High expectations for holidays can cause stress for families and individuals. One of the great myths of the season is that it is a time of uncomplicated joy and goodwill. Many factors can contribute to feelings anxiety should the holidays being less than perfect. Some causes of holiday stress and disappointment that have been identified are: too much food, lack of exercise, loss of sleep, stress from extra expenditures on presents and food, forced togetherness and extra people requiring your attention, recent family trauma such as a death, divorce or just separation by being away from home. These can have a major impact on the individual or entire family.
To counteract these stressors, sensible arrangements and boundaries need to be made about celebration of this special time of the year. Developing realistic expectations is one way to avoid the problem.