The Bear Season 2 Proves Cooking Christmas Dinner Is More Stressful Than Any Restaurant

Contains spoilers for "The Bear," Season 2, Episode 6

Without a doubt, working in a restaurant is high-pressure and stressful. If there's anything more stressful out there, it just might be cooking a holiday dinner for extended family. After all, racing to prepare multiple dishes in a chaotic kitchen is overwhelming. When you add family dynamics, tensions may reach a boiling point.

As "The Bear" Season 2 Episode 6 demonstrated, this process can also be stressful for seasoned pros like Carmy. Even his top-notch culinary training didn't fully prepare him to follow his mother's exacting instructions as well as the classic 'too many cooks' present at many large family holiday meals. This isn't the classic Hallmark holiday — the kitchen is a mess, and tomato is splashed all over the microwave. But that messiness is part of life.

Every family has their traditions. For the Berzatto family, it's The Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. It's an Italian American custom that involves seven types of fish prepared in seven ways and came about because Roman Catholics classically avoid eating red meat around Christmas time. Carmy's mother Donna Berzatto (Jamie Lee Curtis) claims it represents the seven best things immigrants brought when they left their old country for a new beginning. Others had different interpretations. One meaning that rings especially true is that the point of this tradition may be the time spent preparing such an elaborate meal as well as the time spent with those who sit down to eat it.

The homemade Sprite isn't the only thing bottled up

In the noise and chaos, emotions run high and people sometimes say things they kept bottled up for years. While there are moments of unbearable tension in this episode of "The Bear," there are also moments of unexpected tenderness like when Carmy made homemade Sprite for cousin Richie's pregnant wife. The whole family was surprised that he could make Sprite, but this simple three-ingredient drink is a cinch for those in food service. And really, that moment is so relatable since who hasn't had to improvise in the kitchen during the holidays? As much as you plan, there is always something missing, whether it's a simple soda or a crucial ingredient.

The holidays are a time when family and friends come together. It's often messy and stressful, but at the end of the day, this time spent with loved ones is precious. It also reminds us to be mindful of each other's space. Every family has those people who insist on hovering and helping even when help isn't wanted as well as those who are blissfully unaware of fighting going on in the very same room. Whether it's that person who insists on double dipping without consent (yuck!) or the one who brings an inappropriate tuna casserole to a seven-fish feast, the holidays often expose quirks and our worst side. Still, when you look beyond tension and chaos, you may see something else: love.