While individuals, families, and especially society and the media promote holiday celebrations as joyous often family focused events, they can create extraordinary stress for a multitude of reasons. Some reasons are practical, others are tied to expectations (reasonable and unreasonable), and others still have deeply (and sometimes, problematic) symbolism. Some circumstances, experiences, or memories can be stressful, triggering, and even traumatic depending on individual development. Who and what may be triggering will be discussed, along with direction to modulate potential issues. Holiday stress will be related to other stresses that are often the focus of therapy, along with principles and strategies to empower individuals through it and heal and grow.
Celebrations and holidays often have ethnic, racial, historical, and cultural foundations that may or may not be lost or emphasized. Conflict between more traditional and more derivative (including commercialized) customs and expectations will be considered that reflect the diversity of celebrations and celebrants.