Stay calm, enjoy what you have this Christmas

Why is Christmas so stressful? Isn’t it supposed to be a time to be jolly and relax with the people that you love?

For me at least, I don’t get to really relax until it’s the new year. I am surrounded by the people I love, but getting there is a journey.

First of all, the family isn’t really complete until my brother – who lives in British Columbia – flies home. After he walks through the door, jet legged and excited, that is when the family can begin the festivities.

However, leading up to that moment is when the stress and anxiety really take their toll. What do you buy someone?

You don’t want to be cliché, or give them the same gift every year, but that gets difficult as the years go on because there are only so many ideas. So, naturally, you start to freak out a little bit.

Now, I am not saying that Christmas is all about that gift, but it is a big factor. Besides finding the actual gift, it’s finding time to give the gift to them.

My family is small. I have three cousins, four aunts and uncles and three grandparents. It is easy for me to find the time to see them all, but if there is any deviation from the traditional plan of attack for traveling over Christmas, it’s like all hell breaks loose.

This year, it came in like a wrecking ball. I am going to the Dominican Republic with my boyfriend and his family. We leave on Boxing Day (a Canadian thing, Dec. 26) and traditionally my immediate family would get together that day.

There was a system; my mom’s family would have reign over Christmas Day and my dad’s family would have us for Boxing Day, then we would switch for the following year.

But now that I am leaving on Boxing Day, things had to change. Therefore, the stress of trying to find another day that will fit in with my brother coming home, my entire family and me leaving became overwhelming.

I have the weight of pleasing a relative hanging over my head until they open their gift and trying to find time to even see my relatives takes over a large portion of my break.

I am lucky to even have the ability to stress over getting the best present or seeing everyone I love. I wish everyone could have the chance to suffer through this type of stress. It’s minuscule compared to those who are stressing over just feeding or keeping their families warm this winter.

My goal for this year’s Christmas tidings is to try not to stress about getting the perfect gift for finding the time to see everyone. I am going to focus more on the fact that I am actually able to only worry about those few things, and try to find ways to help those with real problems.



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