It is the time of year again we love to hate! The holidays! The smells of homemade pies, cinnamon and pine are in the air and the sound of Christmas music in every place we turn. A time when the trees are changing colors, the weather is getting colder, and the light of day only lasts until we make it back to our cars in the afternoon after a long day’s work. This time of year is when we are expected to be merry and thankful for all that we have. A chance to spend more time with our family and friends. Ah the joys… right? Wrong. We don’t seem to be merry and happy. Instead we are more anxious, depressed and even stressed. Bah, humbug! Are we really all just Scrooges?
What is it that we really hate about the holidays? Well, no one really likes getting out of everyday routines. Also, we feel ‘forced’ to be around people that we don’t want to be around. We get stressed about the fact that we have to spend money that we possibly don’t have to spend on people that we never talk to. With the hustle and bustle of HAVING to do this and that, it is no wonder that we are not looking forward to the holidays!
So, what can we do to make it more comfortable? First, we can learn to say "No!" You can’t be everywhere at all times. Don’t overextend yourself. Create new holiday traditions of your own. Make plans to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Lending a helping hand could actually make you feel better and be more thankful for the crazy family you do have. Hang out with the kids, they couldn’t care less if Aunt Janie has a drinking problem! If you can't get out of the family plans, make other plans so that you can leave early or arrive late, really all people need is to know you've visited. You don't have to spend the entire holiday with them (not to mention, they probably need some quiet time themselves). Lastly, make a list of gifts you will buy and stick to that list. Make an effort to have fun this year! Take the Scrooge out of your holiday season!