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Feeling the Stress of the Holidays

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I have written lately about the benefit of giving gifts from the heart and in as many cases as you can, to make or personalize your presents to others. I admit that I do love to receive things like that but giving them really can be a challenge.

I had great gift ideas this year for my friends and family back in Wisconsin, especially for the families with other children. I was going to make games that would engage kids and their parents to “find” items that were enclosed in a plastic container. (Inspired by the game “Find It.”) I wanted my own children to help me choose the items, fill the containers with those items and beads, and finally I would glue on the lids and make special tags. A personalized and perfect gift, so I thought.

I also wanted to make everyone on my list a Holiday CD with our family’s favorite songs. I imagined that those CDs could be brought back out each year to listen to at Christmas time and the songs would remind them of us. I visualized a photo of my boys wearing Santa hats on the front of the CD. Yes, that would be perfect too.

And I planned to make my annual multiple batches of Christmas cookies. My boys especially love this tradition of Christmas. We usually make four of five different kinds of cookies, in addition to chocolate covered and decorated pretzels and other candies.

I could picture our special presents that were carefully wrapped with red, green and white ribbons and bows. The last detail would be the perfect Holiday card with a picture of our family. Those gifts would have been memorable. Yes, they would have been.

Except I am 18 days away from Christmas and on the verge of an anxiety attack. Despite my best efforts, I cannot get everything done. I feel challenged to complete nightly homework and keep up with my laundry and dishes. I don’t even have the items for the games purchased or any of the cookie ingredients. If I wait any longer than this week to ship my packages, I risk the ridicule of the post office workers and their torturous laughs about my gifts arriving before Christmas. I have no Holiday cards. I haven’t sent out Holiday cards since my second son was born.

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