My sincere wish is that each of you enjoyed Thanksgiving but didn’t overdo or treat yourself too rigidly. It’s only one meal. The rest of the holiday season is going to be much the same. And not only do you need to budget your money, you need to budget your time. You are the only one person. Be careful and thrifty. Know when to say no.

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Where’s the bell?

Charity requests: I gave at the office. Seriously, be careful about those collecting at this time of year. Co-workers: A few minutes at the party, but stay sober. Anything you say or do could end up on Youtube. Other shoppers: Sigh. Be gentle. Stress is rampantLet them have the last extra large Santa sweater. Let them get the last plate of latkes. Hand over the last Kwanzaa plates and napkins set. Life is too short to create negativity over stuff. Besides, you can find it at a better price online.

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Cute, but no.

Relatives are often more of a source of stress than any other single issue. Some want to know why you aren’t married yet. (Haven’t found the right immortal being.) Why you don’t have children. (Did find the right immortal being, but he/she is sterile.) Why you don’t try some of my super high calorie dish? (Maybe later. Or I’m allergic to calories. Or How kind of you to offer. Did you know that Napoleon held a competition that resulted in the invention of canned foods?)

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A large part of surviving the holidays with your health intact is pre-planning. If your group is going to a restaurant, the menu is online. Pick the healthiest dish and do not waver! Don’t look at the menu when you get to the place. Be strong. Focus. Just do it. And do NOT agree to go to a buffet restaurant.

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If you have potlucks to attend, focus on farm to fork foods. Lean meats, fresh begetables, a touch of whole grains, fruit, and one treat. Why would you have potatoes and gravy when you can try couscous or eggplant or other novel dishes?

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Friends have always been a source of real comfort and relaxation to me during the holidays. We always get together with open arms and lots of acceptance. I married my best friend and he brings a lot of fun and humor to the gatherings. It’s a perfect match. I look forward to all the special times when we will get to be together, my friends and my best friend, and remember that family isn’t always those who share bloodlines. Relax, enjoy yourself, and keep a journal for those days when you have trouble remembering you are a wonderful, special person.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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