Each and every year the holidays are a stressful mess. It’s getting a little embarassing– I mean, it’s the same shit show each and every year. Would you get your act together for 2014? Please? Pretty please? Let’s recap what you did not learn this year — the fact I’m writing this list now — a full week before Christmas — says something about the severity of the situation. Come on already and get your act together!
- Buy 10 bottles of decent wine Nov. 20. You will need them to entertain guests and when attending parties. Stop going to the effing liquor stores a million times. This is an annoying, stupid waste of time.
- Likewise — stock up ingredients for your signature holiday dish (bacon-wrapped dates, since you ask. If you live in the NYC tri-state area and know me, I forbid you from making these. This is my jam. Ok?)
- The little packet of spare Christmas tree lights? Tape them to the inside flap of the ornament box. This location is now documented in this post. You don’t have to remember it.
- The day after Thanksgiving dig into your stash of gifts and wrapping paper. Figure out what you already have. You hate waste and crap laying around the house. So do something about it.
- List. Make a freaking list of gifts already. Just make the list, then buy that stuff the first week of December. Be done with it. You hate shopping and malls and crowds. What is it with all this self-punishing, last-minute shopping? You’re ridiculous.
- Order the goddamn picture holiday cards well in advance. I mean, really, Emma — how many times do you have to learn this painful, stressful lesson which sets you back an unnecessary $30 for rush shipping?
- New Year’s resolution: Cease your endless year-round cursing of the tacky dollar stores populating your neighborhood because without them you would be screwed during the holidays.
- Stop stressing over inane crap. I mean, you fancy yourself an expert on managing overwhelm, for crying out loud. Why the freak-out over whether the holiday cards fit perfectly inside your client gifts? Who cares?! Lighten up!
Next year, come Nov. 1, pull up this letter. Read it. Follow your own advice. And get it together for once.
As an aside: I interviewed other experts on how to beat holiday overwhelm for RetailMeNot: ’Tis the Season Not to Panic 11 tricks to creating a meaningful, low-anxiety season