HTT: How To Holiday

So I found myself just a little horrified when I looked at the calendar  and realized that there is only five weeks left until Christmas.

Kind of sneaks up on you don't it?

And if you hadn't thought about that yet and are sitting the breakroom of your office slightly horrified after reading that first sentence . . . then  . . . well . . . I'm sorry.

I am not a kind man.

Anyway, I was going to write something about footwear today, but I can't pass up the chance to dig into the holiday season and see if I can help the world circumnavigate the chaos  with a few helpful tips and tricks I've learned after decades of Bah Humbug-ness.

See . . . I don't care much for holidays.

Actually that's not true at all. I love holidays. Any excuse to eat good food with people I adore is cause for celebration in and of itself.

I'm just not big on all the nonsense.

Case in point: My wife noticed that after fifteen years of being together we had not once dressed up a couple for Halloween.

Not once.

I have never played the Tweedle Dum to her Tweedle Dee, nor Gomez to her Morticia, nor Mick Fleetwood to her Stevie Nicks.

This was really sad for her.

For some reason.

Dressing up for Halloween is one of those things that some people just absolutely love, so I'm not gonna poo-poo the whole concept, it's just not my thing. I mean, I have five pairs of jeans and eight plain white T-Shirts. I am perfectly comfortable being super boring.

Now if you had told me that I was going to suffer through a Halloween without a bowl-full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I might shed tears. I may be super boring, but I'm not joyless.

However, my lack of enthusiasm for decoration is near legendary.

Use to drive my staff absolutely batshit crazy. They would come to me with grand ideas of lights and bows and tinsel and stockings and hats and I'd be like fine/whatever/but you do it/and you clean it up. I find ten times more joy taking down decorations than putting them up. Everytime the xmas tree gets thrown out into the back yard, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, like Hitler has just shot himself in a bunker and we can bring our troops home.

And, it seems to me, that the people who make such a surprising big deal about the holidays, are the ones who don't enjoy any of it. They're running around shopping malls looking for cards no one will read and super markets for food no one likes and wine no one drinks.

Nope . . . wait . . . strike that last one.

But, you know, those who struggle to make everything perfect end up stressing everyone else out the whole holiday season with nothing but clutter and lower credit scores to show for it.

So . . . in order to head things off at the pass . . . here are a few techniques you might want to incoporate into your routine this year to make the next five weeks just easier for everyone.

Step  One: Ask yourself "What is important?" and answer that question with "Family, Friends, Food."
In that order.

PIck a time (or times) to gather the first two and make the last one available.

Step Two: Presents.
Something nice to drink works for every occasion.

Every occasion.

Except children and girlfriend/wives.

Then it's toys and jewlery.


And since this is the internet age, you don't even have to brave ToysRUs, gift cards will do just nicely.

Gift cards will NOT do for girlfriends/wives

Jewlery . . . just jewlery.

You might say to yourself that "Gee, my wife already has enough jewlery."

And you need to shut your stupid face.

That's like saying you've had enough hot-wings or enough sexual encounters with a consenting adult.

Anyway, this brings the total amount of places to go to exactly two and a half (depending if you want to get jewlery online, which I highly suggest.) And reduces your shopping time from five weeks to about 45 minutes.

Step Three: Indulge
I have this gruesome confession. For all my tough talk about drinking manly drinks, I have to admit, I have this really really gross craving for eggnog lattes.

Not the super-big gulp version, but 10 ounces of creamy steamed eggnog poured over two shots of espresso. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

And yes, I know what it does to both the machinery and my colon, but I just dig 'em.

So if it's peppermint, or pumkin spice, or white chocolate with sugar free caramel, or cookies or cakes, potato salad or gespacho, just go ahead and tell the naysayers to shut their pie holes til January 5th.

January 5th is an arbitrary date.

Pick any day you want.

Step Four: Tradition
There is comfort in tradition and ceremony. (Or lack thereof) For instance, I like a quiet Thanksgiving and as long as I get a Turkey leg, I'm clam happy. Then we get the biggest christmas tree we've ever had and decorate it with the Jackson Five Christmas in the background. Then there is the xmas eve feast followed by two days of recovery and that's it.

Which leads me to my final thought . . . 

Step Four: Don't complicate your life or the lives of those around you.
If you don't want to go anywhere. Don't. If you don't like some of the people at a particular party, don't talk to them and leave early. Go to where the best people are and the best food is.

If you find yourself hurried, stop.

You've only got five weeks of holiday season, starting, like now, and trust me, you will make the most of it by making the least of it.

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