Avoid the stress of Christmas

By Pat Ratliff

Dunn County Herald

Christmas… to most of us just the word brings warm memories and happy remembrances.child_2248cPublished December 20, 2013

The Herald

And it’s true that this time of year has many different meanings to different people.

To some, this is a solemn religious holiday honoring the birth of Christ.

To many, Christmas is a combination of religious significance and a time to celebrate friends and family. And there are many to whom Christmas is just a time of celebration of family and friends, with no particular religious significance.

But the one thing all three of these groups can probably agree on – Christmas is busy – and stressful.

Because of the timing of school holidays, the weeks just before Christmas fill up with any number of events. Christmas plays, band concerts, basketball games; all take up a lot of time and energy. The fact that most of us have put off our Christmas shopping only makes this time more stressful.

All of a sudden, the kids are out of school and home for their holiday and there is even less time for holiday rituals and getting the shopping done.

Everyone is busy, the lines at the stores are a nightmare, and setting the alarm clock to shop at 2 a.m. at the superstore is looking more like a reality and less like a bad joke.

The Christmas cookies still have to be baked, and done correctly. Home made, using grandma’s recipe, no pre-mixed cookie dough allowed for Christmas. We’ll have to look up that recipe we had written down last year. More time gone.

Things are getting hectic. T’is the season for enjoyment, but somehow it seems some of that is severely lacking.

Of course, in many households, one person takes the brunt of work. And the stress. And the extra hours of preparation for meals and get togethers.

I won’t be sexist enough to suggest that “mother” is the one, but I will point out that football bowl season starts conveniently right before Christmas time… enough said.

And although “she” (wink wink) may enjoy a bowl game or two, the stress of the holidays is building more. Company is coming, no one is helping, the meals need to be planned for and prepared, and time is running out.

Do you see a pattern here? If we were talking about Microsoft or Boeing or any of the big Wall Street firms, this would fall under “time management.”

But I suspect those big-wigs at Boeing find Christmas just as stressful as the rest of us.

I’ve got a solution though. It’s unproven, maybe more of a theory; I’m going to try it too.

Let’s put the emphasis on Christmas and the time we spend and think of our family and loved ones.

Forget being perfect, forget 20 different dishes at Christmas dinner (15 will do just fine), just enjoy the season. Forget your stress.

Just celebrate Christmas however your religious and/or family traditions will mean the most to you. Merry Christmas from All of us at Country Media.


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