Don't let stress cloud holiday enjoyment

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Holidays can be stressful for many reasons.

Will the last package arrive on time? Will snow keep us from traveling? What if the store is out of an ingredient for the most popular cookie?

These questions flood minds this time of year because of the desire to have the perfect Christmas. Everyone wants to give the best gifts and put on the best party, but sometimes, it just isn't possible for one reason or another.

It's hard to keep in mind that these details are minor in the grand scheme of things. The holidays are a time to be together, to reminisce about years past and look forward to the future and to celebrate the good things life can offer.

The missing present or the burnt side dish won't ruin the feelings of togetherness and thankfulness unless they are allowed to. The broken ornament won't take away the joy of sharing time with family and friends.

Remembering why we're together this time of year is especially important considering what had to be put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, this holiday season is the first time spent with family since 2019. For others, it may be the first time they've traveled since the pandemic began. The last nearly two years have shown how precious time together and traditions truly are. At the beginning of 2020 no one could have predicted a reality where gatherings and events were postponed and cancelled, some of which still have yet to happen again (and some be gone for good.)

The months spent without the chance to see family and friends and the holiday celebrations that didn't happen showed how trivial the typical holiday stressors can be. Keep in mind the feelings of doubt and despair that surfaced around the holiday season last year if you're worried about a package not arriving on time.

Having to give someone a picture of their late-arriving gift in person is better than opening presents over video chat.

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