6 1/2 Tips on How to Enjoy the Holidays

acclaimimages.com

Yes we can, Rosie. Yes we can.

We want to have fun this holiday, not waste time bugging out over something that's supposed to evoke joy and encourage time with loved ones. Whatever holiday you and your family celebrate, you're taking time out of work or school to enjoy one another. I know, easier said than done. To help you relieve some of that holiday stress, I've come up with some tips to make this year not only bearable, but enjoyable too.

Step 1:

Space out the shopping.

Rather than clump everyone on your list into one trip, take multiple trips with fewer things to get. Even if you plan to get everyone over and DONE with early, shopping for everyone at once is exhausting. And who's to say your friends and family might change their minds as present time draws near? It's satisfying to finish a long list of to-dos, but having to return something is worth avoiding. Make an easy (and maybe even, perhaps, fun?) day out of getting gifts for the kids one weekend, your siblings the next, then friends, and then your parents. The more time you give to each person's gift, the more thought will go into it. Spend the late morning looking, get it by early evening and bam. You're done, and with enough time to reward yourself with a latte.

Step 2:

Limit the number of "surprises" under the tree

When you buy something without knowing whether the recipient will love it or run away screaming from it, you run the risk of an awkward situation. Saying to yourself, "Oh Jimmy would just adore these knee high socks signed by Mickey Mouse," does not count as knowing its a sure thing. Do yourself (and for the love of God, Jimmy) a favor and ask for long wish-lists (10 to 12 items) of things each person wants. Sure, the surprise factor will be lessened, but there's about a 2-in-10 chance they'll know what's coming. By only getting three out of the ten items on each list, the family will be surprised rather than shocked.

Step 2 1/2:

Try your best to buy experiences rather than objects.

A sweater is a wonderful gift, but for someone who likes to shop, a gift card is an excuse to go shopping. For an outdoors-y type, a camping tent is terrific, but reservations at a campsite will get that camper camping. Experiences last longer in our hearts than the things we collect. Don't get me wrong, things are great--I love things, but it's the "doing" that will put those things to use.

Step 3:

Cook something you know how to cook.

This is no time to experiment. Unless you've been cooking a chicken inside of a goose, inside of a turkey wrapped in bacon for the past few months, don't do it. The presents will be torn through and people will expect food, and you will want to have it ready, lest someone choke on the mistletoe.

Step 4:

Speaking of food, keep dinner conversation light-hearted.

Talk about the things that make you laugh. If a story made you double over and guffaw like a surprised goose, chances are that other people will find it funny too. Be careful though, what makes you laugh might offend someone else. And when someone offends you, keep your duel glove away from the offender's cheek. Reply with something smart and witty. For example, when Uncle Henry asks why you're not married yet, say, "Because I haven't done anything wrong yet," (gauge your audience). As usual, avoid politics, religion, the economy, and that odd smell coming from Uncle Henry.

Step 5:

Take candid photos.

Last year, my family of 30+ was arranged in 13 different poses, an ordeal that ended in confusion and tears. If your family needs pictures, take them when they don't know they're being observed. We all know that when we see the camera our instinct is to slap on the artificial, teeth bearing (or teeth hiding) smile, or run away screaming. With a candid shot, the smiles will glow genuinely; the punchline in Uncle Henry's joke will freeze in time if you get it in time. You just have to make sure you snap it before they notice you. Consider that a challenge to have fun with.

Step 6:

Offer help and relax.

As we get older, giving makes us feel just as good as receiving (or it's supposed to anyway). Give more than presents; help the host with the food, or the dishes; help keep the kids settled down at the table; offer to drive someone home. The host will likely be frantic with a dozen people at the table needing food and drink. Do something he or she won't forget and make the night easier. And don't fret if you can't be made "useful." If you're kindly pushed out of the kitchen, don't worry. Poor yourself some wine and let the host know you're in the living room if you're needed.

Now get out there and enjoy yourself. You deserve it. Oh, and happy holidays.

Dan's Coffee Runs Bring Warmth To Chemo Patients and Staff

Coffee and a smile are sometimes the best medicine. When Dan Dewey's father was being treated for cancer, Dan found himself following a routine in a situation which needed a little perking up.

Thus began what has become known as "Dan's Coffee Run". Every Thursday morning, Dan does a special coffee run for the staff and patients at the Michigan Cancer Institute in Bloomfield Hills, bringing Starbucks Coffee and a lot of smiles to the patients and providers at the cancer treatment center.

Keep reading...

This Organization Feeds Their Entire Community

If you are a kid and your bed is a lumpy, old couch or a cold, hard floor and you leave home for school without a regular breakfast, you will not excel in your classes. This daily struggle is shockingly common in many areas of the country and it sets many children on a downward spiral at an early age that is difficult to recover from. This is where Meals By Grace is making a difference.

Keep reading...

Anonymous Authors of Love Letters Uplift The Lonely

While it is exciting to see the bold type of a newly arrived email from an old friend or the pulsing dots of a long awaited text, there is still something special about the arrival of a hand written, stamped envelope in your home mailbox.

For those who are facing personal difficulties, adjusting to new circumstances, or just feeling isolated, the physical experience of handling a letter, opening the sealed side of the envelope, and sliding out a beautiful card brings the thrill and anticipation of contact with another person, something they may been missing for long time. Fulfilling this need is at the heart of an inspiring organization called "The World Needs More Love letters".

Keep reading...

A Father, A Son, And A Hockey Fan’s Dream Come True!

Coca-Cola, Shaw's Supermarkets, and the Boston Bruins have teamed up to make one lucky Bruins fan's dream come true. After purchasing a Coke from Shaw's in the New England area, contestants were encouraged to enter for a chance to win a "Player for a Day Experience" with the Boston Bruins.

The lucky winner's name is Mark Karolkiewicz. Mark has been a Bruins fan his whole life and even though he had the opportunity to be a Bruins Player for a Day, he selflessly gave the prize to his son Eric Karolkiewicz, also a die-hard Bruins fan!

Keep reading...

Dancing Away From Illness And Onto The Stage

The hall lights dim…..a hush comes over the audience … the command "places everyone" is given… there is a palpable stillness in the air as the first notes of the opening piece float out of the speakers and hover above the stage…. the curtain rises with a whir … the lights come up… its time …

These are the moments a performer lives for. The hours of solitary sweat and toil practicing their craft in sparse, small rooms, are the dues required for the joy of putting their skill and craft out there for an audience hungering for something special and moving.

Keep reading...

Singer, Poet, Activist, Lupus Survivor - Shanelle Gabriel

"Rock out...live your life....live your art!" This was Brooklyn, New York native Shanelle Gabriel's response to her diagnosis of Lupus, an autoimmune disease where your body's immune system, that usually fights infections, attacks healthy tissue instead.

Shanelle first noticed something was off when her fingers turned blue and hurt in the cold and she could not seem to shake the feeling of fatigue no matter how well she slept. After being diagnosed in 2004, Shanelle decided that her health would not be something that would limit her success.

Keep reading...

NFL Player Mentors Kid Dealing with Mom's Cancer

For families with a member who is battling cancer, life can seem lonely. The trials and tribulations of such a scary disease can be very intense—how could anyone who hasn't gone through them understand?

Walk With Sally is an organization founded to provide loving support to children whose parents or siblings are fighting cancer, and they helped make a very special match between two people who could understand one another's experience personally. Will Svitek, a former NFL professional, lost his father to cancer when he was just 31. He joined Walk With Sally for the express purpose of mentoring youngsters who were struggling in similar situations. That's how he met Rocco.

Keep reading...

These Fearless Freefalling Females Will Amaze You

Did you know that today is Women Rock! Day? To celebrate and inspire, we found a special group of women who are doing what they love as they defy gravity and perform breathtaking aerial acrobatics thousands of feat in the air!

This group is known as the Joy Riders and they aren't afraid of much. The all female, international skydiving and base jumping team fall through the sky for fun. They represent joy, passion, inspiration, and work to motivate their audience to go after what they want most in life.

Keep reading...
Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube

mailbox

Get your Only Good TV Newsletter