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Anyone else find Christmas stressful?

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Replies to: Anyone else find Christmas stressful?

  • threeofthreethreeofthree 1072 replies42 threads Senior Member
    @toledo - did you see the news about highest time for heart attacks is Christmas Eve? By a lot - like 30% more or something crazy!
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  • greenbuttongreenbutton 2771 replies125 threads Senior Member
    Love to @MaineLonghorn and @coralbrook --- I hope there is healing and health in 2019 for you and yours. Meanwhile, do what you need to, to get through each day.

    We cancelled plans to visit the in laws (they got sick) and made a quick visit to my family (just overnight, and still it was teeth-gritting) and our kids are all here. I know I should be happy, Iknow I should be enjoying the few days we have together, but I had to shut myself in our powder room and cry today. It's just All Too Much.
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  • oregon101oregon101 5645 replies138 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    Interesting information- that planning ahead makes the Holidays more rewarding and less stressful.
    Most of my life I had my main shopping done in Sept. I baked early and froze. We had more traditions such as a special blueberry coffee cake only made for Christmas day. Dinner was always the same entree. The last few years all of that dropped away. S visits just before Christmas and last year neither kid was able to be here. We did take S and his family to San Diego leaving Christmas Eve last year and that was fun. Yesterday D and her family were here. I do not know if I want to go back in time but it was far more rewarding, stress and all, than our new laid back Holiday.
    edited December 2018
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    Spotted a leak in the ceiling of apartment on Xmas Eve. Not actual water coming into the apartment, but a bubble behind the paint from ceiling to floor and staining on the ceiling. Landlord has been notified,no response yet.

    D1 has been a bit of a pill this week. It feels like she is taking on some characteristics of her spoiled, shallow sister in law that she spends a lot of time with. This is not a positive development.
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  • mom2adancermom2adancer 264 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Stressful here, and a little bit sad too. There are some family dynamics that are front and center at this time of year that highlight the loss and the divisions that are always present but easier to put to the back of our minds the rest of the year. DD was home for Christmas though, so that was the highlight for me. I miss her a lot.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 4120 replies15 threads Senior Member
    @flymetothemoon

    I agree that timing can ramp up the stress.

    Both H & I work at jobs that are particularly busy around the holidays. Both with time-sensitive deadlines — deadlines that do not care if it’s Xmas or not, or whether your kids are in town or not.

    Always glad when it’s over. I dumped all the leftover sweets in the garbage this morning! Anxious to get back to healthier choices at hand, instead of sweets & rich food & booze.
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  • mathmommathmom 33189 replies161 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    Hugs to both coralbrook and MaineLonghorn.

    This year was extra stressful because we were in Hong Kong until Dec 18 and then we had everyone here for the holdiays, including a SIL and nephew. We did buy all the stocking presents in Hong Kong, and everything else from Amazon, but I usually do big meals for both Christmas Eve and Day. I stuck to cookies for dessert, instead of making pie and we did take out BBQ and pizza the other two days everyone was here. We don't do anything but a wreath outside. I hang the icicle lights in the front windows from the inside and they look decorative, but don't require ladders. They actually stay up year round hiding behind the shears.

    My SIL is tricky - she wants her presents to be liked. My oldest never wants anything. So even though we do wish lists, his list had one item then maybe books or games, with no clue as to what he might want or already owns. We usually give him pants and t-shirts and kindle books which he can trade in for something else if he's already read them. But SIL gave him PJ bottoms (won't wear) and holiday socks (won't wear - because he only wears thin socks.) This after I told here after she called me that I didn't think he'd wear the PJs or the socks. We'd already nixed the idea of a crochet set. What the heck was she thinking???? Anyway then she offers to return stuff to try again, and it's just not worth it. Ack!
    edited December 2018
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  • abasketabasket 21337 replies915 threads Senior Member
    Threads like this are always a good reminder that even "stress" is in the eye of the beholder.

    With that, I will say that my holiday stress cannot compare to the losses and struggles of many here and my heart is with you and sending thoughts for better days and times than where you currently are. <3

    I too have just changed the way I do "Christmas" over the years so that it is somewhat more pleasant to/for me. I try to do a lot of shopping on Black Friday/Cyber Monday online so I'm ahead of the game. I try to do most of my baking in a way that isn't overwhelming - right now D2 still is able to help a lot with the baking and enjoys it. This year, for once I did my best to not save the wrapping - a task I don't enjoy - until the end. I had at least 1/2 done a week to ten days before Christmas.

    I also have to say, if you work or have other full time obligations, you cannot hold yourself to the same standards as other people who don't. My opinion. :)

    All that said, Christmas Day is VERY full with family things and this morning I felt like I had a Christmas hangover - and I didn't drink yesterday!

    If you're looking for tips, my recommendation would be to ahead of time set aside one or two days that you will dedicate to Christmas prep. With that day or two, you will have to decide what you can accomplish and be satisfied with that. If you work can you take one day off to "do Christmas"??? Shop, wrap and bake a couple of cookies. Decorate a tree and the mantel. Maybe that's it! But designate true time to dedicate to the process and that's that!

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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 42074 replies2271 threads Super Moderator
    One tradition that we've started is going down to the Old Port section of Portland on Christmas Eve morning to shop. It's never that crowded, but everyone is happy and the decorations are beautiful. We usually find a few things to buy, then get hot chocolate at Starbuck's. This year, we roused the two "kids" out of bed and asked them to go with us. They weren't thrilled to get up early, but once we were downtown they really enjoyed themselves.
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  • HImomHImom 36024 replies396 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    We tend to have fairly low key holidays. H makes a fabulous smoked turkey, we make mochi rice in the rice cooker for another event and mainly enjoy each other’s company. I buy gifts for my two godDs, a few others and some for my kids and H. I buy and ship a few boxes of edibles to folks far away. That’s it.

    The kids put up the tree on Christmas Eve with a few select ornaments and a strand of lights.

    I’m so happy my kids and most of the extended family are both in town to join us in celebrations. We had one celebration at my sidter’s, one at my brother’s, one at a family friend’s and New Year’s Eve and H’s best friend’s place and New Year’s Day at another brother’s place.

    I’m very sorry for all those who have had deaths and other sorrows in this season or to complicate and cast a pall over the holidays. The year my SisIL died unexpectedly, my niece and BIL came down to HI to spend the holidays with us. It seemed to help them being in a different place with different traditions and not be responsible for anything.
    edited December 2018
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  • yourmommayourmomma 1323 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Oh boy, is Christmas stressful!! Sometimes I suspect that getting into Harvard is easier than putting up with my mother for four days (Dad's great, though). I stretched to come up with $350 for a cleaning crew to take some of the pressure off me before the visit, and she has spent the last four days complaining non-stop because the blinds in the guest room weren't done slat-by-slat to her satisfaction (I wiped them down a week before the cleaning crew did). She has brought it up at least several times a day. Once I handed her a dust rag, she said, "I have to clean them at my house, why should I do them at yours?" I'll be removing the blinds from the guest room before her next visit. And that's the tip of the iceberg. Most trying four days of my year.

    What does think, she's staying at the Holiday Inn. :)
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  • great lakes momgreat lakes mom 3067 replies28 threads Senior Member
    Janiewalker, hugs. I used to live that single parent life, and it is rough when the kids can't be with you alternating with stressful when they are as you are doing it all solo. I so hope in time you can find single friends or others who welcome your presence when the kids are not around on holidays.

    Mainlonghorn, coralbrook and threeofthree, sympathies on the rough season.

    I treasure waking up on the 26th, and feeling relief as the pressure is off and I can return to my own life and priorities. It is all too much, the family birthdays in the 6 weeks preceding, the party that I host some years, and my own desire to bake cookies and decorate, attend gatherings and pay attention to the music of the season, which is one of my passions. I like it, but it feels too much. I grew up in a non traditional time and place, and have been happy to be more traditional with my kids. But at this point every other year would be plenty. My job is intense, hospital work. Sometimes it is sweet, but yesterday was just grim. Grumpy, sad and very sick people, me too busy to be as indulgent as I'd like with the extras of the job and caring touches.
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