Gillian’s Holiday Survival Guide
I’m tired of giving gifts. In the past years I’ve found it easiest to agree not to do gifts with friends. Most of my friends are in university, so it seems a little silly to be spending money on presents when we're still struggling to pay off student loans. This year I’ll be doing a secret Santa, and buying gifts for my boyfriend and my family.
THAT ONE’S FOR THE GARAGE SALE
I avoid buying gifts that will end up in the trash bin. I believe in gifts that will be used, read, or eaten. Pre-made gift baskets and gift sets may seem appealing because they’re festive and presentable, but half of the contents usually end up being useless.
TO WRAP OR NOT TO WRAP?
Wrapping paper is expensive. It’s expensive and it's not long before it's torn up and lying in heaps on your living room floor. Add on Christmas cards, ribbon and tape and your gifts are getting pricier by the second. There are a few ways out of this. You can either get your gifts wrapped at the store, buy cheap wrapping paper at the dollar store or IKEA, make your own out of craft paper, or use newspapers, magazines and shoeboxes to come up with something unique.
BOOZE AND CHOCOLATE
I always feel like liquor and chocolate consume my Christmas holidays. I have nothing wrong with this. But this year, I’m trying to stick to the 85% dark chocolate that makes me feel like I could fly, and to limit my drinks at holiday parties. I have a four drink limit that will allow me to feel great the next day. Truth be told, I don’t like cheap chocolate and I don’t like hangovers.
Suddenly department stores are laden with great gift ideas, beautiful boxes of colorfully wrapped chocolate, cheap gift packs and all the answers to your holiday cheer. Every time I walk into these stores I have to reality check myself, stop in my tracks, and repeat the words “I do not need any of this and it will not make me happy”. Then I dance through the store to the cheesy Christmas music while dodging women with perfume samples.
MY GIRL LIKES TO PARTY ALL THE TIME
Christmas parties can be fun. It’s nice to see the quiet kid in the corner drink too much rum and eggnog and run around with his pants off. But I can only handle so much mingling and drunken debauchery, so this year I’ve been taking it easy. There are a few Christmas parties I plan on attending, drink in one hand, sugar cookie in the other, but there are others I have avoided. The reality is I only have so many nice outfits, and my social skills wear thin after a while.
AND I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR
I work in a clothing store, and currently every woman that walks in is going nuts trying to finding the perfect Christmas party outfit. The secret to not spending a fortune: cute black top, cute black dress. If you have one top you can mix into different outfits (pencil skirt, dress pants, jeans), and one black dress for the dressier parties, you’re set. A festive blazer or cardigan can also help. Add some festive jewelery and you're good to go.
Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful. When it comes down to it, it’s all about getting together with family and friends, eating, drinking, and celebrating. So break out some high quality chocolate, pour yourself a glass of champagne, and enjoy this holiday season with class, leaving the unnecessary stress with the carolers at the door.
Santa and I last Christmas. I was telling him how good I'd been.