Posts Tagged ‘Christmas stress’

In seventh grade, I played Scrooge in the school musical. I still relate to that role, mostly because of how much the Christmas season is displaying love and faith through money and competition and stress. (And I do mean Christmas. I fancy myself as old school PC, but the issue isn’t about Hanukkah or Kwanza or anything else in the “holiday season.” Christmas alone is the dominant event in American religious, familial and commercial culture.)

OK, now that you have received my wisdom, here are some books about Christmas stress from people who have given a lot more thought about the subject.

Christmas Sucks: What to Do When Fruitcake, Family, and Finding the Perfect Gift Makes You Miserable by Joanne Kimes. Please note that this book is written by a woman. I suspect many women who bear the burden of making everything Christmas cheery in their families sometimes buckle under the load. Kimes uses humor to make her points, but humor is often a response to stress.

A Simple Christmas: A Faith-Filled Guide to a Meaningful and Stress-Free Christmas by Sharon Hanby-Robie recognizes how stress can lessen Christmas joy and offers ways to keep attuned to the fundamental spirit of the season. If you are a believer but still feel the “holiday blues,” this may be the book for you.

Back to humor, Ann Hodgman offers it in I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus: The Ultimate Holiday Survival Guide. She uses laughs to assure you that you are not alone in your Christmas crises and then offers advice on such universal needs as how to realize that there can be too many Christmas traditions for one person to handle.

And finally, there’s Elaine St. James’s practical Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways to Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joy of the Holidays. The book is divided into 11 sections, ranging from “Dismantling Christmas Past” to “Gift Giving” and “Cooking the Goose.” The 100 short chapters include such specifics as “Teach Your Kids to Give” and “Turn Off TV News During Christmas Week.”

Even if by the time you read this on Black Friday morning you’ve already “saved” $200 by spending $400, there’s still time to step back and make sure you create the Christmas season you really want, and not just what others say you should have.

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