Ah yes, tis the season. According to all the songs on the radio, this is the most wonderful time of the year. So-o-o-o, if it’s the most wonderful time of the year, why do I feel stressed out, tired and crabby?
Raise your hand if you feel overwhelmed, tired and cranky at Christmas!
Why Am I So Stressed at Christmas?
Well, for starters, look at the text in the above picture. That’s actually an old ashtray from the 1940’s that belonged to my grandmother. She always put it on the end table at Christmas even though no one smoked. It sure sums up the holiday season!
Christmas parties…shopping sprees…singing carols…trimming trees…hanging wreaths and boughs of holly…tis the season to be jolly…
Or not. holiday stress
Right now, there’s more stuff going on than you can shake a stick at. We get out of our normal routine, we eat junk food, don’t get enough sleep – and I’ll guarantee none of us are getting enough plain water. No – wine and coffee do NOT count as water! (well dang…)
Part of that overwhelmed feeling is the amount of stress we’re all feeling. Let’s face it. The world has become a cranky, stressful place and we can’t help but absorb it.
Real Christmas vs. Television Christmas
If you’re over 50, then you probably remember watching Leave It To Beaver, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best. Perfect, wonderful, sweet families. Mom was a perfect housekeeper in high heels and pearls; kids always went to (perfect) Dad for advice and families were perfectly “normal”.
Then there was my family. It was chaotic to say the least. My modus operandi was to stay below the radar as best I could. And I was never very good at staying off my mother’s radar. Which meant I was always in trouble for something and it didn’t get neatly resolved in 22 minutes plus commercial breaks.
For a long time, I looked at the television families and yearned to be like them. They didn’t lead stressful lives and somehow, things always turned out well.
And somehow – at least in America – we came to believe that if our family wasn’t just like a Norman Rockwell painting, especially during the holidays, we were missing something. Or we failed.
On top of that, there’s never-ending Christmas commercials where everyone is happy, visiting friends and family with a smile and carrying the perfect gift perfectly wrapped. How come my life isn’t like that?
Because real life is messy and the potatoes are only half done. Oh, and there’s a wine stain on the tablecloth.
That unreachable level of perfection led to expectations that were never met, hurt feelings, disappointment and a let down feeling after the holidays.
I went through this cycle for years and thought something was wrong with me because I wasn’t as happy as all the people in the Christmas commercials!
Expectations For A Real Christmas
So what changed? Me. I struggled the very first time I couldn’t be with any family at all on Christmas Day. I tried to make it a happy time, but it wasn’t Christmas. Shortly thereafter, I decided it was time for me to change my expectations and stop pretending that my last name was Cleaver.
Sometimes, you just gotta do your own “thang” for the sake of sanity. Make a fresh start.
So, no more sweating over what stuff to buy. Stop worrying that the tablecloth has a wine stain on it. Laugh over half done potatoes.
And now, I’m able to savor the moment however convoluted it is. It’s experiences that count, not things. New experiences make you look at what part of your life could use a breath of fresh air.
Was it easy? Was it fun? Nope. Life sucked for a while. For quite a while. But life goes on whether we want it to or not.
Are you having a cranky Christmas? I understand.
My aromatherapy skills come in quite handy when I can’t find my happy.
Here’s a blend of essential oils that may help you find your happy:
Christmas Magic Diffuser Blend
- 10 Drops Balsam Fir Essential Oil
- 8 Drops Tangerine Essential Oil
- 4 Drops Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
- 4 Drops Clove Bud Essential Oil
- 2 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Blend together and add 8 – 10 drops to a cold mist diffuser. If you would like a small bottle of this blend, I make Christmas Magic in a 5mL bottle for $12.95 plus shipping and handling. Simply send an email to me or fill out this contact form requesting this custom blend and I’ll make it for you.
Here’s to a Happy Christmas instead of a cranky Christmas!