While these can be our best years ever, the holiday season can stress even the most laid-back of After Fiftiers. Embrace these tips and turn that stress into celebration, enjoying a festive, fabulous Yuletide!
1. “Spruce” Applies to More than the Tree! Feel tired, worn-out – maybe even “old?” ‘Tis the season to do more than decorate that spruce tree sitting in the center of the room. You’re the center of your LIFE!! So spruce up! Guy or a gal, go out and get a great cut, maybe even a color. Speaking of hair, make sure it’s all under control. Nothing like nose and ear hair gone wild to spoil the image! Then visit a department store’s cosmetics section and get a make-over (and some lessons) and splurge on a couple of cosmetics that may brighten your appearance. Treat yourself to a new outfit – one you’re comfortable wearing and makes you feel like a million! Then, when you get home, go take a brisk walk for a half hour. This’ll get your blood flowing adding natural color to those cheeks. Smile – you and your tree are both sparkling!
2. Moderation – Your New “Best Friend!” You want to do more than just survive the holidays – you want to thrive and relish the memories! Yet, according to a 2004 study published in Circulation, there are more heart attack deaths on Dec. 25th than any other day; the second highest day is Dec. 26th; and the third highest is Jan 1st. So all that “thriving and relishing” isn’t going to happen if you’re hospital bound with a heart attack or are spending your hours sleeping off a hangover. That canape and spiked eggnog may be calling to you, but YOU are the master. Sure, have a bit – a little bit – then move on and satisfy your appetite with good conversation.
3. Don’t Blow a Bundle! Tempted to spoil some friends or family members (like those absolutely adorable grandkids!!!)? Establish a holiday spending budget. Start by estimating what you think you might spend on all gifts, travel, entertainment, and personal items. Then do a reality-check. Can you really afford to spend all that money? No? Then ruthlessly cross off items that aren’t absolute “must do’s” and revise the amount you will spend on the items that remain. And stick to it! Remember, your “presence” is the best present of all. Bankruptcy court is no place to spend your New Year.
4. Censor Your Tongue! Look, there’s a lot of stress over the holidays. You can be thrown into situations with relatives you can barely tolerate, a boss who’s a belligerent bully, and friends of friends who may be anything but. So, if you don’t want to start (or encourage) World War III in the midst of the mistletoe, avoid talking about politics, religion, money, and your personal problems. If someone starts down that path, bite your tongue, excuse yourself and walk away. Yup, you can do that. It’s okay, really!
5. Adopt the Golden Rule! “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” If you really want to have a festive, merry, After Fifty holiday, then start by burying the hatchets in your relationships. If ever there were a season to practice tolerance and forgiveness, this is it. This is your big chance to make amends. Do it! And if you’re one of the fortunate few with no hatchets in your life, the Golden Rule still applies. Mind your manners. Engage people in conversations about their lives, their success, and their joys! Hug a kid. Pet a dog. Donate to a favorite charity. Volunteer in some way to help those less fortunate than you.
And – have a very, merry holiday season, filled with good health, friendship, and love!