The stress and strain of the Christmas season is upon us. Like it or not, commercials have started to appear on television and businesses are lining up to make sure you purchase the best gift possible, or provide the tastiest meal and treats as the holidays unfold.
Finances can be stretched nearly to the braking point as families and parents try to keep everone happy - sometimes at the cost of boatloads of stress and buckets of money.
Knox St. Paul's United Church is offering Cornwall and area residents a way to cope with the stress in an innovative way that doesn't necessarily include a preachy message.
"It gives us a chance to laugh at ourselves a bit," said Rev. Donald Wachenschwanz of the church's Black Friday reflective service, which takes place Nov. 23. at 7 p.m.
Kim Baird, one of the organizers of the event, said the holiday stresses are already mounting for people.
"They've already started advertising for the perfect Christmas," she said of big business. "There are so many expectations."
Wachenschwanz said the effort is not to attack businesses, but rather make life easier for consumers.
"We're not going to change the business world, but maybe we can change ourselves," he said. "Many peope are telling us it's getting out of hand."
The service will include some readings and discussions on how to prepare for the holidays and maintain a stress-free environment. It is open to the public, regardless of faith background.
For more information contact Knox St. Paul's at 613-938-3704.