Mistletoe Madness: How To Survive Christmas

So you’ve managed to evade being trampled to death while gift shopping so far, and you’re only massively in debt, as opposed to hopelessly. The radio plays ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ and while you aren’t quite sick of it yet, you’re the equivalent of being mildly nauseous. So how do you make it to December 26th without losing your mind?
1) Stay away from shopping centers – Unless you specifically wish to be run down in the parking lot of your local Target or mall, stay away from every shopping location with more than 50 parking spaces until at least the third week of January. Why? Pre-Christmas Sales, Last Minute Shopping Runs, Post-Christmas Sales, and It’s-January-There’s-No-Reason-For-Sales Sales. You have better chances of surviving a brisk swim through Bull shark infested waters than making it from your car (parked in the next zip code) to the very first pair of sliding glass doors of some venerable shopping institution.
If by chance you do make it into the store, the crush of people going in every possible direction is certain to disorient you, resulting in an unintentional detour to the Hardware section when you really just wanted to pick up a card.
2) Don’t OD on Christmas music – With the commercials looping constantly, a certain famous Mariah Carey song on thirteen stations at a time, and your little sister playing her Disney Christmas CD around the clock at a level just loud enough to be audible in your room, but not loud enough to get her in trouble, you are bound to go crazy. Decompress from the assault of seasonal media by either moving to Northern Greenland, or simply playing normal CDs instead of listening to the radio. Leave the room temporarily when that irritating holiday car dealership commercial comes on, or if driven to extremes, pitch the television out of your living room window.
3) Don’t be caught in your little brother’s rush to the Christmas tree – The one place in the world that nobody wants to be is between little kids and Christmas trees. Should you be blocking that rush to the wrapped Wii beneath the tree, you’ll find yourself knocked accidentally into the next county as your eyeballs hang in place in the air, like Wile E. Coyote from Looney Tunes. Instead, wait out the stampede; it’ll only take about three seconds.
4) Know which relatives to avoid – They lay in wait like something off the National Geographic channel, some of them stealthier than others as they seek out captive audiences for their “funny” jokes, “quick” stories about the fun effects of Mexican food on their digestive systems, or rants about what’s wrong with “you young kids today.” While much of your relatives will give you harmless advice about life, this special group of family members are almost calculating in their ability to sap your energy and tempt you to drive to the closest bar down the road.
5) Like you do with your pets, watch what you eat – While the feasting and gift-exchanging is going on, take care not to overindulge at the dinner table. While (mostly) everyone loves Christmas dinner, it’s no fun to forget what happened the rest of the day because you fell under the influence of the turkey and collapsed on the couch to sleep until 2 AM (I speak from past experience: a five hour nap at Thanksgiving when I was thirteen).
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