The Holiday Season is in full effect.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are by far my favorite holidays of the year, but lets face it with this time of year a lot of us have the added stress of Holiday shopping and family get togethers coupled with the mundane beginning of winter. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s easy to get lulled away with constant planning and hustling to get things done you forget to enjoy the time and season that is upon us.
It’s times like these that I like to add a little bit of my own wisdom to help friends and family reinvigorate their holidays, deal with family, and maybe let some stress out by getting the old juices flowing. These are simple things you can do to make your life, and the life of those around you, more exciting:
- Use “spy lingo” whenever possible. Inform your Uncle you will pick him up from the airport at “the extraction point”. Whenever someone asks if anyone’s heard from cousin “Joe” yet, let him or her know you’ve “made contact”. When you run out of secret agent phrases switch to hand motions. This is especially fun when giving cooking directions or blessing the food.
- Wrap all small items in increasingly larger boxes. I call this one the Matryoshka Christmas (think Russian nesting dolls). It is particularly enjoyable to do with gift cards, but honestly it works on anything if the gift is for a child. This method also works for children if you’re on a budget. If you get them nothing but just wrap a bunch of boxes inside each other then hopefully they get frustrated and give up before they get to the last box and realize you didn't get them anything. If they do get to the last box then their gift was really the lesson they’ll learn from this experience, and that’s really more valuable isn’t it?
- Play QB. No better way to let some stress out than to take command of the offense. When Grandma asks you to pass the ham. Pass. The. Ham. Read the coverage, take what the defense gives you, and then let that cured pork fly and hit Grandma for a 40 yard touchdown. Bonus points if she catches it. Extra bonus points if she spikes it.
- Go Black Friday shopping. There are two options here: 1) If you are stressed and need to blow a couple gaskets there is no better place than Black Friday as violence is socially acceptable here. You don’t really have to buy anything, when the doors open just start pushing, punching, and trampling anyone in sight. Bonus points if your Fight Club session ends up on the local news. Extra bonus points if it ends up on the national news. Option 2) Wear an Umpire or Referee costume and award items and disciplinary fouls to the shoppers around you. Two people fighting over a TV? Blow your whistle and award possession. Be prepared to throw your penalty flag often, might be smart to pack a few backups, anything you deem a foul goes and make sure to add the proper disciplinary action. Incessant nagging by the children: 5 present penalty. Cutting of the line: Cutting off of both feet. Wearing white after Labor Day: Loss of right to wear pants.
These are just a few examples but feel free to dream up your own ways to excite joy in those around you this year. Remember what the Holidays are about, buy a meal for someone who needs one, give more than you get, and enjoy the time you have with those around you.