Avoiding holiday stress

I complain a lot about the holidays. Thereís so much to do and never enough time to get it done, but when all is said and done, I love the time that I get to spend with my family during the holiday season.

When I was a child, the holidays were more simple. We didnít have to juggle numerous Christmas get-togethers or worry about finding the time to shop, wrap, cook and clean up in a limited amount of time. This year, Iíve complained about all of that. The second of my three Christmases will be tonight. I still donít have all of my shopping done and on Christmas Day, I will be cooking dinner for 15 people, cleaning up and trying to find a way to get to bed early so I can come back to work refreshed on Friday.

When I was younger, all we worried about was how much time had to pass before Santa Claus would come and if we had been good enough to get extra presents.

The holidays might be more complicated now, but I think I enjoy them even more than I did when I was younger. Now I have a little more to worry about and a lot more to try to get done, but I also get to enjoy all of my crazy relatives at once. Something that occurred so often that I didnít notice it when I was a kid. Something fun always happens when the family gets together.

On Thanksgiving, for instance, my younger sister showed us her latest workout routine. She had repeatedly tried to mimic the dance sequence from Michael Jacksonís ďThrillerĒ video. Watching her demonstration was probably the most amusing thing Iíve seen in recent history. Most members of my family were not gifted with coordination.

But soon, Iím sure Iíll have some great stories to replace that one. This year, some of my sisters are going to be spending Christmas Eve at my house. The house will be packed, as seven people fight over the beds, but the more the merrier. The entertainment will abound, as my sisters have already insisted that the night should begin with a Dance, Dance Revolution tournament. It should be especially fun given the lack of coordination I previously mentioned. Weíll be lucky to escape the evening without broken bones and emergency room visits, but it should be entertaining.

Iíve spent the last several weeks getting stressed out about all of the things I still have to do to prepare for the holidays, but from this point on, Iím done with that. Iím just going to enjoy my family and friends and all of the fun that the holidays offer. The rest doesnít really matter anyway.

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