This is that time of the year when many rules, especially when it comes to gifts and food, are broken. Believe me there is a family somewhere where this is the only time they eat ‘chapati’ and chicken for luxurious purposes.
Parents should be warned that this idea of keeping chicken from January till December because it’s meant for Christmas should stop. My pastor alluded to the idea of girls being easily lured by chicken and chips from men because they can’t wait that long till Christmas to eat the same.
Forget that. Here are some tips to help you get past the crazy holiday season and hopefully prevent some people from putting on extra weight.
- Keep your bedtime firm.
Don’t shortchange yourself of precious sleep. If you are generally tucked under the covers with your jammies by 10 p.m., don’t stay at the holiday party until midnight. If you do, you will drag, your work will suffer. Sleep trumps all.
- Squeeze in some exercise.
Look for the gaps in your schedule and start walking. Lunch breaks are a good time. Park the car at the far end of the mall when you shop and keep a spare pair of tennis shoes in it. While you are waiting in line, do some toe stretches — especially if what you really want to do is practice your elbow jabs on the guy invading your personal space.
- Learn to say no.
This is the season of obligations. You really don’t have to accept every party invitation or buy your grandchild every item on the list your daughter provided. Choose wisely and stick to your guns — and budget. Every team, club, classroom, office and church group will plan something festive for the holidays. You really don’t need to attend every one of them. Give yourself permission to decline the ones you really don’t want to go to.
- Be flexible.
As families change and grow, traditions often change as well. Be open to creating new rituals. This may be the first year that your adult children don’t all come home. Or maybe they want to move the holiday celebration to their homes. Go with the flow.
- Make things fun.
Expect to enjoy yourself; after all, why would you go through all this effort to be miserable? But fun is different for different people. And some of us need time to recharge. If that’s you, build it in to the calendar. Don’t commit to more than one event a day and then worry how you can rush home in between obligations to let the dog out.
- Buy in quantity.
There are always last-minute invitations and people who give you gifts unexpectedly that send you scrambling. Instead, buy a case of wine and some pretty bags and you’re covered. There is a woman who buys quantities of pretty soaps for the same reason.
- Give to charity instead.
If you are looking for a special gift for the hard-to-please, consider making a charitable donation in his or her name. In most cases, the charity sends a holiday card to the person letting them know of your contribution. Frankly, this beats a gift card for teachers, tutors and coaches.