How to avoid the Christmas rush? Easy. Leave town. Funnily enough, that's just what Joseph and Mary did, didn't they? I'm not being blasphemous here, but isn't Christmas itself becoming more of a holiday instead of a holy day?
For those people who do believe in keeping Christ in Christmas, it is terribly upsetting to have your holy day turned into something else. And that something else is clearly the commercialization of Christmas and the lack of true holiday, Christmas spirit. We sometimes forget just want it's all about.
I remember being at a Holiday Party (as it was billed) a few years back where I didn't know too many people. I thought I'd reach out to an older couple who were standing off to one side also alone. I smiled and wished them both a "Happy Holiday"; he glared at me and she quite curtly and coldly said you mean "Merry Christmas". Nothing merry about her, that was for sure. Since it was a Holiday party with an eclectic crowd and since there are other festive observances in December, it's only polite to use a generic, if you will, term. But perhaps they had lost the holiday spirit due to the Christmas rush.
But okay, I digress. No matter what holiday or holy day you are celebrating, it is the Christmas rush you're avoiding. And I say, seriously, get out of town.
One of my very best times was spent on a Caribbean island the week before Christmas. Rates were low, the weather just happened to be gorgeous and nothing can be more festive or inspiring frankly than watching a sunset with your toes dug deep into some warm sand. Umbrella drinks optional. For those of us who believe, it doesn't get more spiritual than that. And that's not blasphemy but the simple truth.
If you want to avoid the Christmas rush but also get back your basic Christmas spirit, then if possible go somewhere else, even if it's only for a few days. You can always come back for the actual Christmas Eve or Day, and probably will have more spirit and patience then if you had stayed in town. Consequently, avoidance of anything Christmas-y can actually make your Holiday, whether Christmas or other celebration, better. And if not better, then bearable.