The Christmas season is one of beauty and joy. Decorations, some simple and others showy, can be seen just about anywhere – in stores, in restaurants, in suburbs, in the country. Once the sky darkens, the air is filled with flashing lights of all colors. Men dressed as Santa Claus can be found in just about any store you enter.
Not everyone enjoys all of these sights and sounds though. Phobias that can be associated with Christmas abound. In no way should anyone who has a phobia be ridiculed, but you can have so much fun with one of your characters if you bless him with a phobia, especially one that will put him in all kinds of awkward situations.
Do flashing lights cause your character to have a panic attack? Does she run the other direction when she sees a sprig of mistletoe? Does just the sight of a doll cause her to have nightmares?
Enjoy reading about the following phobias. These phobias may be real or they may be made up. Only one reference was found for some of them, but it really wouldn’t surprise me if they really do exist. When you are done, pick one out and use it in one of your stories, or write a new story just for that phobia.
Selaphobia is the fear or dislike of flashes of light. A person with this phobia would have a really hard time in any place decorated with flashing Christmas lights. Many Christmas decorations are also covered with flashing lights of many colors.
Festivalisophobia is the fear of the whole Christmas thing. I guess you were afflicted with festivalisphobia, then you probably would have every fear on this list. Wow. That would not make life very fun at all. A person who had this fear would probably choose to become a hermit. But what if he lived right in the middle of New York City?
Meleagris is the genus name for turkeys, so meleagrisphobia is the irrational fear of turkeys. This fear would probably include turkeys that were alive as well as the birds that were dead and being served for Christmas dinner. A person with this phobia could fear either one or both of them. In my humble opinion, it would make far more sense to be afraid of a live turkey, one that could chase you and possibly peck on you with its sharp beak or scratch you with its claws. And, yes, turkeys have been known to chase people. Once the turkey is dead and on your plate, however, you have complete control over it.
This New Jersey mom has a reason to fear turkeys. You can read about her experience here: ‘Gangster turkey’ crashes into N.J. home, terrorizes mom and kids. I’m not sure how I would react if the turkeys that frequent my yard came crashing through my window.
Wild turkeys wander through my yard all the time, and I love to watch them. I have no fear of them ever trying to attack me though. As soon as I open the door or try to get close enough to them to take a good picture, they run off. But in the following video from 2011, one reporter encountered a turkey whose desire was to get closer to her.
Krikophobia is the fear of church services. For someone who doesn’t go to church, I don’t guess this would be a problem. But do they choose never to go to church because they are afraid of it? Or could a person have this phobia from being forced to go to church? What terrible things happened to him at church to make him so afraid?
Cyssanophobia is the fear of kissing under the mistletoe. So, if a person is afraid of kissing under the mistletoe, is this person afraid of the mistletoe or afraid of being kissed? My daughter has cyssanophobia. She told me that if she sees mistletoe, she runs the other direction. Why? Because you never know who you are going to be caught with beneath the “kissing plant.”
Kissing under the mistletoe is an old Scandinavian custom. Even if sworn enemies met beneath a mistletoe plant, they would call a truce and cease hostilities until the next day. Of course, who’s to say that they didn’t each sit there and plan out how to defeat their enemy when the sun rose?
Though there is a part of the ritual that has mainly been forgotten. You are supposed to pluck a berry, which happens to be poisonous, from the mistletoe after each kiss. When all of the berries are gone, there is no more locking of lips underneath that particular piece of mistletoe.
Agoraphobia is the fear of crowds. What does that have to do with Christmas? Think about Christmas shopping. The closer it gets to Christmas, the more packed and crammed with shoppers the stores and malls become. People who are searching for that perfect gift sometimes tend to become rude and pushy. Since most everyone is out shopping, fast-food joints and restaurants also tend to be full of hungry, grumpy people. Around the Christmas season, more people attend religious services, as well. So what does one with agoraphobia do to avoid the crowds? My guess would be that this person would stay home if at all possible. Especially if one is a member of a large family, this phobia could cause one to become a hermit at this festive time of year.
Phonophobia is the fear of loud talking or noises. Have you ever noticed that during the Christmas season, many places pipe Christmas music through their loudspeakers? The people in the stores or wherever the music was being played would talk louder so they could hear each other. For a person with phonophobia, situations like these would be unbearable. How would a person with phonophobia react if he was trapped inside a noisy mall and didn’t know how to get out?
Pediophobia is the fear of dolls. Have you ever noticed that right after Thanksgiving, dolls and other toys begin to appear in even grocery stores? For a person with pediophobia, this turns grocery shopping into a terrifying experience. What would cause a person to be so afraid of dolls? There are movies that have dolls coming to life. I’m specifically thinking of Child’s Play, a Chucky movie. A doll shoves a lady out a window and chases others around with a knife. That is about enough to creep anyone out! Of course, if you were the one who wrote it, it might not creep you out quite so bad. Anyway, the Chucky movies were apparently a success as there are several of them. I wonder, how many people with pediophobia developed it after seeing one of those movies?
Are there any more phobias that you associate with the Christmas season?