Opinion: We take the holidays too seriously

Though people should celebrate in any way they’d like, recognize that the holiday season can be hard on some


Beth Brackmann

The holidays are usually a joyful time of year, they also can cause stress to people who don’t celebrate, have lost family or that are struggling financially.

Beth Brackmann, Contributing Writer

Someone walks into a store, just a few days into November and everything is already holiday related. They begin to feel an overbearing feeling of stress as they realise that the holidays are getting close. Some people just make the holiday season such a big deal. 

The holidays can be a season of joy and happiness, but they can also be a time of stress and money loss. Every year when the holiday season starts getting close people can start to get a bit over the top. It can be a day after Halloween and radio stations are already starting to play holiday music, and people eat it up. 

With the holiday season can come seasonal depression and stress. Around 38% of people who were surveyed by U.S. News and World Report said that their stress levels rose around the holidays . This level of stress that people get in and around the holidays is not healthy. High stress levels can lead to depression and anxiety. It could also lead to some forms of substance abuse. There are many reasons why people get stressed, from trying to top everyone else, to having old family problems come up. This stress and depression is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. This form of depression usually sets in during early winter and fades away by early spring/summer. Around four and 20% of people have been diagnosed with some form of this disorder (Bustle).

Overspending and going over budget is another problem with the holiday season. Around the holidays people tend to spend money that they might not have or money that they may need. Around 70% of Americans usually go over their budget for the holidays, especially this year with about 48% planning to spend more this year to make up for missed celebrations last year due to the pandemic (Fox Business). There are other reasons for people to overspend, like wanting to one up everyone else, whether it’s getting someone the most expensive gift or having the best looking lights or house. For a season that’s supposed to be for giving back to people and being with your family people really do get competitive. 

The holidays can really bring up some unhappy memories. Memories of good times and being with family can get covered up with the memories of family fights and other problems. A lot of people experience nostalgia when it comes to the holidays. This feeling leads people to put a lot of time and effort to make sure everything is the same as years prior. This can also lead back to the high amounts of stress during the season. 

The holidays are a magical time of year, they bring joy to hundreds. Sure there are downsides to it, but why would you focus on that? It’s a season where you can focus on others more than yourself. Also around this time you can build things that “wow” people like different light shows. Almost every year in Crystal Lake, Joseph Shulfer builds a huge light show outside of his house. He said this for one reason why he does it: “I like setting an example for my kids about doing cool things that others can benefit from and enjoy.” 

Overall the problem with the holiday season is the people who take it way too serious. The people who enjoy when Hallmark starts a holiday countdown in the middle of October, and when big box stores have decorations up a day after Halloween, are the people who have problems. They can have their favorite holiday but they try to force it onto everyone else around them. That’s when it’s clear the holidays have become over celebrated.