Holidays can be a stressful time of the year


We all have that relative who insists on loudly expressing their political views at the Thanksgiving table and picking on anyone who dares dispute them. Some people have not gotten over perceived or actual transgressions from years past and never miss an opportunity to rehash what went wrong then – even if that was decades ago. There are stressors in every family, and the holidays can be pretty stressful, even in the best of times. These, however, are not the best of times.

Psychologists warn that these holidays may be among the most stressful we have experienced recently.

Part of the issue is inflation and economic affairs. Anybody who wants to work is working. Wages are up, but nobody under 50 remembers three straight years of inflation this bad. Interest rates have not been this high in a long time, and the stress on people to pay their monthly bills is starting to grow.

There are homes across this country that put that Thanksgiving meal on a credit card and are wondering how they will pay the bills for this. How are they going to pay for Christmas? The typical Thanksgiving meal has never been costlier.

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) said Monday on X that the cost of the Thanksgiving meal is 25% higher than it was in 2019.

“Americans will pay 25% more for their Thanksgiving dinner than in 2019. Bidenomics continues to devastate our hardworking citizens, especially during the holidays,” Tuberville stated.

Congressman Jerry Carl (R-AL01) said, “This year will be the most expensive Thanksgiving in history thanks to Bidenomics. Turkey prices are up 7.2%. Sugar prices are up 8.8%  Frozen vegetable prices are up 10.7%.”

The economics of the moment are what they are, but foreign affairs are weighing on the minds of many Americans.

The United States is technically not at war; this is only the second year since 2020 where that was the case, but this certainly does not feel like peace either. The drums of war have not been louder in most of our lifetimes. Our support for Ukraine has cost us billions of dollars, and those costs are rapidly climbing. Taiwan is building its armed forces up for a likely confrontation with China. Israel is asking for more U.S. military aid in its existential war with Hamas and Hezbollah. It is not going to be a peaceful Christmas for American troops deployed in the Middle East, where Iranian-backed militants are launching increasingly more intense attacks on those American troops. The Pentagon announced that the fourth round of American retaliatory air strikes have followed. Sen. Tuberville is warning that U.S. munitions stockpiles are rapidly depleting, and arms makers can’t keep up with the demand.

As tensions rise between the U.S. and Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, World War III is being discussed as a possibility in some circles, and it is affecting people’s stress levels.

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said recently, “This may be the most dangerous time this world has seen in decades.”

It is a real possibility, particularly in military families or families with teens and twentysomethings, that this might be one of the last Thanksgivings for a while where someone is not deployed somewhere fighting for the American way of life.

Psychologists warn that you should be aware that other family members and friends may be stressing over these issues. While the readers of Alabama Today are well-informed – others are not as keenly aware of what perilous times we may be living in. The Thanksgiving dinner table and family gatherings over the holiday might not be the best of times to discuss any of this, especially knowing that some people may already be stressed about the situation.

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