By Lori Welch Brown
A Peaceful, Easy Feelin’
This time of year when somebody wishes me ‘peace’ my mind says, “yes—I’ll have another. But just a small one—I don’t want to look like Mrs. Claus.” Peace be with you. Easier said than done, right? Especially during the hectic holiday season when you are racing from one mall to another trying to find not just the perfect gift, but the perfect gift at 20% below retail while simultaneously planning your holiday party outfit, scheduling a lip wax, and responding to 22 texts from your boss about your end of year performance review. Doesn’t she understand the importance of booking early for holiday waxing appointments? Oh, right. She has an assistant who takes care of those details. No wonder SHE looks peaceful and relaxed.
We all don’t have access to a bevy of Christmas elves or even one really top-notch assistant so we are left to fend for ourselves while keeping a big, bright crimson smile on our tired, puffy faces. We are left to rely on friends like those three “wise” men Robert Mondavi, William Hill and Kendall Jackson. So, what can you do to invite some peace into your holiday season besides booking a one-way ticket to the North Pole? Here are a few tips that might help:
Elfin’ Magic. If you must hit the mall, make it fun and festive! Drag out your ugliest Christmas sweater, grab your bestie and blast “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” out your car windows on the way. Holiday Hack: Invite your friend’s mom who has the handicapped parking sticker!
Holiday Baking. When you get the urge, trade in your Pinterest account for Google maps to find the closest bakery. Holiday Hack: Most bakeries are located next to salons—book your waxing appointment to coincide with picking up your delicious, non-burnt holiday cookies!
Party Attire. Break out last year’s LBD (Little Black Dress). No one remembers what you wore last year except you. At least they won’t if you shake things up with some new accessories. Bauble, anyone? Let the bling begin.
Lists, lists, lists! Make them and triple check them. Start your day with a cup of your favorite holiday blend tea or coffee and your list. Splurge and buy yourself a fabulous notebook and red pen that you’ll enjoy using to cross things off your list.
Put the ‘No’ Back in Noel. The holidays are a great time to wreak havoc on your nervous system, as well as your immune system. Remember—the stress begins with you! Don’t overextend yourself and/or over promise so allow yourself to say, “N-O.” Ready? Let’s practice. “No—ain’t gonna do that. No—ain’t got time for that. No—can’t bake that. No—can’t buy that.” See how good that feels?! You “no”, girl.
Holiday Imbibing. I love my wine, but what I love even more is not waking up feeling like a Metro bus ran over my head. It’s taken me awhile to figure that out, but feeling good trumps a bottomless glass of wine. And there’s really no holiday where shots of anything should make it onto the menu. Just sayin’. Holiday Hack: Eat before you belly up (more than a Lean Cuisine) and drink lots of water before, during and after your event. You may end up spending more time in the restroom than on the dance floor, but if it keeps you from hurling on your boss’ shoes… #winning
The Company Holiday Soiree. I’ve planned many a corporate holiday party and been responsible for ensuring that 500 employees and their plus ones have a good time while staying out of jail, keeping their jobs, and not killing anyone on their way home. I’ve seen it all. Someone’s drunken date fell into our CEO on the dance floor. Awkward. An employee spent the evening vomiting in the restroom. Good times. A manager’s date came wearing what looked like a piece of cellophane with red glitter that just barely passed for PG-13. A few pieces of advice: 1) If a full dinner isn’t being served, go to dinner vs. pre-gaming before the event; 2) Politely find a way to inquire what your date is wearing and/or offer to take him/her shopping beforehand; 3) Limit yourself (and your date) to 2 drinks max. Save the real partying for the after-party when you’re amongst your trusted peeps and not the director of HR.
Holiday Giving. It is better to give than to receive, but remember to give yourself a few things—rest, kindness, mindfulness—before you start giving to others. And, I’m pretty sure that the reason for the season has nothing at all to do with amassing credit card debt regardless of what Black Friday magic you stumbled upon. Give someone the gift of time. Offer to babysit for a neighbor or donate your gently used clothing to a shelter. Around the first week of December every year, my mom sat my brothers and I down and insisted we go through all our toys and clothing to make a pile to go to Goodwill. Nothing new came in until something ‘old’ went out. We weren’t even allowed to start our Christmas wish lists until we had the car loaded down with our treasures of Christmas’ past. It wasn’t always easy parting with a beloved toy or doll, but mom would say, “Don’t you want some other little girl or boy to enjoy it like you did?” Our day of donating became one of my favorite traditions.
As you head into the holidays, remember to breathe. Be kind to others, but be even kinder to yourself. I’ve got a peaceful, easy feelin’ and I hope you do too. Spread the peace and love, and set yourself up for a fantastic year ahead