Christmas morning is magic. When you wake up tomorrow, whatever the circumstances, know that you are amazingly lucky to be who you are, have what you have and live like you live.

 

Know that the rain is not a frustration to be dealt with but a gift from an amazing planet that provides beauty and sustenance to all of us. Make sure to go see the greatest secret environmental movie since Wall-E. “Don’t look up” has an outstanding message and delivers it in a very funny way (Jonah Hill as Ivanka Trump, high-larious).

 

Know that you are lucky to have people around you who love you enough to celebrate this holiday. People who you might not be so happy with but who are there for the long haul, people who have different views but will always have your back when you need it. Sure, it’s a hassle to drive to Modesto but one day those people will be gone and you will want nothing more than to have one more Christmas dinner together.

 

Know that the struggle is real but things do improve. Mad at your boss because (insert frustration here)? Really? Is it that big a deal, and isn’t it something you can fix and if you can’t then isn’t it time to evolve and find a more satisfying way to spend your days? Serenity prayer baby, always the answer.

 

Know that focusing on the nine things right in your life is healthier than the one thing that is wrong. Not saying that one thing isn’t hugely important, it’s just that when we focus negative we live negative and after the last couple of years isn’t it time to pivot? Yes it is.

 

Know that your time is limited. As I tell my students on the daily, make your dash count, know that while life might seem long now, before you know it you will be an aging cynical old person like me and want nothing more than your health and more time. “Carpe Diem!” yells the ghost of Robin Willliams from the back of the classroom.

 

Know that this time in history has been and will continue to be tough and more than a little freaky-deaky. And is it really a problem that it’s tough to find fresh crab and eggnog and rapid covid tests and a Nintendo Switch? No, it’s not, what is important is living an honest life where you hear laughter often and promote happiness and make things a little better each day. Or maybe that’s just me.

 

Wondering how to fix the holidays? Feeling overwhelmed? Upset? Unsure? Anxious? Well, let me give you some pointers from 57 years of experience.

 

Start with a little levity and this fun tale from my friend John a few years ago: https://bohemian.com/badder-santa-1/ Was that really 2009? Seems like yesterday.

 

Then, remember, presents don’t matter, being present does. http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2016/12/13/can-learn-well-cooked-piece-bacon/ and be OK when you can’t figure out how to flip the picture in the blog because it’s kinda arty upside down and maybe it has some secret meaning. Hmmmmm.

 

Sure, we all want a new Lexus in the driveway on Christmas morning but this year it’s time to downsize and be OK with it. And if you learn one thing, think about the circular reality of your gifts as in where will they go?

 

All matter is not lost or gained. Everything has to go somewhere. This was the main message in Physical Science last week, know where stuff goes and when the answer is to the landfill, rethink your choices.

 

That new wrapping paper from Costco-straight to the landfill but if your wife doesn’t like gifts wrapped in old newspaper then don’t make it a thing. That family paddleball set which was never opened, rewrap it and put it under the tree again, those favorite pair of jeans your daughter put patches on last year-more patches, they’re cool.

 

Here’s a tip from my favorite people at Patagonia:

 

“Give a Damn

Consider how and what you give this holiday season. Pass along cherished gear; share knowledge or try something new with a friend; repair their favorite jacket; donate to a good cause. Here’s to the joy of giving on a living planet.”

 

Happy holidays people and in this time of not-so-happy holidays please remember how lucky you are.

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