I've just given you a cup of lukewarm Ovaltine and slid a bowl of dusty hard candies that have been stuck together into a ball since 1982 across the wood Midcentury Modern dining room table that I know you secretly hope you'll get when I die. I adore you and don't care if you are straight, gay, fat, thin, broke, rich or marrying into a Protestant family. Because you're my grand kid - and I'm going to give you some holiday advice.
1. Dealing With Stressful Relatives/People During The Holidays
If someone is bound and determined to be an asshole, there is nothing you can say, or do, no way you can behave that will keep them from being an asshole. And best of all, it's not your responsibility to do so. Your responsibility is to be the person that you can be proud of when you lay your head on your pillow at night. Be kind, be generous, laugh, smile and participate in your life.
2. Gift Anxiety
Never in all my years have I heard "I can't believe what a lame gift I just got!" from anyone over the age of 16. Any adult that might say that would be such an idiot that I can only imagine you gave them a horrible gift on purpose. But most every other human being will just be pleased that you went through the effort. Truly. And if not, see #1.
Are you on a diet? Really? During the holidays? Why don't you just march up to the mirror now and yell "I'm such a failure!" cause that's what you are gonna be doing by the end of the holiday if you try to diet. Enjoy it dear. Eat the cookies. Eat the ham. Drink the eggnog (especially if it's spiked). Yes of course, pace yourself so you don't start 2011 in a Rascal Scooter. But diet? Don't even think about it, it's a sure fire why to keep yourself from enjoying the holidays. Besides, that's what New Year's resolutions are for.
4. The Kids Are Figuring Out There Is No Santa
When I learned there was no Santa my parents let me become Santa. They showed me where the gifts were hidden, and told me to put them all under the tree so that I could surprise my little sister. I was thrilled and I wanted to surprise her just like Santa! I threw those gifts under the tree as fast as my stubby arms could. Threw them from the coat closet into a pile in the middle of the floor. Threw them again across the living room, towards the tree like they were hand grenades. Turns out one of the packages was a birdcage, with a live bird inside of it. A bird that we discovered was no longer alive after it's in-cage flight from the gift closet to the Christmas tree. Surprise! So my advice? Let your kids participate once they figure out there is no Santa, but clue them in if any of the packages contain live animals.Off you go now dear. Enjoy the holidays and don't wear white pants unless you are under 25 or over 65. Merry Christmas!
5. Graciously Accepting Luxury Gifts When You Really Just Need A Gift Card For The Piggly Wiggly
When husband and I were very young and very broke, we got a cake in the mail from one of my favorite Aunts. A big old Christmas cake that she ordered from a fancy store. The store had accidentally left the receipt in the box, $100. She sent us a $100 cake and we had one orange rolling around in our fridge, a six pack of Schlitz and a week till payday. We debated seeing if the local pawn shop would take the cake, thought about trying to sell pieces of it lemonade stand style. But in the end we just had super delicious cake and beer for dinner every night that week. It's still one of our favorite memories and I'm so glad she sent that damn cake.