The Land of Oz: The Unofficial, Non-Peer Reviewed 2017 Christmas Survival Guide

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby.  He lives in Tuscaloosa with wife Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica.   Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with wife Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica.

“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”Clark W. Griswold

If you are reading this, then most likely there is a reminder in your immediate vicinity that Christmas is coming. Soon.

While it is widely considered to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” this phenomenon typically encompasses a number of stressful issues including, but not limited to: the threat of home invasion by distant relatives; the threat of home invasion by a jolly, heavy-set, bearded fellow; a Christmas card list; a gift list; and maybe even a wish list that includes the hottest toy of the season and an assortment pack of various slime concoctions. 

Nothing says, “Merry Christmas” like slime. 

Here’s an unofficial survival “don’t” list that you would probably be wise to skip over entirely …

Don’t sweat the gift-giving. We all feel somewhat obligated to provide gifts to family and close friends, but is it because we know they are getting us something? A new survey conducted by the Harris Poll found that 69 percent of Americans would skip exchanging gifts if their friends and family agreed to it. Most said they would spend more quality time with that group if they didn't have to worry about buying gifts. Hey … it’s worth a few phone calls.

Gifts don't have to be expensive. That same survey found most of the financial anxiety during the holidays is due to people feeling pressured to spend more money on gifts than they can afford. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, not the price tag. 

Don’t feel obligated to purchase eggnog for the family gathering. Christmas is still Christmas without it. Plus, it’s gross.  I have the utmost respect for anyone who can stomach it. 

You don't have to out-do yourself. One of the things my family has tended to do over the years is to try and make Christmas bigger than it was last year when it comes to gifts. More stuff (and spending more money) doesn't necessarily make it bigger. It likely just means that more things will be shoved in a closet and forgotten. 

On that note, don't waste your time waiting in line for whatever the hottest toy of the season is (unless you oddly enjoy that kind of thing). Last year, it was the dreaded Hatchimals, of which 90 percent of kids essentially discarded into the stuffed animal confinement area and forgot about shortly after they hatched. 

Lastly, don't discuss politics unless you are 100 percent certain all your relatives are on the same page. And even then, don't do it.  

Ultimately, remember the reason for the season, and find some time to relax and enjoy your kids, your friends, and your family. Don’t get caught up in the madness. Be waiting on the jolly fat man with a big smile on your face. With all the road construction scheduled to start in Tuscaloosa soon, who knows if he will even be able to get here next Christmas. 

And from our family to yours, Merry Christmas. 

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34. 

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Derek Osborn

Executive Director at PRIDE of Tuscaloosa, the only  non-profit agency in the Tuscaloosa area that informs and educates the parents, students, and community about the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.


Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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