9 Ways to Survive the Holidays

christmas_animals_pictures_7There are lots of ways to survive the holidays. Alcohol tops the list. Chocolate too.

Since my drinking days are more-or-less over, I thought there must be other ways to make it through too many BBQ wienies and bad football games and your brother-in-law. Ways that are cosmic yet down-to-earth. Funny yet serious.

Those of you who have hung around the Goddess this long know it’s hard for me to be serious here. So here are a few ideas to get you through the holly jollys.

  1.  Sing Christmas Carols. In the car, as you walk up to your house, as you walk up to your relative’s house. It’s the time of year to bellow out your version of The Twelve Days of Christmas…like…11 Labs a Licking; 10 Buns ‘a Burnin’…you know…
  2. Bake something. Nothing says Christmas like the scent of cookies in the air. No time? No problem! Pillsbury makes a great slice-and-bake cookie dough. You can also buy your favorite cookies already baked and spray some vanilla/cinnamon air freshener around your house. Same thing.
  3. Don’t sweat the gift thing. I know everyone wants to give something and get something. But not everyone has the buckaroonies to follow through.  Do the homemade thing. Make a gift certificate giving one hour of your time to walk their dog. Or pick up dog poop. Or to sharpen their knives. Something they can’t do themselves.
  4. Watch a Christmas movie with family or friends. And be sure to say the lines out loud along with the actors. Every holiday we watch Christmas Vacation, It’s A Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown Christmas, Die Hard (yes…it is a Christmas movie), Elf, Home Alone, and Christmas Story.  And I know lines from all of them.
  5. Sleep in. I know you probably have kids/pets/mates, you’re going to either host Christmas dinner or driving to someone’s house for the same.  But there’s something about curling back under the covers for an extra 10 that can set the mood for the whole day.
  6. If you go somewhere over the holidays where there are kids, be a kid. Don’t just sit and nosh and drink and talk to all the grownups…there is nothing more freeing than sitting on the floor (or maybe the sofa…I can’t get up from the floor), driving Hot Wheels into stuffed animals, building Lego monstrosities, or coloring in a kitty or car book. The sillier the better. Connect with those who will some day pick out your nursing home.
  7. Take time for yourself. Even if it’s only 10-15 minutes, set aside time to refocus and energize with your one and only soul. Love, learn, and live. It’s okay if you sound like a sappy cliche — that’s what all those affirmations on FB and Twitter are for anyway.
  8. Try one new dish. Something you never thought you’d try. Be a Man/Woman! Don’t let the food intimidate you! Go for the gusto!  And sample as many chocolates as you can. Don’t hide behind milk — go for dark, mint, white, almond, krispie — let the reason for the season be chocolate!
  9. And finally, the best way to survive the holiday season is to just be yourself. Know that every day you are alive is a good day. Let the nonsense roll over you like a bad massage and hold strong to your heart. Good or bad, this day will pass.

And you will have set the record for the most inventive version of the 12 Days of Christmas yet!

I Love Being Proved Wrong

cam01949-e1461204089526I love being proved wrong. Especially when I’m negatory on the subject.

Being in my early 60s, I like to think of myself as still perky, fun, wild, and all the positive adjectives that people who love life possess. I also like to come home from a busy crazy day and be a vegetable. I figure I’ve work enough years that I deserve to veg if I so choose.

Yesterday eve the boys all packed up their he-man duds and took off to turkey hunt for 4 days. Before Jr. left for turkeyland he mentioned that oh, since he wouldn’t be there to coach soccer practice on Wednesday, would his wife and mom mind taking his place?

I looked at him like, WHA?? Me and a dozen little 4 and 5 year olds? Kicking around a soccer ball?

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced little kids and soccer. Think of 12 fireworks going off in 12 different directions, some colored, some those loud bangers, some duds, some a fireworks-in-a-fireworks. Kids that age run around in knots, some wander off to go to the bathroom or chase their ball or talk to their mom or look at the birds flying by. Concentration is definitely not their middle name.

But it was my grandson’s team. And I’m Granny. And there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to help him learn about the world. But coaching 12 of him — boys and girls? I didn’t think I could handle the chaos. I looked to the sky — a chance of rain. Great. I checked the forecast every hour, hoping that the rain forecast for tonight made an early appearance. Guilt followed my every weather check, but I just really didn’t want to do this.

The rain never came. So my  daughter-in-law pappoosed her 7 month old onto her front, and she, my grandbaby, and I made our way out onto the soccer field.

And I had a ball.

I squealed and laughed and encouraged each and every one of those little dickens as they kicked their soccer ball all over the place. I experienced 12 different personalities, 12 different attitudes, and 12 different laughs. A couple other moms helped us, and we all found a way to have fun and teach soccer at the same time.

Why am I such a meathead? Why do I always judge what sort of time I’m going to have before I even get there? I seem to prejudge a lot of things these days. Movies, restaurants, people. I imagine the worst instead of at least mediocre.

I’m not saying that I shouldn’t follow my instinct. My intuition. Some people I just don’t like from the very moment I meet them. Some TV shows stink from the get-go. Second chances aren’t needed on a lot of things. But other things often prove to be 100% different than what I imagined. It’s that kind of pre-judging that makes me a meathead.

I am so much better in my expectations and anticipations than I used to be. I do have a Que Sera, Sera sort of attitude on most things. I strive to grow, to understand, yet know that some things I can never, or will never, change.

But I also know that there’s so much more left in this world to explore, and that I should just get off my dukkas and try them more often. Yes, this fiasco at the soccer park could have been a downer. It could have bugged me and irritated me and left me grumpier than Monday mornings.

But it didn’t.

I had a great time from the minute I walked from the car and onto the field. The kids laughed and asked me to watch as they ran around with the soccer cones on their heads. Their innocence was infectious. They were pure and raw and developing attitudes of their own.

And I almost missed it.

Don’t listen to those lazy buggars in your head. Go and do something new any chance you get. If it doesn’t work out, so be it.

If it does — it just might turn you into a soccer coach.