The holiday season is stressful, so much so, that it's beginning to seem odd that we call it the holiday season.
Maybe another name would be better. Something like, "The Season of Obligations and Unhappy Relatives," or SOUR.
"I'm dreaming of a sour Christmas..."
A group in Arizona has formed to keep a lid on annual angst. It's called "The Worry Club."
Instead of battling to cheer up, go ahead and wallow in despair. Let your mood sink. Perhaps if you worry enough, whatever frightens you will dissipate. Like if you want to stop eating butter pecan ice cream, buy a half gallon and force yourself to eat it all in one sitting.
Actually, The Worry Club helps people by listening and counseling. Don't plan to do too much, establish time for yourself, set realistic goals, let others help with cooking and decorating, and do not drink in excess. Do not expect to repair 30 years of discord.
Unfortunately, anxiety does not tend to work like that. Let it run wild and it just gets worse. The brain has an inexhaustable supply of anxiety-inducing chemicals. Fret all you want, your neurons will make more.
And so forth.
So have a happy sweet and sour holiday.