Real Talk: Holiday Stress

Oh the Holidays. The most wonderful time of year. Maybe.

I like to think that there are three categories of people around this time of year.

Category A) The Grinch. The one’s who enjoy making a mockery or being in a sullen mood this time of year. This DOES NOT include folks that are actually depressed this time of year or who take the holidays especially hard due to family loss or personal loss. I could not even begin to empathize with that and if you are someone who has a tough time with holidays, I am so incredibly sorry. This are those people who are just grinches in good form. My husband is a member of this category (although he is getting better now that we have children).

Category B) The jolly go with the flow-er (think Cindy Lou Who’s dad). This category is for those who just go with what the holiday season brings. They want everything to be perfect, but know that it will be perfect because that is just what it is. They don’t stress over decorations, over baking, over making everything perfect and just enjoy the holiday season for what it is.

Category C) The Mayor of Who-Ville. This is the category that I think a fair amount of people fall into. The one’s who stress about having everything just so, who want to be able to have all the cookies, who want to buy everyone the perfect gifts, who want to capture all the smiles on camera. Those who want Christmas dinner to taste beyond amazing.

I think most of us fall somewhere in between Category B and Category C (with maybe a few more in the Stressful Category C). The holidays can be stressful and they coincide with the end of the year, which depending on what you do can be stressful in itself. The idea of getting all of the gifts, everything wrapped and hidden from prying eyes, making sure that everyone gets their Christmas cards, that everything is planned for Christmas eating and THEN to go back and plan a whole bunch more for New Years can set anyone’s head spinning.

I am here today to tell you to STOP.

This whole trap of making everything perfect during the Holidays is a dangerous one that can leave us forgetting the whole point of the Holidays. Setting aside any religious aspects, the whole point of the Holidays (at least for me) is being with family. Seeing and being with family trumps anything else that can happen. The whole idea of being present in the moments when my children see the Christmas tree light up for the first time that year. Or seeing their faces Christmas morning when they come out to sugary treats (usually Cinnamon Rolls, Pancakes, or Waffles) and the excitement of a present or two for them to open.

If we spend our time stressing about gifts, wrapping, cooking, etc, we lose sight of the important moments. Honestly, your children will not care if the tree is absolutely perfect, they will not care if you do not make every type of cookie that you wanted. What they will remember and care is that Mommy or Daddy were not there. They weren’t smiling and laughing with them. If you are working yourself into stress, or panic over getting everything accomplished, let something go. It will not ruin your overall Holiday.

So, if you are heading into the next couple of months stressing, let it go. Let whatever is going on go and remember what the Holidays are really about.

 

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