Friday, December 15, 2017

Holiday Post 2017: Traditions, Manners, and other Miscellanous stuff

Welcome to the first of my Holiday Posts for 2017. This has not been an easy year. Work overall has been good; it has kept me busy, and it has challenged me at times. However I am grateful for the work, the fact we still have a roof over the head, food on the table, and some of the simple things in life. Clio, our new cat who had her first Christmas at home last year, has settled in nicely.

As for the rest of the real world, this year is now part of what I have come to know as the "Hard Times." I wish I could say I have hopes for 2018, but to be honest, I do not see things getting better. So I have been making an effort to just expose myself less to news and current events. I have trimmed and continue to trim my RSS reader and my social media feeds. I have been doing my best to read more in an escapist way, though that has not always been successful. I have not done my tally for books read in 2017 yet, but I get the feeling the number will be lower than 2016 just because more often than not my mood has been foul after hearing whatever the hell the Pendejo In Chief  and the morons of the Party of Stupid have done. But let's try to stay positive. I still got a good amount of reading done, and I have continued my Tarot and oracle card studies. I have found Tarot and oracle to be a  nice way to meditate and tune out for a while.

So whatever holiday or holidays  you celebrate this season, I wish you all a happy and safe time. Let's get this show on the road then.

Some trivia about the holidays: 

  • Did you know that the value of U.S. imports of Christmas ornaments from China for 2016 was $1.5 billion. In fact, "China led the way with 92.0 percent of the U.S. total imports of Christmas ornaments." The U.S. buys a heck of a lot of Christmas ornaments from China. You can see this figure and more from the U.S. Census holiday fact sheet for 2017
  • Did you know that too much Christmas music can be bad for your mental health? That is a recent finding from psychologists. Article via AlterNet
  • Learn how Santa Claus went from being a nice saint to the patron of shopping malls and crass materialism. Via The Guardian

On holiday cards: 

  •  Do you still send out Christmas or holiday greeting cards? In our house, we still do send out a few. Do you know how to address them properly? Here are some etiquette tips on addressing holiday cards. Via USA Today
  • Are you bored sending and receiving the usual holiday cards? How about spicing things up with some of these rude Christmas cards (warning, some images may be NSFW). Via Dangerous Minds
On decorations and other objects: 

  • Did you have leftover decorations from your Christmas tree? You are not sure what  to do with  them? You got a beard? How about you just hang them from your beard? No, seriously, someone thought that was a good idea. Via Cosmopolitan.  
  • You can complement those beard decorations with an ugly sweater or two. Via Shoplet blog.
  • And if you get a little hungry, you can maybe bake one of  these holiday cakes. Via The New York Times.
  • If you are traveling, you might get to see these creepy Santa Claus statues. Via Web Urbanist.
Some wellness advice and other tips: 

The holidays can be stressful, and  I get the feeling that in these Hard Times they are bound to be more stressful for more people. So whether you are hosting people or traveling to visit people, here are some pieces of advice to keep your stress levels low when your drunken barely literate Right Wing nutjob uncle decides to insult you and your loved ones during the holiday gathering. Don't get in a war of words or any other fisticuffs with him. He and his ilk are  not worth it. Instead, maintain the peace, breathe deeply, and if it gets bad, just leave (or kick him out). In addition, this time of year often invites reflection as we look to the  year that  has passed and we look towards the new year, so I am including some ideas to help you reflect, including ideas for journaling, which  is a practice I find helpful.

  • Via Inc., here are some tips on how to manage stress and have an easier time time during this holiday season. Do some basic things  like getting enough sleep and staying hydrated. That part about matching water for every cocktail you might  have is spot on. 
  • Are you dreading conflict over the holidays? A big piece of advice is to let it go. Or, as my mother would often say, rub some olive oil on so that stuff slides right off. Personally I prefer the avoidance tactic: just avoid the toxic people in your life, but if you can't, this may help. Via The Conversation.
  • One thing you may consider to make the world a bit better around you is giving to charity. The Christian Science Monitor has some ideas
  • Time to reflect on the previous  year? Consider some journaling. 
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you stay tuned and return for the rest of the holiday posts series. Up next, I plan to look at the many ridiculous things people give each other for presents along with a bit on shopping. And later on, I will look at some of the reading lists and other suggestions on  what to read for the next year. I will then wrap up with  the annual "WTF Happened?' post. You don't want to miss out.

In  the meantime, Happy Holidays.

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