Surviving December, #8-14

My holiday survival guide continues. And after this past week, I need it.

Decorate well. Give yourself permission to do less or do it differently. This year for us that meant not decorating the outside of the house. Last year it meant buying a different kind of tree and buying all new ornaments from Dollar Tree.

Serve well. Is there a place you can serve, even for one afternoon? This Saturday we will be delivering toys with my husband’s Rotary club. Last year when we did this, the final house we visited was out in the country, and it was one of those homes in which the parents did not speak English but the child did. We communicated as best as we could, since the child wasn’t supposed to know what was going on. I guess the parents went ahead and gave the gifts because a few minutes later, the child called us afterward to thank us for bringing Santa early.

Pray well. If you’re a person of faith, this is not the time to slack off. You need spiritual fortification going into Christmas dinner. Everything might be all holly and jolly until a couple of people have too much to drink, and then it’s the Grinch that Stole Christmas.

Listen well (news-wise). I hesitate to mention this because there is a lot of bad stuff in the news right now, and if you feel called to get involved and protest, then Godspeed. I’m juggling so much right now that I’m limiting what I read and listen to. Yesterday I found a 45-minute discussion about how animals and plants survive winter. It was just the calming news I needed.

Sip well. If you don’t drink tea, ’tis the season to try it, especially if it’s cold outside or you have a sore throat. December is the only time I drink a lot of black tea (the rest of the time it’s green or white). Sitting and sipping with my Christmas china is one of my consistent joys during the holiday season.

Sick well. (Yes, I know that’s a contradiction.) Turns out I have bronchitis. I’m taking a sick day. Perhaps if I had taken a sick & tired day earlier, I wouldn’t have gotten sick in the first place. So whether you’re ill or not, schedule a sick day and do it well. Stay in your pajamas all day. Request cough drops in exotic flavors. Stream movies that will fill you with delight. Take a hot bath before bed and then get more sleep.

Spin well. You need some time to force yourself to get out of the house and appreciate the season. A week ago a friend and I spun under the tree of lights at Zilker Park in Austin. Both of us have good reasons for staying in bed with the covers pulled over our heads, but we didn’t. Because spinning does a soul good.

to be continued…


  1. John Willome says

    I’ll pick up cough drops on the way home.

  2. Yes, yes, and YES to each solution. . To all. I hate that you have had to learn great wisdom while so young. I wish I could take cookies to you but have to settle for saying ‘I love you’.

  3. This is just an amazingly well thought out piece and SO necessary. Sharing. Now.

  4. Love this list – and wait for the rest of it. 🙂

  5. Just getting caught up on this series.

    I think spinning well is outstanding advice 🙂