Laura on Life
Holiday do's and don'ts
By Laura Snyder
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[December 06, 2008]
The holidays are probably one of the most
stressful times of the year for everyone, even the children. The
most important thing children have to do is keep their wish list
current, but depending on just how materialistic they are, this
could be a source of stress for them as well. For some kids, this
may be the single most important document they've written all year.
No homework assignment was ever labored over so diligently.
This is the season they've waited all year for! It's their only shot
at getting that computer-game-of-the-year they've wanted. They know
that, unlikely as it might seem, that Polly Pocket Cruise ship might
just magically show up under a pine tree in their living room on the
25th of December! That Neo Shifter they've been spying in Wal-Mart
might end up in an oversized sock hanging from the mantel! Talk
about stress! They've got to get that list right!
do not have the time to indulge in fanciful wishes. We hope that
Santa can read our minds and bring us something we didn't even know
we wanted. He does have that magical snowball or crystal ball gizmo,
Our time is spent stressing over making sure everyone else's
wishes come true. We run around the stores like harried little elves
trying to find just the right gifts for those on our list. Then,
after deciding that nothing could express the depths of our love and
affection, we end up picking up a box of sausages and cheese or a
pair of cartoon underwear and hope that the recipient will
The stress is tremendous, the hypocrisy is weighty, and the
disappointments will be many.
On Thanksgiving Day, we all have the best of intentions, even if
our checking accounts are not representative of those intentions.
Maybe we've picked names for Secret Santa. Between bites of turkey
and Grandma's sweet potato casserole, we try to pick up hints of
gifts we could buy for the person whose name we picked. We listen
carefully to their small talk to glean what information we can,
perhaps asking pertinent questions: What's their favorite color?
Their favorite music? Are they on a diet? Do they have enough
[to top of second column]
In these stressful times, I thought I might help out the
holiday-weary souls by creating a list of do's and don'ts for
holiday shopping. It may help you to narrow down your options to the
Don't go to
Victoria's Secret to shop for your mother unless she looks good
in a bikini.
If you are going
to buy a sausage and cheese box for a gift, first make sure they
have eaten the sausage and cheese from last year.
Don't buy an
assortment of personal hygiene products for someone you don't
know very well -- even if the basket it comes with has a pretty
Don't buy a BB
gun, a paintball gun, an airsoft gun, a Nerf gun or a water
pistol for someone else's child.
fruitcakes is acceptable as long as you haven't already choked
down the obligatory first slice.
Never buy a
fruitcake for someone you like.
Don't buy a bottle
of Crown Royal to celebrate Uncle Al's fifth year in AA, and
don't give cash to someone who's addicted to gambling.
When Grandma and
Grandpa ask you what your child wants for Christmas, inform them
of the most expensive item on your child's wish list.
Don't tell anyone
what you want for Christmas. Chances are, they won't buy it,
because they'd rather surprise you.
Don't ask anyone what they want for
Christmas. They'd rather be surprised.
I hope that these tips will help you shop for your family and
friends. If not, there's always underwear.
[By LAURA SNYDER]
You can reach the writer at
Or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more columns and info about her books.