So you've finally scrapped the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers out of your fridge, just in time for another holiday to roll around. Not just any holiday, but the merry-est of holidays. Yes, Christmas is filled with such cloying carols and unmet expectations that you find yourself wondering who exactly was the villain in A Christmas Carol. Maybe ‘Ol Bob Cratchit should have worked through the holidays so he could afford some medical care for Tiny Tim.
What is one to do when faced with a not-so-happy holiday? Here are some strategies for when you find yourself asking, “Is Krampus really such a bad guy?”
One. Give to charity.
I know, I know—this reeks of all of that “Season of Giving” every Hallmark movie is trying to sell you on. Hear me out though, there are some real positive effects of generosity. Aside from good karma, it improves your mood and can be deducted from your taxes. Bonus, you can use it as ammunition when your family starts to question your life choices. Something like, “I'm not irresponsible, Mom, I give to charity.” Check out this list of top rated charities.
Two. Random acts of kindness.
We all know Starbucks tried to ruin this by bogarting the whole “pay it forward” concept, but there's something very exhilarating about helping someone else for absolutely no reason. Try out a few of these ideas of random acts of kindness.
Three. Attitude of gratitude.
It is far too easy to get pulled into the never-enough culture of the holidays. There's never enough money to buy all the presents needed, never enough time to do all the things needed to be done, and most of all, never enough of you to go around. So take some time to jump off the holiday merry-go-round and remember the lessons of Thanksgiving. Naturally, there is an app for that.
Four. Watch quality holiday programs.
“Quality Holiday Programing” is, really, a relative term. Some people love holiday classics like a Claymation Christmas. To me, those shows are filled with glassy-eyed nightmares. My husband loves A Christmas Story, but I'm pretty sure the yearly TBS marathon has been used as a method of torture in some parts of the world. I, however, prefer the sappy holiday movies like Love Actually and The Family Stone, which might send some of you into spasms. Whatever your taste, watch something that lets you forget about the stress, even for just a little bit.
Five. Tune out the noise with holiday music.
The problem with most holiday songs is they are overplayed. The infernal racket begins just after Labor Day and keeps going strong just in time to ring in Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. There are, however, some really special songs that might just stoke the cold dead embers that were once your heart. So, load up your unique playlist, put in your ear buds, and let these festive melodies take you away.
Trans Siberian Orchestra
Twisted Sister Christmas
The holidays are supposed to be the most joyous time of year. Like so many things, though, all the expectation can lead to heartbreak and disappointment. In midst of all the stress of the season, take time to focus on what really matters—not totally losing your grip waiting for December to end.