Christmas gifts

If you ordered online and are still waiting for deliveries, stick a note on your door “Dear letter/UPS/Fedex/DHL carrier, if I am not in, I BEG you to deliver any parcel to any neighbor in this area or even anyone who happens to be passing. I think you have beautiful eyes, don’t make me chase my parcel.”

Forget you own a car. Make sure none of your loved ones has one available. It will motivate you to not rush out for the last-minute gift and to remain focused on your holidays’ grocery list (keep in mind that the ingredient and the gift you forgot to buy will cost you a 4 miles walk, possibly in the snow). This one is good for your shape and also helps keep your stress-level at bay.

You don’t have to keep up with your neighbors regarding tree, lights and decorations. It is perfectly fine to keep things simple, or even tatty and half-hearted, in the hope you will eventually drag them down to your level.

It is absolutely fine to give people handmade gifts for the holidays. Make sure you are not recycling their handmade gifts of last year. It is very rude to mot have a present for someone and even more rude to hand a $20 bill saying “buy yourself what you want”. Up it to a $100 bill.

It is hard to find scissors and tape around the house this time of the year. If necessary, hide one in your underwear and one in your socks or bra. When asked “who has scissors?” reply with a firm and simple “no” (remember that verbal hesitations and excessive hand gestures reveal whether a person is telling untruths).

If you happen to have a romantic encounter during the holidays, remember to first remove tape and scissors from your underwear, socks or bra. Or not, if you want to give them an evening to remember.

Try to not get competitive about Holiday cards when you see how many other people have received. It is perfectly acceptable to pretend you got your wishes on social media or by email.

Mom asks for help in moving furniture or in rearranging the 1000 tins and jars in the pantry?
Go for it and relish the opportunity to blast your forearms, biceps and triceps. Don’t be selfish and ask mom or the siblings to join in.

Act like a kid. Sledding, snow-ball fighting, ice-skating, walking are all great activities to get the heart pumping. Head out for a super fun workout.

A semi-serious guide to stay sane and fit during the HolidaysWatch TV. Why not? You can put on a workout DVD or watch a highly competitive game and match it with a wonderful performance on your treadmill, a stretch on your yoga mat or a go on your stationary bike.

Make the following pledge with yourself “every time I feel bored, aggravated or just fed up I will do 15 push-ups”.

Eat before drinking and celebrating. We know, this sounds old-fashioned, but try having a reasonably sized breakfast with a lot of protein. They will keep you full for a longer time. Eat slowly and drink a lot of water, it will help your digestive system.

Take breaks between courses. This is extremely useful if you need to interrupt embarrassing conversations and stop them from turning into fights or lifelong torments. Trot around the block, go see if the neighbors have learned the lesson about not overdoing their lights.
Choose proteins and fibers over carbs. High proteins are associated with greater satiety, so make sure you had plenty of them before polishing off the pies. If you are afraid of saying “no” to a specific dish or a second serving, bring your own side dish and/or dessert. It will make for a bigger variety of choices for everyone. Besides, saying “no” to a second serving is no longer considered rude. You might be called “eccentric” but that’s okay.

Mostly, be happy. Happiness doesn’t necessarily go with perfection. People will love you more for your little mistakes and flaws than for a perfectly styled day. We are all remembered for how we make people feel, not for the things we do.

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