Archive for Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday stress

December 25, 2009


It seems the nation has had a little trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. Money is tight, and nerves are frayed.

In Washington, D.C., a Twitter-organized snowball fight turned ugly last weekend when one of the missiles hit the car of a plain clothes police officer. What was intended as a fun, stress-relieving event got serious when the officer pulled his gun and went in search of the guilty party. We don’t know what was going on in the officer’s mind, but it wasn’t visions of dancing sugar plums.

In Ohio, a man gave a clerk $72 in payment for a Taco Bell taco. He refused to take the money back and told the workers “Merry Christmas.” So what did the employees do? They called the police. The man appeared to be intoxicated and they were afraid they’d be in trouble if he came back to retrieve the money. Calling the police may have been the prudent thing to do, but it seems a little paranoid. What if the man just wanted to spread some anonymous holiday cheer?

Then there’s Congress. Not a lot of holiday spirit there. Strongly held feelings on both sides of the health care debate have solidified partisan lines and eliminated any possibility of compromise — and, too often, even common courtesy.

The pressure of unmet holiday expectations often makes this a stressful time of year. That stress is magnified for many people this year because of financial pressures brought on by the economic downturn.

It’s understandable that people can be a little short-tempered or depressed this time of year, but now that the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle is past, it’s time to seek out the peaceful feeling that also should be part of the season. Whatever has been stressing you out this holiday, try to give it — and yourself — a rest today.

It looks like Lawrence is going to have a white Christmas. If so, we hope it doesn’t interrupt your holiday plans. Maybe a good old-fashioned snowball fight wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s a way to burn off some frustration and have a little fun — but, please, no guns.

Whatever today brings, we hope you have a happy and peaceful holiday.

Merry Christmas!


Paul R Getto 8 years, 4 months ago

Some good points here, but we self-induce most of the stress. Ancient holidays intended to reverse the sun's decline and bring warmer weather were well-established long before the new religion grabbed on to the existing traditions. We don't like the dark, cold days and long for spring. Nothing wrong with that, but the created stress at the solstice is like the manufactured budget crisis that is strangling Kansas. We can make choices and do not have to succumb to the darker sides of our natures.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 4 months ago

I have more today than I ever thought I would. I thank God for my family. I thank Him because I have a cat again and that means a great deal to me. Deion is very special to me. There have been times when I have had to work on despair minute by minute. Despair is our greatest enemy as it weakens us and makes us vulnerable.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 4 months ago

Irish: Good points. If you think the skygod brought you a cat, that's OK too. Our greatest enemy? IMHO, ignorance.

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