The holidays can be a stressful time for many people. Finding ways to reduce the stress can be the difference between enjoying the holidays and wanting to hide in a hole until after the new year.
With our family, there are many places to go and people to see. And, while this usually turns out fine, it is stressful to think about before it actually happens.
Even though the holidays are supposed to be full of goodwill and cheer, there are times when families are put under pressure. There are many pressures that come with the holidays, including purchasing gifts, going to parties, being at a relative’s house on a specific day or time, and just keeping up the goodwill and cheer.
I’m not going to say that our holidays are perfect, because I don’t think anyone’s holidays are perfect. To help get me get through the holidays, I try to take it one day at at time. There is so much that goes into each day leading up to the big celebration. Each little accomplishment is a win in my book.
Some of mine and my family’s stressors that cause tension during the holidays are:
Shopping. I try to shop early, but this is not always an option, and with the kids getting older, it is hard to shop early for them. Then there the shopping for everyone else. I may not know what they want, or it could be a tight year financially. It can just be overwhelming.
Planning out when we will celebrate with everyone. When my grandparents hosted Christmas it was always on Christmas day at noon. Everyone lived in town and it was easy to get up, open presents, and make it to lunch. My aunt has picked up this tradition, and while the kids love seeing their cousins and it nice to spend time with family, it can make our family rush through our Christmas morning.
We live about an hour away from everyone and have to figure travel time into our morning along with breakfast, time to open presents, and packing everything we need to take with us because we usually stay for a day or two, and the kids always want time to play with their new toys.
These are triggers that makes everyone cranky before we even get out of the driveway. We usually make it to the designated location at the right time, sometimes it would be nice if we could just enjoy our Christmas morning and not travel until later in the day.
There is also Keith’s side of the family, who have always been super flexible, and the celebration with my parents and brother that is separate from the Christmas day celebrations, which we squeeze in when we can. We try to plan everything on different day, but it does not always work out that way. I try to be flexible and I know everyone else tries to be flexible, but my Christmas wish is for ultimate flexibility from everyone.
Spending Money. This goes with the shopping, but it is not just buying presents for everyone. It is buying food, entertainment while on holiday break from school, Christmas presents, traveling, gas, buying the everyday stuff for around the house, and paying bills.
I know just typing this out I went through half a bag of dark chocolate, but I want everyone to know that we all face different challenges during the holiday season. Mine may not be the same as yours, but they are there and very real for all of us.
During the holiday season, take time to reflect on what is important. Put aside what can wait and try to enjoy the time with friends and family. I want to say that despite all the stressors that come with the holidays, I still love my family and enjoy the time I spend with them.
I love to hear from my readers about their holiday stressors, and maybe we can help each other. Post your comments below and we will see how many people we can help.