Critter Corner: Surviving Holiday Stress

Dear Magic,

You are such a calm bunny. I am not sure how you do it, especially during the holiday season. My grandchildren are coming for a visit this year, and there are eight of them! Decorations need to be put up, baking has to be done, and presents have to be purchased. I should be experiencing peace and joy, but instead I am feeling stress. How can my wife and I relieve some of the stress and enjoy the holiday with family?

Thanks for your help!
Chris Mass


Dear Chris,

Happy holidays. I am sorry that your holiday is very stressful so far. Since I am a super calm bunny, I have some tips I can offer, as follows:

Focus on what brings you joy: If time with family makes you happy, then make that your first priority. If you are spiritual, then focus on the religious activities that bring you the greatest joy. If it is experiences, make sure you focus on things that will create the best memories for the family.

Have realistic expectations: Things don’t have to be perfect. It is okay that things may not turn out exactly the way you want or expect. Most likely, no one will even notice. Just relax and enjoy. Striving for perfection in your gift giving, decorations, and events can leave you frustrated and exhausted.

Establish a realistic budget: Know how much you can afford and stick to your budget. Spend only what you have saved for buying presents and avoid overusing credit cards. In the end, Christmas is about relationships and memories, not material things.

Ask for help: If you feel overwhelmed with all that you have to do, ask others to help you. Let the people who care about you know that your stress level is too high and ask for their assistance to get everything done.

Maintain your perspective: The reality is that the holiday season lasts a fairly short time. Certain challenging situations brought on by family or finances will only last for this brief season and then life returns to normal.

Continue healthy habits: Your schedule can get pretty hectic during the holidays. It is easy to let certain positive habits slip away. Exercising is a proven stress reducer and should be done consistently throughout the Christmas season. Getting enough sleep is crucial to looking and feeling your best. As tempting as it is, don’t go overboard with too much eating or drinking.

Have some fun: Make sure to have time for the things you and your family truly enjoy. Maybe it’s a favorite holiday movie, special tree lighting, or trip to the city. Those activities should be highlights of your visit with family.

Hop this is helpful and that you have a very happy holiday!


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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.