don't just survive the holidays

I like lists. I like to make them, and I like to read them. But there are so many lists full of ideas floating around the media ether on how to either "survive the holidays", or "keep the stress away", that these lists are starting to make me think that perhaps I should be stressed and frantically fretting about how I will make it through. Should I be panicking as much as everyone seems to imply?

I hope not.

Although, I am taking preventive measures; I am making lists and checking them twice, no matter how cliché that may be.

I am also trying to keep in mind that you just can't be perfect all the time. But of course, I'll still try at least a little bit. Here's some of the things I'm doing to stay sane, but I also look at it as just plain old enjoying myself and still getting done the stuff that is important to me.

1. Make fudge with condensed milk and melted chocolate. It works, and tastes divine. A shortcut doesn't have to be all bad. It still beats the crap out of showing up at a holiday party with timbits or a box of Pot of Gold (no offense).

2. Make the bed every day, and just ignore the rest. Yes, there is dust in the air, and sometimes it even lands on things, heaven forbid. The world will not come to an end simply because of a piece of dust.

3. Keep the house full of fruit so I don't eat all of my holiday baking before anyone comes to visit. This is actually quite important.

4. Run the dishwasher. They exist for a reason.

5. Prep as much food as is possible in advance, but not between the hours of 11pm - 5am.

6. Be showered and dressed at least a WHOLE HOUR before guests arrive. No matter what just exploded in the kitchen.

7. Keep plenty of paper towels on hand, and use them with abandon.

8. Buying too much chocolate is never bad. Just try not to open it when no one else is home.

9. Fancy knives and cutting boards are indispensable, but when chopping, slicing, or dicing a lot of food, particularly dozens of onions, use a slap-chop. HA! No, in all seriousness food-processors can really help, and it isn't a cop-out when you're cooking the smithereens out of stuff anyways.

10. Wouldn't it be funny if the turkey actually exploded? Sure beats the pants off a ho-hum day. Don't just survive the holidays, enjoy them!

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