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.
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!
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.
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.