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The 6 Worst Things About the Holidays: How to Survive Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve

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The holiday season is pure happiness and light, a carefree time filled with joy and laughter when humans come together in perfect harmony and perfect bliss. And Santa Claus will come down your chimney on Christmas Eve. In reality, the holidays can be tough. Learning how to survive Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve is a feat that deserves celebration – and preparation.

Pour yourself a cup eggnog (or forget the eggs, sugar, and cream and just go for the whiskey – it’s healthier!), and read on to discover the six worst things about the holidays, and how to deal.

  1. Deliciousness Overload. It’s practically impossible to avoid unhealthy eating choices during the holidays, from home-baked cookies at the office to family feasts and cocktail parties. How to deal: Give yourself a break when you eat one too many gingerbread men, and keep healthy snacks on hand so you never get too hungry.
  2. Screaming Children. The holidays are meant for the children, and their little smiles are precious gifts. But let’s face it: children can be completely obnoxious too. They yell, they hit, they break things, and they crap in their pants--sometimes all at once! How to deal: Buy yourself out of this one. Have cheap toys and games around to keep the precious little darlings entertained – and out of your hair.
  3. The Family Inquisition. If your life choices are unconventional, or dear God – if you’re single – then expect to be quizzed by your relatives over and over on the status of your life. How to deal: Remember that you don’t have to explain or dignify your choices to anyone, even dear Aunt Susan. Prepare for the onslaught of “I just want you to be happy” looks with a confident reply: “I am happy right now, thank you.”
  4. Empty Chairs. When you’ve lost someone you love to death, divorce, or another crappy life circumstance, going through the holidays without them can be excruciating. How to deal: Allow yourself to feel sad, and don’t put a time frame on your feeling of loss. Institute a new family ritual as you enter this new stage of life.
  5. Empty Pockets. Buying presents for your family and friends, cooking meals, donating to charity, annual tips, and decorations can all add up to a huge amount of money. The holidays can get very expensive. How to deal: Go into the season with a budget, but be realistic about it. Cut back where you can, but if the holidays are always a budget blower for you – start setting aside a little money each month starting in January. Spread out the expenses throughout the year.
  6. To-Do List Stress. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd of 35, organizing a New Year’s Eve get-together, or assembling a dollhouse before dawn, the holidays are jam-packed with things to do. How to deal: Practice gratitude. When you feel frustrated, stop and literally count 10 things you’re grateful for. It will help you to remember that the reason you are so busy is because you are so blessed.

Taking care of yourself, living in the moment and a little advance preparation will make surviving Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah easier every year – and that’s a reason to celebrate!

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