The holidays are coming. Ready?

It was the day after Halloween. My sister called. Her local mall had just unveiled it’s elaborate decorations for the holidays. All I could say was, "already?!?"

Premature decoration aside, the holidays are the weirdest blend of “can’t wait!” and “Oh God, its coming…”

Are you planning the perfect holiday for 83 of your closest relatives? Determined not to regress to your eight-year-old self the minute your brother arrives?

How are you going to stay in your happy place over the holidays?

The key is to stay in the moment.  Give yourself a little break from heavy expectations and fast-paced action with little reminders of how you want to feel over the holidays.

It’s as simple as one, two, three.

1.     Laughter makes everything better and its contagious. As you decorate for Thankshanumas why not get everyone smiling?

  • Replace framed family pictures with gems from Awkward Family Photos and put them all over the house.
  • Want a little DIY project? Create a dartboard with Martha Stewart on it and hang it in the kitchen for a little stress relief.
  •  Instead of place cards at the table, put a funny message at every seat:

Want more inspiration?

2.     There must be some kind of “serenity now” prayer for the holidays. You could try to memorize it or…

  • Google images of beautiful places. Hit print every time you see something that just grabs you. Break out the scotch tape and put them inside of your kitchen cabinet doors, on the fridge, in the medicine cabinet. Anywhere it will grab your attention for a minute and make you take a deep breath.

3.     Do you remember Nike’s “Be like Mike” campaign? There’s a good idea in there beyond buying new shoes (also a good idea).

  • Pick a role model for the holidays. It doesn’t have to be Mother Theresa, just choose anyone who inspires you. Want to actually say all the funny things that pop in your head? Get a picture of Amy Poehler and put it somewhere that catches your eye. Feel like you’re gearing up for battle? Maybe Colin Powell is the man for you. Think about how you want to feel over the holidays and choose anyone who lives like that every day. If they can do it, you can do it.

Thanks, Ron Swanson! (My role model for the season.) Next week: What you can do around the house if the holidays have you feeling blue. 

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Tell me: What are your favorite holiday survival methods?