Top Ten Things Not to Do During the Holidays


This list is inspired by the holiday season and is as a result of watching the behavior of folks as we get nearer to the final day. As with all my lists there is not much redeeming value here but are designed to (maybe) get a smile. Also, some of these items may seem to be contrary to the spirit of the season but I can assure you they are.

Ten Things Not to do During the Holiday Season.

10 During the holidays, do not invite strangers to your home even if the spirit moves you. If you do, at best you may have an awkward moment or two. At worst, you might just wonder what happened to the house full of furniture which was there when you went off to church.

9 During the holidays do not accidentally drop more money than you intended into the Salvation Army kettle. If you do, at best you will have given to a worthy cause. At worst, you will have to explain to the family about the lack of presents due to your generosity somewhere else. (Yeah, they will understand.)

8 During the holidays, do not think you have to buy everyone you know a gift. If you do, at best you will certainly earn the cheerful giver award. At worst, you may create an identity crisis with those who did not buy a gift for you causing then to rush out and get you something or even worse re-gift the gift you gave them last year.

7 During the holidays always remind yourself that self-medication is not a wise thing during times of stress.  If you don’t, at best you will get off easy with a nip of egg nog. At worst, you will find yourself saying some of the dumbest things to those you barely know and what you think are the smartest things to those who no longer call you friend.

6 During the holidays, do not put off your shopping in an effort to ‘get into the season.” If you do, At best you may have to pay more for items that are in short supply. At worst, all the gifts you were going to buy are no longer in stock and so you will have to make last-minute substitutions which will at best be second-rate and not at all what anyone can remotely appreciate.

5 During the holidays do not touch anything outside your home. If you do, at best you will come down with a cold from a germ left on that innocent door handle. At worst, you will be quarantined by the CDC due to the fact that whatever you picked up is not currently identified and is assumed to be as a result of a terrorist attack. The upside here is the CDC has a lovely assortment of Christmas carol CD’s which they are happy to play over and over again.

4 During the holidays, do not think you can pick up that holiday turkey on your way home Christmas eve. If you do, at best only the twenty-five pounders will be available. At worst, the only thing left in the meat department is a package of Hog Maw left over either from Thanksgiving or the butcher’s hunting trip.

3 During the holidays do not think you need to have an old-fashioned Christmas by subjecting your neighbors to your family’s off key carols. If you do, at best you will get polite smiles and no hot chocolate At worst, you and the family will need to run for your lives .as the neighbor yells “don’t worry Bruno already ate.”

2 During the holidays, do not try to attend every event of which you are aware. If you do, at best you will be sleep deprived and will have lost the spirit of the season. At worst, you will need to consume copious amounts of caffeine which will lead to an unnerving appearance which might cause holiday revelers to actually believe the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Or even worse think the Christmas tale of the Zombie is real.

1 During the holidays, do not despair over small things that you forgot. If you do, at best matters will seem worse as a result. At worst, your family will certainly be forced to look forward to the coming of spring when the state promises to review your case again.


  1. Really good post! Although I have to admit I love Christmas carols, no matter how off key the kids are. Merry Christmas!

    1. Nicholas,
      Merry Christmas to you as well.

  2. A masterful list for the holiday season. What’s Hog Maw?

    1. Really is hog cheek. Used down south. Cooked with greens

      1. Guess it’s good to use every part of the hog. Still how much meat can a cheek have?

      2. It’s more the fat and flavor.

      3. I see . . . guess the real question is if it goes on pizza. 😀

      4. Almost as well as bacon on Hannukah

      5. Mmmm sacralicious. (Simpsons word)

  3. Great list, John! And good reminders to enjoy the season in moderation 🙂

    1. Thanks, Marie. Also thanks for the reblog.

  4. Reblogged this on 1WriteWay and commented:
    Ten wonderful (and funny) reasons to not let the Christmas season push you over the edge … into insanity 😉 Courtesy of John Howell over at Fiction Favorites.

  5. “The Christmas Tale of the Zombie”? Is that forthcoming John Howell novel?

    1. Thought I would open with “twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a zombie was stirring not even its louse.”

  6. Oh my. I better just shut my door and not mess up the holidays. Number 1 cracked me up the most. ❤

    1. I liked that one too. Can see a crazed holiday reveler hauled out the front door on a stretcher and bound in a straight jacket singing Jingle bells.

      1. I can’t bear thinking about it anymore. 😀 😀 😀

  7. Hog Maw….Hahahaha! Never heard of that, and I’m from the south! Sounds southern though.

  8. Do not try to fish the excess donation from the Sally Army tin. A friend tried this once…….

    1. I know it can be dangerous.

  9. and let’s not forget a lesson learned from Cousin Eddie – never, never, never wear a black dickie under a white sweater – it will ruin the leisure suit vibe:)

  10. I’m glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t heard of Hog Maw…and I was born in West Virginia. 🙂
    Merry Christmas, John!

    1. Thanks, Jill. Merry Christmas to you.

  11. Thanks for the grins, but amazingly so, I can’t relate to any of the ten. 😉 … Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. I understand. Merry Christmas to all in Cinci.

      1. We are all grins after a big & surprisingly win.

      2. Wait till next week. GO STEELERS

      3. It will be a big one … so it’s payback time!

  12. Only you could make the CDC seem like a festive joint. I love it.

    Merry Christmas, Sheriff.

    1. And to you, Pilgrim

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