Merry Christmas, Sarasota Post readers! If you are perusing this and a parent, chances are you have already torn into presents or that task is near in your future.
There is no sleeping in with little ones in the household on Christmas morning! We hope that you enjoy the peace and joy of this day and remember to fully immerse yourselves in the meaningful moments around the tree, the dinner table, or reminiscing with your loved ones. We are passing on the 12 days of Christmas in favor of the 14 letters of “Merry Christmas” with some tips to make the day extra special.
M: Mix it up, as in take the time today to reach out to a neighbor or friend who you haven’t spoken to in some time. Breaking out of our circle to include another Is never a bad idea.
E: Eat all the desserts. Today is not the day to worry about waistlines or burpees. Whether it be you or your hostess, someone has gone to great lengths to provide a homemade meal, so enjoy.
R: Remember gratitude. With all the gift-giving we can get carried away with the newness of it all. Don’t forget to say “thank you” often and remind the children to do so as well.
R: Rise above the fray if you need to. If politics, broken family ties, or annoying Cousin Eddie have you at your wit’s end, take a five-minute nature walk to alleviate tensions.
Y: Say, “Yes!” As friends and family gather, plans for the new year will undoubtedly come up. Make this the year that you show up for events and gatherings rather than avoiding all that hoopla. Though not normally your thing, being social has so many positive effects on your psyche.
C: Check on those who have gone quiet during the holidays. Lack of family, money, and an uptick in depression during these months will undoubtedly leave many out of the festive mood so look in on your people.
H: Help out! If you are staying with someone, do not treat them like a hotel. Make your bed, buy groceries, put some fresh flowers in a vase. Nobody likes to feel used, so don’t be that guy.
R: Resist giving advice. Everyone has a certain way in which they do the holidays. Just because the turkey isn’t being brined to your liking, or the presents are being opened at an odd time does not mean the world needs your opinion on the matter. Zip it, then talk about it all when you get home.
I: Invest your time in those around you. Now that your pockets are empty from all the recent shopping, give of your time by listening to a friend or family member’s problems. Get down to eye-level with a kid and really play with them. The joy they exude will make you feel rich.
S: Stop complaining! Okay? You know who you are, and if you are always the Debbie Downer in the bunch, consider that old saying that goes, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Those are good words.
T: Take it to Goodwill, or the Salvation Army or any area church. With the onset of new clothing, toys, books, and electronics, now is a perfect time to alleviate your closets of the excess and pass your gently used items on.
M: Make your reservations for NYE! The time to figure out your last evening of 2019 is now. Whether you are watching the pineapple drop or dancing in the aisles at the Decades Rewind show at Venice Performing Arts Center, you need to lock down those plans.
A: Ask for help. You don’t have to do it all. Put the call out for a potluck this coming weekend rather than cooking everything. If you have kiddos, consider trading babysitting weekends with another couple so you all can get some much-needed adult time away from the house.
S: Say, “Merry Christmas” a lot today! Why not, we only get to use that one for a short time so shout it to the world or quietly whisper it to your love. We hope our readers have the Merriest Christmas ever.
Photos courtesy of Jodi Schwarzenbach