Decking the halls with boughs of holly (whatever the hell that actually means) sounds great on paper but the holidays make most people want to deck the halls with gallons of blood.
Sure, we need those family bonds to sustain us, but let’s be honest, they’re as cutting as they are healing. And when you factor in holiday shopping excursions from Hell, a seemingly-endless loop of Christmas cartoons and the general commercialization of the holidays, well, it’s no wonder most cartons of eggnog are quickly emptied and refilled with vodka almost immediately.
But have no fear, The Hook is here to help. Do your best to follow these brief tips (you have preparations to… prepare, so I’ll get right to it) and there a good chance you’ll emerge from this holiday season mostly unscathed.
ONE) Shop early! Yes, I realize it’s a bit late for me to be doling out this advice. Make a blood sucking lawyer even richer… sue me. But my advice is sound. Scouring the web and flyers for deals all year round is not only the key to avoiding those trips to the mall that inevitably transform you into a raging ball of stress, it can save you plenty of buckies.
Which you’ll need for vodka nog.
TWO) Pay attention to your loved ones! Sure, it won’t be easy, especially when they’re droning on during Game of Thrones, but if you take a few minutes to listen to your family and friends you can figure out what they’re into and maybe you can get lucky and score that item when it goes on sale in July rather than when it gets marked up 150% on December. Unless you’re filthy stinking rich, in which case, knock yourself out, Moneybags.
By the way, here’s a tip to utilize when searching for electronics:
- Pay attention to which neighbors have up-to-date electronic swag.
- Pay even closer attention to when those neighbors go out of town…
- Case said neighbors homes for alarms, cranky dogs, etc.
- You feelin’ me yet?
THREE) If you don’t love Frosty or Rudolph… click away! Never forget, there’s always a realty show (just avoid anything with a Kardashian), a home reno program or if you’re really desperate, a news channel available 24/7. My wife loves Christmas cartoons but I prefer Scrooged, so you can see my problem, right? But if you’re not me, you should be golden.
FOUR) Don’t let Hallmark ruin your Christmas! Do the holidays – whatever holiday you subscribe to – your way. There can be no denying that corporations rule our lives but that doesn’t mean they have to dictate your behavior. If you want to go out for Chinese food (like we are this year) instead of spending hundreds on a Butterball turkey, stuffing and dozens of extras… go for it! It’s your thing, do what you wanna do.
(Don’t ask me where all the slammers are coming from. I just love exclamation marks. Or rather, I just love exclamation marks!)
FIVE) Walk away from the familial battle royales! Sounds simple, right? But I know it isn’t. After all, holidays are synonymous with family angst and grudges. But here’s the thing: these battles can be avoided if you really want to embrace the motion of peace rather than war.
Our family knows us better than anyone so they know just which buttons to push, which memories to evoke. In some cases these memories are just too painful to bear and so the only real way to walk away from the battle is to remove yourself from the battlefield all-together. This is a bit harsh I know, but I’ve had to do it and while it hurts more than I can ever articulate (my attitude comes from a real place, friends) the alternative was more than I could bear.
We all love our family – but we should love our sanity more. So if you can’t swallow your pride and co-exist with Aunt Flo, stay away from the broad.
Her fruitcake sucks anyway.
Happy holidays, everyone. I love you all. Truly.
See you in the lobby, kids…