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Need help surviving holidays?
Some tips and suggestions for coping with the hassle of the holidays.

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Date published: 12/18/2002


TODAY'S OFFERING is a collection of random thoughts relating to the holiday season. Considering my short attention span and your hectic schedule this time of year, a brief, easy-to-read column will work for both of us.

Whoever started the rumor that good things come in small packages (I think it might have been Mickey Rooney) was right on target.

I'm convinced that any gift requiring effort from two people to hoist into the trunk of a car is simply too much trouble.

So what if Aunt Louise would like a full-length mirror, or Uncle Harry needs a new stepladder. Let them wrestle with those items during the after-Christmas sales.

Small gifts (think jewelry and CDsor even books, cameras or video games) are easy to shop for, easy to wrap and easy to transport to Grandma's house.

And they will bring as big a smile on Christmas morning as anything you have to carry in the rack on top of your minivan.

The rule with holiday music is simple: The older the better.

"The Christmas Song," by Nat King Cole and "White Christmas" as done by Bing Crosby still rank as my all-time favorites.

For a quiet and solemn Christmas Eve, I recommend "O Holy Night" by Robert Goulet, or just about any hymn sung by Barbra Streisand.

And pleaseno holiday music performed by chipmunks or barking dogs. Don't get me wrong. I love dogs. I just prefer them sleeping at my feet while Bing does the crooning.

While I may be old-school when it comes to holiday music, count me among those who can be satisfied with an artificial tree instead of the real thing.

I still remember cutting my hand a few years ago with a big knife while trimming the bark from a large pine I was trying to squeeze into a tree stand.

I wrapped my hand in a towel and drove to the emergency room. But I forgot to leave a note for my wife, who came home to find a knife and drops of blood on our carport.

Needless to say, I had some 'splaining to do when I got home. And sympathy wasn't the prevailing mood, as I recall.

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