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Everyone from your know-it-all neighbor to your holier-than-thou sister-in-law will agree that the holidays can be stressful. And even though you roll your eyes every time they go into a diatribe imparting holiday advice, you know they are right. The holidays, although they are are the “most wonderful time of the year” can also be overwhelming.

So this year, instead of being frazzled and freaked out by the holiday season, I thought we could all use a few tips on how to hold it together from one of the most “bonkers” characters in all literature, Alice in Wonderland.

You have to admit that poor Alice’s world was literally turned upside down when she fell down that rabbit hole. Many of us can relate to her whacked-out confusion as we muddle through the holiday bedlam. A few belly laughs, giggles and guffaws are a good thing, no matter what season it is. So open your eyes, head and heart, and let’s consider the sage advice Lewis Carroll imparts through Alice.

Holiday family visits, shopping, decorating and continuous parties can make keeping up with it all a challenge. If you have kids or cats that love to play with the shiny baubles on a tree, I feel for you even more. Heck, the carb overload from all the irresistible goodies is enough to make anyone wig out.

It’s important to accept that everyone’s behavior (including your own) is going to be “different” during the month of December. It’s just the way it is.

During the holidays, I become Alice when it comes to food. It’s like everything has a tag on it that says “Eat Me!” So, like our girl of the hour, I do. Eating becomes my festive hobby choice.

This is how it goes for me during the holidays. I see a table loaded full of holiday goodies and I fill my plate without a second thought. And before I realize it, I’ve  polished off everything on my plate, and often go back for more. And sometimes more. My brain says, “It’s okay. This is a special time of the year. You’d be a fool not to treat yourself and celebrate the season.”

And then, afterwards, I feel miserable, both physically and mentally.

It’s hard, really hard, to say no to all the delicacies of the season. Here are a few tips to help.

1. Wear fitted clothes — you won’t be tempted to chow down so much if you think your zipper will break or a button will pop off,

2. Drink a lot of water – water makes you feel full,

3. Don’t arrive at a restaurant or holiday party starving,

4. Socialize – it’s hard to pig out when your mouth is engaged in telling a good story or commenting on what’s going on in a friend’s life.

My mother used to say, “Everyone in this world is crazy, but you and me…and sometimes I wonder about you.” Gosh, I miss her.

At this frenetic time when it seems like everyone is looney, it’s always a good idea to realize that your reality is not the same as everyone else in the world. And, that’s okay.

When I was growing up, my mother insisted that we tear down all of our holiday decorations, the tree, the lights, etc. the day after Christmas. It generally took at least a full day. We weren’t the Griswalds, but we decorated A LOT. Of course my brother and I always whined when we had to help. As kids, we wanted the magic of the holiday to last forever, or at least a week or so after Santa’s visit. Plus, we wanted to play with our new toys. But no. My mom insisted that everything be carefully wrapped, rewrapped, and boxed up for my dad to haul up to the attic. Boo! Hiss!

I never understood the rush to be done with the holidays until I became an adult. Now I get it. Sometimes it seems like the holidays go on f-o-r-e-v-e-r. At the beginning of the season I am all pumped when I see just the hint of decorations and lawn displays. But nowadays, the hoopla starts right after Halloween! Sheesh! Enough is enough. Time to move on.

The holidays are not so merry for many who suffer with depression. We’ve all been there at one time or another. If you have a tendency to only see the darkness in the rabbit hole, talk to someone for help. If you can’t find anyone to sit with you in the dark, write or text me. I will. Wimpy Girls help each other.

Alice grew up in a time where it was not appropriate to think of impossible or impractical things. Bur it didn’t stop Alice.  She refused to accept that things that seemed unattainable were impossible. And, of course, one of the great things about Alice is that she always dreamed of unimaginable things.

So, have you ever started working on a project or tried to overcome an obstacle only to stop and ask yourself what the point is? Boy, oh boy, I sure have. Maybe this has happened to you during your holiday preparations. Sometimes it seems like the task at hand is impossible or just not worth it.

Every person on the planet, at some point in their lifetime, has had to face difficulties that seem insurmountable. Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime, even though he produced over 900. Edison failed over 1000 times before he created the light bulb. Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected by 30 different publishers.

Likewise, if your signature pumpkin pie turns to mush, or you can’t seem to locate the burned out bulb that has caused your lighting display to lose it’s glow, don’t lose your cool. The way I see it, there is an infinite amount of ways to do just about anything, but you have to be stubborn and keep trying.

Be like Alice and don’t give up…ever.

This season I’ve decided to give myself a very special gift. I’m going to clean out the brain cobwebs left by the Disney and Johnny Depp interpretations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. They have influenced what I thought about Alice and her exploits long enough. I’m actually going to re-read Lewis Carroll’s wonderful book. I’m sure there a lot of sage nuggets that I’ve missed here, and they are beckoning to me. Also, I love reading about crazy people and the things they do. It’s inspirational.

Will you join me in a trip down the rabbit hole?

“When I get home I shall write a book about this place.” ~Alice

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1 year ago

Loved this one especially! No idea why but it was great! Miss you tons!

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This work by Anel “Pookie” Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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