Deanna Kirk

Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun columnist and editor of Explore Magazine.

Am I the only one who has had a holiday-related panic attack thus far this year?

And, another question. Is the holiday panic attack exclusive to women?

It seems this year I was already seeing Christmas in the stores prior to Halloween. At least by Halloween.

I know it’s still over a week until Thanksgiving. Traditionally, I don’t have my Christmas panic attack until after Thanksgiving, but it, like the Christmas stuff in the stores, came way early this year.

I think it began around the first week of November. My calendar was filling up rapidly, and I was noticing lots of overlap with some weekends having way too many events/gatherings/programs to attend.

I casually mused to myself, “Self? When are we going to get all our tree and holiday decorations up? And more importantly, when are we going to start and accomplish all our Christmas shopping?”

It didn’t help that one child was already crowing she had made a good start on HER Christmas shopping.

Then I got hit like a Peterbilt with the crud that’s going around. You know, the one where your head feels like Seventh Ave. with a jack-hammer on it, your whole body aches, and you can’t do anything but lay on the couch and be pitiful. I lost an entire weekend and one workday to that mess. Accomplished nothing.

I struggled to get back to work with a nasty cough, stuffed up head, aching ears and no voice. I had deadlines, by golly! I even covered an event Thursday night where the others at my table regarded me as if I had the plague.

The night before, we’d been out to one kid’s house for dinner. The same kid who was gloating about having a great start on her Christmas shopping also had all her tree and decorations up.

At some point throughout my illness as I lay on the couch, I thought, “If I don’t have the energy to get up and brush my teeth, how on earth will I possibly get all my tree and decorations up? Maybe I could just skip it this year.... maybe the grandkids wouldn’t notice.”

Then I told myself I’d feel better soon, and this was just a temporary thing. And it was God helping me by getting this virus behind me early, instead of it hitting on Christmas Day like it did last year, and lasting for the entire 10 days of my vacation from work.

You know how it is this time of year. There’s so much to do in your own home, then there are so many parties, school programs, church events, family gatherings, (work deadlines — at least for us) — what’s a girl to do?

Fortunately, the good Lord has sent me quite a few well-timed devotional readings and verses about peace. Read one just now from Joel Osteen, as a matter of fact.

And I guess what I’m trying to say, in my own sadly roundabout way, is that JESUS is the reason for the season. Don’t get caught up in all this hyper-commercialism that you lose the true meaning. The true focus.

So, ladies — don’t stress yourself if you don’t check off every single item on your to-do list. Don’t run yourself ragged until you have a room at the local hospital to have the cutest holiday cookies or the most darling Christmas cards, or color-coordinated wrapping paper.

Take food to a needy family. Volunteer to ring the bell for The Salvation Army Kettle drive. Go see the Living Christmas Tree at First Baptist, or the drive-thru Nativity Scene at Second Ave. Baptist. Or both.

Gather your family close, read the story of Baby Jesus from the Bible, and count your blessings. I know I will.


Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. She may be reached via email at Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email:

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