Everybody I know is sitting in traffic trying to get to a store and/or restaurant or sitting in traffic trying to get home from a store and/or restaurant or standing in line at a store and/or restaurant or trying to find a parking space at a store and/or restaurant, grinding their teeth, clinching their jaws, muttering bad words and thinking thoughts that would make the Baby Jesus want to funnel Pabst, all in the name of Christmas! Freaking! Cheer! To them, I say:

Christmas…you are doing it wrong.

My advice? If it stresses you out, don’t do it. If you can’t get out of doing it, can you drink your way through it? If you can’t drink your way through it, can you drink afterwards? Better yet, instead of worrying if the hundreds and hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours you have spent planning, decorating, baking, buying, wrapping, cooking, etc. will make the season bright, ask yourself these questions:

Do the people I love know that I love them?

Do the people that have made a difference in my life know how much they mattered to me?

Did I make the unloved, unwanted, the looked down upon, who came across my path, feel loved, wanted or looked at humanely?

If you can answer these three questions with a yes, you’ve got it covered. Relax. No one will remember if the tablecloth wasn’t ironed or if you didn’t get the cards out until after Christmas. And if they do and think less of you? Don’t let the door hit them on the way out.

If you’ve got these three bases covered, anything else is icing on the cake. If you can’t say yes to all three questions, there’s still time to turn things around. It is never too late to tell someone you love them, you miss them, I’m sorry or thank you. No matter how bad your own personal situation, someone, somewhere, has it worse off than you. No matter how poor or how troubled you are, you have something to offer that someone out in the world needs.

Go forth, my friends, be filled with joy and good cheer! This is the longest night of the year and tomorrow, the sun will rise and everything will be made new.