I think I’ve already mentioned many, many times that I love the holidays. [Well, I love Christmas. . . Thanksgiving is on its own.] I realize not everyone is as excited as me however, and lots of you out there let the inherent stress of multiple family gatherings, parties, cooking, and gift-giving bum you out.
Never fear, Playfullytacky is here to help. My Official Holiday Survival Guide provides all of the essentials you need to ease your stress leaving behind holiday mirth a plenty.
Note: Flowerily language aside, Playfullytacky makes no promises about the effectiveness of the suggestions in this post.
Holiday Essential #1 – Pajamas
I consider this a year-round essential. You need to be comfortable in your own home – own those silly pajamas you love so much or rock that mismatched lounge wear. Maybe you have things that actually match? Awesome. I don’t. I look like of like a stereotypical crazy cat lady in the evenings, minus the cats. But you know what? I am never more comfortable than when I wearing worn out pajama pants with some probably holey tank top and random long-sleeved shirt or cover-up. Embrace the comfy. Throw on some real pants when company comes over and you are all set. I’m very much against dressing up for dinner. My almost twelve year-old owns an onesie with a hood. My whole family wears our pajamas to the state capitol building on Christmas Eve to see the decorations. We are better people for it.
Holiday Essential #2 – Bob Evans Refrigerated Side Dishes
This might be an unpopular opinion, but your family is not going to care if everything on their plate is homemade with love. Really, have you seen people’s holiday dinner plates? Piles of food everywhere. Head to your local grocery store and buy some side dishes from the refrigerated section then you can concentrate your limited time on more important dishes. I prefer Bob Evans, but get whatever works for you. Now, I’m sure there are a lot of you arguing that this can never be a substitute for homemade . . . except, it can. The Bob Evans mashed potatoes taste amazing and your family isn’t going to notice or care. Store-bought food isn’t going to take away from your “perfect” holiday. And I promise no one is going to complain about the time mom (or whoever) ruined Christmas with those purchased mashed potatoes.
Holiday Essential #3 – Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. . . . your choice.
I’ve already told you how my family is a Netflix and Amazon Prime family. Depending on your line of work, you are likely going to have at least a few days sitting around the house – maybe with a stomach full of food – with nothing to really do. You aren’t going to want to use your holiday time-off for chores, so you are going to need something to watch. A service like this will give you access to just about anything – good, bad, awful, classic, amazing, whatever. Just the other day I watched Christmas specials from Curious George and Winnie the Pooh. [Yeah . . . I have kids.] This goes especially well for essential #1 and essential #4. Feel free to mix essentials all willy-nilly like.
Holiday Essential #4 – Oreo Balls/Truffles
If you have not eaten an Oreo ball, your life is not yet complete. These addictive little spheres are super simple to make, easy to package and share, and delicious to eat. Life seems a little bit better when you pop one in your mouth. Here is all you need to do: crush you cookies (a lot) and mix in a block of cream cheese. Roll your mixture into bite-sized balls and chill for ten or fifteen minutes (this makes them easier to handle). Dip your balls in chocolate (I prefer white, but anything is great). You can cover these anyway you want – I usually go for a simple dip it in and spoon chocolate over it process, but if you take more time these can turn out as perfect little balls. Chill the things for about an hour. Eat one. Make a delicious face and eat another.
Have you heard of a company called Man Crates, a purveyor of pretty cool gifts and the inspiration for this post? They have geat gifts for the hard-to-please left on your shopping list. According to their manifesto, “We say ‘no’ to ugly neckties, cologne samplers and executive trinkets. We don’t save wrapping paper, we don’t do ribbons. We ship bragworthy gifts for guys. Gifts that you can’t wait to arrive because you know the recipient will love opening them. Gifts that people gather round at the office, people following the sounds of wood being torn from wood by the included, laser-engraved crowbar. We are Man Crates, and we deliver awesome gifts for men.”
*I did not receive compensation from Man Crates for writing this post.