How to Survive Christmas

Now I do not really know why people are so stressed around Christmas. But then again, I have no freakin' clue why they cook so much and spend so much and do so much... But then again (again), I am a bit of a Grinch so Christmas is at times superficial and way about consumerism for me than about... giving and loving and spending time with the family. So I don't care enough to get stressed around Christmas.

And, yeah, this year is different and I do a bit (of a lot more) of caring, but I only focused on the important parts like giving time and money to those in need, buying presents for my family to make up for me not being there, and generally just enjoying the holiday events and Winter traditions. So here's what I do to not get stressed, and not be a Grinch this year!

Eat to Survive Christmas! Now do not eat so much that you'll get sick (unless that's your thing). Try special things you only find at Christmas - like Christmasy doughnuts, Spekulatius biscuits - another Christmas favourite of mine, and any kind of cookie will do. Also, don't forget about oranges and exotic fruit like litchi. Now I am not really big on traditional Romanian food, but if that's your thing - go for it! Eat all the sarmale and sausages you want!

Drink to Survive Christmas! This is not good advice - but doesn't alcohol just make everything better? So enjoy some mulled wine with friends or make some at home, and do get another glass of prosecco. Make festive cocktails (or simple ones if you are like me) and do try a bottle of unfiltered dark beer (I recommend Paulaner). Let's not forget champagne (quick tip if you have Donuterie in your city, they will bring champagne doughnuts for New Year's) and, of course, hot beverages: hot chocolate, spiced teas and even festive Starbucks coffee (should I try one?) - they are even better if you have a mug that changes when it's hot!

Keep Warm to Survive Christmas! I am by nature a human being who is forever cold no matter what temperature. So bundle up, wear cute earmuffs and gloves with touchscreen fingers (or maybe you are lucky and your phone has a Glove Mode - hint for all Huawei users). Stay warm when you are inside. Keep your toes on the rug and avoid the cold parts of the house. Wear blankets when at the desk - especially the one covered in snowflakes (and super fluffy), burn candles and Christmas-smelling tarts and wear your fluffy Christmas socks!

What Else to Do to Survive Christmas!

Be a child... do what you loved when you were a kid. Write a letter to Santa, go caroling, or ask your loved one (or mum) to bring you breakfast in bed on Christmas morning. Hope for snow on Christmas Eve (it doesn't matter that you have a glass of prosecco near you while you look out the window), watch Home Alone and Home Alone 2, stay away from politics and maybe read a good book.

Get organized and ready for 2017. If the present is too overwhelming, then take a look in the future when all this madness will be far away in the past. Get a new planner (one with cats on the cover, preferably), organize your desk and start working on your future projects or your 2017 resolution if that's something you like to do (mine is quite long).

Watch sad films. Now this is a weird one, but if you are having a hard time at Christmas, then please know that something that helps me (and it might not work for you) is to watch films that make me sad, but kinda hopeful. They also remind me that life is not hard just for myself and that maybe I am not the center of the universe. I recommend One More Time with Feeling because I loved it and while it is quite sad, it's not depressing, it is real and sensitive and it gave me a new perspective on grief... Also, try one of my favourite Christmas films - Joyeux Noel. You might cry a lot, but it might also give you some hope in humanity... Or go to Rogue One! But no spoilers, please, because I will go after Christmas!

Last, but most importantly: spend time with your dear ones. It could be family or friends or animals or your own person. Just do what you love and feel like, and don't get trapped into all the holiday "must-do"s if you don't want to do it. Don't buy the present for the person you don't like but feel like you have to get them something, don't visit the relatives you hate, don't drink on New Year's if you don't feel like it, don't stop being a Grinch just because I told you so!

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