So why do we get stressed about seeing family, and around the holidays in particular? Expectations are one of the biggest reasons—we watch Christmas specials or remember celebrating Thanksgiving as children and anticipate a Rockwellian experience, but, often, that’s simply not a reality. “We think this should be a perfect time, the food will be perfect, and our conversations will be respectful. But when our realities don’t match that, we get frustrated,” Orbuch says. The holidays can also be a time where we’re reminded of what we don’t have, Regan adds, further highlighting the celebration’s non-idyllic qualities.