Notes For The Festive Season- By Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane

Notes For The Festive Season

By: Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane

Morale: Year-end holidays can be quite a financial strain for a lot of adults. Those who have children, their children need new clothes, more food because they will be home the whole day, vacations, and other miniature wants. Those with or without children themselves want to club and party, they want to host family gatherings and other ceremonies, etc. All of which require money. This article has systems you may put in place in order to psychologically prepare yourself for the pressure that comes with the festive, and to survive or enjoy the festive season without affecting your following year’s plans.

Article: Holidays are supposed to be a relaxing time and for having fun, but because of the media and social expectations, they have become anxiety-inducing and very stressful for the average adult in South Africa. The hype around festive seasons comes with psychological pressures, pushing people towards indulging in counterproductive activities to enhance “stress relief” or eliminate “boredom” such as extreme alcohol/recreational drugs consumption, not minding safety guides in their sex lives and on roads (as drivers), mindless splurging, and the sundry. It is in January, during the airing of Back To School Ads, when reality hits that they immerse themselves into debts and depression because holiday fever got the best of them.

Research shows that a fair share of inclination toward incidents skyrockets or heightens during festive seasons, be it bad or good. Hyper fun, side by side with hyper expenses. Hyper travelling side by side with hyper accident rates. “Every year the festive season sees the escalation of alcohol consumption with binge drinking among young people reaching dangerously high rates,” said Nomalungelo Gina, The National Assembly Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, on the 4th of December, 2020, during the launch of a National Anti-alcohol and Drug Abuse campaign. Referring to the 2022 December holidays, the Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula, on the occasion of the release of the 2022 Festive Season Preliminary Statistics held on 17 January 2023 at the Grasmere Toll Plaza, also said, “Human factors remain a principal driver of fatalities on our roads, accounting for 87% of all crashes.”

Evidently, it is rather safer to be patient with your excursions and errands when driving than to increase the chances of spending your last living or able moment behind wheels. Always take a deep breath before making hasty decisions, and think about both the instant and the possible long-term outcomes of the executions of your plans. When you buy those bottles, be sure to make prior arrangements with a sober person who will be driving you back home, and make sure you don’t use your children’s uniform money to buy those bottles. It is better to be bored when you have paid all your bills than to enjoy the holidays only to be evicted when all the hype settles down. In a nutshell, arrange your to-do list on a spectrum basis of priorities.

To ensure emotional rest, you may need to lay out both the plans you have for the festive seasons and the plans you have for the following year in three categories: a list of things you are interested in doing, a list of things you have access to and a list of things you must do. Interests are oftentimes many, but a fraction of them are things we have access to. Make peace with what you have access to and cancel out the rest. Then, rate the levels of importance of each item and activity you have access to – and mark them as “Must Do.” The unmarked ones will also have to be sieved out, so that you may be left with only priorities. Once you are there, you will need internal affirmations and reasons for sticking to the plan so that your peace can be enhanced.

Try by all means to acknowledge your weaknesses prior to the festive seasons, the work you have done on yourself so far and how far you’ve come with your goals, before you get inveigled by family expectations and peer pressure into spending mindlessly, driving recklessly, drinking overly, etc. If you have not met your goals so far, do not let the atmosphere at that family gathering get to you. You have yet another year to do better. So, do not stress. “Stress is a natural part of life, and research shows that people with a history of addiction may be more vulnerable to stress. Even positive events can be stressful”, says Olivia Marcellino, VP of Research at, “and following rehab, stress can make you vulnerable to relapse.” It Is best to not put a lot of thought into what you cannot do, and focus more on what you must do.

Feelings may rise and drop, intermittently, when relatives and associates post videos and pictures of themselves looking like they are living your dream life, but do not be shaken – let alone attempt to join them. Just stick to your plan – and there is always a “next year” for you to do more and have more. Accept that this year is just not that year – and focus on being safe, being genuinely happy and being organized. Remember, December is just another month of the year – and not everyone’s year cycle should end in December. You have eleven other months to be alive, to survive and achieve greater things. Do not let one month ruin the life you will experience with all the other months of the year you will live through. Be safe, be sane, be frugal, and be at peace.

Happy festive season!


About the author:

Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane is one of the A! Hub Writers. He became an Activator in 2019, and through Activate! Change Drivers, he underwent educational training with Programmes such as SWITCH Entrepreneurship Programme, National Mentorship Movement with Printing SA and Citizen Journalism with The University of Witwatersrand (Wits). He is a Mental Health Awareness Advocate, and to spread mental health awareness, he published three books that have been accepted by Gauteng Department of Education as of 2023, namely: The Story of MrSir (Word For The Record), Expanding The World Of Nerds, and Views and Emotions (Poetry Journal of MrSir).

Related Articles

SuperNova Castings

Sibanda and Mathe aim to bridge the gap between film and television content producers, production companies and create a sustainable direct entrance platform for local emerging film and television practitioners.