Three ways to enjoy the holiday season

Benihana Christmas One party

If you’re not interested in simply gritting your teeth and pushing through the holiday season, I have some tips to help you through the duration of December with a remnant of your sanity intact.

1) Don’t leave your house

This is probably the biggest reason you’re feeling stressed. Going out shopping and seeing people purchasing expensive items, especially with cash, is sure to make the mug you picked out for your parents look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. Instead of venturing out into the wild, do your shopping at home. This way you’ll be clueless as to what everyone else is buying and be able to relish in your sensible gifting finds.

2) It’s best to avoid excess caffeine

Sure, caffeine puts a little zest in your step and it might help fight off depression, but it can also heighten feelings of anxiety and leave your body dehydrated. The last thing you’ll want to have happen, while shopping in an overcrowded and over-heated store, is to have a panic attack while feeling like a sock is stuck in your throat. Bring some water, lose the coffee, and hope for the best.

3) Set a spending limit with friends and family

Money is a huge issue this time a year. Most people feel like they don’t have enough of it. The best way to counter the inadequacy blues is to set a spending limit on gifts. This way no one has to feel guilty and everyone can better enjoy the company around them without fear of being judged for the amount they spent on a gift. With the money you save on gifts, why not donate a percentage to charity.

This year make spending time with the ones you love a priority!


Politeness is Weird

I’ve never believed all of it about our generation: the attention span, the laziness, the rudeness. But yesterday I was taking the train home for Christmas and I sat next to an old man.  As he moved his bag from the seat next to him and I sat down,  his phone started ringing. He answered, and then, after he had said hello, pulled the phone down from his ear and mouthed at me, “Sorry. I’ll be only a minute.”

I had no idea what he was talking about and I guess my face showed it, because he motioned towards his phone before continuing his conversation. Oh. And this is what I’m saying: I was taken aback. He was apologizing to me for talking on the phone.

“It’s fine,” I whispered, two minutes too late, “It’s really fine.”

I turned my headphones down and tested them to make sure no music was leaking out. I sat up straight. I smiled at the chair in front of me. I can be proper, I thought. I can be nice.

I never would have thought to apologize to someone for briefly talking on the phone on the train next to them. And maybe now I will, or maybe I won’t, but I think maybe it says something about me and about kids these days. Maybe chivalry is dead. I mean, I really felt my heart melting a little bit, and that’s just pathetic. Maybe we are the worst. Maybe I can’t be proper and will have to spend the rest of my life as someone who routinely puts her feet up where she definitely shouldn’t.

I tried to find a lesson for this post but couldn’t find one I could stick with. I tried politeness, but I’ve never been a huge fan of politeness for its own sake. For me it falls under the umbrella of niceness and just general humanness, but that seems too broad and abstract for a blog post about an apology on a train. There’s always phone etiquette, which I guess we could go with, but it might not apply anymore, for our generation. (By our generation I’m starting to think I mean any generation at all.)

Maybe it’s just nice that on my train ride home for Christmas my hear melted a little bit, and leave it at that. Merry Christmas Y’all!


Oh also–when I got home I had two days worth of laundry to do. TWO DAYS. It’s OK though because this means I’m saving my quarters for a Starbucks when the holidays are over and I’m depressed and don’t find hidden meanings in train convos.

Navigating Holiday Parties

Parties can be an anxiety ridden experience for a poor writer, but here’s some advice. . . Nurse That Drink. The trick to ensuring a happy wallet by the end of the night and the holiday season is rationing.  Remember, the more people you speak to and the more moves you bust on the dance floor will deter people from asking, “You still drinking that?”

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be nursing your drink as if your sanity depended on it. Dancing is a great option seeing as most people may assume you might be drunk and who cares if you’re no longer drinking if you’re already wasted.  There you go, two birds with one stone. Channel your inner Michael Scott and get onto that dance floor, poor writers.


Of course there’s no need to drink at all and if for whatever reason you’re being pressured into the drinking festivities, you can always pump the breaks with, “I’m the designated driver.” Be the hero of the evening and offer up support of the more inebriated bodies around you. Not only will you ensure the safety of those present, but you’ll also be pegged as the responsible one.  Three cheers for responsibility.

Lastly, dining at restaurants and snacking at bars adds up quickly. What I like to do is order an appetizer that comes in pieces, like nachos.  This way you can eat piece by piece, while tricking your yourself into believing you’re full.  Mind over matter.


P.S. If you can’t take the tedium of penny pinching, well you wouldn’t be the first.  No one has to know you cry yourself to sleep.  Self-restraint can always be practiced next year.

Happy Holidays.