Wintertime bluesBy Oxygen's Staff Blog|Oxygen Staff|2012-12-06 | Comments: 0
- Rachel Crocker, Fitness Editor
Pick up any holiday card, Christmas movie or yuletide compilation CD, and you’ll behold what many consider to be the ideal December scene: laughing families crowded around a stocking-lined hearth, windowsills lightly dusted with the faintest hint of snow, and stacks of presents festively decorated in an array of foils and patterns. Throw in a flustered George Bailey or a crooning Bing Crosby, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more perfect early-winter scene.
In reality, December days are often anything but the ideal tableau d’hiver. The weather is crass and unpredictable, the short days make for even shorter tempers, and most of the time your family members are at each other’s throats over whose turn it is to make the sweet potato casserole. Put them all together, and you’ve got a situation that would even dampen the spirit of Buddy the Elf, eternal optimist.
Here are a few ideas that I’ve found helpful to keep anxiety at bay when preparing for the festive days ahead. If you have any of your own, feel free to share them in the comments section!
1) Don’t set your expectations too high. You can count on one thing to happen this holiday season, and it’s that at least one thing will go wrong. Whether it is a gift that you forgot to purchase, a workout you had to skip, or a second helping at dinner that you really didn’t need, cut yourself a bit of slack. (Remember: stress plays a huge roll in your physical health, too!)
2) Get everyone to pitch in. Like a cross between a potluck and a cookie exchange, recipe swaps are a great way to experience several new dishes and walk away with an inbox full of fabulous new recipes. Recruit a group of friends and assign each one part of a meal – hors d’oeuvres, salad, soup, dessert, etc. – and then plan a dinner date. Everyone will create a dish, bring it to the party for all to enjoy, then email their recipe to fellow diners post-get together. Who says hosting has to be a headache?
3) Trim the fat. If you want to streamline the number of people on your “To Buy For” list – and reduce the number of fruitcakes, socks and holiday decor you receive in return – use your seasonal card or holiday letter as an opportunity to let people know that what you really want for Christmas is quality time with them. Or, if you have friends or relatives that believe that coming empty handed to a gathering is the ultimate festive no-no, suggest a charity to which they can donate in lieu of a gift.
4) Wine. Because let’s be honest – sometimes after all of your holiday efforts, you need a little antioxidant-rich treat to wind down with.
Follow me on Twitter: @Rachel_Crocker
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