Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dental Care
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Equine Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Fireplace Sales/Service
     None  Flooring
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Gun Accessories
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Handyman Services
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insulation
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Liquor Stores
     None  Orthodontist
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Physician
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tile - Installation and Repair
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Upholstery
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair
     None  Winery
     None  Woodworking


 
“Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.”
– Vesta M. Kelly  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 12 December 2018  

None
None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News Briefs   None News From D 49  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
None
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
None
 

Michelle Barrette

  
  By Michelle Barrette

   “December is full of the beauty of light and love we can bring into our life.You can choose to be stressed or you can choose to let the small stuff go and be peaceful this holiday season.
   It really is a choice you make.”
   Eileen Anglin

   
   In 2017, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, an agricultural promotion group made up mainly of blueberry farmers, commissioned a study to examine people’s stress levels during the holiday season. The “festive stress” study ran throughout the month of December.
   
   The study showed that the mild-to-high-stress timeline starts Dec. 18 and peaks on Christmas Day.
   I remember last Christmas the stress started at our house when the lights on the Christmas tree went out just before Christmas Day. For some, it might not have been a big deal, but the grandkids were there; and the lights were important for that sought-out “perfect” family Christmas. My son-in-law Mark painstakingly went through each strand of lights (dodging the ornaments and the fire hazard); and, after what seemed like hours, he found the burned-out fuse. The day was saved. However, a couple of days later, Mark went out on the deck to cover the grill; and his foot went through a loose board. If the board had completely broken, it could have been disastrous. ’Tis the reason we call that year’s Christmas the “Year we Tried to Kill Mark at Christmas.”
   
   Anyway, back to the study. Apparently, people cope with stress by creating more stress through large amounts of caffeine, carbs and sugar. Forty-nine percent of people studied said they drank more coffee during the holidays; and one in six consumed more energy drinks. But the majority — 74 percent — overindulged on unhealthy snacks and treats. And then the stress got worse: 60 percent polled experienced nagging guilt after consuming all those calories.
   
   According to the respondents, 56 percent said shopping for gifts was the most stressful aspect of the holidays; 54 percent cited lines and crowds; 45 percent were stressed by extra cleaning duties; 38 percent didn’t like trying to choose gifts for people; and 36 percent (I thought this would be higher) said holiday cooking topped their list of holiday stressors.
   
   Forty-one percent of the study-subjects had the impractical desire to have the “perfect Christmas” — and 49 percent of moms put more pressure on themselves to achieve a flawless holiday season.
   
   Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, whatever, the expectations for a flawless season can be overwhelming — and depressing.
   
   While many people are hustling and bustling to get things done, others are experiencing something else — the holiday season can be the saddest and loneliest time of the year for some.
   
   The holidays are associated with family, and often family issues like loss, dysfunction, addiction, abuse, divorce and estrangement cause more stress that can lead to depression. For a person already dealing with depression and loneliness, the holidays can be gruesome.
   
   According to the American Psychological Association, about 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States suffer from chronic loneliness. The holidays can be devastating for people who are alone, many of them elderly.
   
   So, when we think about being stressed because of over-eating, over-shopping, over-cleaning, over-cooking, over-partying and so on; remember that none of that is important. As the quote states, being stressed is a choice. And, by the way, it’s surprising how good one feels when they give back to someone. So, go caroling at the nursing home, take cookies to an older neighbor, donate, volunteer — and give yourself a break.
   And to put the holidays in perspective, I am grateful for what I do have, as I think about the victims of the California fires and just how fast our lives can change.
   
   Be safe this holiday season. As I write this, multiple accidents have been reported in eastern El Paso County, including Falcon and Black Forest, because of icy roads.
   
   Also, our monthly feature, People on the Plains, will return in January. Our “person” for December decided she did not want to be interviewed.
   
   Up next month: our annual health issue. If you have any ideas for health-related articles, send them to marylou@newfalconherald.com or marylou@kekotiledesigns.com.
   
   As we look into 2019, we are always interested in your opinion on how we can improve or add to our newspaper. Let us know what you want to see!
   
   Happy Hanukkah, Merry Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas!
   
   See you in January.
   
   - Michelle
  
Facebook print this page      


  © 2004-2018 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy