I’ve never been one for holidays. Sure, I think Christmas lights are pretty, I enjoy giving gifts, and think it’s important to spend time with the people I care about. However, it would be so much more delightful if it wasn’t forced, planned and stressed over.
The Holidays make me cringe every November when the Christmas music comes on in shopping malls and the red Starbucks cups make their first appearance. It doesn’t help that I was born three days before Christmas, meaning I have an entire week where I feel pressure to spend as much time with other people as possible, solely because that’s just “the thing to do.” Some years I don’t even want gifts. I would rather just sit at home and eat pizza while watching a movie that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Bah Humbug!
So, how do I survive the holidays? Here are a few tips that will ensure a less stressful season.
Avoid Black Friday
It’s 2012. You can buy anything online for a great deal. Why torture yourself by entering a store full of people, get shoved around, and fight for the last discount TV? People have died from this, pregnant woman have been pushed over, and I’m sure people have lost limbs at some point in time. This makes no sense to me. Why are these people still going to stores on the busiest day of the year when they can buy this stuff on the internet? Now that I think about it, don’t just avoid malls and shopping centers on Black Friday- avoid them through January.
Why should everyone spend hundreds of dollars when they don’t have to? Instead of buying a present or three for each and every person in the family, suggest drawing names from a hat. Buy one nice thing. I always have bags full of presents from my family when I come home from holiday events, and it can be overkill. Let your family or friends know that you’d rather spend time with them than get a bunch of stuff you don’t even need. It relieves pressure for everyone.
Stop Eating Crap
My family loves to bake. Chocolates, caramels, cakes, pies. You name it… they bake it. While these sweets might look tempting, it makes you feel like garbage. Garbage makes you feel depressed. Stop binging on sugar and opt for the vegetables. Avoid cooking this stuff yourself. Some of the best holidays I have had were ones I don’t even remember eating. I kept busy by helping in the kitchen and organizing everything with my family. Now that I mentioned cooking…
Get Take-Out and Wear Pajamas
Cooking is half the battle of the holiday season. People run around like chickens with their heads cut off just trying to make sure the meat sits in the oven long enough and there is enough potatoes for everyone. Just stop. If this is a pain that causes you stress, get take-out. Order a pre-cooked turkey. You can get sides, too. Better yet, order Thai. I also get annoyed with dressing up for Christmas. I always wear a skirt or something festive and then run around the house uncomfortable. I suggest everyone wear the most comfortable clothes possible this season. Hell, wear a onesie. It will be awesome.
Go on Vacation
Skip the holidays all together. Of course you can still send cards and gifts if you so desire, but the #1 way to avoid holiday stress is by treating yourself to a getaway that has nothing to do with tradition. Go somewhere warm and enjoy your time off. I highly suggest everyone do this once. Forget a white Christmas- go for one on the beach.
Happy Holidays… and good luck!