T’is the season to be bombarded with good, sensible, well-meaning advice on how to survive the holiday season. You know the kind, don’t eat too much, don’t drink too much, don’t get into arguments with granny. But quite frankly isn’t that the point of the whole damn thing. So here is our guide on how to survive the survival guides.
1) Eat as much as you want. I know, I know, the U.S. is in the midst of an epidemic of obesity and health officials are warning of dire consequences if people don’t lose weight. But Thanksgiving has been a tradition for hundreds of years and the obesity epidemic is new, so clearly turkey day didn’t cause it. In fact, if you look at all the food on the table it’s probably a much healthier meal than most of us eat most days. So go stuff yourself. It’s a time-honored tradition.
2) Drink as much as you want. I know, I know. Too much booze is bad for you. But for god’s sake man, it’s one bloody day. Have a glass of wine, a beer. Then have another. Don’t go crazy and drink yourself into a stupor but don’t start freaking out if you have one Drambuie too much. It’s Thanksgiving. Do you know what the Pilgrims drank on the Mayflower when they were sailing to America from England? Beer. That’s right. Back then, even those dreary, cheerless black-clothed Puritans and their children drank beer, as much as a quart a day, because it was thought to be purer than water. (It must be true. I read it in the “Worst-Case Scenario Almanac: History”) So if it was good enough for Pilgrim kids, it’s good enough for you.
3) Stay up as late as you want. I know, I know, getting enough sleep is essential to staying healthy and balanced and calm and keeping your immune system in good shape. But you know, Thanksgiving comes along once a year (it’s true, I checked my calendar to make sure) and you only get to see some family members once a year (more than enough in some cases eh!) so why not stay up late catching up, laughing, crying, enjoying each others company. Family is a wonderful thing. You can always make up for lost sleep; if you are tired take a nap. But you can never replace lost family.
4) Don’t be afraid to argue. I know, I know, all the learned pieces from therapists and experts tell you to beware of family feuds this time of year and avoid dredging up old family arguments. But you know what, who are you kidding? If someone says something stupid just to irritate you, and they do it every year, what does it matter if they are a relative, deck ‘em. I bet granny doesn’t do it again next year! OK, maybe you don’t have to resort to fisticuffs but you don’t have to go around biting your tongue either. This is family. You should be able to tell them what you think, lord knows they’ll tell you what they think. Surely openness and honesty count for something!
5) Don’t worry about exercise. I know, I know, exercise is really really important. Now, any regular reader of this blog - are there any? - knows that I love exercise, really, I do. But this is why they call this the “holidays”, you are on holiday. If you look at the derivation of the word it comes from the Greek “holus” and “duh” which loosely translated means “screw that Socrates I’m doing nothing”. OK, I made that up. But it could be true. Either way, the point is this is a time to relax, kick back, hang out, unwind. You have dozens of other weeks of the year to be active and energetic, so this week give your body a break, give your mind a break. As Frankie said, “relax, don’t do it”. You might be surprised how much fun it is to do nothing.
So, you can pay attention to all the usual survival guides and spend the entire time watching your behavior, regulating everything you do and say and think and get through the time without an excess of anything, including fun. Of you could follow our guide and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.