COMMENTARY: Keep your Santa cheer this Christmas

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When I was 6 years old, I sat up all night waiting for that sleigh full of toys to fly over my house. Nobody told me than that someday I would be expected to fill Santa's shoes and provide all the goodies. It's not nearly as much fun on this end of the Santa experience.

Christmas can be the best time of the year, or it can be a real headache. Usually it's a combination of both. Here are a few tips to help you keep your cool during the holidays.

First, get real. Sit down and figure out your budget and how much you can afford to spend on gifts. Then make a list of people and gifts that fit in that budget, and stick to it.

Try not to be influenced by all the advertising bombarding the air waves. "Leave a new Lexus in the driveway for your sweetheart!" Really? Fuzzy socks may be more in your price range, and they will be appreciated in a few weeks when winter really hits.

A good stiff drink to "get you through it" will more than likely make things worse. Try to avoid over indulging. Same thing goes for food. Personally, my sin of choice is chocolate. Temptation is all over the place. Don't be saintly and pious about cutting back a little. Just skip the refills.

Feeling lonesome? This time of year seems to bring out the melancholy in some of us. Look up an old friend and send him or her a Christmas card. Forgive an enemy. Forgive yourself. Accept people as they are. You can't change them, anyway.

There's an old saying, you can pick a rose, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your relatives. If the obligatory family get-together stresses you out, keep it light and simple. Don't bring up topics sure to start a discussion you don't want to have. Keep in mind you can go back to your own home after it's over. Leave with a smile.

Life will never be as sweet, innocent or charming as a Norman Rockwell painting. Be comforted in knowing that we're all in this together.

Wishing you a blessed holiday from the staff at Eureka Springs Hospital. Remember, we're here for you, and we always have the light on.