Slice of Life: Destress your Holidays


I know so many people who have a bah-humbug attitude towards the holiday. I’m not talking about everyone who teases me about my proclivity to listen to Christmas music at totally inappropriate times…like July. I’m not talking about the people who have very few happy memories tied to the holidays. I’m talking about the people who growl at you when you tell them Merry Christmas, or tell you that Thanksgiving is a waste because people just pig out. (I’ve heard that one, yes.)

Do you realize we live in a society that might have forgotten the point of a holiday? Go listen to the original Grinch who stole Christmas. They eat Roast Beast! And they enjoy it! How politically incorrect of them.

Maybe your holiday is stressful and grumpy because you have forgotten the point. Maybe you should spread cheer instead of snarls?


If you get stressed cause it’s so expensive, have the courage to examine you’re standards are for a happy holiday. Maybe you could work together with a couple other families for Thanksgiving and share the expense load. Maybe you could make homemade gifts out of things just lying around the house. Pinterest is full of neat ideas about how to re-purpose things.

If it stresses you out because it takes you two weeks to decorate the house and three to take it down, maybe you need to cut back on your decorating.

Christmas should be about the tradition, the fun, the family.

When I was young, it was all about the presents. As I grew it still stayed about the presents. Would so and so like what I got them? Oh, the pressure to find the perfect gift! What about my gifts? What if someone got me something I hated? What would I do? What about me!?

As I got older and my family grew up, my siblings and I created our own families and got to see each other less, I noticed my concerns shifting. I wasn’t worried about presents, I was worried about my brothers being home for the holidays. I wasn’t worried about black Friday, I was worried about what time my extra brother would have to leave us so he could be at work on time. The presents aren’t really that important to me anymore. It’s far more important that we all get to be together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s the food, the warmth, the cheer. It’s reading the Christmas Story together, impromptu nerf gun fights, video games, beer tastings, pictures, watching our favorite Christmas movies and singing our favorite songs. It’s the magic of snow and lights. It’s teaching the kids to quote Christmas quotes and sing Christmas songs. It’s eating too much pie.

The holidays are only going to be as stressful as you let them be. If you feel anxious about the next eight weeks instead of excited maybe you need to reevaluate what you think the holidays mean. Maybe you need to pass out cards with personal notes in them instead of buying gifts. Maybe you need to get in the kitchen with some friends instead of alone. I recommend sisters or your mom!

Maybe you have suffered significant loss on the holidays or are alone. Make some new holiday traditions. Remember the point: be thankful for what we have, and, as Tolkien said, for turning point of Grace when Christ came to earth. This is the point. Make memories around that.

And don’t get all PC about the waste of the food. Holidays only happen once in a while and they ‘re meant to be over the top celebrations. Be a Fezziwig, not a Scrooge.

Fezziwig's Ball

Fezziwig’s Ball

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