Opinion: Holiday survival guide

Commentary by Danielle Wilson

All right, people. Here is my plan for surviving the holidays without offing a child, spouse or myself. Feel free to adopt as your own, share with friends, or deposit straight into the trash. I really don’t care.

Because that’s my mantra as I make my way through the next sugar-filled, sleep-depriving, financially and emotionally draining three weeks. It won’t be all bad, true. I mean, who doesn’t love a season that embraces 1970’s claymation, egg nog and ugly sweaters? But I have learned over the years that the end of December can become your worst nightmare if you don’t prepare properly. And one of the best things you can do is not get too invested. In anything. You’ll only be setting yourself up for disappointment and alcoholism. So here you go. You’re welcome.

1. Just say no. “No, I can’t make it to the office party.” “No, I won’t be participating in Secret Santa.” And, “No, I am not driving you, my precious pre-teen daughter, to ice skating, Yogurtz, Castleton and then to Emily’s.” Having twins taught me one thing: it’s okay to say “No.” And also to keep Lysol wipes on every floor! People will most certainly judge, but remember the mantra: “I really don’t care!”

2. Expect the worst. The almighty flu will smite your house, the 12-foot fir laden with antique glass ornaments will topple, and the ever-present children will drive you to brandy. If you expect high levels of chaos and stress, you’ll either be well-prepared when it hits or pleasantly surprised that you survived unscathed. Win-win.

3. Schedule “Me Time.” In this season of gift-giving, don’t forget to love yourself! Take 20 minutes after your fifth Meijer run to sit in the parking lot and play Solitaire. Lock yourself in the bathroom for an afternoon of “The Crown.” Order pizza and then hide for the evening. You can’t successfully navigate choppy Yuletide waters if your mental compass is perpetually pointing south. Ignore the guilt, recite the mantra and take care of you.

Good luck, my friends. See you on the other side. Peace out.