Stress Tension: How to Have the Most Stressful Holiday Imaginable! Part 1

It always begins this time of year….You start seeing those articles popping up everywhere: how to relieve holiday stress, how to create meaningful holiday traditions, how to nurture yourself during the holiday season, the list goes on. You start thinking about how you can get things done ahead of time, how to juggle all the events and parties, and how to be better at everything so your holiday turns out perfect. And if you’re like me, you start to feel pressured. You start to wonder if you are a downright failure when it comes to beating stress and having holiday fun.

It all commences around Halloween when you get revved up for stress.  You start prepping for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, even New Year’s. You buy, buy, buy and plan, plan, plan!  The American culture of consumption  consumes YOU and then belches shamelessly.

Meanwhile, you work yourself into a veritable holiday stress frenzy! So in honor of all those pat, holiday how-to articles, here are some tips on how to have the most stress-full holiday imaginable:

1. Be a perfectionist. In the kitchen, this means you must bake those Toll House cookies and everything else from scratch. Why on earth would you want to use one of those awful mixes? Doesn’t your family deserve only the very  best, darling? (Imagine your mother-in-law asking you those last two questions and you’ll be able to stress out about how awful a wife and mother you are.  Fforget about holiday cheer, dear, and just let stress tension take over as you beat yourself up about not being Betty Crocker incarnate.)

2. Take Martha Stewart’s lead and make everything you use to decorate. Grow your own holly. Sculpt your own menorah. Cut out your very own doilies in beautiful snowflake patterns, each one a completely original design. Sew the stockings—no, crochet them by hand—for your entire family, including second and third cousins. Don’t forget your step-family or your godchild either. Or Bubbles, the goldfish.

3. Wait until 11 pm on Christmas Eve to do all your shopping. Don’t you dare buy anything before then! Have a fabulous time fighting for a parking space at the mall, and then enjoy the holiday stress and rush of buying stuff your loved ones will gladly give to Goodwill.

4. Spend the holidays with your least favorite family members, the ones who cause you so much stress tension you feel like you’re in a kickboxing marathon.  Yep, the family members who wouldn’t mind backing over you when they cruise out of your driveway. Hey, what are family for?

I guarantee that if you follow all of these tips, you’ll not only ruin your holiday season, you’ll also ruin everyone else’s around you! So, give it a try. Or maybe, just maybe, if you’d like to put stress to rest and enjoy the holiday season (a novel idea these days!), you could just spend your time visiting, playing games, exchanging stories, looking at old photos, reminiscing, and TALKING with your loved ones.

Whichever way the (chocolate) chips fall, the choice is yours! So choose wisely, my friends.  And stay tuned for more tips on how to experience the most holiday stress ever!


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