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By Joan Frances Moran

If Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, why are we all so stressed, anxious and miserable? Why does so much unpleasant stuff come up during the Christmas holidays? Have you ever noticed how many deaths occur in December? How many people get sick? How many people are divorcing? Fighting? Separating? Angry? Pissed off?

 During the holidays, some people go searching for lost parents or children. Others take more drugs or antidepressants than usual. More than a few of us take stupid risks.

All these things happen because the holiday season travels with its evil twins, anxiety and stress. We like to think that the holidays are about remembering the important things. Instead, we rush around, buying gifts, sending gifts, exchanging gifts and attending parties. The beat goes on… and on.

I almost went postal the other day, while waiting for the post office to open. It was ten minutes after eight when a postal worker finally opened the door and said, “Oh, I didn’t know you were out here. I just got here.” Really? You got to work at exactly at 8:00 am… just when the doors are supposed to open? We all walked in disgruntled after bonding for 15 minutes in the cold. The postal worker took her time getting to her cubicle and we waited some more.

No wonder the post office is going broke. The hostility was so tangible you could cut it with a knife. Fifteen minutes later, another postal worker sauntered up to her cubicle and after another 5 minutes she said: “May I help the next person.” I was on fire! When I got to her cubicle, she was rude and gave me attitude. Hey, lady, you were late and the crowd was cruising for a bruising. She gave new meaning to “going postal.”

Christmas is Just Around the Corner

The irony is that the holiday season only lasts from Thanksgiving to December 31st – a total of 4 weeks, give or take. If you add on New Year’s, its only 5 weeks long. That’s 5 weeks of gut-grinding toward the finish line of the holiday season.

As a child, I loved the holidays. I looked forward to Christmas. I loved opening presents and showing off my gifts to my friends. But adulthood and grandmother-hood bring another dimensions to the holidays.

Some people feel lonely during the holidays. I have spent more winter holidays alone than I want to think about. Many years, my sons were with their father, skiing in Tahoe or Park City or wherever he took them. So, I stayed home, lonely and depressed. Or, I went to my parent’s house, where my father often went off on a toot and played what I called, “Get the Guest.” I wondered which “lucky” family member was going to be the subject of his mean sarcasm. What if I were going to be the “guest” again? Where would I go to hide?

With grandchildren and the 8 days of Hanukkah, I’m not as stressed. I’ve learned how to give with an easy love and a pragmatic sensibility. But now I have the problem of each son living in a different city with his children. I’m on planes a lot during this time of the year. Of course, flying is its own form of stress.

Sometimes, I just want to hang out and stop the insanity. My favorite Christmas was when I went to Jerry’s Deli in Westwood with friends. Then we went to a Spielberg movie. I don’t’ remember which one it was, but it didn’t involve a Christmas tree, a gift, a turkey dinner, a family brawl or a screaming kid.

I had a brief moment of holiday nostalgia yesterday as I was preparing for my trip to New Orleans this weekend. On the way back to my car, I saw CVS, whose Christmas displays were simply gorgeous. So, I stopped – something I never do in front of a window – and admired the sentiment and beauty of the message: The holiday season is a time for good cheer, good friends, companionship and giving to others.

At least I think I got the message.

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Local News

  • Putnam Church Road Closure 8/15 – 8/22 +

    The NC Department Of Transportation will be closing Putnam Church Road between address 1015 and Wiley Road, beginning 8/15/17 thru Read More
  • Changing the World One Girl Scout at a Time +

    Raleigh, NC — For over a century Girl Scouts has remained true to its mission to build girls of courage, Read More
  • Food Bank Holding Stuff The Truck Event September 16th +

    The Food Bank Of CENC is hosting a Stuff The Truck Event at Wal-Mart in Aberdeen on Saturday, September 16th. Read More
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Crime Reports

  • Two Arrested After Drug Investigation Nets Two Pounds Of Methamphetamine +

    Following a six-month drug investigation, Sheriff Neil Godfrey announced the arrest of two brothers for trafficking in methamphetamine. Read More
  • District Attorney Announces Guilty Verdict In First Degree Murder Trial For Adam White +

    Adam Anthony White of Hoffman North Carolina was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted by a Read More
  • Sheriff Godfrey Announces The Arrest Of Two For West End Area Breaking And Entering +

    Sheriff Neil Godfrey announces the arrest of Thomas Pugsley Jr. and Reshaun Walker for the breaking and entering of a Read More
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Obituaries

  • Peter Madsen of Vass Obituary +

    Peter Madsen, age 82, of Vass, passed away on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at Westfield Nursing Home, surrounded by his Read More
  • Floyd Graham Jordan of West End Obituary +

    Floyd Graham Jordan, 82,of West End, NC died Tuesday August 15, 2017 at Sandy Ridge Assisted Living in Candor, NC. Read More
  • Betty McAllister of Garner formally of Carthage Obituary +

    Betty McAllister., 81, of Garner, formally of Carthage, died Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, at Vidant Medical Center, Greenville. Read More
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Accident & Fire

  • Toddler & Adults Escape Injury After Car Hits Tree Tuesday Outside West End +

    A passenger car ran off of the road striking a tree Tuesday afternoon outside of West End. Read More
  • Motorcycle Collides With Mower On NC 24/27 Tuesday +

    A motorcycle collided with a mower Tuesday morning outside of Cameron blocking one lane of the highway and seriously injuring Read More
  • One Injured In Three Vehicle Accident In West End Monday Afternoon +

    One person was injured and the roadway partially blocked by a three vehicle accident in West End Monday afternoon. Read More
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Local Weather

Stock Market

1 DOW 21,941.97
-82.90 (-0.38%)    
2 S&P 2,454.95
-13.16 (-0.53%)    
3 NASDAQ 6,297.38
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Local Events

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