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Yes, Christmas is upon us. I have been looking around online to see what people are saying about how to handle the stress of the holidays and the general consensus seems to be the following:

  1. Declutter everything.
  2. Have a meeting with your family and friends in which you enlist the support of everyone for a less stressful holiday.
  3. Figure out how to visit five different sets of parents/grandparents, and how to be “fair” about how much time is spent with everyone so everyone feels loved, and how to cart the all-important grandchild around to all the festivities.
  4. Create your own meaningful holiday rituals.
  5. Don’t forget to take time for yourself in the midst of all of your meaningful Christmas preparations.
  6. Forget the whole thing, and opt out completely.
  7. Christmas is a time when people have heart attacks.
  8. Christmas ranks right up there with divorce and moving in terms of how much stress it produces.

Interesting. Believe me, you are not the only one in a Christmas quandary.  It is extremely difficult for couples and families to navigate the shifting culture we live in, especially when Christmas rolls around. So, I would like to go over some salient points with you…

  1. You are not going to be able to make everyone (anyone!) happy.
  2. Your expectations are liable to run away with you at this time of year.
  3. Even if you have good boundaries and a highly functioning life, everything and everyone else around you is falling apart.

So, maybe we stop focusing on how to pull off the perfect, meaningful Christmas – how to “make it happen”, and we ACCEPT the reality of our situation. People don’t go to Grandma’s house for Christmas anymore.  Why? Because people have 8 grandmas (some of whom have new boyfriends), and because grandchildren have multiple baby mamas, and because families have become complicated blended situations, and because all those people could not fit under one roof. Be kind to yourself. It is what it is. If everyone would just read the script we gave them and do what they are supposed to do, and say their lines correctly, we would all be so much better off. Once again, you are not unique. No one reads the script.

And yet, and yet….there is still magic in the air. And you can still enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and snuggle with your dog. Merry Christmas!!