Why the Holidays Are Tough

I hate to be bah-humbug about it, but the holidays suck are tough.  Every year around this time my mood fluctuates like crazy, and I can tell the people around me are feeling the same way.  I’ve written about holiday stress many times before, but this year I really tried to stop and think about WHY the holidays are so hard for so many of us.  Beyond offering tips for coping with holiday turmoil, here’s my best guess as to why this season can stink (to put it mildly):

NONE OF US CAN MEASURE UP!

Perhaps in the “good old days” the holiday season meant spending time with loved ones and enjoying the meaning of the season (whatever the meaning might have been).  But these days, it feels like it has become the season of measuring up:

  • Do you have enough money to by your sweetie the diamonds, luxury cars, and furs shown on TV ads?
  • Have you decorated your house with hand-dyed partridge feathers and spiced citrus?
  • Do have a perpetually-smiling brood of 4 or 5 who love to play Parcheesi and giggle while sipping on homemade cider?

NO??

Well, guess what? Me neither.  And I am here to tell you that no one measures up to those kinds of standards.  Not even Ms. Martha Stewart herself would come out on top with the above as goals.  So, let’s put an end to this measuring-up, and deal with ourselves, our family, our friends, and our finances for who and what they are: imperfect.  I propose that we simply do our best to get through this month with our mental health intact.  Happy Holidays!

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