Know what? I want you to have the best holiday season ever. Seriously. We've all been stressing out over too many things for way too long now, and it's time to kick back and enjoy.
That said, there will always be those who are determined to work themselves into a state of discouraged exhaustion.
If you're that type, here are a few tips to expedite your slide into a truly wretched holiday. (If you're ready to start anew this year - and actually take care of yourself this time around - then of course, do the opposite.)
1. Discard what the holidays are all about. Lose the meaningful things. This is about performance, not celebration.
2. Compare yourself. Constantly. Whether it's emanating from a phantom remnant of a TV commercial, or from your hyper-critical neighbor - or from your own penchant for hurting yourself - listen closely to that small voice in your head that tells you nothing is good unless it's perfect.
3. Neglect your need for space. Believe that this special occasion will not happen unless you're 24-7 involved in the minutiae. Even a half-hour break to take a walk, or lie quietly on your bed, or just gaze out the window will bring your event crashing down.
4. Deprive yourself of a good night's sleep. Grouches and Grinches are equally effective in creating a memorable holiday.
5. Decide that you aren't going to shower regularly, and that makeup is a luxury that you don't have time for. After all, you're so busy that there simply aren't enough hours in the day; besides, you're going to get all messy anyway - what with digging out the trappings and trimmings, laundering the "for-special" table linens, doing the shopping and the cooking, and still managing your life. (And everyone else's.)
6. Don't delegate. You know that no one can do it as well as you can, so buck up and do everything on your own. Others will understand your bad mood, your kids can learn when they're older, and there's always next year to stop and smell the gingerbread - right?
7. Bite off more than you can chew - literally. Eat until you get that "if I stand up right now I'll fall forward like a Weeble" sensation.
8. Bite off more than you can chew - figuratively. Make sure you take on roughly three times as much as you can reasonably handle.
9. Don't exercise, not even stretching. Make sure you indulge often enough in numbers 1-8 that you simply don't have the energy - or the interest.
10. Demand perfection. Adopt the attitude of, "This holiday will be magazine cover-perfect, OR ELSE." And then, follow through. After all, the holidays are all about...
Wait... What are the holidays all about?
Wishing you every happiness that the season brings,