Monday, December 5, 2011


Many years ago, before I had children or a house or a legally binding relationship, I had a job. The job was very important to me,and so I took every opportunity to prove my commitment. One year I volunteered to make all of the desserts for the company Christmas party. Nevermind that I had never made anything more complex than a chocolate chip cookie. I had seen Martha Stewart on television, it couldn't be that difficult. It was with that attitude that I picked up a copy of Martha Stewart Living and settled on the centerpiece for my cornucopia of holiday sweets - the creme puff tree.

No big deal. Make some delicate creme puffs, artfully arrange them in a tower, and cover the whole thing in a halo of spun sugar.

Four hours and a six-plus pack later, The Boyfriend found me sitting on the kitchen floor, teary eyed and shit faced, covered in sugar. The creme puff tree was more like a creme puff puddle. We showed up to the party with a hundred dollars worth of lovely, store bought petit fours.

Sometimes the easy way out is the way to go.

So here are my Top 10 Tips for a stress free, awesome holiday season:

1. Not everyone gets a gift. I kill myself every year making cookies for everyone I know. The mail lady hates me, why am I giving her cookies? Piss off, mail lady! I'll give my cookies to the people I really like.
2. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Santa. Jesus. Santa Jesus. Who cares? Isn't the bottom line peace and love and all that jazz? Peace is keeping your trap shut and enjoying the holiday, in whatever way you choose.
3. If you're counting calories, keep it to yourself. You're ruining it for the rest of it.
4. Get at least one person on your list something that will make them freak out with happiness.
5. If you're buying for a person who has everything, don't get them anything. Make a donation to an organization they love instead.
6. Give to your charity of choice. Give more than you think you should.
7. Do something magical.
8. Start a tradition. Something big (like going to see The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol on stage) or something small (like a holiday movie marathon).
9. Listen to holiday music. Sing along. Except that Christmas shoes song. No one should ever listen to, or sing along with, that song. It makes people homicidal, and murder is pretty anti-Christmas.
10. There is this magical thing called the internet. If shopping at the mall gets you all jerked up, shop online.

If I manage to follow all my own suggestions, I just might have the most relaxed holiday yet. I might even be up for trying another creme puff tree.


  1. HA! I have so been that shit-faced sobbing puddle covered in sugar!

    I like your tips. I especially like #5. Because that one includes every person in my family. Stress-free holiday = I donate everything to charity :).

  2. So I'm pretty sure I bought that exact issue of Martha Stewart Living. That gorgeous tower of creme puffs! I never made it past the six-pack, though. Love your tips. Especially #4.

  3. Spectacular tips, every one. I'm doing #4 this year, but it's for my daughter's birthday, not Christmas. She'll turn 30 (Holy shit! How could I possibly have a 30-year-old kid?!?!) four days before Christmas. The hubs and I bought her a gift, but one that she's really going to love is just from me.

    I bought a pretty wooden box and 30 blank-inside note cards. On each of the note cards, I'm going to write one thing that I love about her, then I'll tie the bundle of cards together with ribbon and place them inside the box. I think that long after I'm gone, she'll have those and every time she reads them, it'll feel like a hug.

  4. "... and murder is pretty anti-Christmas" is my favoritestest, I'll take two of those this year.

  5. I’ve awarded you for your utter awesomeness (and for the chance that you might repay me with cookies). Just clickety-click to collect your goodies.

    You realize, of course, that by ‘goodies,’ I mean a pic that you totally could have swiped anyway and not felt any obligation to meet the demands that come with being an award winner, right? Yeah, I thought so.

  6. I know that puff tree you're talking about! Martha has been the cause of stress of many women through the years, trying to keep up and actually reproduce the awesome things she just "whips" together. And I know that dreadful song too, horrible!

  7. Croquembouche! I just made one for my friend's wedding, plus 150 extra cream puffs for the guests to eat. It was crazy, but it turned out OK.