The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for most)

The final day of November is upon us, Thanksgiving is over, the holidays are here. Some days I feel like I am running around like a chicken without a head, and some days I feel like I have it all under control. But what is it about the holidays that causes stress the most these days?  In no particular order, here are some HOLIDAY STRESS PRODUCERS:

THE ELF ON THE SHELF:

It started out very cute, it was fun for a while, but now this Elf thing is just a big stress producer! It is hard to keep finding hiding spots, it is hard to be creative, it is even harder to REMEMBER to move him! And then of course, we love trying to come up with excuses as to WHY the Elf didn’t move. We have told our kids that when they misbehave, the Elf loses his power.  So, if he hasn’t moved (because we fell asleep on the couch and forgot!), they usually talk each other into behaving better today so that he will get his power back.  Regardless, this Elf really has added to my holiday stress!

elf-on-shelf

THE DOG IN THE TREE:

The Elf is on the shelf, the dog is in the tree, what the heck is going on here?  I’m thrilled that our puppy is not jumping IN the tree, but he likes to sit under it and knocks over the ornaments towards the bottom. I ask the kids to put them back on the tree, and guess where they put them? YUP! Back on the bottom!  So we go round and round with ornaments on the floor, in the dog’s mouth, running around the house, chasing dogs and kids and ornaments.

dog-in-tree

THE KIDS IN THE SKY:

OK, not literally, but try taking pictures of four kids for a Christmas Card picture and it becomes immediate chaos. And the worst part about it is they aren’t babies anymore!  It seems like everything was easier when they were younger! Going to the grocery store is a complete mess. I miss the days where they all went in the shopping carts and were contained. Going to a restaurant is pathetic – do you know we can NEVER have a meal without a drink spilled on the floor (or on me?) Taking a Christmas photo is like standing on my head – no one sits still and looks at the camera in SYNC!  Well, this is the best we got this year!

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Tis the season to hide the Elf, decorate the house, send out Christmas Cards… we fight with strings of lights, we bake cookies and eat them as they come out of the oven (right to the hips!), we make chocolates, we go nuts with wrapping, baking, cooking, planning, so many parties, so much money spent on shopping, but at the end of the day, at the end of the year, we are TRULY BLESSED.

As a therapist (and someone who has loved and lost over the years), I know that for many, the Christmas season is truly painful. While it can be bittersweet for some, others are very much alone for the holidays. As a therapist, I hear regularly how the holidays can be tough, and I know I spend many days through the season wishing my lost loved ones could be sitting at the Christmas dinner table just one more time. So although I complain about my daily family struggles, I know that many are truly struggling. I keep them in my thoughts and in my prayers.

So if you are struggling for the holidays, whether through your daily blessings or wishing you could truly get into the spirit, I wish you a Very Merry.

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