I have fallen into the horrible "Holiday Stress Trap".
I've worked hard to avoid it for years, mostly successfully, I might add.
This year, however, the Holiday Season has approached and somehow, back handed me with a pile of stress.
I imagine there are factors that most of you will agree contribute to the stress, naturally and normally.
1. It's the first holiday season after my dad's death.
2. My brother is getting married at the beginning of the season, and we're traveling out of state to attend the festivities.
3. I started a new job a few months ago, after a period of unemployment. The budget is still adjusting.
4. My family is still adjusting to all those changes.
After several discussions with my mother and sister, we arrived at a family agreement: We are doing Thanksgiving very low key this year.
Since everybody is traveling the week before the big meal, we know we're going to be tired, broke and stressed out. Especially since several of us have to work the few days in between returning home and celebrating the holiday.
We decided to not invite the extended family to dinner. We decided to order a meal from the local grocery store instead of fixing everything ourselves. We decided to relax.
Then the stress hit me. I called the grocers who advertised prepared holiday meals. I collected menus and prices. I called my sister to get her input.
"That meal is too expensive." "This meal doesn't even have turkey." "No pie or any dessert with this one."
I asked my mom for input. "We need to keep it cheap." "We are going to be tired and stressed out."
Right. Right. Correct. Yes. Yes. Correct.
I'm stressed out. I have failed to take my own advice. I had written a blog post about limiting the stress by planning awhile back, and this year my planning was causing me stress.
After several conversations with my mom & sister, we all arrived at the conclusion that it didn't really matter what the menu was. We found several meals in our price range and picked the one that we liked the best.
Mom will make a pie. I'll add some green vegetables to the table. My sister will bring some extra meat to fill up her growing kids.
You know what? It's going to work out. And next year, I'm going to hide in the closet. Somebody else can plan the meal.
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