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No one's making you

Here's the deal: the holidays are stressful. January doesn't make things any better. In other words, stuff may start sucking today and it won't stop for the next month or so.

Family is flying in. They want to show up early. We forgot to buy the turkey. Or was it a ham? Will they like their present? Did we spend too much? Not enough? Where will grandma sit? Grandma's coming? Will mom and dad get along? Is the house clean? Are we going to church on Christmas Eve? Will our uncle drink too much? What if the cat vomits on the tree?

Our worries are a far cry from the warm fuzzy feelings that jewelry store commercials and weekly Target ads want us to have deep inside.

For the holidays this year (all of them), let's give each other the chance to not do something. Or to do something. Sure, you may feel guilty, but that's okay. That means you're human and you care about other people. We appreciate that.

Blow off the party. Take a nap. Don't wrap every present. Come late to dinner. Burn the rolls. Give imperfect gifts. Stay in your pajamas. Don't go sing carols. Watch reruns. Eat cereal.

Laugh. Wish someone a Merry Christmas. Hug your sister. Tell stories of when granddad was still around. Remember what it was like when the kids were young. Look someone in the eye.

Rediscover the upside potential of the winter holidays. Your own expectations are always the highest. Allow yourself to fail miserably this Christmas and fall in love with the extravaganza all over again.

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