The Things you Love and Hate Most about the Holidays, by Personality Type

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on December 14, 2021

We’re right in the thick of the holiday season. Do you love traditions or internally groan at the prospect of repeating a celebration? Everyone has a slightly different idea of what makes up an ideal experience during this time of year. Read on for each personality’s most-loved and most-hated aspects of the holidays. 

INFP 

Love: Possibility is everywhere! This is a normal phenomenon for the INFP, but there’s something about this season of goodwill and peace on earth that is especially appealing and heart-warming. 

Hate: When reality pops the seasonal bubble. A harsh conversation with your boss or strain in a personal relationship will seldom be a welcome experience, but it is especially upsetting this time of year. 

INTJ 

Love: Taking and improving upon traditions. It wouldn’t be a surprise if every year you tell your friends or your family the new tweak you have for holiday shopping, gift-giving, or a cultural tradition. 

Hate: When others stick to their worn ways of celebrating and insist on doing things “their way”. Having in-laws dictate a never-changing tradition or seeing a friend stick to an inefficient and stressful gift-giving process is absolutely frustrating to the INTJ

INFJ 

Love: How this time of year seems to bring out the best in people. Stories of charitable giving and sweet reunions fill the INFJ heart with the joy of the season. “Goodwill to all,” indeed! 

Hate: The conflict that can happen when trying to manage expectations with a gathering of family and/or friends. Tension in balancing and delivering on those expectations can sometimes feel like enough to nix your holiday plans altogether. 

INTP

Love: This time of year comes with something more awesome than holidays and traditions: time off! If you’re intentional about it, you can get uninterrupted time to dissect this year and make new connections. This time of year is especially ripe with deep thematic lessons and truths, just what the INTP ordered. 

Hate: The ever-present justifications that just don’t make a lick of sense. Santa. Elves. Friends and family “spending more to save more.” The holiday season would be more enjoyable if others insisted less on traditions that have no logical leg to stand on. 

ENFP 

Love: Lights everywhere and goodwill abounding in the hearts of friends and family. This time of year is ripe with optimism and inner warmth. “Getting into the Holiday spirit” is as easy as putting on your coat in the morning. 

Hate: Finding the exact right gift for multiple people. You don’t want to let anyone down and are determined everyone will love their gifts, but that line is hard to reach for each person every year. After a while, gift-giving starts to feel tedious and something the ENFP would rather not finish. 
 

ENTJ

Love: Planning and executing incredible experiences for family and friends during the holiday season. Sleigh rides, caroling, game night gatherings, warm nights by the fire -- all of these are within the realm of the ENTJ and probably sounds like a great line-up of holiday events. 

Hate: If the emotions or expectations of others muddy those fantastic experiences you look forward to. The inevitable melt-down of a sibling or tone-deaf request from a parent is frustrating to the ENTJ. 

ENTP 

Love: The gatherings, but more specifically the opportunity to banter and have a good time with your family and friends. Engaging with your environment in this way brings joy to those around you which, in turn, fills you back up. 

Hate: Doing those traditions the same way every single year and not being allowed to try anything new at some point during the holiday season. For an ENTP, stifling routine is maddening!

ENFJ

Love: This is the time of year when charitable organizations and volunteering get a much-deserved spotlight. While that would make you happy no matter the time of year, there is something special about watching people put aside their differences for the common good during the holiday season. 

Hate: The inability to be around all of the people you love at the same time. Regardless of where you are, ENFJ, chances are you’re missing someone from your circle. Coworkers take vacation, family members spend the holiday elsewhere, and so on. This makes it difficult to share the season with everyone you’d like to and causes your heart a bit of grief. 

ISFJ 

Love: The traditions. We’ve reached those who absolutely love watching the same movie on Christmas Eve every year or telling the same story in the same way on the 3rd night of Hanukkah. Traditions are what make this time of year so fantastic. 

Hate: When everything is finished and over. The lights are put away, travellers have gone back home. Life moves on from the holidays and a unique sadness settles into the ISFJ heart. 

ISFP

Love: The strong artistic connection present in this particular season. You’re probably knitting scarves, carving a dreidel, painting a tree lighting ceremony, or composing an original tune based on a traditional story. Creative expression is a part of an ISFP’s normal life and this season infuses more reason behind those creations. 

Hate: Finding yourself center stage in the spotlight while opening gifts in the middle of a gathering. All eyes on you, waiting for a reaction… just thinking about it makes you want to cancel those holiday plans, huh? 

ISTJ

Love: Executing a perfectly curated holiday shopping procedure. As an ISTJ, you’re likely done shopping before anyone else in your friend and family circles. And you revel in the knowledge that you have genius gift ideas for everyone in your life. 

Hate: Last minute changes to plans and impromptu parties. It would be stupendous if everyone would stop varying the very carefully crafted procedures you put in place during the season and let you be.  

ISTP

Love: Rigging up any kind of decorations. Lights, lawn decorations, Christmas trees, candles, you name it. And you probably have a better way of setting it up and helping it last through the season than anyone else in your life, ISTP

Hate: The stifling number of events happening during this time of year, especially if you’re involved in a relationship that interferes with your personal freedom to celebrate when and how you like. 

ESFJ 

Love: The actual holiday celebration. Yes, everyone loves their respective holidays. But no one loves quite like the ESFJ when all of the planning, the gift ideas, the new holiday recipes, the out-of-town travelers, all come together in one glorious celebration. 

Hate: Everything leading up to the holiday celebration. The shopping. The endless to-do lists. The overwhelming stress. You would outsource all of this if you could, but that’s just not in your nature with something this important to you. 

ESFP 

Love: Such festive ways to participate in the season! There is carolling, holiday plays, ice skating, and so on. An ESFP loves to shine by bringing these activities to their holiday celebrations. 

Hate: Missing out on any of the fun. There’s often too much to do so that difficult decisions must be made on what you’ll skip this year. If only you could find a way to make it to every single activity and party this year.

ESTJ 

Love: So many holiday parties. You’ve got connections at work, with friends, community gatherings, all over the place. Instead of overwhelming you, this is quite exciting. The more parties, the better!

Hate: Lack of communicated expectations. With involvement in so many groups, ESTJ, you’d like to encourage others to “spit it out” when they have a request and deal with their inflated holiday emotions with greater efficiency. 

ESTP

Love: Being the rock for your loved ones. While others are stressing about gift shopping or holiday planning, you take great pleasure in problem solving and swooping in like the superhero you are. You do this with an ease unlike any other and love saving the day. 

Hate: Settling into a ho-hum holiday routine. Doing the same thing each year holds no excitement whatsoever for an ESTP. And having nothing exciting to look forward to… you might as well not celebrate at all. 

Drop a comment and let us know: what are you looking forward to this year? 

Kim Jacobson

Kim spends her time as a freelance content marketing writer and indie author. Her focus is on empowering others to make healthy choices, and personality theory plays a large role in that calling. What else would you expect from an ENFP? She lives in the mountains with her ISFJ husband and two incredible kiddos.

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

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