Holiday Stress: How to Avoid It – Editorial by Markus Noé – Cornwall Ontario – December 28, 2009

Holiday Stress: How to Avoid It – By Markus Noé

Tis the season for everyone to be surrounded with yuletide joy, happiness and everything else that goes with Christmas.

But does anyone really enjoy the Christmas holidays as much as the multi-million dollar corporations hope we do, so in turn we go into their Wal-Mart’s, or other outlets, and spend obscene amounts of money year in and year out?

I am tired of seeing these commercials of family’s surrounded around the Christmas tree pleasantly sipping their egg nog while wearing their new Gap sweater.

I’ve been to many christmas party’s some with my family and alot with other people’s families and this serene portrait of a family at Christmas is false.

Around the Christmas tree there usually sits about ten people who struggle to come up with something to talk about. Mainly because one of the worst things to do with family is to share any of your personal thoughts and feelings with them.  The reason for this is because family, the people who should support and nuture us the most, are usually our worst critics.

Family members have a strange way of tearing down all your dreams and aspirations and mask it with the title of “advice.”  But this is not just any kind of advice its the ultimate kind, its loving advice. And heaven help us the topic of conversation finds its way to religion or politics, that never ends nicely.

Do you know who really enjoys Christmas the most? Its the kids, because they are fortunate enough to still believe in the mystique of Christmas, and there is always the lovable Uncle Harry who has drank his way back to infancy.

I think Christmas puts an unneccessary stress on the average person, which does nothing but ruin their holidays. The stress of having to buy that perfect gift, or putting on a nice dinner or sufferring through pointless conversation is never pleasant.

There is also something else that we can’t see but feel that adds to this stress, its expectation. This is a hard thing to avoid with all the Christmas propaganda out there that tells us what a great Christmas we are going to have. Remember the fine print, there always seems to be a let down.

However I have a solution the Christmas blues. Lets take the burden of expectation off each others shoulders. First thing to do is to end Christmas gift exchange, in my experience it is rarely a genuine exchange anyways. It has more to do with with, “well they got me something so I have to get them something,” and who wants to deal with that kind of pressure?   Not me personally. Second, make Christmas a Potluck event, everyone bring something it’s not fair for one person or part of the family to be responsible to feed everyone.

The third part of my solution is to have a dry Christmas, yes I said it, no wine, beer, or shots of Southern. There is always one member of the party that wants to bring something up that has no business to be brought up on this day while surrounded by a dozen friends and family. And dealing with your issues while intoxciated is not healthy.

On that note I hope everyone had a good Christmas  and I hope these tips will make next years even better.  Happy upcoming New Years.

Markus Noé is our Journalism Intern.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

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  1. Markus I think Christmas is what you make it. Start traditions that make you happy! Take what you like and leave the rest! Wishing you a healthy and joyous New Year. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for your response, and your wishes. Happy New Year to you as well!

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