My Love - Hate Relationship with the Holidays

Does anyone here notice what's going on? Really. The stress level of everyone around you? Including you.

Don't deny it.

You know I'm right.

In general, it's due to "that time of year": The Holidays. And of course, it has plainly been a couple of tension-filled years. For some of us more than others, of course. There are still those lucky/ignorant/naive persons who say "What recession?" So now, those of us who live in the true atmosphere of what is actually going on in the world today are feeling it from all sides: Work, home, kids, spouse, bills, holidays, family issues, the news... I could go on but I'd like to post this sometime today.

Life is hard! I think the best defense against holiday stress piling up onto our shoulders is to unwind by engaging in a little meditation.

Now, I know this is going to be a huge challenge for all of us. Join me. Let's start by taking a deep breath, slowly. Now exhale. Good job. Now say and repeat several times:

  • I will enjoy the holidays.
  • I will take joy in my children and my in-laws.
  • I will smile while I eat the turkey log and cranberry sauce that is still in the shape of a can.
  • I will take the kids sledding when they ask.
  • And make them hot cocoa when they ask.
  • And drive them to the mall when they ask.
  • I will hang the Christmas lights on the prickly Christmas tree without swearing when I find out that only half of the strand works.
  • I will say Merry Christmas with a twinkle in my eye to the lady who just cut in front of me in the 20-yard long line at the warehouse club.
  • I will drink my eggnog (not spiked) on Christmas Eve while waiting for the kids to fall asleep before I do.
  • I will giggle to myself when I slip and twist my back on the narrowly shoveled sidewalk because I have told the kids every year to shovel it all the way to the sides of the sidewalk.
  • I will enjoy the fresh air when I go out bundled up at 5:00 a.m. to snow-blow the driveway so I can go to work on Black Friday.
  • I will wish my neighbors peace as they all sleep in on Black Friday.
  • I will be delighted when I spend hours and hours wrapping on Christmas Eve and then just a few hours later watch all the pretty paper burn in the fire pit outside after the presents have been ripped open.
  • I will take lots of photos so that ten years from now we can all reminisce together about how merry we all were because we can't remember how cranky the kids really were.
  • I will fix all of the broken ornaments this year instead of leaving them on the kitchen window sill to be glued.
  • I will write my Christmas Cards early and not quit halfway through when my hot cocoa mug is empty.
  • I will keep my chin up and not whine when the kids don't want to watch the same old Christmas movies with me.
  • Or listen to the same old Christmas music with me.
  • Or help me stamp the Christmas cards.
  • I promise to myself and to everyone around me that I will honestly put forth the effort to thoroughly and completely enjoy the Holidays, no matter how hard it may seem; no matter how much I want to lock myself in the bathroom; and even if I am in the ditch watching macho arrogant boorish men busy folks drive by me in their pretentious plow-trucks rushing home to their families, I promise to enjoy the holidays

If you make this your secret holiday mantra and say it several times a day (I believe that the shopping lines and while driving are the best times to recite) I know you will make it through. Remember, we are all in this together.

Say it with me: We will enjoy the holidays!!