Fantabulous author of the fun and critically acclaimed Divorced, Desperate and Delicious, Christie Craig, shares with us her tips for coping during the holiday season. Print it out and store it with your decorations so you can follow it next year (yes, I’m a little slow getting this up – yikes – I’m amazed I’m not insane. Oh. Wait…)
Decorate that tree, and pray the cat doesnâ€™t chew on the cord. Get that shopping done, and find that perfect gift for people who already have two of everything plus the kitchen sink, wrap those gifts and make them Martha Stewart prettyâ€”never mind that you are wrapping impairedâ€”cook that gourmet dinner that takes five hours to prepare and everyone 20 minutes to eat. Attend that party, never mind you feel fat in your holiday attire, and would love to just stay home and watch Itâ€™s a Wonderful Life. Letâ€™s face it, the holidays are filled with hurry up to-do lists, headache producing events, and moments that make you want to kick Santaâ€™s butt and blow the bulb in Rudolphâ€™s nose.
Because I share your holiday pain, Iâ€™ve decided to share my list of twelve tips that can help you have a merrier, less stressful holiday.
12 tips for Having a Happier, Merrier Holiday
1. Go sit on Santaâ€™s lap. Thatâ€™s right. Tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Hey . . . he might be a gorgeous hunk under that beard, and even if heâ€™s not, it might rekindle your belief in the magic of Christmas. And while you are there, have your picture taken. My family and I have our pictures taken with Santa every year.
2. Buy a jigsaw puzzle and put it out on a card table. You might be amazed how many people will enjoy sitting down and finding a piece of puzzle, especially this time of year. This also allows you and family a moment to slow down long enough to share a smile and a less stressful moment.
3. Go buy a small toy, something totally silly for everyone you love. You’ve probably forgotten how much fun yo-yo’ing or playing darts can be on Christmas morning.
4. Write clues on all your gifts and make everyone try to guess what the gift is before they open it. It makes opening gifts much more fun.
5. Seduce your hubby, boyfriend, or significant other. Hey . . . tisâ€™ the season to be merry. You think Santaâ€™s glow isnâ€™t related to a little holiday bliss with Mrs. Santa before he left for work?
6. Call an old friend you havenâ€™t heard from in a while. While we shouldnâ€™t need a reason to reconnect with old friends, sometimes life just gets too busy. So this season, slow down long enough to say “Merry Christmas!” to some you havenâ€™t seen in ages.
7. Become someoneâ€™s Secret Santa. Do you know someone who could use a little extra cheer? Send them a small gift in the mail and donâ€™t sign it. Just say you are their Secret Santa and want to let them know they are special. A small act of kindness can bring someone a large amount of joy.
8. Find a completely different recipe to cook. While we love our old family favorites, go a little wild in the kitchen and prepare something completely different. Who knows? You might be creating another holiday favorite for your family. (Or providing them a funny story to laugh about during future Christmases.)
9. Between shopping, cooking and wrapping, take a breather and spend some time with your pets. Thatâ€™s right, they deserve a little special holiday time, too. And remember, spending time petting an animal can lower your blood pressure and be a win-win de-stresser for you both.
10. Bring out your old holiday images of you and your family. If you have older children, they will love reminiscing about their childhood holidays. After all, holidays memories from the past can warm your heart and bring you holiday joy.
11. Give yourself a Christmas present and slow down long enough to read a book. May I suggest, Divorced, Desperate and Delicious? Or maybe you might enjoy what Iâ€™m reading this holiday, The Salt Maiden by Colleen Thompson
12. Get into the mood by belting out a few Christmas tunes. Thatâ€™s right, singing is a good stress releaser. So go ahead, it doesnâ€™t matter that if you canâ€™t carry tune even if it was in paper bag. A few lyrics of Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer and youâ€™ll be smiling.
How about you guys – what do you do to make it to the other side of the holidays?