Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Resolutions

"Can't we all just CALM DOWN?" I spat out with clenched jaw to a table filled with my in-laws. Ah, the makings of a perfect Thanksgiving dinner.

At least to the folks in question, my eruption was fairly out of character -- as usually I reserve my freaking out for my blood relatives or the man who was unfortunate enough to marry me. But that may have made it all the more shocking.

So, in the spirit of repentance and an effort to erase that ugly outburst from my in-laws' memories, I am hereby vowing to have to a good time this Christmas - even if it kills me!

And not only to ensure family tranquility. For my own mental health.

To that end, I have come up with some resolutions I am going to do my gosh-darned best to follow during the upcoming festivities.

And, in my newfound spirit of peace, love, and precious moments, I am spouting them out here. Because -- who knows? -- maybe you are also a control freakish, anxiety-ridden insomniac.

So, for myself and for you, gentle reader, here are my guidelines for a happier holiday:

Give yourself a break...let's take a vacation from obsessing, perfectionism and competition... don't need to make ten batches of homemade cookies; or original greeting cards printed on homemade paper. My house doesn't need to be spotless (maybe just the toilet.)

Give your significant others a break...take a step back to gain perspective and insight into how the world looks through another's eyes...spread cheer (and good wine, if possible.) We are all flawed, all trying, all doing the best we can. At least we can give each other the benefit of the doubt anyway.

Toast those missing from your holiday celebrations -- those geographically distant and those present in spirit if not physical form. Ask a grandparent, or any older person, about their childhood Christmas memories. You might be surprised at what you learn if you just ask.

Play with Barbies!

Take a chance. Chance rejection, and tell someone how much you really care for them. Chance embarrassment -- sing and laugh loudly. Dance with abandon. Chance surprising those around you.

Let the dishes pile up in the sink. They'll keep until morning (or longer...)

Be grateful -- genuinely thankful for the gifts you receive, but mostly thankful for the givers.

Be happy for what you have and not what you think you need.

Take a deep breath. Go with the flow. Smile.

And, most importantly -- no calorie counting!


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