Laurie Toby Edison


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Body Impolitic’s 2009 Guide to Sane Holidays

Laurie and Debbie say:

This list is for those of us fortunate enough to have people and resources to celebrate with. And if you love the holidays, love your family, and are looking forward to the next ten days, this list is not for you.

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. (If the people are not just awful but abusive, here’s some good advice.)
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.

6 Responses to “Body Impolitic’s 2009 Guide to Sane Holidays”

  1. Molly says:

    I love my family, and love spending the holidays with them. But I broke #11 last year and it ruined several days for both my sister and I. We’ve both mostly recovered from it, but man I wish I’d paid attention to this post last year before I opened my mouth. (My addendum is that even if emotions are high, consider waiting to talk to a friend about the experience until you’re in a soundproofed location or in a different building from the gifter.)

    In those few days, I definitely had last year’s post on my mind, and I really want to thank you for posting it each year.

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  3. Nolly says:

    I kind of think number three needs a clause about medical safety. No matter how much my diabetic parents enjoy dessert, they really should not eat very much of it; the rest of us don’t enjoy calling 911. Likewise with some food allergies and other similar dietary restrictions.

  4. Jesse the K says:

    Somehow this is the first year I’ve seen this, and it’s wonderful. Thank you so much for distilling many years of good times (and reflections re: bad ones) into a handy numbered list.

  5. […] Body Impolitic, 2009 Guide to Sane Holidays […]

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