How to Make Christmas Less Stressful3:05 AM
It is such an irony that Christmas which is supposed to be the happiest season of the year can turn out be the most stressful. It need not be so but the trappings of modern-day celebration can put an unbelievable amount of pressure on some people to come up with the "standard". This year, we can try to step back from all the hustle and bustle as we try to rediscover what the Season is really about.
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Make It Simple
It is so tempting for us to pull out all the stops when it comes to celebrating Christmas. This is especially so as we get bombarded by all kinds of commercialization of the Season. Many businesses will be advertising this and that, supposedly to make our celebration complete.
In the process, we may find ourselves basing our happiness on our ability to buy all these things for our family and ourselves. It can be very difficult to say no to these temptations especially if everybody seems to be going with the buying wave. When we impose all these expectations of ourselves, we usually end up torturing ourselves for the things we are unable to do or buy in the name of Christmas celebration. We can actually survive with a simple celebration and still enjoy the Season without feeling deprived.
Do Not Over-Commit
Every person has his or her threshold when it comes to performing activities for others. We can only be present in one occasion at a time. When there are two or more conflicting schedules for Christmas parties for example, it would be best to choose and enjoy one rather than spread ourselves too thin by attending all without being able to appreciate any.
There is an art of saying no without offending. Sometimes however, people whose invites or requests have been declined still take offense. This is where priorities should come in. It is still better to say no truthfully rather than saying yes grudgingly.
Focus on the Spiritual Side of Christmas
It is not an exaggeration to say that Christmas has far been too commercialized that we often forget that there is a spiritual and religious component to the Season. Focusing on the spiritual side does not mean being a kill-joy in fun. It simply means realizing that Christmas will still be Christmas even without the commercial trappings associated with it.
Giving time to spirituality can lessen the level of stress since it encourages us to detach from material things. If financial constraint prevents us from giving material gifts, we can always give our time and assistance to others. We can never be so "poor" that we are unable to give anything to people in need.
I first felt the pressure of having a perfect Christmas when I started my own family. I wanted to give my children all the experiences they can possibly have for the Season. It took some time for me to realize that the pressure I put on myself was beginning to take its toll in terms of physical exhaustion and emotional agitation.
That said, it took the hand of destiny to make me realize that I do not need to have everything to be happy. It took some getting used to and some emotional reckoning but thankfully I survived. My Christmas for this year may not be again "perfect" in the standards of society but if my family can swing it with flying colors despite the limitations, then who am I to say that I can't?
Have a blessed and stress-free Christmas everyone!