Wednesday, December 14, 2005 at 10:15AM
SPECIAL REPORT: SEVEN TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE HOLIDAZE!
1) The Biggest Mom Myth--and how to get over it.You are NOT Wonder Woman. You are wonderful, but you still can't do it all. You will never make everybody happy all of the time. Your children will never appreciate everything you do, unless and until they have children of their own one day. Only then will they even think (maybe) to say Thank You. (Why didn't our mothers ever tell us any of this?)
However, with enough love and no-cost, no-stress time together to enjoy the simple pleasures during this special time of year, your children will carry forward many happy memories to treasure for the rest of their lives. You don't have to kill yourself trying to MAKE special memories--they just happen.
Here's your three-step recovery program:
1. Do the best you can. 2. Get over the guilt. 3. Enjoy life as it is!
2) First Thing To Do: Get Organized!This is the only homework assignment, I promise: Get out a piece of paper and a pencil. Sit down for a minute and brainstorm your To Do List--every little thing you have to do: people to see, places to go, gifts to purchase, details to remember--just go for it! Make sure you get EVERYTHING down, but don't take more than 5 -- 10 minutes...
Okay, are you ready? Did you remember making cookies for the class party, your outfit for the company holiday party, and a little something for the school bus driver? If not, go ahead and add it on--
Now that you've got your "Holiday Fun List," here's what you do:
1) Fold your To Do List in half.
2) Rip To Do List in two.
3) Throw away the bottom half of your list.
a. You're never going to get to all of that stuff.
b. You wrote down all the important things first anyway.
c. Get over it and have some fun!
3) Sure-fire Strategy: What to do with those children!Two little letters can save everybody's sanity while you are going out of your mind with the holiday preparations and busy-ness: TV! It's okay. In fact, it's the only time of year the stations play the wholesome, family Holiday Classics just about 24 hours a day (without commercials, if you are really lucky!). You know: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! If you don't already have them on videotape or DVD, get them!
Give yourself and the kids a break and turn on the TV. Better yet, take a break from all the craziness, pop a bag of popcorn and snuggle up to watch and enjoy with them for some true holiday quality time. (Multi-task if you MUST: Write out and address the holiday cards while you watch. The kids can help by putting the stamps on.)
4) Amazing Secret: When everyone else goes to the mall...Go online for all your holiday shopping needs this year. Start early. You can do it. Better prices, better selection, easy comparison shopping, and you'll only pay shipping if you really don't try--or procrastinate too long! Search engines do all the running; personal shoppers, recommendations and reviews on any product are just a few clicks away. Coupons, rebates and special discounts are plentiful. (Check out http://www.ebates.com -- a very helpful site--lots of discounts, and you get money back for shopping!)
No driving around dark parking lots, searching for an empty spot (or someone who looks like they might be leaving to follow to their car--it's probably just a drop-off-and-back-for-more trip anyway!). No fighting for slim pickings and standing in line for hours, only to be burned one way or another by the holiday chill of overworked, unsympathetic store clerks and the glazed eyes and/or violent tempers of your fellow shoppers. No screaming kids, other than your own.
Avoid the horror. Go online. Start early. You can do it!
5) Tried-and-True: HOW TO COPE!Two little words, and a hyphen: self-indulgence.
When you are out there, day-after-day, taking care of everybody and everything else, take some time out, even just a few minutes, every day to take care of you, too. Whatever it takes--a few minutes alone, a manicure, a walk, a haircut, exercise, time with a friend, some GOOD eggnog (add enough brandy, any store-brand nog will do!) or a glass of wine in the middle of the busy day (now, don't get sloshed or anything!), a bubble bath, a few minutes with a good book--lock the bathroom door, if you have to! Just get a few minutes to yourself, for yourself. Everyday. Promise. It will make ALL the difference, for everyone.
6) Can't Miss: The Season's best gifts.What could be better than a happy, healthy, stress-free (as much as possible) Mom/Honey?! Take it easy. The best gifts are not top-of-the-line gadgets and gizmos, the trend-of-the-year toy, or outrageously expensive. The best gifts (fighting the cliché) are the things that are selected with care, just for the person to whom they are being given. Small gifts, personal gifts: candles, bath & body soaps, lotions and potions, edibles--like gourmet candy or special foods (or spice things up with the bath & body kind!). Give from the heart, something that person would truly enjoy and appreciate. It takes a little more thought, but a lot less money. And with all the resources available online, it doesn't take a lot of time or valuable holiday energy.
The Rebel Housewife, in the best (cyberspace) neighbor-over-the-fence tradition, wants to help! We suggest the absolute BEST, one-size-fits-all, something-for-anybody, mix-and-match, doesn't-matter-what-the-occasion-is, one-to-ninety-two, CAN'T MISS gift is...a book (or a gift certificate for a book!). Quick and easy, sized-to-fit recommendations for anybody, FREE shipping...Amazon.com is there for you in a pinch, every time.
We have other suggestions as well, and publish shopping and bargain tips weekly in Rebel Housewife Reviews at http://www.rebelhousewife.com.
7) What to do when you need help--bring on the support!Where is that neighbor-over-the-fence when you need her? Where is the "village"?! How come being the Mom and Wife can sometimes be so isolating? We find ourselves so wrapped up in household, husband, family, school and kid activities that a trip to the grocery store is a big outing, and five minutes to oneself is a rare luxury. It can sometimes seem as if we are virtually cut off from adult interaction that does not revolve around household, husband, family, school and kid activities...so here it is--
For all the Rebel Housewives out there--funny, talented, interesting women "rebelling" against the stereotype or sentence of being "JUST a housewife"--we urge you to visit The Rebel Housewife online at http://www.rebelhousewife.com. In addition to the weekly column, book and product reviews, and The Daily Update, join The Rebel Housewife conversation--grown-up interaction, community, support, entertainment and lots of laughter, online and in your e-mail box 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We're there when you need us.