My key to holiday success


My key to holiday success is to get it over with early. If you can get yourself good and sick of it early on, you can get back to your normal life. What I find that this generally requires is one over-the-top holiday-related activity to push you over the proverbial edge. For me, with the vacation that was a little less than relaxing (including 4 plane flights), the snow, ice, town cars, the sliding, the dog overtaying his welcome at the boarder, the bent tire rim, the sprinkler exploding in the front yard, the sneezy-runny nose routine with the humidifiers running 24X7 and stepping on the scale to “uh-oh”….well, all I needed was to bake about 100 cookies to put a nice cap on the holidays. I’m doing a cookie exchange tomorrow.


Seriously, if someone were to wave stick of butter in front of me, hurling would surely ensue. Are the holidays over yet? For me they are.

Comments (23)

  1. Derek Bigelow says:

    The first Christmas song I hear is pretty much the point where I lose interest.  For me, thats right around November 1st.  I guess I really need to get out of retail :]

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oh yeah, the holiday season in retail! Guess you have to grit your teeth and get through it. Though I’ll say that the mall yesterday was not as bad as it could have been. THen again, I was done with my holiday shopping and was shopping for myself (thanks again Derek!), so I’m not one to complain!

  3. tod hilton says:

    Well hello there Miss Bah-Hum-Bug, nice to meet you. It’s hard to maintain my inner scroogeness when I see my daughter’s eyes light up with our Christmas tree. 🙂

  4. vicki says:

    A little bah-humbug action is detected here, -but I think you’ve earned your stripes. Keep your chin up and take out your aggression while wrapping presents – use lots and lots of tape. Your friends and family will thank you… or, not. 😉

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    tod-well, I’m not telling you not to celebrate! I would expect you to enjoy your daughter’s reaction to the holidays. I’ve never much cared for them (well at least since I’ve been an adult). They mess up my birthday too. Plus last week was rife (is that the right word?) with mishaps and moderatly bad stuff.  Just let me wallow in it : )

    vicki- now this is where my minor personality disorders come into play. Since I have no family here for the holidays and I’m quite the planner and shopper, my holiday shopping is done and anything that needed to be wrapped is wrapped. I was serious when I said it was over for me. All except the opening of the Christmas spaghetti sauce jar. Really! The dercorations aren’t coming out of the attic. I don’t have the energy for it (same as last year).

    I’m sure most people think that me not liking the holidays makes me grouchy or something. It’s just not something I get into. Nothing I could change or even care to. But I’m definitely not saying that everyone else shouldn’t enjoy them. If you celebrate them, and by that I mean "holidays" because I am one of those "Happy Holidays" people, (instead of "Marry Christmas"), then I hope that yours are awesome and safe!

  6. vicki says:

    Consider taking a holiday to Europe at some point during the Advent time next year – you don’t have to spend the actual Christmas day there if you don’t want, but go to a Christmas Market in the weeks leading up to the grand finale. Get some Gluehwein if you’re in Germany (it is spiced red wine that is served warm – a specialty for this time of year)… then there’s the crepes and just sights and sounds of being somewhere ELSE…where others have decorated and prepared for YOUR visit…. and, you could even bring Jonas to Germany if you wanted… Dogs are welcome in restaurants and hotels – so make it a vacation for two! 🙂

    I’m all about the alternative beverages making the holidays a little warmer. Inside and out! 😉

    There’s nothing wrong with not being joyful about this time of year – I’m just trying to think of ways to count down to that big spaghetti dinner that you’re planning. After you put the pasta on the stove this year, get out your calendar for next year and plan a trip across the pond!

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Maybe, but I probably would do it some other time than the holidays. Believe it or not, I really don’t need cheering up during this time of year. I’m not sad or anything (I’m even starting to get over last week, but it may just be the effect of the cold medecine). I’m doing a cookie exchange tomorrow but nobody should ask me to go carolling or anything. I just find a lot of the stuff that comes with the holidays really annoying and it’s just not something I’m into. No deep issues or anything. Just a preference thing. I could be with family, but I’m looking forward to having some quiet down time at home. I’m an introvert, what can I say?

  8. mrscrooge says:

    Hamilton, I’m pretty much with you on this one. Heres an idea – spend some of your holiday time-off volunteering for a local non-profit. I can guarantee that it will provide you with a completely alternate perspective of the season of ‘giving’. Or if you are short on time, you can donate goods or money to help with food/services at some shelter so that they’re able to do support enough hot meals over the holiday week.

    And if you are like me and like to send out cards (but not festive ones) you can buy stuff from say Amnesty Intl or some other worthwhile non-profit (local is always a good idea. Check out noelhouse.org, I think you’ll like the work they do) and send them out to people with a letter. It takes time to sit down and write them out (I start t’row) but I just send out a bunch to people I really do care about and not just blast a card out to everyone in my contacts list.

    If you have to do gifts, you can do donations in someones name and send them a card.  If you want some other ideas (or have some good ones to share with us!), let me know I’ll send them to you at work. Good luck..

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Good ideas mrscrooge. I already bought my "Seasons Greetings" cards this year but I may try your card idea next year. I hope that this year, I am actually able to get my cards our before the end of the year. : )

    My mom and I decided to skip gifts this year since we both have expensive purchases (for me, my kitchen). But for my birthday, I asked her for some Omaha Steaks. Is that weird to ask for steak for your birthday? It could possibly keep me out of the spaghetti sauce on Christmas.

    So anyway, presents were a little easier this year. Juat had to buy for my dad’s side and my maternal grandparents.

  10. Doug Burris says:

    Derek. I so hear you on the Christmas Music. Here in KC, we have not 1, but 2 radio stations that play christmas music 24/7.  One of them started on November 1st this year. giving Bing and Nat all the respect in the world…I do not need that much holiday cheer while I am eating the kids halloween candy.  

    If it weren’t for the kids I would be right with H2 on the whole holiday thing. When the stores have christmas stuff out before halloween, people are shooting each other over spots in lines for video games and no one seems to understand that it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a new Audi A6 Quattro for yours truly I begin to think we have lost sight of what is the true meaning of christmas.

    Christmas through child’s eyes is the best thing ever. That being said…I am not sure there is enough bourbon in Kansas to get me through the "some assembly required" stage of my 3 years old’s Baby Doll Diaper Changing Station and Care Center.  At least the boy (5) was wise enough to ask for Slot Cars this year…Slot Cars RULE!

    Omaha Steaks? Perfectly okay to ask, but you can do better. There are places here in KC that will ship you steaks that blow Omaha’s out of the water.

    H2, what are we getting the Giraffe this year…sorry, could not resist.

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Doug-the LAX airport was lousy with Christmas music weekend before last. It was really ovcer the top Christmas music too (lots of "Ho! Ho! Ho!"). The holidays started way too early here too. It always seems to start with the Nutcracker commercial.

    "Some assembly required"..haha. I remember my dad putting together some of that stuff and now that you mention it, I think I recall a beer in his hand as he did it! I was a bit of a tom-boy (what does that really mean anyway?) and always liked stuff that had some goop involved. That is what all of my favorite toys had in common. One that let you pour some goop into molds and make figurines. I coveted those little gummy lizzard things you could make with jello and then decorate with edible pen ink, but I never got those. I did like the easy bake oven (what a surprise). Oh, I also liked stuff with wheels. My Big Wheel was the best! I could make it skid and I ended up needing a new one because I wore it out.

    OK, Doug, educate me on the steaks. Because Omaha Steaks’ petit filets are about the best I have ever had. If there is something better, I must know. Don’t torture me by keeping it a secret! I’m betting that some other people want to know too. Fill us in!

  12. Doug Burris says:

    You asked for it. Kansas City Foodstuff coming your way.

    McGonigles Market is a traditional neighborhood market that has survived the onslaught of SuperTarget and other local mega grocery stores. They specialize in hand cut beef and cater to the BBQ crowd (I do ribs that are so good you will want to slap your mama).  On a daily basis, they have 3 smokers going outside the store with a variety of ribs, brisket, sausage, etc.  Great…now I’m hungry.

    http://www.mcgonigles.com

    http://www.kansascitysteaks.com – my biz partner dropped omaha and now gets steaks from these guys. He made the right choice.

    http://www.dodgecitysteaks.com – From western kansas, where the cattle hang out. Just as good as kansascitysteaks.

    BarBQue.

    http://www.jackstackbbq.com – REAL kansas city bbq, which has a smokey spicy kick to it.   Jack Stack has been in KC for years and despite growing into 3 restaurants still has traditional bbq.  You will want to stick to the Ribs, Sausage and Burnt Ends (Chopped Brisket) Not really burned meat…

    You want Pork Ribs (commonly known as baby back) the meat is better and more tender (falls off the bone).  Beef ribs are bigger and the meat is usually tougher and chewier.

    Unfortunately the best BBQ in town, aside from my ribs, is Oklahoma Joes BBQ. http://www.oklahomajoes.com. Unfortunately OKJoes does not offer shipping. Too Bad, you will have to come to KC for the best stuff around.

    Can’t help but love a place that is a gas station and bbq joint…in the same building.

    Enjoy!

  13. HeatherLeigh says:

    Mmm. I’m going to check some of that out. I don’t do pork. I have a weird texture/snout issue with pork. I know it’s weird. I can sometimes trick myself into eating it but otherwise try to steer clear (pun intended…moo). You don’t have to remind me about what cows noses look like…I know…it’s also gross but I can talk myself into beef. And this is how life is in Heather’s happy place…cows don’t have snouts : )

    OK, if I had to order one thing that they offer online, what is it? I’m going to order something and let you know how it was. Beef recommendation por favor.

    Speaking of beef, I made ropa vieja last week (I was in the mood for comfort food) and it was soooo good! Trying to decide what I want to make this upcoming weekend (I have a kielbasa and cabbage in the fridge for during the week…I know that sounds strange to many people but I love cabbage…stinks up the house though. And I love stuff that goes with mustard…the ball park mustard I bought when I was in Cleveland.). Anyway, I just got the new Cooking Light cookbook.  I bet I can find a rub or something (I just bought a bengal masala rub at the store last night, hmm)…see what happens when I get talking about food?

    Look forward to trying out some of that Kansas City beef! I can compare it to the Omaha!

  14. Doug Burris says:

    BBQ: Beef Burnt Ends

    Steak: Ribeyes (Same cut of meat as Prime Rib) or Filet. Filets are leaner, Ribeyes have more flavor due to Marbling (Fat content)

    Enjoy!

  15. HeatherLeigh says:

    Dude…I am so doing this!

  16. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oh no…Doug, I just spent $100 on beef at Jack Stack! Holy cow (haha). There’s no way to justify this purchase other than to say "Happy Birthday to me!". Yay, more meat. What a weird birthday.

    Let’s see if any of my friends start inviting themselves over for dinner.

    Thanks for the recommendations, Doug. I will definitely let you know what I think! I’m kind of excited. And to think that I went for years without eating red meat.

  17. Christine says:

    I am from KC as well (my family settled the land back in the 1800s) and I heartily agree with Doug’s recommendations!

    If you’re ever in KC, try the Golden Ox.  It’s delicious–we had our rehearsal dinner there and everybody raved about KC steaks.  Mmmmmm!!  (updating Christmas wish list)

  18. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hmm. I have never been to KC but after all of this talk, I might need to go!

  19. RJD says:

    Let us know what wine you pair your birthday present with.

  20. Mom says:

    He’s just sayin’ . . . .

    When I came to Charlotte for barbecue, I never thought I’d discover the best brisket I’ve ever had. It’s better than anything I’ve had in Texas” exclaimed Rick Browne as we noshed on some amazing ‘cue at Mac’s on South Boulevard. Our fingers were covered with sauce, and the deep red spots on my yellow shirt made me envious of Rick’s trademark red and white checked picnic table-style shirt. As the host of the PBS series “Barbecue America”, there aren’t many people who know more about barbeque than Rick, who was in town to cover the Blues, Brews & BBQ event for his TV show, and also to serve as a judge in the professional team competition.

  21. HeatherLeigh says:

    My order includes a brisket!  You and Doug can argue over what “real” BBQ is, Mom. Got me some “burnt ends” too…hee!

  22. Tim says:

    Two things. One, when you come back to LA, you’ve got to have Memphis BBQ from JR’s (http://www.jrs-bbq.com/). You can pick me up some while you’re there and drop it by the office, if you’d like!

    Two, I am with you on Xmas burnout (can’t blame those other holidays for creating marketing havoc, can we?) For me it starts the week before Thanksgiving by hosting a sit down dinner for 68 at my house. It ends by running a party for 163 people at my office (food and drink included). By the time I’m done with this, I’m done with the holiday. Which is kinda sad, since I have yet to do any shopping.

  23. HeatherLeigh says:

    Tim – 1) BBQ in LA? I’m skeptical. Also, I think you have the delivery scenario backwards. If I’m in LA, I am all about the Mexican food. I miss real Mexican food.

    It seems to me that your holiday frenzy is self-induced. I’m not sure that you get to complain about that kind of stuff. I’m always pretty spent after any entertaining myself. I know the feeling. This year, I’m not doing any holiday entertaining…I’m kind of relieved.