Laurie Toby Edison


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Body Impolitic’s 2008 Guide to Sane Holidays

Laurie and Debbie say:

If you love the holidays, love your family, and are looking forward to the next ten days, you don’t need this list.

If you’re still reading:

1) To the extent possible, do as much or as little holiday stuff as you want; it’s supposed to a celebration, not an obligation.
2) If you have enough to give to someone who has less, this is a good year for it.
3) Eat what you enjoy. Desserts are not sinful, they’re just desserts. If other people want to tell you what to eat or not to eat, that’s their problem.
4) Wear what you think you look terrific in.
5) Spend time with people you love and who are good to you.
6) If you must spend time with awful people, remind yourself three times (out loud) before you walk in the door that they are awful people. Then do something really nice for yourself the minute you can walk out the door.
7) Plan your responses to inevitable comments beforehand. For example, if you know that your mother will overfeed you and then, just as dessert is being cleared off the table, say “You look like you’ve gained weight,” try, “That was really a fabulous meal. Excuse me, I haven’t had a minute to talk with Aunt Mabel.”
8) If the holidays make you sad, or you just hate them, you’re not alone. Participate as little as possible. They’ll be over soon.
9) If you enjoy the kids, they’re a great escape from the adult follies. If they drive you crazy, be as patient with them as you can: they didn’t overstimulate themselves with sugar and toys–they had help.
10) You have a right to enjoy things in your own way.
11) Be effusive about every gift you get; then be rude about the awful ones later to your friends. If they’re really awful, throw them off a bridge in the middle of the night.

If these aren’t your holidays, have a great Chinese meal and enjoy the movie!

We’ll be back in the beginning of the New Year.

5 Responses to “Body Impolitic’s 2008 Guide to Sane Holidays”

  1. Alan Bostick says:

    4) Wear what you think you look terrific in.

    If you want to look good, wear what you think you look good in; if you want to be comfortable, wear what you are comfortable in. (My own selfish opinion is that people who look like they are comfortable look better to my eye than those who don’t look comfortable.)

  2. Jennifer Tifft says:

    This is brilliant, and I’m really glad I found your blog (again — I lost the bookmark in a computer melt-down)!

    Blessings on you both!

  3. Laurie says:


    Thanks. Really good to hear from you. Best for the holidays

  4. VibratingLiz says:

    This is excellent advice for those who have too much going on for the holidays, but what about the folks with too little, who wish they had more? The lonely, the forgotten, the destitute, the irrelevant? The ones with no families, dysfunctional and overbearing or otherwise. No feasts, no gifts, no friends, no celebrations. What about the people who spend holidays isolated and forgotten, in prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, SROs? Or sitting alone on park benches feeding the pigeons.

    Let’s not get so absorbed in our own privileged perspective that we forget there are other ways of suffering during the holidays, ways that sadly don’t involve families, clothes, gifts, or desserts.

  5. Laurie says:

    Vibrating Liz,

    I don’t think much of this advice is for people who “have too much going on for the holiday’s “, but I obviously agree that it is not advice for “people who spend holidays isolated and forgotten, in prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, SROs? Or sitting alone on park benches feeding the pigeons.” Nor is it advice for people who are experiencing personal tragedies this time of year. A situation which is closer to my universe right now.

    Body Impolitic deals with body image issues in the largest sense and other related topics. We did not intend this to be all encompassing advice, and it would feel very presumptuous to do that.

    I completely agree that is is important not only to remember “The lonely, the forgotten, the destitute, the irrelevant” but to do what we can to help.

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