Wednesday, December 21, 2022

How to survive Christmas (almost) by Rhonda Lee Carver


As the holiday drew near, I laid out some rules for myself to survive Christmas. What should be a joyful, wonderful holiday to celebrate can sometimes be stressful for many people. So, I sat down and made a list...things I would (and wouldn't) do.

1. Smile

It seems like such an easy task, right? Wrong. When you're crossing the roadway at a mall and a car fails to stop, it's difficult to let the anger go and instead smile and wave, even throw in a God Bless if it helps. When you're in line at the grocery store and someone cuts in front of you. Or the rude workers at the drive thru window at McDonalds who think it's funny to practically throw your drink at you. God Bless, God Bless, God Bless. It's a mantra. 

2. Imagine if they were dead

Okay, it's a bit morbid...but you must laugh. And realize this could be a game changer. Family can be like salt in a paper cut during the holidays. We all have those people (person) who only think of themselves, are never grateful, see themselves as a victim...I could go on, and on, and on. I won't because it is giving me a headache and that's what I'm trying to prevent. If you need to, close your eyes, and imagine how you'd feel if that person wasn't around. What would you have wanted to say? What would you have wanted your last moments with them to be like? Then take those feelings and make them positive. Say kind words. Walk away and take a breath if needed. Then come back with the mindset that life changes like the seasons. Live your life in joy and not regret.

3. Stop taking everything so personal

You, yes you! We are all guilty of this. If Aunt Mildred says, "Are those potatoes or glue?" Or Uncle TJ says, "You couldn't afford to get me a better present? I see you're driving a Jeep." Or Cousin Koast says, "How much does a porn writer (a.k,a romance writer) make these days?" Those statements are harsh, but if you take a step back, who has the problem in these situations? YOU are NOT the problem until you sink yourself to their level. Take a breath and do 1 and 2 above as much as you need to.

4. Puppies

This works. Tell who can look at pictures of puppies and not feel immediately better? Watch funny videos. Play with your animal. Animals are natural pick-me-ups.

5. Bake

Each year I like to make handmade presents for friends. I find going the extra mile, making the baskets look pretty, taking the gifts to each of them is what the season is all about. Most people are very appreciative when they know someone is thinking of them. That goodwill, and cheer, can last throughout the season, and the year.

6. Set a budget

Honestly, I failed. I did.

I hope you didn't.

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Unedited Excerpt

Whiskey ambled up and tapped Stanley on the shoulder.

He jutted his broad chin up, ready to unleash on the person who dared interrupt, until he saw Whiskey. A blend of respect, fear and admiration covered the man’s baby face. “Hey, Ryder.”

“I’d like to cut in, Stan.” Whiskey didn’t move his gaze off Codee who worked her lips like she prepared to spit flames. Grinding her teeth when she was mad was something she was known for. Yeah, he remembered those little things about her like her favorite ice cream flavor, mocha chip, and how she loved to skinny dip in the river on sweltering summer nights. And the sweet, soft purrs she gave when she—

“The song is almost over. You can wait.” She swiveled her back to him and grabbed Stanley who didn’t appear as self-assured.

“It’s okay, Codee. I need a break anyway. I’m sweating worse than a pig in a horse race.”

The little gasp she let go of only humored Whiskey.

“Thanks, buddy.” With a slap on the shorter man’s shoulder, Stanley was on his way to the bar and Whiskey had the angry redhead all to himself. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t been here before.

“I see you’re still bossing others around like you own the place,” she said in a low, menacing tone but it only took her a half second to realize what she said because her frown grew by leaps and bounds. “It’s good to see you haven’t changed much.”

“And it’s good to see you can still wear a dress like no other.” Damn, he shouldn’t even admit that he noticed. She had no right to be here, in his bar, as if nothing happened—as if she hadn’t broken his heart. 

1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

Hi, Rhonda. I love the puppies idea. I know I adore them and if they'd only stay little I'd have a whole litter. They are so sweet and adorable. As for the budget idea, I am usually pretty good in not going too far over mine. Have a great day and Merry Christmas to you and your family.