Why does everyone get so stressed out at Christmas time? Isn’t this supposed to be the greatest time of the year?
Judging by the mean-mugging I just received from the lady in the mall parking lot, I guess not.
How was I supposed to know she wanted that parking spot? I thought her blinker was hung up and was saving it for me since I’m in a hurry to get in and out.
People everywhere I look are stressed to the max. The cashiers, drivers, delivery guys, postal workers, even the guy at the beer store drive-thru. Hey buddy, I just want a 12-pack and 16 different lottery quick picks! Oh and a price on eight different wines. Chill out.
Since I get the feeling 40 percent of America is close to a major meltdown during this 2016 Christmas season, I want to help. So I’ve been brainstorming a gift that will calm everyone down.
Since I can’t give all 300 million of you shoppers a present (hard enough getting everyone in my tribe something), I figured I’d come up with a gift you can give yourselves.
And you can do it before Christmas.
It doesn’t have to cost much either. And you can use the same gift plan each and every year.
Some of you won’t like it. Good.
You folks can keep up your road rage and cussing out the mall Santa because you got there too late for the photos with your irate kid. Lady, the boy is 12 by the way. Tell him to grow up already. Merry Christmas.
But for the rest of you who do want a happier holiday season. Here’s the best gift you can give yourself and your immediate family.
It’s simple, but many of you just had the barrier pop up in your mind… “I can’t do that!”
You’re grown, right? You can do whatever the hell you want, regardless of what Aunt Rhonda thinks. You know, the relative you see once per year. Wouldn’t you talk to her more if you really cared what she thought?
Ok, for those of you still willing to use this Christmas gift idea, good for you. It’s OK to break tradition. Some traditions are dumb and some just run out of steam. And it’s not like you dislike going to family events, it’s just that you need to break up the monotony of holiday season.
The best gift my little tribe ever gave each other was a Christmas cruise. We did it twice right at Christmas and once on Thanksgiving. Best time of my life.
Total relaxation. No TV ads running non-stop since I was lounging on the deck of a cool ship, not watching TV in the first place.
No schedule to keep. I was “trapped” on a boat with nowhere to go and nothing to do….except relax and have fun.
And our family got to spend real time together instead of rushing around like our fellow Americans were doing back home.
By the way, we didn’t even have to miss the actual Christmas Day. We came back on Christmas Eve. Just in time to be part of the get-togethers the next day. Just in time to have missed the misery of shopping traffic and mind-scrambling to-do lists.
If you think it’s too late to take this gift opportunity, you are wrong. You can get a cruise package right now and head off tomorrow. Cruise lines make it super easy and affordable.
We actually gave the cruise instead of physical gifts to our kids, so we spent the same amount had we stayed home. And we all got more out of the amazing experience than we would have by just giving more presents that eventually end up in the attic or handed off to a Goodwill store.
If you don’t want to go on the open seas that far away, you can always just head out to the mountains for some peace and quiet. We chose not to miss Christmas Day since we did want to join our extended family. But how you spend your holidays is up to you.
Don’t be guilted into the same old Christmas traditions if they don’t give you the gift of happiness.
Those TV ads designed to make you hand over your money in exchange for more trinkets just trick you into doing more shopping.
Buy you and yours something real in 2016 and the Christmases that follow. I believe you’ll find that paying for vacation experiences, even on December 25th, is more valuable than anything you can put in a shiny box topped with a bow.