Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Hick Chic Guide to Staying (relatively) Sane during the Holidays

You don't come here for actual good advice, do you?  

Since I blogged about the crappiness of December just a couple days ago, I've been thinking about the more positive attributes of the dark month.  Things like, special food and candle lit church services and brown paper packages tied up in string and things like that.  I've been thinking about how once a year, people make an effort to contact each other.  

Meanwhile, out looking for useful, pleasing, and meaningful gifts for my loved ones, I went on a magazine buying spree.  It happens... I just break down and admit that I really do wanna know what Oprah and her buddies plan to do to help me live a better life.  Maybe a better life involves staying away from all those magazines that cost money and tell me what to do, but I'm weak that way.  

Here's something odd about December, although I'm not sure if it's just this year, or if I've never noticed before:  all the real experts are telling us not to go overboard, to take time to relax, make it easy on ourselves, and not feel the need to be perfect.  Well, duh.  A good dose of LAZY will go a long way there, eh?  

But seriously.  When you have a hard time remembering when to eat, or find yourself in a room with no idea why you're there, or walk away from a sink full of hot soapy water and come back to cold slimy suds four hours later... you really don't need to have a magazine quality decorating job.  You just don't.  Do you care?  Does it matter?

What matters?  

I can tell you what matters to me.

-I cannot be stressed to the point that I'm causing stress to my family.  I have to know when to draw the line with the outside world, and say, "Okay, done.  No more shopping, snow shoveling, computer, phone, housework, driving.  It's snuggle-up-n-read time."  And we shut it down for an hour or so.  I have to be the one to say when.

-We have to get enough sleep.  It's dark outside anyways; go to bed!

-I want us to get at least three days of celebrating Christmas with loved ones.

-I need to laugh, real good and hard, until the back of my head hurts from grinning so wide.

-As odd as this sounds, I want to appreciate the dark.  It's natural for this time of year, and rather than let myself feel oppressed by it, I want to think of it as an opportunity to slow down and think.  Hunker down.  

So what matters the most? 

It'll be different for all of us.  What I Know For Sure (that'll be the last page of "H the Heidi Magazine") is that I really don't want my Christmas to be infected with stress.  I've done that.  I don't like it.  I want to take the pressure off and enjoy this holiday.  

Therefore your Hick Chic Guide to Retaining Some Form of Sanity this Christmas is basically...

Siddown, have a nice hot beverage, or a cold one if you prefer, stop worrying about getting crappy presents for everyone, stop caring about doing everything right, and decide what is absolutely important.  Anything outside of Absolutely Important can be ignored for a few more weeks.  

What's you survival plan for the hectic days of December?


Biddie said...

Plan? I have a plan for everything,but if I told you I would have to kill you...
Seriously? I need to laugh, too. The kind of laughing that I do when I spend time with Gramma Lynn, and you and Jethro.
Honestly, we have so much fun together. I love just ahnging out, talking about old times, new times, playing board games...
Other than that?
Delegate, baby, delegate!

Heidi the Hick said...


You're right - that is so important! Especially when there are able bodied teenage people in your house.

And the laughing thing. We need more of that, every day. Be prepared, I'll be bringing over some funny!

Kerri said...

There's planning and then there's reality. The plan is to stay healthy, eat sensibly, shop sparingly, laugh lustily and enjoy the family. I really look forward to this time of year and even though it brings out the worst in some, I think it brings out the best in many.

Dana and Daisy said...

I pretty much gave up everything but the decorating this year.

It brings me joy, so I do it, and I found my blog is the perfect place to share it with others. It's like decorating for a party but none of the guests will know if the toilets are dirty! You know what I mean?

I just found you through CindyDianne. I'll be back around. I like your tell it like it is attitude!

Heidi the Hick said...

Kerri- absolutely! Focus on what brings out the best in us.

Dana & Daisy- see, if decorating makes you happy, then that's what you do. And yeah, blogging is a great way to share it. Personally, my house looks really good in photos. I'll never tell what's lurking outside the borders of the photo!!

pseudosu said...

Het Heidi--
Let me know when "H" comes out. I want a subscription!
I'm giving myself permission to be less into it this year rather than force it. I put up my tree, but not the rest-- lights around every window etc. It'll be fine. Jesus won't appear in my living room with his hands on his hips all out of sorts about the less than amazing display.
It'll be fine, then, it'll be Jan!

Heidi said...

What a FANTASTIC post!! I really needed to hear this today, and it also gave me a bit of a chuckle, which I needed.

You know how when you write sometimes you start out with this great idea and then someone suggests you tweak it here or there, and then you think if you changed it here or there it might be more marketable or likeable, and suddenly you don't recognize it anymore? Christmas is like that for me sometimes. I start thinking so much about how to make it what everyone else will like, that I lose who I am in it.

Sigh. It's not really Christmas, it's life. But it happens to be happening a lot right now. So I needed to hear this.

I'll buy that magazine!

Heidi the Hick said...

Pseudosu, Jesus hasn't yet given me heck for neglecting to put sparkly lights up in my window... what a relief!!

and Heidi, yeah. Just yeah.

By the way girls, until "H the Heidi Magazine" becomes a glossy, full colour reality, we'll have to make do with "Hick Chic the Heidi blog".

Oh boy but does that make my little brain go spinning. Imagine the holiday edition!

wolfandterriers said...

I am cheerfully evading the load of Christmas worry by planning to spend 4-5 hours a day reviewing MCAT material. I want a 30+ (and it's totally possible, given my last scores which were almost there...except I bombed the EASY BASIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS! And...I technically have a minor in physics. Hello test anxiety!) and whenever I mention that, I get out of doing dishes or most other time consuming things that involve shopping, decorating, or whatnot!!

Lynn Sinclair said...

I think my survival plan might include getting together with two writing friends who live in my neighbourhood -- are you up for it?

Dysd Housewife said...

For some reason, I totally thrive when it starts getting dark outside early. I LOVE the nightlife!! I do not however love to boogey. LOL

As far as surviving this time of year? I don't. I fall apart immediately after new years and hide in bed with the covers up over my head until February.

Dysd Housewife said...

OR you could go go read my last post. That pretty much sums up how *well* I am handling things right now LOL

jules said...

I got our decorations out and put up on Dec 6 during the Army/Navy game. DH and I usually spend Christmas at home, alone or with whoever wants to come by, with a fire. A good, quiet, peaceful day spent together. We don't go out. We found it to be much more stressless that way. We'll visit later.

jules said...

Oh, and we have Moroccan lamb for dinner. Yum, can you say Yum!