chalboard wonderfulAre you dreading the holidays?  You aren’t alone!  Almost everyone has some fears and worries as the holiday season is here! In 32 years of married life, plus over 20 years of working with people, I’ve repeatedly found these 3 common reasons that “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” strikes fear in our hearts!

#1 The FOOD!

All the yummy treats, meals, carbs, butter, truffles, carbs, crab dip, cheese,  carbs, wine, beer, spirits, champagne, and parties!! Plus Aunt Bee’s pie, mom’s gravy, and the extra imbibing just to deal with family gatherings!  Suddenly we are  Fa, la, la-ing our way to 5-10lbs more on the scale come January 1st!

I don’t know about you, but a taste here, a little bit there, okay give me another piece with extra whip cream happens without my noticing! I forget that each bite counts…especially when I am wolfing down cheesecake after a stressful day!  Seriously, cheesecake is a miracle food!  (But feel free to insert your miracle food here!)

Family get togethers, office parties, neighborhood soirees all come with stress!  And drinks can make can make any gathering more bearable! (see #3

#2  The MONEY!

Holiday food and festivities cost money! Alot of money! More than we planned on – if we aren’t careful.  And who wants to be careful during the holidays??  The stress is enough to send me into survival mode- which usually leads to more eating and more spending!

Gifts, decorations, eating out- just to keep the kids happy after a marathon day shopping- all add up! And most of us don’t budget ahead of time, let alone keep track of our spending.  As my daughter used to say, ” Just give them that card you have, Mom… there is always money on it!”

Swipe it enough times and January is even more depressing when the bills come due.

Couple fight more about money than about sex! Seriously, it is the #1 issue in most marriages.  Kids today have very little idea about how to manage money, or how their “All I want for Christmas” lists add up!

#3 Family Gatherings

Yep!  This is one of  the Biggest Stressors of the Holiday season.  This Holiday Hassle fuels #1 and #2.  Think about it for a moment… time with our extended families can wreak havoc with our holidays.

Early in our marriage, we lived close to both of our families.  He loved the way they did holidays and thought his mom’s cooking was the BEST!  However, I was certain that traditions from my growing up years and MY moms cooking could trump his any day of the year! So imagine our discuussons making holiday plans!

  • Fast forward to when kids came along!  The family dynamic changes!  Cousins don’t get along, and we become referees
  • Families have different rules and we don our police uniforms!  “How could your brother/sister let them watch/do/have that!??”
  • Parents and opinions go hand in hand! (enough said!)
  •  Inevitably someone says something and feelings blow up, tempers flare, tears fall, and we hope family time ends soon!

Relationships are the best and often the worst part of our holidays!

Add these 3 Major stressors up: Food + Money + Family and the Holidays can become a Hassle, a Headache, a Heartache!

Can you relate?

Give me a “heck yeah!”  if you resonate with any of the following stressors, thoughts, or coping mechanisms:

  • What to wear and will it fit? Are yoga pants considered business casual if I wear them to my home office?
  • Who will I talk to and How can avoid talking to so and so?!
  • Will Uncle Bob drink too much and be totally inappropriate?
  • How much can I drink or eat before being out of control? I mean an extra glass of wine and/or some carbs makes my family so much more interesting, or tolerable. Heck, it makes me more interesting or at least more relaxed!
  • How do I watch my diet when my mother in law (insert relative here) will pressure me to eat the very foods I am trying to avoid?
  • What gifts do I buy my in-laws, and why isn’t my spouse choosing them!
  • How many cousins are there? And you want to get them each a ___! Do you know how much that will cost?
  • Can we just say we are sick this year and just stay home!?? (Sick and tired counts? Right??)

You get the point… Holidays can be down right hard!

I don’t have it all figured out, but I have learned a bit through the years that may help you and me navigate This Holiday Season with some grace, wisdom, and humor!  Learn from my mistakes, my trial and epic fails, as well as tips that worked for me, as well as my friends and clients.

Join me on Periscope (@susiemiller5) to chat about these 3 major stressors, and some healthy and helpful coping skills, strategies and tips to make your holidays more enjoyable and relaxing!

Live at 6pm EST Wednesday and Thursday of this week and then again Mon/Tues/Wednesday of THANKSGIVING week!

Then we will regroup, take personal questions and begin again as December begins!

So pour yourself a glass of wine, coffee, hot chocolate, tea, pumpkin beer… and lets chat!

If you have questions, issues, situations that you want me to cover, shoot me a email at and I will cover it in one of my scopes!

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