Does your character fear Christmas so much that he becomes a hermit at this time every year? Does he have a fear of elves? Does the thought of being stalked by brownies, dwarves, and gnomes fill him with terror? Does the mere sight of Christmas presents send him into a panic attack?
The following phobias may or may not be real. But this is a site on fiction writing, so we can have fun with them whether they exist or not. I have found at least one reference on the internet for each one of them. If they do exist, it wouldn’t surprise me. It seems as though there is a phobia for everything in existence.
Remember in no way does anyone who has a phobia deserve to be ridiculed or made fun of. As a writer, though, you can bless your characters with phobias to make them more believable and to put them in awkward, yet amusing, or terrifying situations. When you are done reading about the following phobias, pick one or more, create a character to go with the phobia, and then write a story around them.
Christougenniatiko dentrophobia is a fear of Christmas trees. A person with this phobia would most likely not grow Christmas trees for a living. Since all live Christmas trees are a type of pine tree, is a person with this phobia afraid of pine trees year-round? Or just at Christmas time? Could a person be afraid of them because of bugs they could possibly bring into the house? Or maybe it is the possibility of the tree catching fire that scares this person? Do artificial Christmas trees also fill this person with panic? And does the tree have to be decorated for this person to fear it?
Fayophobia is the fear of elves. Would someone with this fear be afraid of reading stories with elves in them? Possibly these stories would induce nightmares about a solace of Babas Yaga or a lawn of gnomes. I don’t believe that help from a hustle of brownies or a knot of dwarves would be welcomed. A brace of dryads, a tizzy of fairies, a swell of naiads, a delectation of nymphs, a pleasure of pixies, a resolution of sprites—none of these would be beautiful in the eyes of a person with fayophobia. An indulgence of leprechauns would make St. Patrick’s Day very uncomfortable. Christmas could prove to be a terrifying experience when surrounded by a drove of elves and a sleigh of Santa Claus.
Hodophobia is the fear of traveling. Traveling by car, train, or airplane is dreaded. Actually, there isn’t any mode of travel that a person with hodophobia likes. With enough medication or distractions, some limited travel may be possible. Someone with this phobia could possibly also have another phobia that I believe is closely related to this one: dronophobia, the fear of driving on the highways with traffic during the holidays. Either one of these phobias would put a damper on spending the holidays with your family if they live some distance away from you. But the following phobias would be more of a deterrent of spending those special days with your family.
Syngenesophobia is the fear of relatives and relations while familiaphobia is the fear of one’s own family. Those two phobias seem to be pretty similar to me, and neither one would be a good thing. What if you were too young to live on your own and were afflicted with familiaphobia or syngenesophobia? Would you live with one of your friends? It is unlikely that your parents would allow this. Or what if you were disabled and had no choice but to live with your family? Would you drive them up the wall until they finally just gave in and killed you? Or would you live like a hermit and stay shut up in your bedroom, your own private world, all the time?
Ghabhphobia is the fear of presents or gifts. Guess this would cause problems with birthdays, too. Would someone with this phobia be afraid of receiving presents because he would be afraid of receiving an embarrassing gift? Or would this person be afraid of giving someone a present out of fear that his gift would be rejected?
Mythophobia is the fear of slipping and telling a secret, such as giving away what someone’s Christmas gift is. A lot of little kids have trouble keeping such a secret. Some carry it on into adulthood if they are lucky enough to live that long. Most of the time the person who has a problem keeping secrets doesn’t seem to realize it and gets mad when others won’t tell them confidential things. Someone with mythophobia would be pleading with others not to confide in them.
Are there any other phobias that you would associate with Christmas?
Pick one of more of the above phobias. Afflict one of your characters with the chosen phobia, and write a story around this character and his/her phobia.