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8 Tips for How to Have the Best Holiday You Have Ever Had


At this time of year, if your to-do list is bursting and the burden of being in a good mood is too burdensome, I’ve got some excellent tips to help you be as happy being miserable as you have a right to be.

Please, do try to improve your mood as best you can – these tips are only for those emergency times when you just don’t have the energy or time to work that hard.

  1.  KEEP AN ONGOING  LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU DO WRONG. The list will give you hope that you can control things, become a better person and have a better life. So make the list, and then, put it away. You can’t deal with that right now. We’ll get to it, I promise. I know how terrible you are – I won’t forget. Neither will you, trust me.
  2. TELL YOURSELF YOU’RE MAKING HISTORY.      Being aware of everything that you feel is made possible thanks to the generous contribution of our national epidemic of being increasingly aware of what we feel.  In fact, we have a lot of   catching up to do – I suspect we’re feeling all the things our ancestors could never acknowledge because they were so busy putting bread on the table. So we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
  3. APPLAUD YOURSELF. We so dislike getting  angry or upset with the people we love because unfortunately, we love them. Little mental wars then happen. Why can’t we just have loving feelings for the people we love? It’s tragic. Try to remember that only innocence is bliss, and that love is not completely  blind. You have to know what you have to know so that you can figure out  how to deal with it. Later, of course. After the holidays.
  4. DON’T BE SO HARD ON YORUSELF (I’m not even going to correct that typo).  Whenever we are negative, we aren’t particularly understanding with ourselves. Don’t ask me why, it’s crazy. We should be nicer to ourselves when we’re down. But we just aren’t. So try to rein it in any self-criticism. Just tell yourself to cut it out – you don’t need this.
    : You may not realize that you are being hard on yourself as you take note of how lazy, negative, scatter-brained, nasty or ungrateful you are. It doesn’t matter that all these things are true. What matters is that you stop being so judgmental and critical. Have a little compassion. Just cut it out.
  5. DO NOT  MAKE YOURSELF SICK. You will probably abuse and neglect yourself at this time of year, and that is normal. Taking care of  yourself falls to the bottom of our list when we feel overwhelmed. We tend to forego basic necessities like eating right, relaxing, and being nice to  ourselves. We can even become very punitive towards ourselves and others,  admonishing, feeling unworthy or lazy, and wishing something would be better.  Again, that’s fine – as long as it is temporary. Do be careful though not to get sick.
  6. BE PROUD. Yes, you are not perfect. Yes, you need a lot of help. Yes, you have got to grapple with a few things when the going gets rough. But remember, people who are never completely miserable don’t grow psychologically — they are just spiritual blobs taking up space on the planet. Sorry. Actually, to be more kind, they are just scared to know themselves. You are luckier than that – you’re stronger.
  7. GO FIND SOMEONE  TO COMPLAIN TO.  Because misery loves company.BONUS TIP ON COMPLAINING: If you complain  to someone who wants to cheer you up when you don’t have the energy to work that hard, try to move on until you land on someone who is happy to commiserate. Don’t be lonely in your feelings – there’s nothing worse.
  8. FAKE IT ‘TILL YOU MAKE IT. People around you probably won’t be receptive to any of your ill-humor, which stinks, I know. (And the number one secret reason for their intolerance is that they are probably struggling with their negativity.) So, if you can, just fake it: slap a semi-smile on your face and keep busy so your face doesn’t reveal too much of what you’re feeling.|TIP:    Please don’t “fake it” if you have nobody around who understands you.  It’s not a good idea to feel totally alone in your wretchedness. If there’s nobody around to understand and commiserate with you, just  complain out loud to the world at large, and let everyone else deal with it. Who knows, you might get lucky and have someone be appreciative.

FINAL BONUS TIP: Spouses should reach an agreement with each other to take turns allowing the other person to rant, cry, be annoyed, and complain at this time of year. While taking turns, the other person should agree to respond with nice pats on the back, cups of tea or just ignoring the other person completely. That’s love.

In summary: it is not a good idea to torment yourself and try to twist yourself into knots trying to be in a better frame of mind for the happy holidays if you don’t have the time or energy for that kind of concentrated effort. It will ruin your holiday.

Instead, leave yourself alone to feel whatever you feel. Fake it so as not to get attacked. Try to find a companion. Train your family to be nice to you. Take note of all the negativity, so we can use it to inform your continued growth.

It may seem strange to you that forgiving and allowing some negativity could be the answer to having the best holiday you have ever had, but this is real life, and, in real life, the possibilities for where to find the deepest joy, satisfaction and enjoyment of life are infinite.


Stay tuned in the coming weeks for how to make the best New Year’s resolutions ever. And after that, we’re going to be talking about INTIMACY. It’s easier if you follow me somewhere – here, on on Facebook, or twitter – anywhere. Let me know your thoughts!!!!!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hmm, gotta work hard on being miserable. Maybe a New Years to do. Right now I feel like an old blob.

    December 15, 2012
    • Hi, Jim, don’t you think that once you hit 75 or 80 you can become a little easier on yourself? All my friends and parents at that age are finally free of a great deal of self-inflicted misery and self-doubt. Maybe because you have enough physical aches and pains! And also because you can finally give yourself permisison to enjoy life?

      December 17, 2012
  2. Dr. Claudia, thanks for posting such valuable advice. there are several points that I’m putting in my pocket as I travel through the holidays. Good health and spirit to you for the coming year.

    December 19, 2012

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