Merry stress-mass everybody

“Well, where did that year go?” The sentence you are bound to hear a multitude of times as we wind down another eventful year. Then it dawns on you – Christmas is this Friday and you haven’t even bought the Ham yet!

Between buying gifts, travelling around like cut snakes and cooking a meal for an army, the joy of the Christmas season can quickly disintegrate into anxiety if you’re not careful. Christmas should be something we look forward to, but for some it is viewed as a black circle on our calendar. Here are a few titbits and tips for the silly season:
1. Crowds and long lines. Next time do what my wife Sharyn does and make sure all your gifts are bought before November ends. That way, when everyone else is blowing a fuse, trying to get a park at a mall – you will have your feet up, enjoying your fourth Eggnog.
2. Getting into debt. Buy smart. Summer items such as clothing become cheaper during winter, so by the time Christmas arrives it is current and you grabbed it for a steal. Even Christmas cake has an average shelf life of seven years.
3. Disappointing gifts. If you don’t know what to get for a distant family member, do not resort to buying Cadbury favourites or a Lynx shower pack. If it is the thought that truly counts, then what is the person going to think when you’ve seized them the most prominently placed item in the bargain bin?
4. Seasonal Music. Bin it. Playing Michael Buble’s Christmas album should be a capital offence. It is like feeding birds near an airport. You are giving him a reason to come out of his cave once a year to make millions of dollars selling the exact same album.
5. Keeping Santa Alive. I live on a farm in Waipipi and one year my son was beginning to question the logic of Santa and his annual visits. So I decided to let a cow loose in our back yard to make ‘reindeer foot prints’ – however during the gate opening process, a stampede of around 25 of the buggers ran in and caused a quagmire and all manner of chaos! Unless you are a true cow cocky I would be reluctant to advise this. Maybe just remember to eat the milk and cookies instead.
To all the loyal readers of the Post, please take care of yourselves and your families on the roads and beaches this summer. I look forward to your renewed company in 2016. Merry Christmas and god bless.

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