Holidays are a special time of the year. Relatives you did not know you had or remember show up. Lines of shoppers are making their lists and checking them twice. Travelers are getting home for the punctual miracle that is right at Christmas time. And hundreds of thousands of parents will have their kids sit on a mall Santa's lap. There is only so much a person can handle during the rush and bustle of the holidays. Keep your spirits up and avoid Scrooge-like burnout with these five holiday hacks.
1. Give like a murderer.
Shopping for that special someone can get almost deadly. You search the shelves for that potato peeler your significant other has to have, and lo and behold, there is only one left. Two are fighting over who should get it and you, like a thief in the night who responsibly took the item off the shelf and payed for it with hard-earned money during the day, have one less step on your paper trail to worry about. I am not saying to trample or wrestle anyone in the store for peanuts. I am just saying to steal those killer deals like a premeditated giver. That is right, give like Hannibal Lecter is giving skin for a skin suit: careful, precise, and ahead of schedule. Just in time for having a friend for dinner.
2. See you sooner.
No one likes to wait. If you prefer waiting patiently to getting something or somewhere right away, you must be Cecil Turtle. Instead of letting the tinsel fall where it may, take the initiative to reach your destination sooner than later. Terminal tents and car camp-outs are not the goal and neither is missing your flight or being stuck in traffic. If you are visiting, plan on staying over a few days before the road warriors and backseat pilots get the same idea. It will be relaxing up until the big reunion. Oh how precious time is.
3. Relative roulette.'Mustangs' host Christmas party, build family morale
This get-together will not be anything like a Full House or Family Matters holiday special. No one has the same production value or on-camera chemistry. Besides, the budget for satisfying your relatives is priceless. What do you give them? Who are they really? How are they related to you? The answers will show themselves to you in the form of specters, if you are lucky. The rest of us will have to settle in and make some time to talk with them. Think of it as speed dating, you will remember them for the moment but you will not have to remember anything until next year. That is if things go well, but by everyone's standards, we can keep it average.
4. Have a staycation.Animal Funny Sleeping Bear San Diego Zoo Polar Bear
You could be store hopping for all of your favorite things. You could scour the internet for the best deals on the market. Or you could bundle up this holiday season in the comfort of your own home. This is the only time it would be okay to be a turtle. While everyone else is running all over the place, you will be busy falling like snow into a restful hibernation. Remember to wake up in time for food and presents.
5. Disclosed Santa.
Secret Santa can be a tired and uneventful tradition. For a $20 spending maximum, the most someone could buy you is a gift card to Starbucks (and that is only because your Secret Santa did not know what to get you). Rather than surprise or risk disappointment, how about getting to know the recipient a bit better before you surprise or disappoint him or her. You avoid the guesswork and can plan a gift that you know they will love. Giving does not have to be anonymous, it just has to be meaningful. Disclosed Santa will be the new tradition, boys and girls.
Burn bright this holiday.