Top Ten Things Not to do During the Holiday Season.

Photo by lasse bergqvist on Unsplash

 

This post originally ran on December 22, 2014. I think it still might give you a smile today.

* * *

This list is inspired by the holiday season and is 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 contrary to the spirit of the season, but I can assure you they are.

Top 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. (You wanted to redecorate anyway, right?)

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 undoubtedly earn the cheerful giver award. At worst, you may create an identity crisis with those who did not buy a gift for you, causing them to rush out and get you something, or even worse, re-gift the gift you gave them last year. (You thought that tie looked familiar)

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 most brilliant things to those who no longer call you friends. ( You learned to never mention hair color under any circumstances)

6 During the holidays, do not put off your shopping 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, so you will have to make last-minute substitutions that will be second-rate and not at all what anyone can remotely appreciate. (Gas station beef jerky, for example)

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 because whatever you picked up is not currently identified and is assumed to result from a terrorist attack. The upside here is the CDC has a lovely assortment of Christmas carol CDs that they are happy to play repeatedly. (Never knew Santa Claus is Coming to Town was recorded by 250 artists, did you?)

4 During the holidays, do not think you can pick up that holiday turkey on your way home on 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 leftover either from Thanksgiving or the butcher’s hunting trip. (You’ll never convince the family that hog maw and beans tastes like turkey.)

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 some 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.” (Man, that dog is big.)

2 During the holidays, do not try to attend every event. 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 that 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, things will seem worse as a result. At worst, your family will undoubtedly be forced to look forward to the coming of spring when the state promises to review your case again. (A gas station hold-up is never the answer.)

75 comments

  1. Word to the wise. Have a lot of beer on hand if you go with Hog maw. A LOT of beer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha. Excellent advice, Marc. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wise words, John. With all the things we “think” we need to do during the holidays, it’s no wonder we’re exhausted come January.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Joan. Sometimes it is too much for sure. Thanks. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m taking your advice, John. This year, I’m not going to think!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thinking is overrated, Jill. Good idea. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just scratched Hog Maw off the list. My family thanks you, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m certain that if it is prepared the right way it would be….Never mind. I can’t imagine it either. Thanks, Dan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure someone down where you are would say, “you haven’t had good Hog Maw until you had my Momma’s…” The year I lived in Georgia, that’s what I heard about grits, every time I said I didn’t like them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohhh. You have to try Creamy shrimp and grits Texas style.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That does sound good 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Another useful list. I’ll save the hog maw for Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There you go. A perfect solution. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My old mistake should be # 11. I used to shop all year for people – you know – seeing something that reminds you of a friend or relative, so you pick it up? Only I didn’t wrap or tag them – my mistake. Come Thanksgiving weekend, I’d get out the bags, spread the gifts out on the floor and spend the rest of the day trying to figure out – who gets what!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha. I can picture that for sure. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And – what a dunce I am, I did it every year!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Number 4 got me laughing. Hog Maw? I had to look that one up, and promptly decided to scratch ham off my shopping list. I think we’ll have steaks for Christmas, having had turkey for Thanksgiving. Oh, the choices!! 🐖🦃 🐄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Since we don’t eat beef we don’t have as many choices. Ham it is. Thanks, Gwen.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Really bad at #1, but that’s a year long thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The old string around the finger doesn’t work well either.

      Like

  9. I think you have the makings of the best anti-Hallmark holiday movie ever!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. And the Number ONE Thing Too Do…. is Enjoy yourselves and Breatheee…. Be grateful and joyful… That we can still celebrate our Traditional Holiday and Cancel Culture has not as yet banned it.. 😉 Lol…
    Sending Blessings for a lovely Holiday…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I can see CC trying to ban Christmas. I’m surprised the national Christmas tree hasn’t been banned.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well some places in the UK already are saying our nativities are not now the done thing… Hummm… We have gone a little too far in our being politically correct me thinks.. But this is how control is gradually integrated little by little, until you have no culture or freedom left, but the ones the state wants to present..

        Like

      2. Yeah. Not great prospect, Sue.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Great list, John! The lack of things on the shelf is particularly applicable to this year. Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan. Merry Christmas to you.

      Like

  12. Thanks, for the helpful tips, John. I’ll try to keep all of them in mind, but can’t give any real assurances. 🙂
    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merry Christmas, Tim.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I once invited a guy into my house that I knew slightly. I knew it was a mistake at the time but did it anyway. One day I came home and every stick of furniture (and I mean EVERY!) was gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my. Did you invite him back and ask that he bring his own chair?

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great tips, dear John 👍 We will heed them.
    Take care, keep cool
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Don’t let go too quickly of the ones you want to hug. That was on the list somewhere wasn’t it ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Except for strangers, yes. Not letting go quickly could spell trouble. Thanks, John

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once you have hugged them can they ever be a stranger again ?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, they show up as witnesses at your assult trial.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Great Holiday list, John 🙂 Thanks for the smile! Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merry Christmas, Denise. Have a good break.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hubby does #6 and expects me to go with him. Every. Single. Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear. You are a saint.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. LOL! Great advice, John! I started picking up ingredients for Christmas dinner a couple of weeks ago now I only need a few fresh ingredients that I hope I can get this week!

    I wouldn’t mind having carolers come by off key or not. It’s been ages since I’ve had carolers strolling the neighborhood ringing in good cheer.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Deborah.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh, John, I used to be guilty of so many of these things-not-to-do, but, thankfully, I learn from my mistakes 😉 Christmas is a very quiet, low-key time of year for us now, with gifts and cards going only to a select few … and sometimes those show up after Christmas … lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. Thanks, Marie. A very Merry Christmas to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Merry Christmas and wonderful holidays for you, John ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Ah, the dreaded re-gift. I have to admit to doing this once or twice, lol
    Merry Christmas, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. The only rule is not to regift to the one who gifted.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s what I did wrong! (Smacks forehead) lol

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Your #1, about the small forgotten things, made me laugh. There wasn’t a Christmas that a jello salad, the cranberry sauce, or some little something was discovered in the refrigerator after the meal was over. Strangely, desserts never were forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. You are right. I remember making a cranberry relish one year and it was completely forgotten even by me. Maybe it was the wine.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Excellent advice, John. I’ll be following your wise words to stay out of trouble!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    ‘Tis the season—to get sick. After spending the 3rd Christmas in bed a few years ago, I decided to retire that day. I finished the school year and walked away to take care of myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kids are little petrie dishes for sure. Thanks, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing the post, Michael.

      Like

  24. Great, and very wise words. 😉 If me dont meet again before the big days, let me wish you and yours (Twiggy and Lucy merrily included) a wonderful Christmas. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael Wising you a very Merry Christmas. 🎄

      Like

  25. You got me at self-medication. How else would one get through it? My whole family was drunk decking those halls, along with themselves. It was more OY to the World rather than Joy.

    All these are new to me by the way…never read. So nice. Like discovering the classics in your later life.

    Like

    1. I’m glad you liked it. Many more where that one came from. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s amazing how many you’ve written.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Over 300. I think I mentioned before I could go five years of repeats without a re-repeat. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Prolific you are.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Oh dear. You were amazingly forward-thinking with #5, weren’t you?! Instead of “just a cold,” however, now we’ve got a global pandemic. Sign.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, unfortunately. Thanks, Debby.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Sound advice, John. Number 5 is more important than ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Thanks, Mark.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Smiles and laughing. Hog Maw? What a flash back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

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