The gift of stress keeps on giving

Answers with Anna by J1 Reporter Anna Feldman. 

Set up the Christmas tree. Buy all the presents. Wrap everything, and I mean everything. Make a side dish. Hang the lights. Spend time with family. Go to work. Go to school. The holidays are full of endless possibilities, but why are we expected to do all of this? The holidays should be about family and spending time together, not stress.

It’s so stressful trying to buy for everyone. You have to find gifts that represent the person, something that you can see them wearing or using. My mom and I start shopping in September, and if we don’t start then, we’ll never get our Christmas shopping done in time. I can’t tell you how many questions run through our brains during our Christmas shopping.

The holiday season is a stressful time for all, but for my family buying for everyone can get to be a lot. The most stressful thing to me is not the buying, wrapping, or decorating, it’s the gift giving itself. When we put so much time and effort into getting the perfect gift and then we discover they don’t like it. I can always tell by their facial expressions and how they say thank you.

And the absolute worst time of the holidays is Dec. 24 at 8:08 p.m. when my family is packing the car up to go over to go over to my aunt’s house. She lives 25 minutes away and we have to be there by 8:30. The stress begins. My little brother, Nate, and I begin taking our large haul to the car. Meanwhile, my mom is thinking, did we grab all 236 presents? Nate, where is your coat? Where’s the food? Did we turn the Christmas tree lights off? Nate why do you still not have coat on?!

Now enough about the gifts. The holidays shouldn’t be stressful. They should be full of love and laughter, food and games, and family and friends. They should be a piece of cake, but they’re not! Forget the presents and the lights, ok maybe a few lights, you don’t want to seem like a Grinch during the holidays. Just spend time enjoying the little things in life.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of happiness and a sense of joy in our hearts. But the stress we put on ourselves has made the holidays a bust. We have made it into a whole ordeal, when it should be about family and being grateful for the things that surround us. This holiday, take my advice. Spend a little extra time with your family and enjoy the things that bring you closer together.


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