Why has Christmas become so stressful?

I feel like a lot of folks are going to read the title of this post and relate to and further agree with it. Which is the exact reason as to why I am writing this post, because it is simultaneously alarming and comforting to acknowledge more and more of us are feeling this way towards Christmas.

It’s a bit of a festive paradox, if you will.

A lot of us have an idea of Christmas and what it should entail in our minds leading up to the big day. We visualize a white, snowy Christmas Eve as we crawl into our beds and curl up under the blankets with palpable excitement in the air. We picture waking up on Christmas morning to see heaps of snow and frost glistening on the windows, and imagine ourselves sitting around the tree, fireplace ablaze, sipping on some warm coffee.

Now let’s cut to what often happens instead.

Christmas Eve is a chaotic shit show which involves us juggling gift-wrapping around a family dinner. We try to take a moment to relax and nurse some eggnog only to be constantly interrupted by bombarding thoughts reminding us to get this and that and the next thing for the following day. We awake on Christmas morning bright and early to give our families enough time to open gifts, but the occasion is still rushed because we have to be somewhere for Christmas dinner which, for some ghastly fucking reason begins at 1pm. The entire day is a blur, and once we are back home we feel sadness because the most hyped-up event of the year has, once again, come to an abrupt conclusion.

Sound familiar?

I’m not sure what has caused Christmas celebrations to become a tremendous source of stress for so many of us, but it’s a rather unfortunate and disheartening realization. I think it’s due time to take the chaos out of Christmas and slow things down to enable us to actually enjoy the day.

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