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Keeping Your Cool at Christmas

relax (Photo credit: andy z)

Easier said than done. (Eyeroll and Sigh)

Way, way easier said than done. (Queue the 1.5liters of cheap hooch I hide at the back of the fridge)

As the holiday season approaches the pressure mounts….not only are you trying to wrap things up for year-end at the office, but your home obligations rise to unrealistic proportions. (Place head in hands and sigh. Begin weeping when waistband button pops off and injures the cat)

School plays, musical performances, sports dinners, dinner guests, overnight guests, club and association parties, fundraisers at each and every one of them, and making time for your friends, family and the love of your life. (Resort to the last few inches of gin left in the giant bottle that rests on the inside of the fridge door)

Ya right. Pass the tranquilizers, pass the wine, and pour me a double please Mr. Bartender. (Boyfriend ducks when you throw your glass at him after he says, “You’ve had enough. I’m not your Bartender. For the love of all that’s holy, go to bed!)

Ten Suggestions To Help Keep Your Cool at Christmas

1) Put all of those ‘friends’ who abandon supportive listening for the crass, ‘Suck it up’, on your list of folks to limit communication with. Also give them a grand old Ms. F. You under your breath.

2) Don’t answer your phone. If you have friends who consistently call when they know your program is on, you’re at work, or before 10am on the weekend, just turn your ringer off. (It was announced on the radio this morning that those of us who are able to ignore texts and calls are less likely to suffer high blood pressure and stress related afflictions).

3) Get lots of sleep. Eight hours minimum. Ten on the weekend if you’re a lush like me. That’s right, you’ll have to limit your commitments to some of the festivities outlined in #1.

4) Have a ‘happy hour’ when you get home. This will likely be a carry over for the new year too. Pour yourself a drink, put on some tunes, and enjoy half an hour of literally shaking off your day.

5) Make time for cuddling with your honey. In your flannel, in your jeans, in your birthday suit. The healing power of human touch is unprecedented in its efficacy.

6) Just buy it. Three to five extra boxes of chocolates, and half a dozen bottles of wine. Don’t over-think it. These things are great for last-minute hostess gifts, unexpected guests, and secret santa events. Any leftovers are simply a bonus.

7) Let someone do something kind for you; open a door, give you a hug, make you a meal, carry your bags, kiss you under the mistletoe so you forget all of your cares…hint, hint!

8) Let it go. Whatever is making you sad, weary, anxious, or angry. Take a deep breath, take another deep breath, and another….just be in the moment and try to find some joy right where you are.

9) Take a sick day. Don’t shop. Don’t run errands. Don’t go to appointments. Just rest your overworked, overloaded self.

10) Give up one tradition if you’re feeling overwhelmed ( for instance, I’m giving up sending Christmas cards this year – my friends will gasp – but it’s true – I’ve just got too much on my plate this year).

Even if you choose just one of these tips, I hope it brings you some peace and joy this Christmas.

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PMS for Christmas

Fireball Whisky
Fireball Whisky (Photo credit: Houston Marsh)

Today was the day.

The day I wanted to say, “I told you so”, to all of the cynics who read my blog about doing Christmas shopping extra early.

It was also the day I wanted to flip the bird to non-advanced-green-drivers and customer service teenloafs who work hard at avoiding customers or service, harder than they do at actually working.

It was the day I decided I’d rather chew glass than be in touch with the man for whom my fridge is filled with dark beer who makes me about as much a priority as clipping his toe nails.

But, having been a meditation and spiritual practitioner for years, I knew that the only thing to do to tame the PMS beast was to put my aggressive energy to work.  I decorated the house, scrubbed the bathroom, and put a roast in the oven, all in under two and a half hours. Yowsa mamma!

No matter what I do today, unless it involves a deliciously devilish drama on my duvet followed by a fabulous fling by the fireplace, I will feel less than sated.

So, being fully aware of my own limits, mamma has her hooch lined up for either a great read, or a totally indulgent chick flick. I also have a Mai-Tai mix chilling in case I need to prepare for a night of hot lovin’s with a long, hot, Leonard Cohen serenaded soak.

After the blinds are drawn, unless you come bearing your manhood under the mistletoe, or great gobs of chocolate and champagne, stay away, stay far, far away.




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Christmas is For ‘C’ Words

"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error."~ Marcus Tullius Cicero ~
“Any man can make mistakes,
but only an idiot persists in his error.”

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero ~

Disclaimer; Please do not read any further if you are easily offended.  

Ok, you’ve been warned.

Today, in its proximity to the wonderful and pressure infused Christian holiday known as “C”hristmas, is day 9 on the “C”ountdown to my precious holiday. MY holiday…16 blisshful days off.

Day 9 was a “C” word day.

Today was brought to me by the letter “C”, and the words “Clusterfuck” and “Crotch” (known in less refined circles as the very, very bad lady-part “C” word).

Today started out like any day. I was fortunate to enough to see a “C”ool pal at a meeting who is going to be a guest at my “C”hristmas party, and to have the ear of a “C”reative, “C”aring, “C”olleague.

Somewhere along the way, I had an interaction that frustrated me beyond belief with a “C”rotch, adding pressure to the single-parent-pot that simmers almost to boiling at “C”hristmas.

My Jewish pal said to me, “You know, I feel sorry for “C”hristians at “C”hristmas. There’s a lot of pressure.”


Despite my efforts to keep things simple, my “C”ar has had different ideas, “C”osting me a pretty penny this week. My “C”at is also feeling the pinch.

After a very, very frustrating day, I came home, put some music on, hugged my kid and caught up on the kiddo’s news.  I puttered with the laundry and taking the garbage out, and then settled in to “C”ook dinner. Not before settling into something “C”omfortable, which involved removing my bra and letting the “C”oconuts sway.

Since it was a “C” day, “C”hicken sounded like a great option (and I’d taken it out of the freezer this morning – was that an omen?). At the stove, bopping to Blake Shelton, and letting the day drip off, I began cooking our butter chicken.

Knock, knock, knock.


“Mom, somebody’s at the door.”

“Ugh. Don’t answer it, I’m  not expecting anyone.” I “C”ontinued to sip my wine and sing along at the top of my lungs to Mr. Shelton…”Who are you when I’m not around? When the door is locked and the shades are down?…..”

Knock, knock, knock.

My kiddo looks and sees someone tapping on the  door. From the kitchen, we couldn’t make out who was gracing us with thier presence in the trickster light of dusk.

In my ‘relaxing clothes”, coconuts swinging,  I walk to the door to find my “C”ute neighbour. Now he knows who I am when the door is locked and the shades are down. He and his wife are acquaintances, and he’d come to ask a question.

I, in my nightie, and he in his cap, settled in for a long winter’s gab……and the butter on high, simmered on the stove top, forgotten by the “C”ook.

After our visit, I went back to the kitchen to find a room full of smoke, and a burned pan. We turned the fan on, opened the patio door and the front door, “C”ountbalancing the constant reek of my neighbours marijuana habit with burning milk fat.  I dared my “C”rappy neighbout to “C”omplain with my hand on my nightied hip, coconuts swaying, and wine in hand.

“C”razy keeps the rif-raf away ladies.

I transferred the burnt pan to another burner, filled it with water, and started to heat it up again in an effort to loosen the charred butter.

POOF! The burner ignites with fire. Yes, yes, ’tis the season of light’.

Blake continued crooning, “…the more I drink, I’m the world’s greatest lover and a dancin’ machine…”, as I danced around the kitchen sprinkling baking soda and calling to Jesus “C”hrist. The smoke alarm chimed in, and my kiddo used our Christmas themed dish”C”loth to wave the smoke away.

Supper salvaged, “C”ontent with our butter “C”hicken, we settled in to watch the news. My cat, finding his moment to shine,  “C”asually sauntered over to the “C”hristmas tree, engaging me in eye “C”ontact all the way.

Never taking his eyes from mine, the “C”at takes a swipe at an ornament, with a look on his face that says, “Hey “C”rotch, whatcha gonna do about it? I need some attention over here!” The ornament flies through the air, and lands in front of me on the “C”offee table.

With very little “C”oaxing, the “C”at comes to me, and “C”urls up on my lap, taking his rightful place, and “C”laiming the attention he’s been waiting for all day. All three of us are “C”ontent and “C”uddly, ready for the nightly news.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? The first story is about “C”hristmas. How wonderful!

It’s a safety message informing us that with the advent of “C”hristmas comes an increased incidence of fire in the home. The scene flashes to a pan igniting on the stove.

My son and I look at one another and burst out laughing.

So, despite the natural “C”lusterfuck that is life, and increased pressures of the season, remember to “C”huckle. Oh yah, change the batteries in your smoke detector, and stock up on “C”abernet, “C”hardonnay and “C”hianti.  Be sure to book a “C”uddle or two.

Day 9 of the “C”hristmas countdown was brought to you by the letter “C”, and the word of the day definitely wasn’t “C”ookie.