A Jewish Mizfit’s Guide to Making It Through Xmas & Cruising into the New Year.

Some last minute tips for mitigating the Hanukkah Hysteria & Christmas chaos. Please to add your tip and suggestions in the comments.

(EDITED TO SAY: for some wordpressreason the linked words are showing up LIGHT GREY and not BLUE. Just a heads up.)

  • Reread this. Thanksgiving? Hanukkah? All the major holidays? Bring the same sorta stress. It’s a good thing, People. We can reuse old posts tactics!
  • Have low expectations. While this may sound silly or even negative—it really works. Keeping your expectations low (or, more aptly put realistic) places far less pressure on you *and* those around you. Aim for a simple, enjoyable holiday, rather than hopestriving for crazy, shocking unmitigated rapture. Decide that you’ll be happy if you have a nice day with good food, friends, family and a few laughs. If things turn out to be far better than you’d anticipated it’s added bonus!
  • Are you playing host or hostess this year? One word: delagate. Ask for help both before and after the meal (this post might be kind of late for the helpseeking food-wise, but not for set up etc.). Dont end up feeling tiredtired over the holidays as a result of feeling resentful and unappreciated. Remember, even the littlelittles can help in *some fashion* (the Tornado is a fab table UNsetter!) and, as a result, everyone will feel more a part of the celebration.
  • Make time for you, for what energizes you, and for what gets you good tired. Take a walk alone to recharge, take advantage of having visiting relatives who might wanna babysit (for free!) to recharge with your partner/spouse. Perhaps think about implementing behavior based bonuses during the holidays. Reward yourself not for pounds lost (or even maintained) but for remaining calm with the family member who knows (knew?) how to rile you up or for reacting in new, healthy ways to old triggers.
  • Fiber. Yep, I said it. Stay regular. Feel better all around. ’nuff said.
  • It’s not a competition. Dont allow yourself to get sucked into what others are receiving/doing/having this holiday season. Hell, all year ’round this is a good thing to remember. Let’s challenge each other–the whole bumbling band–to see who can be the least competitive. From our decorations to our fancy dinners to our array of gifts. Remember, we are AVIS up in herre and proud of it. This holiday season let’s all be number two.
  • Use relaxation techniques. Try meditation. Try deep breathing or focusing on your breath as a way to diminish anxiety or tension. Exhale your breath completely, squeeze your abdominal wall in an attempt to expel ALL from your lungs, inhale as deeply as you can. Then exhale slowly again. Do this three or four times when you are feeling stressed. Yoga is another great way to relax over the holidays, but the great thing about this exercise is you can do it anytime or anywhere.
  • Limit yer drinking. I know, I know but the more you indulge, the more likely you are to overeat, wake up with a hangover, or blurt out what you think of your great aunt’s new young boyfriend.
  • Plan a treat for after you sail successfully through the holiday frazzle. Whether this is a reward for sticking to your food plan or for making it though Christmas dinner without screaming at your mother–pre-plan something to which you can look forward. If need be make this treat your mantra. Nothing makes pie you dont really love less alluring than knowing you have a spa day booked should you be able to resist.

There you go, Oh Bumbling Band. That’s what Ive got for you as far as tips to make it through the next week or so.

And remember, as Vince Vaughn says in the piece of cinematic wonderment which is Four Christmases: you cant spell families without the lies.

(No, I have absolutely no real point with that quote. V-squared just makes me laugh.)


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  1. says

    I love these tips! Especially delegation. I’m having my Mother stay with us for the week to help me with the cooking and the kids.

    Plus, I’ve hid all their toys so they can’t mess up the house until Christmas morning with all their new ones.

  2. says

    Good timing for de-stress tips up here! Boiler’s just broken and the house is an ice cave! Fingers crossed the repairman can come this afternoon or it’s going to be a grim Christmas indeed….

    TA x

  3. MizFit says

    SCREW THE FINGERS CROSSED TA. Im totally completely and entirely visualizing it happening.
    in a swift and timely fashion.

    xo xo,


  4. says

    Great tips. I’d stay my only other one is get little bits of exercise in where you can. Go for walks with the family, go shopping, clean, etc.

    I want to see four christmases so bad! Love Vince

  5. says

    Saw Four Xmases…some LOL times, but…~shrug~ too much VV, not enough Reese. Hugh and I did steal “mistletoe” the last time we were in a pressure situation where we might need a quick exit. : )

    I may take UP drinking to get thru Xmas Day. Hmmm, not an approach I’ve tried before. “Raised-by-Wolves” got laid off last week (my brother who makes me crazy w/his ignorance). Don’t know how much “stick it to the man” I can take w/out snapping.

    I shall do my best to remain calm and/or sober. I’m the hostess. whoohoo.

    Feliz, people.

  6. Allie says

    I know you are right with the limiting my drinking as all resolve flies out the window after that.

    I still may choose not to listen. lol!

  7. bea says

    I enjoyed the link to the meditation article (and you look nothing like that on the facetime!) although it took me a few minutes to realize I could make the font bigger!

  8. says

    VV made me laugh….but Robert Duvall stole the show for me 😉

    Good post with lots of helpful ideas.
    I always tell my friends; “don’t get caught up in the craziness. BREATHE, move your body when you can and ENJOY the season. It’s a wonderful time of year”

    Happy Chanuka to you and your loved ones MIZ.

  9. dragonmamma/naomi w. says

    I’m less competitive than you are, so there!

    Seriously…holidays don’t stress me out. The fact that our families live 600 miles away probably has something to do with it, eh?

  10. says

    Miz, you are simply the best (think Tina Turner, here!) A very wonderful and blessed Hanukkah to you.

    For me, this year finally I have taken my own advice to heart, and have simplified to the max. Few presents, even less shopping. I don’t think I’m even going to wrap one present–gift bags and baskets for the few I have. It has been a very relaxing time, but I don’t know where I found the time to ‘do the crazy’ before…

  11. says

    I think that the big thing for me is to remember that what makes holidays special is family and friends, not food and drink. If I forget that, I just end up feeling terrible from about every point of view that you can think of.

    But we are having small and stress-free (mostly) holidays this year… it would probably be different if I had more friends and family locally. (Yes, there are pros and cons to this…)

    I hate to admit it, but I’m just looking forward to getting done with all the Christmas stuff and having a few weeks to catch up with everything else in my life. Which is probably not exactly the seasonal spirit…

  12. MizFit says

    I’m that easy.

    I’lll be singing tina turner all day now 😉

    Thank you debby for your kind words & the earworm!

  13. says

    Here’s a tip that will help with next year too. Don’t leave the festivities mad. Makes sure that anything said that may or was hurtful gets a big repair before the door closes. Great Aunts will appreciate it.

    Happy Hanukkah or Chanukah or festival of lights or whichever way you are saying or spelling it.

  14. Evan says

    why do I think I more UM for the holidays than OM.

    I will remember the competition thing. My brothers and I are not as bad as Vince and his but close.

    loved the movie too.

  15. says

    I am all over “have low expectations.” This year will be our first ever post weightlosssurgery potluck. She can eat now but only tiny amounts. Instead of making fancy desserts, I bought something pre-maid, frozen from good ole Trader Joe’s. Yay. She didn’t like it but I said “why go to all this food trouble if it’s no longer about the food?” And she got silent.
    Let’s make it about being alive.

  16. says

    I’m the hostess this year. Stressing? Nah….. There’s lots of time, right? Right?

    Oh.My.God! How did it get to be the 23rd already?!

    Must delegate…. oh, wait, there’s no-one here but me!

    Delegating sucks when the only one you have to order around is your ‘other’ personality…..

    Happy Hanukkah!! (Gotta go take a whip to Bag Lady’s ass – she’s such a slacker!)

  17. says

    Miz, these are great tips. Can’t say I will follow them all – ahem limit my drinking? really? – but some are definitely going to stick in the brain for the rest of the holiday season.

  18. says

    Happy Hanukkah, MizFit!
    I’m “lucky” to have a small family at this time of year. The percentages of stressful situations are pretty low :)
    Love the vids from yesterday, BTW!

  19. says

    Vince Vaughn is my other boyfriend, right up there with Ferrell Man.

    This is great advice – I always want every Christmas to be Wonderful and Fabulous and FunFunFun!!! And most of the time it’s just … not. So I will lower my expectations and maybe I’ll actually enjoy the holidays this year!

    What I’m really really looking forward to? December 26th – A whole day to relax and play with my new toys and just chill with the hubs and the kiddos – my idea of heaven!!

    Happy Hannukah/Merry Christmas, if I don’t “talk” to you before then!

  20. says

    Happy Hanukkah from me as well.

    For those of you who will be annoyed by your family this week, just think of those of us who won’t see our family at all until the spring. :( I am with my little nuclear family at least (doesn’t “nuclear family” make you picture a little family glowing with radiation?)

    My survival tip is to clear as much crap out of your house pre-holidays as possible (perhaps a little late at this point). A couple weeks ago I did a purge of closets and toys–donating decent but little-used stuff and tossing random tiny broken bits of toys. I’ll probably purge again as I look for places to put the gifts once their opened (I have a little house) but at least the pre-purge will help.

  21. Miche says

    Ahh – the delegation (of many things!) and BONUSES! Awesome idea – and thanks for comment and tip at LJD! Good(s) to know!

  22. sara says

    the links show up ok on my computer!

    thanks for the tips Miz and the movie recommendation.
    I am not a reece fan so I had skipped that one.

  23. says

    Not a good tip but:

    If you can afford it, hit up the outlets or Loehman’s for some nice designer piece to make you feel like a million bucks (I seriously found a Michael Kors bag there that should have set me back $350-400 for $150. It’s BK’s sister’s present and made me feel awesome for finding it but there were tons of deals like that all over the place).

  24. says

    Not a spa day, BUT this year I decided to take an extra week off post-holiday-with-the-family week off just to– well, recover sounds unkind, but something like that. Gift to myself and all. AND: holiday objective is not to lose patience. Control over self. Not over others. Breathe.

    Happy Hanukkah. I’m listening to Erran Baron Cohen in Hanukkah’s honor. And also because I might have a tinybig crush on him. Dreidel dreidel dreidel!

  25. says

    Great tips! It’s also good to remember that we only see our families a couple times a year, so there’s no reason to dread it- we should be happy that we get to see them at all (will REALLY be missing my dad this Christmas!).

    Also, for those of us with relatives who have significant others we don’t like… we can deal with that by just remembering that there’s a REASON our relatives are with them. They make them happy. So we should be happy for them and not just cut them out of the celebrations because we don’t like their S.O.

    Happy Holidays Bumbling Band!

  26. says

    I’m making a list, and checking it twice, then handing it to hubby now isn’t that nice?

    My biggest stessor? People who give me gifts and for whom I have not done the same. I know it’s happening. I just don’t know if I should run out and reciprocate, or just let them give. SO.HARD.

  27. says

    I love the Vince Vaughn line – about lies! Why does that have to fit so perfectly sometimes…

    Have a wonderful and merry holiday season Miz!

  28. says

    I really liked these tips. I think the “making time for me” and “it’s not a competition” are probably the most important for me. We all tend to just get swept up in all the holiday madness and could always use these reminders. Thanks!

  29. says

    Thanks for the tips!

    Thanksgiving is a big affair, we do a big friends and friends’ families thing because we have the house space to do it, which is always a bit of a production – but not quite as bad since the four star chef started coming! Christmas, however, our friends all scatter to their respective towns (I don’t think anyone actually grows up in Austin, at least no one I know), and my fiance and parents and I eat lasagna, play games, and drink wine. It’s a totally low key day and I love that.

    Hope your holidays are as stress free and happy as can be!

  30. says

    HA – Vince Vaughn makes me laugh. And that movie, Four Christmases was HILARIOUS!!! Thanks for reminding me, I’m replaying a couple of scenes in my head & giggling to myself!

    Jen, a priorfatgirl

  31. says

    Great tips – I need to remember to relax. The goal is lots of yoga over the next two weeks! I love the idea of a spa treat after everything is said and done. Will have to hit the hubby up for that one.

    Thanks Mizfit and happy holidays to ya. Love me some Vince Vaughn as well :)

  32. says

    My favorite tip is going low-key. That’s definitely what we’re doing this year. I’ve just decided I can’t sustain the level of frenzy that I used to bring to bear for the season…and I’m so done with it being all about gifts and parties and wild hysteria. This year I’m going very basic, and very quiet, and very sincere. And then I’m going to Disney World. Cause, you know, really, what’s Christmas without frenzy? Gah.

    Hope the whole darned season is wonderful at Casa MizFit! :-)


  33. MizFit says

    I love to imagine VV is just as deadpan sarcastic in real life as he is on film (yep. Ive totally fallen prey to that MISCONCEPTION that they arent acting :) for VV and Ben Stiller at least).

    oh to have him at my Thanksgiving dinner or Passover seder.

    What I wouldnt do….

  34. MizFit says

    I have chocolates?!

    The Tornado is thisclose to driving me to drink…and Id far prefer some good dark chocolates.

    and Marianne? be me. no matter how well I think I plan I have that encounter with someone Id never in a million years have thought would buy me a gift & he/she is toting one….I smile, say thank you, and die a little inside.

  35. Heather says

    Lovely advice. I think my post-holiday indulgence will be a day without a to-do list or activity. It’s ever so much fun to see every relative and friend for Christmas, but ever so exhausting. We have lunch and dinner dates every day we’re in Lincoln. I enjoy each one, but all together it’s exhausting.

  36. says

    I think these were just for me… And like everyone else here, I need to watch those glasses of egg nog. Yummmm

    Thanks for the tips- happy holiday!

  37. dragonmamma/naomi w. says

    If we’re the chocolates, what kind would I be? Definitely not a smooth cream. Something a little nutty, a little chewy…

  38. says

    I so want to see the Vince Vaughn movie!
    I’m a Christmas houseguest this year. That sounds easier, but it’s the boyfriend’s parents’ house, so must be on Jess ‘A’ Game.

  39. says

    Amen to Low Expectations! Had I only received that advice before Thanksgiving…

    However, I do expect that Christmas will be better, as the psycho in-laws are all going to California (sorry to you in the Golden State- consider this your warning). I love most of my in-laws, really, I do, but some of them are better in small doses rather than large gatherings.

    Shopping is done, wrapping is done, I even found the Hubs’ present (after calling several Targets). I have a few days off work, and not much cooking to do, so I have much to be grateful for right now.

    Happy Holidays to everyone!!

    P.S. I say “try smarter, not harder”, LOL. And love the VV. One of our holiday favorites is Love Actually. I sometimes wonder if the Hubs has a boy-crush on Hugh Grant, and I just love Colin Firth for some reason.

  40. MizFit says


    no love here.


    at all.


    Miz, who will not admit to watching Love Actually repeatedly mainly for the airport scene and crying every.single.time.

  41. says

    P.P.S. Love your Om article! Back in 4th grade, my teacher taught us relaxation techniques to help us learn our spelling words (she was way ahead of her time).

    I may not have needed help with spelling, but I continue to use those techniques to this day (especially when I get a migraine, since I consider that my body’s ultimate cry for stress relief).

  42. says

    WHat a very cool site you have here…and I being the least fit person on the planet could sure learn a thing or two..or two hundred. I loved the tips…my favorite is “strive to be number 2” very good advice. Also makes me feel better because I didn’t go all out this year. Glad you stopped by…I’m sure I’ll be haunting your place!

  43. says

    Congrat’s on making the list of top blogs MizFit!

    I, of course, have been reading comments and am smiling to myself because it’s suprising how small the blogging universe is. Just by the names of people who comment, I know exactly who they are and what they write about on their blog. hehe – it’s like an extended family!!!

    Jen, a priorfatgirl

  44. says

    I’ve still have my Holiday Goal that I’m aiming for, and the deadline is January 1st. After all the halabalu I plan on enjoying some fudge, taking a hot bath, lighting some candles, and listening to Nora Jones. Now that’s a reward. Tempting to do it tonight, but tonight I’m hitting the gym =)

  45. says

    Isn’t it amazing how family get togethers bring out the best in us all! Ugh. I like to secretly get any offenders into view of my thumb and pointer finger and pretend to pinch their obnoxious little heads right off!

    Alright, everyone, happy celebrating!

  46. jen says

    thanks Miz.

    I shall now proceed to get drunk and go see 4 Christmases.

    and then remain sober and focused all wed and thurs.


  47. says

    Low expectations — check!
    Fiber — well, I’m making the salad for Christmas dinner so I’ll call that a check, too.
    I’m going to work on the others!

  48. says

    well, i don’t think the shoveling out the snow and making pierogi dough can counteract the cookies… i’m gonna go eat some fiber!

  49. says

    Loved this post! And POD’s comment, “Why go to all this food trouble is it’s not about the food? . . . Let’s celebrate being alive” brought it all home. Very best wishes for a great holiday season to you, Mizfit, and the rest of the awesome Bumbling Band!

  50. says

    I am so happy to read this blog. A few blogs ago I wrote how I know I need to meditate, but have a hard time doing it. I just printed your article and am going to try this. Especially tomorrow. Thank you and Happy Hanukkah to you! PS- I love when Vince Vaughn can’t be around the spit up because he’ll puke himself. That’s totally my husband!

  51. says

    Great advice. Need to imprint it on my forehead as I am the hostess for the next five days. And I have never delegated anything.
    Low expectations. Very appropriate.

  52. says

    At my mom’s for the holidays, and just now getting decent internet access – our Christmas gift to her (well, one) was to fix her computer so she can actually use it.

    My holiday tip? Stay with my mother who is an awful cook and chooses to make things I just can’t stomach. Okay, that sounds mean-spirited, but it’s really not – she tries way too hard, and we’d all be much happier if we bought take-and-bake pizzas and ate sandwiches instead of sweet potato casserole with approximately 3 pounds of brown sugar. ICK!

    But on the other side, for some reason, everything I miss about where I’m from seems to consist of food – the great sandwich places (there are 2), the Chinese Buffet my daughter begged for and was better than I remember, the CHEESE FRIES and yummy drinks at another place. And the unlimited sodas at my mom’s house. ACK! And I know her scale is off by a lot, so who knows what I will discover when I get home, although my skinny jeans are fitting really well still.

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