How To Avoid Getting Stressed Out That You’re Going To Totally Blow It AGAIN This Holiday Season

November 26, 2012


The holidays – meant to be joyous and festive – can often turn stressful, despite our best intentions.  Fortunately, there are a few simple tips for keeping things fun and stress-free this holiday season.

It can be easy to get swept up in to spending too much during the holidays.  The trick is to budget: Determine how much you love each person on your list and spend that much.  $ = Love.

Ideally a game where you shoot things.

If you’re having a large family gathering at your home, minimize your anxiety over family tensions by having a game or maybe some “pre-set” topics of conversation, or by hiding in the garage all evening, wrapped in a blanket, with a bottle of wine and a video game.

If you celebrate Christmas, avoid patting people on the head and saying, “Aw, that sounds swell” to people who celebrate other winter holidays.

Worried about calories this holiday season?  Boy, that’s too bad.

Holiday shopping can be exhausting and stressful, especially at the crowded shopping malls.  Reduce your stress by shopping with a friend.  Like, maybe… Janice?  Janet?  No, Janice.  You know… good old Janice… The one with the curly hair?  And the, uh, ahem, the Handicap Parking sticker?  I wonder what good old Janice is up to?  You two should catch up!  Perhaps do a little shopping!

Oh, look at the nice shirt Andrew wore, instead of a holiday sweater. Isn’t that nice. Thanks for the reminder, Andrew…

Avoid big problems by planning for dietary needs.  Got someone who’s lactose-intolerant?  Take a moment to eat cheese and pie and cream soup in front of them saying, “Mmmmmmm; you can’t eat this. Don’t forget. Mmmmmmmm.”  Got a vegan?  Be sure to have sack of, I don’t know, oats?  Beets?  Just be sure to take a moment to let them know that you’re all so impressed.

Make holiday shopping a breeze!  Get everyone on your list a copy of “How To Learn Portuguese in 10 Days!”  When they open it, say “What the hell?  That’s not what I got you!  Those idiots at that store where I bought this!  Well, go ahead and exchange it for whatever you want.”

Putting up Christmas lights can be surprisingly frustrating.  Before you open that box of old lights, take a deep breath, remind yourself it’s all about joy, and set fire to the box on the front lawn.

Clearly, Christmas is on the brink of disappearing forever.

When people get all freaky about THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS and look at you furiously and icily say, “Merry Christmas.  And I mean, Merry Christmas” just daring you to reply “happy holidays,” it can be tempting to roll your eyes and sock them in the nose.  But… so… probably… don’t…?

Consider moving somewhere where they don’t do any of this stuff.  Somewhere tropical, maybe, where their holidays revolve around booze and dancing and nudity.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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90 Comments on “How To Avoid Getting Stressed Out That You’re Going To Totally Blow It AGAIN This Holiday Season”

  1. Tori Nelson Says:

    I was horrified to find that my family figured out my years-old hiding spot in the garage. I’ve had to move my blanket and box of wine to a closet in the stuffy attic. I don’t think they’ll find me but I also might pass out up there.


  2. 1pointperspective Says:

    Surgeon General’s Warning: Dancing while drunk and nude in the proximity of overly decorated Christmas trees and crackling fires may be hazardous to your health. Such behavior may also result in the permanent scarring of children’s minds.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Oh, you alarmists. There’s been absolutely no evidence that seeing drunk, naked adults in the midst of crazed bacchanalia has any impact on kids whatsoever.


      • 1pointperspective Says:

        I still remember that cold December night. I sat in the back seat of the Fairlane, keeping Uncle Irv company as my Dad, drunk from too many rum toddies, sped through town toward the emergency room. Uncle Irv, looking pale with the overcoat thrown across him, his pasty legs sticking out with a pair of my old man’s galoshes on his feet.

        Things in the ER weren’t much better as Dad and Uncle Irv tried to explain to the doctors and nurses how he’d lost his balance and gotten the angel from the top of the tree stuck in a most delicate area, or how his resultant thrashing had managed to add tinsel to an already delicate surgical challenge.

        I finished therapy just a few years ago. Even with all my progress, the first few notes of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas still make me break out into a cold sweat.


  3. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Oh nothing screams Happy Birthday Jesus more than a good ole fashioned Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays cage fight. Let the games begin….


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It really does sound like a parody of alarmist manipulation, doesn’t it? There’s a war on Christmas! No… no, there’s really not. Christmas won.


      • Paul G. Eberlein Says:

        Of course Christmas won! “Black Friday,” “Cyber Monday,” “Cyber Week,” etc. are proof positive of that…I await to see what other lame, idiotic names the retail industry comes up with to make us spend the last of our money so that we start the New Year flat broke.


  4. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    Absolutely marvelous those ideas ..infact i don’t cook or decorate and when the guests arrive i tell them how great it Will be if we bond over cooking and decorating and while they get busy i slip out for a movie.


  5. Eagle-Eyed Editor Says:

    If stress level rises too high, self-medicate with lots of chocolate while singing “I Want A Hippotamus for Christmas”. Repeat as needed.


  6. speaker7 Says:

    I’m irate that you used “holiday season” in the post’s title. It’s Christmas, man. Christmas! Don’t you realize an angel loses its wings every time you say “happy holidays?” Now I’m going to have go punch a reindeer in the face to get out my aggression.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      HAHAHAHAHAAAAA! Any day now Christmas and Jesus and Christianity will be COMPLETELY ERASED!

      What was really disturbing was when I did a google image search for it. Lots and lots and lots of insanely paranoid people out their.


  7. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Aw! I’m feeling the spirit now! And I’m smelling FP here…Merry Christmas, B! Happy Festivus! Go on, hit me! I double dog dare ya.


  8. Go Jules Go Says:

    I like this post at least $8.50. Enough for some broccoli-cheese soup and a cappuccino at Panera, which I will enjoy in front of Renzzz whilst refusing to wish her anything but Merry Christmas.

    I’m with DP on the FP!

    P.S. – I’ve actually met two people who use handicap parking tags but are, in fact, quite able-bodied. And I’m pretty sure every time they use it an elf slams his hammer on his thumb.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      IMHO, I’m OK with you being with DP on the FP. Hopefully WP will do so ASAP.

      I’ve met a few people who exploit the handicapped tags. I’m always surprised people who are handicapped don’t track them down and hobble them.


  9. mistyslaws Says:

    Tell me more about this closet with the booze and killing games. I may need to create this safe haven. Did I mention that my entire family comes over for Xmas eve, demanding food and drinks? This includes my mother and brother. They are best not to be discussed, but let me tell you . . . much booze and hiding is needed. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Well, if it’s your house, just say you’re all playing a game. It’s called “Call of Duty.” “Here’s your game controller. BOOM! I just shot you. Who’s next? Hi, uncle Jimmy. BLAM-O! Dead. Next?”


  10. Curly Carly Says:

    My family just decided that instead of doing our traditional secret Santa gift exchange, everyone will buy themselves something nice and show it off Christmas morning. This should be the best Christmas ever.


  11. Liz Says:

    I particularly like inviting family to gun shooting games. That’s got to be a classic. 🙂


  12. becomingcliche Says:

    Wait. Now my family knows where to look for me. I need a new hiding place. Thanks for that!


  13. Catherine Johnson Says:

    I love your Portuguese book idea, that’s so funny! And it’s only been last year that I really didn’t know what to do about Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays online. I vow this year to stick to Merry Christmas or nothing at all.


  14. April Says:

    “Consider moving somewhere where they don’t do any of this stuff. Somewhere tropical, maybe, where their holidays revolve around booze and dancing and nudity.”
    Why do you think I decided not to come home for Christmas from Ecuador this year? Feliz Navidad!


  15. spilledinkguy Says:

    Wait… holiday season? What… time… is… it?!
    Nog was a bad choice…


  16. Lorna's Voice Says:

    I’ve seriously considered your last tip. “Somewhere” is a great place to to move. We’ll just leave in at that–no further details necessary… 😉


  17. musingsoftheamusingmuse Says:

    HA! My mother in law did all she could to eliminate gluten from the meal but there were a couple things that I couldn’t have and my husband, eating the stuffing, looked over at me and said, “Mmmmm delicious, forbidden gluten!” His mother yelled at him. I laughed. 😉


  18. Lori Lipsky Says:

    I’ll have to get my daughter a shirt like Andrew’s so she can spread the vegan joy when we go to Grandma’s for the big turkey dinner.


  19. Don't Quote Lily Says:

    Puerto Rico is tropical, full of booze and lots of dancing…and nudity’s optional…so wow, am I smart or what to be spending the holidays there. 😉


  20. Michelle Gillies Says:

    You almost got me down to a T here, “hiding in the garage all evening, wrapped in a blanket, with a bottle of wine and a video game”, just substitute the bottle of wine with a bottle of scotch and I am all set.


  21. Carol Dunnigan Says:

    Good read! lol MERRY Christmas to you! 🙂


  22. pegoleg Says:

    ..but Christmas DOES revolve around booze and dancing and nudity. We just do all that indoors because it’s 20 below zero outside.


  23. Elyse Says:

    I have a vegan vegetarian bird-lover of a sister-in-law who spends Thanksgiving at my house, so thank you for the T-shirt idea: Vegan, because my body is not a graveyard. (Of course it looks like it was hauled out of one)…..


  24. winopants Says:

    Doom! Hahah, love it. I think the kids have some games that are about 100 times as graphically violent these days though


  25. Jackie Cangro Says:

    “…hiding in the garage all evening, wrapped in a blanket, with a bottle of wine and a video game”
    Hey, did you have some kind of spy at my house during last year’s holiday gathering?
    One mistake though: that wasn’t the garage, it was the laundry room. That’s where I get banished. I think they’re already setting up the aerobed.


  26. Learning the hard way Says:

    The beauty of the fractured family is you can tell each of the disparate groups that you are spending Christmas day with the other and really just stay home eating anything but turkey (anyone who has done high protein/low fat diets will understand how eating more turkey is just not that appealing) and watching Game of Thrones. Merry Christmas, Khaleesi 🙂


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      How great would a Game Of Thrones Christmas Special be? They could do it “Christmas Carol” style with three ghosts visiting King Joffrey. Then at the end they beat the crap out of him.


      • Learning the hard way Says:

        Well, that’s just plain inspired! I’d add LOL but I can’t bring myself to use it *chuckles heartily with snort* 😁


  27. renée a. schuls-jacobson Says:

    I swear it’s posts like this that make me grateful I’m Jewish. We just need a little oil some candles. Done. You should see my clean up. Finished in 25 seconds. So awesome.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I think the worst thing about being Jewish this time of year would be all the people trying to appear culturally sensitive by talking about how Hanukkah is THE BIGGEST JEWISH HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR!


      • renée a. schuls-jacobson Says:

        Most people where I live know Hanukkah doesn’t hold a candle to some of our other holidays.

        (Did you see what I did there? With the candle?)

        No the worst part is getting inappropriate gifts: like Christmas sweaters. That could actually be a funny post. 😉


  28. UndercoverL Says:

    Wait a minute… I don’t live in the tropics and wind up nude and drunk everywhere, all the time. Huh?


  29. genkiduck Says:

    Love the Portuguese book (mistake) idea. Next time I’m tempted to buy someone a gift card I’m definitely going this route instead. I’m in Japan, though, where Christmas is date night and people celebrate by eating KFC and strawberry shortcake, and all I want for Christmas is a box of pop tarts in the mail (O_o)


    • Paul G. Eberlein Says:

      Date night, KFC and strawberry shortcake for Christmas? Well, I guess 127,368,088 (July 2011 est.) Japanese can’t be wrong…


  30. Valentine Logar Says:

    More perfect rules. I will be sharing these.


  31. brayke84 Says:

    My family got smart a couple years ago and we all started making Amazon gift lists. Except my dad is still no good at it and puts stuff in his shopping basket like a Bass Pro Shop $15 gift cards and raccoon traps. Neither of which we have ever seen him use. And we have been going to the same Chinese food restaurant on Christmas Eve for so long we think they keep it open especially for us since we are always the ONLY ones in there.


  32. Angie Z. Says:

    Don’t forget you can’t spell Merry Christmas without Christ…and, um, also his little known siblings Mer, Ry and Mas. Take that!


  33. Eireen Says:

    I would love to receive “Learn Portuguese in 10 days”. I wouldn’t exchange it with anything else! Seriously.


  34. Love and Lunchmeat Says:

    I think we should go back to pagan times, all the liquor, none of the holiday shopping. Also, the only vegans were people with no teeth. So they probably weren’t bragging about it.



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