Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Never Leave Home Without It...Your Sense of Humor, That Is

10 Tips to Lighten Up Holiday Hassles

The holidays are filled with many Maalox moments—over-crowded stores, airport/ highway travel, last minute shopping, and not enough time to get it all done. While these, and other annoyances, are ripe for stress, they are also opportunities to test your sense of humor and turn these Maalox moments into more mirthful ones.

Below are ten things you can do to add more joy to this joyous season.

1- Carry some small reminder around with you to remember to lighten up. Some bubbles perhaps? A red clown nose? A photo of your playful child or pet?

2- Wrap your gifts in the Sunday newspaper funnies. They are colorful, fun, and could save you a bundle of money on expensive gift-wrapping paper.

3- Try some random acts of silliness. For example:

-Wear mismatched gloves or socks… on purpose!

-Page yourself over the intercom!

-If and when a store clerk, restaurant server or flight attendant asks matter-of-factly "How are you today?" try replies such as, "Well medicated. And you?"

4- Have some funny signs around your office or home to remind you to lighten up. For example:

-Never wrestle with a pig - you both get dirty and the pig likes it.

-You don't have to be crazy to work here…but it sure helps!

-If we're closed, just slide the money under the door!

Or, put a sign on your bathroom mirror which reads, “This person is not to be taken seriously.”

5- Pop goes your stress. Save the bubble wrap you get when buying fragile items. Pop it with your fingers, knees and toes! Sit on it. Dance on it. Pop it with young children.

6- Remind yourself what is really important in life. So what if someone doesn’t get a gift before Christmas? It might be even more special after Christmas when it’s not competing with all the other gifts.

7- Let a smile be your umbrella. This simple choice is yours. You can frown and be miserable or you can wear a smile and watch it rub off on others.

8- Go see a funny holiday movie or live show. There are many choices this time of year.

9- Focus on the positive. Write down all the great things you love about the holidays. Keep the list handy when annoyances arise. And share them with others. You will probably hear something uplifting that you forgot to put on your list.

10- Take a tour of downtown department store windows. In bigger cities, they are always fanciful, fun, and often a magical holiday experience.

Finally, to get you started on the right track…

A nun in a convent goes up to the Mother Superior. “Mother Superior, we have a case of syphilis in the Rectory!”

The Mother Superior replies, “Thank goodness! I’ve gotten tired of the Merlot.”

Happy holiday!


Allen Klein is the world’s only “Jollytologist”, a professional speaker, and author of 17 books including The Healing Power of Humor, Change Your Life!: A Little Book of Big Ideas, and Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying. www.allenklein.com


  1. You seem to have very stressful and unhappy holidays, so that you need to do all these add-ons in order to make them tolerable. As an alternative, use the holidays to do things you enjoy and that are mentally restful (even if there may be a bit of stress in any travel).

    Do not smile if you are crying behind it. It's human to do both. Beware people with permanent smiles.

  2. Thanks for the comments SibatheHat.
    I too believe in not covering up a tears with laughter but we need to remember that tears and laughter are very close and that both are healing, so we need not feel guilty when we laugh during trying times.