15 Tips For Surviving The Holidays – Scary Mommy

15 Tips For Surviving The Holidays

Do you find your self running in circles, screaming like a wild woman,“The holidays are coming! The HOLIDAYS are coming!” days before the crush of mass gifting and familial eating are to begin? You’re not alone.

Hanukkah, based on the Jewish calendar, moves around every year, unlike Christmas or New Years, and sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Though, even if it were the same day every year, I would still wait to the last minute; Nothing like the thrill and excitement of being on deadline – I get my kicks where I can.

An hour before family is to arrive for my home cooked dinner – and by home cooked I mean take-out on our nice dishes – I put a few menorahs here, a few dreidels there, and when I’m really on fire, I hang our dreidel stockings on the mantle with scotch tape, and wrap our banister with shiny blue and silver tinsel that looks like Liberace lives here. I like to make it festive. I’m classy like that. (Watch out, Martha Stewart.)


It truly is a glorious time of year. I love the “Festival of Lights”, Christmas lights, and good lighting in general. I can’t see worth a damn these days so I can finally find my way around when the city is all nice and lit up.

But the days are flying by and I am feeling less joyous and more ravenous, as my procrastination is at record high and my gift list for family, friends, and teachers has expanded like my waist-line after inhaling a box of See’s. There is much to do, like figure out how to record my favorite shows I’ll be missing when I entertain the family and which restaurant we’ll choose to do take-out from. Where are Santa’s elves when I need them?

The holidays just wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t drive you batty, but a little less stress wouldn’t kill us either. So I put together some tips to help lighten your load. Here goes:

1. Tell everyone you’re going out of town… but don’t actually leave.

2. Never go to the same hairdresser or manicurist more than once. One less gift!

3. Hide your scale and only wear baggy clothes.

4. Draw long swirly mustaches on all the smiling faces in your pile of holiday cards.

5. Switch from regular to decaf, and decaf to 20% proof.

6. Have chocolate at every meal.

7. Do all of your holiday shopping a the grocery store (any gift card will do).

8. Forgo the gift wrap and holiday cards, cuz you’re being “green.”

9. If entertaining over the holidays, only do “pot luck.” Better yet, do every meal, “pot luck.” Kids, you’re on your own.

10. Try to avoid leaving the house from Nov.26 – Jan.2. Think of the gas you’ll save!


11. Insist everyone wear red or green, or blue and silver, or whatever color combination accurately depicts what holiday they celebrate, to keep social gatherings lively.

12. Save the time and money (woohoo!) from coloring your hair and just tell everyone that the silver is tinsel.

13. Re-gifting is perfectly acceptable. Just remember not to regift the item aback to the same person. Too awkward.

14. Laugh a lot, it will soon be over. Drink a lot, it will go even faster.

15. When all else fails, spike your coffee with eggnog morning and night.

Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, just remember it’s the most stressful, um, wonderful time of year. Happy Holidays!

Related post: 5 Promises I’m Making For The Holiday Season