The holiday season is without question the best time of the year. We have the full-blown eruption of Autumn colors, crisp, cool weather – you know, before it gets too cold for happiness to exist – and, for a solid six weeks, everyone is friendlier, happier, and damn-near jolly.
Apparently, though (and I didn’t know this until I became an “adult”) the holiday season is also a time for tremendous stress. Either we’re worrying about travelling over the busiest travel time of the year, spending all of the money on presents, and/or spending an exorbitant amount of time with your family (nothing is more stressful than trying to eat an entire box of cereal by yourself knowing your siblings are coming down for breakfast soon).
With that in mind, here are a few ways you can diminish your stress during the holiday season (until your older sister berates you for finishing the Frosted Flakes).
TV & MOVIES
The TV listings during the holiday season are a friggin’ treasure trove of amazing content, and it’s dominated by one network: ABC Family.
As is their tradition, ABC Family will be doing their 25 Days of Christmas, check out the schedule here, which is pretty much just manna from heaven in the form of holiday centric movies beginning December 1 and lasting through Christmas Day.
Not only will they be airing the classics like Disney’s A Christmas Carol and Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, but you will be treated to modern classics like Elf, Love Actually, Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas, and, my personal favorite, The Santa Clause.
Don’t want to sit inside and watch The Polar Express for the fourth time this week? Sounds like a missed opportunity but that’s ok, Christmas Markets have you covered.
Apparently, and I only learned this literally four hours ago, there are these things called Christmas Markets, and they are everywhere! New York City? San Francisco? Los Angeles? Dallas? Chicago? EVERYWHERE!
Want to do some Christmas shopping for local and artisanal crafts and goodies? What about ice skating? Seasonal food and drink? Christmas Trees?
What ever it is you like about this time if year, these Christmas Markets have you covered. Spend a day outside in the crisp Autumn air before Old Man Winter rears his ugly, frozen head and forces you inside for the next three months, and enjoy the best holidays have to offer.
This one is my personal favorite. Grab a few friends and saunter around a neighborhood just looking at the magnificent light displays. Not only is it insane eye candy, it will get your mind right and is a sure-fire way to get you feeling the holiday spirit. I mean, come on, how can you not smile in the presence of such astonishing beauty? Don’t forget to put on some Christmas music while you saunter, which brings me to out next item:
I know this isn’t the majority opinion but Christmas music is the very BEST part of the best season of the year. Sure, maybe it starts too early (some stations start playing it after Halloween), but there is no better way to get someone (read: me) in a fit of ecstasy than by playing Christmas music. It can be an old-timey classic from generations ago, or one with a more contemporary bent to it, either way, sign me up and plug me in.
Well there you have it, friends. This may not help you when 20 family members are descending on your happy place (we’ll get to that later), but this should help stave off some of the hidden stresses of the holiday season until then.
Until next time –