|| Print ||
|Written by Miss Smartypants|
|Monday, 19 December 2011 00:00|
Miss Smartypants is back, babies! It's time to ditch the q&a and talk about the real problem plaguing pretty much everyone these days: being a grown up (why do you think we have so many man-boy comedies?). The thing no one wants to tell you is that it ain't easy. The catch is that it's not easy in a variety of ways, many of them unexpected. Maybe one day we'll all be big boys and girls. Until then, each month Miss Smartypants will have quick tips to make things go a little more smoothly.
At this writing, there's only a faintest dusting of snow on our nation's capital, so you can be forgiven if you're still not feeling all that Christmas-y this year. Or ever if you're not into Christmas. (That's cool, too). But assuming you are into Christmas, you might be among those of us who can find the hectic social schedule and gift expectations a little stressful. That's okay. The only people who are relentlessly pro-Christmas all December long are either scheduling geniuses or nuts. And since I don't want you to go nuts, here are my top five tips to make this Christmas your best Christmas ever.
1. Say yes.
The next time someone asks you if you want help with something, I want you to do me a favour. I want you to say yes. Even if the assignment is something small, like making sure that there are salt and pepper shakers on the table, I want you to say yes. Let someone open the door for you or bring stuff in from the car or do the dishes. Toss out the idea that it is rude or makes you a bad host or hostess. It makes you human, which you are. So let people help. Let them bring rolls or whatever it is that your overworked brain is going to otherwise forget. No, it might not be as good as yours. But it will be done. And that means more time for you to spend time with the people you want to spend time with. That's the point, isn't it?
2. Say no.
By the time you are dropping in on three different parties per night in order to fit everything in, you've gone too far. It's nice that you tried, and now it's time to stop. You don't have to accept every invitation. For that matter, you don't have to go to everything you said you would go to (though you are required to call with your regrets). Nothing burns you out more quickly than trying to do it all. So don't. There's always next year. Speaking of which, have you heard of Nollaig na mBan? It means Women's Christmas in Irish, and it's traditionally celebrated January 6th. Ah, yes, January, that long, dark, holiday-free month. Mulled wine tastes just as good then as it does in December.
3. Make your own music.
Let's face facts: the relentless holiday music pumped through malls since mid-November kind of makes everyone want to stab candy canes in their ears. Why? Because, inevitably, you will hear that one Christmas song you absolutely cannot stand, and it will absolutely become an earworm. But here's the thing: there are probably loads of other Christmas songs that you do not hate. Not only that, but you probably have favourite recordings that you can't understand why more stations don't play. I think you know where I'm going with this. Being your own dj will help put you and keep you in a festive mood, AND your chances of ever hearing "Wonderful Christmastime" again will be greatly reduced.
4. Go for a walk.
Sure, there's the single best thing we can do for our health way of looking at it (seriously, check out that video). But mainly it gets you out of the house. You know that house that's filled with all your crazy relatives who use all the hot water and towels and want to know where you keep the? And why don't you have any? Maybe you could pick some up? Yeah, those guys. Love 'em though you do, taking a break is pretty much a necessity. Plus you'll get to admire all the lights and decorations in your neighbourhood, and get a jumpstart on burning off all those dessert calories. What's not to like?
5. Be generous.
Christmas is a week away, and I'd place even money that there is at least one person left on your gift list. I've got the solution well in hand, and so do you. It's called the internet. And before you start fretting about the cost of overnight shipping fees, allow me to go you one better. Shipping is free. So what is this miracle gift? Charity. Every single person you know has a cause near and dear to the heart, and there isn't one among us who needs a wine aerator or brie baker or whatever last ditch item you are going to grab more than cancer researchers need money. So find a charity and throw your money at it. Do it in the name of friends, family, co-workers, loved ones, the bus driver, the postal delivery person, and everyone else you know. Then print out some nice colour photos, shove 'em in a card, and feel good about yourself. If you're at a loss for where to start, only the most hardened of hearts will fail to be moved by helping children the world over.
And you can send me that wine aerator. I totally need one.
Got a topic idea for Miss Smartypants? Send it to advice[at]culturemagazine[dot]ca.
Miss Smartypants is just like your best friend if you have the kind of best friend who will tell you that you're wearing Bad Idea jeans, your partner's a douche, and who that guy was in that movie that time. And if your best friend won't do that for you, well, it's a good thing you've got Miss Smartypants.
Tags: advice, best christmas ever, faith, how to be a grown up, ladies get their own christmas, pass the pepper, you have the power to stop paul mccartney