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Monday, December 12, 2011

Top 5 Ways to Stay Sane During the Holidays


The span of time between mid-November and about January 5th is the WORST time of year for me. Not that I don't love it -- I do. It's just that it can be such a stressful time, what with Thanksgiving, Black Friday, my anniversary, my birthday, my daughter's birthday (which also happens to be Christmas Day, so she has three parties in the month of December! That's her at her b'day party yesterday with a chocolate goatee!), Christmas Day, New Years and all the tons of traveling we have to do.

Now, I know I'm not the only one stressed out about all the stuff going on at this time of year. I'm sure there are some of you who get to stay home, cuddle by the fire with your loved ones and watch It's a Wonderful Life on TV while you exchange a few meaningful gifts over hot cocoa. But for the rest of us, it's go time!!

So for those of us who have no choice but to run around like chickens with our heads cut off, here are my stay-sane tips for the holidays...

1) Drink....lots of alcohol! If it weren't for the booze, I'd be ripping everyone's heads off. I know, I probably sound like an alcoholic, but I promise I'm not. And I am NOT suggesting you "tie one on" every night! But just a half glass of wine or a light beer at the end of the day can really help take the edge off. Or, if you're feeling more festive, try whipping up a Mexicocoa! Click on the pic to get the recipe...


2) Go to your Happy Place...in your mind, at least. Hubby and I are taking a few days to head to the Caribbean in January. I cannot WAIT. But since I have to, I try to go there in my mind when I'm feeling stressed and annoyed with holiday shoppers who seem to have lost any semblance of human decency. I close my eyes and picture myself swaying gently in a hammock under a palm tree, with a fruity cocktail in my hand (don't worry -- it's always after noon in my visions.)

3) Blow Sh*t Up...as our own Suzie Grant would say. Not for real, silly! For pretend! Find a video game, whether for your XBox, iPhone...whatever...that will let you take your frustrations out on zombies rather than on real people. Or even just a fun game that let's you escape into another world for a bit. I, personally, have gotten hooked on Holiday Town for my iPhone/iPad.

4) Buy Presents...for yourself! I'm really big on rewarding myself for a job well done, and if I get through a trip to the mall without tackling some crazy biatch to the ground, well, I think I deserve a prize, don't you?? Nothing big. It can be as small as a gourmet candy bar (Dylan's candy bars are amazing!), a tube of lip gloss, a yummy smoothie or a pair of fuzzy socks :) Whatever you're feeling in the moment, go for it! You'll feel much better, I promise!

5) Screw It! Seriously. Sometimes, you just have to blow off the 130th holiday party and choose to stay home. There's nothing more important than your health -- both mental and physical -- so stop worrying about who you might be disappointing and just take a night off, for goodness sake! The world won't end because you missed it.

Whatever you do, have a safe and wonderful holiday season! Oh, and don't forget to leave your own tips for surviving the holidays! Leave a comment and be entered to win a prize in the Christmas Summons Prize Extravaganza!!

-Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar

30 comments:

  1. OMG, Jerrica! Too funny. Your tips are awesome. You had to know I was going to be all over number 1, sometimes the only way to deal with extended family.

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  2. Great tips. Where in the Caribbean are you going? I absolutely agree with making sure there is alcohol available.

    The holidays are pretty stress free for me these days. In the past, though, I'd always squeeze in time for a massage or lunch out with a book.

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  3. LOL, Ava! I totally knew you'd be all over #1!

    Ella, those are great tips, too! We're heading to Sandals in Exuma! I'm so excited!!

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  4. Too funny, and so true. This year I have gotten so behind on the decorating, gift buying, baking, etc. Normally this would have me in a state of stress but this year, I don't care. The tree is up and it has its own lights. We plan on decorating the tree Sat morning when 4/5 of the family is there for a short time and I am going to finish shopping. I decided this year I am not going to try and do everything I "think" makes the perfect Christmas because that only adds stress. So, last night when we were supposed to be decorating the tree, hubby and I watched some recorded feel-good Holiday movies from Hallmark and Lifetime in front of the fireplace. (I did get the living room decorated) It was a perfect night.

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  5. Love the picture of Bella! And I love the idea of drinking through the holidays. That's why they invented eggnog, silly!

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  6. Great tips, Jerrica!! I especially love the buy something for yourself suggestion!!! :) I always end up doing that (hehe).

    I would say that my ways to stay sane would be : 1)sponsor a local child for Christmas- those programs where you can be their Christmas Angel and buy them Christmas gifts. Its a lot of fun and keeps your focus on what the real meaning of the season is about :) 2)Don't exchange presents with your closest family members, and instead, plan a date where you all meet up for dinner at a nice restaurant and share a meal (after Christmas- in the late winter, or early spring- its a great way to see everyone in addition to just weddings, funerals, and major holidays) We've been doing this for a few years now, and its been a lot of fun. I never saw my cousins from Christmas till Easter, and now I do! 3) Make home-made gifts. It takes the stress out of shopping and everyone loves some home-made fudge, or jewelry, or a nice ornament!

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  7. ROFL! Blow some sh*t up!!!!! Yeah! I love it! My favorite past time no matter the time of year. I highly recommend Gears of War or Halo both are awesome! Of course by the 20th of this month I'll have a new favorite. Star Wars the Old Republic. I know Eric will be all over it, am I right, Jerrica? It looks phenomenal.

    Love these tips number 3 is probably why I'm so mellow right now. Gaming does wonders for stress.

    Btw, there's my favorite little ballerina and she's adorable! What a pretty princess she is - just like her momma. So cute. Love the blog!

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  8. To survive the holidays I think it's important to make a list, and if you're getting presents to research it and to remember to have fun! Relax, make memories and enjoy your time with family and loved ones. Happy Holidays!

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  9. omigosh! thanks for the the laugh and the survival tips -- much needed. But mostly, thanks for the fab recipe! Cocoa and tequila? I'm so there!

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  10. Great Tips, #1 tip is my favorite during the holidays :)

    reginamayross@gmail.com

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  11. Jane, that does sound like a perfect night! I've been late on everything this year too, and have been subscribing heavily to tips #1 and #5. LOL!

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  12. Aw, thanks, Lilia! And great point about the 'nog! Yum!

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  13. Amy, those are great suggestions! Eric and I sponsor two children year-round, but I do love to pick an Angel off the tree at the mall too :) My whole family used to deliver presents for Angel Tree when I was a kid...it was an amazing experience!

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  14. Aw, thanks, Suzie! She's becoming such a little princess :) And I don't think we even knew about Star Wars...we're not too much into SW, but Warcraft is a whole 'nother story! We lean more toward fantasy than sci-fi :)

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  15. Na S, YES! Lists!! I must have them or nothing gets done...ever. LOL!

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  16. Jennifer, right??? A match made in heaven, I'd say!

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  17. I love this!!!!! #1 and #5 are my favs. Although I *did* get a different meaning from #5 at first. hee!

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  18. OMG, Marquita! I thought about that too...and hey, if it works. LMAO!

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  19. Ha! I didn't even go there, Marquita--but now I'm firmly in favor of your take on number 5! Hee hee.

    Fun tips, Jerrica! I just got a delivery that personified number 4. It is so fabulous and one of a kind! I'm going to keep it a secret and then surprise everyone with it some day!

    Happy Holidays, everyone!

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  20. Deb, no fair!!! Now I'll be up all night trying to guess what your special delivery was!! LOL!

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  21. My biggest tip is to remember to enjoy yourself. Not so much a tip as a reminder. Stop what your doing, sit and watch a movie with your kids, play Christmas music, bake some cookies or sit in the bathtub for 45 minutes with a good book and enjoy the holidays!

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  22. LOL Great timing for this post. I'm just about to go out shopping for Christmas prezzie's. Sadly, it's too early in my day to have stiff drink for fortification. Maybe later. I've never enjoyed December crowds. Wonder how many times I'll be almost run down by a trolley? Wish me luck!

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  23. Lol, great post and too true! I truly agree with rewarding yourself and zoning out a bit on a mindless game. A little pick me up of a treat or some dumb word game (its dumb now b/c my friend played a 115 pt word and I don't like her at the moment lol lol) it really helps. I always wrap a few gifts each day the weeks leading up to Christmas so I don't have a huge mountain to do right before the date.
    tigger_time2 at yahoo dot com

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  24. Julie, such a good reminder! And now I'm jealous...I haven't gotten to take a 45-minute bath in a loooooong time! LOL!

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  25. Heather, how did it go?? I hope you're still standing! :)

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  26. So funny. My birthday and my fathers are in December as well, so I know all about the birthday/Christmas chaos . Funny thing is that I covered #3,#4 today and bought provisions for #1. Loved reading that I was on the right track to keep my sanity.

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  27. LOL, Gail! You're doing great!!

    And I totally forgot that my dad's bday is in December too...today, even! LOL! Thankfully, he only requires a phone call these days :)

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  28. I couldn't agree more with your tips. I wish I could go on a mini vacation. But as far as the other 4, been there, done that and will continue to to it. I enjoy the cocktail in one hand, the candle lit and soaking in a hot tub. That to me is paradise when things get too overwhelming.

    December is your happy month. Enjoy it, it goes by fast.

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