How to Purposely Prepare to Not Feel Miserable during the Holidays

While it is indeed important, I’m not talking about truly remembering the real meaning of Christmas – I’m just talking about avoiding a headache, along with possible mild depression and constipation.

Thanksgiving Day wasn’t that long ago, so there’s a good chance you have fresh memories of sitting around the house all weekend, eating too much food, and ultimately feeling miserable.  That was my story for so many years.  Until last year when I decided I didn’t want to feel that way anymore during my days off from work.  So today I share with you two easy tips so that you may truly enjoy my holidays with friends and family.

Bring a case of bottled water and fresh salad to the meal.  Part of the reason it’s so common to feel yuckified during the holidays is because it’s way too easy to become dehydrated (there is such an easy access to both soda and alcohol at these holiday meal gatherings both of which dehydrate the body).  Also, holiday meals are very similar to a Chinese buffet in that they mainly consist of carbs and sodium.  Not only is it too easy to eat too much, but it’s too easy to also eat virtually nothing nutritious in the process.  When the freshest vegetable dish available is green bean casserole, you’re bound to feel down.  Drink plenty of water and make sure there are fresh vegetables available, if it means that you are responsible for bringing it.

Get out of the house and out into the cold. As much time as you will spend watching the 1983 classic A Christmas Story on TBS repeatedly and playing Wii with your nephews and nieces, there’s a good chance that your idea of “getting out” simply means going shopping for good deals or running to the convenience store to buy more milk.  You need real exercise and fresh air during the holidays.  So in addition to bringing the salad and bottled water, your responsibility is to stand up and say, “I’m going for walk outside- who’s with me?”  (Don’t forget your coat, of course.)  You’ll be the hero.  And you’ll be surprised at what interesting conversations can arise from a (30 minute minimum) walk in the cold: Certain conversations just can’t be born while lying in a coma-like state on the couch.

I guarantee you will have a better holiday experience if you try abiding by these two tips.  Cabin fever can be prevented.  And you can be the Holiday Armadillo that changes things in your household.  No matter what you believe the winter holidays are actually about, the importance of giving to others is ultimately attached to your religious or cultural traditions.  So give to the needy.  Care for the orphans and widows.  Love the unloved.  And lastly, give the gift of “not feeling miserable” to others.


dad from day one: Last Minute Expectations

Thirty-eight weeks.

It is almost a given that a family sitcom will reach its peak by Season 5 or 6, where in attempt to bring back ratings, someone has a baby.  (Examples include Full House, Growing Pains, Family Ties, Step By Step, and even though it’s not a family show, The Office).  There is often a way too familiar seen where the soon-to-be new mother’s water breaks during an inconvenient situation or random location and the soon-to-be new father clumsily rushes her to the hospital, only to continue being more dramatic than his laboring wife.  And for added effect, he passes out from exhaustion while his wife happily holds their new baby.

actual footage

Will that bumbling husband be me?   I sure hope not. Tomorrow morning we will do the final packing for D-Day: clothes, toiletries, snacks, Italian champagne, bottled water, gum, camera, cell phone charger, our birth plan,  and the birthing ball.  We’ll pack our bags into the car (I installed the car seat in it a few weeks ago) that we will drive to the hospital.  We will be all set.  It’s weird to pack for the birth of a child, yet it seems kinda like we’re going on a road trip to a state 8 hours away instead.

Since most of my expectations are based on laugh track infused sitcoms that first aired during the 1980’s or clips of worst case scenarios played out on birthing shows on networks that I only watch because my wife watches them, I’m sure the way I am playing out D-Day in my head is pretty far from reality.  I have a feeling it will be in between the two extremes.  I know it will be surreal.  Soon, I will experience the event that neither words nor snapshots will be able to describe.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com