Whether you love it, hate it or are completely indifferent, one thing is for certain, the holiday season is upon us.
Is this the most wonderful time of your year?
Do you tend to embrace it or do you want to escape it?
Brooke (60-Something Baby Boomer):
Holiday dazed? I am holiday blasé. Why am I so free of holiday angst? I’m not dazed, I’m not crazed, and I am not even fazed! I used to experience the all too common stress, even depression as Christmas approached. Where before, I decried the early onslaught of Christmas carols on the radio, I’m now singing duets with Johnny Mathis and Burl Ives. I’m picking out harmony to “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” The solution to an anxiety free holiday season is simple: retire and move to where the sun is always shining.
Oh. Sorry. No can do? Well, I can’t help you then. Ah, well. It is Christmas after all, so I’ve decided to share a few ideas that just might ease your pain.
- Do not, repeat, DO NOT go out on Black Friday. I don’t care if they’re handing out Krugerrands at the doors of Wal-Mart. Honestly, I would rather shave my legs with a chainsaw than venture out with the great unwashed on the day after Thanksgiving.
- Skip the Christmas cards this year. But do so at your own risk if you’re my friend. I’ve been sending cards my whole adult life. I wonder if the non-senders feel guilty accepting all the warm wishes and joyous greetings while doling out none of their own. These are the same people who steal food from the office lunch room fridge. On the subject of cards – if you are one of the kind and caring souls who send – write something! Just a few words, for God’s sake, it won’t kill you! A card with just your name (or worse, your pre-printed name) says, “Hey! You’re special! I licked an envelope just for you!” And if you do picture cards and no message, you may as well add “Aren’t we pretty?” below the photo. In case there’s any question, I do not count Christmas letters as sending a message. Frankly, I’m surprised anyone does letters since for eons they have been a universally accepted holiday joke, like ugly sweaters. But I digress! Back to Helpful Holiday Hint . . .
- Don’t go on a diet in the months of November and December. This is an undertaking reserved only for the staunchest of masochists. Trying to lose weight during the holiday season is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I promise you will end up stressed, angry enough to kick over the nearest nativity display and ten pounds heavier. Just go with it and float through till January fat, dumb and happy.
So, if you can’t retire and move to your own private paradise, just breathe. Hug a reindeer. Get drunk making rum balls. Blast the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Holiday album. And have yourselves a merry little Christmas.
Amanda (30-Something Millennial):
Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday – it’s all the eating without the pressure of gifting. As soon as the leftovers are put in the fridge, people start running around frantically searching for something for everyone on their “nice list.” I typically cringe at the pressure of finding the perfect gift for my lucky family and friends. This year is going to be different though, I have decided to embrace the present part of Christmas with open arms – for myself. I haven’t completely forgotten that it’s better to give rather than to receive; however, I find myself taking advantage of all the deals and gifting myself more than usual. My Amazon Prime membership pays for itself with the items I have shipped this month. I have a standing daily date with the UPS man. I’ve even been sucked into “steals & deals” on Good Morning America. Everyday there’s a new offer to redeem: 50% off at J Crew, 60% off at Old Navy, free express shipping, bonus gifts with purchase…I can’t stop!
But is it really that wrong? The holidays can run us ragged with the decorating, gift wrapping, partying and family visits, so don’t forget to stop and take some time for yourself. Maybe you don’t need to buy yourself a gift (that will never make it under the tree) but take some time to eat the cookies without guilt (if you’re making the cookies, live it up and eat the cookie dough!), drink all the ‘nog and soak in the holidays. Money can’t buy those moments, but your new threads that you scored on Black Friday will make sure that you’re looking good in the social media pics and will carry you into the new year in style.
Lindsay (Fabulous Forties):
Turkey Day is officially over but my tryptophan coma lives on. I love turkey because it is the only protein I manage to consume to off-set my entire plate of carbs. I carb load like I’m about to run a marathon. Small tidbit about me . . . I NEVER RUN (except to the liquor store), does that count?
Our family has started a new tradition this year and I think it is one that may begin to sweep the nation. Our recipe for a fun Thanksgiving: PJ Party. Yep, that’s right, while everyone else is getting dressed up to sit around the table with their fine china, my family gets together on Thanksgiving in our PJs.
We do shower (we’re not animals), but then we put on fresh PJs so we can relax and eat the day away. We also invite friends over after dinner and, yes, they are held to our very strict dress code as well. No PJs? No Party. Do you see the wisdom? There is a method to our madness, we can eat and drink until our hearts (and bellies) are content without ever having to attempt that sneaky move of trying to unbutton our pants without anybody noticing. Spoiler Alert: Everybody notices! And, as a bonus, we can then pass out anywhere and look like we were sober enough to get ready for bed. It’s genius!
Christmas, on the other hand, is not one of my faves. It’s expensive and exhausting and I absolutely despise wrapping gifts. I know many of you love the idea of being creative and can magically turn a burlap sack and some macaroni into a stunning, display-worthy masterpiece, but not this girl. I would much prefer to skip the body-aching chore of wrapping dozens of gifts, especially since they will then get ripped open faster than a shopper on black Friday lunging for the one remaining Hatchimal in the clearance bin.
Now that the kids in my life are getting older, I am going to start giving gift cards. I can already anticipate Brooke giving me grief, especially after reading her tirade about Christmas Cards. Well, Brooke, you may be horrified to learn that I have never sent a Christmas card, ever. Oh, I’ve thought about it, I mean, I am an adult. I once even started to make a Christmas Card list but then decided I was not going to start something I knew I would end up failing at miserably. What if I forget someone? What if I don’t have time to be creative or worse, thought I was creative and ended up sending a really stupid card? It’s too much pressure. Brooke will, of course, shame me for not sending a card, or she will shame me for sending a stupid card, so why take on the extra work? Brooke is, after all, the Queen of the Awesome Christmas Cards, and she will be relieved to know that her reign is safe around me.
So, this holiday season, if you happen to find yourself humming a holiday tune while writing out your Christmas cards, I suggest you roll your eyes at yourself, put on your PJs and eat, drink and be merry!
Karen (F’ing Fifties):
I have a love-hate relationship with this time of year.
Pros: Cookies, Carols and Cocktails, Oh My!
Cons: Cookies, Carols and Cocktails, Oh My!
I embrace the holiday season but only for a limited time. Why am I forced to listen to Christmas Carols while grocery shopping in October? Why do holiday decorations have to be prominently displayed immediately following Halloween? Why can’t I wait until I polish off all of my leftover Halloween candy before I have to start “eating the fridge” to make room for our annual Thanksgiving Day feast? Food for thought? Food for Fuel? Nope, just food for food, OMG, ALL OF THE FOOD!
Andy Williams did his best to convince us that “It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you to be of good cheer. . .” I guess Andy never went to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving or battled crazed shoppers on Black Friday and he clearly never spent time at the hap-hap-happiest place of all: the airport during the holidays!
Why the rush? Why can’t we take time to enjoy Devil’s Night or Give Thanks before we jump into Christmas? And, might I ask, where is Hanukkah Harry during all of this? Did he draw the short straw again?
I want to take time to stop and smell the rosé, spin the dreidel, watch 24 hours of A Christmas Story (with my dog, in matching pajamas) and listen to holiday music, but not until after Thanksgiving. Once December rolls around, all it takes is several dozen of my Mom’s famous Christmas cookies and a little Elvis Presley, Mariah Carey or Run DMC to get me into the holiday spirit(s). And, if singing along to Nick & Jessica’s version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” is wrong, I don’t want to be right. No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop myself from replacing Jessica in her portion of this holiday duet by belting out the catchy, albeit disturbing, (NO MEANS NO) lyrics . . . Every. Single. Time.
Speaking of time, Ho, Ho, Holy S**t, Christmas is right around the corner, guess I better go online to create, sign and send my holiday cards. Got a problem with that Brooke? Come at me. I double-dog dare ya!
DON’T HO-HO-HOLD BACK, WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
How do you feel about the holiday season?
Do you embrace it or want to escape it?
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