12/18/2015 04:50 EST | Updated 12/18/2016 05:12 EST

How To Survive The Holidays From The Comfort Of Your Couch

Closeup portrait of feet at woolen socks warming at fireplace in winter
Artfoliophoto via Getty Images
Closeup portrait of feet at woolen socks warming at fireplace in winter

By Sarah Bartley, World Vision Canada

Let's be honest: the Holiday season brings a sleigh-load of extra work.

The calendar is jammed with events and parties. There are all those presents to buy. While this sounds like fun to the busy-bodies among us, it can be a bit of a nightmare for those who default to lazy-mode. You need to get up, go outside and do things. With other people! And perhaps most challenging of all: you need to seem happy all the time.

Some of the Holiday excursions are unavoidable. Like if your mom is having Christmas dinner, it's probably advisable to go.

But take it from me: there are other ways around many of the other challenges. By following my Couch Potato's Guide to Surviving the Holidays, you can do what I did last year, and binge on the latest season of (insert-any-show-here) on Netflix. And no one will be the wiser! In fact, your friends and family will wonder how you've covered all your bases while staying so relaxed.



Will this get you on Santa's naughty list? Maybe! But you're a grown up, and you can buy your own stuff, so there. Let's get to it.

Here, now, is my Couch Potato's Guide to Surviving the Holidays. You're welcome, Canada!

Problem #1: Baking and cooking. It seems to me that during the Holidays one is always necessarily needing to bring edibles to places, and bringing store bought items is (for some reason) frowned upon.

Solutions: Bring store-bought items. Make sure to bring something fancy, though (assuming you want to be invited back next year. If not, well you get where I'm going with this.). If you're feeling really energetic, head to the dollar store and pick up some festive containers or mason jars to put said food items in. Don't fret -- while you're there you can also pick up wrapping supplies, cards, all your decorations, and some snacks (for you, for later, obviously). This would be your one trip to the store. As with every problem we'll be discussing, bonus points if you can 'delegate' this to someone else. This counts as leadership, not sloth.

Problem #2: Decorating. You may have noticed that people tend to decorate their houses (on the outside too) for the Holidays. Because the outside of your place is, well, outside, people will see if you're not keeping up with the neighbours.

Solutions: If you're not having anyone over and you don't live with anyone who will nag you or be disappointed that your house doesn't look like the North Pole, than skip this exercise entirely. For many of us, unfortunately this isn't an option.

In this case, I would recommend "outsourcing" to your spouse or teenaged children. Here's how you frame it: "This year, I'm going to let YOU decide how the house should be decorated! Yep, it's a big job, but I know you're up to it!" Be confident in this approach, and don't show fear.

Problem #3: Presents. Everyone wants gifts. It seems to be an indication that someone in your life is meaningful enough that you've gone to the effort of getting them something.

Solutions: If you can't beat 'em (and you can't on this one), there are some work-arounds. If the giftee is between the ages of 10 and 18 give them cash. They'll appreciate it more than anything else. If going to the ATM seems onerous, write them a check or send an e-transfer.

Otherwise, get everything online. Last year, I bought everything online, including a box of cookies and even my usual hair products. I was giddy watching (from the couch!) everything I needed for the season being brought to me. We live in marvelous times, friends.

Also online I bought some things from the World Vision Gift Catalogue. Because giving to charity at Christmas is important, right? Just because we're lazy doesn't mean we're not grateful for what we have, and lazy people want to help people too (especially if it doesn't involve getting up).


Stock photo

You may think that following these steps are about avoiding the Holidays all together -- but it's not true. I've been amazed at how much more I actually enjoy the season. I'm less stressed, and more excited about seeing people when I do see them. And I really do like seeing people's faces light up when I give them a gift they like, or bring a yummy treat to contribute to their party.

Have a wonderful Christmas friends, I wish you the easiest possible season. If you have any other ideas or advice, please comment below, we need to stick together on this.


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