Greg Buell suggests avoiding a big holiday letdown by having reasonable expectations.
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Don't let the Grinch steal Christmas
Dec 19, 2011 9:00 AM | Print

This WSU Newsline Podcast is available at See the transcript below:

You're listening to the podcast edition of the Wichita State University audio newsline. Learn more about WSU on the Web at

'Tis the season to be thankful, jolly and possibly stressed out. Wichita State University psychologist Greg Buell says too often, folks think they have to spend big bucks to make the holiday season a success.

Buell: "Be careful not to let the Grinch steal Christmas by you overspending or other forms of excess — too much food, too much alcohol, too much of anything can lead to trouble."

"Too often, folks think they have to be spending big bucks. There are many other ways. Share some time. Get with a neighbor. Call a friend that you hadn't spoken with in a time. Make the holiday season brighter for somebody else."

And while most people anticipate spending time with family and friends, Buell says, this is a good time of year to take it one step further.

Buell: "A great strategy in the holiday season is to revisit the meaning of the holiday. Visit your spirituality. Think about how you're connected to others. How do you make meaning in life?"

Buell says there's another factor that can play a significant role in your enjoyment of the holidays.

Buell: "To avoid being a Grinch, check your attitude. Too often, folks focus on what I don't have, instead of remembering to count your blessings."

"The holiday season is a wonderful time to spend time with family members, make memories, new traditions. A challenge for you: Ask an elderly person something about something he or she used to do during the Christmas season."

Of course, high expectations for the holidays aren't always realized. Buell offers some advice for avoiding a big letdown.

Buell: "One way to avoid a big letdown is not to have things too built up. Have reasonable expectations. It won't be the best, biggest ever. Instead, a reasonable amount of togetherness, fun and relaxation will make for a great holiday."

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season, this is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

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