiving he didn’t speak to me the entire day, just stopped in the morning and then was a complete bastard the entire day – we had about 20 people in. He wouldn’t look at me and would leave the room if I entered it. Wouldn’t carve the turkey when asked, or light the fire pit for the kids. When I asked him a couple days later what the issue was his response was “I don’t know”. I asked him if you don’t know, how will I know it won’t happen again? “I don’t know”. Ever so grateful he pushed me to the breaking point and is now in the rearview mirror.


  21. Been in relationship ? with a narcissist for about 5 months. In that short time been devalued and discarded quite a few times and have always gone back. Xmas is now a few weeks away and he has told me he is going to Germany to see his friend. I don’t believe it for one minute when I asked him where he was flying from didn’t know supposedly flying to Germany on ,Xmas Eve and spending time in the Hartz mountains when I told him that I had been to Saxony where the mountains are he hadn’t a clue what I was talking about. Never had a gift for my birthday although I got him one and don’t expect anything for Xmas. Have now gone no contact can’t be with a fucked up arsehole he is too damaged for me. Expecting the Hoover but will not go back this time. Had enough of crying and being upset I genuinely feel sorry for him because this is all he has for a life and will never know anything different. He will never know what it is like to have mature love or to care for someone. TOO SELFISH. Love to all Mel xxx


  22. So Very True. One year I received a free flip phone he received for a penny when he went to get his shiny new phone upgraded. The only time I did receive any gifts was as image management ; as someone somewhere was getting impressed, but not me his wife.
    His mother the Grand Dame Narc. Never gave gifts but lots of I.O.U. this from a millionaire many times over. She however always made sure to give each family member a long exact list of her wants.
    Two out of many ruined christmas’s really stand out. Our son was an infant, we went to his family’s for x-mas dinner. His brother made fun of his wife and I. Offered his wife up to breast feed as I could not. Then BIL started a fight with my xnarc at the dinner table a fist fight over Pornography . My x blamed my SIL for bringing broadband to communities making it impossible to stop his porn habit?
    I scooped up the baby and wanted to leave the disfunction. His sister stated if I leave I would be “insulting her in her home” I left. We were all disinherited that night supposedly from a vast fortune….lol His parents to this day use that “inheritance” as a form of control.
    Second memory was finding said porn on his phone, and his girlfriends texts during a preschool x-mas show trying to take pictures with phone. NO presents that year except to my self went found a Divorce attorney.


  23. I ALWAYS wondered why he was such an ass and moreso starting in Oct…he killed every ounce of joy..there was NO HAPPY OR MERRY Anything in our house..ever. He made sure we were always angry and depressed and sad.


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