Trauma-based & Family Psychotherapy For Angry, Anxious, Depressed, and Frustrated Families

Surviving Christmas Holiday Stress: 1 Way To Cope

Surviving Christmas HolidaySurviving Christmas is a topic I hear way too often among my clients. Christmas should be a time of peace, unity, and joy. A time of faith, restoration, and hope. But sadly, commercialism has made it difficult for many to enjoy the holiday season.

This article discusses one way to cope with the stress of Christmas time.

Make it meaningful

What are you doing this Christmas to make your holiday stand out? I often recommend that my clients pursue a meaningful Christmas.What is Christmas if it isn’t meaningful, purposeful, or engaging? And engaging doesn’t mean you have to be around a lot of people. Engaging means that there is a reason for you to stay plugged in. There is a reason for you not to “dissociate” or “fake” your way through it. There is a reason to remember everything about it. You have a reason to snapshot the memories of this day in your mind forever.

Why I suggest surviving Christmas include true meaning

When I was 10 years old I found out that my great-grandmother had been struggling with dementia and was worsening into stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Her illness was so traumatizing for everyone within the family. The disease was unexpected by my family which led to Christmas time not being a priority for my family at that time. Sadly, I didn’t realize this until my mom and grandmother told me we could not spend Christmas Eve shopping at our favorite stores. Although many of our (my brothers and I) Christmas’s included gifts that were chosen without our awareness, this Christmas was different. There was nothing.

My mom and grandmother created an exciting tradition in which every other Christmas Eve was the time we would shop at a toy store for gifts we were free to choose ourselves. It just so happened that my great-grandmother became very ill during the year of this tradition.

Despite the shock of my great-grandmother’s illness and the change in tradition, Christmas Day turned out to be one of the best Christmas’s I had ever had. We were certainly loved.


What not getting a traditional Christmas did to me

I woke up Christmas Day, looked around at a beautifully decorated home, and saw my immediate family all together eating breakfast. I sat down at the table and listened to all of the funny and heartwarming stories my family discussed. My heart was warmed by their love, their collective energies, and the beauty of the day. For my family, the recognition of the Birth of Jesus and love between family was an important focus of the day. I can say, now that I am so much older, that this Christmas changed my life. It changed my outlook, my expectation(s), and my focus forever.


How will you make your Christmas mean something this year?

Do you have a heartwarming story to tell? Do you have tips for surviving Christmas stress?


Feel free to share your experiences below.

Merry Christmas!

As always, I wish you well

CORONA VIRUS1050 Lincoln Way, Ste 1 - Pittsburgh PA

Trying to understand all of the chaos associated with the #coronavirus can feel very overwhelming.

I want to let ALL of my clients/patients who come to Anchored Child & Family Counseling or who see me for consultations know that I am taking the necessary steps to ensure that all of the families and individuals who come to the office are safe and healthy.

Please know that, in the event Anchored Child & Family Counseling is asked to alter its hours or close for the safety of all clients/patients, I will be offering tele-health (online, computer, or phone) services. Although I do not anticipate this happening any time soon, this is important to be prepared for.

I also want to assure you that if I receive any information regarding the corona virus that involves your insurance and/or your care I will let you know as soon as possible.

Although many of the new reports may appear to be or feel exaggerated, as you know keeping our eyes open and making smart decisions is essential.

Please let me know if you have questions!



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