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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Holiday Survival Tactics

Right now, you could probably knit a sweater from the dog fur cozying up in the corners, my tree has lights but no ornaments, and the other night I actually offered a friend a teaspoon of peanut butter to go with her cup of tea. But that is how it should be; she laughingly declined the peanut butter, we found some leftover fudge, and spent the rest of the evening chatting about who knows what.

As organized as I feel in November, it all seems to go to custard in December. I start to worry that I don’t have enough presents, and I am sure my bank has made a mistake with my balance, yet I still find myself wandering the supermarket looking for imported chocolates and fascinated by cinnamon sweet rolls that pop out of a can (I don’t even care how they taste, there is so much happiness to be had from twisting a can until it pops open – a little like a jack-in-a-box without the nightmare-inducing clown).

After a week of eating too much leftover fudge and gazing fondly at the joyful pop-up cans, my Christmas crazy is officially over. Today I plan to decorate the tree with my daughter, and sort through the shopping bags that are starting to get drooled on by the dog; he has resisted so far, but I know that given a few hours by himself, and an accidental open door, he will be very happy to tear into the chocolate and investigate what I have bought.

I really intended to write about holiday decorating ideas this week, but there is so much information out there already, and mine tend to be more of the homemade variety, that I decided to share a few of my holiday survival tactics instead. Have a happy (and relatively) clean entrance to you home  Whether you are coming home from work or shopping, welcoming a friend, or whatever else you do, the last thing you want is to stumble over the front step into a mess. Keeping it tidy will make everything else better. I actually had this happen to me the other day. Our front door opens straight into the living room, and the coat closet is right there. I was running out the house, and couldn’t find the boots I wanted, so I literally flung the one’s I didn’t want to wear out of the closet onto the floor, left the closet door open, and walked out of the house. It seems so minor, but coming home to boots all over the floor (and cat poop in the closet) almost put me in tears at the end of a very long day. Take care of yourself  This sounds so airy-fairy, but even if we love the holidays, most of us find this time of year a wee bit emotional and stressful, so don’t forget to schedule something nice for yourself. It can be as extravagant as a vacation, or as simple as spending a few hours with a friend, watching a movie or taking a nap, but don’t forget. If we’re rested and cared for, it makes us (and the world) a whole lot nicer, and, if we are exhausted and cranky, we are no good to anyone.

Be prepared (especially when you don’t want to be) Even if the word organized makes you break out in hives, this is the time to do it. Make the season easy on yourself, and pick up a box of your favorite sweets from the supermarket, or keep a roll of cookie dough in the freezer (whether you are expecting company, or are going to visit someone, just slice up a few cookies and they will be done in fifteen minutes. p.s. In case of an emergency, make up a couple just for yourself). Being a tiny bit prepared stops the last minute panic when you are visiting (or being visited) but far too exhausted to face the supermarket chaos.

Like many people, I have a bit of a complicated relationship with Christmas, but I do know that if your family and friends really love you, they will take you as you are, and happily accept (or decline) to share your teaspoon of peanut butter …..

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