Christmas Stress © 2016 Anthony D Darden

Christmas Stress
© 2016 Anthony D Darden

Christmas reflects the depth of true blessings,

a gift you cannot put a price on.

Does it seem like Christmas? If not, it’s most likely because you’re feeling the high demand of Christmas stress. Sometimes the stress is so vast, people find themselves wishing it would “just be over already”. Christmas of old, is nothing like Christmas of new. Children and people are different now. Christmas was once about family and friends, sharing a specially day of true love and gratitude. It was once a day that brought hope, spirituality, embracing, and a warm comfort  that drove you forward to the coming day. The Christmas tree was bright and alluring with presents wrapped and tucked all around to tease with joy. And you could always smell the fresh baked cookies and pies. Joy would boil with excitement, just waiting for that day to get here. Sometimes it would just be too much for an overzealous kid, and a small gift would be slipped to them to calm them down. Christmas of old was so exciting. You really didn’t need much of anything. As long as you had each other, family and friends, and some great food.
Now it’s a high demand consume day. Christmas has been taken out of the family, and is now media driven and a demand from entitled children who believe they are entitled to your soul. Good parents struggle to provide all year for their children only for Christmas to come along and wipe them out and start their New Year in the hole. It is especially concerning and dishearteningly when a parent can not afford demanding gifts. Forget the fact of great parents. Forget the fact they have given all they can. Forget the fact they love you and will do anything in the world for you. These days, a lot of children don’t understand sacrifice or love. They only understand their own selfish needs and wants, and don’t care how you get it, as long as you get it.
Christmas is about family. It’s about love. It’s about caring, love, and comforting. It’s a special day to celebrate in the comfort of God. To be gracious, appreciative, and humble in the gifts that you have and share with each other. It is about embracing the spirit, spreading cheers and joy, and touching the heart of those fortunate and unfortunate. It’s not about a gift without meaning. It’s about a gift that reflects the depth of true love, caring, and support, a gift you cannot put a price on. It could be something just as little as a card that renders what you have to say and touches the heart not only on Christmas day, but years to come. Something real and of substance. Something that will always bring happy tears and a gift to be passed on down.
So, if you are feeling Christmas stress. Stop and think. Are you really feeling this Christmas? Or are you just trying to get through it to please others. Granted, you'd like to give everyone you love the world. And in most cases you are driven by guilt, which is the common nature of do-gooders. They sacrifice and take it on the chin like true troopers. Though, beating yourself up to please others, is no way a gift of Christmas. Not for you or the ones you love. It is simply enabling. In the long run, it will hurt your relationship. If you continue to feed entitlement, where entitlement is not due, it can become crippling and debilitating.

It you truly love and care for someone, you’re going to have to buckle down and deal with the real facts of life. If you want to give someone something great, give them the strength to stand and face the real world. Give them undying love and support. Always have a home for them to come back to when they stumbling and fall. Always welcome them with open arms, an optimistic view, a shoulder to cry on, and a listening ear. Always let them know you are there, no matter what. Always let them know they are loved, and will always have a special place in your heart. Don’t just mean it, say it. Let them know not only from your words, but let your actions reflect even when they may seem sometimes ungraceful or unappreciated. But most of all, let yourself know you are special and deserving of the utmost love and respect. Let yourself know you don’t have to buy love or meet the high expectations the media has fed your children or loved ones about Christmas. If you can afford it, it’s all good. Though not in terms of entitlement, but because it has been earned and it brings you the greatest joy to reward and be rewarded with true blessings on Christmas day.

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