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Tis the Season

Image: PV Bella

Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror. The meal was a success, and the leftovers were just fine. I was surprised how fast people put up their Christmas decorations. Still, in pandemic mode, people need to start celebrating early.

I survived Black Friday. My debit and credit cards stayed safely in my wallet, and I stayed in my home. I hate crowds, especially the hordes of shoppers who descend on stores grabbing everything they can get their paws on. I survived Cyber Monday too. By the end of the day, there was no money spent online. I do not follow the hordes, herds, or masses of chromosomal defective morons who believe they are getting a bargain.

Hanukkah began for our Jewish brethren.  We are preparing for the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. It seems every year there is a frenzy to shop till you drop, people buying stuff they do not need or want. It is the season of giving followed by the season of getting- those credit card bills with high-interest rates, taking all year to pay off.

The holidays create a lot of anxiety for people. Shopping for gifts, planning feasts, going to parties, drinking to excess, hangovers, praying we did not do or say anything embarrassing, who to invite or not to celebrations, decorating, what to do with the gift of fruitcake, and other significant and insignificant issues.

Let’s slow down. There is plenty of time to get things done without breaking the bank or worrying about Christmas dinner. Like anything else, remember the 7 Ps- Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. There is plenty of time to plan and prepare. You do not have to get things done in one day or at the last minute.

Make lists of the people you will buy gifts for, what to buy each, and where to shop for them, whether online or in stores. Do not waste time and effort wandering around stores or malls looking for the right gift. If stores offer gift wrapping, take advantage of it. If possible, shop local in the small businesses in your neighborhood. You can find unique gifts while supporting these entities.

You do not have to decorate your home in one day. Do it in stages. Put a few decorations inside or outside over days. Decorate to your heart’s content. Just do not turn it into a marathon chore.

Like Thanksgiving, planning the feast is difficult. Who to invite, not to invite, or whose dinner you will attend? Once again, plan and prepare. If you are entertaining, figure out now who will be invited and when the event starts. Will it be an all-day affair, brunch, or dinner? Create a menu and make a list of items you will need. Shop for the non-perishables, buying a few every time you are in the store. Order the meat or poultry ahead to ensure you will get what you want.

Prep as much as you can a few days before. Do not be shy about asking people to bring sides, alcohol, or desserts. Do not turn down offers from guests either. It makes things easier. If you are a baker, you can do much of that ahead too.

Figure out ahead of time your service. Will it be buffet or table? A buffet is more effortless if you have the space. The object of the game is to reduce stress and enjoy your holiday feast without getting frazzled or breaking the bank.

Make your Christmas merry instead of hairy.

As an aside, people leave out cookies and cocoa for Santa in hopes he will leave great gifts. Me, I leave out bourbon and bacon. I am never disappointed. Just sayin.

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