Tis the Season…of stress?

Eve Sarno, Staff Writer

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It’s that time of year again. Hastily wrapping gifts, decorating the Christmas tree or lighting the Chanukah menorah, and struggling through conversing with those relatives you meet once a year only.

    But after all, the holidays are based on light and joy. So why are so many people stressed at preparing for the holidays? “Well,” says Jeanne Sarno, a parent of a DFMS seventh grader, “Once the actual holiday date(s) roll around, and you’re happily celebrating, that’s when everything is joyful. But weeks beforehand when you’re fighting the crowds, figuring out what to get people for gifts, and maybe planning a big feast all take their toll.”

     And then there are the kids, the merrier of the bunch. They don’t necessarily have to plan anything. They just shake their presents around and cross off days on their calendar.

    All of the decorations and banners outside peoples’ homes are about the only things adults find solace in during the month of December. Fellow DFMS students; don’t be too surprised if you find your parents are busily distant from you for a few weeks. Getting to the Destination Imagination finals are great and all…but on occasion, it won’t be something your parents will remember the next day.

   The stores begin preparing right after Thanksgiving for the holiday season. But, centering around our core idea, can all of this holiday stress be harmful to our health?

     For example, when was the last time you could relax in this month? There was always something to be done, and the kids were kept busy as well. Tablecloths had to be unrolled, furniture had to be dusted, cushions had to be pounded, floors had to be swept, and as many as 40 (our author had to write this amount) holiday cards and their envelopes had to be written and addressed.

       Furthermore, gifts had to be acquired. Sure, you could slap a bow on any old item you possess that your family hasn’t seen before, but would you want the same done to you? By the time us kids finally get around to shopping for presents, the store shelves are mostly empty. Guess you’ll have to web search for some DIYs. But then your family members may discover all of your crafting materials and/or the finished gift! (This is an annoying problem, as our author can relate). And then there’s the wrapping paper. You can’t ask your family for some wrapping paper and ribbon…unless you wish for your motive to be found out. You’ll have to buy a whole roll. But wait! The only place they sell wrapping paper around here is the dollar tree at the other side of town….you can’t walk there. And the list goes on and on…

    So, we’ve identified what causes this worldwide stress at the end of the year. But how can we cope with it?

    Try taking a Saturday or Sunday “off” from all the preparations. Hang out at the nearest café with a group. Read a good book at home. Play with your pet. Start a puzzle. Do whatever makes you feel calm.

     For adults, the coping may be a little more difficult. A spa day, maybe? A tour of a museum they like?

       Whichever holiday you celebrate, rest assured that the stress will not overcome you this season. Now you can ring in the new year ready to plow ahead!

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