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Don't let Christmas stress you out, it hurts your relationships with your kids. Image courtesy of

Don’t let Christmas stress you out, it hurts your relationships with your kids.
Image courtesy of

We stress ourselves out around the Holidays.  You’d think people would be excited for the Christmas Season.  It is meant to be a celebration of Jesus’ birth, and then hopes for the New Year.  However, I keep hearing people talk about feeling overwhelmed by Christmas.


The combination of buying just the right gift, attending multiple parties, and having kids out of school can make parents feel tense.  The unfortunate part is that when parents feel tense they tend to have more arguments with their teens.  This is a recipe for disappointing holidays.


Be very attentive to your mood this time of year.  Consider whether your teenager is grumpy or if it’s you.  It is probably a combination of both.  Make sure to keep yourself focused on the point of Christmas.  Be especially kind to your children.  It is much, much more important that you spend time with them and make good memories than buy them the latest gadget.  In the short run they would want the newest phone, ipad, etc., but in the long run it is better for them to learn to be content with what they have, and to enjoy time with you.


You will greatly reduce your own stress if you avoid getting caught up in the commercialization of Christmas.  Put on some good music, eat a nice meal, and laugh with your family.  For some of you this seems impossible because family relations aren’t great.  Try not to dwell on what you lack, but instead focus on the ways you can connect with family.  Play a game, watch a movie, take a walk and look at Christmas lights, or just have a cup of hot cocoa.  Even if you have to keep it light, remember that it takes two to argue.


Don’t buy every aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, co-worker and neighbor a Christmas gift.  It is truly okay to let people know you’re keeping it within the close family this year.  Honestly, how many people really want another candle or bag of potpourri?  There are lots of ways to acknowledge that people mean something to you without buying them something.  Keeping this in the forefront of your mind will keep that holiday stress in check.


Have an enjoyable, love-filled Christmas season,

Lauren Goodman