Christmas is the best time of year... until it becomes the worst. There are many aspects of the holiday season that are a blast, sure, but there also about a million reasons Christmas is the most stressful holiday of them all. You have to manage your regular jam-packed schedule, but you also have to live a double life, somehow, buying the perfect gifts for your favorite people, hosting and attending parties, and dealing with nosy relatives you haven't seen in the last 11 months. Oh, and you have to do it all with a creepily large grin on your face to express the standard amount of joy Christmas requires. How is that fair?
Of course, there are enough wonderful things going on around you to ease your stress, but it's important to know that you do not have to be merry 100 percent of the time just because it's December. You're a human raised by humans — not a human raised by elves. Stress swallows every one of us up this time of year, and it's OK to occasionally scowl at the ridiculous pressure this holiday puts on us. Here are all the stressful aspects of the best time of year, just so you know you aren't alone in your totally justifiable Grinchy mood.
1. It makes you broke AF.
Remember when your credit cards had zero balances, and your savings account was in tip-top shape? Yeah... those were the days. Because after buying all those gifts for your friends and family, you'll be lucky if you have enough left to buy yourself a latte.
2. You never know if you're buying the right gifts.
Your significant other is hard to shop for, your parents say they don't want anything this year, and are you supposed to get something for your boss? What's the etiquette there?
3. The holiday office party.
You're encouraged to have fun, but not too much fun. You have to buy a Secret Santa gift for someone you don't know at all, and do you need a date? This is the one event you spend the entire year dreading, and now it's here.
4. You have to figure out how you're going to finish all of those end-of-the-year work projects and school exams.
We're all distracted by Christmas, yet we're supposed to focus more than ever on end-of-the-year projects for work, and preparing for 2016. Or, if you're in school, you have to prepare for final exams that will make up a hefty chunk of your final grade. I mean, it's just not fair.
5. Three words: Seeing your family.
Your family loves you and you love your family — duh. However, you'll feel like you have to be "on" in their presence. Also, you'll be stuck sleeping on a couch or in your tiny old bedroom.
6. And the intense Q&A that follows.
Your family wants to know everything that's been going on in your life. They also want to know if you're dating anyone, if work is going well, if you're up for a promotion soon, if you're on a path to success, etc. Basically, all the questions that will stress you out and leave you feeling exhausted.
7. There's the potential you will run into an ex.
You're back in your hometown, and good news! So is your ex. Oh, joy. Because a run-in with him or her at the gas station when you're wearing sweats and buying butter and tin foil because your mom ran out sounds like a fantastic opportunity for awkward small talk.
8. You remember you still have to make New Year's resolutions.
As Christmas Day inches closer and closer, you start realizing that New Year's Eve is only a week later. And now you have to set goals and make promises to yourself to live a healthier lifestyle and have a more positive attitude. And just the thought of that freaks you the eff out.
9. You have to muster up enthusiasm for New Year's Eve.
It's such an overrated holiday, and nobody has even begun planning what they want to do. Should you just skip it and hang out at home with your favorite TV show instead? Yeah, probably.
10. You know the merriment will be over far too soon.
When you finally start to enjoy everything the Christmas season has to offer, you remember that Christmas letdown will set in the moment the last present is unwrapped on Christmas Day. And that's just a bummer.
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