Bah-Humbug! Why Did I Get So Angry During the Holidays? | Part 2

by Mark Epp

January 05, 2022Blog

Why did I get so angry during the holidays? 

My mom — for all the great things she was — was obsessive-compulsive. Perfection was the only outcome she was prepared to embrace, and nothing was ever quite good enough. She had to do all the cooking and baking — hundreds of cookies in perfect rows. Once, during family picture time, the polka dots didn’t align on the sleeves of the pajamas she sewed for my brother. She ripped those sleeves right off because she could not stand how amateur she thought it looked. 

Sounds like fun? It wasn’t. 

Whenever the holidays approached, all this baggage started to build up inside me without me being aware of it at all. 

Unpacking the baggage that led to answering the question of why I got so angry during the holidays occurred during my iPEC coach training. My lack of connection to the spiritual influencer was a key component of not knowing I could choose who I wanted to be, rather than living by knee-jerk reactions. 

How much of our reactions are based on subconscious beliefs that may or may not be true? And how does our lack of awareness of these stressors cause us to react, rather than choose who we want to be during any moment? 

The Spiritual Influencers 

It’s important to distinguish the differences between religion and spiritual influencers. Religion is a set of beliefs and practices that groups follow. Spiritual influence can be one and the same with religion, but is often a separate issue. 

Spiritual influencers involve our purpose, our beliefs, values, talents, desires, and goals, in relation to what we specifically want to do and how we want to do it. We flourish when we’re aligned with our influencers, but we become paralyzed and stuck when in conflict with them. 

This can detract from our energy when whatever we’re doing causes us to question, or be in conflict with, our values, purpose, goals, relationships, or beliefs. It’s not unusual to feel stuck from one time or another; what is important is that we recognize why we’re stuck and how we can choose to get ourselves released! 

It started with awareness. After hearing my kids say, “Dad, why do you get so grumpy at Christmas?” for the hundredth time, it was time to do something about it. During a coaching session my goal was to set some parameters around how I wanted to show up during the holidays. The session concluded with a succinct list of the person I determined to be. Happy, at ease, joyful, grateful for everything and everyone in my life. To be full of love and encouragement for all. 

So when I found myself triggered by those thoughts of everything being not so perfect, I remembered who I wanted to reveal and that’s who I became! It wasn’t magic, nor did it take years of therapy to figure out. It was by choice. The power of choice was available to me, and I’d never taken advantage of it like this before. 

The American Phycological Association revealed top stressors during the holiday season, which included lack of time, money worries and of course the COVID-19 pandemic, among other stressors. Who do we want to be this year in the face of these and other stressors? The power of choice is available to us all! 

Let’s set our resolutions on the person we know is inside us. That person is in there, just welcome them to the party! Happy and at ease, grateful and loving. That person is in us all, to have and to share. 

Wishing you the best 2022: a year of awareness, conscious choice and added value for all! 


Mark is the Management Consultant Director at Talent Plus where he aligns The Science of Potentiality ® to each client’s unique needs and support their growth. He brings potential to life through the practical application of our science and enables employees to prosper and organizations to succeed.

“There is nothing more satisfying than witnessing the exponential growth of an employee when they discover and express their talent.”

Talents: Ego Drive, Focus, Individualized Approach, Persuasion, Relationship