Let’s face it, it’s holiday season and many of us are not thinking straight. We just may lose it if we have to sit in another traffic jam, if our phone goes on the fritz or the toilet overflows. Our nerves are frayed with last minute obligatory gift shopping, overspending on a holiday vacation, kids who aren’t showing up, parents who are…there’s too much stuff to do and not enough time. And some of the thoughts racing through our cluttered brains are best left unsaid. Let’s try to emerge in January not having to add yet another resolution to our year ahead.
Here’s what I’ve deemed as what not to say or think positive practices to avoid holiday meltdown and strategies to not piss off the family, friends or kids either.
- Avoid Food Pushers. Do not snap at your host or hostess when they shove the cheese log wrapped in figs that looks like dog poop at you. “Ah come-on, this is the best! Just try it. It’s my mother’s favorite recipe and I spent hours making it.” Just smile, take a bit. Hey what do you think that cocktail napkin is for.
- Avoid responding to transparent B.S. compliments. Just say thank you, look sincere and don’t wince. Chances are the person doesn’t believe what they are complimenting you about, they’re just making endearing small talk. They don’t really love your shoes, and you don’t look that great, I mean how could you, you haven’t slept in weeks and have been eating cookies and drinking too much all month.
- Avoid broken record syndrome when reminding your kids who are all at their in-laws that you are missing them. Just tell the kids you are happy they are happy and say it once. Pretend you mean it and don’t sulk. Chin up, you are an adult. Hey, it’s normal, just part of life. You know they love you, they just CHOOSE not to be with you. All your friends will tell you, “Hey , it happens, you guys are so tight, it’s life, don’t worry, they will be back next year” That’s usually after they share their family vacation plan of hanging in the Caribbean with all THEIR kids.
- Avoid wishing you really celebrated Christmas so you could get your kids to show up. This is not the time to start thinking about converting.
- Avoid Holiday Gift Honesty, the truth will NOT set you free. Make sure to tell the giver how much you love, appreciate and/or are grateful for the gift they got you. Of course you saw that scarf at the same sample sale and you didn’t get it for yourself because it was well….but that’s OK, now it’s yours when your dear friend gifts it to you exclaiming, “This reminded me of you.” OMG.
- Don’t take it out on the dog. It’s not her fault you came home late and missed her walk and peed on the rug. Nonetheless, this is no time to feel guilty about not having enough time for your dog, you are busy racing around bringing cheer to everyone else, besides that’s her favorite place to pee, she enjoyed it.
- Do not covet others’ holiday cards. You just opened the 15th most gorgeous holiday card ever and the truth is you loved it, loved reading the year in review, seeing their whole glowing family on vacation together. The truth is you were going to send a holiday card but thank goodness you didn’t convert (see #4), because you really have an excuse. You don’t send holiday cards…remember!
- Don’t even think about throwing your $150 jeans away during the holiday season just because they won’t zip up. The truth is your waist is expanding and your butt is widening. No, the dryer wasn’t too hot, the jeans are just tighter than last month. Hang on 2 more weeks and you can begin your shedding. You loved those jeans and they cost a fortune!
- This is no time to torture yourself about giving up alcohol. Of course you feel groggy every morning, everyone does. And you don’t make sense after 9 pm but it doesn’t matter because no one is listening to you anyway.
Just remember, holiday time is temporary, that’s why they invented January and Netflix. You get to stay home, binge shows and drink hot water and lemon, hang in there.
Enjoy this holiday season, laugh, hug your friends, parents and pets and your spouse too, and don’t be tough on yourself, there’s time for that later.
Wishing you a great holiday season,