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Advice for the holidays: for once, let everything go

Anyone who knows me knows that I like to complain about the little things as much as the big things. Possibly it's a side-effect of being the youngest child, but I think it's more likely a generational issue. We're used to getting everything we ask for as soon as we ask for it. It could be Netflix streaming slowly or a slightly long line outside of the caf, but mostly daily inconveniences pop up all over social media and fare forced upon those unlucky enough to be within earshot. It doesn't matter where we are or who we're with, there's always something to whine about.

Letting out your frustrations and emotions can be healthy, don't get me wrong, but the holiday season always serves as a reminder for me to step off my soapbox and simply be grateful. That seems simple, maybe even obvious, but to me it's something that is hard to do every Thanksgiving and Christmas, let alone every day of the year.

The holiday season seems to be surrounded by chaos and is probably one of the most stressful times in everyone's lives. Maybe my family's the only one that experiences this, but it feels like every year a hundred things go wrong when we all try to come together. Whether there are delayed flights, copious amounts of traffic, the turkey isn't cooked, the stuffing is burnt, the potatoes aren't mashing, or the cranberry sauce is stuck in the can, there's always something everyone is ranting about. And we all let it happen. If it's my flight that's delayed, you bet I'll be letting everyone know it the second I walk through the door. The problem with this is, when we each voice our own complaints we're encouraging everyone else to complain too. We let everyone share their grievances and it tends to bring us all down. Rather than focusing on what we're thankful for or the good things in our life, half of the meal we share as family and friends is spent complaining about the little, unavoidable things in our lives.

The holiday season should be a time of joy and gratefulness. It should be full of love and giving. Sure, there may be a lot of unfortunate things that happen along the way, but rather than complaining about them now, give it a year and tell the same story when everyone can laugh about it.

As much as I love to complain to an audience, the past few years have taught me that trying to focus on more positive things will make family time more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Samantha Giedris is a sophomore journalism major from Houston, TX. She can be reached at


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