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Angels21fvryoung's avatar

Why do the Holidays stress people out?

Asked by Angels21fvryoung (356points) December 17th, 2009

What is it about Christmas thats gets everyone so stressed out? I am puzzled by this I dont understand how so many can stress over a happy time of year. Is it always about gifts on Christmas or is it more than that? Can Christmas be about gifts and family?

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19 Answers

SirGoofy's avatar

I have gifts “under the tree” 24/7/365. If I really want something….I go get it. If I can’t afford it….I do without it.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I allow myself to get stressed because I entertain thoughts of resentment for being forced to spend money on things nobody needs that I can’t really afford.

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

Having to act perky and happy whether they are or not. People around them acting this way and getting on their nerves, because it isn’t normal.

Vunessuh's avatar

Not having the ability to buy presents for the people you love because you’re broke, stresses people out. That is my current situation. I hate sitting there opening all of these gifts from my parents and barely having anything for them.
Granted, it’s the thought that counts and my mother always can appreciate just a card, BUT I’d like to give her more of a personable gift.
Also, it’s cold and flu season. Imagine being stressed and sick. Hell, being sick makes you stressed.
Then, you’re forced to possibily be around family members that you don’t even like.
Come on, there’s always that one person who ruins it for you. I have a couple of those in my family who drive most of us nuts.

ubersiren's avatar

Because there’s so much to do!!! Gah!!! Gift buying, gift wrapping, spending, baking, scheduling your time between families’ and friends’ houses, actually doing the visiting… then there’s the chaos! The crowds, the insanity, the weather, the illnesses, end-of-the-year deadlines, traveling, gas prices, your grating mother, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the season and all the joy and warmth that comes with it. It just seems like this year, more than any other, has been… trying.

HighShaman's avatar

I believe that people get stressed out because they make such a BIG DEAL out of Christmas ..

They spend way too much on gifts/presents , usually going deeper into debt .

Then; they feel that they have to put on a feast , so the go in debt to buy foods and groceries that they’d normally NOT be having….

That doesn’t account for the xtras like Christmas trees, gift wraps, bows ‘n ribbons, boxes, shipping charges in many cases , decorations, etc etc… that all cost more $$$$$ for the credit cards in many cases…

So; the more pressure you feel to do the above, the more you TRY to comply… then the MORE you SPEND ; which raises your credit card debts in MANY cases ..which = STRESS .

JustPlainBarb's avatar

People forget about what Christmas is all about. They allow themselves to get carried away… spend too much money, eat too much, etc. The end result is a lot of worry and pressure. If people would just take the time to enjoy being with friends and family PERIOD. That would make for a much more pleasant holiday.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

For me, it’s about meeting traditions and expectations, and then having parameters change—the stores you always shop at go out of business, friends and relatives die/move far away/relationships end and change the dynamics and patterns of the traditions and rituals. Costs go up, and what you normally cook for dinner, you can’t in good conscious afford. You shop all year long to find a good gift for someone, only to find out they already have it, or don’t want it. Kids grow up and there’s no toys to buy; what they want becomes more expensive. You have a traumatic event and it sucks all the joy of wanting to put the effort into the traditions.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

This time of the year is not a happy time for everyone. For those with no family or friends, who dislike crowds or are uncomfortable in social occaisions this time of year is a living hell. The tacky festiveness, false cheeriness and alcohol sodden social events are a minefield to be carefully maneuvered through. For many of us it would be best if we could hibernate from late November to early January. It is also a disruption in the normal flow of life and work productivity. Beyond 15 December, the year is shot from a productivity standpoint. This season also forces me to waste about a week of my vacation time, having to place a vacation day on either side of a scheduled “semi-mandatory” work-related party, in order to claim that I am ‘out of town”. Or having to deliberately sit on some project until it becomes “urgent work” taking precedence over socializing.
You can take this season, roll it into a tiny ball and insert it into the orifice of your choice. It is not only useless, but actually harmful for many. Drunken accidents, higher suicide rates, heart attacks and strokes are only a few of the hazards.

Jeruba's avatar


I am actually having my first calm Christmas ever. When I was a little kid they weren’t calm because Christmas was too exciting. Later on there was just so much to do, in between school and/or job and shopping and doing all the extra preps and attending events and everything.

And what is different now?

5. My parents are both gone.
4. I don’t have grandchildren yet.
3. My siblings and I stopped sending packages to all of each other’s families.
2. I no longer have to be responsible for creating Christmas magic for youngsters because my kids are grown up.
1. I am retired at last and can decorate and shop and wrap and bake at my leisure instead of doing it all in a pressure cooker.

I have been looking forward to the first relaxed Christmas of my life, and this is it!

barbiedoll's avatar

Expectations are high. Excitement is high seeing people we haven’t seen in a while. Making a great dinner and having it go kaput. Wondering if people will like our gifts.

Cruiser's avatar

Are you klidding?? Nothing is more stressful than getting busted by your MIL regifting the Salad Shooter she gave you 3 years earlier!!

Angels21fvryoung's avatar

@Cruiser :O your kidding? lol

Jeruba's avatar

@Cruiser: “Why, of course not, Mother. Rather, I thought it was such an excellent gift that I thought Junie Sue would like one too.—No, I’m afraid you can’t see it. I used it so hard that it finally gave out only last week. It’s been recycled by now.”

I would never say anything of the sort myself, you understand, but it is useful to be able to turn things around on short notice. Anyway, the last part is true.

Cruiser's avatar

@Angels21fvryoung I am not kidding and you should have seen the look on her face when I regifted the thighmaster I got from my work grab bag that had been regifted there 4 years in a row!

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

It’s bad enough that people drive like crap during the other eleven moths of the year. Add in maxing out all your credit cards, forced road trips to visit relatives that you avoid during the other eleven months of the year, excessively crowded and over-priced stores, painfully slow checkout lines, too few parking spaces available for too many cars and people’s lousy social etiquette into the mix and… well, you begin to get the idea. How can anyone NOT be stressed out? I’m wearing Kevlar this year.

Angels21fvryoung's avatar

@Cruiser lol now that is something to see right there :)

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