News From the Homestead: Christmas Thunderstorm

Now that Thanksgiving is past, it’s time for the annual Christmas frenzy. The holidays are supposed to be a season of joy but as each year passes, for me it seems to be more a season of stress. I discovered sometime in mid-life at least part of th reason why this happens. I have a slight case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which can make me difficult to live with between Thanksgiving and New Year’ s Day. I have a tendency during these weeks to view everything as if I were a cross between Oscar the Grouch (Sesame Street) and Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh). It’s bad enough that I have a house rule – no serious decisions until after this is over.

It was Garrison Keillor that said “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” One of the biggest struggles I have each fall is to get family members to compile a Christmas wish list. My husband usually wants cash. One year when I asked him for four gift ideas he replied “four $100 bills.” Needless to say, I told him that wasn’t quite what I had in mind. Like many of you, I’ve taken to gift cards as a sanity saver. It always fits, is in the right style, tastes fresh, and goes with what they have. And it’s a decision I can make without fear of disastrous consequenceS.

This year I seem to be doing a little better. I’ve actually persuaded my husband to accompany me to our church Christmas dinner and I’m not ready to throw things if someone mentions Christmas shopping. Perhaps wisdom is prevailing over body chemistry.

What about you? How do you approach Christmas and New Year’s? Post your comments below, especially if you have any stress coping mechanisms to share. Or how about a funny story of something that went wrong in past years?

As the holiday season approaches, I wish you all the best. Batten down the hatches – the storm’s a’comin’.

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