Have the holidays become too stressful?


The holiday season is in full gear. As we have already passed Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Christmas is just around the corner. And I have to say that I’m still slightly in disbelief at how quickly its come, yet again.

As I get older, I’ve realized something. Time speeds by, each year it gets quicker and quicker. Everything becomes stressful and timed, and we make it more commercial then spiritual and magical like it should be.

I remember when I was a kid, I used to get so excited when Christmas was near. It was my favorite time of year. I remember decorating the tree with my family and playing Christmas songs as early as October, sometimes even in the summer time because I was just so infatuated.

Now it seems as though no one has time for anything anymore. No time to decorate, or shop, or be festive. Everything is like warp speed and before we even get to Thanksgiving they are already shoving Christmas down our throats. Stores commercialize everything and call it Christmas spirit. Would you let me catch my breath, you’re suffocating me. And sadly that notion has caused me to grin and bear the holidays, because well I’m just not ready for them, and they don’t allow each holiday it’s time to be enjoyed.

I miss the beauty in the holiday season. I miss the excitement and the happiness. I’ve definitely lost that over the past few years, I wanna say as far back as college. First it was school stress, reports and projects and papers due right before Christmas, and now it’s well… life. Work, Internships, everyday life. Trying to balance being festive with your daily duties can be a recipe for disaster, because truly there are not enough hours in a day.

There is so much pressure put on the holidays. Pressure to pick out the perfect gifts, pressure to travel to visit family, pressure to decorate and create a festive wonderland, pressure to cram all your holiday cheer into your already stressful life. A time that is supposed to be simply about love, faith, and family, is burdened by stress.

And if you’re like me and have high expectations, you get disappointed when you feel like your holiday was a sham. Or not as magical as you hoped it would be. I hate when the holiday doesn’t feel like a holiday. Take Thanksgiving, I love Thanksgiving. Since I feel Christmas has become bigger than all of us, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. But this year was kind of hectic and stressful and I felt like I didn’t enjoy it as much as last year. Sure I saw my family, and we ate a bunch of delicious food, and it was nice.  I just felt rushed all day. Between helping to get food prepared the night before, and then baking til 2 in the morning, I was exhausted the morning of Thanksgiving. Then we did double rounds to visit both sides of my family and that always takes a toll even though you get to see more people, you feel like you’re on a clock all day. That feeling of rushing immediately peaks my anxiety level and stresses me out, messing with the festivity of the holiday and what it’s really about.

At the end of the day, it’s a day that goes by just like every other. I see family and eat great food, and make memories. And it’s another holiday under the belt. But I have become saddened by the lack of enthusiasm I have for the holidays for the past years. And the people around me have spoken of similar attitudes and feelings. Everyone is so tired and stressed on a regular basis that add in the holidays and all the extra work you have to do, and it’s like complete chaos.

This world is too fast paced. Everything is rushed. Nothing is treasured. This is why the new generation has such a hard time living in the moment, myself included.

It’s a little late for Halloween and Thanksgiving, but I’d like to restore the Christmas spirit at least in my house. I want to slow things down and enjoy the festive feelings around me. I want to enjoy Christmas music, and Christmas movies. I want to decorate as a family, without having to wait forever for all of us to get on the same page. I want shopping to be easy and not so materialistic. When I was a kid, I was taught you get what you get and you’re grateful. Kids these days have so much to choose from that they barely know what to ask for. And their more expectant of materialistic items. It’s certainly a different generation, then I grew up in.

I want to visit the Christmas lights in the neighborhood, drink hot chocolate, and festive flavored teas and coffees, visit the tree in Rockefeller center.  And every year I say these things and, I’m lucky if I get to do one or two things. Time becomes no one’s friend.

This Christmas I want things to change. Here’s hoping I can pull a Hallmark Movie and lessen up the Grinch factor in my life.

So…do you find the holiday stress gets in the way of celebrating?



*I do not take credit for the image used.*




4 thoughts on “Have the holidays become too stressful?

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