Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Stress

A Christmastime gift-shopping incident transported me back to my grade school days. We once had a gift exchange that was almost certainly a topic much discussed by my teacher and classmates in fifth grade. The big day came and everyone sat in class with a wrapped gift for their Secret Santa atop their desk, and I approached my teacher to ask what was going on. She told me it was for the gift exchange, and I told her I'd forgotten it. Wide-eyed, she suggested I run home to grab the gift, and I had to explain, no, I'd forgotten it on a much broader level. A rise of panic swept over me while thinking about my classmate (and who was I supposed to give the gift to anyway?) being the only person who did not receive a gift. I asked to be excused. I called my dad at work and explained the situation, and a couple hours later he dropped off a gift-wrapped something to give to the kid. It was one of the many times my dad bailed me out, for which I'm very thankful. And the experience also brought to mind all of the stress I placed on myself in grade school, and for things that ultimately never mattered. I suspect one day I'll look back on my stresses today with similar feelings.

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